Its upsetting to even think a neighbor would steal from you

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by HeatherLynn, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I am frustrated and upset right now. I got our water bill today and its $200 more than usual. Thats a lot. Somehow an extra 20,000 gallons were used. Problem is we are not even living at the house currently. We are remondeling it for sale so we are staying with my parents. No obvious leaks or water running. Nothing that should lead to this. So we did a bit of testing. Checked the meter and in the last 6 days we have used 400 gallons of water. ( yes I know a lot but we were there scrubbing and washing everything down, cleaning out garage, watering new plants ect. So even with this extra water usage in 30 days we would have used 2000 gallons in a month. So where is this extra 20,000 gallons coming from?

    So when looking at it the little leak meter was not moving, there was no water being used so nothing was moving. We turned the water off and still no movement. We turned the water back on and turned a water hose on and it moved. Turned the water off and checked other water using stuff but nothing was causing large unexpected water usage. No signs of leaks like green grass or damp ground. I just don't know what to think. Anywho since we are not in the house atm and we know someone has come into the house without permission a couple times we went ahead and called the cops. Cop came. Its his opinion that someone might be stealing service. Something I gather has been going around. Which makes me think that electric bill that tripled might be something not right either. He said usually when they are checking these out its the neighbors so after we check with the utility come back to him if there is no reason for this sudden jump. He will file a report for us. I just stood there thinking HOLY CRAP!

    Well tuesday is the soonest I can get the water company to come check stuff out because of the holiday but I am a bit upset really. All my neighbors have been here at least the last 2 years. The 2 with pools I have knows for the past 15 or more years. I always thought we lived in a pretty decent neighborhood but not if the neighbors pull something like that. I mean 200 extra in water. We had 8 of us living there at one time, had 5 relatives come to stay almost 2 weeks and our water bill was still not this high.
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    I might have missed you talking about this but- have you called your utility company and told them of the discrepancy? They do make mistakes sometimes, and will sometimes credit you back. You should let them knowyou arent in the house, you may have to provide proof no one has been living in it. They should at least come out and figure out the problem, sounds like either a malfunction in the meter, or a human error.

    I hope no one has been stesaling, although if you had people in the house uninvited, it is theft and you should be able to work this out with the utility company. Its a very good thing that you have a police report as it backs up your claims with the utility company. I would also let them know officially that you arent inhabiting the house so they are aware of your situation.
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    If it is neighbors taking the water (unless it was to drain and refill a pool), they would have extra low water bills, which the utility can verify. As for draining and filling pools, do any of them appear to have new or cleaner surfaces? (I know, hard to tell without being up close) However, it is really bad to drain a pool in hot weather as that can crack the plaster and do $$$seriou$$$ damage to the pool, so chances are that it would not be dome in August if it could possibly be avoided.

    I would guess that either there was a billing mistake, the meter is faulty or you have leaks that you are not detecting. With a tripled electric bill, though, that does sound like your utilities are being stolen. Talk to the utility companies and see if there is a way to lock power and water off so that you can control it's access during your absence.
  4. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Yea the utility company will not come out unless there is an emergency so that has to wait till Tuesday. I did check the meter and our last bill against what is on this one and it looks right so far. I am going to check with them. I am not sure why the cop said it but he said they have had the issue in the area lately. We also have several houses vacant that have been damaged due to squatters and meth labs. He checked the house over and found nothing that would indicate anyone had been in there and we do keep it locked. For now the water is turned off so they would have to break in to get any water again. We are talking though 20,000 gallons of water. Thats a pool filling I would think. I don't know. In talking to the utility there is nothing that points to line break, they need to come now. The meter is not moving currently at all. Was not moving even when we had the water turned on. No appearances of water main break so no emergency in their minds.

    I guess I am just a bit weirded out about the possibility a neighbor I know would do this. I have lived in this neighborhood my entire life. Went so far as to buy my parents house so I could stay in the neighborhood. Its just an unsettling thought.
  5. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    Can you turn the breaker switch off for the water pump while you're gone? That way you wouldnt have to get your neighbors involved; would be pretty bad to start blaming people for something and find out they didnt do anything. Not a good way to have neighbors.

    Oops, just saw where you did turn the water off. Do you have any automatic lights that will turn on and off so it looks like someone is there?
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  6. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    These are neighbors in our back yard. For me this is an irritation and nothing more. I am calling the utility company just to double check the bill and to double check that there is no leak. Although I did everything the guy on the phone from the utility company said to do and he said this should not be happening. He and the police suggested the neighbor issue. Apparently its really been an issue as of late.

    I don't much care if the neighbor gets mad. If I think they did it I will say something to them right before the closing on this house. Then we will move to our new house in the country and not worry about it again.Its just upsetting. I am so careful not to waste money and this is 200 down the drain. just has me unsettled.
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Could just be a misplaced decimal point by the meter reader. What does the meter read in terms of you previous bill and this one?
  8. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    That's an awful lot of water. Isn't there an emergency shut-off valve for the water somewhere? You could shut off the water when you weren't there and see what happens.
  9. bgelber

    bgelber Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2009
    Athens, al
    something similar happened to my s-i-l. They noticed an increase in their water bill but didn't think much about it at first. While they were on vacation they had a neighbor watering their plants and the neighbor saw a worker from the house on the other side coming over getting water. The worker just looked at him and said hope you don't mind and proceeded to fill up his bucket. Needless to say when my s-i-l got home they filed a police report.
  10. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    When I heard 20,000 gallons, I instantly thought- someone drained and filled their pool. That is about the only thing that I would automatically think would take about that much water literally in just one month. That is about the size of a typical residential pool (here anyway). Ours is 15,000 gallons. Sorry your neighbors would do something like that. That is awful. I can't imagine ever feeling so entitled that I would fill my pool from my neighbor's house. Just awful.

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