Many of us have been there before – you receive your monthly utility bill, and it’s exorbitantly higher than usual. There are many reasons this can occur, but the most obvious explanation is that somewhere, somebody or something is consuming more water than it should. Outdated plumbing fixtures, an unseen leak or poor consumption habits can all drive up your water bill.
Increased Water Usage
This may seem obvious, but if you are using more water than usual, your bill will reflect that. The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) charges more money per gallon as your water consumption increases, so the more you use, the more it will cost you.
Consider whether you have had guests over recently or spent more time watering your lawn than usual. A sprinkler system uses thousands of gallons of water each time it runs, so even one or two extra cycles could explain a spike in your usage.
Other water consumption habits that could explain a sky-high water bill include:
• Taking lengthy showers
• Doing many half- or quarter-loads of laundry
• Running water to thaw meats
• Frequently washing dishes by hand
• Using the hose to clear the driveway or sidewalk
• Leaving the sink running while brushing your teeth or shaving
If your bill is inexplicably high, you should consider the possibility of unseen indoor leaks before making an angry call to the water company. Plumbing leaks are the most common cause for high water bills. The EPA estimates that the average household leaks about 10,000 gallons of water a year.
According to the EPA, toilets are the biggest source of water waste in the average home, accounting for about 27 percent of consumption. If your toilet is continuously running, you may have a problem with the flapper, which can result in up to 200 gallons of water waste per day.
Flapper issues can also cause toilets to leak internally, allowing water to flow from the tank to the bowl. If you suspect a leaky toilet, place a dye tablet or a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you may have a leaky latrine.
Luckily, these can be easily and cheaply fixed with a toilet repair kit.
Leaking faucets are another costly culprit. For example, a sink faucet that drips once per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year! Similarly, a shower head dripping just 10 drips per minute uses more than 500 gallons annually.
Look and listen for leaky faucets and fixtures around your home. The solution could be as simple as replacing a faulty rubber washer, but getting those small leaks resolved will undoubtedly save you money each month.
Leaks can develop outside of the home just as easily as they do inside. They’re often underground at the mainline or in crawl spaces. Mainline leaks are typically caused by invasive roots, seismic activity, intrusive wildlife or aging materials. Irrigation systems can also spring a leak for these reasons.
It can be difficult to identify underground leaks, but in general, these are some common signs:
• Unexplained puddles or damp spots
• Areas that are lusher than others
• Insect or rodent problems in the yard
Outdated or Inefficient Plumbing Fixtures
If you have an older home, your plumbing fixtures may be doing you a disservice by consuming more water than necessary. This may explain an expensive water bill even though you’re cognizant of your water usage and don’t appear to have any leaks.
The EPA recommends switching to plumbing products with the WaterSense label if you have outdated fixtures. It’s estimated that these products could save around 50,000 gallons of water each year, which amounts to about $600 in annual savings.
Address Your Plumbing Issues Today!
Whether it’s leaky pipes, outdated plumbing fixtures or a problem with your main line, addressing your plumbing issues is the best way to save on your utility bill each month. Aramendia Plumbing has been providing reliable and affordable residential plumbing services to the San Antonio area for more than three decades. Call 210.654.1034 or contact us online today to receive your FREE estimate.
Aramendia has been serving San Antonio
and the surrounding areas for over 29 years and we pride ourselves on the trust and reputation we have earned over that time. Our loyal customers know us as a reliable and trustworthy service company that will quickly send a highly-qualified technician to their home or office to take care of them. In August of 2017, Aramendia became part of the Service Experts family. As a Service Experts company, Aramendia will continue to serve San Antonio and the surrounding area.