Tag Archives: Clogged Drain

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 the 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 torchlight, he emerges some time later – t-shirt soaked with copper-coloured 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 nick.”

Courtesy of: Chadwicks.ie

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 in the following:

Danco Microban Hair CatcherThese hair traps are a great way to prevent needing a plumber in the first place! I think EVERYONE would agree, $5.81 is well spent to avoid and/or prevent a $200.00 service call from a plumber! Not to mention, drain clogs 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 here.

An awesome email from an awesome customer!!

Hi John,

You came to our home at 11 am on January 8th to fix our clogged bathtub drain (that we have had problems with for several years).

The following week you called and left a message to check-in & follow-up and to inquire if it was still draining properly.  I am so sorry that it has taken me such a long time to reply to your phone message from a few weeks ago.  At the time you called I wanted to wait a little while longer just to be sure that it would continue working and draining well, since in the past when we would get it unclogged, it would sometimes clog up again within a few weeks.

Yes, the drain is working wonderfully – which is such a blessing!  Thank you VERY much John, for fixing our drain.  Not only that – but thank you also for the awesome professional service that you and your company extended – from the first phone call & e-mail, to explaining all of the details of the job, for answering all of my questions, and for following-up after the job was done.

I am so impressed, that I recommended Sutherland Plumbing to my parents and also to my sister, who both live in this area (Milwaukie and West Linn).  There is no doubt in my mind that should I ever require a plumber, I will definitely be calling Sutherland Plumbing!

Your company is over the top professional, courteous, honest, trustworthy, highly experienced, and offers outstanding customer service.  You give 100% in every area – which is quite rare!  You definitely know how to do business and I am so grateful to have found such a wonderful plumbing service.  I will be writing a review on Yelp soon.

It was a pleasure doing business with Sutherland Plumbing!

Thank you very much.


Sandie D – Milwaukie, OR

Ti’s Tips, Reminder – Act NOW before it’s too late!!

Ignoring symptoms of a failing plumbing system – i.e. Weird or strange sounds, leaks, drips, loose & wobbly faucets or fittings, slow or clogged drains, or poor water pressure etc. is like ignoring a traffic citation. It can’t magically vanish, it only gets worse over time…………

Don’t ignore symptoms of a failing plumbing system. Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015. Call today!

The Best Portland Plumbers get The Best Online Reviews!

January 22nd 2015

Ti and his apprentice, Sean quickly & efficiently accomplished the following for me:
1) Replaced broken garbage disposal system & updated the connected plumbing.
2) Replaced broken “frost-free” exterior hose spigot.
3) Unclogged sink drain & stopped exterior faucet leak.

This is the 3rd time I’ve hired Ti and he is officially my “go-to” plumber.  This time, he had a 2nd pair of helpful hands with his new apprentice Sean, who was an awesome hire!  Both guys were very professional and worked well together as a team to get the jobs done quickly.  Upon arrival, I walked them through my laundry list of plumbing issues, and Ti was thorough in his feedback on each issue.  Due to my budget, I had them tackle only our biggest issues, which are listed above. The remaining “handyman-type” plumbing issues, I opted to try to fix myself, and Ti was super accommodating to explain the “how to” & he also provided a product list!  What a GUY 🙂  Thanks again Ti and Sean, and keep up the great quality work!


Brett J – Portland, OR

Brett J Old Unit

Underneath our sink before Sutherland Plumbing’s great work…

Brett J New Unit

…and after the top-notch work from Sutherland Plumbing!

Ti’s Tips Reminder – Oh no, Clogged Drains!

Hi Everyone!

I’m Ti Sutherland, Co-Owner & Master Plumber for Sutherland Plumbing in Portland, Oregon.  Here at Sutherland Plumbing, we strive to be the Portland Metro area’s #1 family-owned plumbing service.  Our customers receive top-quality work from technicians who are always 100% drug-free.  But that’s not all.  At Sutherland Plumbing we understand the importance for our customers to keep their plumbing systems running smoothly and efficiently all year-round.

So it’s in the spirit of “shared knowledge” that I present reminders from my column – “Ti’s Tips” :

Ti’s Tips Reminder – Oh no, Clogged Drains!

The use of so-called liquid drain cleaners or openers is discouraged! There is NO marvel of design in these products. Most are made of highly caustic acids that only serve to dissolve, eat and destroy anything in their path including your plumbing pipes. Some even go as far as to claim “safe for all pipes” even if the results from using these products are temporary at best. You be the judge. Drains clog for the most part as a result of grease, fats, oils and other matter accumulating inside the pipe. In order to CLEAN the drain one must scour the inside with proper equipment and knowledge. This is commonly referred to as snaking or “rootering” the drain. There is a big difference between “CLEANING” the drain as opposed to “OPENING” the drain. Baking soda and vinegar? Use at your own risk. Those items work best when baking or cooking food and are wasted when poured down the drain!  Don’t say we didn’t warn you!Image

Another great online review for Sutherland Plumbing!

On September 16th, Ti & Sean with Sutherland Plumbing, LLC completed a job in Southeast Portland and received yet another great online review in a very well-known business directory:

“The drain in the basement floor has been backing up several times over the last month.  Ti and his assistant, Sean, promptly came out and ran water from various locations to identify where the blockage might be located. They inspected & diagnosed the sewer lines & checked-out the water heater. It didn’t take long for them to diagnose a “main line blockage” – fairly typical in a 90 year-old house!  They recommended we call a trusted company that specializes in excavation and “main line” sewer work.  They also checked the condition of our water heater and said it probably wouldn’t need replacing for another few years. Ti explained that quality water heaters (like the one we have) rarely need replacement until they are about 15 years old.  It was very helpful for Ti and Sean to draw a diagram to explain how the plumbing system in the house basically works. Ti did not charge us for this service because he was already in the area and couldn’t do the replacement that is required – but his helpful explanations and recommendation of another company was very beneficial and professional. We will definitely call Sutherland Plumbing for any future plumbing needs.”

Gary Powell – Portland, OR

Online Customer Ratings:

Overall: A

Price: A

Quality: A

Responsiveness: A

Punctuality: A

Professionalism: A

Powell St Water Heater

At Sutherland Plumbing we take pride in doing absolutely everything we can to serve our customers to their complete satisfaction. On the rare occasion that we can’t fully complete the project – we will always refer you to the best contractors in the Portland area – just like in the above situation. That’s the Sutherland Plumbing difference!

The great reviews for Sutherland Plumbing keep comin’ in!!

“Honest, knowledgeable, friendly service at its best! I called Ti before the impending rainstorm last weekend because our driveway drain was clogged. He was at our door within 20 minutes of calling! I mean really, who does that? He was on his way home but turned around to come help us. Ti arrived, cleared the drain and warned us that he could “feel” the drain was close to a failure. Ti has been doing this so long and knows his stuff so well he could tell the pipe was deteriorating based on the sound & feel of the drain snake as it went through.  I doubt other big drain companies would have such knowledgeable staff. Sutherland Plumbing is an owner-operated business so Ti’s personal reputation is behind every job. Oh, and there was no hard sales pitch on eventually replacing the rain drain pipe! Just a courtesy heads-up that we will have a significant expense coming in the future so we could plan for it. Shalom!

Update: After Ti came out on Friday he called on Sunday to check up on us.  He said he was watching the streets in his neighborhood flood and wanted to see how we were doing.  Our drain was clear but in case it failed in the future he had already called the contractor he had recommended to us for drain replacement and told him about our situation.  Great customer service!”

Josh T – Portland, OR

Don't just take their word for it - Experience the Sutherland Plumbing "difference" for yourself - Call Sutherland Plumbing at (503) 719-4015!

Don’t just take their word for it – Experience the Sutherland Plumbing “difference” for yourself – Call (503) 719-4015!

Plumbing FAQ – Can I flush wipes & similar “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)

Plumbing FAQ – Can I put coffee grounds down the drain?

Welcome to the first installment of Sutherland Plumbing’s “Frequently Asked Questions!” In this recurring section of our blog we will be presenting real life questions & answers from some of our customers, friends, family & associates. So without further ado, question #1 is:

Q: I have a coffee machine with a washable, re-useable filter. It’s easier for me to just wash the used coffee grounds down the drain as I’m cleaning the re-useable filter instead of putting a paper filter in the trash. Is this bad? Should I be putting the used grounds in the garbage? Is it okay to put used coffee grounds down the drain?

A: Coffee grounds can swell (absorb more water) even further after introduced into the drain, so Sutherland Plumbing always advises folks – no, you shouldn’t put used coffee grounds down the drain.

There are more than a few determining factors why drains slow and clog. It’s usually not one singular event, assuming abuse isn’t the case. It’s analogous to a human’s cardiovascular system & arteries. Poor diet, age, genetics etc.

Have you ever heard someone’s rebuttal to: “dairy, bacon and butter is bad for you.”

Well my gramps ate two eggs, bacon & hash-browns cooked in butter everyday of his life and lived to 99 years old!”

I hear it all the time when I tell people you “shouldn’t put this & that down the drain!”

They say: “I’ve been doing it that way for a 1000 years.”

Then the next service call, the drain is packed full of egg shells and coffee grounds! The determining factors are: The type of pipe and how it was originally installed (genetics). How long and what’s been going down the drain for years (diet & age) and how the system is used.(Lifestyle). See what I mean?

The short answer: it’s best not to put coffee grounds down the drain!

Drain clogged?  You know who to call!  Sutherland Plumbing, LLC at (503) 719-4015!

Drain clogged? You know who to call! Sutherland Plumbing, LLC at (503) 719-4015!