Ask The Expert: Why Is My Water Bill So High?

Jeff MacGibbon

A high water bill can be caused by a number of different things, such as a leaking faucet or shower, or forgetting to turn off a tap for an extended period. But in the majority of cases, the culprit is your toilet tank or bad pipes in the basement that you don’t normally see.

If you receive a high water bill, the first step is to walk around your house to make sure everything is turned off, and then look at your water meter.  

If the meter still shows water being used, then you know that there is a leak somewhere. At this point you can call a plumber, or try to find and fix the leak yourself.

If your meter is not showing water use, then the usage may be caused by recent activity. Did you have guests visiting? Did you do more washes than normal? Have you been watering your lawn or garden?

If you have 13-litre flush toilets, you may wish to consider replacing them with 6-litre models. Check with ACAP to see if they are still offering a $50 rebate on low-volume toilets. This will help reduce your costs.

Bad pipes can be caused by minerals or sediment in your water, or by dirt from breaks in water mains that happen from time to time. We recommend that homeowners install a filter on their main water line to remove sediment before it gets into their plumbing system.

Some minerals can make your water hard, or cause a smell or bad taste. Identifying the specific mineral requires a water test. At Basic, we provide these water tests for free.

Small leaks add up to higher water bills over time, especially if you have two or three in combination. If you’re handy, you can often find and fix these problems yourself. If not, call a professional. The savings over time will be worth it, and you’ll be helping the environment.

Jeff MacGibbon

Owner and Operator

Basic Plumbing & Heating

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Jeff MacGibbon, Basic Plumbing & Heating
Living Education Tips, How-To, DIY


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