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#772244 - 10/07/13 09:31 AM Water company says usage tripled, but.....
domesticengineer Offline
Handyman

Registered: 04/06/04
Posts: 656
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
According to her water utility, daughter's usage tripled during the August period, even though they've all been out of the house from 7-4:30 weekdays during that time (school started August 2), and she's done no outside watering. Water company came out and said they found no leak, but I have no idea what they checked to make that determination. The only suggestion they made was that a running toilet could be to blame -- could a faulty toilet use that much extra water? Other than calling a plumber to investigate everything, is there anything she can check on her own? (yes, I do mean on her own -- husband left) Naturally, finances are tight, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. BTW, sewer bill didn't jump like the water bill, but I don't know how it's computed.
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#772248 - 10/07/13 10:01 AM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: domesticengineer]
mommapup. Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 16855
Loc: SW Michigan
Isn't the sewer charged with the water usage? Unless there is a separate meter for a sprinkler system or a swimming pool...

Answer those questions, and then get with the water co. again.
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#772255 - 10/07/13 10:34 AM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: domesticengineer]
bilvihur Offline
Super Handyman

Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 1615
Loc: Hudson Valley, New York
Check for dripping faucets. Before leaving for work read meter and put food coloring in toilet tanks. 9 hours later, does coloring show up in bowl/has meter moved?
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#772256 - 10/07/13 10:43 AM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: mommapup.]
Bob_Fleming Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 28412
Loc: Ft Collins, CO USA
I thought the sewer charge was a flat fee. Never heard of a sewer flow meter.

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#772260 - 10/07/13 11:07 AM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: Bob_Fleming]
rfm3 Offline
" The Duke "
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 28184
Loc: Guarding the West NY Border an...
Me either. I know we have a nice little "fee" on our property bills for sewer....

Where is the meter for the water? Who reads it? Could a mistake been made in reading it.

The only way, I think, for a leak as mentioned above, of course is in the house unless there is some line going out to a faucet or sprinkler system.

Another thought and I doubt this is if when they are gone during day, some neighbour is hooking a hose from the hosue to water their lawn...
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#772267 - 10/07/13 11:58 AM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: Bob_Fleming]
Clint_Robbins Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/19/01
Posts: 10509
Loc: Akron, OH
Quote:
I thought the sewer charge was a flat fee. Never heard of a sewer flow meter.

In some areas, the sewer charge is based on the amount of water used. Some allow discounts for water not discharged into the sewer system (e.g.: sprinkler system use).

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#772268 - 10/07/13 12:08 PM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: domesticengineer]
MCA Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 4943
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
The only suggestion they made was that a running toilet could be to blame -- could a faulty toilet use that much extra water?


Yes.
I had a toilet get stuck and was running all day. The water bill was over twice the usual. It runs but doesn't overflow the bowl, so it may not go noticed other than the water flow sound.

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#772276 - 10/07/13 03:56 PM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: domesticengineer]
jigs Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 1265
Loc: New York
Utilities will usually check up to the meter, leaving the run that continues into the house as your responsibility. When I lived in Fla. I had that kind of situation where the pipe was leaking 20 ft. between the house and the meter and the water co. said everything was fine.

Simple solution is to turn off any and all possible water using fixtures at their valves and make a note of the meter readings over a length of time.

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#772300 - 10/08/13 01:27 AM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: domesticengineer]
SolarGuy Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/05/13
Posts: 46
Ok, this is the way that it works. There is a meter that they read and the meter has a dial besides the numbers that indicate the reading that you get charged for. It is like the odometer on your car. There is also a needle that turns when water is being used. If the needle is moving at all then water is being used. If you don't read your own meter occassionally or keep track of water usage then you might not even know where your water meter is. There is no meter on sewage. It is a flat rate most of the time, but could also be determined by water usage. I have had someone flush the toilet and then walk out of the bathroom and I could tell in the next room that the water filling the tank was not turning off. If your ears are not use to the sound then you don't hear it. If you have a water leak that is not in the house then it is either outside or under the house or in the well. Does she have a well. The other contributors on here have given you some good advice. Al

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#772617 - 10/11/13 09:08 AM Re: Water company says usage tripled, but..... [Re: SolarGuy]
stevea661 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 231
Loc: tehachapi ca usa
Assuming you have no obvious leaks after the meter, you turn off gas or electric to the water heater, put a gauge on a hose bib, shut the water off at the meter and the gauge should not drop. A cup of water leaked out of a water system for a typical 3 bathroom house will drop a gauge from 70# down to 0#. You need to be sure what you can see of the system is 100% tight because the smallest leak will show on the gauge. Water does not compress, it either expands or contracts due to temperature.
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