For when it gets real…
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
March 21st 2020
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
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.
February 10th 2020
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!
5 Stars (Yelp)
Kate M – Portland, OR
Our latest edition of “Strange Plumbing Stories” brings us to England where Police are on the hunt for a stolen $1 Million dollar golden toilet. You can check-out the story HERE.
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 1.5″ 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 the place & an unexpected service call from the plumber!
(Left) is a solid metal one.
Note: Sutherland Plumbing only uses the higher quality metal ones!
Had the original plumber invested about .50 cents more – all of this would have been avoided!
Sutherland Plumbing – Your Whole Home Solution!
Whether It’s Your kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry Room, Basement or Outdoor Plumbing – Sutherland Plumbing’s the One for the job!
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!
Apply for a $75 per HET rebate when you:
Replace old water-wasting toilet(s) with an EPA WaterSense labeled High-Efficiency Toilet (HET). Limit: 3 HET rebates per household.
- The Alliance for Water Efficiency Website has “MaP” testing of popular toilet models and lists that will give you performance ratings for most toilets to help you make an informed decision!
Applicants must live in a single-family residence within the Tualatin Valley Water District; including a house, condominium, duplex/multiplex or manufactured home with a single or master meter.
NOTE: Customers in the Valley View Water District and apartment owners currently DO NOT qualify for these rebates.*
The applicant must have a current TVWD water account in good standing or be the owner of the master metered residence within the District as verified by TVWD.
Applications must include a copy of a proof of purchase receipt from a retailer or plumbing company that specifies the purchase date, purchase price, manufacturer and model number.
The application must be received by TVWD within 90 days of purchase date.
Prior to approval, an on-site inspection may be required by TVWD.
The total rebate per item will not exceed the receipt amount.
How To Apply For A Rebate:
- After purchasing and installing your HET(s) per the eligibility requirements outlined above, complete the Residential Rebate Application Form (PDF) and attach a copy of the receipt.
- Choose the most convenient option to submit the application and receipt:
Mail: TVWD, Attn: Rebates, 1850 SW 170th Ave, Beaverton OR, 97003
Call or contact the TVWD Conservation Program at (503) 848-3056 for the rebate terms and conditions and with any questions. You can also download the Residential Rebate Brochure or visit the TVWD Residential Rebate Frequently Asked Questions web page for more information.
Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing.
*Are you an apartment owner or business interested in a rebate or other conservation programs? Visit the TVWD Business, Industry and Government Conservation Web page.