Check out this great article from Chadwicks:
“We’ve all been there. The water tank is emitting a strange gurgling sound and we know something’s not right. We call the plumber and pray that the house hasn’t become Niagara Falls by the time he arrives. We wait on tenterhooks, anxiously watching the clock. Finally, the doorbell rings and there he is. We’re so relieved we want to kiss him.
Instead we get a hold of ourselves and usher him up to the attic. Using wrenches and pliers and working by flashlight, he emerges some time later, t-shirt soaked with copper-colored grime, and pronounces the job done. Oh the joy of having running water once more!
We take a look at 17 Emergency Situations When You’ll be Glad You Know a Plumber – and express our gratitude to all those nifty plumbers who keep our modern conveniences in good shape.”
When is the last time you took a good look at your water heater? If it has any characteristics of the one found in the picture below (or it is 15+ years old) it is a ticking time bomb! This water heater absolutely flooded our clients’ home causing untold thousands of dollars in damage! The tragedy is they said: “…yeah I’ve been looking at that for the last seven months I knew I should’ve gotten a new one…”
Waterproof rubber rain boots are for outside in the rain, we had to wear ours during this entire job to keep our socks dry while standing in the living room!
Mention this post and receive a $25 discount towards the installation of a new water heater!
Stinky sink? Many times my clients complain of a constant, persistent foul odor in their bathroom that’s reminiscent of a “wadded up wet towel left in the bottom of the hamper for a week or two!” Oh, no…
Most all lavatory sinks have what’s called an “overflow” hole. By design it allows water to flow down the drain – in the event the sink were to fill too high – and not over the top & onto the floor. Unless of course, the drain is plugged or slow draining – but that’s an entirely different story. The image below is a common bathroom sink with the overflow in the back of the sink. Some sinks have the overflow hole in the front of the sink – same thing, just different design. Often this overflow area can collect foul mildew smelling bacteria. Simply flood the overflow hole with plain white vinegar to kill the bacteria. Use a funnel, or perhaps simply cup your hand as to divert the Vinegar into the hole or just let it glug out of the bottle into the hole. Nothing fancy – remember plain white vinegar is cheap and it’s hard to use too much. Repeat as needed!
“Do you know how, or more importantly where to shut-off the main water supply to your home?”
After 20 years it still surprises me that many (in fact most) clients don’t know how to go about turning-off the main water supply to their homes!
Every home should have a readily accessible, functional main water shut-off valve. The fact is, many times the valve is concealed, not easily accessible, non-functional, all of the above or missing altogether! Regardless, here’s a pretty sure-fire way and backup plan to get your water shut-off quickly in the event of an emergency:
1) Locate and know where your water meter is located, typically you can find it near the curb or sidewalk in front of your house.2) Open the lid to look inside. Not all lids are the same. Sometimes it’s necessary to remove the entire cover to see the meter or to access the shut off valve inside.3) There are a couple of ways to turn the valve. Ultimately you’re trying to line up the two circles, about a 1/2 turn clockwise. There’s a tool made that goes by a few different names, the most common of which is “Meter Key” sold at just about every home center and hardware store. Expect to pay somewhere between $10.00 – $30.004) You might have some hand tools laying around that may work in a pinch. Namely a crescent wrench and something long, narrow & ridged like a screwdriver. See the illustration below on how to use these common hand tools to do the job in place of a “Meter Key.”It would do you well to familiarize yourself with the “how to” described here.
I can usually tell if a client has lived through a plumbing emergency or catastrophe by their knowledge of where & how to turn-off the main water supply. One family I met recently had a bright red meter key conspicuously hanging on two nails in the garage. My client told me about a nightmare experience they had in the past, wherein a toilet supply line had ruptured and nobody knew the first thing about getting the water shut-off! The water line leaked several hundred, maybe thousands of gallons of water into the house before the water was shut-off by a responding emergency plumber. Besides the expense of the emergency service call, they now faced not only the repair of the broken toilet line (the least of their worries), but thousands of dollars in restoration repairs and a hefty insurance claim. The client went on to say that now everyone who lives in the house (including their 7 year-old) knows what the meter key is and how & when to use it!
Ti Sutherland – Master Plumber, Sutherland Plumbing.
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 2017 Water Quality Report:
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 ensuring 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 this 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.
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.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Sutherland Plumbing!
Christmas & Winter Pet Reminder: “If you’re cold, they’re cold!”
Even 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 & you’re wearing a nice coat,
(not to mention a hat, boots & gloves etc…)
Here in the Portland Metro area and across the nation, school is officially back in session! As a family company, we here at Sutherland Plumbing would like to remind all of our blog readers to please drive safely. Here are a few tips to help keep you, your family, your neighbors and your community safe:
Carefully read and follow all traffic safety signals and signs.
When in a school zone please take extra precaution to closely obey the reduced speed requirements.
When in a school zone, please DO NOT speed-up until you are completely out of the school zone.
DO NOT text, email or instant message under any circumstances while driving. If it’s that important – pullover to a safe place before using your phone.
Even if you’re on a phone call using a hands-free device, please be aware that your attention is still distracted and be extra cautious while using the hands-free device.
This time of year, there are many kids around, even outside of school zones and school hours. Please be careful even while driving outside of school zones and/or school hours.
If in doubt – SLOW DOWN!