Has your water bill shot up, and you have no idea why? With rising costs across the board, no one wants to see an increase on another bill. So, if your water bill is higher than normal and the rise isn't due to rate changes, let’s review why it could be caused by one of the following issues:
- Recent changes in water use
- A leaky toilet, faucet, or plumbing fixture
- Leaky water-based appliance
- Leaky water line
- Water softening system running nonstop
While we can’t say for certain without an in-person visit from a trained plumber, keep reading to learn why one or more of these issues could be the culprit to your water bill increase.
Live in the Redlands/Inland Empire area and need an honest assessment of your home’s plumbing systems? Contact the trustworthy and highly-trained plumbers at Burgeson’s. We’ll help you narrow down what’s causing an increase in your water bills.
Recent Changes in Water Use
It might surprise you that even small water use changes can add up throughout your billing cycle. Did you have your in-laws over to visit for a few days or a week? Did you recently welcome a new pet or set up an aquarium? Any changes to your water use will be reflected on your bill.
Overnight guests, a new baby, or putting in a garden can all lead to temporary or long-term hikes to your water bill. Before you start checking for leaks, you might investigate how to use less water if the increased cost has to do with your usage habits.
Leaky Toilet, Faucet, or Plumbing Fixture
At some point, any home is bound to deal with a leaking plumbing fixture. If left untreated, a dripping faucet, leaking toilet, or leaky shower head can add significant increases to your water bill.
The United States Geological Survey allows you to estimate the cost of a dripping faucet. Did you know that one leaking faucet dripping about 10 times a minute adds up to an extra gallon of water per day? At 30 extra gallons per month, that will cause a noticeable increase in your water bill. When you have more than one plumbing fixture malfunctioning, the costs can increase exponentially. In fact, the EPA reports that the average American household has fixture leaks that waste around 10,000 gallons of water annually!
Some common culprits include:
- Toilets: Silent leaks in your toilet can waste an incredible amount of water that adds up to thousands on your water bill. When the rubber flapper wears out, water from the tank can fall into the toilet bowl. If the leak isn't severe, you might never notice as the tank stays full and the bowl doesn't flush without someone pulling the lever. One of these leaks can cause 200 gallons of water loss per day.
- Faucets: A worn gasket that leads to a dripping faucet isn't a major leak, but can add an additional $20 per month to your water bill. Leaking in the drain pipe or around the base of the faucet can cost even more by causing damage to surrounding infrastructure.
- Shower heads: Much like a faucet, a shower head can drip, drip, drip. Since a shower head is larger, it often leads to a faster, more expensive leak. Shower head leaks could cost you as much as 3 gallons per day. Although that may not seem like much, in tandem with other leaking fixtures, you’ll see an uptick in your water bill.
Leaky Water-Based Appliance
Water-based appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators with ice makers, and water heaters use a fair amount of water when running efficiently. When an appliance like this leaks, you could see a rise in your water bill.
Modern dishwashers with good EnergyStar ratings use about 4 gallons per load. In fact, the Department of Energy regulations limits a full-size dishwasher to 5 gallons per cycle. So if you ever wonder, do dishwashers save water? The answer is yes. You can save up to 100 gallons a week using a dishwasher, but if the dishwasher is leaking, some of those savings are also spiraling down the drain... or onto your kitchen floor.
Any appliance connected to a water line can leak and cost you in water and damage to your home. Whenever you notice signs that an appliance might not be operating up to par or you have a sprinkler system leak, it's probably time to have a plumber take a look.
Leaky Water Line
Water lines carry all of the water you use throughout your home. If your main line starts to leak, you might not notice immediately since these pipes are often underground, which could cause a sudden spike in your water bill.
Inside your home, water lines move water from the main line to your fixtures and appliances. Small leaks behind walls or ceilings may take a while to do any noticeable damage, so as soon as you see damp spots or condensation on the exterior of your pipes, call a plumber.
Water Softening System Running Nonstop
You could pay for constant regeneration cycles if you have a water softening system that’s not working properly. A relatively common problem with these systems is the unit getting stuck in regeneration mode, which means it's constantly using fresh water to flush out the mineral buildup. You might need repairs if you hear the water softener running for longer than usual. Otherwise, you can expect to see even higher water bills.
Need Help with a Leak? Call Burgeson’s for Trusted Plumber Repairs.
If you’ve noticed an increase in your water bills, give Burgeson’s a call to set up an appointment. Our pros will review your plumbing system and provide a tailored quote for the work. We can also share financing options and answer your questions while there.
When you’re ready to schedule an appointment, call us at 909-792-2222 or request an appointment online using the button below.