What to Do if Water Bill Is High But There Is No Visible Leak?

Deborah Beams
Deborah Beams
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Deborah is an incredibly talented journalist who's been working for numerous online magazines for over 8 years now. She's also our main research writer who can turn any bori read more
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Charles Eggleston
Charles Eggleston
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Charles's been a plumber his entire life. Thanks to his vast experience we can always rely on Charles' expert opinion when creating any of our articles. He's also a fantasti read more
Last updated: August 22, 2023
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The first thing you would do if you feel your water bills don’t match your consumption would be to check for leaks. But what if you have a high water bill with no leaks? Apparently, leaks are the most reasonable cause for high water bills that can’t be accounted for. Just because you can’t see any leaks doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

Apart from leaks there are other considerations you can make to get an explanation for your outrageously high water bills. You can check your meter against the meter reading on your bills to confirm there are no billing mistakes. You can also check your water use pricing tier to confirm that your water use calculations are correct. Other factors that may cause your water bills to shoot include; having guests or extra people in your house, seasonal changes, reticulation and new appliances or fittings in your home.

Check if the bill is based on actual meter reads

What to Do if Water Bill Is High But There Is No Visible Leak?

Depending on where you live, a meter reader will always pay you an occasional visit to read the numbers on your meter. They are human and human is to err.

To ensure that your meter read is accurate you can countercheck the reading on the back of your bill. You will see the date the reading was done together with the meter digits under the ‘meter reading details’ section.

Compare the digits to those on your meter currently. If there is a significant difference, contact your water supply company or check for leaks.

Check your water pricing tier

Your bill could be higher than normal because you simply moved to a new pricing tier. As you use more water across the billing year, the price of water per Kiloliter (KL) rises. Your water bill can get more expensive towards the end of the billing year even if you haven’t used more water in the previous belling periods.

To check if your water use pricing tier has changed, you can compare your previous bills with the current bill. Look for the cost of water per KL under the section ‘How your water use charges have been calculated’.

If the cost per kL is higher than that of the previous bill then it is the reason for your increased water bills.

Check your toilet for leaks

What to Do if Water Bill Is High But There Is No Visible Leak?

Toilets pose a major leak risk because they account for the highest amount of indoor water use. You can waste u to 6000 gallons of water per month if your toilet leaks.

You can check for a toilet leak by using a sound check or the dye test. The sound check only requires you to walk to the toilet and listen for an odd hiss-like noise. If you hear the noise, you may have a leak.

For the dye test, you need a dye tablet or some food coloring. Take off the lid of your toilet’s tank and drop in the dye tablet or food coloring. Wait for 20 minutes before checking the toilet bowl for the dye or food coloring. If still present, then you may have a leak causing water to flow into the bowl.

Most toilet leaks are caused by a faulty flapper in the toilet tank which is quite easy to fix with a few tools and materials from your local hardware store like the TOTO TSU99A.X Adjustable Replacement Fill Valve. According to top reviewers the toilet fill valve is the best you can get on the market to restore your toilet’s tank back to optimal performance.

Water softener problems

Water softeners tend backwash themselves with fresh water to regenerate. Many a time, the backwash valve gets stuck in the open position allowing water to continuously get wasted to the sewer system. Since it produces little to no noise, the situation often goes undetected resulting to some crazy high bills.

Check your automated irrigation system

What to Do if Water Bill Is High But There Is No Visible Leak?

It is often assumed that most leaks occur indoors. If you have an automated irrigation system, you should check it for leaks as well. A loose joint or line crack could allow water to leak even with the irrigation system off.

Since irrigation systems are usually buried out of sight, finding a leak can be a little daunting. You can check for dump patches or areas of grass that are lusher. If you spot a leak, seek the help of a plumber to fix it.

Check for service line leaks

Sometimes, an underground pipe transporting water from your meter connection to your home may be cracked or have a loose joint. Detecting a leak on the service line is pretty similar to detecting a leak on an irrigation system. You might notice wet patches on the ground or lusher areas of grass.

Check for outdated fixtures

Outdated fixtures in a new home can make you pay high bills from the first day you move in. Before buying or moving into a home, check the faucets, showerheads, toilets and other equipment or fixtures’ manufacturing dates. The latest fixtures should have a WaterSense Trusted Source WaterSense | US EPA Take steps each day to save water and protect the environment by choosing WaterSense labeled products in your home, yard, and business. Learn more about WaterSense and how we can all get more by using less. www.epa.gov label.

Have you made any recent changes in use of water?

You can check for changes in use of water in your home by comparing your current bill with that of a previous billing period. You will find the information under the daily water use comparison section. If they are significantly different, then you must have some recent changes in water use that are causing a hike on your bills.

Have you bought any water-consuming equipment recently?

New water consuming equipment like sprinkler systems, pools, washing machines, and freezers can cause a sharp rise in your water bills. To minimize the impact of new water consuming equipment, be keen on investing in high-efficiency appliances with the WaterSense logo like the best low-flow toilet or the best low-flow showerhead.

Overconsumption behavior

Bad water wasting habits are also a major reason for a substantial rise in water bills. If you overwater lawns, have lengthy shower times, wash dishes by hand, and use top-loading laundry machines, you are likely to have a higher water bill at the end of the month.

Final thoughts

With all the hints and tips provided in this article, you would know what to do about a very high water bill with no leaks. If your meter leak detector shows no leaks but your water bills are higher than normal, fret not, because there are many other factors that could cause that, including a faulty meter. If you suspect your meter is the issue, consider investing in a proper one like the DAE AS200U-75P Water Meter. It has rave reviews because it features a pulse output and it offers unmatched convenience with wireless remote reading.

If your meter isn’t the issue, then you can check for leaks, and monitor your water usage to see if there are any changes from the last billing period. Knowing the cause of your high water bills can save you a solid one financially.


WaterSense | US EPA
Take steps each day to save water and protect the environment by choosing WaterSense labeled products in your home, yard, and business. Learn more about WaterSense and how we can all get more by using less.
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