Let’s say you opened up your most recent water bill to find a rather high number – you’re paying more than usual lately, and you aren’t sure why. If you are able to remember the usage of water over the month – showers, cooking, and cleaning – and feel you haven’t used any more water than in the past, you may wonder why you have to pay more. The higher bill could simply be a matter of plumbing problems that are easily fixed – you only need to track them down and take care or them before the next bill arrives.

Luckily, there are affordable options to help you overcome various plumbing problems that cost you money. While having the number of a professional plumber on hand is recommended for larger issues, there are some things you can do to head off minor problems before they grow. If you worry about leaks or clogs getting the best of you, here are a few steps to take make sure they don’t affect your wallet.

1) A quick dye test will let you know if there is a leak in your toilet. When you put a few drops of color in the tank and wait about half and hour, you should check the bowl. Color in the bowl will tell you that water is running into the bowl without being flushed. Therefore, you have a leak to deal with that is costing you. Check the flapper in the tank to see if it needs to be readjusted or replaced – it’s not a difficult task and shouldn’t cost you more than a quick trip to the hardware store for the right supplies.

2) Are you finding patches of water in places, particularly when you have nothing running? You definitely don’t want them around regardless, but this could be a sign that you are experiencing a leak deep in your pipes. You want to be vigilant where such things are concerned, because even a small patch can indicate that many gallons of water are being wasted.

3) Do you find that the hot water is taking too much time to heat up? You might have an issue with your water heater. Remember that water heaters are good for about ten years, so if you don’t remember the last time you had yours replaced, this may be the time to consider doing so. You may qualify for a tax rebate.

Stay vigilant of plumbing issues in your home, and you can handle them in a timely manner, without causing too much damage to your bank account.