If your utility bill is higher than usual without an obvious explanation such as watering a lawn, or filling a pool/hot tub there may be a water leak in your home. Water leaks can cost hundreds of dollars and even cause potential damage to your property.
Tips to check for leaks:
- Inspect your home for any signs of moisture.
- Read your meter before you go to bed at night (or in the morning when the house will be empty for the day). Read it again first thing in the morning before any water is used. If the reading has gone up there is something leaking.
- Check faucets and showerheads for leaks as well as underneath sinks.
- A common cause of leaks is the toilet as you often cannot see or hear the water running. To test your toilet, close the valve behind the toilet and wait several hours to see if the tank empties (without flushing). If the water level goes down in the tank or empties entirely the toilet is leaking. See some of the most common causes of leaky toilets below:
- The float is set too high causing the tank to overfill and the water runs into the overflow tube
- The valve for the fill tube gets stuck open causing the water to run continuously
- Bad seal on the flapper
Another leak that often goes unnoticed is a humidifier on a furnace as they use a float system that can sometimes stick. With only a ¼” waterline for the supply and the overflow hose tied into the drain it is very hard to see the leak.Water softeners have a drain line connected to them that will stay in use even if the water softener is unplugged. This can lead to water going directly to the drain unnoticed. Neglected water softeners can also lead to discoloured water or a bad odour and taste in the water. The best way to avoid these problems is to maintain the water softener, or physically remove it if unwanted.
Fix even a small leak as soon as possible to protect yourself from a high utility bill. The below chart is an accurate example of how quickly a water leak can add up.
Monthly Water Loss