- Changes in pricing from the utility company
- Seasonal changes to use in water consumption (like filling up an outdoor pool or watering the lawn)
- Increased household size and thus water usage
- Outdated fixtures and toilets
- Broken water meter
- Water-wasting habits
An increasing water bill can be hard on your wallet and it can also be an indicator of leaks. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one in ten homes have a leak. Household water leaks can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water a year.
If you haven’t changed your water usage habits recently and you are experiencing a higher water bill, then check for the following common causes why your water bill is increasing.
Running or Leaky Toilets
Toilets are the number one cause of an increasing water bill, and toilet flushing is the highest water usage in the average household. A toilet may continue to run after being flushed, or it might be leaking water. That can waste up to 6,000 gallons of water a month, costing you an extra $70 each month.
You can test your toilet for a leak by inserting some food coloring into the tank. Don’t flush it for about half an hour and check to see if the food coloring leaked into the toilet bowl. You also may be able to hear an odd noise or leak.
To fix a running or leaky toilet depends on what is causing the leak. You may be able to fix a faulty flapper or floater on your own, but you also should consider contacting a plumber for help.
If your faucets drip when you’re not using them, they can waste 17 gallons of water a day and increase your water bill.
Leaky faucets can be caused by not closing the tab completely or a worn-out washer. If turning off the faucet all the way does not stop the dripping, then contact a professional.
You may also have dripping outdoor taps, which can leak depending on how often you use them and the weather.
Speaking of outdoor water usage, if your water bill is increasing you should also check on your irrigation system. It could have a crack or loose joint causing a leak.
Your irrigation lines might be buried, so one of the best ways to check for an irrigation leak is to look for damp areas of grass.
To fix an irrigation leak, you’ll likely need to consult with a professional plumber.
The underground pipes that bring water to your home can also get cracked and begin to leak. These leaks can be caused by aging pipes, earthquakes, tree roots growing over them, or animals.
They can be difficult to detect, but if your water bill is increasing and it’s not due to a change in water usage or other leaks, you might want to check for underground leaks.
Underground leaks are typically more problematic to resolve and will require a plumber to fix them.
Reasons Why Your Water Bill is Increasing (Besides Leaks)
If it’s not damage or a leak, here are a few more common reasons why your water bill can increase: