£450 water bill! and getting paranoid...

in Water bills
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valmikivalmiki Forumite
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Hi

i am starting to get concerned about the size of my water bill, and steadily getting more and more paranoid. You know, when you start listening out for running water, and imagining things (!)

my wife and I, and the 6 month baby. Wife stays at home all day, we have a power shower and both shower every day;no dishwasher;washing machine gets used about 3 washes per week;the odd washing of the car.

and thats about it! so why are we getting a 6 monthly bill for £225?! that's not an estimate, by the way.

when i read on the forum about others who are getting lower bills than this, i have to question myself about the size of my bill. chatting to my wife yesterday about this, and we do tend not to leave taps running, etc. though she does like flushing the loo a lot (!). we don't have one of those hippos, but i have reduced the level of water in the cistern, i'm pretty sure that should have the same effect.

but anyway, back to my original question of a £450 annual bill - does this seem high for two adults and a baby?? thats almost £40 a month - for water

thanks
valmiki
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  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    Powershowers use alot of water about the same as having a bath.

    If your meter is outside the property i would turn off the water inside and see if its spinning if it is you probably have a leak.
  • valmikivalmiki Forumite
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    hi deanos

    thanks for replying

    well, just to backtrack a little, I don't think that we do have a power shower after all! it's in an on-suite with all the piping behind the walls and just the pressure and heat adjuster in front. it doesn't make any noise that i would associate with a power pump either.

    i think i'm going to have to bite the bullet and switch off the mains, and then check the meter. problem is the blasted thing is out on the pavement and about three feet down! i can barely read the meter, never mind check to see if widgit(?) is spinning. can i ask the water authority to resite it?

    so i take it that £450 is rather high then?

    if i did have a leak surely the bill would be astronomical? is there such a thing as a leak in the pipes underground that is slow? i live half way up a hill, so the pressure of the water does tend to be high.
  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    You could ask them to resite it and they will make a charge to do so as there is no problem with it being read by the meter reader , best is to use a torch and get a cane and attatch a paint bruch on the end to wipe the dial this will make it alot easier to read :)

    You could quite easily have a small leak , £450 does seem high to me to be honest i have 1 child and wife and we are in similar situation to you and our last 6 month bill was £120
  • I've just worked mine out and it's £264 per year for me and 2 children. We take showers about every other day, use the washing machine about 3 or 4 times a week but only flush the loo about every 3 or 4 times we use it. I try not to keep taps running too long and measure water out for things like drinks. A power shower runs up a high water bill. Try showering really quickly. Apparantly it's possible to shower in 1 minute but I've never tried it.

    Also get the water board to check your meter.
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  • valmikivalmiki Forumite
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    well, as soon as I got home, I immediately went into action.

    I switched off the stop tap and had a look at the meter, thankfully a torch (thanks deanos) was just what was needed, especially with the condensation on the dials! the meter wasn't spinning at all (the round dial with the three? spokes).
    How sensitive is that spinnydialthing? i did stare at it for about half a minute or so (the length of time i could lie on the pavement with my hand down a hole without looking too much of a fool) also took a reading, and I'm going to check again in 7 days time. I'm also going to have to pick a time when we are out of the house for a good few hours to take some readings.

    In the meantime I need to find some hippos as well, me thinks.

    Pulled out some previous bills as well:

    Oct. 04 to Jun 05 bill came to £194.68 now thats more like it! and these were based on actual readings. (works out to about £287 yearly)

    Jun. 05 to Dec. 05 bill was £171.33 getting larger... however the december reading was an estimate that was way under-estimated.

    Jun. 05 to todays reading if I had had a bill, comes to £295, which works out at £433 for the year.

    Now thats a huge rise! only changes are that mrs valmiki is now at home with the baby, drinking gallons of water by the looks of it.

    I just refuse to accept that we have used that much water, i just can't see where it's going- maybe I should ask Welsh Water to come and examine the meter...
  • calleywcalleyw Forumite
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    valmiki wrote:
    How sensitive is that spinnydialthing? i did stare at it for about half a minute or so (the length of time i could lie on the pavement with my hand down a hole without looking too much of a fool) also took a reading, and I'm going to check again in 7 days time. I'm also going to have to pick a time when we are out of the house for a good few hours to take some readings.

    In the meantime I need to find some hippos as well, me thinks.

    Personally I would take a reading everyday. And ask your wife what she has done to use water in the day. e.g been to to loo three times and used the washing machine had a shower etc. I know it sounds rather anal but unless you know what is being used where it makes it hard to cut back on it.

    You don't need hippos, if you get your milk in 2 pint 1 litre plastic bottles one of those will do. Or a 1 litre pop bottle will do. Unless you have brick handy.

    I stay at home and there are two of us. I tend to only flush the loo after ever couple of trips. But I always bleach last thing at night and first thing in the morning so no problems with smells there. Also have plastic milk bottle in both of cisterns.

    Bath once a week. Showers everday for husband but everyother day for me as I don't go out very often but do have sink washes in between. Mainly be because I am lazy rather than to save water.

    Use the washing machine about twice a week and this is a seven years old so is not the most water effcient. And the last 6 months was £80. But we have only been in the house for nearly a year. So don't have old bills to look back on. And have only just put the bottles on just before christmas so will not know the difference until next bill.

    Yours


    Calley
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  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    The dial is very sentive any leak and it will move, im not sure what sort of meter you have as there are lots of different ones.

    Definately take a reading every day and maybe make a note everytime you use water for a week you might be very supprised at how much/little you use

    Also on the meter will be a serial number, round here they start with 95M or 06M for example the first 2 digits being the year it was put in , they can get unreliable after 10 years but they usually record less then they should rather than more.
  • valmikivalmiki Forumite
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    well, i guess i'll have to start taking regular readings! since starting this whole exercise, i can see that my wife is already being more considerate in water usage.

    deanos, the house is a new build, meter was fitted in 2001 when we moved in.

    if there is a leak, then it looks like it's after the stop !!!!, so i'll take some before/after readings when we're out of the house.

    thanks for the replies everyone, i'll try and post back when i have some more readings

    valmiki
  • I wish my water rates were less than £450! Scottish Water so no hope of a meter in the foreseeable either......
    There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't

    In many cases it helps if you say where you are - someone with local knowledge might be able to give local specifics rather than general advice
  • KzlndKzlnd Forumite
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    Ours bills are probably about the same annually, around £40 per month.

    We're in a new build and so have a water meter. There are two of us, our water is used by the dishwasher, washing machine, shower - not powershower and loo.. Can't think of anything else at the mo. I don't clean the car at home, pop around the corner to my parents - no evil water meter there. :D

    Note that water charges often go up in April each year :mad: and you don't just pay for the water you use/waste (There's often a surface water charge, sewage charge - standard with Yorkshire Water is 95% of water used :eek: ) So the end billisn't always a reflection of the water usage.

    Check for loose fittings, leaky radiators and dodgy pipework in places like under the sink etc, crap BenBaileyHomes workmanship has been the cause of some drippy leaks etc in our place - If left, this means water is wasted and will add up.

    Other than the loose fittings/incorrectly plumbed appliances, we have no leaks.. We just don't use water efficiently and it may be the same for you?


    Hope it's not a leak, but if it is - get it fixed asap! and get a leakage rebate sent off!
    The £2.00 Coin Savers Club = approx £22.00 :rolleyes: :j.. The 20p Savers Club = £17.80.

    :j
    x
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