We live in a six-unit apartment building, and all units are served by a
single water heater.
Last month we had a sudden increase -- about 25 percent -- in gas usage.
Emphasize, USAGE, not price -- which also increased.
The water heater is around 10 years old. Do such heaters lose efficiency
There is no other gas appliance on this meter.
Any guidance or suggestions welcome.
Incomming water gets colder, mine drops from 70 in Oct to 39 yesterday,
your basement is also colder. Gas tank loose efficiency every year,
scale acumulates and the burner may need cleaning. I found one foot of
scale on a 15 yr old unit we removed . Are hot water pipes insulated,
use foam pipe wrap with glued seams and get it serviced.
Certainly they become less efficient as scale builds up inside but not
suddenly. I would look for a leak somewhere in the hot water line. Perhaps
one of the apartments has a dripping faucet or a hot water line may have
broken if it runs under the concrete slab where it wouldn't be immediately
noticeable. Have all apartments turn all water off and then check the water
meter. If it is still turning, turn off the water to the water heater and
see if the meter still turns. I had a hot water line break under the
foundation once and in addition to a big jump in electricity usage (electric
water heater), I also had about a 30,000 gal. jump in water usage for that
month. Of course, there's always the possibility that one of the tenants
has started offering hot showers to the homeless. Or even, maybe your
utility company simply estimated last months bill instead of actually
reading the meter.
If the apartments also get gas for other appliances from a different meter
(or separate meters) I would check that one of your helpful neighbors hasn't
tapped the community hot water gas line into the one that serves their
Happened to me 20 years ago although I was able to get the guy charged with
theft, the gas company wouldn't take off the extra $120 in gas usage off of
Ummm maybe one or a few people in you building like longer hotter
showers in the winter?
Check the water useage. It that went up too then there is your answer.
Maybe someone is pissed at the landlord and figured they'd let the hot
water faucet run for a month?
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