After you’ve been in your house for over a year, you can often begin to predict the approximate cost of your utility bills each month. You know to expect a rise in your electricity usage in summer and winter, when your HVAC system is running more often, and you know to expect an increase in water usage in the summer when your lawn needs to be watered more often. But sometimes, your utility bill can spike unexpectedly, and you might have a hard time determining the cause. Keep reading to learn a few possible causes of a spike in your water bill, from a plumbing contractor in Sacramento.
Increased Water Usage
It might sound silly to name this as an “unexplained” increase in your water bill; after all, you know that increasing your water consumption will increase your bill. However, many people overlook their increased water usage, or simply don’t realize how much small changes in your normal routines can alter your water bill. For example, did you have family in town during the last billing cycle? If so, this would equate to more baths and showers, more toilet usage, more handwashing, more dishes (and, therefore, more use of the kitchen sink and dishwasher), and even more loads of laundry in your washing machine. This all contributes to a higher water bill during that cycle.
When your water bill comes in higher than you expected, it’s important to consider anything that may have been different during that billing cycle. Did your pool get a lot more use than normal, and you needed to add extra water to it? Did you put in new sod or other plants in your landscaping that required extra watering? The reason for the change may be more obvious than you think, after you give it some careful thought.
An old meter can sometimes provide an inaccurate readout to the utility company. If your meter is getting on in years, it may be worth contacting your municipality to test or replace your meter. Note, however, that this is a rare problem—at least when it comes to higher readouts. Most meters will slow down with age and show less water passing through, rather than showing an excessive amount of water passing through.
However, if you think this may be the problem, you can calculate your average daily usage by dividing the number on your water bill by the number of days in that billing cycle. Then, check it against average water usage statistics. The average American uses about 88 gallons a day, so multiply this number by the number of people in your household to see if your daily usage is close to the average. If it’s reading at abnormally different levels, and you feel like you’re using an average amount of water, it may be worth having someone come out to look at your meter.
A Hidden Leak
You might think leaks are quite obvious. After all, wouldn’t you hear the dripping, see the spray, notice the moisture? While this might be true sometimes, many leaks can remain hidden for a long, long time. The majority of your plumbing isn’t visible to you, and is hidden in the walls and under the floor instead. When one of these pipes forms a leak, it can go on for months, even continuing to get worse, without you being aware of it.
If your water usage has spiked, and it doesn’t go down with the next billing cycle, then you can feel confident that this is not a one-time event like increased water usage from visitors staying in your home. Odds are, you have a leak hidden somewhere in your plumbing that is driving up your water bill every month—and there’s a good chance that it’s just going to get worse if you don’t address it soon.
Hidden leaks can waste far more gallons of water than you realize, especially if it’s a large supply line, such as your underground water main. It’s important to find and repair these leaks as soon as possible, not only to get your water bill back under control, but to prevent extensive water damage to your property. The longer it goes without being fixed, the more likely you are to experience rot, mold, mildew, and other moisture-related damage to your home.
Finding these leaks can be tricky to do on your own. Contact the leak detection experts at Bullseye Leak Detection to get help pinpointing the exact location of your leak. We can help you find and repair leaks throughout your plumbing, including slab repair in Sacramento for those pipes buried beneath your foundation. Call now to schedule an inspection.