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!

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.