4 Signs of a Clogged Drain

If you own a home, there is a good chance that you will have to deal with a clogged drain from time to time. A clogged drain is one of the most common household plumbing woes, and while there are things you can do to help prevent them, they’re almost impossible to completely avoid. Hair, food scraps, soap and other debris can build up in drains, preventing them from clearing like they should.

While a drain that is not clearing at all is a surefire sign that you have a clog, there are usually several warning signs leaning up to a total blockage. If you notice any of these signs of a clogged drain, contact a plumber right away.

Slowly Draining Sink or Shower

clogged drain
sink flickr photo by Dean Hochman shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

A slow drain is usually the first sign that trouble is brewing. This slowing down occurs as the result of debris beginning to build up somewhere in the pipe. If any of the drains in your home are clearing slower than usual, it’s a problem you shouldn’t ignore.

Unpleasant Odors

If there is a nasty smell coming from your kitchen sink drain, you could have rotten food trapped in the line. If rinsing with white vinegar and baking soda doesn’t do the trick, you may need to have the drain inspected for a clog.

Toilet Backups

Toilets usually back up as the result of too much toilet paper or inappropriate items being flushed. If your toilet backs up frequently, it could indicate that a clog is forming somewhere in the drain. If you have a clog that you cannot eliminate using a plunger, contact a plumber to avoid damaging your pipes.

Drains Gurgling

If your drains make a gurgling sound, it means that there is air trapped somewhere in the line. This could be caused by a buildup or damage to the sewer line. In any case, it’s a good idea to contact a plumber right away if your drains are making this unusual sound.

Drain Cleaning in Hagerstown

Whether you have a fully blocked drain or you are just beginning to notice signs of trouble, we are here to help. For drain cleaning in Hagerstown, contact the friendly plumbers at Larry & Sons today.

Quick & Easy Drain Cleaning Tips

While many people are spending this Black Friday getting a jump start on their holiday shopping, today is known as something completely different to plumbers – Brown Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for plumbers, and many of our technicians will be spending their days dealing with clogged drains. Clogs are extremely common today because of all the cooking and cleanup that many of us did yesterday. Clogs may also occur as the result of houseguests putting additional strain on your home’s plumbing system. If you are having problems with your clogs today, here are a few tips to help you get things flowing smoothly again.

Easy Ways to Unclog a Drain clogged drain

When you have a clogged drain, you may be tempted to reach for a bottle of chemical drain cleaner. Stop! These products are extremely dangerous. In addition to damaging your pipes, they can be deadly if accidentally ingested. Rather than having these toxic chemicals in your home, try this:

  1. Pour baking soda down your drain.
  2. Add white vinegar.
  3. Wait approximately.
  4. Flush with hot water.

This safe, all-natural drain cleaning method works for many clogs, and it deodorizes your drain in the process.

If that didn’t work, try using a plunger. When plunging a sink, shower or toilet, make sure the plunger you use fits completely over the drain opening and forms a good seal. If you are plunging something like a double sink, plug the other drain with a wet rag. Hold the plunger upright, and plunge 6 to 10 times using vigorous strokes.

When you are dealing with a clogged shower or bathtub drain, a buildup of hair is likely the problem. One way to remove this type of clog is by unbending a metal clothes hanger and inserting it in your drain.

Clogged Drain in Hagerstown

If you are dealing with a clogged drain in Hagerstown and none of the techniques listed above have helped, contact Larry & Sons for professional drain cleaning. We can safely eliminate any clog without damaging your home’s plumbing system. Call 301-733-5428.

The Benefits of a Video Pipe Inspection

One of the most difficult parts of maintaining your home’s plumbing is knowing when there is a problem. Even major plumbing disasters commonly start off quite subtly, and because the root of the problem is often hidden behind a wall, under the floor or deep below ground, it could go undetected until it becomes a much bigger problem.

At Larry & Sons, we offer video pipe inspection in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas. With video pipe inspection, we can physically examine your pipes and find minor problems before they turn into disasters.

What Is Video Pipe Inspection?Hagerstown Video Pipe Inspection

Video pipe inspection is a process in which plumbers inspect the inside of pipes using a long cord with a small camera at the end. The cord is inserted in the pipe, and the camera is propelled through your plumbing system using tiny wheels. The camera captures images and sends them back to the plumber.

With video pipe inspection, your plumber can detect plumbing problems without needing to tear up the line. Your plumber can detect several drain and sewer problems, including:

  • Blockages and clogs
  • Roots growing into sewer lines
  • Cracks
  • Leaky joints
  • Crushed pipes

Advantages of an Annual Video Pipe Inspection

You probably don’t think about your home’s pipes very often unless you’re having a problem. Taking steps to be proactive, however, could save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.

Scheduling an annual video pipe inspection is one of the best ways to ensure that your home’s plumbing system remains in good condition. Yearly inspections provide an opportunity for your plumber to detect and correct minor problems before they turn into costly plumbing emergencies.

Video Pipe Inspection in Hagerstown

When you need video pipe inspection in Hagerstown, trust the experts at Larry & Sons. Whether you have a problem with your home’s plumbing system or you’re trying to avoid future problems, give us a call at 301-733-5428 to schedule a video pipe inspection.

Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Happy this Holiday Season

While the holiday season means extra days off for many people, your Hagerstown plumbers are working overtime. In fact, Black Friday was one of the busiest days of the year for plumbers across the country because of clogged sinks and garbage disposals, and we expect to remain pretty busy throughout the holiday season. Days when family and friends gather under one roof – like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – we experience a huge increase in plumbing repair calls.

This holiday season, we’re sure the last thing you want is a visit from us. That’s why we decided to put together this helpful guide to keeping your garbage disposal happy this holiday season and avoiding breakdowns.

About Your Garbage DisposalHagerstown Garbage Disposal Repair

Let’s start with the basics. A lot of people simply don’t know how to properly use a garbage disposal simply because of the name. “Garbage” implies that anything you don’t want can be tossed in the disposal, but this simply isn’t true. Your garbage disposal is actually more sensitive than you probably think.

While some things, like silverware, obviously should never be thrown down the drain, other seemingly-harmless things are no-nos too.

Garbage Disposal Don’ts

Grease, Fat and Oil

Grease and liquid fats should never go down the drain. As it cools, it hardens in your drain, causing nasty blockages.

Stringy and Starchy Vegetables

Carrots, corn husks, celery, asparagus, lettuce and potato peels don’t belong in the garbage disposal. They can easily become wrapped around the blade, diminishing its effectiveness and clogging the drain.

Rice and Pasta

Pasta and rise absorb water, expanding over time. This can form a pasty substance and block the trap.

Egg Shells

Because of the thin membrane inside, egg shells shouldn’t be put in the garbage disposal. This membrane can wrap around the blade.

Fruit Pits

Fruit pits – such as those from peaches, apricots and avocados – don’t break down in the garbage disposal. Instead, they just cause damage to the blade.

Large Bones

Garbage disposals simply are not powerful enough to break down large bones. However, tiny fish or chicken bones are fine and can help clean the inner walls of the disposal.

Non-Food Objects

If it isn’t food, it has no business in your garbage disposal. Plants, flower stems, twist ties, sponges, cigarettes and all other non-food items should always go in the trash can – not your garbage disposal! They don’t break down like food items, and they can cause serious damage.

Garbage Disposal Dos

Cold Water

Run cold water while using your garbage disposal and for a few seconds after. This helps flush debris from the disposal and hardens fats and oils to prevent them from sticking to your pipes.

Professional Installation and Repair

For optimum performance and safety, you should always trust a professional when it comes to installing and repairing garbage disposals.


Never forget about safety when operating your garbage disposal. Never put your hand down the disposal unit, even when it’s turned off.

Garbage Disposal Repair in Hagerstown

Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid major problems with your garbage disposal this holiday season. If, however, you do find yourself in need of garbage disposal repair in Hagerstown or the surrounding areas, Larry & Sons can help. Call 301-733-5428.