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rpg37
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2008
34225 posts

Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
My first home which turned into a rental four years ago has been a great investment for me. Same tenant for all the years, the house is nicer now than before he moved in, and the only thing I have had to do is fix a toilet. Best luck a landlord can have in a csh-flowing property.

Sent me a text today and it shows his water bill went from 48 straight months of $25-35 range to $376. Water shows consumption of 49k gallons ($153) and Sewage of $206. Should I be concerned any? There is no way this is correct unless I am greatly missing something. Worst case would be broken pipe, but that would only lead me to believe that the water would go up, not the sewage, also.

Anyone ever seen this before?


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
9241 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
Most places, sewerage is calculated as some increment of water useage. Where I live, sewer is calculated as double your water useage. There is no outflow sewer meter, LOL.

It is likely a running toilet valve. Check to make sure all toilet tanks are not leaking, then check for stuff like a broken irrigation pipe, soft spots in yard esp near meter, or if the neighbor has run a hose to your house for his home car washing business.
This post was edited on 8/11 at 6:29 pm


Displaced
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2011
25903 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
quote:

It is likely a running toilet valve
49k gallons?

Must be a big arse toilet.


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
9241 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
Or three running toilets, round the clock? LOL.


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OleWarSkuleAlum
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2013
6949 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
You’ve got a water leak somewhere baw or a faulty meter.


rpg37
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2008
34225 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
quote:

You’ve got a water leak somewhere baw or a faulty meter.


That is my fear, but why would sewage go up more than the water? They are both out of control...but I would think a leak would be water only...


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04
tigercross
Member since Feb 2008
2661 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
If this is in New Orleans is likely a mistake on the part of SWBNO. If it's somewhere else I have no clue.


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TigerintheNO
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jan 2004
31701 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
quote:

or a faulty meter.


or a faulty meter reader.
Last year in my brother's neighborhood they found out their meter reader was just plugging in numbers for the previous ten months. Everyone in the subdivision was underpaying $50-$75 month for just under a year.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10000 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
My water company would have called me if there was that big of a change. I’ve had a bill go from $55 to $110 one month and the water company called to let me know I likely have a running toilet.

I’d call your water company. They are able to better track the use generally. My company was able to tell me when the water was used. Like my parents had a pool leak so about once a week they refilled their pool, that showed up differently then my leaky toilet which was a slow constant leak.


rpg37
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2008
34225 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
I have been on the phone with my tenant for an hour and the number has has been unchanged the entire time. Quick math of 49,000 gallons of water in one month is 68 gallons/hour so a little over a gallon per minute...it isn't moving at all. The black triangle indicator stops when the water is turned off. When he puts the outside hose on the triangle spins and the water moves up...if there was a leak of over 60 gallons per hour, this number would keep going up and never stop. Even in a 30 minute phone call this would have been identified no?


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10000 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
Yes. Likely a misread. Have you done the math maybe someone put a decimal in the wrong place or something like that? Probably just an error.


rpg37
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2008
34225 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
But, the number scares me badly.

Two checkups ago: 394,050
Last checkup: 443,270 (49,220 used) checked on July 30
Currently: 483,973 (40,703 used) check last hour

That's 40,000 gallons of water in 11-12 days. That's over 150 gallons an hour. That is impossible. There would be flooding. And at that rate, it would be observable in the half hour on the phone.
This post was edited on 8/11 at 9:50 pm


Tex06
Georgia Tech Fan
Old Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2019
3 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
Any of the neighbors or your tenant have a new pool? If the indicator stops when the water is off like you say, it's not a leak. I've had a neighbor fill an above ground pool for the summer off of one of my rentals, it's a nightmare to deal with legally.

Other than that, the faulty meter or faulty meter reader as stated above would be my next guess. Ask the neighbors if the same thing has happened to them.


crazycubes
Member since Jan 2016
4682 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
quote:

I've had a neighbor fill an above ground pool for the summer off of one of my rentals, it's a nightmare to deal with legally.


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10
SlackMaster
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2009
1975 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
quote:

Worst case would be broken pipe, but that would only lead me to believe that the water would go up, not the sewage, also.


FYI: The sewerage fee is generally calculated using only the winter months and annualized. They do this to compensate for the fact that many people water lawns in summer months and therefore this should be part of the sewerage calculation.


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Red Solo Cup
Georgia Fan
The South
Member since Sep 2012
292 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
Do the readings on the meter and bill match?


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Dead Mike
LSU Fan
Cell Block 4
Member since Mar 2010
2919 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
quote:

My water company would have called me if there was that big of a change. I’ve had a bill go from $55 to $110 one month and the water company called to let me know I likely have a running toilet. I’d call your water company. They are able to better track the use generally. My company was able to tell me when the water was used. Like my parents had a pool leak so about once a week they refilled their pool, that showed up differently then my leaky toilet which was a slow constant leak.


Had a similar issue, the water bill had a message about a possible leak. The local water company wasn’t very insightful by my recollection. I don’t know how we were so oblivious but we eventually realized that one of the toilets was slowly draining and refilling constantly, and that was causing the water usage to skyrocket.


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Dead Mike
LSU Fan
Cell Block 4
Member since Mar 2010
2919 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
quote:

But, the number scares me badly. Two checkups ago: 394,050 Last checkup: 443,270 (49,220 used) checked on July 30 Currently: 483,973 (40,703 used) check last hour That's 40,000 gallons of water in 11-12 days. That's over 150 gallons an hour. That is impossible. There would be flooding. And at that rate, it would be observable in the half hour on the phone.


That seems like a shite ton of water usage. My toilet leak issue caused a ~5x increase in water usage, how much has the usage increased compared to previous billing periods?


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10000 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
We use an absolute shite ton of water. People really have no idea. I had a plumbing issue so I filled up my 10 gallon igloo water jug before turning off the water to the house and expected it to last easily until lunch time. Hell it was gone in 15 minutes just from basic things like washing hands, drinking water, rinsing off a tooth brush, etc.

Eta: what I came to say OP, is put some die in the toilet bowl tank. There are multiple options, you can use food coloring, they make special tablets just to find leaks, or multiple other things. Then you can figure out if your toilet is leaking. Sometimes they are very hard to actually see, but 150 gallons an hour is more then a toilet leak.
This post was edited on 8/12 at 10:33 pm


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LSUFanHouston
LSU Fan
NOLA
Member since Jul 2009
16464 posts

re: Obvious mistake or possibility? - Landlording
quote:

That's 40,000 gallons of water in 11-12 days. That's over 150 gallons an hour. That is impossible. There would be flooding. And at that rate, it would be observable in the half hour on the phone.


How far away do you live? Is it possible your tenant screwed up when on the phone?

If you had a leak of that much water, it would be obvious, even if it's under the house/driveway. Thus, I would think it is a faulty meter, but I would think if the meter is broken, it would be consistent but getting consistently worse. It seems like it's getting consistently worse, but the phone call thing where it wasn't spinning at all is weird.

In any event, I'd call the water company and ask for the meter to be replaced.

In our area, sewerage rate is calculated as 90% of water rate. So if you have 40K gal of water, you have 36K gal of sewer.


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