Massive water bill shortly after nearby mains break

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by poppabk, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. poppabk

    poppabk New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    So I just got a water bill that shows that I used 4 times as much water last month relative to the norm. I checked the meter and it is correct, and also shows that I have been using the normal amount of water for the last days since they read the meter. I checked the hot water heater and there is water on the floor around the bottom. The day before they took the meter reading we had a mains break that shut off the water for the entire day, and which caused a second mains break when it was fixed. Is my hot water heater just leaking? The difference is 300 gallons per day, and it really doesn't look like 300 gallons of leakage around the hot water heater, coupled with the fact that the last 6 days have been the norm of 100 gallons per day, makes me wonder if the mains breakage may have something to do with this.
    Any ideas?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    To answer the last question first, the meter ONLY registers the water going INTO your house so a main line break would have NOTHING to do with your water bill. There are only a few possible causes for excessive usage that "cure" themselves periodically, one of them being a leaky toilet.
  3. poppabk

    poppabk New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    I was more wondering whether an increase in pressure after they reconnected the water could have caused a problem. Immediately after the first water main break was fixed a second occurred in a separate part of the development, and the water was definitely at higher pressure when coming out of the faucets. Maybe out of the T&P valve on the hot water heater, don't have a good idea how they work and if it is even feasible to lose 9000 gallons of water that way. Or is it possible for the meter to read wrong after having mainly air pass through?
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,889
    Location:
    New England
    It takes in excess of 150psi to trip the T&P valve...I seriously doubt it left via that route! If the old pipe was leaking a lot, it might have kept the pressure down, and now with the repaired, it's higher. If your internal pressure exceeds 80psi, you need to get a PRV and add an expansion tank. Air moving through the pipes normally doesn't trigger the meter to respond as if it were water passing by.
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