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How Hot Water Can Raise Utility Bills

Posted by Scott Ranck on Apr 27, 2016 4:17:11 PM


Many times over the past several years while investigating high utility bills, I’ve discovered a hidden culprit to escalated energy costs! This thief has been found in both residential and commercial situations but especially in restaurants.

The culprit is hot water leaks. I’ve gone in restaurants to see why a customer’s bill has gone up and will see a faucet running a gallon a minute of hot water. I attempt to shut it off and realize it is already off! A simple plumbing fix. In one month that leak would be 43,200 gallons of water! The worst part of this situation is hot water leaks are a triple problem. The customer pays for the water, pays to heat it and usually also pays sewage rates based on water use. The cost to repair the faucet is minimal compared to the cost of letting it leak.

Residentially, dripping hot water faucets can create similar problems only usually not so large. A bigger problem is most our plumbing is under the concrete slab. I’ve found many times the water line can break, causing hot water to be running under the home with no one realizing there is a problem. If you are heating water with gas, you often will notice a spike in your gas bill and somehow overlook the spike in your water bill. If you look at both carefully and they both spike at the same time, you don’t have a gas problem you have a water leak somewhere.

Click here to read "3 Signs It's Time For A New Water Heater."

One other hot water issue that can raise your utility costs is adding a recirculation pump to the hot water system. This small device will circulate the hot water through the home so when you open a faucet or shower the water is hot immediately. The problem is not having a timer or some other device to control the recirculation device, the water will recirculate 24/7 increasing the cost to heat the water as much as 60%. I highly recommend all recirculation systems have some controls to reduce the cost.

For all your energy questions contact your energy experts at Florida Public Utilities. www.fpuc.com/energyexpert


Topics: Energy Conservation, Residential, Natural Gas, Energy Efficiency, Commercial, propane

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