Is Your Water Bill Too High?

Your water bill has been steady for months, or even years, and now has suddenly skyrocketed for no known reason.  This baffling occurrence often causes people to eye their neighbors suspiciously, yet high water bills are rarely the case of water theft.  Before you start interrogating the neighbors, here are just a few of the common causes of high water bills.

Changes in Water Use

Many changes in water bills can be attributed to subtle increases in water usage.  Have you recently had house guests that may have doubled or tripled the water use in your home for a period of time?  In the springtime, you might have begun watering lawns and flower beds again.  In the summer, perhaps you filled up the swimming pool or are running water-cooled air conditioners more frequently.

Faucet Leaks

Another common cause of higher water bills is toilet and faucet leaks.   In fact, a continuously running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons a day of water.   This should be one of the first items you assess, and if are looking for a professional, our Pittsburg plumbing services would be happy to help.  Faucet leaks are another issue that can escalate water bills.  Check around plumbing fixtures for signs of dampness, mold, or deterioration.  You’ll also want to inspect your hot water heater for any possible leaks.  Plumbing experts agree that this could be both a source of leaks, as well as  an item that you’ll want to have regularly inspected.

Underground Leaks

Water leaks can occur in hidden and hard to reach places, such as underneath your home or yard.  To detect these issues, you’ll need to check crawl spaces, outdoor spigots, and attempt to identify unusual wet spots in your yard.  There are plumbers in Pittsburgh that specialize in this sort of water line inspection and repair, as this is specialized and not something that you’d want to try on your own.

Other Causes

Sometimes there are other, more obscure, causes for a spike in your water bill.  An old water meter may not work as well as a more modern version.  If you have exhausted all other measures and are questioning the validity of your readings, don’t be afraid to ask the water company to inspect their meter.

High water bills can be an accumulating problem, particularly if they are due to leaks.  It’s estimated that a dripping leak can consume 450 gallons of water per month, and just a 1/8-inch leak can consume over 114,000 gallons each month.  If your water bill has gone through the roof and you need some help diagnosing the problem, we’d be more than happy to come out help.  Give us a call at 412-835-2135 to schedule an appointment with one of Mister Sewer’s plumbing services experts.

The Hazards of High Water Pressure

Many people believe that having high water pressure is a good thing. While you don’t want the water to trickle out of your faucet or shower, a home with too much water pressure can lead to expensive damage.  In fact, excessive water pressure is often the cause of such problems is plumbing leaks, pipe damage, and costly wasted water.   Here is how you can identify abnormally high water pressure, the hazards of elevated pressure in your home, and what you can do about it.

Identifying High Water Pressure

High water pressure can usually be identified through observation.  Water may suddenly start coming out of your faucets at a rate that is much faster than you are accustomed to.  Another sign is called “water hammer.”  This is a banging noise in your pipes caused by a pressure surge that occurs when fast moving water is brought to an abrupt halt when shutting down.   Other signs of potential water pressure problems are leaking faucets, running toilets, and a shorter life of appliances such as water heaters, dishwashers, or washing machines.

If you don’t notice any of these items happening in your home, you can purchase a water pressure test gauge from a home improvement store. This gauge is used to verify the water pressure in your home.  They are easily attached to an outside faucet or a water heater’s drain connection.  If your reading is 60 PSI or less, leave the gauge in place for a few days and then recheck.  If the pressure reads higher than 80 PSI, your pressure is too high.  If you need help diagnosing pressure issues, be sure to enlist the Pittsburgh plumbing services experts to lend a hand.

The Hazards of Elevated Water Pressure

The most common problem that results in high water pressure is the deterioration and failure of a home’s plumbing system.  High water pressure can lead to small pinhole leaks in pipes that are created to relieve pressure. Even a small leak can cause major damage to a home over time.  If you suspect these issues, enlist the services of an experienced plumber as soon as possible.

Fixing High Water Pressure Issues

Even if your water pressure becomes elevated only occasionally due to the actions of your water company, you’ll want to address this for the sake of your home’s systems, as well as your water bill. The best way to prevent high pressure water issues find a plumber who can install a water pressure regulator on your main water line so that the overall pressure coming into your home remains at a steady flow.

As a homeowner, knowing that your home’s systems are safe from damage is important.  Our Pittsburgh plumbers can help determine if you have high water pressure problems and work to resolve those issues quickly. Let our experienced plumbers at Mister Sewer save you from potential damage by call us today!

Want to Call Your Residential Plumber? Here Are Reasons Why You Should

While there are some DIY pluming repairs and maintenance that you can learn to do yourself, there are several plumbing concerns that require the expertise of a certified residential plumber. Even though the following plumbing issues are fairly common, they may be a sign of a larger plumbing issue that needs to be addressed by a professional. Next time the plumbing problems below occur, leave the repair to a professional.

Reoccurring Slow Drain

We all have occasional slow drains in the sink or bathtub, which are often fixed with a plunger, non-electric drain snake, or an over-the-counter drain de-clogger. While those are all acceptable ways of handling a slow drain, if your slow drain is a reoccurring problem, there may be a larger issue elsewhere in your line. If you have not yet added a drain catch, try doing so the next time you unclog the drain. If you need to address a slow drain more than once or twice a year, it is time to call a residential plumber.

Cracked and Leaking Pipes

Cracked and leaking pipes should only be replaced by a professional plumber. As simple as it might seem, there is a lot that can go wrong when replacing a portion of your plumbing lines. Not only do you have to get the right size, shape, and material, but you must ensure that you have the proper fittings. When changing the leaky pipe, your plumber will also inspect for the cause of the leak. The most common causes are frozen or burst pipes.

Low Water Pressure

Whether the change in pressure is gradual or rapid, it is likely a sign that there is a problematic area somewhere in your plumbing lines. Even if you do not mind the lower pressure, you will want to address the issue before it escalates into a larger repair. This includes low water pressure throughout your home, as well as low pressure found in one or two of your sinks or tubs.

Reoccurring Clogged Toilets, Or A Toilet That Requires Multiple Flushes

Every homeowner keeps a toilet plunger nearby for the occasional clogged toilet. That being said, if your toilet requires weekly or daily plunging, then there may be a larger issue in your sewer lines. Even if you do not need to plunge your toilet, but find yourself flushing your toilet multiples times after each use, you may have a larger issue with water pressure, or in your sewer lines.

Boiler or Hot Water Heater

Whether it’s ongoing maintenance, a leak, or any other type of repair, all boiler concerns should be left in the hands of an experienced plumber. Boilers are extremely complex and require special tools and equipment in order to repair. Not to mention they can be quite dangerous. From the hot water, to electrical wiring, to gas lines, boilers present multiple safety hazards and should only be repaired by a professional.

Installing A New Sink Or Toilet

If you have decided to upgrade or replace your sink or toilet, then it is time to call a professional. If these items are not installed properly, leaking can occur—often in areas that are not immediately visible. Using a professional plumber will ensure that the proper fittings are used, and will inspect your connecting lines during the install. You may even want to call a plumber when switching out faucets or showerheads, especially if you are replacing with a much different style. You should also use a professional plumber when replacing your dishwasher or washing machine.

Aside from the repairs above, keep an eye out for any signs of change. For example, if your water bill spikes drastically, it may be a sign that you have a leak that has gone undetected. Discoloration on walls, as well as dripping or warping walls may also be a sign of a hidden leak. And don’t forget to schedule periodic plumbing inspections, even if nothing seems to be of concern.

If you are trying to decide whether or not to call a professional plumber, then contact the friendly and experienced staff at Mister Sewer.  The professionals at Mister Sewer can help you to solve all your plumbing needs! Call today at 412-835-2135.