Category Archives: Sprinkler Systems

Sutherland Plumbing Opens Our New YouTube Channel!

Sutherland Plumbing, LLC has opened our brand new YouTube Channel!
Just click on the play button below to view our very first video!
You can bookmark or subscribe to our channel at the following address:
http://www.youtube.com/SutherlandPlumbingLLCPortland

Our first video features a Complete Water Service from Summer 2016.
Also known as “Trenchless (no dig) Main Water Service Replacement.”
This is one of our specialties!

For further information about Sutherland Plumbing & our services,
please call: (503) 719-4015

or email 
office@sutherlandplumbing.com

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Follow us on Twitter at @pdxplumbing and let us know how we’re doing.
Our YouTube channel can be found here.
We’re also on Facebook.

Thank you for your continued business & support!

Sincerely,

Ti Sutherland
Co-Owner & Master Plumber, Sutherland Plumbing, LLC

Summer’s Here – How to Water Your Lawn!

How to Water Your Lawn:

Knowing how to water a lawn the right way is critical to the overall health of your lawn. The frequency and amount of water you apply to grass may vary – depending on soil, time of year, weather conditions, type of grass, and so on. Follow these tips when watering, and your lawn will shine:

1) Water to the proper depth: Moisture should penetrate to about 6 to 8 inches deep.  Watering less deeply results in a shallow-rooted lawn that dries out quickly.

On the other hand, applying water that penetrates much deeper than 6 to 8 inches is wasteful because most grass roots don’t grow longer than that.

Check how deeply the water penetrates your lawn by probing the ground with a stiff metal rod or long screwdriver. The rod moves easily through wet soil and then stops, or becomes difficult to push, when it reaches dry soil.

2) Allow the lawn to partially dry out between watering: This step creates the good moisture-air relationship that is essential for healthy roots. The lawn shows you when it’s getting dry and needs water: When you walk on the grass, you can look back and see your footprints. The grass also changes color from bright green to a dull, almost smoky, grayish-blue when it is dry.

3) Avoid runoff: If you apply water faster than the lawn can absorb it, which happens with many types of sprinklers, the water runs off into street gutters and into oblivion. That’s wasteful, so don’t do that. Instead, water in short intervals of about 10 to 15 minutes, turn off the water (or move the sprinkler) to let the water soak in, and then turn the sprinkler back on for another 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat this procedure until you get the water down to about 6 to 8 inches deep.

You can avoid runoff in other ways. One way is to use sprinklers that apply water very slowly The other method is to get rid of thatch, a layer of organic crud that builds up near the surface of a lawn and dramatically slows water penetration.

4) Water in the morning: Early morning is the best time to water. The weather is usually cool and calm, humidity is usually high, and water evaporates less. The wind also doesn’t blow the water into the neighbor’s yard. Morning watering gives the lawn a chance to dry off before evening, which can protect your lawn from disease and pests.

5) In midsummer, most lawns need between 1 and 2 inches of water a week: You can apply the whole amount of water once a week, but most people get better results by splitting it into two applications. In sandy soils where the water penetrates quickly, splitting the water into three applications may work better. Watering more frequently than three times a week is verboten.

6) Watch your lawn and make appropriate adjustments: If the lawn doesn’t seem to dry out between waterings, stretch the intervals in between. If the water doesn’t get deep enough, apply a little more at each watering, but water less often. If everything seems fine, try cutting back on the amount you apply anyway and see what happens. Maybe you can conserve some of that valuable resource.

7) Watering newly planted lawns is a whole different ball of wax: You need to water new lawns more often until the grass plants become established.

Watering Lawn

 

 

Increased Water Usage Notice – 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 it! Generally when a faucet or toilet is broken to that extent people are aware and setting 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.