Question: “I’ve recently read some articles which say that utility companies, municipal water companies and the treatment plants 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?”
Answer: 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, 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!
Ti Sutherland, Master Plumber – Sutherland Plumbing, LLC
#COVID #portland #plumber #wipes
The Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code addresses this issue: (Oregon plumbing specialty code chapter 3 – 306.1)
Working with Sutherland Plumbing was a wonderful customer service experience. Ti and his team were very professional, took time to explain the problem and recommended solutions & possible risks as the plumbing is VERY old. This upfront communication about what would be done and the costs involved was very transparent and led to no surprise outcomes. Within an hour the bathroom sink drain was running perfectly.
I am an older adult and in the high risk category for complications related to Coronavirus and when I asked Ti if they had protective equipment, he agreed that the team would wear masks while in the house.
Again, Sutherland Plumbing provided a superb in-home service and I would highly recommend them. I certainly will be calling them for any future plumbing issues.
5 Stars (Yelp)
Margaret L – San Francisco, CA & Portland, OR
Sutherland Plumbing cares about your family’s safety and will leave our work area cleaner than we found it.
This is a record-holding hairball out of a shower drain! We call it “the Wookie!”When we do service calls for this sort of thing, we not only clean the drain properly to restore service but we also recommend and sometimes (depending on the style & type of drain) give the client a tub/shower hair trap as seen here:These hair traps are a great way to prevent needing a plumber in the first place! I think EVERYONE would agree, $5 is well spent to prevent a $200 service call from a plumber! Not to mention, clogged drains don’t care that it’s Friday afternoon and the in-laws are due to arrive any minute!
You can find one of these hair traps for just a few dollars here.
I can’t say enough good things about working with Sean from Sutherland Plumbing. About a year ago I did a bunch of work on a rarely-used bathroom, including having the shower valve replaced. Once that shower started to be used regularly, a leak showed up in the form of a damp spot on a lower level ceiling and an unpleasant smell! I needed to get my house ready to rent in a short period of time and contacted Sutherland Plumbing based on Yelp reviews.
Sean showed me exactly what was wrong, which is that I’d been taken advantage of by the plumbers who did the initial replacement and they did a terrible job. Sean was able to fit me into his schedule later that week to replace it, which I appreciated because of my time-frame.
Not only did he do a great job on the shower valve, but when he came to ask me a question and found me struggling to install a door, not only did he jump in to help and provide advice, he also fixed my front door so that it closes more easily, realigned the sink tap so that it shuts off properly, as well as replaced some light bulbs I couldn’t reach. I mean, COME ON! Who does that? Sean, that’s who. Sutherland Plumbing, please hold onto this one, because you made a customer for life!
Tualatin Valley Water District – Residential High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) Rebate – Available for EPA WaterSense Labeled Toilets!
Save Water AND Money!
The single best thing you can do to improve toilet efficiency is to replace an old inefficient toilet with a newer water-efficient model. Toilets are typically the largest indoor water user. Older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons per flush (gpf), while new High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs) and dual flush toilets use 1.3 gpf or less. This is more than 50% to 75% savings in water per toilet!
Sutherland Plumbing’s Hard Work, Dedication & Quality Workmanship.
It’s Not Just Talk, It’s Who We Are.
Sutherland Plumbing crew member Sean Anderson ready for more hard work after replacing waste and water lines for a remodeling job at a home in Portland, Oregon. In the background you can see that not only do we replace your old plumbing fixtures – we’ll dispose of them too!
Sutherland Plumbing crew member Sean Anderson helped replace waste and water lines for a small-kitchen remodeling job at a home in Portland, Oregon, March 12.