Learning, Concepts of Electricity,

Can a Water Leak Cause a High Electric Bill?

The more water you use, the greater the pressure and elevation you need to pump it, and the more power/electricity will be required. Generally, pumps use a lot of energy to pump water.

Being an electrician who has seen this question many times, I’ll explain if water leaks can hike the electrical bill. Knowing this will help you to economize your bills by correcting leaks in your pumping system.

Overview: Does a water leak increase your electrical bill? Yes, and the heavier the leak, the higher the electrical bill. Common causes of water leakage include:

  • Drop pipe holes
  • Faulty special valves — throttling valves
  • Aging pumps

I will go into more detail below.

Culprits That May Cause Minor Jumps in a Power Bill

While pumps consume a substantial amount of electricity, they are only used briefly.

The components that make a pump run too much will drive up the electricity cost. Leaks and irrigation controls can also cause an exponential increase in the power bill. Higher electricity costs can result from overwatering, a zone with a broken valve that doesn’t close, or other errors.

Biggest Electrical Bill Culprits

The biggest offenders we’ve come across are water systems that have operated smoothly for many years. The first symptoms of old age are a hefty electricity bill that draws your attention.

Briefly, to fix the issue:

  • Switch off the pump’s power
  • Extract the pressure transducer/switch is gently
  • Clean the orifice delicately (don’t stab straight in as you will probably damage the device)
  • Replace the device

To prevent it from clogging up again, schedule a quick cleaning.

I will go over several major culprits in detail below.

1. Drop Pipe Holes

The galvanized steel pipe on which the pump was mounted will corrode over time and eventually develop an invisible leak in the well that seeps back into your well if the pump was installed there.

Due to this leak, the pump must run longer to increase the pressure in the tank. The pump may not be able to pump enough water through a large hole to reach full pressure before shutting off, therefore it will continue to run to build pressure. It will continue in vain for a full seven days.

There are very few signs of this issue, except that somewhat decreased pressure at your home and a high electricity bill. Some people will feel the little drop in pressure, while others won’t.

A reliable pump contractor in your area should be contacted for a checkup if you notice low or fluctuating pressures. Ask your installer to use one of the non-corroding drop pipe kinds when replacing the damaged pipe because several different types are available. They might advise changing the check valves, wiring, and pump.

Since you have to remove everything from the well, you may want to confirm that everything that goes back in is good quality and well-placed to provide you with another 5 to 10 years of trouble-free service(you don’t want to be doing this again next year!). Pumps that have been in place for long enough for the pipe to rust are a time for a replacement.

2. Defective Special Valves

When check valves malfunction, water might flow back into the well, lowering pressure. When the pump is turned back on, the system is again inflated to its original pressure.

After a few minutes, this cycle repeats, wasting energy and running the pump-to-pump water that just flows back into your well. When the system pressure is high, some wells contain an automated valve that limits the water flow. These valves are put in place to prevent the pump from running too frequently or quickly.

The pump can almost continually run up against these usually closed automatic valves when these valves malfunction since they don’t let the water through.

To prevent wasting power pumping against partly or mostly closed throttling valves install throttling valves I recommend my clients use the correct size pump or a changing frequency drive/constant pressure controller.

3. Faulty or Old Pump

A pump that is almost worn out is the third main factor. Some may simply fail to work and others may have degraded performance.

Time Factor

Pumps are mechanical machines with bearings, bushings, and seals that degrade with time, lowering their efficiency and performance.

Mineral Clogging

mineral clogging
Video | OtoReview

Minerals can occasionally clog the inlet ports for pumps as well as the pipelines leading from the pump to the surface. The impellers and diffusers might become worn out from sand or other water particles. Due to these reasons, the pump needs to work harder and produce less pressure/water to fill the pressure tank.

How Does a Worn-out Pump Hike the Power Bill?

In these circumstances, the pump just works nonstop, around the clock, every day of the week! Over 30 days, a small pump with 1 HP and 1.4 KW of power consumption will consume 1000KwH of energy. As a result of their excessive power usage, which was all in the highest rate tiers of their power rates.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

Video References

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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