06 October A leaky faucet

9 Common Reasons Why Your Hydro Bill is High

Posted by PlumbWize

After paying hydro bills for years, you more or less know what your average consumption is. But was there ever a time when you received a bill and exclaimed to yourself, “My hydro bill is way too high!” without knowing what caused the spike?

If you have experienced an unexpectedly high water or hydro bill in the Hamilton and surrounding area, there are some reasons that could be behind the sudden increase. The following is a list of the nine most common causes of high hydro and water bills that you should know about.

Unexplainably High Hydro Bill: 9 Possible Causes

If there was no change in your water usage but your bill suddenly skyrocketed, it may be because of one or more of the following reasons:

1. Dripping Faucet and Valves

If your faucet needs replacement but you ignored it because it only has a slow drip, then it certainly played a part in your expensive hydro bill. Even if it’s leaking at just 10 drips per minute, that’s still equivalent to three litres of water a day or 90 litres per month.

The numbers will certainly add up if you have more than one faulty faucet at home. And even more so, if the drip is faster than that rate.

If it’s dripping once every second for example, then it will take just a little over four hours to waste a gallon of water. That’s more or less 259 gallons of water a month which you now have to pay for but never use! 

2. Running Toilets

Have you noticed anything weird with your toilet? Do you have to jiggle the handle to make it stop running? Can you see water trickling down the sides of the bowl long after you’ve flushed? Worse, does it flush on its own?

A man attempting to fix a running toilet

All these are signs that your toilet is leaking which can waste around 200 to 300 gallons of water a day. That’s a whopping 9,000 gallons a month!

To prevent this, we recommend you regularly check your toilet for leaks. It’s even more important if there’s a sudden increase in your hydro bill that doesn’t correspond with your activity.

Why do toilets leak? Toilet leaks are often caused by issues with the fill tubes, flappers, or unbalanced floats

3. Outdoor Leaks

If you didn’t find any leaks inside your home, you might be looking in the wrong place. Try checking outside and see if your sprinkler system is malfunctioning. 

It could also be your garden hose or any other potential source of water. A good indication that there’s a leak is to look for areas that are always wet. 

4. Leaky Appliances

Leaky water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, and similar appliances also contribute to a higher than usual hydro bill.

5. Water Softeners

Did you just have a water softener installed? You might not know it, but people with water softeners have a higher hydro bill compared to those who don’t have one.

That’s because a water softener system is set up to backwash itself with fresh water on a regular basis. However, there are times when the backwash valve gets stuck in an open position which forces water out into the sewer.

6. Underground Leaks

Most leaks can easily be found. But it’s a bit tricky when the leak is underground or in the service line between your home and the water metre.

What causes underground leaks? They are often the result of earthquakes, intrusion of tree roots, shifts in the soil, or corrosion. It could also be because of poor installation.

7. Change in Water Consumption

Your water usage will rise if you have visitors staying with you. This means more people will be using your bathroom, more dishes will need to be cleaned, and more clothes will need to be washed. 

A garden sprinkler system

8. Seasonal Activities

Summertime is the season when most hydro bills go up in Hamilton and the surrounding areas. The hot weather means backyard pools need to be filled and gardens have to be watered more often.

You also need to shower more frequently after spending a long sweaty day outside. All these factors mean you’ll be using more water than you normally would.

9. Metre Hardware Problem

Old metres sometimes miscalculate water usage. If you’re still using an old water metre, your unusually high hydro bill could be because of it. 

How to Check for Leaks at Home

Household leaks are one of the most common contributors to a high hydro bill in Ontario. To avoid getting surprised by a hydro bill that’s way too high, make sure to check for leaks on a regular basis. We’ll show you how below: 

Toilet Tank

If you suspect a leak in your toilet but locating it is difficult, put a few drops of food colouring into the toilet’s water tank. Wait half an hour and check back in. If the coloured water found its way into the toilet bowl, then it means you have a leak. 


Check the base of your water heater, underneath your washing machine, or for any discolouration stains near your dishwasher. These are all signs of leaks.

Underground Leaks

Look for spots in your yard that are always wet even when it doesn’t rain. Grass or vegetation will also grow faster in areas with underground leaks. This type of leak could be due to burst pipes and would require emergency plumbing services

Faucets and Showers

Faucets and showers usually show visible signs of drips and are easier to spot. 

Hidden Leaks

To check for hidden leaks, turn on all the faucets in your home. Then, completely shut off the water valve. Water valves are typically located in the basement. 

Once it’s turned off, there should be no more water coming from your faucet. With the faucets still turned on and the water valve turned off, it’s time to check your water metre. If it’s still spinning, it means you have a leak somewhere. 

You can also track how much your bill usually is. If you haven’t made any significant changes to your routine but your hydro bill is higher than normal, it’s best to investigate what could be causing the spike. 

Ignoring the “my hydro bill is way too high” mystery will only waste more money and water. It could also lead to more expensive repairs later on. Hopefully, our list will give you ideas on where to start looking to solve this issue before it’s too late.

If You Can’t Find Where the Leak Is, It’s Time to Call a Plumber

If you’ve exhausted all means to locate the leak and still can’t find the source, it’s time to call a plumber. Professional plumbers at PlumbWize have the expertise and the right equipment to locate and repair hidden leaks before your water and hydro bills become unmanageable. Call us today to request our services.


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