Excessive Water Bills

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by 99-vette, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. 99-vette

    99-vette New Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    Ok, I'm lost and tired of fighting with the water company. Here is my situation.

    July of this year I had a water leak between the meter and my house. This was repaired.

    According to the water company, my August bill would include 5 days of excessive water. The bill was $109. I thought this was high even with 5 days of excessive water. My water/sewer bills run approximately $32 per month. I thought what the heck, I'll pay it and be done with it.

    My September bill arrived and it was $85. I immediately checked my meter and it was showing that water was running even though nothing in the house was being used.

    I turned the water off and called the water company to have them check the meter. They inspected it the next day. After the inspection, my water usage seemed to return to normal. Over the next two weeks, I monitored the usage. I used approximately 900 gallons of water. I also had two plumbers check the situation and I was told that I did not have a water leak.

    I called the water company back to tell them that I did not have a water leak and that it appeared that the meter was in some way defective. I felt that I had been overcharged. They told me that the 13 days prior to them inspecting the meter, I had used 6000 gallons of water. They also told me that the meter was not defective and that I still had a water leak or had a toilet leaking.

    Here is what I don't understand. Why is my usage back to normal after the inspection? Even though I do not have a toilet leak, is it possible for a toilet to leak 6000 gallons of water in 13 days? They keep insisiting that I still have a water leak. My usage is back to normal. It I had a water leak, then how did it fix itself?

    I don't know what to do now. I'm butting heads with the water company because we both think we are in the right. I was going to write them a letter but I thought I would get some opinions on this first.

  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Unless the meter was defective and they replaced it, (and meters typically fail by not registering enough usage, rather than too much), then there was nothing they could do to affect the usage. Leaks do not fix themselves, permanently, although under the right conditions they can temporarily seal themselves.
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  4. thehandyman

    thehandyman New Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    Escessive Water Bills leaks and meters

    If you see the meter spinning you are using water somewhere. 6000 gallons is about 5 cups/minute. A toilet with a leaky flapper can use much more than 5 cups a minute. You would probably hear that kind of leak at least as a trickle of water running over the toilet trap.
    If you have a sprinkler system with constant pressure on the lines going to the sprinkler valves, you could have a bad sprinkler valve or leak in sprinkler pipes that could run that much water without being able to hear the leak.

    If you see the meter spinning again, try turning off the water and rechecking the meter to see if the spinning stopped. If the spinning stops the usage is past the shut off valve. When you turn the water back on you should hear the sound of the water rushing to pressurize the pipes again.
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