Category Archives: Family & Home Safety

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)

2019 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 2019 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!

 

School’s Back – Safety Reminder!

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 followers 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!

Ti in Corn Maze

Let’s all work together to keep our kids safe. Drive with extra caution and safety this school season!

Danger – you get what you pay for!

The photo below is the result of using plumbing code-compliant galvanized steel for water connections. Yes, I said code compliant and before you start thinking this is WW2 era – this fitting was installed in 2011! If any of your pipes look like this, they’re living on borrowed time.

Let’s remember: “Code” is a bare minimum set of standards set forth with the intent being to keep people safe and alive. We all know we can exceed minimum standards in almost every aspect of life. At Sutherland Plumbing LLC we don’t even stock this material nor is it allowed on our job sites!

We use brass or stainless steel. The fitting you see in this picture costs about .60¢, the brass replacement about $5.00. This is a microcosm of every single material and installation standard at Sutherland Plumbing LLC.


Let’s remember the old adage: “you’ll get what you pay for!”

Join Sutherland Plumbing on Nextdoor.com!

Nextdoor is the private social network for your neighborhood. On Nextdoor, neighbors create private online communities for their neighborhoods where they can ask questions, get to know one another, and exchange local advice and recommendations.

Click below to join Sutherland Plumbing on Nextdoor.

Join Sutherland Plumbing on Nextdoor, the private social network for your neighborhood.

Merry Christmas from Sutherland Plumbing!

Merry Christmas from Sutherland Plumbing!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

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…)

Give the Gift of Warmth to your Pets this Christmas & Winter!

17 Emergency Situations When You’ll Be Glad You Know a Plumber!

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.”

Courtesy of: Chadwicks.ie

Time to replace your water heater? Save $25 Now!

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!

Old Water Heater

 

All about sink overflow holes!

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!

Ti Sutherland, Master Plumber – Sutherland Plumbing, LLCSink Overflow Hole

 

How to shut-off the main water supply to your home!

“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.Shut-off valve closed2) 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.Shut-off valve open3) 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 – $30.00Meter Key4) 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.”Hand ToolsIt 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.