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Plumbing Leaks

Excessively high water bills could be extremely detrimental to your personal finances. The costs could be setting you back by several hundred or even thousands of dollars each month. Today, the folks at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Eastern Iowa would like to shed some light as to why you might be experiencing high water bills. How you can identify the problem, and even some ways you could resolve these issues.

Check For Leaks

To check for plumbing leaks you want to start by turning off all your water appliances and proceed by checking your water meter. For help finding your home’s water meter, please consult with your water department and proceed with caution when checking it; any damages to the water meter might result in costs to the resident.

Once you have navigated your water meter and turned off all your appliances check your low flow indicator. If your low flow indicator (leak detector) is still spinning then it is safe to assume that you have a leak on your hands.

You might want to determine if the plumbing leak is coming from a pipe in your residence or a leak in the service line. If the problem is the service line, then it has become a problem that your water department and needs to be resolved by them. To determine this, turn off your home’s shut-off valve and check your low flow indicator again. If the low flow indicator continues to spin, then you have determined that the leak is inside the household. Call a plumber to accurately find and repair the leak.

Common household leaks include:

Toilet Leaks:

Detecting a leak in your toilet can be done with simple steps.

  • Open the tank to see if the water level is too high or spilling into the overflow tube, if you see this happen, the toilet is leaking.
  • You can use color dye or a leak detector tablet, by dropping either in the tank; you can detect a leak by seeing if the water in the toilet bowl changes color. Give this process about 10-30min to see the water change.

Other causes for toilet leaks include

  • Flapper valve leaks
  • Flush Handle Leaks
  • Overflow Tube Leaks

These issues can be fixed by replacing the individual parts of the toilet, but if that proves to be inefficient, then you should consider replacing the toilet entirely. Contact a plumber to see if this is the best course of action.

Leaky Faucets

A leaky faucet could lead to a very high water bill if left unattended. Before taking any action for fixing your faucet, you should understand what type of repair you are going to have to do. Depending on the type of faucet you have, you will have to take different procedures to fix it.

  • Compression Faucets: Faucets with two handles for hot and cold water
  • Ball Faucets: Faucets have one handle that swivels left and right for hot and cold water.

The fixes for a leaky compression faucets usually involve replacing a damaged washer located in the faucet’s handle. Ball faucets are trickier and could involve replacing the O-rings, springs, valve seats, and also the washers. It might even be more cost efficient in the long-run to replace the entire faucet with a brand new one if it has become too old and corroded.

Check your water meter

There are times when I notice that the issue is not a leak at all and that it is actually a problem with the water meter. Sometimes the water meter is getting very inaccurate readings which results in inflated pricing for your water usage.

Things you should know about your water meter:
If your water meter measures in cubic feet then you should know that: 1 cubic foot of water = 7.48 gallons of water

So, to test if your water meter is getting a correct reading, you should turn off all your appliances and then proceed to draw 10 gallons of water from one source. If your water meter is reading amounts over 10 gallons or over one cubic foot, then you need to consult with the water department on replacing your water meter with one that can read the water usage accurately. Water meter issues could lead to reimbursement of your money due to department error.

Personal Inspections:

Pinpointing the exact location of your leak might prove to be a very difficult task, as a leak can move from one place to another. Routinely checking on your appliances, fixtures, and piping can better prepare you to handle a potential plumbing problem. Basic plumbing areas you should routinely check for leaks include:

  • Pipes (both exterior and interior)
  • The area under your sink
  • Water Heater
  • Drains
  • Faucets
  • Showers and bath tubs
  • Toilets

If these issues continue to become a problem and you are experiencing even more difficulty and even higher water bills. Then it is best to call for the advice of a professional plumber.