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Is your water bill burning a hole in your pocket even when the water consumption is as usual or lower than expected?

Then, a water leak may be the culprit. Water leaks are not only a drain on your water meter but a drain to your back pocket. And no, a leaky faucet or tap isn’t the only thing you should watch. If you’re scratching your head trying to determine why an outrageous water bill is, we are here to help.

To find the most common household water leaks, you should check for and discover ways to save water; read on.

6 Top Household Water Leaks That Cause A High Bill

Man Stopping Pipe Leaking Finger

1. Leaky Taps

Perhaps the undisputed number one cause of plumbing problems and a high water bill is leaking taps. A leaking tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water if not fixed in time! So, even if a tap that doesn’t completely stop dripping water appears harmless, we recommend getting it checked as soon as possible.

A leaking tap can be caused by various reasons, like worn-out washers, cracked or damaged ceramic disc spindles, or old cartridges (applicable for mixer taps only). Likewise, your water-saving showerheads and other faucets in the home may start leaking due to physical damage or wear out. Hence, it’s essential to check them occasionally, especially for those older than five years.

You can check for potential leaks or call for a plumbing inspection. If you cannot repair the damaged parts or if water has damaged the foundations of your house, some pipes may need to be replaced.

2. Concealed Water Filters

A leaky connection or tap can be problematic, but concealed plumbing fixtures exacerbate the issue. For example, if a filter is attached beneath the sink inside the cabinet, it can be challenging to detect a leak. It may only become apparent once a substantial house area has flooded.

Water leaks can vary in cause, from excessive pressure in the plumbing system to small leaks in the pipes or connections. Pressure buildup can lead to leaks, while even a small leak can cause significant damage over time. Concealed leaks, such as those from a filter or its connecting pipes, can be especially troublesome, as they may go unnoticed until the damage is extensive.

If you notice that the filter isn’t functioning correctly or the water flow from the tank has suddenly reduced, it’s essential to check the filters and their connecting pipes. The good news is that you can stop the leak by changing an O-ring, but sometimes, replacing the filter or the pipes may be necessary.

In cases of concealed leaks or extensive damage, it’s best to consult with professional plumbers. They can accurately diagnose the issue and provide the appropriate solutions to prevent further damage and ensure the integrity of your plumbing system.

Water Filter Kitchen Bench

3. Burst Or Damaged Flex Hose

Flex hoses are required for hot water systems, cold water systems, and mixer taps. They are typically placed under the sink or faucet. A leak may develop if you accidentally kink the pipe or if there is too much mineral deposit from the constant flow of hard water.

Rapid temperature changes can stress the flex hoses, causing them to degrade over time. Rapid temperature fluctuations, whether due to sudden changes in water usage or environmental conditions, can lead to broken seals and the eventual burst of the pipes.

Mineral deposits from hard water can build up, compromising the integrity of the flex hoses and leading to leaks and potentially burst pipes. These burst pipes can cause significant damage to nearby electrical systems, resulting in costly repairs.

It’s essential to check the flex hoses regularly for any signs of wear, such as wet patches or other visible damage. If you notice any issues, it’s best to address them promptly to prevent further leaks and potential water damage. Regular maintenance, including annual service, can help ensure the flex hoses remain in good condition and minimize the risk of unexpected failures.

4. Leaking Toilets

Leaking toilets are among the most frequently occurring plumbing problems in residential and commercial spaces. The most common reasons for toilet bowl leaks include wear and tear from regular water use or tough water deposits.

Like concealed taps or connections, toilet leaks can be “invisible” when they originate but waste tens of gallons. However, you can repair such leaks by replacing the toilet flapper or flipping mechanism.

A quick and easy way to check for a toilet leak is to remove the tank’s lid and add a few drops of coloured dye to the water. Leave it for 15 minutes; a leak must be repaired if you see the colour in the water bowl.

Dye Test Toilet Cistern

4. Hose Burst

Appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, or refrigerators integrated with water dispensers are usually susceptible to hose bursts. And an unattended hose leak can flood your entire house in hours. That’s why it’s essential to keep them, especially your washing machine hoses, to flood stop valves, which inhibit the water flow in case of a sudden hose leak.

5. Hot Water Appliances

Older hot water appliances are prone to leaks because the inner tank erodes with time and use. If left unattended, water may drip from the water heater base, adding hundreds of dollars to your water bill.

Besides, the water accumulating on the surface below can damage it, adding to your monthly bills.

Corroded Hot Water System Concrete

6. Exterior Leaks

For instance, leaking pipes do not always occur indoors. If you are using an irrigation system for your landscaping, a crack in the line or a loose joint could also allow water to leak even when the irrigation system is turned off.

Many homeowners make the common mistake of not checking the outdoor faucets or water connections. However, they can be equally prone to leaks as the ones inside.

For instance, a pool or fountain installed in your backyard may leak due to physical damage caused by regular use or hard water quality. Observing cracked or loose tiles on the pool bottom or damp surroundings may indicate a leak.

Place a bucket filled with sand on the top step of the pool and mark it where the water touches its exterior (a little above the base). Leave it for 24 hours, and if the water level falls below the mark, there’s a pool leak.

Aside from that, algae formation (especially after chemical treatments) shows excessive moisture accumulation, which is caused mainly by leaks.

Overconsumption of appliances and utilities can often lead to substantially higher water bills, so track your water-wasting habits.

How To Detect Leaks Inside The Home?

Water Damage Paint Peeling Walls

You’d agree that detecting a leaky tap or faucet is easier than a leaky water pipe or joint that runs behind the wall. But here are some ways through which you may be able to catch one before it wreaks havoc.

Inspect the wall and flooring near concealed taps or pipes for damp marks or if it feels wet. Alternatively, water pools on the floor, paint peeling off from these areas, or sudden cracks can all be tell-tale signs of leaks.

Whether you fix them yourself or call in the professionals, quick action is essential to prevent further and more severe damage. Remove electrical appliances to a safe and dry place if electrical appliances are nearby. Otherwise, it can lead to primary short circuits.

Is A Water Leak Costing You Fortune?

Now that you know about the common water leaks, don’t delay checking your water lines and fixtures any longer! At the same time, remember that there can be various other instances or reasons behind water leaks in your home.

Since conducting regular checks can become difficult, we recommend hiring a licensed plumber to perform routine maintenance and repair. Trust us—it’s the best way to avoid paying a high water bill even if your water consumption is low.

Get in touch with us if you need a plumber in Perth! Woolf Plumbing & Gas has been helping residents and business owners identify and repair water leaks for many years.

If you’re performing more minor repairs or replacements, arrange in advance for the required tools and parts.

We will see you next time. Till then, take care!


Ashley Woolf

Ashley Woolf

Find them on their website: Woolf Plumbing & Gas, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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