High water bills aren't always the result of rising rates. If your bill jumps suddenly, you may be dealing with a water leak. If you suddenly have a higher water bill, one of these problems could be the culprit.

1. Water Line Leaks

A major increase in water usage over a few weeks is often a result of a leak in the water main feeding into your home. Often, this leak springs up underground first, so it can take time for other symptoms to become obvious. These other symptoms include wet or soggy areas in the yard and reduced water pressure in the home. If you suspect a water main line leak, shut off all water coming into the home and call a plumber immediately.

2. Toilet Issues

Leaking toilets aren't quite as obvious as leaks from other fixtures. You may not hear any leaks or even see the water, since toilet leaks often occur just beneath the flooring. Over time, mold and water stains may develop around the base of the toilet and the floor boards may become soft. It may also take the bowl longer to fill after flushing, or you may hear a hissing sound from the toilet when it isn't in use.

3. Dripping Faucets

A small faucet drip may not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to gallons of wasted water and higher bills. If you have multiple leaking faucets or shower heads, the problem is even worse. Leaks from faucets can come from the tip or from around the base, with base leaks often leading to even more water loss. The fix could be as simple as replacing the O-ring, or you may need to have a new fixture installed. A plumber can inspect the faucet and help you make the decision.

4. Delivery Line Leakage

The delivery lines are the small water lines that run throughout your house, transporting the water from the main to each individual fixture. A leak in a single line can lead to high water usage. Since these lines run through the walls, you may not notice a leak right away. Mold, wet wallboard, and hissing or dripping sounds in the wall are the most obvious signs. Call for a leak detection service if you suspect delivery line issues.

5. Irrigation Problems

Your yard's automatic irrigation system is a frequent culprit for water leaks. Much like a water main break, the initial symptoms are hidden underground. Other than a wet spot, you may notice that some of the sprinkler heads don't have sufficient pressure to operate properly. Shut down the system until it can be inspected and repaired if you suspect a leak.

Contact a plumbing service if your water bill unexpectedly increases. They can perform a leak inspection and catch the problem before it becomes too severe.