Utility bills can fluctuate according to the most recent rates and your loved one's usage. However, a sudden high water bill without any explanation is sometimes a sign of plumbing leaks. At times, certain types of water leaks are hard to detect. For example, your parent might not realize that a water leak is occurring underground or behind a wall. When your parent complains about rising water bills that do not make sense, use these strategies to figure out if they may have an ongoing plumbing problem that needs repairs.
Head to the Water Meter
One way to check for leaks is to look at the water meter gauge to see if it shows that water is running somewhere on the property. Begin with a walk through the house to make sure that all of the water is turned off at each fixture. Then, go outside to the water meter and watch to see if the leak indicator is moving. If you see movement, then there is likely a leak somewhere along the pipes or fixtures around your parent's house.
Identify an Indoor versus Outdoor Leak
Once your suspicions of a leak are confirmed, you can do further detective work to determine whether the water is leaking outside or within the house. Locate the main shut off valve on your parent's property. Typically, this valve is located somewhere between the house and the street outside. After you find it, switch the valve to the off position. Now, go check the water meter again. If the leak indicator stops spinning, then you can assume that the water leakage is happening somewhere within the house. If not, then the leak is most likely occurring somewhere outside, and it may be underground.
Narrow Your Focus
Now that you have narrowed down the leak to occurring either inside or outside of the house, you can now begin checking common areas for water leaks to occur. Outside, you may find that a faucet has sprung a leak, or you may need a professional plumber to check the status of pipes running below the ground. If the problem is inside, then you may find signs of a water leak where the plumbing runs through the walls. Alternatively, there may be a toilet that is running without your parent noticing.
Identifying a plumbing leak can potentially help your parent reduce their water bills while also preventing serious water damage from damaging their property. After confirming a leak make sure to arrange for a plumbing service to correct the issue so that your parent can benefit from having a system that functions properly.