Category Archives: Toilet Plumbing

Police finally arrest ‘serial toilet clogger!’

Check-out THIS article.

“Members of the Sheboygan Police Department arrested a 33 year-old Sheboygan man for the string of vandalism that has been occurring at Deland Park over the past two years. The information leading to the arrest was provided by a citizen. The Sheboygan Police Department would like to thank those that provided us with information.”

Source: Sheboygan Police Department.

 

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

‘Simply Not Flushable’: Thousands of pounds of wipes clog sewer system!

Check out THIS unbelievable story about the Charleston, SC water system – then always think twice about flushing any “wipes” even if the packaging claims they’re “flushable.” Not only can these wipes wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system, they can also create messy, expensive problems for your local municipality!

Source: Charleston Water System

Tualatin Valley Water District, Residential High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) Rebate!

Tualatin Valley Water District - Residential High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) Rebate Available Only For EPA WaterSense Labeled Toilets.

Tualatin Valley Water District – Residential High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) Rebate – Available for EPA WaterSense Labeled Toilets!

Save Water AND Money!

HET

The single best thing you can do to improve toilet efficiency is to replace an old inefficient toilet with a newer water-efficient model. Toilets are typically the largest indoor water user. Older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons per flush (gpf) – while new high-efficiency toilets (HETs) and dual flush toilets use 1.3 gpf or less. This is more than 50% to 75% savings in water per toilet!

Apply for a $75 per HET rebate when you:

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants must live in a single-family residence within the Tualatin Valley Water District; including a house, condominium, duplex/multiplex or manufactured home with a single or master meter. 
  • NOTE: Customers in the Valley View Water District and apartment owners currently DO NOT qualify for these rebates.*
  • The applicant must have a current TVWD water account in good standing or be the owner of the master metered residence within the District as verified by TVWD.

  • Applications must include a copy of a proof of purchase receipt from a retailer or plumbing company that specifies the purchase date, purchase price, manufacturer and model number.

  • The application must be received by TVWD within 90 days of purchase date.

  • Prior to approval, an on-site inspection may be required by TVWD.

  • The total rebate per item will not exceed the receipt amount.

How To Apply For A Rebate

  • After purchasing and installing your HET(s) per the eligibility requirements outlined above, complete the Residential Rebate Application Form (PDF) and attach a copy of the receipt.
  • Choose the most convenient option to submit the application and receipt:
    Mail: TVWD, Attn: Rebates, 1850 SW 170th Ave, Beaverton OR, 97003
    Fax: 503-356-3156
    E-mail: conservation@tvwd.org

Call or contact the TVWD Conservation Program at (503) 848-3056 for the rebate terms and conditions and with any questions. You can also download the Residential Rebate Brochure or visit the TVWD Residential Rebate Frequently Asked Questions Web page for more information.

Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing.

*Are you an apartment owner or business interested in a rebate or other conservation programs? Visit the TVWD Business, Industry and Government Conservation Web page.

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.

Anatomy of a Toilet – (How a Toilet Works!)

“My toilet is clogged or has a weak flush, it doesn’t always empty the bowl when I flush it….”

The above quote is a very common symptom reported by many clients. Would it surprise you to know that about half of the time the toilet isn’t clogged at all! Take a look at the picture below:
Notice the spot marked “trap,” this is the place where water & waste travels on its way to the sewer drain pipe. Technically the toilet is only “clogged” when an obstruction exists inside the trap, preventing passage. Note the hollow area around the bowl. When a toilet is flushed, water sitting in the tank rushes into and around these hollow chambers and then enters the bowl via water jets. The main water jet (aka “siphon jet”) is usually at the bottom of the toilet bowl.

Anatomy of toilet

An older, poorly performing toilet can have clogged jets and/or obstructed jets preventing the water from entering the bowl as needed. This causes weak flushing toilets & toilet bowls that don’t empty all the way. Additionally, if the water level inside the tank is too low this results in an inadequate amount of water for a proper flush.
An old plumbing trick called “the bucket test” can narrow the possibilities.  Simply fill a 5 gallon bucket of water and pour it into the toilet bowl expeditiously. If the toilet bowl revives the water with no problem or back up – it’s more than likely your toilet is in need of repair or replacement.
If this is the case, call (503) 719-4015 and speak with the pros at Sutherland PlumbingWe carry as regular stock: premium, high-efficiency 1.28 gallons per flush toilets on our trucks!

Toilet Caulking – Don’t Overlook This Important Detail!

Toilet bowls require caulking at the base to provide a water-tight seal preventing liquid or moisture from getting underneath it and festering.

Often times an installer will skip this step, does it wrong, and/or the caulking simply fails, as seen in the image below:

Toilet Caulking - Before

If the caulking beneath your toilet looks like this – you should call a licensed, qualified plumber as soon as possible, before the problem gets worse. Sutherland Plumbing is here to take your calls at (503) 719-4015. Call today!

The next image is the same toilet re-caulked properly. Caulking of any kind is only as good as the surface we give it to adhere to. It’s important to remove any & all loose debris and clean the surface with a good all-purpose kitchen & bath cleaner – preferably one with a degreasing agent.

Toilet Caulking - After

Which toilet would you rather have in your bathroom? Re-caulking is relatively easy, fast & inexpensive. Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015 for an estimate today!

A common complaint from our clients is a consistent “skunky” odor coming from the toilet area. Without a proper seal at the floor any liquid that gets on the floor near the toilet can run up to and underneath the toilet bowl including the occasional “miss” by little Johnny!

How to make use of water from leaky faucets – Ti’s Tips!

While you’re waiting for one of Sutherland Plumbing’s top-notch technicians to arrive and repair your leaky faucet – put a bucket under the faucet to catch the drip. There are more than a few things you can use the water for: flushing toilets or watering plants are just a couple. The possibilities are endless!

To flush a toilet with a bucket of water, expeditiously pour its contents straight  into the bowl. Remember – you’ll roughly need as much water in the bucket as is in the tank. So if you have an older non-efficient toilet, it’s likely you’ll need around 3 gallons to empty the toilet bowl of its contents. A newer, more modern water-saver toilet only requires 1.6 gallons or less.

What are you doing with an old toilet that wastes water and money anyway? When the Sutherland Plumbing technician arrives, remember to tell him that you need an upgrade!

We carry as regular stock premium, high-efficiency 1.28 gallons per flush toilets on our trucks. Call Sutherland Plumbing today!

Leaky Faucet

You can temporarily make good use of water from leaky faucets, but it’s best to call the experts at Sutherland Plumbing before the issue gets worse. Call (503) 719-4015 and have the issue resolved as soon as possible!

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

Q: I’ve recently read some articles which say that utility companies, municipal water companies and the treatment plants etc., 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?

A: 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, female 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!

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

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

Easy Way to Avoid a Bathroom Flood – Ti’s Tips

Look inside your toilet tank.  If there are bolts in the bottom that look like the picture below (corroded & rusty) – then it’s only a matter of time before they break off and water leaks and floods all over the bathroom floor!

Toilet tank bolts

Avoid a messy toilet flood in your bathroom! Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015.