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Why Is My Water Bill So High?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Find Out Why Your Water Bill Suddenly Got High

You just got the mail and you can’t help but exclaim, “Why is my water bill so high?” You saw the bill, and it’s almost double the last bill you had. What happened? What did you do that caused your water bill to get high so suddenly?

With water being a tricky resource and an expensive one too, you don’t want to be wasting any of it. So, you want to know anything that you might be doing that leads to your high water bill. Let’s try to find out!

Why is my water bill high? plumbing ideas
Check out the list below for the most common causes your water bill might be too high.

Common Causes of High Water Bills

There are several reasons why you could have had a high water bill. It could be that your water supplier raised their price and you didn’t know. Or, there’s a leak somewhere you’re unaware of. Continue reading to find out more.


One of the most common causes of a high water bill is leaks. Somewhere around the house, there could be a fixture, faucet, toilet, dishwasher, washing machine, irrigation system, or pipe leaking water. A running toilet is particularly wasteful as it can use up to 6000 gallons of water a month. You should inspect your house for any leak when you find you have a high water bill.

Outdated Toilets and Fixtures

If you have old, outdated toilets and fixtures, it could be why your water bill is high. This is because these fixtures aren’t exactly the water-saving kind. They are old fixtures with low efficiency when it comes to water conservation. You should check any water-using equipment in your home for its date of manufacture and replace it if it’s over ten years old.

Water bill high fix tips
Consider updating your fixtures to water-saving ones.

Seasonal Changes

Water consumption changes when the seasons change as well, particularly in the summer. During this time, people become more active. They sweat more and that means they shower or take a bath more. Homeowners also tend to water their plants and lawn more during summer. Besides summer, water bills tend to increase during winter due to letting the water run to prevent pipes from freezing.

New Water Equipment

New water-using equipment can also cause your water bill to increase. An example of equipment like this includes a new washing machine, pool, freezer, or sprinkler system. You can minimize the impact of equipment like this by choosing one designed with high efficiency and using them according to the instructions.

Bad Habits

Certainly, bad habits can lead to a substantial increase in your water bill. Some of these water-wasting behaviors, that you should stop soon, include:

  • Using washing machines for only quarter or half-loads
  • Overwatering your lawns and plants
  • Using water-consuming equipment unmediated
  • Taking unnecessary and lengthy bath or shower times
  • Running water to thaw frozen foods and meat
  • Running water when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Running water while washing dishes by hand
  • Using top-loading washers that consume 200% more water

Water Meter Mistakes

The high water bill could just be the result of a water meter mistake. If you or the municipality recently changed the residents’ meters and your bill suddenly increased even though you didn’t do anything new, it could be that the water meter was the problem. You should check with the other residents if they had the same problem. You should also inspect your home for leaks, just to be sure.

Defective Water Softener Systems

The water softener systems can contribute to your increased water bill. You see, the system backwashes itself with fresh water periodically. Water softener systems do this to regenerate. The problem is that the backwash valve sometimes gets stuck open. This causes the water to get wasted as it flows continuously into the sewer system.

water bill high DIY solutions
Each of these solutions could fix your high water bill problems.

Tips to Save Money on Water Bill

Want to lower your water bill? Below are some of the best tips to try to reduce your water consumption, and therefore, your bill.

Get New Faucets

Invest in better faucets. Today’s faucets are now designed to conserve water even while the tap is running. They’re so much better than standard faucets, especially with an aerator installed.

Turn Off the Shower Flow

Turn off the flow of the shower while you lather up with soap or shampoo your hair. Turn it back on once you are ready to rinse. In doing so, you can prevent unnecessarily wasting loads of water.

Collect the Rain

Rain can be quite useful. Instead of using tap water to water your plants or lawn, you can use the rain you collected. Before you do this, though, make sure you learn more about relevant local laws since collecting rainwater is prohibited in some areas.

Cover the Pool

Pools use a large amount of water, which could come from your own water supply through the garden hose. Seeing the amount of water used for pools, you want to cover it when you’re not using it to minimize evaporation. In this way, you won’t need to refill the pool more frequently.

Reuse the Recycled Water

Learn how to reuse and recycle water. For instance, don’t throw away any water left on pet dishes or the ones you used to wash vegetables. You can water your plants with it instead. Even the water you used in preparing food, like when you steam veggies can be used in another way.

Allow the Lawn to Grow

When you cut the grass on your lawn during lawn mowing season, adjust the height to about two inches. It will help you conserve water more since taller grass holds more moisture in the soil and provides shade for the roots. Therefore, you won’t need a lot of water to keep your lawn green.

Install a Low-Flow Shower Head

The same with investing in new faucets, how about you invest in low-flow shower heads? As the name suggests, using this type of shower head helps reduce your water consumption when showering. It is said to be able to reduce about 50% of the amount of water used during shower times.

Run Full Loads of Laundry and Dishes

Like we said before, running half-full or quarter-full loads both in your dishwasher and washers can contribute to an increased water bill. In that case, you can save water and minimize your consumption by running full loads every time. This way, you don’t need to run both appliances many times.

Take Shorter Showers

Do you know you can save about 4000 gallons of water by reducing your shower time to only four minutes? Don’t take too long lathering and washing your body while you’re in the shower. Just focus on what you need to do.

High Water Bill FAQs

Which Appliance in the House Uses the Most Water?

The toilet uses the most water in the house, followed by taking baths and showers. Flushing the toilet takes about 30% of the indoor water use of the average household. It’s even more if you use older toilets, which are highly inefficient in conserving water.

What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Water Bill?

There are a few options available if you don’t pay your water bills. One, your services will be discontinued. But missed payments could also appear in your credit report, damaging your credit score.

How Long Before Your Water Is Shut Off?

They usually contact users with a warning within a few months of missing the payments. Most often, they give at least a week of notice before they cut off the water supply. You will know for sure how much time you have left through the mail. It’s a written warning sent to inform you that your water will be shut off.

Hire a Local Plumbing Pro

The methods above are effective DIY tips to investigate, diagnose, and fix your high water bill. But if you need professional help, then don’t hesitate to contact a local plumbing pro using the phone number or form on this page.

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