July 10, 2017
By Mark Paup

FAQ: Why Are My Water Bills So High?

Updated January 22, 2024

Homeowners are always looking for places where they can lower their bills and save money from month to month. One of the best places to start is to take a look at your water usage each month. Have you recently noticed that you’re paying more for water, or has your water bill always seemed high? There are several possible causes for this, and many of them have to do with problems with your plumbing.

Our plumbing service in the greater Des Moines, IA area, can help you with the plumbing repairs and replacements that may be necessary to help reduce those high bills to something easier to live with.

Let’s take a look at common causes of paying too much for your household water:
  • Slab leaks: If you’ve noticed a large increase in how much water you use each month (always look at gallons used rather than just relying on what you’re paying), one strong possibility is you have a hidden leak in the house. A prime candidate is a slab leak. This is a leak in the cold water or hot water pipes down in the foundation of the house. These are common occurrences and can lead to massive water waste—and they’re also tricky to locate and repair. If you experience a big jump in water use, contact our plumbers for leak detection to see if you have a slab leak.
  • Running toilets: The toilet in the home accounts for around 40% of indoor water use. So, if your toilet is continually running—water moving from the tank to the bowl between flushes—it adds up quickly. To find out of this is happening, go to each toilet in your bathroom and place a few drops of food coloring into the tank to see if the water moves from the tank into the bowl after half an hour. If it does, the toilet is running and needs repairs.
  • Leaking faucets: Never let leaking faucets go without fixing them. It’s easy to ignore one (unless it’s keeping you awake) but a faucet that drips even once a minute will add up to a few extra gallons per month. Check each of the faucets in your home for dripping and have them repaired or even replaced if they’re leaking.
  • Aging fixtures: If you’ve been paying too much since the beginning, then the issue may be that you have old plumbing fixtures that are general water wasters. Old faucets and especially old toilets can use as much as four times more water than current models. If you don’t have WaterSense-labeled fixtures, we strongly advise you have us install new low-flow models. The difference can be significant!
  • Bad habits: Yes, sometimes the problem is that you or other people in your home have fallen into bad water-wasting habits. Taking long showers, running the water while you’re brushing your teeth, using running hot water to thaw out frozen meat, overwatering the lawns—these are all examples of bad water use habits that can cost you. If you’ve always had high water costs, look for these small changes you can make. And if the higher costs are new, see if you’ve started to do things differently that are wasting water. (Quick reminder: always run the dishwasher and laundry machine on a full load!)

At Golden Rule, “We Obey the Rules to Live By!”

Contact Us Today for Plumbing Service!

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