Monthly Archives: June 2014

Ti’s Tips – How to adjust your water heater!

Are you happy with the temperature of your hot water? Adjusting it might be simpler than you think! Hotter water has its advantages and disadvantages, the same holds true for cooler water temps. If you’re uncertain, do some research to learn what’s best for you and yours.

IMPORTANT – Read and follow the printed Installation Instructions that came with your water heater. The printed Instructions and product labels contain model-specific information, important warnings and safety notices. If you lack the necessary skills to install, troubleshoot or repair the water heater, get help from a qualified person.

Gas Water Heater Adjustment:

Gas Heater AdjustmentIf you have a gas water heater you are in luck as far as adjusting the temperature! There’s nothing to remove or replace. Simply turn the dial located on the front of the gas control valve.



Gas Heater Adjustment 2

The warm setting will be in the 90 to 110 degree range. The hot setting will average 140 to 150 degrees.




Electric Water Heater Adjustment:

Electric Heater AdjustmentTurn off the water heater breaker. If you have a double-element water heater, remove both access panels (upper & lower).

For single element water heaters, remove the lower panel.



Electric Heater Adjustment 2Pull the insulation to the side or remove it so you can see the thermostat.

Remove the plastic cover if it doesn’t have an access hole for the adjustment screw.


Electric Heater Adjustment 3

The thermostat adjusting screw is located at the bottom of the thermostat, just above the element. As you can see you’ll need a small flat blade screwdriver.

***Remember: if you have a dual element electric water heater (the vast majority) make sure both thermostats (top & bottom) are adjusted to the same temperature.***

Replace the plastic cover. Place the insulation back over the thermostat and element. Replace the access panels and turn the power back on.

Electric Heater Adjustment 4


Ti’s Tips, Volume #6 – Easy way to avoid a bathroom flood!

Look inside your toilet tank.  If there are bolts in the bottom that look like the picture below (corroded & rusty) – then it’s only a matter of time before they break off and water leaks and floods all over the bathroom floor!

Toilet tank bolts

Avoid a messy toilet flood in your bathroom! Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015.

Ti’s Tips, Volume #5 – Promoting Water Conservation.

High water pressures waste water. Many municipalities today not only charge homeowners and businesses high rates for water consumption, but also charge consumers equally high rates for the disposal of wastewater. Furthermore, reducing water consumption reduces the excess energy required for heating additional water.

  • Water Saving: Twice as much water flows through a system at 150psi pressure than at 50psi. Much of this additional water is wasted.
  • Energy Savings: When less water flows through the system, less energy is needed to heat the water. Calculations show that a Watts water pressure reducing valve can save as much as 30% on water heating costs.
  • Wastewater Savings: When the community’s wastewater treatment load is reduced, cost benefits accrue to both the environment and your bottom-line. Many municipalities prorate sewer usage fees based upon the water meter reading.

Water Conservation

Ti’s Tips, Volume #4 – Protect your family – Is your water pressure too high?

Ensuring practical, safe working water pressure: Municipal and private water companies use pumps & pumping stations to boost water pressure in the supply mains. This enables adequate water supply for fire fighting and for high-rise buildings to overcome the loss of pressure             as elevation increases. These pumps & pumping stations also maintain water supply to water towers and supply tanks. Pressure in water supply mains can exceed 200psi. Most plumbing codes require water pressure reducing valves on domestic systems where the municipal water main’s pressure exceeds 80psi.

Higher pressures could rupture pipes, damage fixtures and injure the people using them.

Protect your family – have a water pressure reducing valve professionally installed. Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015

Ti’s Tips, Volume #3 – Act NOW before it’s too late!!

Ignoring symptoms of a failing plumbing system – i.e. Weird or strange sounds, leaks, drips, loose & wobbly faucets or fittings, slow or clogged drains, or poor water pressure etc. is like ignoring a traffic citation. It can’t magically vanish, it only gets worse over time…………

Don’t ignore symptoms of a failing plumbing system. Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015. Call today!

Ti’s Tips, Volume #2 – “The cheap comes out expensive…”

Ever heard it said “The cheap comes out expensive in the end?”  This especially applies in the plumbing trade!  The image below is of two 1-1/2″ tubular slip nuts, I haven’t found a house yet without one.  They make the seal under your sinks to the drain pipes.  (Right) is a cheap plastic one, notice the huge crack.  This resulted in a damaged wood cabinet, damaged wood floors, stinky, gross drain water all over and an unexpected service call from the plumber.  (Left) is a solid metal one.

Note: Sutherland Plumbing LLC only uses the higher quality metal ones!

Tubular Seals

Had the original plumber invested about .50 cents more – all of this would have been avoided.

Ti’s Tips, Volume #1 – Oh no, Clogged Drains!

Hi Everyone!

I’m Ti Sutherland, Co-Owner & Master Plumber for Sutherland Plumbing in Portland, Oregon.  Here at Sutherland Plumbing, we strive to be the Portland Metro area’s #1 family-owned plumbing service.  Our customers receive top-quality work from technicians who are always 100% drug-free.  But that’s not all.  At Sutherland Plumbing we understand the importance for our customers to keep their plumbing systems running smoothly and efficiently all year-round.  So it’s in the spirit of shared knowledge that I present the first volume of my new column – “Ti’s Tips” :

Ti’s Tips, Volume #1 – Oh no, Clogged Drains!

The use of so-called liquid drain cleaners or openers is discouraged! There is NO marvel of design in these products. Most are made of highly caustic acids that only serve to dissolve, eat and destroy anything in their path including your plumbing pipes. Some even go as far as to claim “safe for all pipes” even if the results from using these products are temporary at best. You be the judge. Drains clog for the most part as a result of grease, fats, oils and other matter accumulating inside the pipe. In order to CLEAN the drain one must scour the inside with proper equipment and knowledge. This is commonly referred to as snaking or “rootering” the drain. There is a big difference between “CLEANING” the drain as opposed to “OPENING” the drain. Baking soda and vinegar? Use at your own risk. Those items work best when baking or cooking food and are wasted when poured down the drain!  Don’t say we didn’t warn you!Image

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