Five Plumbing Problems that Will Skyrocket Your Water Bill

Let’s talk about what can make your water bill soar so that it’s a lot higher than normal. Most people notice that they have a plumbing problem when they get a high water bill. By getting those problems repaired as soon as you notice a change, you can save yourself a lot of money. 

1. A running toilet.

Maybe you have a toilet that runs all the time or runs sporadically. Everyone’s been in bed at night and they hear the toilet fill up and then stop. And it might do that every five minutes. A running toilet can actually use 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water in a month, which can definitely double your water bill. So you want to make sure that you don’t have any running toilets.

When your toilet is running, there are two main culprits that can cause this problem. The first is the flapper. The flapper is hooked to the toilet handle that you use to flush the toilet. When you flush the toilet, the flapper is raised up and that lets water drain out of the toilet. After the tank drains, the flapper closes again. With age, it can get warped just a little bit on the bottom. That causes it to not seal completely which causes the water in your tank to go down. When the water level gets low, the fill valve kicks on. It’s a continuous cycle. You can use a lot of water as a result of this problem. 

2. The fill valve.

The other thing that can go wrong is the fill valve. After you flush the toilet, a little float goes down that tells the water to turn on and refill your tank. As your tank fills up, the float rises to the top, and then it shuts itself off. These can go bad so they no longer tell the water to shut off all the way. They might almost shut off all the way. 

If you have a problem with one of these and you call Rocketman Plumbing, we almost always change out both the flapper and the fill valve. If we just replace the flapper and you’ve got an old fill valve, you’ll have another problem sooner than you would like. And they’re not very expensive. So we always replace them both.

3. A drippy faucet.

A drippy faucet, a drippy tub and shower valve; it’s dripping 24/7. And that adds up to an incredible amount of water that you’re paying for that’s going right down the drain. It is important to contact us for any Water Leak Repair issues you might be having. 

4. A mainline water break.

You can have a break in the mainline, possibly from the meter to your house, or even under your house. If your bill jumps up, take the lid off the water meter out by the street. There’s a little tiny red or blue dial that detects very minute movements of water. If that dial is spinning and yet you’re not running any water in the house, that’s a sign that you have a water leak and you need to call a plumber so they can come out and fix the problem.

5. Swamp cooler leak.

Almost anyone who has a swamp cooler has seen water run off the side of their house. It’s your swamp cooler that’s causing that to happen. There’s usually one main reason this happens. 

There’s a float on the inside of your cooler. It’s got a quarter-inch water supply line screwed onto it. If this float is not adjusted correctly, the pan of your cooler fills up, reaches the top of the overflow, and then starts running down the overflow before the float shuts off the water supply.  

Sometimes these floats will work fine at the beginning of the season. Like all appliance parts, they don’t last forever. It’s always good to replace your float every two to three years. 

But if you have water running off the side of your house, if you think you can tackle replacing the float, great. If not, give us a call and we’ll come out and help you with your Swamp Cooler Repair. We’ll check your cooler while we’re out there, make sure there’s nothing wrong with the water lines or anything else.

6. Sprinkler systems.

Another problem you can have that can cause your bill to go way up is if you have a sprinkler system. Sometimes sprinkler valves do not shut off 100% every time. You can have an old automatic sprinkler valve with a little bit of water leaking out. Water is just bubbling up a little bit all the time. You can look at your sprinkler heads, and if you see any water when you’re not running water, that’s a sign that you need to get some work done on your sprinklers. 

Those are my tips for a soaring water bill. Give Rocketman Plumbing, a local Albuquerque plumber, a call at 505-243-1227 if you need help checking for any of these problems.