Ready for another utility bill annoyance? Your water bill might be higher than it needs to be. Even if you think nothing in your house is leaking, do a periodic check to make sure your bill isn't unnecessarily inflated. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
As personal finance blog Three Thrifty Guys points out, water leaks can be hard to spot if you're not checking your water meter (you know, that thing under the big metal plate in your front yard?) on a semi-regular basis. A leak can be minor enough that you don't notice the slow drip, but steady enough that it can raise your water bill significantly. To make sure this isn't happening, check your usage at night while all the water's off and see if it's changed by the morning:
This simple test should give you an indication if there are any unforeseen leaks going on. If the meter is the same as when you read it before bedtime, you've passed the water leak test. If you notice it has moved -- then you have some issues. You may want to run the test a second night just to be sure your results are good (and not some anomaly).
Speaking from personal experience, this simple test can reveal more issues than you might have anticipated. In my own home this summer, we discovered a large leak in the pipes leading to the house in the front yard. There was no noticeable water on the surface, but below ground, litres of water were leaking out. This can occur anywhere in the home. Just because your taps aren't dripping doesn't mean you're leak free. Do yourself a favour and check every once in a while, especially if you notice your water bill a little higher than usual.
How to Tell if You Are Losing Money With a Secret Water Leak [Three Thrifty Guys]