There are several things homeowners can do to address a rising water bill. Water bills typically vary a little bit from month to month. People should act quickly if their bill is outside the expected range, however.
Most people use over 300 gallons of water per household each day. The average household uses about 70% of its total water inside. Here’s how to find out why your bill is higher than normal and what you can do.
1. Ask About Local Water Rate Changes
You can often check your local rate by comparing your current bill to older bills. Most water companies can help you find out when a rate was changed over the phone as well.
There are a couple of things to note about rate changes and rising bills. Water companies may charge different rates depending on your water usage. The rate is frequently set with a minimum water bill that will cover several thousand gallons per month. It will often go higher and higher as you go through added thousands of gallons of water.
You might find that your company can charge you a higher-than-normal rate if you have water running consistently. You should immediately assess for leaks if you get a bill that seems like it doesn’t correspond to your water usage and normal rates.
2. Double Check Your Outdoor Water Usage
Outdoor water usage can be a bit harder to monitor than indoor water usage. Many people don’t know how much water they use to water grass and other plants. Sprinklers use anywhere from 12 to 30 gallons per hour. That’s a large range, so you’ll need to take the sprinkler head off and measure for yourself by hand. Measure the actual hose output by running the water into a large bucket. Keep it there for a few minutes without the sprinkler attached.
Some people have had success managing their outdoor water usage by using apps that help them keep track of sprinklers. There are also a few new smart sprinkler systems that combine with smart home systems. You set the sprinkler monitors up by sticking the sensors into your lawn. One added benefit is that you can water different sections of your grass on different automated timers. Most people don’t need to use the same amount of water on different sections of the lawn. You can save a lot of water by using sensors this way.
3. Check for Leaks
Small leaks still add up to a lot of wasted water. People with very sturdy copper pipes can still get a surprise pinhole leak. These are frequently caused by corrosion. You might also find that small holes in seals and washers will add up to a large bill.
You can always have a plumber inspect for leaks. You might catch a leak yourself if you use a smart home system to help you monitor water. You will need to turn off all faucets and water appliances with this method. You can then check your smart home monitors to see if there is still water flow. You can also turn off everything and check the water meter outside without using a smart home system.
There are a lot of places for leaks to hide. Outdoor faucets, toilets, toilet seals, water heaters, and old outdoor hoses are good things to check first.
Be sure to check around the house for signs of a leak regularly. Typical signs include:
- A musty smell
- Puddles near a wall
- Mold behind or under sinks
- Dripping noises
- Texture changes on walls or ceilings
- Discoloration on walls or ceilings
4. Check Your Water Meter
Water meters often have a leak flow detector on them. These will often tell you if you have a leak, but they are not reliable in all cases.
If the water meter is broken, it can provide an inaccurate reading, leaving you with a very high bill without you using more water than usual. It’s important to have the water company check your meter from time to time. Be sure to do this if your bill is very high and it can’t be contributed to leaks or additional water usage.
5. Replace Toilets, Appliances, and Shower Heads
Many people don’t realize how much water they use by flushing the toilet. Toilets account for around 30% of all water usage in most homes. Older toilets typically use between 3 and 6 gallons per flush.
Changing your toilet to one that uses less water can have a large impact on your bill. This is one of the best ways to tackle above-average water usage in homes with multiple people.
People use a large amount of water taking showers and doing laundry as well. The average showerhead will handle 2.5 gallons of water flow per minute. Washing machines vary in their water use. Many washing machines can hold 45 gallons of water in the tank.
Replacing your showerheads and washing machine can dramatically change your water usage. Newer high-efficiency machines can reduce your water use by around 50% per load. Low-flow showerheads can reduce your water use in the shower by about 60%.
You can also consider trying some of the smart showerheads that have come on the market recently. These expand on the low-flow idea by alternating your flow so that you still get a lot of water for rinsing. They will also help you avoid running unnecessary water as you let the water heat up.
6. Monitor Your Water Usage
There are a lot of ways to monitor and change your water usage with your habits. You can significantly impact your bill by turning off the tap as your brush your teeth. Other habits may become more apparent with the aid of a smart home water management app. People often don’t realize how long they really take in the shower or how much water they use for dishwashing.
7. Promptly Fix Leaky Faucets
It can be tempting to put off fixing a dripping faucet. The drips can hardly seem large enough to impact your water bill. Faucet leaks are deceptive, and they also grow unexpectedly. A dripping faucet can leak a large amount. Some of them even add 20 gallons of water a day to your water usage. Be sure to address these as they come up. Leaking or running toilets are another common cause of high bills.
Your Local Plumber Is Here To Help
With locations in Temecula, Murrieta, and Orange, We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air offers expert plumbing services to our customers throughout Southern California. We offer help from Orange County to the Inland Empire. Call us for all kinds of plumbing repairs. We fix slab leaks, offer repiping, repair and install showers, install appliances, assess for hidden water leaks, fix toilets, and much more. You can also count on us for heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. Contact We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air today for more information.