High bill or just a leak......

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Well standby for my tale of woe gang....

About a two months ago I discovered that we had a leak in our bathroom (eventually came through the ceiling and made a mess) got it fixed and thought that was it!

Couple weeks later south west water wrote to us and informed us we had a leak (or so it seemed) and to help us out they were going to up our direct debit to £150 a month!!!

Now I have done leak tests and after doing one with stop tap off to the house it went up a fraction one night but then nothing the next. So think maybe I hadn't turned the stop off all the way....

Anyway left it on overnight and the metre moved up a little on the red numbers but not by much so I'm hard pressed to work out if a leak is to blame or not.

But let's give you some data:-

At 23.26 hours last night we recorded 937.87
and
at 1530 I recorded 938.10

That's with me having done a few sink fills of washing up, a shower (5 minutes) a shallow bath for the kids and a load of washing in the washing machine and a couple flushes....

Does that seem reasonable in terms of amount of water used or excessive

There are two adults in the house and two toddlers

Comments

  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,038 Forumite
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    Welcome to the forum.


    That means you have used 230 litres(50 gallons) so well under average consumption and would not indicate a leak.


    Most water companies will give you a one-off allowance for a leak. They can tell if your consumption seriously increased ove a set period.
  • Brownie86
    Brownie86 Posts: 5 Forumite
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    Thank you for the welcome!!

    Well I've just taken another reading and it's now showing 938.28.

    I honestly don't know what to think as SWW say I'm using well above the average but there is certainly no obvious leak in the house
  • -Selene
    -Selene Posts: 158 Forumite
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    Could it be that your meter reading was, for example, 883 two months ago before your bathroom leak? And then the leak caused 50 cm3 of water to flood your house (probably an extreme example but you get the gist) causing Computer to record the sudden increased use and assume you will be using that amount in future hence the increased direct debit. Do you have meter readings from before the leak? If so, is there a sudden increase of water consumption?

    Do you read your meter regularly and record the readings? If yes, compare the readings and work out your average quarterly consumption. If possible, have more than one quarter available. If the quarter they're billing you for is significantly higher than all previous quarters, this may be because of your leak. If no, then collect as many bills as you can, and use bills with actual reads and not estimated ones to calculate.

    Do some more leak tests overnight -- could the other adult in the house turn the stopcock if you think you're not turning it fully? Also you've probably already done this but just in case you haven't, check that SWW's meter number on the bill matches the meter you're looking at, and that the bill they've issued is based on an actual read and not estimated. If it's an estimated read, just give them the current reading and they'll reissue a new bill (I'm a SWW customer and do this every time I get an estimated bill with no problems).

    Use this calculator and see what the difference is between what your bill should be and what it actually is. http://www.southwestwater.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=7314 It also tells you if you're using more or less than an average household of your size :)
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  • Brownie86
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    Sadly it is tree right meter and the numbers are correct!

    The issue is the leak was patched in May but the bill is from October > April that showed we used 123 cubic meters (£766.66) on top the £700 we had already paid!!

    Having phoned them on Friday they believe the leak is still active as I gave readings from the 12th June to the 25th they average about a cubic meter a day which is a hell of a lot!!!

    Re the stop I just did another test over two hours and the actual reading handnt changed in terms of the numbers however the smaller dials had moved slightly! I'll Phone them tomorrow and just cry on the phone see what happens!! Nobody likes a man crying on the phone ;-)
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,038 Forumite
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    Brownie86 wrote: »
    Sadly it is tree right meter and the numbers are correct!

    The issue is the leak was patched in May but the bill is from October > April that showed we used 123 cubic meters (£766.66) on top the £700 we had already paid!!

    Having phoned them on Friday they believe the leak is still active as I gave readings from the 12th June to the 25th they average about a cubic meter a day which is a hell of a lot!!!

    Re the stop I just did another test over two hours and the actual reading handnt changed in terms of the numbers however the smaller dials had moved slightly! I'll Phone them tomorrow and just cry on the phone see what happens!! Nobody likes a man crying on the phone ;-)


    The average consumption is approx. 55 cubic metres(m3) per person per year.


    You don't say how many people are in the house but talk of 'kids'(plural) so from Oct to April(6 months) average consumption would be 110m3 with 4 occupants, 137m3 for 5 occupants.


    On the other hand in the last 24 hours you have only used 0.41m3. which over 6 months would equate to 75m3 in 6 months.
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