Monthly utility bills should remain relatively constant, but if your home's plumbing system suffers from a malfunction or some sort of structural issue, your water bill could suddenly skyrocket. Fortunately, there are a few common reasons for why your water bill may be steadily ticking upwards. Understanding what those reasons are makes it much easier for you to diagnose your specific problem and fix it before the associated costs represent a large financial burden.
Leaking Faucets and Appliances
By far the most common reason for your water bills to increase suddenly is because a faucet, toilet, or other water fixture in your home is no longer able to close all the way. Even a small trickle of water represents a significant amount of wasted water each day, since that trickle is constantly running. In some cases, this is nothing more complicated than making sure that you close the faucet all the way, but in others, it may require you to replace your faucet or showerhead—or in the case of toilets, the components within the tank.
Water Softener Issues
If your home has a water softener installed to prevent calcium buildup in your pipes and on your water fixtures from doing damage, it may be the cause of your increasing water bills. Most water softeners will require a recharge period, in which water is used to flush the resin that it uses as a filter. However, because of excessive age or wear and tear, it is possible for your water softener to get stuck in this recharge cycle. When this happens, not only will your water softener be unable to remove the minerals from your water, which can lead to scale buildup and plumbing damage, but your water usage will skyrocket at the same time until the unit is repaired or replaced.
Finally, the last and most serious reason for more expensive water bills is because of an actual leak somewhere in your home. Even the smallest of leaks can cause a significant amount of structural damage within your home in addition to costing you more on your monthly water bills, but they can be hard to spot when they first develop. Keep an eye out for signs of water damage, which include peeling paint, discoloration and staining, mold or mildew growth, the sound of running water, and a musty smell that will hang around a room no matter how much you clean. If you suspect you have a leak in your home, you should get in touch with a plumber straight away to find it and begin the repair process.