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Water bill - worried - help

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Hi
I am a single and currently under extreme stress/anxiety from being divorced and various things going at work. I am living in a three bed on my own paying hefty mortgage - I now have a new problem to deal with. My water bill and potential leakage.

My water company installed a new meter on the payment early this year - Affinity Water. Six months usage just on my own is 131000 liters. This is not possible.

I simply cannot find the internal stopcock - when I bought this house with my ex back in 2012 neither of us had any need to even know about this. I stripped as much as I can from the kitchen and cannot find it. Potentially in downstairs toilet but the toilet with sink is boarded up.

I really do not think there is any leak inside the property. No damp or smell - everything is fine.

The house is a three bed semi with shared drive way. There is only one cover on the pavement - there isnt another one for neighbour and also houses next on their side and to my left dont have any external cover like I have one outside mine. 
I think my neighbour is on unmetered billing as he has a family.

I suspect if there is a leakage from the outside stopcock to the property - how do I know if the pipes are mine or shared pipes its leaking from? As there is only one external stopcock outside the property (atleast 6 properties dont have any thing similar outside mine) as far I can see. 
Thank you.

Replies

  • RobM99RobM99 Forumite
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    Ask the company to investigate. I had a similar problem - even with my stopcock turned off, the meter was still spinning. It was their leak, not mine.  I rang them and explained (according to them) my water consumption had increased 12 fold!
  • acsrjskacsrjsk Forumite
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    Thanks Rob - do you mean ask Affinity water to investigate?
  • flashg67flashg67 Forumite
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    I'd suggest asking Affinity to check if your usage has increased massively. Also, a handy friend or a plumber should be able to locate your stoptap - you never know when you'll actually need it, especially if you ever had an internal leak.
    Also, are you able to check the meter yourself to confirm the usage , and not just a meter reading error- I'd have though at that usage, you'd be able to see the meter dial change fairly quickly yourself
  • es5595es5595 Forumite
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    According to their website (https://www.affinitywater.co.uk/faq?faq=qed00067)  for the first two years after installation you can request to be billed at the unmetered rate. 

    I must make you aware this is NOT a long term fix, but until the reason for the huge water bill can be sorted, this will be a temporary stop-gap!
  • edited 8 November 2020 at 11:29PM
    acsrjskacsrjsk Forumite
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    edited 8 November 2020 at 11:29PM
    Thanks Flash

    I saw the meter reading today and also compared the bill today. I think the meter was installed approx Feb this year:

    According to their bill the meter readings are:
    April 09th reading : 52 
    September 21st reading: 183
    Today - November 8th - I looked at it myself on the meter pavement (just the number in black): 223

    This works out approx 26000 litres a month just on my own! If my maths is right


    This seems very high as I am a single occupant even though it's a three bed and even though its lockdown I have spent the entire time in the house this year. My main concern how do I even know that the meter on pavement is even for me and my property? There is only one of those lid with a stopcock inside it outside my property and none of the other property even have that outside their house. I also cant make sense of the angle of the pipe and meter inside the lid on pavement - it's not pointing towards my property but vertical towards the footpath itself foing in a different direction. Even if is installed correctly and there is suspected leak on the driveway how I do even know its my fault considering it may well be shared supply line and since I am the only one with a meter and a supply line leak is getting charged to me....

    I am also insured with Tesco and not sure if they will cover trace and access cover if there is a fault on the driveway. Very worried if I a going to foot a large bill. 

  • edited 8 November 2020 at 11:33PM
    tallmansixtallmansix Forumite
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    edited 8 November 2020 at 11:33PM
    acsrjsk said:
    Thanks Flash

    I saw the meter reading today and also compared the bill today. I think the meter was installed approx Feb this year:

    According to their bill the meter readings are:
    April 09th reading : 52 
    September 21st reading: 183
    Today - November 8th - I looked at it myself on the meter pavement (just the number in black): 223

    Ok so the 3 numbers in RED on the meter are litres, so you can easily check by taking the reading of the red numbers and then not using any water for a few hours and then take a reading to see if anything changed.

    There is sometimes a small dial with a pointer that moves full circle once per litre, this should not be moving with everything switched off.
    YNAB enthusiast and extreme coupon-er.
    Discounts, coupons and cashback:
    2019 = £1,443.52
    2020 = £1,191,76
  • acsrjskacsrjsk Forumite
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    Ok thanks for that. Will check red tomorrow. Shoukd I be turning off central heating too? Just in case if it changes even though I dont use water - what does that mean? It confirms that there is a leak - how will I know where the leak is in my case - high chance of it being supply pipe - dont know if this is shared or just mine 
  • edited 9 November 2020 at 1:22AM
    tallmansixtallmansix Forumite
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    edited 9 November 2020 at 1:22AM
    acsrjsk said:
    Ok thanks for that. Will check red tomorrow. Shoukd I be turning off central heating too? Just in case if it changes even though I dont use water - what does that mean? It confirms that there is a leak - how will I know where the leak is in my case - high chance of it being supply pipe - dont know if this is shared or just mine 
    Central heating is ok to leave on, it doesn't use mains water normally.

    So if the dials move when you haven't used any water then you either have a leak or a crossed / shared supply, impossible to say but you will have evidence to contact the water company with.
    YNAB enthusiast and extreme coupon-er.
    Discounts, coupons and cashback:
    2019 = £1,443.52
    2020 = £1,191,76
  • Grumpy_chapGrumpy_chap Forumite
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    Single occupant house "should" use 150 - 200 litre / day.  200 * 7 * 26 = 36k litres as a guide.  OP has used 131k litres.  Such a massive difference, it must be a leak - get Affinity Water to investigate.  They should also credit you back for the obviously high consumption.

    I assume the OP does not have a swimming pool.
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