Why is my water consumption so high?
Did you receive a high water bill? If you did, it could have been caused by a number of different factors. To narrow it down, check the dates of service your bill covers. Now, consider any changes in your water usage habits during that time. Some common changes include: additional house guests, filling a swimming pool, additional landscape watering, washing cars, or more laundry. If nothing was different during that time period, you might have a leak.
Slow drips of water can add up quickly. A toilet that “keeps running” or a sink that drips after it’s turned off can waste thousands of gallons of water a year. If the drip is hot water, you are also paying for wasted energy if the drip is hot water. Fix leaks as soon as you find them because they are costing you money.
Water consumers are responsible for all charges based on the volume of water passing through their water meter. The Town of Bashaw is not responsible for any water consumed, wasted, or lost that was incurred through the property owner’s water meter.
Make sure you establish a regular check and maintenance procedure for the water fixtures in your home – this could include faucets, toilets, water heaters, outside taps, water main valves, fridges with water connections, washing machines, dishwashers, and others.
If you have concerns about any possible leaks, please contact a service professional for assistance. The Town of Bashaw does not provide in-home plumbing services to detect or correct any possible leaks.
Common Water Leaks
- Flow-through furnace-mounted humidifier
- Water softener system
- Outdoor water taps (including faucets, sprinkler systems)
Other possible sources of water leaks
- Ice maker
- Soaker hose
- Washing machine
- Hot water heater
- Continuous pet waterer
- Water-cooled air conditioner
- Swimming pool
Signs of a Leaky Toilet
- If you have to jiggle the handle to make a toilet stop running.
- Any sounds coming from a toilet when it is not in use.
- If you have to hold the handle down to allow the tank to empty.
- If you see water running over the top of the overflow tube.
- If you can see water trickling down the inside of the toilet bowl long after it’s been flushed.
- If water drips out of the fill tube into the overflow pipe.
- If a toilet turns the water on for 15 seconds or so without the handle being touched.
Checking the Toilet
A silent toilet leak pours water down the drain quietly. Water will not appear on the floor. Lift off the toilet tank lid. No water should be moving or circulating after a full flush cycle has been completed.
Pull the small hose from the top of the overflow drain stem and check for water flowing. After the flush cycle finishes, if any water continues to flow from the tank fill valve into the tank or overflow drain, you need to replace the fill valve mechanism.
Also, the tank flapper valve occasionally leaks water, requiring the fill valve to activate periodically. To check for this, add four to five drops of food colouring directly into the tank and let it sit for 30 minutes. Check the toilet bowl for indications that the coloured water has now passed from the tank to the toilet bowl. If so, replace the flapper valve. Check your hardware store for correct replacement parts and helpful hints, or call a plumber.
Flow Through Furnace Mounted Humidifier
Newer furnace-mounted humidifiers have a drain tube connecting the bottom of the humidifier to a floor drain or nearby drain pipe. If your humidifier has this drain system, check to ensure the water flow control valve closes properly when the system is not operating. During the summer months, close the supply valve off for the season. If water is flowing when the system is not operating, the water flow control valve needs service. Check your owner’s manual or call the manufacturer for advice.
Water Softener System
If your home has a water softener system installed, this system is susceptible to significant undetected water loss. Occasionally, the backflow or backwash feature will stay open, leaving pressurized water flowing directly and quietly into the drain system, wasting massive amounts of water.
If you hear water flowing inside this system when no taps or water fixtures are operating, this may be the source of a leak. Call your maintenance contractor for services immediately. In the meantime, you may wish to open the bypass valves and isolate the water softener system from your household plumbing or unplug the unit altogether.
Outdoor Water Taps
Occasionally, large water bills can occur from accidental or unauthorized use of your outdoor tap. Be sure to turn off all water hoses and sprinklers after use to avoid leaving a running hose. When not in use, close off the indoor shut-off valve to prevent such accidents.