High water bill no invisible leak? What are the possible causes, how to detect a hidden leak, and how to dispute a high water bill? We have the answers!
Water is among the top utilities for commercial property owners, homeowners, and everyone in-between. On the other hand, it is precious, and just thinking of large quantities of water going to waste can freak most people out. Another reason why they are freaking out is – the financial cost, since, if water is not being used thoughtfully, water bills can get sky-high. What is more, more than 1.7 trillion gallons of water are wasted year after year .
And, if you’ve noticed your bill is higher than normal (which is, you’ll agree, almost impossible not to notice), and you can’t see any visible leaks, nor did you add any lawn sprinklers or filled a pool lately, you have come to the right place. We’ll try to help you track down the cause and find a leak in your plumbing, because, there certainly is a leak.
For instance, slab leaks are the worst! Years can pass by without you even realizing the slab leak. We’ll also talk about what to do about the unexplained high water usage and disputing high water bill by the end of this text.
High Water Bill No Visible Leak – 5 Common Causes
Leaky toilets, faucets, fixtures, outdated fixtures and toilets as well, dishwashers and/or washing machines, lateral line leaks, and adding water-consuming equipment are just a few common causes for a high water bill. If your water bill tripled in one month, you’ll want to investigate the following areas.
1. Leaky Toilets
An average American household uses 31% of the overall water consumption on flushing toilets – 5 to 7 gallons a day to be exact.
Thus, if your toilet is leaking, and your monthly bill went to the moon, you might want to detect and resolve this issue as soon as possible. If not, you’ll be wasting up to 5,000 gallons of water per month and, needless to say, a lot of money as well.
Hiss-like noise coming from your toilet is almost a certain sign of a leak (yes, sometimes you can’t see it but certainly can hear it). The leak could be coming from the seals, water line connections, or the tank flapper.
If you would want to be 100% sure if there is a leak (since no visible leaks are more often than the visible ones), pour some dye into the toilet, wait for it to dissolve, then flush the toilet. If you can see dye around your bathroom floor, then you’ll know what to do. We already mentioned leaky toilet waste pipe here.
2. Leaky Fixtures and Faucets
A leaky fixture/faucet can waste around 17 gallons of water per day almost without you noticing it, over 510 gallons per month or more than 3,000 gallons in one year, which can significantly add up to your water bill.
If you’ve noticed the leak, simply replace the faucet if it is the cause of the leak. However, it could also be that a faulty faucet handle or a rubber wash that needs to be replaced.
Read this if your shower is leaking through the floor.
3. Leaky Washing Machines and Dishwashers
If your washing machine is tucked away in the corner, chances are, you barely look or clean underneath it, since, if you did, you could have spotted a leak! Note that washing machines use a lot of water and you might want to consider a newer model that uses up to 50% less water, which would make your water bill go down.
Alternatively, your dishwasher may be leaking, and it could be the reason why your water bill got unusually high. In this case, you’ll maybe want to contact a professional to repair the dishwasher.
4. Lateral Line Leaks
If the amount of water consumed month by month can be clearly spotted by your utility bill, and there are no obvious leak, the reason behind that could be a later line or irrigation leak. Cracked underground pipes, tree root intrusion, lose joints – these are some of the leaks that may be making your water bill to go up and should be handled with no delay.
5. Water-Intensive Equipment
If you’ve recently bought a new freezer, washing machine, installed an innovative sprinkler system, or built a pool, don’t get surprised by the significant increase in your water bill. And, just in case you are thinking about some of these things, make sure to go for high-efficiency, low-water consumption appliances to minimize the water loss.
High Water Bill Due to Leak – Am I Responsible?
If you are the landlord, then yes, you are responsible for the high water bill due to leaks. If you are renting, then your responsibility is to let the landlord know about the leak and fix it. On the other hand, the good news is that you can get a refund if you’ve wasted some water and fixed the problem timely.
Yes, many water municipalities in the US would actually provide refunds f.e. once, or once in a year, or every 2 years in order to maintain good relations with their customers. So, you can get a refund if you notice an unexplainably high water usage, detect and fix the leak first, then contact the water utility in your state and provide the right documentation.
Disputing High Water Bill No Visible Leak
If your bill shows an unexplained high water usage, there are several things you can do. First, do visual checks and try to find if there is a leak coming from your showers, toilets, or outdoor connections. Just in case you can’t see the leak, doesn’t matter it is not actually there. You can purchase a special kit for testing hidden leaks, and, if really there are no visible leaks, ask the utility to review your bill then.
You should file a completion by calling or emailing the utility and then follow their instructions. Note that you’ll probably have to provide documentation to show your claim – show your previous months’ bills and meter readings (you can also request meter checks) to prove the amount of water you’ve been consuming and describe why you think that the bill is too high. You can always request an investigation or a reduction of the bill.
If the investigation takes time, the utility can suggest making a good faith payment. Once the investigation is over, you won’t be paying anything or you’ll be asked to pay the full amount, plus fees, depending on the results of the investigation.
It is out of the question that you can get an unexplainably high water bill even though you can’t spot a visible leak. However, some leaks take just a little bit of your effort to be discovered while there are kits meant specifically for identifying hidden leaks.
Today, we went through some of the places to investigate when trying to find a leak, explaining who’s responsible for the leak, disputing a high water bill, and more. Make sure to check the rest of our blogs in the bathroom category to educate yourself on similar topics.