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.

3 Shower Mistakes to Avoid

You aren’t necessarily a pro just because you’ve been showering regularly since you were a kid. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that you are making shower mistakes that could have negative impacts on both your body and your plumbing system. Check out these common shower mistakes and find out why you should start breaking these bad habits right away.

Common Shower Mistakes

shower mistakes
Shower flickr photo by puddy_uk shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Leaving Your Loofah Hanging in the Shower

Do you leave your loofah hanging up in your shower for months on end? If so, you could be scrubbing yourself down with bacteria. Your shower’s damp environment provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Instead of leaving your loofah in the shower, hang it to dry in an area that is free from moisture.

Letting Hair Go Down the Drain

When you shower, you lose a lot of hair. That hair falls to the shower floor, and if you aren’t careful, it ends up in your drains. While a few strands of hair may not seem like a big deal, they build up over time and form clogs that can be difficult to get rid of. Save yourself a lot of hassle by investing in a drain cover that’s designed to keep stray hair from shower drains.

Taking Super Long, Hot Showers

We know everyone loves a long, hot shower from time to time. It’s a great way to relax after a long day or to warm yourself up on a chilly winter morning. Unfortunately, taking showers that are too long and hot can cause itchy, dry skin. Long showers also result in a lot of wasted water. Cranking up the water temperature in a poorly ventilated bathroom ups your risk of mold as well. Take care of your skin, lower your water bill, and keep mold at bay by sticking to moderately warm, 5-10-minute showers.

If you need help with your home’s bathroom plumbing, contact Larry & Sons today. From drain cleaning to bathroom remodeling, we do it all!

How to Avoid Christmas Plumbing Catastrophes

With Christmas just a few short days away, the last thing any homeowner wants to deal with is a plumbing catastrophe. Whether you are hosting a houseful guests or just enjoying a quiet holiday at home with your immediate family, there are several things you can do to prevent plumbing problems this holiday season. Keep reading to discover how you can avoid Christmas plumbing nightmares.

Preventing Bathroom Plumbing Problems

Your bathroom will likely see increased use this holiday season, especially if you are hosting guests. Encourage those guests not to use your toilet as a trash can by placing a small bin in the bathroom. Remind young children that nothing should ever be flushed other than human waste and toilet paper.

Make sure there is a plunger in each bathroom. They made dealing with minor clogs a breeze and can help you avoid a visit from a plumber.

Install screens in shower and tub drains to catch hair and prevent it from entering your pipes.

Space out baths and showers to avoid running out of water. You may also want to consider turning the temperature up a few degrees to help avoid running out of hot water. Just remember not to

christmas plumbing
sink flickr photo by Dean Hochman shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

turn it up to scalding temperatures.

Avoiding Kitchen Catastrophes

Your kitchen is the other room that likely sees increased use during the holiday season. If you have a garbage disposal, remember to avoid putting in fibrous foods, bones, grease and non-food items. Flush with cold water after each use.

Never pour grease, oil or fat down your drains. Doing so is a good way to cause disgusting clogs that can really put a damper on your day.

Install a screen on your sink drain. This prevents non-food items from finding their way into your drains and causing clogs.

Christmas Plumbing Repair

If you need plumbing repair this holiday season, Larry & Sons is always here to help. We will have technicians on call throughout the season – including on Christmas Day – to handle plumbing emergencies. From the entire team at Larry & Sons to you, we would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

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.