Category Archives: Toilet Plumbing

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.

Quality Workmanship – Sutherland Plumbing’s Difference! (Part 3)

Part 3 – “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!

Sutherland Plumbing – It’s Not Just Talk, It’s Who We Are…

Sutherland Plumbing’s Hard Work, Dedication & Quality Workmanship.

It’s Not Just Talk, It’s Who We Are.

Sutherland Plumbing crew member Sean Anderson ready for more hard work after replacing waste and water lines for a remodeling job at a home in Portland, Oregon. In the background you can see that not only do we replace your old plumbing fixtures – we’ll dispose of them too…

Sutherland Plumbing crew members John Benton and Sean Anderson replace waste & water lines for a remodeling job at a home in Portland, Oregon.  We do whatever it takes to get the job done with the highest quality standards.

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.

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…

 

 

The Proof is in The Reviews – Thank You to our Customers!!!

May 25th 2017

This is the first review I’ve ever written and Sutherland Plumbing deserves it!

John and his crew were extremely professional and came over one day to check everything in the house to determine what might have caused our high water bills.

They came back a few days later to replace the upstairs and downstairs “contractor special” toilets; a lowboy, under the stairs, a water heater (including a drip pan & hose to the crawl space in case of an overflow leak) and the outdoor hose faucet with a non-freeze unit.

John explained everything thoroughly, they worked quickly, gave us discounts, used only high grade materials, covered their work shoes and left everything spotless!!! What more could you ask for? You couldn’t even tell they had been here!

And, without mentioning it, John replaced one of the shower heads and even put a light source & switch in the crawl space so that we no longer have to go down there like miners with our flashlight and lantern!

When you consider that we now have low flush, one-piece “Toto” toilets, a secured and potentially flood proof Bradford-White water heater, crawl space lighting and a non-frost outdoor water outlet that will be trouble proof for many years to come, it was worth it.

If you want to use lesser quality/lower price products, they might not be the company for you. But, if you want long-term, solid products put in with excellent workmanship, then Sutherland Plumbing are the ones to call.

5 Stars (Yelp)

The Kent Family – Portland, OR

***

May 13th 2017

Value. Often it’s the peace of mind in knowing you received an excellent product with exceptional service at a fair cost, along with a great warranty.

I’m the maintenance coordinator of a 38 unit condo complex, so I see a lot of contractors every week. When my own hot water heater needed to be replaced, I called Sutherland Plumbing. John was quick to return my call, provided a written estimate right away and by the luck of a canceled appointment, was able to get out to me the same day (which is really helpful when you have no hot water in the house)!

John and Cameron were efficient, clean & punctual. They put plastic covers on the stairs & entryway and wore shoe covers, etc. They improved on the existing situation, explained what they did and how to operate the new unit, cleaned their work area to spotless when finished and the price came in at bid, even showing me how to save $25 on the bill. Nobody likes to have to come out of pocket for unexpected homeowner repairs but I was very satisfied with a job exceptionally well done.

Value. I found it with Sutherland Plumbing and give them my highest recommendation without hesitation!

5 Stars (Yelp)

Charles M – Lake Oswego, OR

***

May 1st 2017

You know when something important or expensive breaks, it’s usually at two o’clock in the morning on a Sunday and no one will help you for days? 

Sutherland Plumbing will help you ASAP.

I’ve called Sutherland Plumbing on multiple occasions. They’ve always been honest, forthright, realistic in their quotes and delivery of work quality. They show up when they say they will and are good at communicating. They are professional, courteous and respectful.

I know Sutherland Plumbing will fix things the right way, the first time and I trust them not to try and up-sell me on things I don’t need or want.

I trust them in my home and I trust them to help me when I need a plumbing expert. Every time.

5 Stars (Yelp)

Sean J – Hillsboro, OR

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