Water Bill Sticker Shock? Check Your Home for These Common Culprits

For most Americans, the water bill is one of those major monthly utilities that you have to factor into your budget, but what about those dreaded times when you receive a bill that is shockingly high? How can you explain this hike and account for the water usage?  

The first thing you need to understand is that this sticker shock indicates significant water waste that can usually be traced back to a plumbing leak that has gone undetected.  So, the key to fixing this situation is to locate the problem within your home. Here are some of the common culprits:

Running Toilets – Leaking or running toilets can waste as much as 200 gallons of water in a single day!  So, if you suspect this to be the issue, you can conduct two simple tests. First, just listen.  If your toilet is making an odd hissing sound, you likely have a leak that needs to be investigated.  Second, you can do the dye test. Simply take the lid off of the tank, and add a few drops of coloring.  Then, wait about 20 minutes before checking the toilet bowl. Do not flush; just let it sit. If there is dye present in the bowl, then there’s a leak.

Leaking Faucets – Leaky faucets and/or fixtures can also go undetected while making a serious impact on your utility bill.  Fortunately, these are easier to catch and repair. All you need to do is a visual check of all faucets, shower heads, and fixtures in and outside of your home to identify leaking water.  Most often, these leaks are simply due to faulty rubber washers that can be easily replaced.

Dated Fixtures – If you’re in an older home, your plumbing fixtures, including toilets, may be past their prime.  It’s a good idea to check your home’s faucets, showerheads, toilets, and all other water-using appliances for their manufacture date and WaterSense label.  If their outdated, it’s time for an upgrade, and with this you’re likely to see a significant decrease in your water bill.

Leaky Irrigation – Irrigation systems used for outdoor landscaping can also develop cracks and leaks.  Since these systems are often buried out of sight, issues can be a bit harder to spot.  But, one thing you can do is go around your yard to check for unusually damp patches or areas that are more lush than their surroundings.  If you spot anything out of the ordinary or still aren’t sure after your own inspection, call in your trusty professional to locate, mend, or replace the affected areas of your system.  It’s also worth noting that outdoor leaks could be due to cracks in the lateral line, the pipes that feed water from your metered connection to your home. For these, again, you’ll need to call in a professional.      

Wasteful Habits – When it comes down to it, if the issue isn’t due to a leak or system failure, then it could simply be due to wasteful, overconsumption habits.  A few of these include:

  • Taking unnecessarily long showers
  • Hand washing dishes
  • Using a top-loading washing machine
  • Overwatering lawns
  • Allowing water to run while brushing teeth, shaving, etc.

By making efforts to curb these behaviors, you can significantly lower your water bill.  

If you suspect a leak or some other issue is contributing to your excessively high water bill, give our team a call.  We’ll send our experts out to conduct a thorough search and carry out any necessary maintenance, fix, or replacement right away so that you can keep your hard-earned money in your pocket.   


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