Have you ever opened your water bill and felt the sticker shock of owing more than you usually do?

We’re sharing some of the reasons your water bill is so high – and some suggestions on how you can lower it.

Common causes of high water bills

Your toilet is leaking. A leak in one of your house’s plumbing fixtures can waste thousands of gallons of water a year – and that adds up. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household’s leaks can equal more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water annually. Put another way, that’s the amount of water you would need to wash 270 loads of laundry. Nationwide, household leaks can waste more than a trillion gallons of water every year.

The EPA says if your toilet is leaking, it is often due to an old toilet flapper, which you can easily replace yourself. But if you do end up having to get a whole new toilet, consider installing one with the EPA’s WaterSense® label. Products and services with the label are certified to use at least 20 percent less water than regular models.

Your faucet or showerhead is leaking. If you’re suddenly dealing with a hefty water bill, this is another common culprit. A faucet that releases a drip per second doesn’t sound like much, but you can end up wasting more than 3,000 gallons per year. Likewise, a showerhead that leaks 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons of water per year.

You may be able to easily fix a leaking showerhead by tightening it with a wrench and pipe tape. Check a leaky faucet’s washers and gaskets and see if they need to be replaced. If you’re replacing either a faucet or a showerhead, you can also look for the WaterSense® label on those products.

You have a leaky garden hose. If you use your hose a lot, especially in the summer, inspect its connection to the spigot. If it’s leaking, replace the hose washer and tighten the connection with a wrench and pipe tape.

You have a slab leak. Slab leaks are when a pipe leaks underneath your home’s foundation. They can be hard to detect, but one of the first warning signs is a high water bill. Other signs include damp or buckling floors and mold and mildew. Call your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing if you suspect you may have a slab leak, and we’ll do an inspection and recommend any necessary repairs.

Your water softener never takes a break. Water softeners are a must when you have hard water, but if you hear it running continuously, that means it’s going through the regeneration process constantly and wasting hundreds of gallons of water. That is supposed to happen every few days, but if it starts running all the time, call your local plumber.

Lifestyle changes. Summer can be a busy time for a lot of people! Maybe you have family visiting from out of town, or your kids are home from college. You’re probably watering the lawn more, and if you have a swimming pool, you’re keeping that filled with water. All of those things mean more water use and higher water bills.

If you’ve got a plumbing problem on your hands that you think is causing you to spend more money than you should on water, get in touch with us today! Contact us online or call 1-877-BEN-1776.