Yesterday I noticed our water bill payment was several hundred dollars more than normal.
I called the water company and was told I used 39,000 more gallons last month than we normally do. She then proceeded to ask if I had any leaks in the house. I sarcastically explained to her that I believe I would have noticed a 39,000 gallon leak in my home. I told her we had no pool and that I did not have a sprinkler system nor do we water our lawn. She kept insisting I must have a running toilet or something. Needless to say I am waiting on a tech to arrive as I type to give him a nice earful. I am sure they will figure it out but don't try to tell me I have a 39,000 gallon leak in my home!!!
Escape is not always the safest path.
Shut off the water at the house, then check the meter at the street. If it's spinning, you have a leak in your line. Most water companies will waive the charge if the tech finds a leak and you repair it. At least, that's been my experience.
BTW, code for water line replacement depth varies by locale. In my area it was 30 inches. I paid an extra 200 bucks to have the line dug and placed at 60 inches. It ain't never freezing.
Good advice as we had a similar situation at our home last year. I found the cause and it was two separate sprinkler system leaks in the yard.
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When we had this situation, city water company told us to make sure that nothing in the house was using water, then look at the meter. Yup, meter was running.
Most houses in my area are built on a slab. We had a leak in the copper pipe feeding the bathroom area. Looking at the cost to break into the slab to repair, it was cheaper to re-pipe the whole house, running pex through the attic.
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We came home from work one evening to find the front yard under water. Wate line in between house and road had ruptured. Polybutylene to blame. Thankfully piping inside house was copper. Well known problem.
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Obviously shut the water off at the street and look at the meter. If you’re on a slab, it could very well be a slab leak. If you’re on a crawl space, poke your head in there and you may find a swimming pool.
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At least you didn't have the situation with my wife's parents; they got a quarterly water bill for like $2,000 instead of the regular $200
They go to the borough and ask what the hell is going on and get the answer "Oh sorry we've been undercharging you for the past 16 years".
I think they ended up getting a lawyer because it was due to a faulty meter and not any fault of theirs.
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LOL... boy are you in for a surprise. In many areas the water district is only responsible to the meter.
Had a water line in between road and house spring a leak. Went through more than that on a water bill over a two month billing cycle, yet no signs of leaking water anywhere. (It can depend on the type of soil.)
Had to hire a specialized leak detection service after 3 so called plumbers could not find the leak. I learned I should have hired specialized leak detection service 1ST. I had know idea there was that many stupid plumbers out there.
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I went through this a few years back. What a nightmare.
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Happened to me a couple 3 years ago. Thankfully the meter reader misread the meter.
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We went through this with a slab leak. Never heard any running water, just a big water bill.
The plumbing company sent out this old guy. He walked around the inside of the house for about 10 minutes without saying a word. Then he pulled the refrigerator out from the wall and punched about a 8 x 10 inch hole through the slab and there it was. No idea how he figured it out but he nailed it dead on.
What they say about once you get one you are going to get more is true. We ended up repiping the house after the 3rd one.
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I'm sure they will be glad to set you up on payments of $100 a month plus interest for the next 390 months.
Seriously, hope you get it resolved to your satisfaction.
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A few years ago the our pipes froze at the street. Thankfully they didn’t burst and after a few days we had running water again. A couple months later I noticed we’d only been paying a few bucks a month for water. I looked at the bill and our usage was way low. I called the water company and told them that I thought their meter was busted because my bill was wrong and the lady jumped into a long spiel about how people always blamed the water company but the meter is always right and we must have just been taking long showers or we had a leak and on and on. I let her talk herself out before I told her that it only said we used 5 gallons in 3 months.
There was a repair truck at my house in under an hour.
Surprised that much water didn't show up in seepage. Is there a mold concern now?
You're not that special unless you walked on the moon or received the Medal of Honor.
In Ishpeming some folks got a bill for 19K recently.
Broken pipe in the crawl space this winter.
Everybody compromised and they ended up paying 2500 bucks.
So I guess thats a deal!
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When I first starting working at a municipal water utility one of the guys working there a long time used two bent welding rods like in the picture. He found where the water line ran. If you know where a line is, try what you see in Para's picture. Hold one in each hand with a lose grip. It works, I don't know how. The do sell them in the supply catalogs I used to get sent.
If you suspect a leak, put food dye in your toilet tank and see if it makes it way into the bowl. I went to many houses in my years with the water company. Some had leaks, some didn't. When water meters go bad, 90% of the time it is in the customers favor. As meters wear out, they don't record the flow as good as they did when they are new.
Living the Dream
How will that find a leak somewhere on the property? Water flows directly from the tank into the bowl.
Or are you saying that a leak this massive has been the flapper valve all along?
Yes, it is very possible. I have brought dye with me when I get these complaints. Even a faucet with a drip adds up a lot more than most people think. I have 4 toilets in my home. One doesn't get used as much, I have found It running at times and wonder how long has that been going on. Usually I will hear it when the house is quiet and I find it.
How often is your meter read? Quarterly?
Living the Dream
A leaking toilet tank can average between 30 and 200 gallons a day. Not enough to add up to your 39,000 gallons. If you were in the high range and a 90 day billing cycle, you could use 18,000 extra gallons. I would go with what the guys are saying about a leak in the slab or the supply line from the street.
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