Are Leaks Causing Your Spiking Water Bill?

According to the United States Geological Survey, the average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day. But in some cases, the savvy and attentive homeowner might notice that their home’s consumption has well exceeded this daily average based on the number of occupants in the home – and they may look to the causes of this increased water usage.

At My Buddy the Plumber in Park City, we can tell you the most common reason for this if it’s happening to you: Leaks in your system. Our basic plumbing services can assess the potential causes and locations of leaks, plus plug them in the most cost-efficient and practical ways possible. What are some of the primary sources of water leaks in your home, and how can you eliminate other potential sources of water overuse to determine that leaks are indeed taking place?
leaks causing spiking water bill

Sources of Leaks

Plumbing leaks that alter the water bill can show up in each of the following areas:

  • Overflowing toilets: There are a few types of toilet leaks, and one is where water from the tank leaks into the top of the overflow pipe. This may require adjustment of a piece called the ballcock valve, or may need the sliding clip or tank arm bent slightly.
  • Toilet flappers: In other cases, toilet flappers – the plug at the bottom of the tank that holds water in – may be defective. If you can hear dripping sounds in your toilet, this is probably what’s happening.
  • Sink drips: Worn down washers, or washers that never fit properly in the first place, are the primary culprit here.
  • Outdoor bibs and faucets: Particularly during the winter, check for leaks around any outdoor water elements.
  • Hot water heater: Usually in the basement, the hot water heater may leak for a variety of reasons. One of the most common is a pressure valve that needs replacement.
  • Ice machine: A malfunctioning ice maker in your fridge might draw more water than it needs, leading to leaking issues.
  • Other appliances: Dishwashers, washing machines and other similar appliances should be checked to ensure their connections are tight and they are not leaking.

Detecting Leak Presence

Here are some simple steps for determining if a leak is present in your plumbing system:

  • Turn off all faucets and water devices.
  • Look at your home’s water meter and check to see if the red dial is moving. If it is, water is still running in your home – likely through a leak.
  • If the dial is running, turn off the water to each toilet in the home individually using the shut-off valve on the back of the toilet. After each toilet, go back to the meter and see if the dial is still running. If it stops after a certain toilet, you’ve found your leak.
  • If none of your toilets are the source, repeat this process for your faucets and hose bibs.
  • If you still don’t have an answer, take a meter reading at night once all your water is turned off. Then, take another in the morning before you turn any water on. If the number is higher, you have a leak even if you can’t find it – and you should contact our pros to help.

For more on this or any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the pros at My Buddy the Plumber in Park City today.