It’s Saturday morning and I woke up at 6:50 a.m. for no good reason. I was just awake.
But as often happens, “for no good reason” really had a reason.
I came downstairs to get some juice and heard water running through pipes somewhere. I checked all the toilets, but none were running (I’d had some previous leaks fixed). I tried to track the sound but it seemed to be in several places in the walls. I checked outside to see if a hose bib was running and that’s when I saw sprinklers running at the back edge of my yard. It was hard to tell at first whether the sprinklers were in my yard or the neighbors, but it appeared they were (mostly) pointed toward my yard.
I knew there were sprinklers in my yard but I had never seen them on. This morning they were on but only at that back edge. Nothing anywhere else in the yard was running.
I went to the basement to check the water meter to confirm if they were my sprinklers and sure enough water was flowing through the pipes. I found the valve to shut off that section of pipes, then I found the control box for the sprinklers and switched them off.
So perhaps that was a contributing reason to my 22,000 gallon water bill.
Of course, yesterday a new bill arrived: the electric bill for the first full month’s service. It was over $700. I freaked out. Yet another problem to find and fix. I tried calling the electric company, but received the standard “we are experiencing a high volume of calls…” message and I had somewhere to be. I decided to set it aside and call Monday.
Well, this morning, with my sleuth hat on already, I decided to look at my bill. The first thing I checked was whether the meter was an actual or estimated reading. It was actual. So I went outside to check the reading to see how much electricity I had used since the bill was printed to see if it was an ongoing high-electricity usage issue.
The number was significantly lower than the “actual” read on my bill. They must have marked it down wrong.
I am so relieved. Relieved that I should be able to resolve this with a phone call on Monday and relieved that the $700 bill is simply an error and not an indicator of something drastically broken in need of repair.
Also, I’m feeling really good about my house-sleuthing skills.
Throughout October, I will be continuing this story of getting acquainted with my home and making it my own as part of the 31 days challenge. Catch up on any posts you may have missed here: 31 Days of Nest Building.