Although it might be true that in many cases, water bills have increased significantly and exponentially over the last few years, assessing your water usage and keeping control of your outgoings shouldn’t be difficult. It should certainly not be the case that an incoming water bill is shocking.

Reasons for Higher Use

In the majority of instances, a higher than normal bill could simply indicate that you’ve used more water. You might have had a long term house guest or you could have been decorating. It could be that you’ve installed a water feature or sprinkler system in your garden or you may have invested in an appliance such as a dishwasher and simply aren’t used to the amount of water it can use.

Sinister reasons

However, in many cases, receiving a larger than expected or unusual water bill can be a sign of a leak you weren’t aware you had.

From a dripping tap to a burst underwater pipe, a plumbing problem which isn’t causing you problems in the traditional sense such as with a flood or item which isn’t working to capacity could still cause you massive problems. This is because of the amount it is costing you in wasted water.

Therefore, any bill or meter reading which is much higher than you’re used to should always be investigated by a plumber. It’s also worth considering that the longer you wait to seek a professional opinion, the more your plumbing problem could potentially cost you in the long run. Therefore seeking help now could potentially save you money and ensure you’re being economical in the process.

As you’re waiting for the plumber to assess and investigate your situation, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you’re not wasting further water as you search for the cause:

  • Turn off the water
  • Check your meter. It may have an indicator which points to a leak or a place where water is flowing unexpectedly. Not all meters have this facility and if yours is particularly old you may not have one.
  • Find the main shutoff valve and close it, preventing any water from reaching your home. If this still moves or you can still see the meter turning, you can assume that the valve is broken and that this is potentially your leak.
  • Check your internal taps just to ensure that the valve did its’ job.
  • If however, the leak indicator is still turning, your leak may be between the meter and the flow of water into your home.

Reporting the problem

Although it is always the best practice to indicate to your water supplier that you believe you have a leak and are investigating the problem, this may not provide a financial solution. In the vast majority of cases, any leak is considered to be your issue rather than that of your supplier and they may not be able to adjust your bill accordingly. However, by confirming to them that you are aware of the situation and that you are taking measures to rectify it, they may give you additional time or support in terms of your higher than usual payment.