Avoid Household Water Damage Portland

Tips to Avoid Household Water Damage

Rain is simply part of our Portland lifestyle and we really wouldn’t want it any other way. As Portland residents we are accustomed to the rainy seasons and have learned to successfully navigate our lives around them.

Just as you might buy a new pair of rain boots or rain coat, so too should you consider purchasing, or at least check up on, rain protection for your home.

1. Install a Sump Pump (or make sure the one you have is working)

A properly sized and installed sump pump is your home’s number one defense against excessive rain water.

If you do not have a sump pump in your basement or crawlspace, get one.

If you do have one, you’re a step ahead—just make sure it works!  The most common sump pump issue is a failing float switch, so look there first.  3 Mountains Plumbing is fully-stocked with sump pumps readily available for immediate installation.

2. Locate Your Home’s Water Main Shut Off

If a water main or major appliance breaks down, you need to know how to shut off your home’s main water supply to avoid further water damage and potential flooding.  These shut off switches are typically located in basements or crawlspaces.  We suggest finding yours and clearly marking it so that it can easily be found by anyone in the event of an emergency.

3. Proactive Plumbing Maintenance

We have learned that when it comes to successful household plumbing, it is always best to err on the side of caution.  The first and best way to prevent an appliance from failing is to conduct regular performance inspections.  Check for rust, debris, slow or small leaks, and water pressure fluctuations before they have an opportunity to develop into larger more costly problems.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, or if you would like to learn more about our preventative water damage solutions, contact the experts at 3 Mountains Plumbing today. We are on-call and ready to assist you 24-hours a day, seven days a week.   


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Portland Plumbing Discount Coupon? Yes, Please!

Save on Your Service When You Choose 3 Mountains Plumbing!

Would you like a $35 discount off a plumbing repair?  Of course you would!

Well, you’re in luck because 3 Mountains Plumbing is presently offering a variety of coupons and discounts including $35 off plumbing repairs.

Of course our customers are welcome to put this money towards any plumbing repair they please, but we thought it would be helpful to suggest some smaller, more affordable household maintenance jobs that might prove most beneficial.  Here are a few:

  1. Sump Pump Maintenance: Sump pumps function to keep basements and crawlspaces free from excess water.  As the season changes, be on the lookout for faulty sump pump float switches that could lead to flooding.
  2. Garbage Disposal Maintenance: It may be time for an upgrade if your garbage disposal is slow to operate or if it is frequently clogging.  We provide a variety of horsepower options based on your specific household needs.
  3. Fixture Updates: If you’re not up for renovating your entire kitchen or bathroom, consider updating faucets and other fixtures.  Not only do these look great, but they work to conserve water and save you money.
  4. Toilet Replacements: Another great way to save money via water conservation is to replace your toilet.  We are fully-stocked with a variety of toilets, but recommend 1.28 gallon bowls for ultimate savings.

Any Other Discounts?

Yes!  We’re here to make plumbing a delightful experience for our customers, and with that comes a variety of discounts, coupons, and warranties—not to mention superior service from our certified journeymen plumbers.

  1. $250 off any Repipe work
  2. $150 off Tankless Water Heater installations
  3. $150 off new Water Service installations
  4. $75 off Gas Water Heater installations
  5. $50 off Electric Water Heater installations

Don’t delay in taking advantage of our vast coupon selection, and remember that we also provide a three year warrantee on all parts and services.

Call 3 Mountains Plumbing of Portland to learn about our coupons and discounts and how they can help you with household plumbing maintenance and more.

Sump Pump Repair Signs Portland

Inspect Your Basement to Catch Problems Early On

The air is crisp as autumn slowly falls upon Portland. While the rain tends to subside over the summer, as the seasons change, we like to remind our readers to check-in on their household sump pumps. We typically receive a resurgence of sump pump related calls each fall.

Do yourself a favor and inspect your basement or crawl space sump pump before a flood occurs.

Signs of Sump Pump Failure

Not sure how to tell if something wrong with your sump pump?  Here are a couple of quick tips:

1. How Old is Your Sump Pump?

We find it’s best to replace sump pumps every five to seven years.  With age comes sediment build-up, possible cracks, plus typical wear and tear.  If yours is an older pump, or if you’re not quite sure how old it is, we suggest erring on the side of caution—nothing is worth a flood

2. Check the Float Switch.

A faulty sump pump float switch is the most common problem leading to sump pump failure.  When water hits the float switch, the switch moves and tells the pump to start pumping.  Float switches are often damaged or simply worn out due to age or overuse from excessive rain.  And in Portland it’s no secret that we contend with excessive rain on an almost regular basis.

Our Professional Advice

The best advice we can give when it comes to sump pumps is to be proactive.  Take a look and make sure your sump pump is operating correctly so you don’t have to worry when the weather changes, or when it’s too late and your home is flooded.  Have your sump pump inspected by a professionally licensed plumber.

If a flooding emergency does occur, please know that our professional journeymen plumbers are on-call and available to help 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.  We take pride in our straightforward approach to emergency plumbing.

Our facility is fully stocked with a variety of sump pumps.  We are ready to maintain, repair, and replace as needed.

Call or stop by 3 Mountains Plumbing of Portland with any additional questions you may have regarding our sump pump or emergency flooding solutions.  

Portland Plumber: Sump Pumps vs. Sewage Ejection Pumps

What’s the Difference?

While somewhat similar, we find that many of our Portland-based customers confuse the differences between sump pumps and sewage ejection pumps.  We felt it was worth witing up an easy guide to help clarify the differences and similarities between the two, and to explain why you might need one or both in your home.


Both sump pumps and sewage ejection pumps are located in basements or crawlspaces.  Sump pumps function to move excessive water from your home in an effort to keep your basement or crawlspace free from flooding.

Sewer ejection pumps help move sewage away from your home.  To summarize, here’s a look at the similarites between the two:

Both sump pumps and sewage ejection pumps…

  • Work to move water and waste away from your home
  • Function to keep your home safe
  • May be installed with an alarm sound that alerts homeowners to problems
  • Are located in crawlspaces or basements


There are more differences between sump pumps and sewage ejector pumps than there are similarities.  Although commonly confused, the two each fulfill very different functions in your home.

Sump Pumps

As mentioned, the primary function of sump pumps is to keep your basement or crawl space dry.  Sump pumps, as their name suggests, safely pump water away from your home to reduce the risk of damage caused by flooding.

While basement or crawlspace flooding is something we always want to avoid, sump pumps are especially important during Portland’s rainy season in the springtime.  We always encourage our customers to be proactive in checking sump pump float switches to ensure everything is in proper.

Sewage Ejection Pumps

Sewage ejection pumps are necessary for homes with bathrooms and toilets installed below the water main line.  Sewage ejection pumps help push sewage away from homes in cases where gravity alone can’t do the job.

Plumbing jobs involving sewage ejection pumps may be more costly than others because of the mess and health risks naturally associated with sewage.  At 3 Mountains Plumbing we do everything in our power to ensure the safety of your home.

Please contact one of 3 Mountain Plumbing’s experienced technicians to learn more about the differences between sump pumps or sewage ejection pumps, and to determine if you may need either or both for your home.

Sump Pump Installation Portland

Portland Plumber: What is the Best Sump Pump for My Home?

We hear this question quite a bit, and while we are happy to recommend our favorite, the short truth is that if you live in Portland, get a sump pump and have it professionally installed right away.  We all know that the amount of rain showered upon us in this region is far too much to ignore.  It is paramount that we remain proactive in the prevention of flooded basements and crawlspaces.  Sump pumps are imperative for your health and safety in addition to the wellbeing of your home and family.

Fortunately, the licensed journeymen plumbers at 3 Mountains Plumbing are always prepared for prompt sump pump delivery, installation, or repair.

That being said, with over a decade of professional plumbing experience in the greater Portland area, the professionals at 3 Mountains Plumbing certainly have a few recommendations to make regarding sump pumps.  We’ve seen what works and know what products stand the test of time.

Our Sump Pump Recommendation

We recommend Zoeller, a trusted, family-owned brand since 1939.  Zoeller is the oldest independently owned pump manufacturer in the United States.

3 Mountains Plumbing is fully stocked with Zoeller sump pumps as well as pump/basin combinations.  We are so confident in these reliable sump pump systems that we provide a three-year warranty on all parts and services.  We find that Zoeller products are built to last and provide great overall value for your home’s plumbing systems.

What Could Go Wrong with My Sump Pump?

The most common sump pump problem we repeatedly see are faulty float switches.  The float switch functions to essentially control the entire sump pump, so if the float switch is damaged, the sump pump will not work and may cause basement or crawlspace flooding.

The 3 Mountains Plumbing Advantage

Experience aside, we have also received some terrific customer feedback.  This means a great deal to us as we continue to strive to provide nothing but excellence in customer service.  Some of the benefits and advantages of using 3 Mountains Plumbing for assistance with your sump pump installation or repair include:

Don’t hesitate to contact 3 Mountains Plumbing with additional sump pump questions.  Give us a call and keep your Portland home safe and free from flooding.

Portland Plumber: Spring Cleaning Checklist

It’s Time to Review Your Home Plumbing System

In Portland, springtime is a beautiful time of year—a time to enjoy the outdoors while dusting up and reorganizing things indoors.  As a season of renewal, spring is the perfect time of year to catch up on household projects we’ve been putting off.  Part of that cleaning should include a review of our home’s plumbing systems.

One of our biggest plumbing concerns this time of year in the northwest is excessive rain.  For over a decade 3 Mountains Plumbing has been serving the greater Portland, Oregon area and we repeatedly receive flooding and sump pump emergency calls during the spring months.  In addition to providing your sump pump with some extra TLC (more on that later), there are a number of other simple actions homeowners can take to ensure the safety of their home’s plumbing systems.

Incorporating the following list of tasks into your regular spring cleaning routine may prevent future emergency plumbing situations:

  • Check your sump pump:  Make sure your sump pump is properly functioning before another major rain storm.  Sump pumps are typically located in the lowest part of your home’s basement or crawlspace.  Their primary function is to move unwanted and excessive water build up to a safe location away from your home.  The most common problem we see with sump pumps are the float switches.  Testing may be accomplished by pouring water into your sump pump to see that it functions properly.
  • Replace dripping faucets:  Not only can dripping faucets be pesky and annoying, they can also be sending your money right down the drain.  Help maintain your utility bill costs by inspecting your faucets.  3 Mountains Plumbing can certainly help repair leaky bathroom or kitchen faucets, but we can also guide you through a remodeling project.  Bathroom and kitchen fixtures are an easy and affordable place to begin.
  • Avoid drain clogs:  One simple way to avoid toilet drain clogs is to clear all space above and behind your toilet.  We are often called to remove a range of fallen items such as knick-knacks, toys, candles, and more from toilet drains.
  • Clear gutter debris:  Take a walk outside and double check that each of your gutters, downspouts, and plumbing vents are clear of debris such as leaves, sticks, and animal or insect nests. 

While most of these checklist tasks are fairly simple things to do, we find it’s more a matter of just making the time to take a look.

To keep your home and accompanying plumbing systems safe and clean, or for a thorough Portland springtime plumbing inspection by experienced professionals, contact 3 Mountains Plumbing.   

Ask a Portland Plumber: How Do Sump Pumps Work?

Keep Your Basement From Flooding with a Sump Pump

The primary function of a sump pump is to keep your basement or crawlspace dry and prevent flooding.  In the event that water flows to the sump pump via drains or natural migration, a properly functioning sump pump moves that water safely away from the building or structure it supports.

Why This Matters for Portland Homeowners

Every home should be fitted with a sump pump. Sump pumps are the first line of defense against flooding which can cost homeowners thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention create an unsanitary (and damp) environment in which to live.

Living in Portland, a region known for what sometimes feels like endless rain, it is of the utmost importance to take notice of and understand how sump pumps function.

While the licensed journeymen plumbers at 3 Mountains Plumbing are always happy to help with sump pump repairs or replacement, we of course recommend being prepared before an emergency occurs.  Part of this preparedness is knowing the different parts of a sump pump, how they should properly function, and interact.

The Parts of a Sump Pump

  • Sump Pit: A sump pit is a hole about two feet deep, often with a gravel base.  It is placed in the lowest part of your basement or crawlspace so that water will naturally flow towards it.
  • Sump Basin: The sump basin is the enclosed space where the water begins to collect before reaching the float switch.
  • Float Switch: As water fills the sump pump, the float switch should be automatically activated.  The float switch is the main operating center of the sump pump and is responsible for telling the sump pump what to do—remove excess water.  The most common problem we see with sump pumps are faulty float switches.
  • Check Valve: Once the float switch is activated, water begins moving through a one-way pipe to a location away from your home.  It is the check valve that keeps the water flowing in the right direction.  The check valve prevents the water from re-entering the sump pit.

In the event of a serious problem, 3 Mountains Plumbing is always available for same day service to help with emergency flooding needs.  We strive to make lasting relationships with our customers even before plumbing emergencies occur.  Please contact us with any questions regarding your Portland sump pump. 

Ask a Portland Plumber How to Avoid Basement Flooding

It’s Easy! Check Your Sump Pump

It’s springtime! And in Portland spring means rain, lots of it. 3 Mountains Plumbing recommends that homeowners check that their basement or crawlspace sump pumps are in proper working order before an emergency occurs.

3 Mountains Plumbing has same day service available to meet all of your emergency plumbing needs, basement flooding included, but why not be proactive and find out of there is a problem ahead of time? Basement flooding is not only a costly inconvenience, but it can be an unsanitary and potential health hazard detrimental to the structure and value of your home.  No one wants a flooded basement, and a properly functioning and well-maintained sump pump could save the day.

Know these common sump pump problems so you and your family can work to avoid a flooded basement this spring.

Common Sump Pump Problems:

  • Faulty Float Switch: Faulty float switches are the most common sump pump related problems.  The sump pump’s float switch functions as the brain telling the sump pump to continuously remove excess water from your home’s basement or crawl space.  We recommend checking and testing your sump pump’s float switch before a major rain storm
  • Too Much Rain/Overwhelmed Pump: Excessive rain is another major culprit of sump pump failure.  Portland, known for its rainy season, remains particularly vulnerable.  Excessive raining and leaks simply overwork sump pumps—all the more reason (especially in Portland) to ensure that sump pumps are properly installed and maintained.
  • Age/Poor Maintenance:  To be on the safe side, is typically best to replace your sump pump every five to seven years.  With careful maintenance sump pumps may last longer, but it’s best to have it inspected by a professional to ensure your basement and home won’t suffer.

Our advice? Be proactive. Check your sump pump before rain storms to see how it’ holding up.

If you suspect there is a problem with your sump pump, take comfort in knowing that 3 Mountains Plumbing has over a decade of experience repairing and replacing sump pumps in the greater Portland area.  3 Mountains Plumbing also provides a three-year warranty on all parts and service. The licensed journeymen plumbers at 3 Mountains Plumbing count on Zoeller products for long lasting sump pump durability.  As always, there is a three-year warranty on all parts and service.

Need help maintaining your Portland sump pump?  Contact 3 Mountains Plumbing for quality and expertise you can count on.

Sump Pump Failure Portland

Portland Plumber: Why Your Sump Pump Fails

It’s March—and in Portland that means rain, rain, and more rain. As spring approaches, 3 Mountains Plumbing recommends that Portland homeowners be prepared. No one wants a flooded basement or crawl space, so know what to look for to avoid possible sump pump failures.

What is the # 1 Cause of Sump Pump Failure?

The number one cause of sump pump failure is a faulty float switch. The sump pump’s float switch is like the brain that tells the sump pump when to do what it is supposed to do—remove excess water from areas of your home where it is not wanted. If the float switch is broken, your home could be in danger.

We also receive a lot of calls for sump pump basin replacements. Sump pump basins often become cracked or corroded from extensive rain water, so it’s important to make sure they are in good working order. A far less frequent, but possible cause of sump pump failure, could be due to electrical shortages.

Why 3 Mountains Plumbing?

3 Mountains Plumbing has been providing plumbing expertise to the greater Portland area for over a decade. If you need help with your sump pump this rainy season, you can expect the following from 3 Mountains Plumbing:

3 Mountains Plumbing will get the job done right, and with a warranty on all parts and service, there’s little to lose!

Give us a call today and let us know how we can help prepare your home for Portland’s rainy season. Make sure your sump pump and float switch are ready for the rain.

Portland Plumber: Do You Have a Sump Pump Installed?

Are You Prepared for the Rainy Season?

We receive lots of sump pump related calls this time of year during Portland’s early spring months in March and April.  Our excessively rainy season takes a toll on sump pumps, often overworking their switches.  A broken sump pump switch may lead to basement or crawl space flooding–something Portland homeowners will definitely want to avoid.

How Do Sump Pumps Work?

When a sump pump is in proper working order, water rises to a level where it hits the float switch and alerts the sump pump to begin pumping. This naturally alleviates excessive water, but if the switch is broken, water will overflow and there’s trouble to be had.

What Does 3 Mountains Plumbing Recommend?

3 Mountains Plumbing suggests considering a sump pump alarm when installing or repairing sump pumps. The alarm sound will alert homeowners to rising water levels before the problem worsens.  While this installation may be a bit more costly, an alarm sound is certainly preferable to a flooded crawl space.

Other Signs of Sump Pump Problems?

While disconnected float switches are the most common sump pump related problems we see in the Portland area, other signs or causes of problems include:

  •  Corroded or cracked sump pump basins
  •  Electrical shortages
  •  Sudden and frequent water leaks in basement or crawl space

What to Expect

3 Mountains Plumbing uses Zoeller sump pumps for all installations.  In business since 1939, Zoeller is a trusted and reliable brand with great customer reviews.  As always, 3 Mountains Plumbing provides a three-year warranty on service and parts.

Portland sump pump repairs and replacements are a timely issue we are prepared to fix.  Give us a call for help with all of your Portland sump pump needs.