Cameron Bloom Finishing-up a Main Water Service!
New Water Heater & Pipe Install by Sutherland Plumbing.
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
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.
Winter is upon us! 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:
2) Turn off the water to exterior hose faucets: Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve. Sometimes this can be tricky for two reasons:
First: do you know where the valve is?
Second: the valve may not work so you may be in a vulnerable position.
3) At the very least: Remember to insulate your outdoor hose-faucets (hosebibbs) & irrigation systems.
Remove any garden hoses from the faucets and 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.
4) “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!
“Heat Tape” comes in different shapes, sizes & lengths but basically is a cord that when energized creates resistance heat.
Think of a rope wrapped around pipes that you plug-in like your electric heating blanket.
5) 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. However, we do not recommend this step if there are children and/or pets in your home.
Ti Sutherland – Master Plumber, Sutherland Plumbing, LLC (CCB#200460)
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)