High Water Meter Bill – What You Should Do


You may have received a surprisingly high water bill, or even a letter from your municipality advising you that you have a leak. At stage 3 water restrictions, we would expect our water bill to be much smaller than normal. If you find yourself in a similar situation and suspect you have a leak, here is what you should do.

First: Login to the West Vancouver or local municipality website and check your monthly consumption. This will allow you to compare with past bills and see how much above normal it really is. If you suspect you have a problem, this will be a good place to confirm it.

Have a usage problem? Here are the next steps:

  1. Locate your meter. Your meter is a flat brown box located at the property line. Sometimes it can be covered in shrubs or trees if it’s an older installation. If you can’t find it, make a phone call to the city as they have the exact location on file.
  2. Take the lid off the lid of the box and look if the meter is spinning or number moving. If it is spinning, that indicated that water is being actively used on your property.
  3. Next go into your house and find your main water shut-off valve. This will shut-off the water to your entire home. Check your meter again.
  4. Stopped spinning? That means you have uncontrolled water use inside your house.
  5. Still spinning? That means you have a loss of water outside of your house and you should continue to isolate systems such as sprinkler system, pool auto fill valve, etc. If at any point the meter stops spinning, you have found your source.
  6. Still spinning? If after turning off all the valves you are still showing water usage, this points to the main water line as the culprit.

When to call a plumber: While these steps can be DIY, at any point along steps 1-6 if you feel at all uncomfortable or unsure of the process, call in your favourite local plumber R&B for help. Once we know where to look, we can continue to isolate the exact location and affect a repair.

R&B does main water line replacements, water leak repair, drainage and hot water heating repairs. We also have cameras and remove equipment to help identify the exact source of leaks buried behind walls, underground and that may be draining away from the house.

The silver lining if you in West Vancouver, the Municipality has a process that allows you to claim back for a portion of your water bill from the past six months if your repair show a drop in consumption.

See our next blog on the usual culprits of high water use for a list of things you can look for before you call R&B.