Your Water Bill and How You Can Save Money
High Water Bill?
Most of you may notice your utility bill is going up. A portion of that utility bill is for water. Your water bill fluctuates significantly throughout the year for several reasons, but there are some you can control. An average family of four uses about 400 gallons of water a day, and rates for running water can significantly vary from state to state. If you’ve seen a massive spike in your water bill, here are some things to look for:
One possible source of a high water bill is your toilet. Your toilet uses more water than just about every other item in your home. Nearly 30% of all water used inside your house goes through your bathroom. Often your tank will leak back into the bowl. Sometimes, you can see or hear the leak if it’s strong enough. The leaking water could be so subtle that you’ll never notice it; until you get the bill.
If you want to be specific, you can place a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Come back after some time, and if you see the color in the bowl, well, you leak. Usually, a faulty valve in your tank is the cause of that leak. Most home improvement stores or big-box stores will carry what’s commonly known as a flapper.
High water bills can arise because of a leak in your sprinkler system. Many lawns nowadays have a timed watering system. So over-watering usually isn’t the culprit. What could be over-watering your lawn are cracks or breaks in pipes under your grass. Or maybe a water leak in one of the fixtures. If you had this installed by a landscaper, alert them to it immediately.
New Dishwasher, Refrigerator, or Washing Machine
New appliances in your home can be fascinating. They can also cause spikes in your water bill if they used water when the previous device didn’t. Most newer appliances have settings that can regulate how much water they use. Make sure to have those settings dialed in by a professional.
Change in Routine?
Are you getting up earlier for work? So perhaps you’re taking showers earlier in the morning and letting the water run longer to heat up. If there’s no way around you taking a cold shower, perhaps take a shorter shower to compensate for the time waiting for the water to warm up. Also, switching to a WaterSense showerhead could save about 2900 gallons of water a year. Think about this when it comes to high water bills.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Running your water while brushing your teeth can equal up to 2 gallons of water. So shutting it off can save about 200 gallons a year. Yet sometimes, when you shut it off, you might not notice the slow leak costing you. Or do you have any faucets you rarely use? Sometimes older homes will have faucets and fixtures in the oddest places. Those, too, could be leaking so slowly that it goes completely unnoticed. If you’ve recently moved into a home and aren’t aware of all the faucets, take a stroll around the garage and the basement. Check behind large pieces of furniture or cabinets. Another common issue is with homes that previously had a pool. The former equipment could have been improperly disconnected. Have a professional check your property thoroughly, to be specific.
If you have a high water bill, check the above items closely.
Misreads of meters are not uncommon. Human error does occur from time to time. It’s well within your right to ask for a reread. Also, meters can become defective. Check with your local public utility service to find out more info on requesting a reread or to have your meter inspected.
Son or daughter move back in with their endless amount of laundry? Is your uncle staying in your extra room and loves to run the water while shaving? Any extended house guests can add a significant amount to your water bill and create a high statement.
Most of us now are used to having water at every faucet whenever we want it. Yet issues like those in Flint, Michigan, and with the Dakota Pipeline, Access show us how precious water still is. Conserving water is environmentally responsible and the best way to save you money on your water bill. After fixing and resolving any issues with your current plumbing, here are some tips for preserving water and ultimately keeping your high water bill down:
Water Conservation Tips:
- Water your grass and plants when temperatures are at their lowest. High temps will cause water to evaporate, causing the need to water your lawn more.
- If you are a fan of cold beverages, store more in your refrigerator. Using your tap for cold water or constantly making ice cubes can be costly down the road.
- Changing older toilets for more efficient units can be a huge money saver. If you don’t have the money to do that, there are devices you can add to your tank that can lessen the amount of water used at each flush.
- Locate your main shut-off valve. If you don’t have one, installing one by a professional is excellent. It can be a lifesaver in the event a plumbing emergency erupts.
- Suppose you don’t have a dishwasher. Consider investing in one. A dishwasher can save costly gallons of water over hand washing dishes.
- Washing your dishes with running water can cost up to 20 gallons. Filling the sink saves half those gallons.
- In the event of rain, make sure to turn off your sprinkler system.
- If you’re looking to buy new appliances, ensure they are EPA WaterSense certified.
- Avoid running the washer or dishwasher with less than full loads.
If you have a high water bill and wonder what the source is, call Mitch Clemmons Plumbing serving La Habra, Fullerton, Brea, Anaheim, and surrounding communities.