5 Reasons Your Toilet Keeps Running (+ Tips to Fix It)

One of the most common plumbing issues people experience is a running toilet. It’s a fairly easy issue to identify. You flush, and the water just keeps coming into the bowl. You’ll also hear the toilet running longer than usual afterward. This is the first sign of a potential problem.

Pasadena, Maryland plumber holds plunger inside of running toilet

While it may not seem like such a big deal, a running toilet can cause your water bill to skyrocket. According to a USGS study, a running toilet can waste 22 gallons of water per day, which is 660 gallons per month. Not only will you save money, but you’ll have more eco-friendly plumbing.

Fortunately, there are simple causes and solutions to a constantly running toilet. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common reasons your toilet keeps running and some solutions for how to fix it.

Why Is My Toilet Always Running?

There are five common reasons why your toilet is always running.

  • The flapper chain needs adjusting
  • The flapper needs to be replaced
  • The flush handle is stuck
  • The float valve is too high
  • The refill tube needs adjusting

Sometimes, the cause of a running toilet isn’t always clear. So, it’s a good idea to check all of these components to help you identify the cause of the problem. It could be more than one problem!

1. You Need to Adjust the Flapper Chain

The chain you see in the tank of your toilet is attached to the flapper, which creates a seal between the tank and the toilet bowl. If the chain is too short or too long, it could cause the flapper to work improperly.

If the chain is too short, it doesn’t allow the flapper to create a tight seal to cut off the water from flowing into the toilet.

If the chain is too long, it could become tangled or even go under the flapper, preventing a tight seal. A long chain may also not hold the flapper open long enough for a full flush, leading to an overflow in the tank.

You can adjust the flapper chain by cutting off excess portions if it’s too long or replacing it with a longer one if it’s too short.

Broken, worn out Pasadena toilet flapper

2. The Flapper is Worn Out

While your toilet tank and bowl may last for years, even decades, the small components inside will need replacing every so often. One of those parts is the flapper. As discussed above, the flapper is a mechanism that creates a seal to stop water from flowing from the tank into the bowl.

You can tell if the flapper is worn out if there are cracks in it.

This is an easy problem to fix as you just have to find a replacement. The best way to do this is to shut off the water supply to the toilet, remove the current flapper, and take it to your local hardware store to find a replacement similar to the one you have.

3. You Have a Stuck Handle

If, when you flush the toilet, you find that the handle gets stuck, this could be the cause of your running toilet. You may not connect the two issues at first, but this simple problem could cost you money and water.

The solution is as simple as the problem. You likely just have to loosen the screw a bit to allow the handle to pop back up after a full flush. This will keep water from flowing into the bowl afterward.

4. The Float Valve is Too High

The role of the float valve is to ensure the water in the tank doesn’t become too high. The float will stop the water flow once the water reaches a certain level.

If the float valve is too high, it will cause the tank to overflow and have the water run into the overflow tube and into the toilet continuously.

To fix this issue, simply lower the height of the float valve, so the water doesn’t reach a level that causes it to reach the overflow tube. This will keep the water in the tank until the next time you flush the toilet.

5. Refill Tube Needs Adjusting

The refill tube connects the float valve and the overflow tube. Its role is to refill the toilet bowl after you flush. There are a couple of issues that may cause the refill tube to need to be readjusted for proper functioning.

If the refill tube is too long, it will keep pushing water into the overflow tube, which causes water to run into the bowl continuously. If this is the case, you just have to shorten it to be above the overflow tube.

Sometimes the problem is that the refill tube isn’t placed properly. To keep it in the right position, you can attach the tube to the side to prevent it from moving every time you flush.

Plumber in Pasadena, MD fixes client's running toilet

What If It’s More Than Just a Running Toilet?

Plumbing is a complex aspect of your Pasadena, MD, home. With so many pipes, flows, and pieces, it can be difficult to identify problems, much less fix them when needed.

If you have gone through this list and checked everything in your tank, but still can’t identify the cause of the problem, it may be a more significant issue that could require assistance from a professional plumbing service.

This is when you need Chesapeake Plumbing, Inc.!

Chesapeake Plumbing has served the Pasadena, MD, area for over 30 years and has helped homeowners with all their plumbing needs, from emergency plumbing repairs to complete bathroom and kitchen renovations.

Our team of certified and professional plumbers will quickly and efficiently fix any plumbing issue using the most advanced and reliable techniques and tools.

Whether you have a constantly running toilet, leaking pipe, or an emergency flooding issue, you can count on Chesapeake Plumbing to be at your service. 

Contact us for a free consultation to get to the root of your plumbing problem today!

How to Winterize Your Hot Water Heater: Simple 5-Step Guide

A simple 5 step guide on how to winterize your hot water heater.

Preventing your water heater from freezing can protect your Pasadena, MD home from expensive damage. Follow these 5 simple steps before leaving home for an extended period.

Your water heater is one of the most essential appliances in your house, especially during the cooler months. Nobody enjoys waking up and being forced to take a cold shower because your home’s water heater isn’t working.

Fortunately, you can influence your water heater’s health and longevity when you take the necessary actions to take care of it. One of these actions includes winterizing your water heater when temperatures drop below freezing, which happens almost every winter in Pasadena.

If you’re a new homeowner or it’s your first time owning a property that experiences a cold winter, you’ll want to find out how to winterize your water heater to keep it running smoothly for years to come.

When Do You Need to Winterize Your Water Heater?

If your home or investment property will be sitting empty during the winter months when the temperatures drop below freezing, you should winterize your water heater.

This is important for those who go somewhere warmer during the winter months and let their house sit empty. It’s also important for landlords who have a vacancy during the winter and find it difficult to fill.

Why Should You Winterize Your Water Heater?

Most people never know they have to winterize their water heater because you stay in their homes during the winter. It’s only until you have a property that will be empty during the winter that you’ll become aware of needing to prevent your hot water from freezing.

But why is this good practice?

Following the steps on winterizing your home will prevent frozen pipes.

First of all, it helps to prevent your pipes from freezing during the coldest temperatures of the year. Frozen pipes aren’t just a hassle to take care of, but they can cause expensive damages to your home if a pipe breaks.

Secondly, winterizing your water heater is a way to keep up its maintenance, therefore making it last longer. Unexpected water heater repairs aren’t fun for anyone’s wallet, so taking preventative measures to keep it in tip-top shape can help you avoid this.

Steps to Winterize Your Water Heater

Now that you know when and why you should winterize your water heater in Pasadena, let’s dive into the steps to actually do it.

Step 1: Shut Off the Power Source

The first step to winterize your water heater is to shut off the power source. It’s important to identify which type of water heater you have and find the switch or valve necessary to cut the power.

For example, gas water heaters have a valve you’ll have to turn to shut it off. This valve must be perpendicular to the gas line, so you’ll usually have to turn it about halfway. 

For electric water heaters, there is usually a control panel with an on/off switch. Simply flip this switch to shut off the power.

Step 2: Close Incoming Water Valve

Once you’ve cut the power source to the water heater, it’s time to close the valve for the incoming water line. This will keep water from entering the water heater while it isn’t in use and freezing in the cold Maryland winter.

Remember, the water valve may be located outside or somewhere in your basement. There will most likely be a wheel-shaped gear on the valve that you’ll twist to close it.

Step 3: Drain the Tank

The goal of winterizing your water heater is to ensure water doesn’t freeze inside of it or the pipes connected to it. Therefore, you must drain any water that may be inside the heater already.

To do this, you’ll have to locate the drain on the bottom of the water heater. Usually, there is a notch where you can attach a water hose to drain the water into your yard. If you don’t have a garden hose, simply place a large bucket under the drain to catch the water.

Once you’re set up, turn the handle and let the water drain. This can take up to half an hour to drain fully.

Opening all faucets is a critical step in winterizing your home.

Step 4: Open Faucets

While the water is draining from the water heater, go throughout the house and open all of the faucets. There should only be a small amount of water that comes out.

This step is to ensure there is no water left sitting in the pipes for months that could potentially freeze and cause issues.

Step 5: Insulate the Tank and Pipes

If you know you’re going to be away from home for most of the winter, you may want to insulate the tank and pipes to prevent them from freezing.

You can purchase a water heater blanket to put over the tank from your local hardware store. Use blankets and duct tape to wrap around the pipes and keep them insulated.

De-Winterizing Your Water Heater 

When the flowers and plants start to bloom and the freezing temperatures are long gone, it’s time to de-winterize your water heater and get it back up and running.

It’s a fairly simple process. You’ll turn on the water heater’s power source and turn on the incoming water valve. It could take some time to get warm water running throughout the house, especially if there is some frozen water in the tank.

Keep Your Water Heater in Tip-Top Shape with Chesapeake Plumbing Inc.

Taking care of the plumbing system in your home is no easy task, especially when you try to do it on your own. That’s why you need the professionals at Chesapeake Plumbing Inc to help you take care of your Pasadena home.

From installing and renovating bathrooms to replacing gas lines for fireplaces to winterizing your water heater, we can take care of every plumbing need you have. As the #1 Pasadena plumbing company, our team of trained experts works quickly and effectively to make repairs and provide a place where you’ll always feel comfortable.

Contact us to see how we can help you with all of your plumbing needs today!

6 Green Plumbing Ideas That Can Save You Money (+ Save the Planet)

Pasadena plumber holding a lightbulb with energy saving icons swirling around it

Being more conscious of our effect on the environment is becoming more important and prevalent in almost every aspect of our lives. From reducing our single-plastic use to using renewable energy sources, it seems everyone is taking steps to be more environmentally friendly.

Your plumbing isn’t excluded from this movement. There are plenty of ways you can create an eco-friendlier plumbing system and habits in your Pasadena home.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with six different ways to save money and help the environment simply through changes you can make with your plumbing.

Why Switch to Green Plumbing?

You probably hear phrases like “go green” and “reduce carbon footprint” a lot nowadays. But, what do they mean exactly?

To put it simply, it’s taking extra steps to leave less of an impact on the environment when we do everyday tasks—for example, using energy-efficient appliances in the household to do laundry or take a shower.

When you switch to green plumbing, not only will you be saving money on your water and energy bill each month, but you’ll be conserving fresh and clean water. It may feel like we have an endless supply of this water, but that just isn’t true.

Through water conservation, energy-efficient products, and eco-friendly materials, you can create a more sustainable plumbing system in your home.

How to Make Your Plumbing Eco-Friendly

When you decide to make your residential plumbing green, you’ll want to focus on three areas: bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. If you have a yard, you could create an irrigation system to collect rainwater for your plants, but we’re focusing on the things you can do indoors for now.

Whether you’re building a new home, remodeling a bathroom, or simply want to start making small changes, you’ll find that it’s easier than ever to install eco-friendly plumbing.

1. Choose Low-Flow Appliances

Every time you use your toilet, sink, or shower, you’re using a continuous flow of water. While many of us long a long, hot shower at the end of a hard day, you may not be aware of just how much water you’re using during those 15 minutes.

One way to be more conscious and conservative with your water use is to upgrade to low-flow appliances. The EPA estimates that you can save 13,000 gallons of water per year simply by installing a low-flow toilet. That’s an annual monetary savings of $140.

2. Tankless Water Heater

You likely have a large water heater sitting in your basement, right? While this appliance is incredibly convenient, it can also be wasteful when it comes to water and energy.

Instead of using a water heater with a tank, choose a tankless water heater. These will heat your water on-demand, which means only the water you’re using will be warm.

 Just imagine the money you’ll save when you aren’t constantly heating water you may nor may not use.

3. Opt for a Heat Pump

Since we’re on the topic of water heaters, if you don’t want to use an on-demand, you can opt for a heat pump. This type of heater uses electricity to heat the water and can save two to three times on your energy costs.

The heat pump works best if kept in a warmer environment, such as a furnace room. While the installation and setup may seem expensive and intimidating, just think of how much you’ll save each year and your positive impact on the environment.

energy efficient refrigerator/freezer, washer, portable heater are recommended by plumbing companies in pasadena md

4. Upgrade Appliances

As we discussed earlier, older appliances tend to use excessive amounts of water. Even if you don’t want to switch to low-flow appliances, there are still other options for you.

If your washer, dishwasher, or water heater are more than ten years old, it’s time to upgrade them. With so many new advancements and environmental research in the last few years, newer appliances are considerably more eco-friendly.

With a quick replacement of everyday appliances, you can save plenty of water, energy, and money on your monthly utility bills.

5. Heat Water with Solar Power

Who knew there were so many different green ways to heat the water in your Pasadena home? If you don’t prefer a tankless heater or heat pump, there is another option for you. Now you can heat your water with solar power.

Not only will solar panels on your house save energy costs heating your water, but you’ll save on almost every aspect of your home that uses electricity. This renewable energy source is one of the best methods of going green in your household.

6. Look for Leaks

There are numerous reasons your plumbing could have a leak. When you have a leak, you’re wasting water and money each month. One of the most dangerous parts of having a leak is when you aren’t aware of it. This can lead to damage to your home and increased utility bills.

So, the best way to avoid this from happening is to search for and identify leaks routinely. Understand your pipes and where they’re located, keep your eye out for water stains on walls or ceilings, and check for running toilets throughout the house.

If you do find a leak, patch it up as quickly as possible. Better yet, get a professional plumber to take a look and find a solution that will take care of the problem once and for all.

Go Green with Chesapeake Plumbing Inc.

Plumbing requires a professional and special touch; otherwise, it can get messy pretty quickly. That’s why you need Chesapeake Plumbing Inc. for all of your plumbing needs in Pasadena, Maryland.

As the area’s leading plumbing service, we are dedicated to helping our customers fix their plumbing problems and upgrade to more eco-friendly plumping practices.

Are you ready to reduce your carbon footprint on this planet with some simple changes to your plumbing?

Then contact us today to see how we can not only help make your Pasadena plumbing system greener but also put more green in your wallet!

Bathroom Remodel Plumbing in Pasadena, MD: Everything You Need to Know

complex plumbing while remodeling bathroom in Pasadena

If you’re thinking about remodeling your Pasadena bathroom, you must understand the complexity behind such a project. From faucets to pipes and lighting fixtures to shower types, there’s a lot that goes into a major bathroom remodel. Yet many people fail to think about the scope of their bathroom remodel before jumping in.

When you’re ready to hire a professional plumbing contractor in Pasadena and turn your bathroom into nothing short of a relaxing spa, check out this handy homeowner’s guide first. We’ve collected everything you need to know about bathroom remodel plumbing, whether you’re a homeowner, builder, or contractor.

How to Start a Bathroom Remodel Plumbing Project

1. Assess Your Needs and Budget

The first thing you want to do before you jump headfirst into a bathroom remodeling project is to assess your bathroom needs. In other words, you need to know what you want to change so that when you do your research and hire your plumbing contractor in Pasadena, you have a plan to follow.

Some of the things you might want to do include:

  • Change faucets
  • Add new cabinets
  • Replace or add an exhaust fan
  • Improve the bathtub or shower
  • Move the toilet to a new location
  • Change the lighting fixtures

In addition, you need to know how much money you’re willing to spend on the project. It doesn’t matter what you want in your bathroom remodel if you don’t have the money. Even if you use an affordable bathroom contractor, bathroom remodels can be expensive.

Not sure how much it will cost? Let’s crunch some numbers.

According to Fixr, the national average plumbing cost for a bathroom remodel is $5,302. That said, the cost of a remodel can range from $2,000-$10,000 with a minimum cost of $751 and a maximum cost of $15,914.

Of course, your situation will be unique. The size of your bathroom, your specific needs, and your budget will all play a role in how much your remodel will cost.

2. Get the Right Building Permits and Inspections

Whenever you perform a major project like bathroom remodel plumbing, you must follow all the code regulations. This means getting a building permit for the plumbing work, as well as an overall construction permit for general remodeling work in Pasadena.

You’ll also need to have the bathroom inspected by the city inspector. This will usually happen twice. The first is when the plumbing pipes have been installed and are still visible. The second is when the project is finished to make sure everything is in working order. 

Luckily, if you use the right Pasadena, MD plumbing contractor this will all be taken care of for you.

3. Determine If You Need to Relocate Plumbing Fixtures

If you need to relocate any plumbing fixtures, such as the toilet, you’re going to need to add extra time and money to your project. This is because when you relocate plumbing fixtures, you’ll likely need to refit the existing pipes. In addition to this, when you refit pipes, you’ll need to make sure the foundation of your home isn’t being altered. This could lead to costly repairs in the future that no one wants to deal with.

Lastly, depending on the fixtures you’re moving, you might need to move or change the vents. This may require your bathroom contractor to remove walls to properly position the vent in your newly renovated bathroom.

homeowner checking to see if you need to replace old pipes when remodeling bathroom in Pasadena

4. Check on Pipe Replacements

At the beginning of your project, it’s a good idea to check and see whether you need to replace any old pipes. Old water supply and drain pipes may be worn and need new materials. For example, pipes made from galvanized steel or cast iron tend to corrode over time and might need to be exchanged.

If you happen to have copper piping in your bathroom, you might need to replace those too. Over time, copper pipes develop pinhole leaks, making them a common plumbing problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

It is advisable that you test your copper piping for leaks before deciding to keep them. This is to prevent costly repairs in the future. One of the best things you can use as a piping replacement is PEX tubing. It’s flexible, easy to install, and much less expensive than copper piping.

5. Think About Overall Design

Of course, there are a lot of accessories that go into a bathroom remodel. However, there are also design considerations to make when you’re doing a bathroom plumbing remodel in your Pasadena home. For example, the pipes behind the sink and fixtures can either be exposed or hidden in your bathroom.

When it comes to deciding on the layout of your pipes, it’s also crucial you decide whether you’re going to replace the sink or not. Keep in mind, sinks have the potential to be very expensive. And if you want the plumbing to be hidden, your contractor may have to cut, remove, and replace drywall. This will also likely require new pipes, whether you need them or not.

Hiding the pipes will make your bathroom look cleaner and more modern. And if you use a reliable contractor, hiding them shouldn’t be a problem. That said, this will be an added cost to your project that isn’t a necessity.

6. Pick Out a Bathtub or Shower

Bathtubs tend to make bathrooms look luxurious and spa-like. Showers ooze a modern feel and can be very classy. No matter which option you choose, should changing the tub or shower be on your to-do list, you’re going to need to do some research.


If you want to add a bathtub to your bathroom, remember that you’ll have to front the money for the tub itself as well as the bath drain and vents. If you’re not sure about where to place the bathtub, consult your plumbing expert. They will be able to identify the perfect place for your tub and help you determine the costs related to installing it.


If you decide to go with a shower in your bathroom remodel, know that you have two options:

  1. Stand-Alone Shower. Stand-alone showers are a great option for any bathroom. However, if you want to have a curbless one, make sure to add a little more to the timeline and budget of your project. Because they need a sloped shower base, your bathroom’s flooring will need to be removed so the shower can be attached to it. If you don’t hire a good contractor to do this for you, you will end up with water all over your bathroom floor when someone takes a shower.
  2. Shower/Tub Combo. If you want to opt for a shower/tub combination, there are endless options. To start, you can choose between pedestal, rectangular, or oval tubs. You can even go the extra mile and add extra showerheads, a ceiling showerhead, heated flooring, or beautifully designed faucets and handles. You might even want to add a tile backsplash or specialty lighting to make your new shower/tub combo stand out.

7. Consider Updating Plumbing Fixtures

If your budget is on the smaller side, you can still get a great bathroom remodel by focusing on the little things. For instance, you can change out outdated faucets, showerheads, toilets, and lighting fixtures.

In addition, you can go the eco-friendly route and save on both your water usage and bill with fixtures such as:

  • Dual flushing toilet
  • LED lighting
  • Low flow showerheads and faucets

Final Thoughts

Are you in need of an experienced Pasadena, MD plumbing contractor? Then contact us today and see how we can help you with your bathroom plumbing remodel.

At Chesapeake Plumbing, Inc., we employ friendly, experienced, and licensed technicians that are ready to help you with all your residential and commercial plumbing needs.

Whether you’re just looking to spruce up an existing bathroom to make it look fresher and more modern, or want to do an entire bathroom plumbing makeover, we have what you need to get the job done on time and for the right price. We even offer free estimates on all plumbing projects so we can discuss your needs, budget, and overall design goals.

The Best (& Worst) Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Plumbing

some toilet paper options cause major plumbing problems

Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus, more of us have found ourselves in need of toilet paper than ever before. What was once a product that was taken for granted, toilet paper has become one of the most sought-after commodities. This is still true today, despite the supply leveling out in stores.

 If you’re worried about the next toilet paper shortage, or just want to make sure you’re prepared in case you “gotta go” and have no toilet paper to use, keep reading. Today we’ve listed the best (and worst) toilet paper alternatives for your Pasadena plumbing.

Worst Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Plumbing

There’s a lot of debate as to whether popular toilet paper alternatives sold in stores are safe for plumbing systems in Pasadena, MD. However, it’s not likely many of them are good for your plumbing. This is especially true when you use them for a long time.

Let’s take a look at common toilet paper alternatives people like to use, but shouldn’t if they want to keep the plumber away.

1. Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are a popular choice among those with sensitive skin. This is because they do not cause any irritation or leave behind any lint. After all, they are used on baby bottoms! Even the wipes that are labeled for adults are similar to the ones used on babies.

That said, the 2019 Defining Flushability for Sewer Use Final Report claims that even wipes that are labeled as “flushable” do not break apart in sewer systems. This is because these products are made of woven cotton or synthetic fibers. In other words, they are considered cloth, not paper, and do not break down in Pasadena plumbing systems like toilet paper.

Lastly, The Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products does not recommend anyone flush wipes for any reason.

2. Sanitary Pads

Sanitary pads or napkins are very soft and super absorbent, making them seem like the perfect toilet paper alternative. Not to mention, if you use a sanitary pad to take care of business, you likely won’t have to use very many of them.

But when it comes to using these, you should definitely think twice. Because they are so thick and absorbent, they just don’t break down. This can lead to clogs in the toilet and surrounding pipes and end up costing you a lot of money to fix.

3. Napkins and Tissue

Of all the toilet paper alternatives, napkins and tissue are probably the best options. Most napkins and tissues have the same thickness as toilet paper. In other words, they could possibly dissolve once flushed. However, you just never know. In fact, while toilet paper is meant to dissolve in water after being used, tissue is not. It is instead meant to withstand you blowing your nose into it without dissolving right away.

Another reason tissue is not recommended as a toilet paper alternative is that it often has menthol or other minty fragrances in it to help with congestion. This can irritate your skin and cause a lot of irritation. If you’re really in need of something, and all you have on hand is a tissue, try your best to make sure it’s a fragrance-free type.

4. Paper Towels

One step up in terms of roughness is the paper towel. Sure, the word “paper” is in the name, making many think it’s okay to use it as a flushable toilet paper alternative. But the truth is, paper towels just don’t dissolve in water that quickly because of their built-in scrubbing ability. This means flushing paper towels down the toilet could lead to a major clog in the pipes and cause a major toilet backup.

5. Coffee Filters

One unusual suggestion as a viable toilet paper alternative is coffee filters. They seem harmless enough. After all, they are relatively thin and soft. However, the entire reason you use coffee filters is to come into contact with wetness and not dissolve or break down. So, unless you are brewing coffee over your toilet bowl, forget the idea that coffee filters can be used as a toilet paper alternative that can be flushed without worry.

Best Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Pasadena Plumbing

Toilet paper is always going to be the best thing to use for your plumbing system. It tends to dissolve more quickly than any alternatives and does not cause problems in sewer systems.

While there are not many alternatives to using toilet paper, there are some tips and tricks you can use to test a possible alternative when you’re in a pinch:

  • Place four sheets of the toilet paper alternative in a plastic container with a lid
  • Fill the container a little over halfway with water
  • Shake the container for about 10 seconds and wait for the water to settle

If the toilet paper alternative begins to dissolve, it is safe to flush down your toilet.

Other toilet paper alternatives include:

1. Toilet Seat Covers

Another option to think about are toilet seat covers. Designed to be flushed down the toilet, these thin sheets of paper can serve as a toilet paper alternative in a pinch. That said, it’s important you make sure they are approved for use with septic and traditional tanks and that you don’t try to flush too many at once.

2. Bidet

Though not a flushable product, it’s good to know that a bidet is a handy plumbing fixture that can serve as the perfect alternative to toilet paper whether you’re short on supply or not.

Used primarily around the world for keeping clean after using the restroom, the bidet is still not super popular in the United States yet – though it should be. They spray a targeted stream of water in the exact right spot every time for a fresh and clean feeling. And the best part is, you never have to worry about handling any plumbing issues when you use one.

Final Thoughts

Are you in need of an emergency toilet fix in your Pasadena home? Then contact us today and see how we can help unclog your plumbing after using a toilet paper alternative that isn’t recommended.

At Chesapeake Plumbing, Inc., we have a team of licensed plumbers that care about our customers and are on hand to help you with all your plumbing needs. In fact, we offer free estimates for every plumbing project, from emergencies to bathroom renovations and everything in between.

So, if you’re looking for the most qualified and experienced plumber in Pasadena, MD, look no further and rest easy that whatever you need handled will be taken care of in a timely, affordable, and friendly way.

9 Most Common Plumbing Problems (And How to Fix Them)

how to fix common plumbing problems in Pasadena rental units

The average family wastes 180 gallons of water per week — or 9,400 gallons per year — thanks to household leaks. This is not only bad for your bank account, but for the environment as well. Not to mention, leaky faucets, clogged drains, and not getting hot water during your shower is a pain.

The problem is that most plumbing problems in your Pasadena home will go unnoticed for a long time. Then suddenly, when the problem becomes big, you’re hit with a major repair and a major bill.

Luckily, many household plumbing issues can be detected and resolved early. If you want to avoid water damage, huge contractor invoices, and a lot of wasted time, keep reading. We’ve rounded up the top plumbing problems you’re likely to run into and tips on how to fix them.

Top Plumbing Problems in Pasadena, MD

1. Leaky Faucets

The drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet is annoying enough for anyone to go crazy after a short while. Plus, if you let it go long enough, you’ll end up wasting thousands of gallons of water and have to endure an increasingly high water bill.

Luckily, you can usually attribute a leaky faucet to one of these things:

  • Worn Out O-Ring: the small rubber ring that goes into the stem screw of your faucet and holds the handle in place is an o-ring. This piece of rubber gets worn over time as you push and pull the handle of the faucet. This causes a leak at the base of the handle.
  • Aerator: the mesh filter at the end of your faucet’s spigot is the aerator. As minerals deposit and clog the aerator you begin to lose water pressure.
  • Bad Valve Seat and/or Washer: between the faucet and the spout is a valve seat and washer holding into its place. These connections wear out over time or become loose letting water leak through. Another common problem is an ill-fitting washer that’s not the right size.

You can easily fix all three of these leaky faucet culprits by replacing the worn-out parts on your own before the leak becomes bigger.

2. Leaky Pipes

Much like leaky faucets, leaky pipes waste a lot of water. But more than that, if they go undetected, they can cause a lot of water damage depending on where they’re at.

Most leaky pipe problems come from pipes that are made from copper. Over time, the copper pipes expand and contract when the temperatures change from hot to cold and vice versa. If they are not prepared properly for the upcoming season changes, you could end up with corroded pipes that begin to leak.

In addition, excessive water pressure, clogging, and cracked seals can create problems in even the sturdiest of pipes.

The best way to solve these problems is through prevention. For example, wrap your exterior pipes during the winter, allow the cold water to drip from the faucet that receives water from exposed pipes, and keep your thermostat at the same temperature both day and night.

3. Worn Out Hose Bibb

Your hose is not meant to last forever, especially if you live in an area that has extreme weather conditions. Over time, the hose bibb will wear out and begin to crack. This leaves your hose silently dripping tons of water all over the place. And the worst part is, you may not even notice it because the last thing you’re doing mid-winter is washing your car, watering your plants, or even checking your hose.

The best way to prevent having to change the hose bibb constantly is to invest in a heavy-duty weather-resistant brand that will withstand the changing temps.

4. Toilet Leaks

A lot of time when your toilet is leaking, it’s doing it on the inside, and you don’t see the water all over the floor. That’s why you must make sure your toilet isn’t constantly running.

The most common reason your toilet is leaking is that the rubber flapper is losing its shape and is not sitting flush on the bottom. But don’t worry, this is an easy fix and can be done yourself. Not sure you have a leak? Drop some food coloring into the tank and see if there’s any water leaking into the bowl.

5. Clogged Drains and Toilets

Whether it’s the sink or the tub, there’s nothing worse than watching water backing up as you try to empty either. Worse yet, watching the toilet overflow onto your floor is something all people have experienced at one point or another, and dread ever see it happening again.

Small items can easily find their way into drains and down the toilet. In the shower or tub, hair is often the problem causing a drain to move slower than normal or not at all. When solid items get into the drains, water can’t flow through and down the pipes.

Here are the best ways to help unclog a drain:

  • Use a plunger (in the sink or the toilet) to push the item through
  • Add some chemical drain cleaners to dislodge or even dissolve blockages

If neither of these works, it’s time to call a reliable plumber in Pasadena to come help. It’s also a good idea to call a professional when the same drain continues to be a problem, or when you find yourself using a lot of chemical drain cleaners. Drain cleaners can damage pipes over time leaving you with more plumbing issues.

6. Jammed Garbage Disposal

Most homes have a garbage disposal under the kitchen sink between the sink’s drain and trap. However, they are often misused and get jammed. For example, not running water while using it, dropping silverware inside, or even cramming large amounts of food down the drain can cause the disposal to jam and even clog.

To fix this problem yourself, start by clicking the small reset button on the bottom of the unit. If that doesn’t work, try to free the motor that’s jammed by using the key that came with it or a ¼-inch Allen wrench.

7. Low Water Pressure

Having low water pressure while you’re showering or trying to wash dishes is one of the most common plumbing problems.

Although sometimes a new shower head or faucet can fix the issue right away, that’s not always the case. Instead, the problem is likely at the valve or in the pipes. In fact, many times low water pressure is a result of pipes that are broken, worn out, or corroded. This is often seen in older homes.

If the pressure problem is in the shower, it might also be because of a buildup of sediment or minerals on the aerator. Soaking the aerator or showerhead itself in vinegar will remove the debris.

8. Water Heater Issues

When you have a water heater plumbing problem, it’s usually easy to diagnose. Perhaps not easy to fix, but easy to diagnose.

If your water heater is on the fritz, you might see things like:

  • Dripping water
  • Puddles of water
  • Discolored water
  • Noises coming from the water heater

Mineral deposits, leaks, and sediment buildup are all reasons your water heater may stop working. You can troubleshoot by checking the pilot light or temperature settings. You can also flush the water heater to get rid of any buildup that may be causing the plumbing problem. If you see a leak on the floor, that’s a sign to call a professional Pasadena plumber to come and replace the tank entirely.

9. A Break in the Water Line

If your water line breaks you could end up with a lot of foundational problems that could ruin you financially. All it takes is one pinhole-sized crack for an entire pipe to split.

These are some of the things that can cause a water line to break:

  • Extreme weather conditions that shift the soil and break the lines
  • Wear and tear – materials like PVC, Pex, copper, steel, and even iron expire and need routine replacement
  • Rodents such as mice and squirrels seeking water in the ground can eat into the lines

For guidance on how to repair a water line, check out this detailed tutorial. If you don’t feel comfortable with this DIY method, contact your local Pasadena plumber and see how they can inspect and repair your water lines.

Final Thoughts

Are you in need of an experienced Pasadena, MD plumber? Then contact us today and see how we can help you with preventative and emergency plumbing services.

At Chesapeake Plumbing, Inc., we have over 30 years of full-service plumbing experience and are proud to say that we are the area’s leading plumbing company. From water and service line repairs, water leaks and plumbing to installations, repairs and new constructions, we’ve got all your plumbing needs covered. We even offer free estimates on all plumbing projects!

The Truth About Backflow Testing and Why It’s Absolutely Necessary

plumber in pasadena backflow testing

If you live or own a property in Pasadena, Maryland, then you might want to get your backflow tested if you haven’t already. If you value both your health and your property, backflow testing is absolutely necessary.

We are fortunate to have access to drinking water right from the faucets in our homes. However, with this convenience comes the responsibility to make sure the water coming from those faucets is clean and contaminate-free.

The best way to do this is by getting a backflow test done. By the end of this article, you will be much more knowledgeable about backflow testing in Pasadena, Maryland, and how you can schedule your test today.

What Is Backflow Testing?

Let’s start with the basics and cover what exactly backflow testing is.

A backflow test examines your plumbing system to make sure that water is flowing in only one direction and the water coming from your faucets is clean.

When there are backflow issues, clean water mixes with dirty water and becomes contaminated. This contaminated water then comes out of the faucets in your home and into your drinking glasses.

What Causes Backflow?

Two things cause backflow in your plumbing system: back-siphonage and backpressure.

Back Siphonage

Back siphonage happens when there is a drop in the water pressure, which causes the water to change direction. So, the dirty water is sucked backward and mixed with the clean drinking water, contaminating it with harmful bacteria and chemicals.

The most common instance of back siphonage in a residential home is from a garden house. When there’s a drop in pressure, it could cause a vacuum effect and suck the dirty water from the hose back to the water supply.


The second cause of backflow is backpressure. This is caused by an increase in the water pressure. The pressure from the water supply is higher than the pressure of the water source. Therefore, the dirty water is sent back to the water source.

For example, a clogged pipe can cause backpressure backflow. Since the water cannot move past the blockage, it is forced back to the source from where it came.

Is Backflow Testing Necessary?

Yes, backflow testing is absolutely necessary!

According to the CDC, 7.2 million Americans are diagnosed with a disease spread by water every year. This can be prevented if more people had backflow testing done. When a water supply is contaminated, diseases such as E.coli, Shigella, Giardia, and more could be present.

Along with dangerous diseases, you could also experience heavy metal contamination in your water if backflow is present. Many commercial spaces such as restaurants are at risk for metal contamination.

One reason for this is carbonated liquids deteriorating copper pipes and having copper contaminate the water. This is typically caused by soda fountain machines.

Another reason to get backflow testing in Pasadena, Maryland is to check for chemical contamination. Fertilizers, pesticides, and more can be present in your drinking water, especially if you live near farms, orchards, vineyards, or gardeners.

Having your backflow tested isn’t only essential for your plumbing system but for your health as well. This is the only way to ensure you’re drinking the clean water you want and deserve.

How Often Is Backflow Testing Required?

You should have your backflow tested at least once a year. While many people have a backflow preventer, they may be under the impression that they don’t need to have it checked this often. As plumbing experts, we’re here to tell you that you absolutely should!

Every five years, the system should be rebuilt and a new preventer installed to ensure you and your family are drinking clean water in your home.

Who Can Perform a Backflow Test?

In Pasadena, Maryland, you must have a certified plumber conduct a backflow test on your property. These plumbers go through training and are licensed to carry out this type of test. We do not recommend that you do a backflow test yourself.

If there is something wrong with your system, they have the resources and knowledge to fix it as quickly and effectively as possible.

How Is Backflow Testing Done?

The backflow test checks for two things. The first is if the water is contaminated. The second is the cause of the contamination.

To do this, a certified plumber will turn off the water in your home before conducting the test. They will use a backflow testing device and close the valves or gates to gauge the water movement.

As a homeowner, you don’t have to worry about doing anything. Simply let everyone in the house know that the water will be off for a little while and wait until the plumber gives you their analysis.

How Long Does Backflow Testing Take?

Surprisingly, the length of the actual test is only about 20 to 30 minutes long. It does take the plumber some more time to actually set up the test and get it ready, though.

If there are problems found with the water, then the plumber will have to spend more time identifying the problem and fixing it.

In just a few minutes, you’ll know whether or not the water your drinking water is safe or whether it’s harmful to your health. Isn’t that incredible?

Schedule Your Backflow Test in Pasadena, Maryland

Have you had your annual backflow test done yet?

Chesapeake Plumbing Inc. is the area’s leading plumbing service, and we are ready to test your system for backflow. With a team of licensed plumbers, we care about our customers, from homeowners to contractors, we’re here to help you with all your plumbing needs.

We even offer free estimates for any plumbing project you’re thinking of doing!

Contact us today to schedule your backflow test and make sure the water that you and your loved ones are drinking is clean. The peace of mind you’ll have is priceless!

How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency

An overflowing toilet, a burst pipe or a malfunctioning faucet is a plumbing emergency that requires your immediate attention.

What do you do?

First of all, don’t panic and follow these steps recommended by the specialists from Chesapeake Plumbing.

Shut off the water. If you can, shut off the water supply to the pipe that’s causing an issue, but if you don’t know your way around your plumbing system, just turn the main water shutoff valve. It’s typically located in the basement or outside your house. It’s a good idea to get familiar with the plumbing before the emergency occurs. Label the pipes and valves so that they can be easily identified.

Contain the damage. Once there’s no more water contributing to the flood, attempt to contain the disaster area. Prevent the water pooling on the floor from spreading any further by piling towels, blankets, scooping it out or directing to the drains.

Take preventive measures. If a plumber finds that an old pipe burst due to age, rust and corrosion, it can be a sign of future trouble. It might not be long until other pipes fail in a similar way. Talk to the plumber to find out how serious the problem is and what can be done to prevent it from reoccurring.

Different Types of Water Heaters – Maryland Water Heater Services

faucetMany of us are used to having hot water at our disposal and don’t really consider it a luxury. We don’t have to rely on anyone for the hot water supply: we conjure it ourselves with the help of water heaters! And with heating technologies constantly evolving, we now have quite a selection of water heating methods to choose from.

At Chesapeake Plumbing, we know from extensive experience that the most common variety of water heaters is the storage tank water heater. It heats cold water and stores it in a big tank to have it ready whenever you turn on the faucet. It is extremely popular and has many benefits:

–          This technology has been around for years and has proven effective in keeping up with household’s hot water demand.

–          Tank water heaters are much cheaper than their tankless counterparts. This includes low replacement and installation costs.

–          When your water heater’s capacity matches your household size and hot water needs, you shouldn’t experience any problems with hot water supply.

If you have a smaller family and/or travel frequently, consider that:

–          The general concept of applying energy to heat the water when it’s not being used is not the most eco-friendly way. However, many modern tank water heaters now qualify for Energy Star certification, which makes them more energy efficient.

The second type of water heaters is a tankless water heater, also called “instant” or “on-demand” water heater. Just like its name suggests, it heats water only when you need it thus eliminating stand-by heat loss and associated high energy use. However, don’t be misled by the word “instant:” you will still have to wait till hot water travels through the piping into your faucet. Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient, however, as with all heaters, they do have their limitations. On average, tankless water heater runs 5 gallons of water per minute (5 GPM), while most homes have a demand of 6 to 12 GPM.  Therefore, some installations may require additional modifications.

Your choice of water heater will largely depend on your household size and water use habits. If you do a lot of laundry, prefer longer showers and nice water pressure, then storage tank water heater is the way to go. If you are concerned about environment and energy use, you can opt in for a tankless heater.

We have performed hundreds of Maryland water heater installations, and will be happy to help you choose the system that meets your needs and fits your budget.

Sewer Line Backups


Spring/Summer Tip
Sewer line backups are common this time of year due to summer rainwater entering sewer pipes via cracks. New tree root growth from the spring can also cause sewer backup issues as roots are drawn toward the sewer line as a source of nutrition. Have Chesapeake Plumbing Inc. inspect your sewer lines to let you know if you are susceptible to a sewer line backup problem or if damage has already occurred. Give us a call today 410-437-3888

How to Lower Your Water Bills and Reduce Water Use in Your Home

dripping faucet

We are so used to readily available water at consistent pressure and desired temperature – only travelling abroad makes us realize that water is a scarce resource in many parts of the world. If you are like most Americans, your household probably uses more water than you need.

Fortunately, at Chesapeake Plumbing Inc., we know a few steps you can take to avoid wasting water. And if helping the environment is not motivating enough, think about how much you could save on water bills.

Reduce the water flow in your faucets

It’s likely your faucets operate at a higher rate of flow than necessary. To reduce the flow, install an aerator on the end of your faucet (it might have come with the faucet, so check first). This small and inexpensive addition can help you preserve as much as 1,500 gallons of water a month without affecting the water pressure. A low-flow, water-saving showerhead will do the same for your shower.

Update your toilet

If you are at the point when it’s time to remodel your bathroom, we suggest replacing your current toilet with a low-flow option. In a household that doesn’t conserve water a toilet can use as much as 20 gallons of water per person per day. Different low-flow models have different technology to use water more efficiently, such as the Dual Flush technology.

If you are not ready to replace your toilet just yet, there are still a few things you can do to make it perform better:

–    Flapper tends to deteriorate over time, so replace it regularly

–    Install an adjustable flapper to control the flush volume

Check your plumbing for leaks

A single dripping faucet can waste as much as 20 gallons of water per day. If you have leaky pipes that drip so much that you have to empty the containers several times a day – we could be talking hundreds of gallons!

If you discover a leak, call us as soon as possible. The sooner it’s fixed, the sooner you can start saving and potentially prevent a mold situation that can be very costly.

Spring Cleaning? Don’t Forget About the Sink.

sink drain

Think twice before using heavy-duty drain cleaners. Every certified and licenses Maryland plumber will tell you that while these chemically-loaded cleaners will help dissolve the clog, they might also corrode your pipes, significantly reducing their lifespan. Consult with your plumber, as he or she might find a less invasive and more eco-friendly drain cleaning solution.

Bonus tip: know your drain’s enemies! Different sinks in your house are subject to different conditions:

  • Kitchen sink drains often get clogged due to food remains and grease accumulation. To keep the drain healthy, use a fine-mesh strainer to keep even the smallest particles out and never empty cooking grease into the sink. Instead, pour it into a container and throw away with other trash.
  • Bathroom sink and shower drains can get clogged with hair and bathing products, especially oil-based ones. Remove the drain stoppers and clean them on a weekly basis to reduce the chance of clogging.
  • A utility sink is often used to help with very dirty projects, such as cleaning a paint brush, washing off boots after a long hike, etc. Be careful with large debris that can end up in the drain – always use a strainer.

Does it seem like a lot to do? We know your spring cleaning list of chores is already long, but keeping sink drains clean and clog-free is very important. If you need a hand, our Annapolis plumbers will be happy to take care of plumbing inspection and cleaning for you. Just give us a call at 410.437.3888.

Frozen Pipes

If your pipes freeze, open the cold water faucet nearest to the frozen pipe to relieve pressure.

Frozen pipe
Not Good

How to be a Better Homeowner

pipe leak

Know your house

This might seem silly, but not everyone knows their own house well enough, especially if they take minimal part in the house maintenance. Ask yourself this question:

–      Do you know where your main water shut-off valve is?

Solve the problem with backup power

When every other thunderstorm leaves you without power for 10 hours, it significantly disrupts your lifestyle. You know what we mean if you live in an older house. The good news is you don’t have to wait in the darkness until the power comes back on. Take matters in your own hands and install a backup power generator. Choose a portable unit or a stand-by one that will automatically kick in once it detects the power outage.

Remember, once the power is out your sump pump also stops working. If this is a concern, choose a stand-by power generator or install a backup sump pump.  Depending on where you live, you can opt either for a battery-powered option or the one that runs off of water pressure.

Be prepared

Unfortunately, none of us is safe from plumbing misfortunes, but it always helps to be prepared. Have a plumber’s number (here’s ours: 410-437-3888) in your phone or pinned to your fridge or cork-board, so that every panic-stricken family member knows where to call in case you need an urgent drain cleaning.

Also, don’t skip on maintenance. Water heaters, sump pumps and even pipes are not meant to last forever. Such factors as your location, lifestyle, water chemistry and many others can positively or negatively affect the lifespan of your plumbing equipment. Don’t wait till it breaks: get things checked out and tuned up every once in a while – Chesapeake Plumbing will gladly help you with that!

An overflowing toilet, a burst pipe or a malfunctioning faucet is a plumbing emergency that requires your immediate attention. What do you do? First of all, don’t panic and follow these steps recommended by the specialists from Chesapeake Plumbing.

Shut off the water. If you can, shut off the water supply to the pipe that’s causing an issue, but if you don’t know your way around your plumbing system, just turn the main water shutoff valve. It’s typically located in the basement or outside your house. It’s a good idea to get familiar with the plumbing before the emergency occurs. Label the pipes and valves so that they can be easily identified.

Contain the damage. Once there’s no more water contributing to the flood, attempt to contain the disaster area. Prevent the water pooling on the floor from spreading any further by piling towels, blankets, scooping it out or directing to the drains.