2 Potential Reasons Your Water Bill Just Quadrupled

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You receive your monthly water bill, open the envelope, and see a number that is four times higher than average for your home. Assuming everyone didn't start taking three hour long showers in the past month, there is likely a leak or malfunction that caused your bill to jump up so high so fast.

Here are three potential reasons your water bill can suddenly quadruple. Call in a plumber and/or your water company to help solve the problem.

Running Toilet

Believe it or not, a running toilet alone can use up enough water alone to cause the water bill spike. The toilet would need to be running most of the time for the bill to get so high or you might have more than one toilet running.

"Running" with a toilet simply means that the water from the tank continuously leaks into the bowl rather than shutting off as soon as the bowl finishes its post-flush refill. The water is leaking out at such a slow rate that the bowl isn't in danger of overflowing, but the water in the tank is still gradually moving down. When that water in the tank reaches a low enough level, the float triggers more water to enter the tank from your home's water supply. This cycle will continue endlessly until you fix the problem.

A running toilet is typically easy to fix. Take off the tank lid and look inside to find a rubber disc that's on the bottom of the tank floor. This disc is called the flapper and it is meant to form a seal in the hole between the tank and the bowl. When you flush the toilet, the flusher pulls a chain attached to the flapper to lift the seal and allow water through. Once the flusher relaxes, the flapper is supposed to fall back into its seal position.

An incorrect chain length can prevent the flapper from closing properly. A long chain can become stuck under the flapper and keep it raised while an overly short chain can prevent the flapper from falling all the way back down into the hole. You can fix this problem with a simple trip to the hardware store for a flapper with a better chain length for your toilet.

Broken Pipe or Meter Error

If your toilets aren't leaking, there might be a leak in one of your main water pipes or your water meter could be malfunctioning. Call a plumber and your water company if you suspect either of these issues to make sure professionals checks to see what is going on.

Need to check if the problem is a broken pipe while waiting for a service call? Turn off your main water shut-off valve. Watch the water meter. Is the meter still indicating high levels of use? You either have a water line problem or your meter is on the fritz.

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26 October 2015

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