3 Common Causes of Burst Water Pipes

September 17th, 2014 by siteadmin

Burst water pipes are an unpleasant experience, causing water to leak out into your yard or home and increasing your bills. Sometimes, you may only notice some reduced water pressure, but this can still indicate a leak that is slowly damaging the foundation of your home and collecting dangerous mold and mildew. When there are major problems with your plumbing system, you want to stay informed about the cause so you can work towards a solution. While you should call for plumbing repair right away, we’ve made a list of a few of the most common causes of burst water pipes.

  • Tree Roots: This is perhaps the most surprising reason for burst pipes, but also one of the most common causes. Roots grow naturally in the direction of a source of water. A weak point in the water line or a loose connecting point may be the perfect target for tree roots, which can wrap around the pipes until they burst.
  • Corrosion: Sometimes, an older pipe may simply burst because of corrosion. Outdated materials such as steel are a common cause for this, though homes built after 1970 usually do not have to deal with this problem. If this is the case, replacement is your best option. The best way to learn about the state of your pipes is by calling for regular plumbing maintenance every year to ensure your pipes are not at risk.
  • Collapsed Pipe: Pipes may collapse due to environmental changes. Construction near your home, for example, may cause the soil to shift around to the point that the increased weight upon your pipes forces it to give in and rupture. If major construction happens near your home, you may want to inform the workers of the location of your water and sewer lines.

When you need plumbing repair in Frederick, MD, call the friendly professionals at Larry & Sons, Inc. We know how to take care of the most common sources of burst pipes and will locate and repair problems as quickly and thoroughly as possible. We’re also available for maintenance visits when you want someone to look over your entire plumbing system and keep pipes from bursting in the future. Call us today to schedule service.

Problems with a Septic System Drain Field

September 10th, 2014 by siteadmin

If you have a septic system in Middletown, maintenance is key to avoiding repairs. Unlike people with access to municipal sewage systems, your septic system is your responsibility, which is why it’s important to watch what you put down the toilets and drains and schedule professional maintenance every year. However, problems may still eventually occur that require urgent septic system repair, particularly with your drain field.

The Job of the Drain Field

While many people know their septic system is buried in their yard, they may not know about the purpose of the large drain field. As sewage moves into your tank, the sludge sinks to the bottom while scum rises to the top. Pipes in the center of the tank allow the water to evacuate and filter through along field, providing nutrients to the earth in the process. But, when problems cause this water to drain improperly, you may need urgent repairs.

A Couple of Common Problems

  • Broken drain field piping: Sometimes, a shift in the ground may cause the perforated pipes that lead out to the drain field to break. When this happens, water cannot properly distribute into the field. Normally, remaining wastewater filters into the gravel beneath the pipes, while nutrients provide a natural fertilizer for your yard. Broken pipes cannot distribute water evenly, and solids may make their way into your yard. Shifting may occur when tree roots approach the field or because of construction.
  • Tank needs pumping: How often your tank should be pumped depends on a number of factors including how many people occupy your home and what kinds of substances you pour down the drains. However, you should call for maintenance once a year, as a technician can best determine whether your tank is overdue. Without regular tank pumping, the sludge at the bottom of the tank may build up, causing sewage to leak into your home or into the drain field. Neither of these are ideal situations for the people in your home or for the environment.

One of the best ways to prevent problems from occurring with the septic system drain field is with yearly maintenance. Whether you need maintenance, tank pumping, or other septic tank services in Middletown, call the plumbers at Larry & Sons, Inc.

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014 by siteadmin

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Larry & Sons, Inc. hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

How to Avoid Drain Clogs

August 27th, 2014 by siteadmin

Many homeowners have experienced the inconvenience of drain clogs. When you want to take a long shower, standing in a pool of water is unpleasant, and when your sink won’t drain, a simple task like doing the dishes becomes difficult.

If you have a drain clog, one of the worst things you can do is purchase a liquid drain cleaner from a hardware or grocery store. Liquid cleaners emit toxic fumes, may seriously damage your pipes, and often do not even remove the clog. For some small problems, a plunger may do the trick, but for others, you’ll need to call a plumber for professional drain cleaning. Here are some tips to prevent such problems from occurring.

  • Get a Drain Cover: One of the most common causes of drain clogs in showers and sinks is hair. Hair can become caught in the p-trap, the curved section of pipe beneath a sink, or it may become stuck onto the sludge that builds up on the interior of drain pipes. While a drain cover may not completely prevent drain problems from occurring, it can significantly decrease buildup to reduce the likelihood of frequent clogs. You can purchase a drain cover for your sink or shower at most hardware stores.
  • Avoid Letting Certain Items Down the Drain: Your garbage disposal breaks up food into smaller pieces so that it can travel to the sewage system with the rest of your home’s wastewater. However, if the food you throw down the drain is too bulky, or if your disposal cannot break down the food properly, it may clog your drain. Avoid putting any non-food items down the garbage disposal as well as hard food items like popcorn kernels that your disposal may be unable to process. Dump fat, oil, or grease in a trash receptacle as these may solidify and cause drain clogs as well.
  • Schedule Professional Drain Cleaning: Scheduling professional drain cleaning is one of the best ways to ensure water and waste moves down your drain with ease. Professionals are equipped with special tools that can remove clogs deep within your pipes.

If you have problems with your drain in Waynesboro, call Larry & Sons, Inc. today!

Signs That You Need Drain Cleaning in Middletown, MD

August 20th, 2014 by siteadmin

Whenever you experience a slow drain or a full drain clog in your home, you should call a professional plumber to fix it (if you can’t clear it yourself using a sink plunger). This is the basic drain cleaning service, and you’ll know immediately when you need it.

However, there are times when you should schedule a more thorough drain cleaning in Middletown, MD for your drains. Plumbers will come to your house and use video pipe inspection equipment to find where they need to target cleaning with high-pressure jetting and drain snakes to give your pipes something better than just unclogging them. With clean drains, you’ll have efficient and healthy plumbing that will give you much less trouble from clogging in the future.

Larry & Sons, Inc. has more than 50 years working on plumbing, fixing just about every type of problem that pipes and drains can encounter. Make us your first call when you notice any of these signs below that it’s time for drain cleaning:

Frequent clogging

Even if you can eliminate clogs with a plunger, you shouldn’t have to do this too often. If clogs have become so regular an occurrence that the plunger seems to get as much use in your kitchen as the spatulas, then your drains need to have professional cleaning to eliminate the build-up inside them. If you let the clogging continue, the clogs will eventually get thick enough that you’ll have to call the plumber anyway. Get ahead of the problem, and then put those clogs far behind you.

Bad odors from drains

As drains become more congested with organic build-up, they can start to create foul and unpleasant odors. The odors could also originate from other problems in the plumbing (such as blocked plumbing vents or a damaged sewer line), so call for a plumber to find out what’s wrong and have it fixed.

High pressure in the plumbing

As drainpipes start to lose water volume because of the development of organic build-up inside them, water pressure will begin to rise. This can result in numerous leaks and damage to appliances, so as soon as you start seeing leaking occurring along a drain pipe, call for plumbers to take care of it.

For plumbing in the best condition, you should arrange for drain cleaning on a regular basis. Your plumbers should be able to give you a good idea how often you will need drain cleaning in Middletown, MD. Trust to the experience of the team at Larry & Sons, Inc. to keep your pipes in the best shape possible. Give us a call today.

How Difficult Is It to Replace a Broken Sewer Line?

August 13th, 2014 by siteadmin

The sewer line that runs underneath your home and joins the municipal sewer line down the center of the street is buried in a trench. Nobody wants the sewer system of their home near to the surface, so this is the right spot for sewer line placement. However, the location does present a problem when it comes time to replace a worn-out sewer line that is starting to develop breaks and leaks. It seems like it would take an immense amount of work to reach the broken pipe, remove it, and put in the new one.

The good news is that 1) current technology has made this job much easier, and 2) you don’t have to do the work yourself. All you need to do is contact Larry & Sons, Inc. and ask about our Williamsport, MD trenchless pipe replacement services, and we will take care of everything for you, fast and accurately.

How Trenchless Technology Simplifies Sewer Line Replacement

It was once very arduous to replace and repair sewer lines, and for plumbing companies that don’t have access to trenchless “no dig” technology, it still can be. The job requires using power digging equipment to rip open a trench across the property, from the street to the edge of the house, in order to access the sewer line. The work requires days to complete and makes a homeowner’s yard look like “No Man’s Land” on the western front of World War I.

Trenchless pipe replacement has removed all of this and uses instead horizontal pipe inserts and hydraulics to perform the job. The only digging necessary are two small excavations made near the point where the sewer pipe crosses the property line and one nearer to the house. The technicians disconnect the pipe from municipal system, then attach a hydraulic device onto it. From the other point, the technicians detach the sewer line from the house and place a replacement pipe liner inside the old pipe. The hydraulic device then drags the liner all the way through the damaged pipe. A “pipe-splitter” cone travels through the new lining and expands it, shattering the old pipe and replacing it.

After the pipe replacement is finished, the technicians only need to fill in and re-landscape the small excavated area, leaving behind little trace of the work done. The entire process requires only a few hours.

Not all plumbing companies have the equipment or the training to perform trenchless pipe replacement, which is why you will still see lawns ripped up to have the work done. You can save yourself the time and the expense by making sure you go trenchless in Williamsport, MD for sewer line replacement.

Larry & Sons, Inc. is a trusted name in plumbing and has been for 50 years. We’ve kept up with the technology, and offer trenchless technology for your underground pipe replacement needs.

Fan Problems with Your Air Conditioning

August 6th, 2014 by siteadmin

While your air conditioning system uses a couple of fans to assist with the cooling process, fans alone cannot cool a home. Instead, fans make you feel cooler because they make it easier for sweat to evaporate from your body. In this guide, we’ll look at how fans help cool your home and why you should call for air conditioning repair as soon as you encounter fan problems.

Air conditioners cool your home using a refrigerant cycle that absorbs heat from your home and releases it into the air. Refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas at the indoor evaporator coil as it absorbs heat. Then, it changes from a gas to a liquid at the outdoor condenser coil as heat releases into the air.

Fans play an important role in this process. A condenser fan sucks in the outdoor air to help with the condensation process. It then helps the heat to disperse from the refrigerant and into the air. The indoor fan sucks in warm indoor air and cools it over the evaporator coil. The same fan then distributes cool air through the ducts. Here are some of the problems these fans may run into over time.

  • Debris in the Fan Motor: The fans are controlled by a motor that may be affected by debris. If your fan motor makes a grinding noise, there may be dirt in the motor or it may simply need lubrication.
  • Bent or Damaged Fan Blade: A bent or damaged fan blade may interfere with airflow, leading to a frozen evaporator coil and/or limited cooling. If this is the case, you may hear a rattling sound in your ducts or from the outside unit.
  • Overheated Motor: Like all mechanical parts, a motor may eventually fail. If a motor stops working, it most likely needs replacement. You should choose an experienced technician to replace a motor to ensure that it is the proper size for the system.

Fan problems may reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner, limit the system’s cooling power, or cause you to feel no cool air at all. If you need air conditioning repair in Frederick, call Larry & Sons, Inc. today!

What Do Those Bad Smells from My Drain Mean?

July 30th, 2014 by siteadmin

A sewage-like odor emanating from one or more of the drains in your home is hard to miss. Not only is it unpleasant, but it may indicate a more serious problem with your plumbing that will need the assistance of plumbing professionals. In some cases, the trouble can be fixed in only a few minutes…in others, the work might require a few days, but you can’t afford to ignore the problem.

Since 1960, the team at Larry & Sons, Inc. has helped Middletown, PA with drain repair services and other sewer line and septic services. If you have bad-smelling drains and the simple solution (which will explain below) doesn’t correct the problem, contact us as soon as you can and we will send one of our experienced plumbers to look into the problem and find an answer.

Reasons for Bad-Smelling Drains

  • Dry p-trap: “P-trap” is the name for the curved pipe section directly beneath your sink. The shape of the pipe is designed to trap a plug of water between the down pipe sections and the drain opening, and this prevents rising sewer gas from escaping up into the house. However, if a sink is not used for a long stretches (this can often occur in the bathrooms of guest houses) the water in the p-trap will evaporate and allow noxious gas to get through. This is easy to fix: run water down the drain for a few minutes to restore the water level in the p-trap.
  • Blocked drain vents: To prevent a build-up of sewer gas pressure inside pipes, drain vents move the gas up to openings on the roof of your house. Should these vents become blocked because of debris or animal nests, it will force the sewer gas back down the pipes; the pressure will be sufficient to push the gas through the water in the p-traps. If you hear a gurgling sound in your drains along with the bad smells, then clogged vents are probably the cause of the problem. Don’t climb up to the roof to unblock the vents yourself! Stay safe and call for professional assistance.
  • Sewer line issues: This is the most serious of all possible causes for bad-smelling drain. Should the sewer line that takes the wastewater from your home out to the municipal sewer system in the street or to your septic tank become blocked from root infiltration or burst, it will start to back up sewage into your drains. If the bad smells are coming from multiple drains, it is likely that the sewer line is responsible. You need to call for help immediately, since this problem can lead to sewage flooding your basement or your home’s foundations.

Larry & Sons, Inc. is a trusted source for drain and sewer services in Middletown, PA. We also handle septic systems and many other plumbing services. If you think that those bad drain odors mean you have repairs that must be taken care of right away, make us your first call.

Common Repairs You May Need for Your Septic System

July 21st, 2014 by siteadmin

For homes that do not have access to a municipal sewer system and waste treatment plant, a septic system is indispensable for removal of wastewater from a home. As with any waste disposal system, a septic system must remain in good repair so that it works efficiently, keeps your home and property clean, and does not cause health risk from exposure to bacteria and waste solids.

Septic systems will need occasional repairs, although with regular septic tank pumping and maintenance you can avoid the majority of malfunctions. You certainly do not want to tamper with your septic tank, septic lines, or the drainfield on your own, so call up the local septic repair service in Williamsport, MD: Larry & Sons, Inc. We’ve helped plumbing in our community since 1960.

Some Common Septic System Repairs

  • Emergency tank pumping: A septic tank requires pumping at least annually to remove the solid sludge that develops along the bottom of the tank as it filters out waste from the water before moving it into the drainfield. Sometimes a tank will need to have immediate pumping because the level of sludge has risen high enough to block the intake and outtake lines, leading to sewage backing up into the house or entering the drainfield and then rising up through the ground.
  • Fixing drainfield piping: The pipes of the drainfield that distribute the water after it passes through the septic tank can sometimes break because of shifting in the ground, the growth of tree roots, or construction on the ground above. Pipe problems in the drainfield will cause severe drainage issues. The drainfield will need excavation to repair the broken pipes.
  • Replacing broken septic baffles: The baffles inside a septic tank are designed to prevent solid material from exiting the tank and entering the drainfield. The baffles can become damaged from sulfuric acid or rust, and when this happens you will need professionals to replace them. Septic baffle problems are often early warning signs of a full septic tank failure; your technician will be able to tell you good long term solutions.

At Larry & Sons, Inc., we handle a full range of services for septic systems, from maintenance to complete replacements. We can determine if you will benefit from repairs, or if the time has come to install a new septic tank. Give us a call whenever you need septic tank services in Williamsport, MD, or to arrange for regular maintenance and tank pumping that will give your system a long and useful life.

What Is Trenchless Pipe Replacement?

July 15th, 2014 by siteadmin

A vision many homeowners have when they think about replacing the water or sewer line that runs under their property is of a power digger ripping apart the grass of their lawn to reach down to where the pipe lies buried. The excavation work in this scenario looks as extensive as if an in-ground swimming pool were being put in…except the end result isn’t anything so luxurious.

This nightmare image isn’t far from the truth of pipe replacement. Or at least, what pipe replacement used to be. Today, you no longer have to worry about plumbers turning your yard into an archeological dig when you need to have pipe sections of your sewer or water line replaced. Thanks to trenchless no-dig technology, the job will only take a few hours and leave your yard virtually untouched.

Larry & Sons, Inc. can handle Middletown, MD trenchless pipe replacement that will make your life much easier and keep the outside of your home looking beautiful. Make us your first call for all major and minor plumbing needs.

So How Does Trenchless Pipe Replacement Work?

The core concept of trenchless pipe replacement is feeding a replacement pipe into an older pipe, then expanding the replacement segment so the outer pipe cracks apart and the new one takes its place.

To start the job, the trenchless technicians locate the two ends of the pipe section they are replacing, then dig two small access holes down to reach both ends. If one of the ends opens up inside your home, then they will only need to dig one hole. The plumbers slide the replacement pipe into one end of the older pipe, and a hydraulic system on the other end draws the new pipe completely through and into position. Once this step is finished, a device called a pipe-burster pushes through the new pipe, which expands to shatter the old pipe and fix the new one in its place. The plumbers connect the ends of the new pipe to the existing plumbing system.

The clean-up afterwards is simple: the plumbers only need to fill in the two holes and cover them over, and your yard is back to what it was before with almost no trace of the work. The whole process should only require a few hours.

Call Us for Trenchless Pipe Replacement

You no longer have to sacrifice your front or backyard to the ravages of power digging equipment that will keep the outside of your home looking like a construction site over multiple days. Just contact our Middletown, MS trenchless pipe replacement experts at Larry & Sons, Inc., and we can have the work done fast and leave you with a pristine lawn. Give us a call today to set up your next appointment.