There are many factors to look at when it comes to your electric bill, but one thing is for sure: your plumbing and water usage do have a big part to play in how high it can climb. If you’ve noticed a significant increase in the amount you owe for electricity, take a moment to reflect on what the weather has been like, possible leaks, and water efficiency. One or some of these options are likely to increase your electric bill for a few months, which can be a nuisance and a hefty burden.
The weather can have a big impact on your electric bill. Adjusting the thermostat very frequently or raising the temperature to warmer temperatures can be costly. If you’re avoiding paying for your home to be heated, only to be driven into a nice warm shower, you aren’t achieving many savings!
Hot Water Leaks
Water leaking from the hot water heater is the most common plumbing failure that ride up electricity bills. If you see a spike in your bill for one to two months in a row, then this is likely the cause! The temperature and pressure release valves should be the first place that you look- it is located at the top of your water heater, or close to it. If your water heater is on the older side, you’ll notice water where the pipe terminates near the ground if, in fact, your water heater is leaking. Now, this is usually a pretty easy fix, but if it’s not fixed, it’s technically the same as letting your water heater run for 24 hours! SAFETY TIP: Never plug or cap a pressure relief valve, temperature valve, or drainpipe – Get it replaced!
Over time, sediment and mineral build-up can lead to corrosion, which in turn leads to leaking at the bottom of your water heater. If your water heater hasn’t been cleaned, then it might be a good idea to drain it and clean it out, and then annually thereafter.
Wear and Tear
Inlet and outlet connections, along with typical wearing down of your hot water heater, happens over time. The issue is simple to solve if one finds that they have a leak in this area—the connections could just need to be tightened with a wrench. If a faulty pipe is found, then it will need to be replaced, which may involve a little more work.
Water dripping from the hot water side of your faucets may be pretty easy to find and will pose a problem to that increasing electric bill. Also, check under the sinks for leaking shut off and supply lines.
Under the Slab
Leaks under the concrete slab of your home usually show up as a warm spot on the floor. This type of leak requires a professional to determine how to best go about the fix. Consider Jack Ward & Sons Co. for a recommendation!
If in fact it is not winter, or you don’t have a leak, then consider the amount of water being used for various tasks. Maybe the dishwasher is being loaded when there are only a few dishes, or more frequently than normal. Perhaps you are taking more showers, or spending lengthy amounts of time in the shower.
More dirty laundry can lead to frequent washer/dryer use. Excessive watering of the lawn to get it back to being that luscious green you remember it to be. Whatever the case may be, plumbing problems can surely be the cause and it never hurts to be too thorough.
To sum it all up, if you are finding that you are having a hefty electric bill and are confused as to what the source may be, go check that plumbing system of yours. If you come to find that you have a plumbing problem that may be hard for you to fix, and are located in the Nashville area, give Doctor Drips a call at 615-970-0047.
This post was originally published on 1/15/2020 and updated on 12/17/2020 for accuracy and a larger scope of information.