If you have been experiencing a higher water bill than normal, it may be time to check your plumbing for any leaks. The cost of leaking faucets and running toilets can add up very quickly.
If you have received a larger than normal water bill and wondered why the prices seemed to shoot up out of nowhere, in most cases it is caused by a leak somewhere in your system. While serious plumbing issues should be taken care of by a professional, you can use a little investigative work to locate and fix a smaller leak yourself! Should you find yourself experiencing a larger leak, Reddi Services offers 24/7 emergency services and will help you get back up and running!
How To Find Out If You Have A Leak
Generally, your first step will be to check and see if you are actually experiencing a leak. In some cases there are other reasons for larger bills, including overwatering your lawn, running your appliances like the dishwasher more than normal, or if you are caring for an additional person in your home. The first step you should take is to check your water meter. An easy way to do this is by:
- Turning off all appliances and irrigation systems.
- Open your water meter cover and check for the flow indicator, which is normally a rotating wheel. If you see it moving, you likely have a leak somewhere.
If you do not have a flow indicator, write down the number that shows on your meter, then reference that number in an hour for any changes. If there are changes in the numbers, you likely have a leak.
The Common Culprit
In your home are several places to check for possible leaks that could be contributing to a large water bill. The first place to check should be your toilet, as leaky toilets make up roughly 90% of plumbing leaks. On average, leaking or running toilets expend up to 200 gallons per day that go unchecked! To determine if a leaky toilet is the source of your problems:
- The sound check. Listen to your toilet for any irregular hissing noises. If you hear something, you may have a leak.
- The dye check. Take off the lid of your toilet tank and drop in a couple of drops of food coloring. After a 15-20 minute wait, check back and see what color your toilet bowl is. If the bowl changed color, you likely have a leak allowing water to flow in from the tank.
In most leaky toilet cases, the culprit is a faulty or broken flush valve located inside the toilet’s tank. Replacements can be found at almost any hardware store, and the installation is easy for anyone to accomplish. Just be sure to leave enough slack between the chain and the flush valve to work properly!
If a running toilet was not the source of your high water bill, then you will have to continue looking around your home. Your next step should be by checking all faucets around your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a leaking faucet dripping only a single drop per second can waste 3,000 gallons in a year! The most common issue with leaking faucets are having faulty washers in the faucet handles. To fix this, shut off the water, unscrew your handle, and replace any washers.
In some cases, leaky shower heads can be the source. In another study done by the EPA, a leaky shower head can waste up to 500 gallons of water in a year. Check to make sure your shower head has a snug fit, and use pipe tape and a wrench if necessary. If you find that you must replace the shower head, try to find a product that has a WaterSense label on it; these labels are used to distinguish water-efficient products.
While looking for potential leaks around your home, do not forget to write off checking your floorboards and walls for signs of broken pipes. Mildew, mold, and traces of moisture or puddles are clear indicators of an internalized leak. In most cases, you will not be able to remedy this situation yourself. Reddi Services is equipped to handle any leakage problem and will be quick to assist you!
As one last approach, make sure you are checking outside of your home as well. If the problem is not internal, there is a good chance your irrigation system has a leak, or one of the underground pipes has burst. For both of these situations, call Reddi Services for emergency help!