You probably have a good idea how much you pay each month for your water bill. You may even pride yourself on saving money by being extra careful with your water consumption. So it can come as quite a shock when your bi-monthly bill is suddenly much higher than usual.
There are 9 reasons a water bill suddenly skyrockets … Find out what they are and what to do about them.
1. Seasonal Increase
Let’s start with a straightforward reason. Your water bill may show a sudden increase because, quite simply, your water usage has been higher than usual lately. This often occurs in summer, when folks are watering gardens, running lawn sprinklers, filling swimming pools, and just plain showering more often. Another short-term jump might occur during the holiday season, or any time that you find yourself hosting a large number of guests.
No plumbing repair is needed here. Although you’ll need to pay up, you can console yourself with the thought that the hike is just temporary.
2. Broken Water Meter
Every home in Ottawa is equipped with a water meter to track usage. Once in a rare while, your meter malfunctions and reports an incorrect figure (though apparently, under-registering is more common than the opposite).
You can ask for your meter to be tested by the city. However, if no problem with the meter is revealed, you’ll be responsible for the cost of the testing.
This DIY test, on the other hand, is free:
- Turn off all water in your home.
- Check the water meter.
- Fill a large container with a measured amount of water.
- Recheck the meter to see whether the reading accurately reflects the amount of water you just used.
3. Leaking Toilet
Leaking toilets are an all too common plumbing problem, resulting in hundreds of litres of wasted water. To find out whether a toilet leak is responsible for your sky-high water bill, look for the following signs:
- Damp floor around the toilet base
- Cracked porcelain
- Constantly running toilets that makes noise even when not in use
- Frequent clogs or difficulty flushing
- Smell of sewage
If you spot any of the above, contact a licensed plumber to fix your toilet.
4. Leaking Pipes
Water leaks stemming from your plumbing pipes are a bit tougher to spot since they are usually inside the walls. It helps if you use your nose, as well as your eyes, to search for clues, such as:
- Strange musty smells from the air or your water supply
- Discoloured water
- Stained, bubbling, or peeling paint
- Growth of mould or mildew
This is a serious problem that can result in severe water damage to your home. You need emergency plumbing repair.
5. Leaking Underground Plumbing
An underground plumbing leak may show itself in various ways. Look for any of these red flags:
- Rusty, dirty-looking water coming from your faucets
- Sharp drop in your home water pressure
- Sinkholes in your yard
- Specific areas that are wet, mushy, mouldy, or mossy, especially compared to the surrounding grass
Unfortunately, underground plumbing leaks require urgent and extensive repair. The sooner you get started, the better.
6. Issue With Water Softener
Your water-softening appliance may be malfunctioning. Look for any leakage and check the setting. If the water softener is set to regenerate too frequently, it will consume more water as it flushes itself. For help setting the appliance correctly, consult the manufacturer or a reliable professional.
7. Leaking Water Heater
Regular inspection of your water heater is always recommended (it’s a good way to detect issues before they blossom into full-scale crises), but even more so when your water bills suddenly rise. Examine the hot water heater itself, as well as the floor beneath.
If you spy any leakage — or if you notice your heater is taking longer than usual to heat water, your hot water is cloudy, or the tank is rumbling or popping — call a reliable plumber.
8. Leaking Washing Machine
Your floor is the first place to investigate for evidence of a washing machine leak. Leaky washing machines tend to warp or stain flooring in the laundry area. Make sure your washing machine hose is firmly attached. If that doesn’t help, get your friendly neighbourhood plumber to take care of the problem.
9. Leaking Dishwasher
As with a washing machine, begin with inspecting the floor for signs of a leaking dishwasher such as stains or warpage. Then look at the cabinets and walls around the appliance for dampness or mould. Next, turn off the water supply to your dishwasher and contact a plumbing service.
Take Control of Your Water Bill With Out of This World Plumbing
Get your water bill (and your plumbing) back to normal with Out of This World. Our team is ready to troubleshoot your plumbing problems and expertly repair all issues.