Author Archives: Ti Sutherland

Ti’s Tips – How to “winterize” your home: Tip #4

Winterizing Tip #4:

“Heat Tape” is another inexpensive way you can “winterize” your own home with just a quick trip to your local hardware store or home center!

“Heat Tape” comes in different shapes, sizes & lengths but basically is a cord that when energized creates resistance heat.

Think of a rope wrapped around pipes that you plug-in like your electric heating blanket.

“Heat Tape” is another inexpensive way you can “winterize” your own home with just a quick trip to your local hardware store or home center!

Ti’s Tips – How to “winterize” your home: Tip #3

Winterizing Tip #3:

Remember to insulate your outdoor hose-faucets (hose bibbs) & irrigation systems.

Remove any garden hoses from the faucets and cover the faucet with something that will insulate & protect it from freezing temperatures.

Almost every home center and hardware store sells products made specifically for this.

A quick, inexpensive trip to your local hardware store or home center and you can help winterize your home yourself!

Ti’s Tips – How to “winterize” your home: Tip #2

Winterizing Tip #2:

Turn off the water to exterior hose faucets.

Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve.

Sometimes this can be tricky for two reasons:

First: do you know where the valve is?

Second: the valve may not work so you may be in a vulnerable position.

Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve.

Ti’s Tips – How to “winterize” your home: Tip #1

Winter is upon us! The weather will inevitably bring freezing temperatures that have the potential to cause havoc on plumbing systems!

Time to winterize. “Winterizing” means: to adapt or prepare something for use in cold weather.

Every year around this time, plumbers are called-out to urgent situations resulting from frozen plumbing.

Let me assure you, the vast majority of freeze-damaged plumbing is completely avoidable.

1) Close or block-off your foundation vents: The foundation vents are circled in red. Winterizing Tip #1 is to close or block them off.

Foundation Vents

Merry Christmas from Sutherland Plumbing!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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!

Important information about Lead in drinking water!

From our neighbors across the river in the City of Vancouver, WA – here’s a primer on lead in drinking water:

“…lead in drinking water comes primarily from materials and components used in household plumbing. The more time water has been sitting in pipes, the more dissolved metals, such as lead, it may contain. Elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially in pregnant women and young children.

To help reduce potential exposure to lead: for any drinking water tap that has not been used for 6 hours or more, flush water through the tap until the water is noticeably colder before using for drinking or for cooking. You can use the flushed water for watering plants, washing dishes or general cleaning.

Use only water from the cold water tap for drinking, cooking and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. If you are concerned about your water, you may wish to have your water tested.”

Information on lead in drinking water is available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or www.epa.gov/safewater/lead

Ti Sutherland, Master Plumber – Sutherland Plumbing, LLC (CCB# 200460)

Winter Pet Reminder: “If you’re cold, they’re cold!”

If you’re thinking that your pet can’t be cold outside because they have a nice coat: just remember how freezing you are when it’s cold outside and you’re wearing a nice coat, (not to mention a hat, boots & gloves)!

Give the Gift of Warmth to your Pets this Winter!

2020 Portland Water Quality Report!

You drink it, bathe in it, wash your clothes with it and cook with it!

Ever wonder about the quality of our local Portland Water Supply?

Well, just click on this link and you can view Portland’s 2020 Water Quality Report:

portlandoregon.gov/water/article/532211

PDX water system

Even if your home or business isn’t in “The City of Portland,” chances are you may be using “Portland’s” water system to clean, cook & bathe. Click on the link above to get important information about the quality of our local water supply!

 

Quality Workmanship by Sutherland Plumbing.

Thermal expansion tank, main shut off (aka isolation) valves and pressure regulator from a recent main water service.

Quality Workmanship by Sutherland Plumbing.

Sutherland Plumbing, LLC: CCB#200460