The Cost of LeaksBrian Simpson | Jul 06, 2015
Sometimes the only way to recognize a leak is when you get your water bill. Why is the bill higher than normal? It might be reasonable to see an increase if you have had guests stay for a good period of time or if you started to water your garden more with the increasing summer temperatures. Check your average historical water usage to see if your usage trend is comparable to the same time last year. If your water usage has increased and you haven’t had a reason for it, it is possible that you have a leak.
The problem with leaks that you don’t see is that they need to be found before they get worse. Don’t procrastinate. You might be thinking it is just a small increase to your water bill. Even the smallest increase is a concern. A running toilet or dripping faucet can add quickly to your bill while the cost for fixing small leaks like these can be simply replacing parts.
So, how much higher in your bill is a reason for concern? Any increase that goes beyond your typical usage can indicate a leak. The problem with seeing an increase in your water bill is that you don’t know how long the leak has been there. You might have a much bigger leak than you realize. And the cost will keep going up.
When you have a leak, not only could your water bill increase significantly as the leak gets larger, but it could potentially cause more costly problems in your home. The cost to unclog a line may be the cost of a plumber using a mechanical snake or water jetter in the line. Depending on where the line is located the cost of repair can grow to several hundred dollars and up if you delay. For example, if you have a blockage in a sewer line that blockage will get worse, causing the backup to your drains and possibly causing failure of the line. By failure, we are referring to a fracture or breakage.
Leaks can have nasty results if you wait too long. If you wait until you see the leak you are probably waiting for a burst pipe. And then you will be frantically calling us because water is seeping through the walls you just painted or you are standing in a spray of water that is getting all over your hardwood floors. In these cases, the cost of a leak can equal the cost of renovating.
You need to understand where the leak is coming from. You can see water stains on the walls and listen for a dripping faucet. You might even be able to hear the hissing of water behind a wall. What about leaks you don’t see or hear? Slab leaks are hard to detect. High Priority Plumbing has leak detection equipment that can locate a leak before it gets worse.
So what is the cost of a leak? That will depend on how quickly you find out about it and address the problem. If you think you have a leak because of an increase on your bill, you could contact your water department to clarify whether the increase is due to a rate increase or usage increase. And if it is a usage increase, contact High Priority Plumbing for assistance on locating it and correcting the problem before the cost gets further out of hand.