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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:58 AM
Original message
i need information/knowledge on the water company before addressing them.
last year in spring, i noticed i did not have the pressure coming out of my hose. regardless of the hour i tried watering, the pressure seemed low all thru the summer. also, my dishwasher stopped washing my dishes and left soap residue. i tried all kind of things with that dishwasher and a couple months later i bought a new dishwasher. the new dishwasher did no better. i had plumbers working on other stuff and they told me only two things. not enough pressure, or not hot enough.

i had a reading from outside and showed pressure was ok.

i also had a 680 dollar water bill in june. water company said legit, but couldnt be (we had a lot of rain that month). i basically stopped watering and timing everyones shower and bill still 300. my husband told me there was an increase in price and they had a tier with more used, more charged. also when water usage went up, price went up (summer). water company confirmed.

around fall i tried a hi temp button on my dishwasher. my dishes started getting clean again. i thought it was the high temp button.

the last week, my dishwasher is not cleaning dishes again. the pressure in shower is lower. we worked on sprinklers this weekend and pressure horrible.

has anyone experienced anything like this? does anyone have any suggestions?

when i call water, i get the run around, and i really do not believe a word anyone says.

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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. My first action would be searching for a leak.
I don't know where you live or how much rain you've had, but if things are starting to "green", look for an area that is particularly green.

If you have a pier and beam foundation, get that husband to crawl under there with a flashlight and look for wet areas.

If you have a slab foundation, good luck. Probably only a real plumber will do.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. large trees' roots can crush older pipes too.. n/t
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. this scares me, but water suggested that. but, off season water is well under $100. nt
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. yikes.. you may have a major leak in a pipe ..or a defective meter..
Can you make them show you previous bills (in case you do not have them) and maybe locate when the problem started..?

I don;t know where you are, but even in parched Calif, our water bill is never over $50...even when we had three teenaged boys who were vying for "Cleanest Teen of the Decade"...and who also loved running the washing machine for 2 pr of jeans & 1 shirt :grr:..
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. last year, prior to 600 bill, was 50 something, 60 something, 137, then over 600, lol. nt
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
4. sounds like a leak to me.
If the leak is between the meter and the house it could be hard to find. You might have to dig up the line between the meter and the house-loads of fun and expense.
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jtuck004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. Can you get to the meter?

Turn everything off - leaky toilet, anything. Then check the meter. If the numbers are increasing it means you have a big leak, or missed turning something off. Check it again in 5 min. If it has moved, you either have a leak or missed turning something off. There might be a single cutoff before the water enters the house, but they often are frozen or leak themselves.

Low pressure can also be caused by obstructions in the pipes, corrosion, etc. But that won't cause a high water bill.

Could also have a defective meter.

A $680 water bill would have sent me on a serious search for why. DO NOT depend on the water company to be all that helpful - their repsponsibility likely ends at the meter, and after that it is all up to the homeowner.

The water company should be able to provide you with a history of your billing. Has it always been that high? Seems out of line...

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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. good info. thanks. a handful of years ago, we had a higher bill
but it was my fault. we had a couple bad sprinklers. hubby couldnt fix. i watered anyway. just a little on those stations, but enough to get that billed. since, i have done well making sure we have NOTHING like that again.

if it is a leak, then i should have a higher bill in winter, and i am not having that. that is what i argued with water about last year.
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jtuck004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Your bill makes me thankful for my water well. eom
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. lol. isnt that the way. i have got to figure out what the issue is
lots of grass, so i understand higher than most. and two teenage boys too, lol, lots of showers.

but....
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. Sounds like a leak
if pressure is okay outside, there is something inside - a leak would explain the bill. Is the toliet running all the time? Have the lines checked inside for pressure and leaks.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
10. You DEFINITELY have a leak somewhere. Our water bill is always in the $30 range.
When we have low water pressure, it's usually the result of the village bleeding a fire hydrant or there's been a leak in a MAIN somewhere. Just tell them you want it fixed and there must be a leak SOMEWHERE. That's just ridiculous. What were your average water bills prior to when you started having low pressure?
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Shagbark Hickory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
11. How much water did you buy for $680? Was a large portion of that for sewer?
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 10:09 AM by Shagbark Hickory
The way to check volume is pretty easy. Take a 5 gallon bucket and see how long it takes to fill it up. When you know how many gals per minute ask the water company what is normal.
Have you checked your PRV? I'm sure that was the first think you probably checked, but the pressure reducing valve is how you can adjust.
How old is the water heater and when was the last time it was drained?

Also don't assume that amount is correct. Some cities (atlanta for example) have gained national attention for their rediculously screwed up bills.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. thanks shag. gonna check some of this stuff.
last year when first dealing with it i did address the pressure, but it was my meter outside. and we have one of thos water heaters that is not a water heater, hot water all the time, a little box.... anyway, plumbers said nothing about that. checked that out too.

in the 13 yrs living here, twice water has worked on their line by our meter and we ended up with a leak and had to fix. they took no resonsibility.

i know i am being screwed.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
13. If the water bill this winter was only 15% of the summer bill, I doubt is was a leak.
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 11:17 AM by lumberjack_jeff
How old is the house?

I'd ask the utility company for a month by month breakdown of your actual usage.

$680 for a month of water is outside my experience.

How long does it take a fully open faucet to fill a 5 gallon bucket? Was the pressure bad in January?

Is the water pressure at the shower noticeably different while you're watering? You could have a leak in the underground sprinkler system downstream from the winter shutoff valve. Is there any other buried plumbing that you routinely shut off in winter?
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. the house is '52. i am going to ask for a break down, good idea.
i will check out your other stuff. it is not something we can see, but during winter, bill is good. so i dont think it is a leak.
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