90000 gallons and no obvious leak?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by michaelheerwald, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. michaelheerwald

    michaelheerwald New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Clinton, Oklahoma
    Water useage at 85000 gallons last month and 90000 this one. Standing over meter for many minutes and no movement on the little spinner. No signs of leaks under, around or in house. No running toilets, that I can hear or see. The tenants say they don't know of any problems at all. Its there bill, I am just trying to see if anyone has any thoughts or ideas. Water departament wrote off last month but getting a little jumpy on this one. The lady has four kids and two adults in house. Water departement says they have double checked readings and they "are not wrong"?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Check the shower heads.
    Make sure they are only putting out 2.5 gallons a minute or less.
    You may also want to pick up some aerators that are 2.0 gallons or less for the lav faucets.

    These things will cost you very little money, and may save you every month.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I did a quick Google and came up with the average water usage per person to be about 31.5 gallons per day. I do not swear to the accuracy of this figure, but using that as a point of departure, that would work out to slightly less than 6000 gallons per month for a family of 6. There would seem to be something wrong. Perhaps the meter is defective? I'd have to look beyond a dripping faucet, a shower head that is putting out too much, full flow toilets, or a bad toilet fill valve.
  4. Howard Emerson

    Howard Emerson I teach guitar:You call that a job?

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Huntington Station, NY
    Hi Gary,
    And the chart that I found says 70 gallons per day per person:

    http://www.wsscwater.com/service/WaterUsageChart.cfm

    Still...............that's only 12k gallons per month.

    HE
  5. Mort

    Mort New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    CA
    In my 2000 sq ft three bath house, my average water consumption is 625 gallons per day for two people. However, that includes landscaping...which I'm sure is most of the usage especially during the summer. Sure seems like a lot, but each year I'm using 40% of what the water company alocates before they surcharge. 90,000 gallons??????? You sure they're not hiding a swimming pool in there somewhere and draining it monthly?

    Mort
  6. michaelheerwald

    michaelheerwald New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Clinton, Oklahoma
    I know what you mean, you'd think my renters would be floating down the street. Seriously it either has to be going down the sewer, which if it were it would have to be running wide open, and there is no evidence of that, or it is in the meter. The clerk at the city water said she would send someone back out friday to read again and compare it to last weeks reading. Even the reader made notation that meter was not running.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I did forget to mention replacing the toilet with an HET model averaging 1.28 gallons or less.
    If you have six people, the toilet would be a huge water waster.
  8. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    .
    Why don't you turn on all the spigots and see if the meter indicates usage? Maybe it will spin like crazy & indicate that its broken
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    usage

    Toilets can turn on and off so that if you checked during an off cycle it would not show a leak. I assume no swimming pool or lawn irrigation system, either of which can use prodigious amounts of water and not show any signs.
  10. theestimator1

    theestimator1 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Does the meter have a leak detector? A new Sensus water meter has a low flow (leak) detector. The specs list a Low Flow Registration of a 1/4gal/minute = 15gal/hour. I’m not familiar with Low Flow Registration, but I take that to mean the leak detector (spinning triangle) won’t move until it has a flow of at least 15gal/hour.
    .
    AcidWater is onto it. If you have a leak detector, turn on the water and see if the detector spins.
    .
    theestimator1
    Master Electrician
    Maryland
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    It was not my intent to pass over water saving devices such as low flow toilets and other devices, they are good and should be part of the home, I also indicated my consumption figures were not verified. However, 90000 gallons of water per month for a family of 6 just is 3000 gallons per day on average! That's 500 gallons per day per person. I just isn't happening even with 4 teenagers and an irrigation system for the lawn. Surely a severe leak would be a possibility, but that should show eventually on the surface of the ground, and would also be indicated on the meter. When my old galvanized supply line rusted out years ago, I had a swamp in my yard and the line is 5 feet deep. I am inclined to thing the meter is some how faulty and that is the city's responsibility. I'd get them on it ASAP and darn sure wouldn't pay the excessive water consumption.
  12. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    I have heard of daily water usage per person between 50 -75 gallons ... I use 62 Gallons so that a family of four is a nice round 250 gallons per day. Something is wrong.
  13. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    BTW, all mechanical devices fail ... no exceptions ... so don't let someone buffalo you into thinking the problem has to be excessive usage.
  14. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Get the meter Ser.# if it has one and write down the meter reading and see if it all matches up with the towns records. I had a customer who had the same problem and the town was reading the meters wrong. Read it daily and see for your self how much you are using a day...keep track for a week or so then you will know for sure.

    The town double checked and double checked wrong.
  15. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You may have all ready done this, but if not, get a record of you water use for the past year or two from the city. This will give you a pretty accurate average on your family's water usage over that amount of time and may show when the problem began.
  16. michaelheerwald

    michaelheerwald New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Clinton, Oklahoma
    Found the problem! It was an idiot reading the meter!
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    water

    We cannot diagnose or cure idiots.
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