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    • KT17
    • By KT17 12th Feb 18, 3:10 PM
    • 4Posts
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    KT17
    Unexplained huge water bills
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 18, 3:10 PM
    Unexplained huge water bills 12th Feb 18 at 3:10 PM
    Hi, hoping someone out there can help solve a problem that so far both the water company and two plumbers have been unable to explain!!

    We moved into a 4-bed house in April last year. In December we received a letter from South East Water saying they'd noticed that our water consumption had 'increased significantly' when compared to the same period the previous year. Now obviously we weren't living here then but we know that at least three adults were living in the property at that time (we are two adults and two young children) so it's unlikely to have increased by a huge amount.

    We then got the bill, and were staggered to see that we'd somehow used 333 cubic metres in just 6 months!

    Someone from South East Water came out to look at the water meter in January, and by that point it had gone up by another 100 cubic metres in just six weeks! They turned off our stopcock and the water meter stopped, so they ruled out an external leak and said we must have an internal leak. We then went round every toilet, sink, taps inside and outside and couldn't find a leak. The following weekend we went away for the night and took a meter reading on the Saturday morning, and read it again on the Sunday afternoon. We had no appliances running and no one was in the house and yet it still went up by 4 cubic metres in just over 24 hours!

    I've since had two plumbers round to look at it, plus another guy from South East Water and they have all just shrugged and said 'I don't understand it'! They have ruled out a faulty metre and have also checked that we're not also paying for a neighbour's supply and we're not.

    As you can imagine this is starting to drive us completely mad! Their latest suggestion is to go away for the weekend but this time turn off the tap at the meter, let the water company know that we're doing this, and then wait to see if anyone calls the water company to say that they don't have any water!!

    The ballcock in the cold water tank in the loft is fine, and we've checked the overflow pipes and nothing is coming out of them. We do however sometimes hear the cold water tank refilling - often for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, which doesn't make sense because we don't have baths/showers late at night. So I'm guessing this has something to do with it - but what?!

    I would have thought that if we had a massive leak somewhere we'd know about it by now - this is getting on for almost a year now and there is no sign of a leak either internally or externally.

    So it remains an incredibly frustrating situation! If anyone has any thoughts - as crazy as you like! - on what could be going on then please do let me know!!

    Thank you!!
Page 1
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 12th Feb 18, 3:18 PM
    • 1,521 Posts
    • 901 Thanks
    firefox1956
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 3:18 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 3:18 PM
    Sounds to me as though there could be more than one property using the same meter ??
    Is it an old property ??
    I would turn off the supply & then go around your neighbours & ask them if there cold tap is working.
    Dont turn it off & go away for the weekend as suggested as you might return to some very angry neighbours !!
    HTH
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 12th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    • 27,274 Posts
    • 13,352 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    Sometimes a leaking cistern - overflowing silently into the pan - can be intermittent, but would never use that amount of water. The same mechanism is used for the cold water tank.

    With a cold water tank you presumably don't have a combi CH boiler. Is there any possibility of a overflowing tank?

    Is your house terraced or semi-detached? how did the plumbers rule out a feed to a neighbour's house?
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 12th Feb 18, 4:52 PM
    • 3,503 Posts
    • 2,170 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 18, 4:52 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Feb 18, 4:52 PM
    Which stopcock did they turn off - the one in the street next to the meter or the one in your house where the water come in, usually under the kitchen sink.
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    • KT17
    • By KT17 12th Feb 18, 10:20 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    KT17
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:20 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:20 PM
    Hi, thanks for your reply. No it isn't an old house. We've already checked with immediate neighbours - turning water off and seeing if theirs is still working and that was fine. The guy from the water board thought it could be a house further away!
    • KT17
    • By KT17 12th Feb 18, 10:21 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    KT17
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:21 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Feb 18, 10:21 PM
    They turned off the stopcock in the kitchen.
    • KT17
    • By KT17 13th Feb 18, 3:51 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    KT17
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:51 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:51 PM
    Sometimes a leaking cistern - overflowing silently into the pan - can be intermittent, but would never use that amount of water. The same mechanism is used for the cold water tank.

    With a cold water tank you presumably don't have a combi CH boiler. Is there any possibility of a overflowing tank?

    Is your house terraced or semi-detached? how did the plumbers rule out a feed to a neighbour's house?
    Originally posted by Cardew
    That's right, we don't have a combi boiler. Re an overflowing tank - it's definitely not overflowing and as far as we can see it isn't reaching the overflow pipe. The overflow pipe comes out over our conservatory so we would definitely notice if water was coming out of it... and we haven't seen any water coming out. It's a detached house. Thanks for your help!
    • deanos
    • By deanos 13th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    • 10,794 Posts
    • 5,551 Thanks
    deanos
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    any of the pipework run under a concrete floor or floorboards downstairs ?
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