Category Archives: Pipes

Quality Workmanship – It’s What We Do.

New Water Heater & Pipe Install by Sutherland Plumbing.

New Water Heater & Pipe Install by Sutherland Plumbing.

Can I flush Disinfecting wipes & “flushable” products down the drain?

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

 

The Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code addresses this issue: (Oregon plumbing specialty code chapter 3 – 306.1)

How to prevent hairballs from clogging your drain!

This is a record-holding hairball out of a shower drain! We call it “the Wookie!” Hair ClogWhen 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:Danco Microban Hair CatcherThese 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.

Ti’s Tips – How to “winterize” your home!

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:

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. 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.

Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve.

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.

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

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.

“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!

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.

Opening cabinet doors is a free way to winterize your home. 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)

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)

Quality Workmanship – Sutherland Plumbing’s Difference.

Part 1 – Nothing Quite Like Brand New Under-Sink Plumbing!

Kitchen Double-Sink & Food Waste Disposal Rework Clean-Out. Installed by Sutherland Plumbing’s Sean Anderson!

Low Quality Parts & Poor Workmanship Can Cause HUGE Problems.

Quality Parts & Workmanship by Sutherland Plumbing’s Sean Anderson – PROBLEM SOLVED!

Like we said – Nothing Quite Like Brand New Under-Sink Plumbing!

Ti’s Tips – “The cheap comes out expensive…”

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!Tubular Seals

Sutherland Plumbing – Your Whole Home Solution!

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!

Brand New Clean Kitchen Sink Installed by Sutherland Plumbing’s Ti Sutherland!

Toilet Replacement in Hillsboro, OR. Quality Workmanship by Sutherland Plumbing’s Ti Sutherland.

New Laundry Sink & Plumbing – High Quality Parts & Workmanship by Sutherland Plumbing!

No Matter How Old Your Home or Plumbing, Sutherland Plumbing is Always Your First Call!

Old, Dangerous Sewer Pipes Replaced with Brand New, High Quality Pipes by Sutherland Plumbing’s Ti Sutherland!

At Sutherland Plumbing We Only Get One Chance to Make a Good First Impression!

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!”

Sutherland Plumbing Wishes You a Happy 2019!

Happy New Year from Sutherland Plumbing!

Ti’s Tips – How to “winterize” your home:

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:

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.

Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve.

Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve.

3) At the very least – Remember to insulate your outdoor hose-faucets & irrigation systems.

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!

4) 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!

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.

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!  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, that 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!