Monthly Archives: July 2014

The great reviews for Sutherland Plumbing keep comin’ in!!

“Honest, knowledgeable, friendly service at its best! I called Ti before the impending rainstorm last weekend because our driveway drain was clogged. He was at our door within 20 minutes of calling! I mean really, who does that? He was on his way home but turned around to come help us. Ti arrived, cleared the drain and warned us that he could “feel” the drain was close to a failure. Ti has been doing this so long and knows his stuff so well he could tell the pipe was deteriorating based on the sound & feel of the drain snake as it went through.  I doubt other big drain companies would have such knowledgeable staff. Sutherland Plumbing is an owner-operated business so Ti’s personal reputation is behind every job. Oh, and there was no hard sales pitch on eventually replacing the rain drain pipe! Just a courtesy heads-up that we will have a significant expense coming in the future so we could plan for it. Shalom!

Update: After Ti came out on Friday he called on Sunday to check up on us.  He said he was watching the streets in his neighborhood flood and wanted to see how we were doing.  Our drain was clear but in case it failed in the future he had already called the contractor he had recommended to us for drain replacement and told him about our situation.  Great customer service!”

Josh T – Portland, OR

Don't just take their word for it - Experience the Sutherland Plumbing "difference" for yourself - Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015!

Don’t just take their word for it – Experience the Sutherland Plumbing “difference” for yourself – Call (503) 719-4015!

Plumbing FAQ – Can I flush wipes & similar “flushable” products down the drain?

Q: I’ve recently read some articles which say that utility companies, municipal water companies and the treatment plants etc. are “freakin’-out” because folks have started to flush all kinds of pre-moistened towelettes down the toilet.  This wasn’t so much of a problem in the past.  Apparently these can cause havoc all the way down the plumbing system at the treatment plants.  What’s the deal with this?  Is it really that bad?  Can it affect my plumbing lines or only the municipal systems? Is toilet paper the only thing I should ever flush down the toilet?

A: The short answer is YES the treatment plants are “freaking out!”  Unfortunately, this translates into higher rates for everyone because they have to structure & modify their equipment to deal with all of these so-called “flushable” over-the-counter products like wipes, cat litter, female sanitary products etc. The main issue is this stuff does not macerate well like human waste and toilet paper. (Sorry for the visual!) Eventually everything makes it to a pump system or means of mechanically moving, sorting & filtering (the raw sewer). Some of these “wipes” are just short of a cloth rag. Flushable in that it will flush and go down but it’s no good for any part of the system down the line. Plumbers joke around the water cooler about how great these products are for keeping us very busy!!

The flushable cat litter is just as bad or worse because it absorbs a ton of water & swells up.  This can cause havoc in the plumbing system!

When I walk down the aisle at the supermarket and see a new flushable product I pause to thank the manufacturer for their patronage. This used to bother me more when I lived in a neighborhood forced to pay sewer rates, but now I have a private septic system.

The Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code addresses this issue: (Oregon plumbing specialty code chapter 3 - 306.1)

The Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code addresses this issue: (Oregon plumbing specialty code chapter 3 – 306.1)

Plumbing FAQ – Can I put coffee grounds down the drain?

Welcome to the first installment of Sutherland Plumbing’s “Frequently Asked Questions!” In this recurring section of our blog we will be presenting real life questions & answers from some of our customers, friends, family & associates. So without further ado, question #1 is:

Q: I have a coffee machine with a washable, re-useable filter. It’s easier for me to just wash the used coffee grounds down the drain as I’m cleaning the re-useable filter instead of putting a paper filter in the trash. Is this bad? Should I be putting the used grounds in the garbage? Is it okay to put used coffee grounds down the drain?

A: Coffee grounds can swell (absorb more water) even further after introduced into the drain, so Sutherland Plumbing always advises folks – no, you shouldn’t put used coffee grounds down the drain.

There are more than a few determining factors why drains slow and clog. It’s usually not one singular event, assuming abuse isn’t the case. It’s analogous to a human’s cardiovascular system & arteries. Poor diet, age, genetics etc.

Have you ever heard someone’s rebuttal to: “dairy, bacon and butter is bad for you.”

Well my gramps ate two eggs, bacon & hash-browns cooked in butter everyday of his life and lived to 99 years old!”

I hear it all the time when I tell people you “shouldn’t put this & that down the drain!”

They say: “I’ve been doing it that way for a 1000 years.”

Then the next service call, the drain is packed full of egg shells and coffee grounds! The determining factors are: The type of pipe and how it was originally installed (genetics). How long and what’s been going down the drain for years (diet & age) and how the system is used.(Lifestyle). See what I mean?

The short answer: it’s best not to put coffee grounds down the drain!

Drain clogged?  You know who to call!  Sutherland Plumbing, LLC at (503) 719-4015!

Drain clogged? You know who to call! Sutherland Plumbing, LLC at (503) 719-4015!

More reasons to choose Sutherland Plumbing!

*Drug Free Technicians:

Sutherland Plumbing screens each employee to ensure your technician is NOT in a mind altered state while providing services for you.  Our technicians will work in a professional manner without use of mind altering drugs so you can be assured they are doing their best!

*Licensed, Bonded, & Insured!

We make sure you and your property are protected! Sutherland Plumbing carries and keeps current ALL the necessary insurances, bonds & licenses required by federal, state and local agencies. These insurances, bonds & licenses are in place to protect YOU, the customer and your property.

At Sutherland Plumbing, we do it "by the book." Don't let that old plumbing problem get worse! Call (503) 719-4015

At Sutherland Plumbing, we do it “by the book.” Don’t let that old plumbing problem get worse! Call (503) 719-4015

Ti’s Tips – Don’t throw that down the garbage disposal!

The handy kitchen garbage disposal is useful for getting rid of a variety of food scraps & waste that might otherwise create unpleasant smells in the kitchen. However, many foods can actually damage your disposal or render it useless. These tips can help keep your garbage disposal running smoothly: 

1. Avoid putting fibrous foods or tough-skinned vegetables into the disposal. 

The strings of celery, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, corn husks, carrots, onion skins and potato peels can wrap around the blades, preventing proper operation of the motor. If you feel you must put fibrous foods into your disposal, do so in very small quantities, and run the cold water while you operate the unit.

2. Don’t put extremely hard foods into the garbage disposal. 

Items such as bones and fruit pits can dull and even break the unit’s blades! In a worst-case scenario, hard foods will jam the disposal, preventing blades from turning and causing the motor to burn out.

3. Keep grease and greasy foods out of the disposal. 

Greasy foods will distribute a film over the blades, diminishing their effectiveness. Eventually, the grease will begin to decay, causing an unpleasant odor in the kitchen. Pouring grease into a garbage disposal can result in clogged drains when the grease solidifies.

4. Contrary to popular belief, egg shells have no place in the garbage disposal. 

Some people claim that egg shells sharpen the blades of the unit, but this is not true. The shell’s stringy membrane layer can wrap around the shredder ring, and the shell itself will be ground to a sand-like consistency capable of clogging pipes.

5. Avoid putting expandable foods such as pasta and rice into the garbage disposal. 

Even small particles of these foods can swell with water and eventually clog the trap.

6. Exercise common sense, and don’t put non-food items into the garbage disposal. 

Avoid the example of homeowners who have placed rubber bands, twist ties, cigarette butts, pull tabs, fabric, sponges and plant clippings into their disposal units. These items cannot break down enough to wash down the drain.

7. Two methods to help tame stubborn garbage disposal odors:

The first is to freeze white vinegar in ice cube trays. Put the frozen cubes down the garbage disposal and turn it on. The texture of the hard ice will aid in the removal of odor-causing sludge & grime. The second method is Borax. This stuff is time-tested and proven to be an effective and inexpensive cleaner & deodorizer. Simply pour a few scoops into the disposal while running the water. I prefer to put the scoops of Borax in the sink and wash it into the disposal with running water. In order to maximize results, do either of these when you plan on not using the unit for a few hours, like the last thing before bed. This way these products have the best fighting chance to eliminate and neutralize odor. 

The garbage disposal is a sturdy kitchen appliance; however, even the best model cannot handle unsuitable items. If you run into any problems with your unit, you should seek the help of Sutherland Plumbing, LLC. 

Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal problems? Call (503) 719-4015 & speak with the pros at Sutherland Plumbing. Call today!!


Why Choose Sutherland Plumbing?

Clear, accurate estimates with no surprises:

Today is no different from the past – businesses compete over price and sometimes price alone. One way businesses do this is to quote cheap prices over the phone or advertise low rates and then tell you what it’s really going to cost once they are in your home or business!  A.K.A “the bait and switch!” The cheap rate over the phone is often half the truth. The low rate or quote “sight unseen” may not include or cover a variety of items and usually costs extra. Sutherland Plumbing technicians will look at the issue, explain the process in detail and answer all of your questions prior to work commencing. This way you know what your options are and what costs those options carry before any work begins!

Master Plumber Ti Sutherland will personally provide you with a clear, concise, accurate, written estimate prior to any work commencing. Just call (503) 719-4015. Call today!!

Ti’s Tips – How to Shut-Off your water supply!

Most sink faucets should have a hot & cold shut-off valve underneath the sink that shuts the water off. In most cases, clockwise direction turns the water off and counterclockwise turns it on. “Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.” Main shut off valves should be in readily accessible locations, however this in not always the case. To locate the main shut off valve to your home or business, locate the water meter – usually found near the street curb. Inside the meter box can often be found a shut-off valve for the main water supply.

See our website at for more handy tips!

See our website at for more handy tips!


Another Great Review for Sutherland Plumbing!!

“My toilets were clogged in both of my bathrooms. Ti showed-up on time the same day that I called. He fixed both toilets, educated me about current fixtures and recommended specific brands & styles for future installations. Ti replaced aerators in both baths for free. Thanks, nice touch! Ti is our guy from now on. Excellent customer service, respectful of my home and placed shoe covers on shoes! Great attitude and very knowledgeable about the problem and how to fix it. Clean and absolutely professional. Great price and great service, I couldn’t be happier. Thanks again Ti!”

Tracey A – Portland, OR

Don’t just take their word for it – Experience our clean, professional, knowledgeable staff for yourself – Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015!

Check-out this great review from just one of our many satisfied customers!

“I called Sutherland Plumbing and within the hour they were at my door.  I don’t know anything about plumbing and am nervous about being overcharged, but they did a very thorough assessment of my problems (running toilet & leak under sink) and were very upfront about the best way to fix them.  I even put my Dad on the phone with Master Plumber, Ti Sutherland to discuss the issues before going ahead with the repairs.  All hardware (including the toilet) was on the truck – so within a few hours everything was done. The toilet and faucet were very high quality!  I received a call a few days later checking to see if everything was to my satisfaction and confirming that the work is guaranteed for 2 years.  I highly recommend this service!!!!”
Brenda G – Portland, OR

See our website at for more great Testimonials!!

See our website at for more great Testimonials!!

Why the CCB is Important!

The Oregon CCB “Oregon Construction Contractors Board” is responsible for safeguarding the security & property of Oregonians by preventing and resolving construction & contracting problems and by insuring contractors’ compliance with the law. The Board administers the Oregon Contractors’ Law that provides for the licensing of residential & commercial construction contractors, subcontractors and home inspectors; investigation and adjudication of complaints filed against licensees; and assessment of sanctions against unlawful contractors. In this sense they are the contractor police.

Think: If you were planning to buy a car, it’s conceivable that most people spend hours reading reviews, researching & comparing options and perhaps even asking the opinions of people with first hand experience. Of course, you wouldn’t want to end up with something falling short of expectations, costing too much or breaking down on you, right? All this becomes exponentially risky when choosing to purchase from an unknown or an un-reputable source.

Ironically, everyday consumers find themselves in an unfavorable position & out thousands of dollars because they hired a contractor or somebody posing as a contractor, while at the same time unknowingly forgoing some or all of their consumer rights.

This doesn’t have to happen to you !

Check-out these 16 ways to avoid remodeling, repair & construction problems.

The document in the above link is the instruction manual for hiring a contractor and/or planning a construction, remodel or repair project that requires a contractor governed by the CCB. In short, that’s ANYBODY that promises, advertises, delivers or performs improvements, repairs or alterations to, (but not limited to) real estate, structures property and/or land.

SP Truck