The average cost of utility bills for Michigan homeowners is $97.41 a month, according to Smart Asset.
If you’ve noticed that your water bill is higher than $97.41 a month, you’re probably wondering why it’s so high and how you can reduce it.
If you’ve received a shockingly high water bill, you could have any of the below problems:
- Leaking water appliances
- Inefficient water appliances
- A water softener running nonstop
If you’re unsure which of these problems is causing your super high water bill, read on. We’ll break down each of these problems and determine ways you can fix them.
Want a plumber to check what is driving up your water bill ASAP?
Contact Thorntons & Grooms for all plumbing services. We can inspect your water appliances for leaks.
Problem #1: Leaking water appliances
A slow leak can increase your water bill by 10% a year, according to the EPA.
Check the following appliances:
- Your toilet: A leaking toilet can waste up to 13,000 gallons of water a year. You can check if your toilet is leaking by dropping food coloring into the toilet’s tank. Don’t flush the toilet and see if the food coloring shows up in your toilet bowl. If so, your toilet is leaking water. And you can try to fix the leak by replacing the toilet flapper.
- Your faucets: A leaking faucet can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water a year. Is your faucet dripping one drip a second or more when it’s turned off? If so, you probably have a leak. You can try to fix the leaking faucet by replacing the faucet washers and gaskets.
- Your showerheads: A leaking showerhead can waste up to 500 gallons of water a year. Is your showerhead dripping ten drips a minute or more when it’s turned off? If so, you probably have a leak due to a loose showerhead connection. You can try to fix the leak by tightening the connection with a wrench and pipe tape.
- Your outdoor irrigation system: A leaking outdoor irrigation system can waste up to 6,300 gallons of water a month. If you suspect your system is leaking water, you can check for excessively wet spots, low water pressure in random areas or listen for a hissing sound coming from the system. If your system is leaking water, you’ll want to contact a plumber to inspect it.
If none of the above fixes solve your leak, you’ll need to have a professional plumber inspect and repair your leaky appliance.
Problem #2: Inefficient water appliances
Just because your water appliances aren’t leaking doesn’t mean they aren’t costing you more money than you need to pay.
The EPA recommends using WaterSense and Energy Star labeled products to help you save up to 27,019 gallons of water per year and up to $420 a year on your utility bills. WaterSense and Energy Star products are independently vetted to need 20% less water than standard products.
To see how much you can save on your water bill with more efficient appliances, use the Calculate Your Savings resource from WaterSense.
If you want to save money and use more eco-friendly water appliances, talk to a local plumbing contractor to see if WaterSense or Energy Star products would work for your needs and budget.
Problem #3: A water softener running nonstop
Michigan is notorious for hard water, so water softeners are used by many homeowners. However, if your water softener is running more than it should, it could be wasting 100+ gallons of water daily.
Your water heater is not supposed to run nonstop. And, if it is, it’s likely stuck in regeneration mode.
What does that mean?
Normally, the unit softens water by catching hard minerals with a layer of resin. Then every 3-6 days, the water softener “regenerates” by using 50-100 gallons of water to backwash the resin of hard minerals. Without regeneration, the unit will continue to collect hard minerals and the buildup can prevent the unit from properly softening water.
Sometimes the water softener gets stuck in regeneration mode and continues to backwash already clean resin. If this is the case, your water softener needs a plumbing inspection.
Are you struggling with high water bills in Michigan? Contact Thornton & Grooms
We can help you save money on your water bills by repairing any leaks you have, suggesting reliable and high-efficiency water appliances for you, and inspecting your stuck water softener.
All of our plumbing services come with convenient, same-day appointments and upfront, flat-rate pricing that is always honored.