Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Addressing a High Water Bill When There Is No Visible Leak

Unexplained high water bills can send a ripple of financial worry through any New York City apartment building owner. Not only do owners worry about the charges, they worry about the potential causes. A high water bill with no visible leak can point to hidden problems and costs. Discover how to identify hidden issues and prevent them in the future.

Uncovering the Cause of a High Water Bill With No Visible Leak

Data Gathering

Not all water bill increases warrant concern. Some increases relate to seasonal changes, like outdoor watering in spring and summer. However, a sustained usage increase is reason enough for further investigation. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), an average household leak can waste almost 10,000 gallons annually, resulting in a potential 10% increase in water bills.

If your water bill is higher than usual, you should request historical usage data from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The DEP holds onto historical data, allowing property owners to assess trends, potentially revealing a leak that has gradually worsened.

When water usage is consistently higher than in previous years, it may be a sign of a hidden pipe break or leak, depending on the severity. It would be best to account for building occupancy rates in the historical data. Still, water usage can point to a possible problem that requires further investigation.

Hidden Leak Checks

With a high water bill with no visible leaks, hidden leaks are possible. These leaks occur inside walls, under floors, within appliances, and underground. They’re especially problematic because they often go unnoticed for extended periods, resulting in property damage and potential health hazards, like respiratory issues from mold or mildew exposure.

If tenants are amiable to the idea, run a shut-off test to identify a hidden leak and its potential location. Set a time to turn off all taps and water-using appliances. During the test, look at the main water meter. Is it still rising? If so, it may point to a leak.

The shut-off test is easier if each unit has its own meter because then you can run individual tests, which are more controllable and reliable. The process can help pinpoint the affected units to narrow down the area of the building with the leak.

If you don’t want to perform a shut-off test, look for signs of hidden leaks throughout the property, such as dampness, pools of standing water, warped flooring, staining, white mineral deposits on pipes, or mold and mildew. Listen for hissing, dripping, or rushing sounds within walls, ceilings, and floors.

Professional Inspection

If shut-off tests and visual inspections don’t provide answers for a high water bill with no visible leaks, it is likely time for a professional inspection. Licensed NYC plumbers have specialized tools for hidden leak detection, from acoustic listening devices that amplify water leaks and pinpoint areas of concern to thermal cameras that detect temperature differences and reveal moisture patterns.

Sanitary Plumbing can also use pressure tests and tracer gas to identify the precise leak locations. Pressure tests isolate pipe sections, helping narrow down where the leak occurs. Tracer gas techniques use non-toxic gases to pinpoint the exact location of a leak.

Multiple leaks are likely, depending on the age of the building and the severity of the water usage increase. Older buildings, which make up most of NYC’s cityscape, tend to have infrastructure issues. The rise in water bills might only be the first signal of an ongoing problem.

Faulty Water Meter or Billing Errors

Sometimes, a high water bill with no visible leak points to other issues, like a faulty water meter or billing errors. While water meters are built to last, they contain moving parts that can wear down over time, possibly causing inaccurate readings. Also, meters are potentially susceptible to debris or mineral buildup, which may obstruct the mechanics and lead to misreadings. Contact the NYC DEP to schedule a meter assessment if you suspect a faulty meter.

A higher water bill can also stem from estimated readings or human error. If a meter reader cannot access a meter, the water company may estimate water usage based on historical readings, which can be inaccurate. While infrequent, especially in the digital age, human error is possible. Meter readers may make mistakes with data entry or misread the meters, resulting in incorrect bills.

If you suspect a billing or meter error is causing your higher bill, contacting the DEP to test the meter before requesting an inspection of your plumbing system is best. Replacing a faulty meter will not likely cost you anything unless damage results from intentional damage, but hiring a plumber will. Still, a plumber might be the fastest way of determining the cause of a high water bill with no visible leak.

Preventing Future Issues With Hidden Leaks and Billing Costs

Regular Inspections, Proactive Leak Detection, and Water-Efficient Upgrades

To prevent unpleasant surprises from hidden leaks, schedule regular professional inspections and maintenance for building-wide water systems, common areas, and outdoor water use zones. Inspections should focus on identifying tell-tale signs of small leaks, worn or failing plumbing components, and potential problem areas.

In older buildings, periodic leak surveys by licensed plumbers specializing in leak detection are a proactive investment. Using advanced technology, these professionals can identify the precise location of hidden leaks without invasive procedures.

As a building owner, consider water-efficient upgrades to reduce utility bills. Low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucet aerators reduce water bills and support the city’s sustainability efforts.

Beyond infrastructure upgrades, engage your tenants by providing guides on leak detection and prompt reporting. The apartment community depends on a collaborative approach to catch issues early, save money, and conserve valuable water resources.

Choosing Annual Service Contracts To Guard Against High Water Bills With No Visible Leaks

Routine Maintenance and Inspections With Sanitary Plumbing

A high water bill with no visible leak can be frustrating. Sanitary Plumbing can help. With our annual service contract, we can locate your hidden leak and reduce the risk of future damage. By signing the agreement, you no longer have to worry about scheduling routine maintenance and inspections because we’ll remember for you. Contact our team at 212-734-5000 to discuss our annual service agreements and schedule an inspection.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.