Water Bill-Possible Error in Meter Read? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-17-2005, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just received my first water bill ever as we just moved into our new house. My usage for 91 days was 30m. There are only 2 of us, hubby is out of town most of the time, we don't do outdoor watering of anything, we shower once a day, laundry once every two weeks in a new front loader and dishes daily in the sink.

In comparison, my friend lives with her son, they do laundry daily (old top loader), water the yard at least once a week,take around 4 showers a day during the summer due to the heat and have an old dishwasher running constantly. Her usage was 11m for the same time period! She admits to being a waterhog and I know that I could never approach her usage, yet mine was more than twice hers.

I called the water company and they said to turn everything off overnight and check the meter. I did and it didn't budge. I did the food colouring test on the toilet, nothing.

Am I missing something? Could my meter be broken? Any ideas for what I should do?

Thanks
Jen
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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You know we have had the same problem, no there probably isn't something wrong if you did the food coloring test and the meter reading didn't change if shut off. We have 2 adults in our household and are fairly conservative on water (I thought) and our first month in our new house we used 13,000 gal. of water! Little by little we were able to keep it down and now we are at
4-5,000. Its best not to compare yourself to another household, I know logisticaly it doesn't make sense but there are other factors that can come into play.
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Old 08-18-2005, 12:35 PM
 
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I found out not too long ago that the meter readers were reading my neighbors usage as mine and mine as hers.
It happened when they gave me a 400.00 bill saying I had used 90,000 gallons of water in 30 days.

Turns out my neighbor had a leak and I had been paying her bills for about 6 months and she mine.

I don't think meters tend to break and read incorrectly but there is always a chance.

Also, you could ask to see what the meter read at when you moved in. Is there a chance that you are paying for part of the time someone else lived there?
You could request a meter read out and see what the meter was on every month.

Good luck.
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Old 08-18-2005, 04:20 PM
 
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I would suggest calling and getting a new meter. I had a similar problem with our old water meter. We did all the tests they water company suggested and I had a plumber come out and take a look. I probably could've skipped the plumber... but I wanted to be certain that I wasn't responsible for the $400+ water bill! Once the new water meter was installed, we were back to our normal water usage and normal $ per month

The water company asked if we had a pool since it looked like we were using so much water! We could've filled 10 pools... :

Rhianna momma to ds #1 - 9 & ds #2 - born 10/22/2012

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Old 08-18-2005, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice. I called the company again and they told me that my friend's bill couldn't be right! They also said that it's not possible for it to be broken but to wait til the next bill (Dec) to compare. I've called another place that does conservation stuff and am looking into getting a water audit. When they come by, I'll ask them for further advice.
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Old 08-23-2005, 01:27 PM
 
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Meters do wear out and become inaccurate. This from my dh who has talked to city workers from when we lived in town.
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:36 PM
 
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Also, we had a bill one time that said 'estimated water usage'. When I called to ask why it was estimated and not actual usage Iwas told that sometimes they can't read the meter (for whatever reason, something in the way, a giant spider on the meter, etc.) so they just guess based on previous bills.

Well the bill they 'guessed' on was way higher than previous ones. I had to put up quite a stink to get it adjusted, but they finally did.

Good luck!
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Old 08-26-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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We had a lot of problems along these lines when we first moved to this house. We rent, so we're not sure how the plumbing is. But one month we'd pay $40, then $13, then $30, and it was constantly going up and down with no changes in our behavior, and we knew a leak wouldn't come and go like that. We don't have a dishwasher and our washing machine was broken. We were doing laundry DAILY at our neighbor's house, and his bill was $13 every month. Then one month, his was $55! And ours was like $12.50. It was ridiculous!

A couple of months ago, the entire water company quit, was fired, retired, etc, and it changed administration and location. Now our bill is $13-15 every month. Seemed fishy to me.

I hope you get your situation figured out!
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:38 PM
 
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how do you do a food colouring test??

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
Acting as a Gestational Surrogate for my cousin, EDD Jan 17th
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the food colouring test, you just put some colour into the tank and let it sit for 10 mins and if it shows in the bowl (No Flushing) then you have a leak.

We don't really know what to do with the water bill. The first rep I talked to said it was really abnormally high and when I called back a couple days later another rep told me it was abnormally low.

Someday we will get around to remodelling the bathrooms with low flow toilets and a decent tub/shower so hopefully that will change things. I'm just worried now that I plan to cloth diaper in December.
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:20 PM
 
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Our bill doubled this time too. The water co came out and said the meter needs replaced, and they checked for leaks as well.

We will see how the next one ends up. I hope not so high.

A tiny leak can use a lot of water... and cloth dipes take about the same as one adult showering daily to wash, so it shouldn't change things too much when you start.

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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