Water is an essential utility for every household, but unfortunately, the limited resource isn’t free. As you pay for water consumption, you need to keep an eye on the billing amounts. There are usually slight differences in the charges from one bill to another based on the up and downs of your water usage and minor fluctuations in unit costs. However, if you’ve noticed that your water bill has skyrocketed as compared to the previous month’s bill, then it should be alarming.
Homeowners, commercial landowners, and tenants are thus concerned about water utility bills. A higher than usual water bill not only adds to the costs but also indicates that a significant amount of water might be getting wasted. The EPA states that around 10,000 gallons of water are wasted each year from water leaks for an average household, and 10 percent of households are subjected to water wastages of 90 gallons or more from leaks only. Yet, there can be multiple reasons for a hefty water bill that need to be investigated and addressed to prevent a similar issue in your next bill.
Running toilets are among the most common reasons for a high water bill. The first area to inspect following a sudden increase in your water bill is your toilets. They use more water than any other appliance in your home, and if something goes wrong with them, they’ll utilize even more water.
As you flush the toilet, it takes up water from the toilet tank, which needs to refill after every flush. Continuous running of toilet indicates that the toilet tank is not refilling for some reason, resulting in water wastage. To fix this, you will normally have to replace the flapper that separates the toilet tank from the bowl. If the issue persists, your refill valve probably needs to be replaced if there’s a leak between the bowl and the tank.
Hidden leaks are another major source of a soaring water bill because of the obvious reason that they often go unnoticed. Prolonged leaks lead to continuous water wastage resulting in an ever-increasing water bill. If they aren’t tracked down soon enough, they will not only affect the bill, but also cause mold growth, rot, water stains, and other issues, thereby affecting the resale value of your home and also its hygiene.
To find hidden leaks, all you need to do is put in some extra effort and keep inspecting areas you don’t normally check that can be subject to water leakages. These may include the areas under the sink, right behind the toilet, in the basement, or even exterior plumbing fittings. Leakages in these areas are overlooked and thus, left unattended, resulting in immense water wastage. Thus, keep checking them regularly.
Installation of a New Appliance without the WaterSense Label
Due to unawareness, some homeowners end up buying unauthentic appliances manufactured using outdated technology and are frequently subject to water wastages. Plus, they aren’t as efficient as you’d expect them to be. But how would an average homeowner know whether or not their appliance is genuine?
In an effort to conserve water in every household, the EPA initiated the WaterSense program. This program includes awarding an appliance or fixture with a WaterSense label, which denotes that they are 20% more water-efficient than other products. Manufactured using eco-friendly and future-facing technology, these highly efficient appliances also guarantee quality performance.
Thus, if you’re planning on installing a new appliance, make sure you buy the one that’s WaterSense approved. The WaterSense label on them is the main indication of this.
Ignoring Minor Drips
This one needs no introduction. It is extremely common for us to ignore drips at various plumbing spots from time to time. The impact of these ‘minor’ drips can be excruciating for our water bills. If left unchecked, a single drip can add up over time and result in the wastage of thousands of gallons of water. That faucet sound is not merely annoying, but expensive too. Hence, every time you notice a drip, call your plumber as soon as possible to get it fixed.
Last but not least, our overconsumption behaviors are among the main culprits of an unexpectedly high water bill. These include the way we use appliances. For instance, the top-loading laundry machines in our homes utilize 200% more water than contemporary, front-loading machines. To make things even worse, instead of using washing machines at full-capacity loads, we tend to run them at half or even quarter-loads, resulting in further unnecessary water consumption.
Many of us love to garden, and we end up using a ridiculous amount of water to water our garden while we’re lost in imaginations and day-dreaming. Plus, very few parents actually keep track of how much water their children are consuming for recreational equipment and toys, not to forget the unreasonably lengthy shower times, adults included. To be honest, one can save as much as 1000 gallons of water every month by limiting their shower time to less than 5 minutes.
In addition, a habit that can easily be avoided is letting the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving. Also, dishwashing can result in unnecessary waster wastage if done by hand. Using dishwashers can help save 4-5 times more water than washing dishes by hand.
High water bills can be extremely hard on your pockets. While most of the underlying causes are difficult to identify, once you detect them, it becomes easy to sort them out. Also, we often neglect minor issues like drips, minor leaks, and overconsumption of water, but the amount of money you can save by paying attention and making slight manipulations regularly can be pretty significant. All you need to do is improve your habits and keep in touch with your plumber.