Have you received a water bill that is higher than normal?
Well, there may be more than a few causes.
First, check the Water Bill. Ensure that there are 28 days in the bill period. If it is longer than 28 days because of a holiday or other calendar aberration, then your bill should be a little higher.
Second, turn off all water appliances check the water meter. Make sure all your home water uses and appliances are turned off before you look in the water box outside. It is illegal to tamper with the meter. It has an automatic feature to tell operators if it has been tampered with, but it is not illegal to open the cover on the dial to see if the numbers are climbing. If the numbers are visibly climbing, you have a bad leak. Otherwise check back in 30 minutes to see if the dial has changed, meaning that water is flowing somewhere in your house.
Note: It is code for all plumbing systems to be designed with a residential cut off valve so you never need to tamper with the Town Meter.
Look for Puddles on the floor or in cabinets. Look for stains on the ceilings or walls. Look for bubbling paint. Check for a new musty smell. If there is a major breakage, it may be time to call a plumber.
However, if it is a slow leak, there are a few things worth testing. Be sure there are no indoor or outdoor leaky faucets. A dripping faucet can waste up to 10,000 gallons per year.
The usual suspect is the toilet. If it is repeatedly flushing or constantly whining, there is a substantial leak between the toilet valves. But even if the toilet is perfectly silent and the toilet water is undisturbed, there may still be a slow drip which can waste up to 40,000 gallons in a month.
The Dye Test is the easiest way to check if the toilet is draining you of cash:
Put some food coloring in the Upper Tank of the toilet. Wait 30 minutes and check back to see if the Toilet Water has changed colors. If so, there's your leak!
If none of these tips helped and you don't know the cause, call a plumber!
Once you get the leak repaired, bring the receipt to the Town Hall and ask the Town Clerk for a Bill Adjustment. You get one bill adjustment per 12-month period. The Town Clerk will adjust your bill using a formula and refund you the adjusted amount.