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Nobody likes opening their monthly statement to find an unexpectedly high water or utility bill. 

When homeowners open their water bill and find a much higher amount on their statement, one of the first things they do is check around the house for reasons this could be happening. 

In this post, we’ll share what homeowners should look for inside their houses if they get surprised by a high water bill and common issues that could be causing it.

Leaky Faucets and Fixtures

Leaky faucets and fixtures are often the silent culprits behind high water bills. Even a slow drip may seem inconsequential, but it can add up over time. To check for leaks, follow these simple steps:

  • Visual Inspection: Start by visually inspecting your home’s faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures. Look for visible signs of water or moisture around the base or handles.
  • Check Meter Readings: Turn off all water sources in your house, including the washing machine and dishwasher. Then, check your water meter. If it’s still ticking, even when everything is off, you likely have a leak.
  • Dye Test: You can also perform a dye test by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If you see the color in the bowl without flushing, your toilet is likely running continuously.

Running Toilets

Running toilets are a common issue that many homeowners overlook. When a toilet runs continuously, it can waste significant water without you even realizing it. The constant water flow from the tank to the bowl could be due to a faulty flapper, fill valve, or float. To fix this issue, you may need to replace the worn-out parts.

Hidden Pipe Leaks 

While some leaks are easy to spot, others are hidden within your walls, ceilings, or under your foundation. These hidden pipe leaks can lead to astronomical water bills and significant water damage. Look for these signs:

  • Water Stains: Check your ceilings, walls, and floors for any water stains or discoloration, which may indicate a hidden leak.
  • Mold and Mildew: Unexplained mold or mildew growth in your home can also indicate hidden water leaks.
  • Reduced Water Pressure: A sudden drop in water pressure could be a symptom of a hidden leak.
  • Sounds of Running Water: It might seem intuitive, but if you hear running water when no fixtures are in use, you may have a hidden leak.

Faulty Irrigation Systems

Your outdoor irrigation system can also be a source of high water bills. A malfunctioning sprinkler system or a broken pipe can waste significant water. Check for soggy areas in your yard, uneven watering, or damaged sprinkler heads, and promptly address any issues you find.

Old or Inefficient Appliances

Old or inefficient appliances can significantly contribute to high water bills. Your washing machine, dishwasher, and water heater can be major culprits. Here’s what you can do:

  • Upgrade to High-Efficiency Appliances: Consider investing in high-efficiency appliances that use less water.
  • Regular Maintenance: Perform routine maintenance on your appliances to ensure they function efficiently and don’t develop leaks.

Water Conservation Habits: The Prevention Approach

Finally, adopting water conservation habits is an excellent way to prevent high water bills. Simple steps like fixing leaks promptly, reducing shower time, and running full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine can make a big difference in your overall water consumption and in your monthly bill amount.

A high water bill can be a concerning issue, but it’s often manageable. You can keep your water bills in check by regularly checking for leaks, addressing running toilets, and being mindful of your water consumption. At Northside Plumbing, we’re here to help you address these common issues that lead to high water bills. If you need clarification on the source of your high water consumption, please contact us. Our team of experienced professionals can identify and repair plumbing issues, ensuring your water bills remain manageable.

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