Category Archives: Outdoor Plumbing

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

The Best Plumbers Get the Best Reviews!

August 10th 2018 

I contacted Sutherland Plumbing via their website on Sunday because I’d noticed water draining continuously from our yard into the storm gutter. Ti sent me a text that evening and we arranged for a visit on Monday afternoon. He diagnosed the problem as a leak in the water line from the street to the house and recommended replacement given the age and quality of the line. Ti said he would send a quote that evening (which he did with a very detailed description of the work and pricing) and that they could schedule the work for Thursday. I approved the quote electronically, their scheduler confirmed and Ti was there with his team as planned at 8am on Thursday.

This is a long review, but I want to provide an overall sense of the exceptional quality of Sutherland Plumbing. Communication was quick and easy at every step. Quotes were detailed and options clearly spelled-out so there were no surprises. Pricing was very reasonable given the quality of the work, including a couple of extras at no charge. Landscaping in the area of the job looked as good, probably better than it did before they arrived.

The work looks professional at the curb and in the garage and there were no issues with permitting or the city plumbing inspector. We also had our kitchen faucet replaced while the team was here, with the same level of quality and attention to detail whether the job is large or small.

Based on my experience with Ti and his team, I highly recommend Sutherland Plumbing

5 Stars (Yelp)

Bill B – Beaverton, OR

Summer Reminder – How to check your water pressure!

To all of our valued customers: Don’t get us wrong, we love all the work you’re giving us, but if you want to do something proactive to avoid unexpected & costly plumbing breakdowns – check & know what the water pressure in your home is.

Per the plumbing code (not to mention good practice) anything that’s at 80 PSI (pounds per square inch) or higher is excessive and MUST be regulated.

Excessive water pressure is analogous to high blood pressure. The devastating effects & havoc are caused over time. Irreversible damage can (and will) take its toll! High water pressure is one of the most common core problems discovered by plumbers day after day, service call after service call.

I’ll make this as easy as possible: Check the link below. It will take you to Amazon to purchase the very same tool we purchase as professionals to check your water pressure. It’s literally as easy as hooking up a garden hose!

Click here to check-out the “Rain Bird P2A – Pressure Gauge.”

Increased Water Usage Notice – Now What?

See the picture below. If you came home to find a notice like this on your door you’ve got questions and understandably some concerns.

Water Usage Notice

If you receive one of these notices at your home and are not sure why – Call (503) 719-4015 and schedule an appointment with the experts at Sutherland Plumbing, LLC.

Relax, this is routine and quite simply the water company attempting to notify you that compared to your average usage, it’s gone up exponentially. Although there are many reasons that can factor into this, we’ll share with you here the top three reasons that most likely exist (Based on 20+ years of field experience). 

1) Your main underground water service pipe leading from the water meter to the home has sprung a leak and is leaking into the earth. Your options are to repair or replace. There are pros & cons to both options and the solution will vary depending on your budget & expectations. Generally speaking: repairs can end up as expensive temporary band aids while a proper replacement will ensure decades of trouble-free service. Contributing factors include, but are not limited to: the age & material of the existing pipe and the location & depth of the leak. 

2) The irrigation (sprinkler) system is leaking. If connected properly, your sprinkler system “T’s” into or off of your main underground water service pipe. The sprinkler system then runs through an approved back-flow preventer and then goes off to serve the various zones or sprinkler heads. 

3) A malfunctioning or “running” toilet is draining excessive amounts of water down the main sewer drain. Second to this is a faucet that is continuously dripping or leaking. This cause of excessive water usage is the least likely prompting a notice of increased water usage. (Again, this based on our experience.)  It’s our contention that if a faucet was dripping and/or a toilet was running enough to prompt the notice – you’d probably know about it! Generally when a faucet or toilet is broken to that extent, people are aware & set-out to get it fixed before a whole billing cycle comes and goes!

You have options and choices either way. Dozens of times we have visited a homeowner expecting to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars only to find that simply turning off the sprinkler system will stop the leak and buy some time to get control of the situation rather than the situation being in control of you!

If you receive one of these notices at your home and are not sure why, Call (503) 719-4015 and schedule an appointment with the experts at Sutherland Plumbing, LLC.

How to Locate & Read Your Water Meter!

You will gain giant leaps ahead of the average homeowner in preparedness to avoid or deal with plumbing emergencies by simply familiarizing yourself and understanding the information contained in the following link.

Click below to view a publication distributed by the Portland Water Bureau:

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/278747

This is a photo of the actual water meter. In most homes the meter is usually located in the ground near the curb. You should see a metal top marked "Water Meter." If in doubt - call a licensed, qualified plumber to come take a look.

This is a photo of the actual water meter. In most homes the meter is usually located in the ground near the curb. You should see a metal top marked “Water Meter.” If in doubt – call a licensed, qualified plumber to come & take a look.

 

This is a close-up photo of the Water Meter Register. If you have any questions about how to read the register – call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015.

 

Sutherland Plumbing Wishes You a Happy 2018!

Happy New Year from Sutherland Plumbing.

Winter is officially here! 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. If it gets really bad this winter you may find it more likely to see Santa and his reindeer flying around than a plumber – because every one of us is busy fixing broken plumbing pipes! Let me assure you, the vast majority of freeze-damaged plumbing is completely avoidable.

Here are a few very basic things that you can do to put you & your home at an advantage:

1) Close or block-off your foundation vents:

Foundation Vents

The foundation vents are circled in red. Winterizing Tip #1 is to close or block them off.

2) Turn off the water to exterior hose faucets:

Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve.

Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve.

Sometimes this one can be tricky for two reasons: First – do you know where the valve is? Second – the valve may not work properly so you might be in a vulnerable position.

At the very least – remove any garden hoses from the faucets & 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.

Covered Faucet

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

Any pipes or plumbing fixtures that have the potential to freeze due to exposure should be drained and empty of fluid. It’s actually not the cold that damages pipes – it’s the liquid inside that freezes, expands & tears the pipe or fixture apart. At thaw, the water or liquid becomes fluid again and: “Houston, we have a problem!”

If you’re not sure or don’t have the ability to evacuate exposed plumbing pipes, then try to find a method of providing a heat source to the fixture. A very common product for this is referred to as ” heat tape”. It comes in different sizes, shapes, lengths & brand names, but basically is a cord of some kind that when energized creates resistance heat. Think of a rope wrapped around pipes that you plug-in like your electric heating blanket.

Heat Tape

“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!

3) Open cabinet doors where plumbing is located on exterior walls:

This will allow a better chance for the heat from the room to convect to the pipes inside the wall.

Why is “winterizing” your home or business so important?

The average cost per emergency service call during a hard-freeze with broken pipes is
$450.00!  That’s assuming you can actually get a plumber to your door!

Most times when I meet people to repair their emergency freeze-damaged pipes, I tell them: “Had it been winterized it wouldn’t have happened.” The most common response is: “I didn’t even know I was supposed to do that!”

I’ve seen many winters where every plumber in town has an extremely long list, full of customers with emergencies, with many thousands of dollars in property damage. I’ll bet at that moment the nominal fee to have a professional plumber check things out before the freeze would seem like small potatoes!

Not sure if your Home or Business is ready for winter? Call the pros at Sutherland Plumbing and we’ll come and take a look for you! Call (503) 719-4015. Don’t delay this important call!

Let’s Meet Katrina Sutherland (Part 4) – “The Real Deal!”

Sutherland Plumbing’s Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Katrina Sutherland testing our new Vacuum Excavator made by “Ditch Witch” a great American company!!!

Here’s Sutherland Plumbing’s New Vacuum Excavator In Action!

Sutherland Plumbing’s John Benton & Cameron Bloom working hard with Sutherland Plumbing’s new Vacuum Excavator!  The Vacuum Excavator is made by Ditch Witch – one of America’s premier construction industry equipment manufacturers!

The Vacuum Excavator is Sutherland Plumbing’s newest team member.  At Sutherland Plumbing, we really are ready for virtually everything!  Sutherland Plumbing’s Vacuum Excavator saves hours of messy digging on your property.  The Vacuum Excavator is one of the most important tools a plumbing company can own.  Our new Excavator is used for “Line Location,” including: Power, Gas, Electric, Water, Sewer and Communication lines.  One of the main reasons you may see this machine in action on your property would be to Quickly, Efficiently and Neatly dig around your water meter to access the main water line!  And that’s just a short description of how much the Vacuum Excavator can really do.  Stay tuned for more about Vacuum Excavation from Sutherland Plumbing, and a “shout-out” to the folks at the Ditch Witch Company for this top-notch, outstanding machine!

Let’s Meet Sutherland Plumbing’s Newest Team Member!

The New Vacuum Excavator Arrives at Sutherland Plumbing!

The Vacuum Excavator is made by Ditch Witch – one of America’s premier construction industry equipment manufacturers.

The Vacuum Excavator is Sutherland Plumbing’s newest team member.  At Sutherland Plumbing, we really are ready for virtually everything!  Sutherland Plumbing’s Vacuum Excavator saves hours of messy digging on your property.  The Vacuum Excavator is one of the most important tools a plumbing company can own.  Our new Excavator is used for “Line Location,” including: Power, Gas, Electric, Water, Sewer and Communication lines.  One of the main reasons you may see this machine in action on your property would be to Quickly, Efficiently and Neatly dig around your water meter to access the main water line!  And that’s just a short description of how much the Vacuum Excavator can really do.  Stay tuned for more about Vacuum Excavation from Sutherland Plumbing, and a “shout-out” to the folks at the Ditch Witch Company for this top-notch, outstanding machine!

The Vacuum Excavator arrives at Sutherland Plumbing…

…and the Excavator is ready for some brand new logos….

…new Logos on, Ready for Action!

Sutherland Plumbing’s Vacuum Excavator is about to get hooked up to the truck and get to work!

All hooked-up, Ready to go!

 

 

Plumbing Can Be Beautiful!!!

While we at Sutherland Plumbing take pride in our daily hard work and ability to turn our customers’ unfortunate “problems” into “opportunities for solutions.” We also acknowledge that Plumbing can be beautiful, too…