Changing Water Heater Regulations in Portland

The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) has decided to change its water heater energy factor (EF) requirements. The new water heater regulations became effective as of April 15th. This means that as a homeowner, you need to re-evaluate your water heater situation fairly quickly. With these new standards, manufactures won’t sell the current models or their parts any longer. So if your current water heater needs repairs past the deadline, you’re out of luck. It’s best to take this opportunity to purchase a brand new water heater.

With our licensed professionals at 3 Mountain Plumbing, you’ll be able to take care of your water heater needs before the deadline. By addressing this right away, you won’t need to worry about meeting the NAECA’s standard for a long time into the future. So don’t wait, or else any repairs or a replacement will become more costly. Our service technicians understand these new standards, are knowledgeable of all the options on the market, and will have the best recommendations to get the right water heater for your home.

How the New Water Heater Regulations Will Effect You

3 Mountains Plumbing advises you to replace your old water heater with a newer model that meets all the new regulations as soon as possible. There are many ways the homeowner will benefit from these new regulations. Your new, compliant water heater will:

  • Be much more energy efficient
  • Save you a lot more money in the long run
  • Provide you with improved insulation technology for more quality water
  • Decrease your CO2 emissions and reduce your carbon footprint
  • Ensure you won’t have any water heater problems anytime soon
  • Increase comfort for you and your family
  • Lower monthly utility bills
  • Self-diagnose emergencies with built-in smart technology

A high efficiency water heater helps you save money and get better water heater performance, so call in the 3 Mountains Plumbing experts to make your home code compliant today!

Compliant Tankless Water Heaters in Portland

One of the newest and more energy efficient water heater options on the market today is the tankless water heater. The difference the tankless water heater brings to the table is the fact that it only heats water when you turn on the faucet. Ergo, it cuts down on your energy usage, and makes your wallet, and the NAECA, very happy. The features and benefits of tankless water heaters include:

  • Endless, on-demand hot water
  • Increased comfort for you and your family
  • Lower monthly utility bills
  • Self-diagnosing emergencies with built-in smart technology
  • Digital panel with settings able to be controlled remotely

3 Mountains Plumbing will work 24/7 to address all your water heater issues, including meeting the deadline for these new regulations, so your family can enjoy a safe and healthy living environment.

Call 3 Mountains Plumbing today and prepare yourself for the new water heater regulations!


Service Inbound
3 Mountains Plumbing - Best of HomeAdvisor

The New Water Heater Regulations and What to they Mean to Portland, OR

As of April 15th, 2015, new energy efficiency standards will be put into effect for water heaters nationwide. That means your current water heater model is about to become illegal! Well, sort of. Without being dramatic, we’ll try to explain.

Basically, the recent push for a more environmentally conscious America has resulted in the DOE (Department of Energy) passing legislation that raises the standards for residential water heater efficiency — meaning they burn less fuel and accomplish the same heating. Using less energy means a reduced carbon footprint! However, it also means that the water heater needs to be larger — specifically, about 2 inches wider. That’s because newer water heater models require superior insulation to ensure that no heat escapes. In addition, it could mean that you pay more for a water heater replacement — the higher efficiency models can be up to 35% more expensive to install.

What Does that Mean for Portland Homeowners?

If your water heater fails between now and April 15th, you’ll be able to get a direct replacement for the fast and efficient plumbing professionals at 3 Mountains Plumbing with no problem.

However, if your water heater fails after the April 15th deadline, plumbing professionals won’t be able to offer direct replacement. You’ll have to upgrade on the spot! Homeowners who have to upgrade to the higher efficiency model may encounter any and of the following:

  • Resizing Issues– Some utility rooms are too small for the new water heater models and will need to be resized. If your water heater is in a closet, you may even need to take out of a wall! Plus, newer models may require a gas line upgrade in addition to the installation.
  • No Hot Water During Replacement– During the process of researching and installing your upgraded water heater, you won’t have warm water to clean, cook, or shower with. You never realize how much you depend on your water heater until you don’t have it!
  • Higher Installation Costs– A direct replacement of a water heater is generally no problem, but with the complications involved in an upgrade plus the cost of the newer product, will the new water heater fit your budget?

This is why the 3 Mountains Plumbing professionals advocate getting a water heater replacement now rather than waiting until after the deadline. If your water heater is more than 10 years old or shows signs of wear and tear, call in a plumbing professional and have it replaced! You won’t have the worry about the efficiency standards for another 10 years!

So call the water heater professionals at 3 Mountains Plumbing for water heater replacement today! Avoid the hassle of sudden upgrade and get a high quality direct replacement from our licensed professionals now.

Ask a Portland Plumber How to Save on Plumbing Repairs

The costs involved in plumbing repair projects are often a size-able cause for concern and worry for many homeowners, but it doesn’t always have to be that way.  There are a number of things you can do in preparation for a visit from a Portland plumber, and definitely a few items to make sure to address prior to initiating any plumbing repair.

Get Upfront Pricing and Affordable Repairs with 3 Mountains

First and foremost, do your research. If you’re checking out Portland plumbing services, look for ones that have excellent reputations, have affiliations with local building associations, and pride themselves on excellent customer service.  You could even ask for references you can call for feedback on the company’s performance in past plumbing repair projects.  Learning more than the basic details about who you hire for your plumbing repair will help you save time and money, plus you’ll feel more comfortable in knowing you’ve hired someone that wants to provide superior service.  Also if you are going to be changing out fixtures, put some time into looking at different manufacturers and models that you like so that when it comes time to figure out costs, accurate pricing can be given.

Be sure to ask about inspections and estimates.  Prior to the first visit from the plumber, make a list of the repair(s) you want completed so you’re sure not to forget anything.  Premier Portland plumbing services will know exactly what to look for to provide an honest and accurate estimate of the plumbing repair costs. If the company charges for estimates, you should ask about being able to apply this expense to the cost of the plumbing repair itself.  Certain scopes of work require permits from your local municipality (generally the town, city or county).  It is advisable to use permits and get inspections when ever they are required.  This will insure that your work is done to to acceptable standards and will function properly.

Review their pricing structure. Many Portland plumbers still charge by the hour, but this isn’t always the most cost-effective process.  When projects are billed by the hour, there is much more possibility of fluctuation in the end cost.  A better pricing structure is billing on a per project basis.  Portland plumbing services that use this structure will assess your individual situation and estimate the cost for the entire project.  Pricing based on the full project also promotes efficiency and preparation, since the plumbing companies won’t make any extra money if they take longer to do the job.

At 3 Mountains Plumbing, honesty, integrity, and superior service come first. You can trust we’ll get the job done right the first time. Give us a call today for any and all plumbing needs you have! Visit our coupon page for more ways to save.

Do You Have RATS in Your Toilet?

Yes, you read that correctly: homeowners in Oregon are having a, uh… unique problem!

The article at the link reveals that the public sewer system in Portland is so infested with rats that the rodents have been showing up — sometimes alive —in people’s toilets.  Apparently, the Multnomah County Vector Control fields about 10 to 15 calls a year about this issue.  The Manager of the department, Chris Wirth, has stated that most alpha male rats are too large to enter the pipe systems, and most of the animals arrive in the toilet bowl drowned. But that’s not much comfort to the citizens of Portland who now, in addition to all of the hassles of home maintenance, have to worry about rats showing up in their bathroom.  Some of the rats are even able to jump out of the toilet if they’re large enough — so remember to keep the seat down!

Or, instead of having to worry about this ridiculous problem happening to you, you can have the 3 Mountains Plumbing team perform a sewer camera inspection.  This procedure is straightforward, but it’s also among the most advanced in the current plumbing industry.  When one of our fully licensed and certified plumbers arrives at your home for a sewer camera inspection, this is what happens:

  • Step 1: The technician arrives in a fully stocked truck.  Remember, the 3 Mountains Plumbing experts have always completed the most up-to-date training on the market, and you know you’re in good hands.
  • Step 2: We turn off the valve and let your sewage drains clear out so we’ll be dealing with an empty pipe.
  • Step 3: Our plumber finds the access port in your basement.  This is the most convenient entrance to your sewer pipes, and you may even be able to locate it on your own.
  • Step 4: A camera-tipped cable is threaded through your piping system, displaying an image of the pipe interior  on a monitor in real time.  From that display, we can determine exactly what’s happening in your plumbing, and catch any critters that may be living in there!

In all seriousness, having a pest problem in your sanitation system is no joke.  Sewer clogs and backups are serious health risks, and having any wastewater come back through your system could put you at risk.  Call 3 Mountain Plumbing to avoid this problem today!

Tankless Water Heating FAQ: An Interview with a 3 Mountains Plumber

Hello, this is Matt from Service Inbound! I’m here with Klint Sloan from 3 Mountains Plumbing: he’s a technician, and he’s going to tell us a little bit about tankless water heating and why homeowners should consider it as an alternative to conventional water heating.  How are you doing, Klint?

I’m good!

Great!  So, basically, what we want to talk about is how tankless water heating works and what it can do for a homeowner — but first, tell me about 3 Mountains plumbing.

We’ve been doing service work for the past 5, 6 years.  It’s a great company to work for, and it’s a great company to have work done by. We have great warranties, we really take care of our customers, and we really put homeowners first.

Excellent, excellent. So if I’m a homeowner and I’m looking in install a water — whether I’m remodeling my basement or for some other reason need a replacement — why should I choose tankless over conventional?

Tankless are much for efficient as far as the use of the gas for heating the water.  You will have a continual flow of hot water, you will never run out of hot water, and with the units nowadays the flows are just as good as having a conventional tanked unit.  The energy consumption is probably the best benefit of them: they use a lot less energy, so the utility bill for heating your water is much less.

So when you talk about the efficiency, does that mean I would save money if I decide to go with the tankless?

You would save money in the long run on your utility bills.  Tankless are a bit more expensive to install and procure the heater itself — the product itself is more expensive.  But in the long run, they last longer than a regular tanked unit and pay for themselves from energy bills.

How long do the tankless water heaters last?

The usually last about 15 to 20 years, if not longer, with proper maintenance.

And comparison to conventional: how long do the tanked water heaters last?

The industry average for a tanked water heater, gas or electric, is about 8 to 13 years.

What does the warranty look like on a tankless water heater?

The tankless we install are the Noritz brand, and we put a ten year all-inclusive warranty which covers all parts and all labor for ten years. It also includes maintenance every two years.

So you prefer Noritz; are there any particular reasons that you prefer that brand?

We have researched many different models and have installed many different models, and I have found that the heat exchanger, which is the main component of any tankless water heater, is made of a higher grade copper so it will last longer and won’t have as many issues.  We’ve found that the electrical components in the Noritz tend to have fewer issues also.  Overall, we’ve just found that they’re a much longer lasting unit than other brands.

Right.  So tell me about the installation process for tankless.

Well, first, a few different things: we highly recommend that people do not use electric tankless water heaters because the electric will reduce the water flow to heat the water and they use a lot more electricity than the conventional water heater.  The way that I compare is that for a tankless water heater on electric, you’d have to have as much power as three conventional water heaters; most people don’t have that much on their panel.  And they don’t work as well, either. That’s why we recommend the gas type to all of our customers

Secondly, on the gas units that we put in, one of the other things that some people don’t understand about tankless is this: they will use less gas overall, but when they do fire up they use more gas at the time because they are heating it on demand.  This means that usually we also need to upgrade the gas line to make sure it has enough flow.  A conventional water heater has between 40 and 50 thousand BTU (a British Thermal Unit, which is a way of measuring how much energy something uses); a tankless will use 199 thousand BTUs, but only when you demand water.  The conventional tanked unit will be heating the water continually throughout the day.

And finally, tankless units have specialized venting, so you can’t just hook then up to a regular aluminum B vent or normal atmospheric venting.  We normally do PVC piping to a termination point either the side of the house or through the roof to draw air from and exhaust from the outside.

On that topic: what exactly do you need for a tankless to work? What size gas line, etc.?

It depends on how far away you are from the gas meter. Usually, when houses are plumbed for gas, the piping is big enough to service what they have installed — usually a water heater, a furnace, a gas fireplace, a BBQ — but when you add on the extra BTUs of a tankless, the gas line often isn’t big enough, so you have to run a one inch or a 3/4 inch line instead of the half inch most homes are equipped with now.  However, that all depends on where you’re having it installed.

So, one problem that homeowners have reported with tankless water heating has been inconsistency: sometimes owners have reported cold showers.  Is that an issue that the newer models have done anything to change or address?

Yes, it has!  With the Nortiz, we’ve found that you rarely if ever get a cold shower.  Usually, that only happens on a unit where somebody has not done the proper maintenance, where it stops firing properly because the components have stopped registering what needs to happen.  That’s what happens with the cold water type scenario.  In the past, people would get what is called a “cold water sandwich” effect in the line, which is when your hot water takes a moment heating up, just at the beginning of the shower.  It’ll send some hot water through the line, then you’ll get some cold water, then hot water again.  That still happens occasionally with all water heaters, but not very often anymore with the newer Noritz technology.

How do I maintain my tankless water heater?

What we do is that we eliminate build-up.  The insides of a tankless water heater are copper, and over time you get hard water or limescale That’s why all the units that we install have an isolation kit that’s on the bottom where it connects: what it does it that it isolates the water by itself as we run a solution that clears out all the buildup and limescale.  We let that run for about to hour to pump all of that out, and then we flush the unit, test it again, and that cleans out all of the filters and pipes.  So it’s heating just like when it was brand new.

Does 3 Mountains offer a specific maintenance program?

Included with our installation warranties is a maintenance every two years.  We recommend that the maintenance be done every two years even after the warranty is up; if it’s a tankless we installed, you get a lower rate. Still, we do maintenance on any water heater at all.

Great.  So am I missing anything here?  Is there anything you’d like to add before we close?

The thing I want to add is this: a lot of people would like to have a tankless because of the savings and the green factor of a tankless water heater without realizing that cost itself in installation is usually higher than that of a standard water heater.  However, over time you’re going to save money because it’s going to last longer and you’ll pay less on your utility bills, so it’s an investment rather than a short term fix.  When you keep that in mind, it’s a great investment to make.

Thanks so much for your time, Klint.

No problem.

Before we go, how can customers learn more?

You can go to as a great resource on finding out how tankless water heaters operate and how much they cost, and you can also visit our website,, to download our e-book buyers guide.

Excellent!  Thanks again, Klint, and thanks everyone for listening.  This has been Matt with Service Inbound and Klint of 3 Mountains Plumbing.  Call 3 Mountains about tankless water heaters today!

Plumbing in Portland: The 3 Mountains Way

3 Mountains Plumbing Gets te Job Done Delightfully

Got a Portland plumbing problem?  Who you gonna call?—3 Mountains Plumbing! Why? Because we make plumbing delightful!  Don’t laugh. We really do. That’s our motto and we’re sticking to it.

What is delightful plumbing you ask? Aside from being perhaps the biggest differentiator of our unique Portland plumbing company, it represents each of these delightful benefits:

  • Top Quality Customer Service: From the moment you call us through the final moment of repair or installation, expect nothing short of superior customer service. We pride ourselves on it.
  • Punctual, Neat, Trained for Success: Our consistently trained and fully-licensed journeymen plumbers arrive on time wearing coveralls and booties with the expectation that your home will be cleaner when we leave than how we found it.
  • Fair & Fixed Up-Front Pricing: At 3 Mountains Plumbing we don’t like surprises. For a small dispatch fee we will assess the situation and provide you with a guaranteed fixed price for services needed. Should you choose to use our services within 30-days, the dispatch fee goes toward your total invoice.
  • Same Day Emergency Service Available: Our residential plumbing experts are standing by 24-hours a day, holidays, weekends, you name it. Plumbing disasters don’t care what time it is, and neither do we.
  • Portland Plumbing Discounts: Check out our rotating selection of plumbing deals for our loyal customers in the greater Portland area.

Don’t Take Our Word For It—Check Our Portland Plumbing Reviews!

At 3 Mountains Plumbing we are repeatedly blown away with our positive customer reviews and testimonials—please have a look—after all, while we could go on and on we don’t want to bore you. Besides, the customer always knows best.

Proud to serve as Portland plumbers for nearly 15 years, we’d be delighted to share with you our services and solutions. Give us a call or stop by 3 Mountains Plumbing today!

2014 Portland Plumbing Checklist

Happy New Year from the team at 3 Mountains Plumbing of Portland!  Here’s to a healthy and happy new year of new beginnings and perhaps new plumbing systems! Maintaining and updating household plumbing systems remains essential to the efficiency and longevity of those systems.

Here’s a quick list of some of the products and services we have been providing the greater Portland area for over a decade:

Water Heater Repair

Tankless, conventional, gas, or electric—our journeymen plumbers can repair, maintain, and replace them all.  We are presently offering a variety of new water heater installation coupons.  Check them out!

Sewer Replacement

Sewer replacements are essential to the health and wellbeing of you and your family.  Notice a foul odor not unlike rotten eggs?  Check these top signs it may be time for a sewage line replacement.

Water Line Replacement

As old pipes wear down, water main line, or water service replacement jobs continue to be on the rise.  With our use of Wirsbo pipe and advanced directional boring technology, we’ve become experts in this space.  Check for our water line replacement discount.

Drain Cleaning

Our experienced plumbers know how to use the right technology not only to alleviate drain clogs, but to completely eliminate them so that they never return.  We combine environmentally friendly with technologically advanced efforts to manage Portland drain clogs.

Sewer Camera Inspection

Camera inspection is a terrific way to precisely locate, diagnose, and remove whatever sewer or drain problem exists.  Our technicians can quickly determine the problem using real time video pipe inspection equipment.  This also helps determine exact pricing by eliminating guesswork.

Keep your Portland home’s plumbing systems in good working order by taking proactive measures before an emergency occurs.  Stop by or call 3 Mountains Plumbing today and get your home ready for the new year!

Portland Plumbers Here to Save the Holidays!

Portland Plumbers Here to Save the Holidays!

No, really, at 3 Mountains Plumbing we have and will continue to save holidays in Portland!  Plumbing mishaps are pretty much always frustrating, but can be especially daunting around the holidays when hosting a household full of family members and friends.  That’s why we are always on-call and available to provide emergency plumbing service.

We are very pleased to announce that our service super hero, Klint, recently received a Review of the Week from ReviewBuzz!  It just happens to be about how Klint saved a family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  The reviewer was kind enough to write this:

“Klint saved our Thanksgiving!  It was Thanksgiving eve afternoon and we had a BIG problem – the aroma of holiday baking was suddenly overpowered by the smell of sewage overflow from the shower & laundry drains…this was NOT just a clogged drain.”

Sewer Problems in Portland at Thanksgiving

Okay, so this is the nightmare scenario.  It would be one thing if the garbage disposal was jammed or if even if the water heater seized up, but a sewage-related problem is serious business.  Not only can the stench be foul, but the mess is unsanitary and poses health risks.

Portland Sewer Camera Inspection to the Rescue

The reviewer continues to write: “…We called 3 Mountains Plumbing and good things happened fast.”

Klint used our advanced sewer camera inspection equipment to accurately find and diagnose the problem.  Benefits of using this equipment include:

  • No surprises or guesswork
  • Precise pricing
  • Speedy, accurate solutions

We’re proud of Klint and we’re very appreciative that our customer took the time to write such a thoughtful review of our services.

Our 3 Mountains Plumbing team has been fixing and preventing plumbing emergencies in Portland for over a decade.  We’re happy to help you through the holidays as we are any other time of year.

The holidays should be as enjoyable as possible.  Call 3 Mountains Plumbing—we’ll take care of the plumbing.    

Happy Holidays from Our Trusted Portland Plumbing Team at 3 Mountains Plumbing

As we look towards our 14th year of providing residential plumbing service throughout the greater Portland area, we think of how thankful we are to be an ongoing part of this community.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, our friends and customers, for your ongoing support and constructive feedback and testimonials.  Our team—everyone from our customer service operators to master journeymen plumbers—work hard to bring you the superior service you deserve and the delightful experience you have come to expect from 3 Mountains Plumbing.

Check Our Coupons for All Things Portland Plumbing Related

‘Tis the season of coupon giving!  We could all stand to save a few bucks here and there, especially around the holidays.  Please be sure to check our seasonal coupons page for our latest discounts and offerings.  This season, we are pleased to be able to provide the following coupon offers:

  1. Any Repipe Job, save $250
  2. Tankless Water Heater Installations, save $150
  3. Any Plumbing Repair, save $35
  4. New Water Service, save $150
  5. Water Heater Installation, $75 off gas & $50 off electric installation

So, please use a coupon!  And remember that we only provide our customers with up-front fixed pricing.  With 3 Mountains Plumbing there are never any surprises.   Plus we provide a one year warranty on all of our products and services.

Happy holidays, Portland!  Thank you again for your continued support.


The Team at 3 Mountains Plumbing

3 Mountains Plumbing: A Delightful Portland Plumbing Company

We Make Plumbing Delightful

Plumbing?  Delightful?  Huh?!

We know, we know, these are two words you don’t often hear together. In fact you have probably never heard  delightful and plumbing go together—unless of course you’ve worked with the team with 3 Mountains Plumbing.

Over a decade ago when we set up shop in Portland, we knew we needed to do something special to stand out and gain customer loyalty. Providing what we call delightful plumbing service informed by training and expertise seemed like a good place to start.

A Portland Plumbing Company Plus a Little Something Extra

What is that little something extra, you ask?

Here is a quick list of some of the benefits we offer that differentiate us from the crowd:

  1. Fixed Rates (and we mean it): There are never any surprises.  We are committed to providing an up-front fixed rate, and that’s that.
  2. Minimum One-Year Warranty: We provide a minimum one-year warranty on all products and services.

It is our hope that working with 3 Mountains Plumbing will bring you peace of mind.  We work to save you time and money by providing an array of affordable household plumbing solutions.  Of course, to us, delightful plumbing is not all only about savings, but also about customer service.

Professional Portland Plumbers Committed to Excellence in Customer Service

Our team is comprised only of highly skilled and consistently trained journeymen and master plumbers.  Our professionals arrive at your home in uniform and even protective booties to keep your household interior clean and safe.  Our trucks are fully-stocked with tools, parts, and equipment for any job so that we can finish what’s needed right away with no rescheduling hassles.

We place all of these advantages under one umbrella term: “delightful plumbing.”  Delightful plumbing is what we provide and how we deliver.

Please give us a call today to learn more about any of these plumbing benefits or to find out about available coupon offers or warranties.