DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
21 - 29 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
I think you should be the Squeaky Wheel and get them (the owner of the the water system) to check it. If they continue to ignore you, try different government agencies or even a TV station "on your side" service, or other consumer advocate group.
 

·
Registered
Electrical, remodeling
Joined
·
629 Posts
I always question utility company data comparing our home to our “comparable” neighbors. In NY I changed our single outdoor light to an LED and our home is vacant for 3 months per year while we are in FL. The only electrical devices running are the outdoor light, the high efficiency furnace and occasionally the sump pump. We also let the refrigerator and freezer run. During the 3 months while our house is empty we still use a little more electricity than our “comparable” neighbors who have occupied houses. Bull crap.
Had a similar problem with theach electrical bill.

At one time I had dogs in the back yard.

No problems with the dogs going after the meter reader, until a new meter reader took over the route.

First thing the new meter reader did was hit the dogs with his clip boars and spray them with mace.

These dogs might lick you to death, but never bit anyone.

Electric bill almost doubled for a couple of months for no apparent reason.

Figured out they were estimating the bill based on the usage of the homes in the neighborhood.

When asked why, I was told because my dogs wouldn't let the meter reader in the yard.

Made arrangements to have a post card sent to the house, on which I drew the meter dials, and sent it back.

They made appointments to verify my meter every six months.

Did I get reimbursed for the overage?

Yes, but the amount they took out over a two month period, was paid back over a 12 month period.

You have to keep an eye on these utility companies, they know most people don't keep an eye on their accounts and use auto pay?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,554 Posts
Hi there. Water consumption in my house is high since we bought the house. No leaks for sure (when we left for a month, the usage was none); also in the past 1-2 years, we've renovated all bathrooms, installed water efficient toilets, showers, faucets, etc.. No long showers, no frequent laundries either. Per water company data, our water consumption is above average and for sure higher than my neighbors I talked to (with bigger houses, more habitants, daily yard watering).
And no, I don't use sprinklers. I occasionally water a few plants with a hose.

I suspect that a water meter faulty it shows e.g. 2x more what we use. Technically, I don't have access to it (it is in one of those locked boxes buried at the property line). I called the water company asking for a validation, but I was disregarded.

What's the procedure of conducting an audit of actual use and who can do that? I would prefer NOT to cut my main water line to install the 2nd meter inside my house to compare indications.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
J.
First thing that I would do is shut off your water at the house, then go see if your meter is moving. If it is, you may have a broken service line outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,101 Posts
My so called hI-ef top loading washer was using 2000 gallons a month more than my new Hi-Ef front loader does. 5500 to 3500 month. Family of 4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Wow, no access to the water meter??? That's a bit ridiculous.....
We had a similar problem -
We bought the house and rented it out for a couple years before we retired and moved in. We're in a county area, not city limits, so all utilities are separate, not bundled like the cities do.
At first water bills were normal, around $25-ish per month. Then a few months later our tenant let us know it jumped to over $100/month.
They called the water company and were given the run-around and finally just paid the bills.
When we moved in we paid the outrageous bills for a few months but then I ran a test with our neighbor. I filled a 5 gallon bucket, noted the before/after readings, then did the same at a neighbor's house. My reading was 4-5 times his.
I called the water company, got the run-around but persisted and finally was able to talk to someone in power. I had to put up with "How many showers do you take?", "Do you have a pool?", "How much do you water your grass?" even the old, "We haven't done anything." Finally they said they would check the meter. They called back a few days later. It turns out they converted to "remote reading" meters and when they put ours in we got a commercial meter, not a residential meter. After that water bills went back down to $25-ish. We, and our previous renter, received a refund of several hundred $.
If you can't get to the meter, keep calling until you get to someone. They told me that if they didn't find anything wrong with the meter they replaced they would charge $40. Not a big deal since I was paying way more than that every month.
Also, when we sold our previous house we had to provide several months of utility bills. If they had been asked for you would have seen the high water charges.
Good luck,
Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,101 Posts
I made the mistake of giving a tenant a key before they had put the water service in their name after giving instructions to do so as the water bill was their responsibility in a single family house. The water company was sending the bill to the rental in my name for a yr and no one was paying it. After that i dont give the key until i can verify the water is in the tenants name. Sometime the WC dont want to give that info citing privacy concerns ,but usually relent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,396 Posts
Had a similar problem with theach electrical bill.

At one time I had dogs in the back yard.

No problems with the dogs going after the meter reader, until a new meter reader took over the route.

First thing the new meter reader did was hit the dogs with his clip boars and spray them with mace.

These dogs might lick you to death, but never bit anyone.

Electric bill almost doubled for a couple of months for no apparent reason.

Figured out they were estimating the bill based on the usage of the homes in the neighborhood.

When asked why, I was told because my dogs wouldn't let the meter reader in the yard.

Made arrangements to have a post card sent to the house, on which I drew the meter dials, and sent it back.

They made appointments to verify my meter every six months.

Did I get reimbursed for the overage?

Yes, but the amount they took out over a two month period, was paid back over a 12 month period.

You have to keep an eye on these utility companies, they know most people don't keep an eye on their accounts and use auto pay?
I used to go to various properties but I did not enter if a dog was present. You know your dog and your dog likes you. That doesn’t mean your dog likes me. Some dogs can be unpredictable around strangers. If you want me to enter to do my job, your dogs need to be put away or restrained. Personally I don’t particularly like or trust dogs for various reasons not pertinent to this conversation. Many dog owners assume that others like their dogs, which is not the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
The problem that the OP is trying to work around is that he does not have access to the meter.
Some meter covers are very easy to open with a key you can buy at home depot or similar.

Alternatively,
Call your water company and ask them to turn off the service temporarily.
You are doing this because you need to make an emergency plumbing repair.

Meet the guy at the meter and take a look at the meter reading.
Explain that you don't want to actually turn it off. You just need to check the meter to see if there is a leak.
Hopefully he is game and can hang out for the five minutes it takes to fill up some buckets and look at the meter again.
 
21 - 29 of 29 Posts
Top