Common Items That Should Never Go Down Your Drains

Dumping household waste down the drain seems so easy, but do you know how much damage it can cause to your drain and sewer system? Sure, it’s easy to pour that bacon grease down the sink after you cook breakfast, but even the smallest amount can cause major issues. Improper disposal of waste in your toilet or sink can result in clogs, backed up drains, or other malfunctions.  These appliance systems have their limits, and even though these boundaries are often pushed on a daily basis, they aren’t indestructible. In order to prevent issues with your plumbing, here are a few items that should never be put down your drains. 


This one may be obvious to some, but you’d be surprised how many clogs are caused by diapers. The same goes for feminine hygiene products as well. Once they get stuck, a professional will likely have to be called. A plunger won’t be able to dislodge these items, and removal can be costly and destructive. It’s possible that the clog can get sucks right outside of your house, and that a professional may have to tear up your lawn to reach it.

Hair and Dental Floss

Hair will always make its way down the drain – no matter how hard you try to keep it out! A few strands is no big deal, but the more that builds up, the bigger the clog. Dental floss acts in a similar way – both can stick to your pipes on their way down.

Fat, Oil, and Grease

Whenever you finish cooking a meal, it’s likely that you’ll have some sort of mess to clean up. It may be easy to just dump the leftovers down the drain, but doing so can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Did you know that these materials harden and congeal as they cool? This means that as they travel down your drain, they stick to the sides of your pipes and harden. They also catch other materials on their way down, resulting in major clogs. When they are introduced to public sewer systems, they mix with other particles. This not only damages public infrastructure, but it can affect drinking water.

Paper Products

Toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water – this is why we can flush it in small amounts. Paper towels, cotton balls, swabs, and similar materials aren’t designed this way. Once they get wet, they can accumulate and result in a blockage.

Coffee Grounds

Not even your garbage disposal can handle coffee grounds! They are a major cause of clogs, and any plumber will tell you to simply throw them away in the trash.

Egg Shells, Bones, and Hard Food Waste

Even though your garbage disposal can shred these food waste materials with ease, it’s still likely that they can cause a clog in your system. It’s best to throw these materials in the trash or in a compost pile.

How 3 Mountains Can Help Stubborn Clogs

  • Video Camera Inspection: We use state of the art drain-imaging tools to get a real-time look at the inside of your drains. This allows us to see exactly what is causing the clog and provide you with an accurate quote.
  • Drain Snake Services: A drain snake is a powerful way to clear even the toughest of clogs and roots mucking up your pipes. Using chemicals, rented drain snakes and other methods can severely damage your drains, leading to an even bigger issue. We will use a drain snake to grab onto the mass of the clog and pull it out through the opening of your drain.

If you find yourself in need of drain cleaning or clearing services, call 3 Mountains Plumbing today!


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Troubleshooting Drain Problems this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who have died while serving the country. Not only is it a time of remembrance, it’s a day where families and friends alike gather for activities, cookouts, and other fun things. Nothing puts a damper on a gathering like problems with your plumbing, so if you are experiencing issues this Memorial Day, here are some ways to troubleshoot specific areas in your home:

Bathroom Sink

Your bathroom sink is used very often. Every time you brush your teeth or wash your hands, you’re putting soap and toothpaste down your drain. This area sees its fair share of hair, skin cells, and lotions as well. As soap scum sticks to the walls of your pipes, it attracts other debris on their way down. This can restrict water flow, and result in unpleasant backups.

To troubleshoot, you can try plunging. While its not the most enjoyable activity, its highly effective in removing small clogs or buildup that’s close to the surface. If that doesn’t work after a few tries, the issue may be located deeper in your system and need professional assistance.

Tubs and Showers

Like your bathroom sink, your shower or tub drain is exposed to a substantial amount of substances that can cause buildup. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, hair, dirt – all of these find their way into your drain and sewer system.

To flush out the clog, try pouring boiling water down and plunging. If this doesn’t work, call 3 Mountains to fix it.

Kitchen Sink

Take a moment to consider all the things you put down your kitchen sink. Food particles, grease, peels; even more goes down if you have a garbage disposal. These materials can quickly build up along the sides of your pipes, causing slow drainage and backups.

To try and fix the problem yourself, pour some boiling water, vinegar and baking soda down your drain. Avoid chemical cleaners, as they can contain harmful substances that damage your pipes. It’s helpful to know what to keep out of your kitchen drains for future reference, such as:

  • Cooking fats, oils, and grease
  • Paper products
  • Egg shells
  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Peels

If your kitchen drain is still acting up, call us to schedule a service.


Perhaps the most unpleasant area of the home to experience drain problems is the toilet. Backups are not only a major inconvenience, they can lead to costly water damage and potential health hazards in your home. They typically occur when people try to flush items that don’t dissolve in water.

Plunging should be your number one go-to when it comes to a clogged toilet. If that doesn’t work, give us a call. 3 Mountains offers a wide range of services to help your drains, like camera inspection and drain snaking.

These are just a few ways to troubleshoot drain issues in your home. We want you to enjoy your time with friends and family as much as possible and knowing when to call 3 Mountains Plumbing for repairs can help you do that. Troubleshooting beforehand can help things continue to run smoothly in your home. When you think that you need us, don’t hesitate to call! We’re ready to help!

If you are experiencing drain problems, call 3 Mountains Plumbing today!

5 Drain Maintenance Tasks To Accomplish This Summer and Fall


Drain maintenance may not be easily linked to summer and fall, but these seasons really are the perfect time to get these tasks done. There are some projects that you can tackle at certain times during the year that just feel like common sense.

4 Reasons to Tackle Drain Maintenance Tasks in Summer and Fall

  1. Fewer weather-related problems mean that it’s the perfect time to resolve winter issues
    In the summer, the weather is often drier and there’s less rain, so it’s easier to get these projects done. It also makes it easier for the plumbing specialist to work on the drains, especially when it comes to inspections outside of your home. The summer and fall are usually milder when it comes to weather changes, so you won’t have delays like you would with snow or ice, which create their own sets of issues in your drain system. These seasons are the perfect time to prevent winter-related problems from worsening or recurring in the winter.
  2. It May Be Less Hectic at Home in the Fall
    With fewer activities and demands on your time, and potentially fewer children under foot, you may have more time and energy, which allows this task to be less stressful. This means that it may be a quicker job for the plumbing professional you hire to clean your drains. That means fewer interruptions and less stress for you.
  3. Stopping Leaks in the Pipes During the Summer Can Lessen Potential Problems in the Fall and Winter
    Autumn is a terrible time to have leaky pipes, especially if you’re in an area where wet, rainy weather is the norm. This is because fall storms can p0ut stress on plumbing systems by adding quite a bit of water to the sewer lines, especially if there are leaks and cracks in the pipes, or other drain issues. The longer you leave drains without cleaning, the more expensive (and encompassing) the problems can be when you get around to taking care of it.
  4. Less Potential for Bad Smells
    If you let your drains go without maintenance throughout the summer, there’s a greater chance that you’ll have more stinky smells to deal withy. Bacteria grows in warm weather, and this only leads to unpleasantness. That also leads to the potential for illness, if someone in your home is sensitive to mold and things in the air.

Drain Maintenance Tasks to Perform in the Summer and Fall

Undertaking a few maintenance tasks in the summer and fall months can lead to a less stressful winter and spring, with less risk of serious plumbing issues. Some of these are easy do-it-yourself tasks, but others should be undertaken by a professional.

  1. Add a Drain Strainer to Your Bathtubs and Showers
    This is a simple and inexpensive step to take as part of your preventive maintenance tasks that make life easier and extends the working lives of your drains. A drain strainer is a basket-shaped insert that you can set into the drain. Bathtubs, sinks and floor drains are perfect for drain strainers, which keep hair and other items from slipping down the drain and causing major clogs or damage to your pipes.
  2. Remove Leaves and Debris from Gutters and Downspouts
    Not only does this reduce the chances of problems with your home’s gutters, but this also reduces the chance of gross stuff (think mulch-like slimy leaves) getting into your outdoor drains to clog them.
  3. Check for Leaks
    As noted above, autumn is a terrible time to have leaks in your plumbing. Even if you don’t think leaks are an issue, it’s just good maintenance to check for issues like leaks and cracks once or twice a year.
  4. Have a Perimeter Drain Inspection
    Perimeter drains that get blocked can create major headaches, from basement floods to foundations p0froblems. If you have a crew come out and inspect during the summer, you’ll have peace of mind that your foundation is safe from leaks, and that your family is safe from mold issues in the basement too.
  5. Consider Adding a Backwater Valve to Your Floor Drains
    A backwater valve is a god addition to a floor drain if you live in areas where summer and fall storms tend to overwhelm their storm drains and cause sewer line issues. If you have a plastic drain, it may be easy to install, but if there’s corrosion in a cast iron drain, there’s the potential for some difficulties to occur. If you can’t straighten the threads in a cast iron drain, then it might be time to call a plumber.

Call 3 Mountains Plumbing for all your plumbing needs, or to learn more about drain maintenance!

3 Reasons to Consider Drain Cleaning in Sellwood, OR This Spring

Your household drains lead to the interconnected network of pipes that makes up your home’s plumbing system. It will only take one clogged drain to cause a whole host of plumbing problems, but the drain cleaning service offered by 3 Mountains Plumbing will keep your plumbing system running smoothly. 3 Mountains Plumbing employs the area’s most experienced plumbers, and they’re always available to share plumbing advice and tips. Many homeowners neglect drain cleaning, but 3 Mountains is here to share the top three reasons why you need to consider investing in professional drain cleaning in Sellwood, OR.

  1. Catch Serious Problems Quickly: In addition to removing the dirt and grime that collects inside your drains, professional plumbers will also be on the lookout for more serious plumbing problems. Cracks, leaks, tree root intrusion, and damaged sewer lines are all common plumbing issues that are often hard to detect. The key to minimizing the damage is catching these problems early on. Hiring a professional drain cleaner will keep your pipes clean and clear, and it will also help you avoid expensive plumbing repairs.
  2. Extend the Life of Your Sewer System: Clogs aren’t the only thing that you have to worry about if you neglect cleaning your drains. Clogs block water from passing though pipes, and that built-up pressure leads to cracks, leaks, and even burst pipes. Replacing pipes and drain lines is an expensive process that everyone would rather avoid. Keeping your drain lines clear will extend the life of your entire plumbing system and reward you with valuable peace of mind.
  3. Save Money: Regular drain cleaning in Sellwood, OR means fewer plumbing repairs, as well as a more efficient plumbing system. With 3 Mountains’ help, you will lower the overall operation cost and achieve long-term savings. Clean drains are efficient drains, and regular maintenance is the only way to keep your plumbing system from soaking up your hard-earned paychecks.

Don’t forget about your drains as you tackle your list of spring cleaning chores. If your drains are clogged or running slower than they used to, it’s time to call 3 Mountains Plumbing. The longer you wait, the more serious the problem will be and the more money you’ll spend on repairs. Contact 3 Mountains Plumbing today to learn more about the benefits of drain cleaning in Sellwood, OR.

3 Common Signs You Need Drain Cleaning in Portland OR

Drain cleaning is something that often goes neglected. Your drains are among the most important parts of your home. Water has to go somewhere, plus you can’t afford to have household waste back up or not drain at all.

If you think there are drain problems, they should be repaired right away. There are more advantages to drain cleaning in Portland OR than you might realize. First, a drain problem can be masking something more serious, like a blocked or broken pipe. Fixing water damage and everything that can go along with it is much more expensive and intrusive than drain cleaning.

Fortunately, drain problems often come with subtle signs at first. They may worsen slowly over time. If you notice any changes in how the drains are working, consult an expert. Here are three common signs your drains may need to be cleaned.

  1. Slow or no draining: Clogs tend to build up slowly, unless some large objects suddenly falls through. Kitchen sinks and tubs tend to start draining more slowly as hair, soap, and other gunk steadily builds up under the drain or in the pipe. Foods, grease, and fats can easily coat the pipes under kitchen drains.

If the water is not draining at all, this is a much bigger problem. It can cause serious damage to your plumbing. Unhealthy waste can be trapped as well. There are some pretty nasty things that you don’t want staying in your home and that functional modern plumbing takes care of.

  1. Bad smells: You might notice a bad odor, like something rotting, coming from a drain. That’s a pretty good sign whatever should be draining is not. There could be a clog caused by rotting food. Rodents and other small animals can get trapped in drains. That’s not a survivable place so you’ll smell it once their carcasses start decaying.
  2. The toilet is overflowing. This is never a good thing. Just like any drain, the pipe under your toilet is prone to having small objects stuck and getting clogged up. The filling water will just top off the bowl and eventually flow out if there’s nowhere for it to go. A plunger often fixes the problem. For deeper obstructions, professional equipment may be needed and you’ll have to call a plumber.

These are among the most common symptoms of a clogged drain. The water may drain more slowly at first, but this is when you should act. Contact 3 Mountains for drain cleaning in Portland OR so a professional can examine the problem and clear blockages, open the pipes, and make any necessary repairs before more damage occurs.

5 Easy Solutions for Portland Drain Cleaning

If you’ve ever had to fix a blocked sink— or worse, a clogged toilet—you’ll know that maintaining your home’s plumbing system is a vital aspect of maintaining a healthy, comfortable living environment. That’s why the team here at 3 Mountains Plumbing wants to share five easy solutions for Portland drain cleaning with you.

Simple Fixes for Portland Drain Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning your drains, the main thing to keep in mind is to be one step ahead of the clog. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Use your garbage disposal. Pour some ice cubes with a bit of detergent down the kitchen sink, then use your garbage disposal. This will scrape off any sludge from the inside of the drain.
  2. At the end of every day, run water with a bit of soap down the kitchen and bathroom sinks. This daily bit of maintenance keeps your drains free of sludge and bad odors.
  3. Use a homemade drain cleaning solution once a week. Pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a half cup of vinegar down the drain. Flush it through with a kettle of boiling water, and then another one.
  4. Use a commercial drain cleaning solution once a month. Use a reputable brand commercial drain cleaner once a month to fight would be clogs with the “big guns.”
  5. Keep a plunger handy. If a drain gets clogged, place the plunger over the drain and pump it up and down a couple of times, then remove. The suction will start to break up the clog. Repeat as necessary.

When Should You Call the Portland Drain Cleaning Experts?

Of course, even if you follow these instructions to the letter, you might still be faced with a stubborn clog at some point.  When that happens, don’t waste too much time trying to fix it yourself. Chances are, it’s further down the drain than you can effectively reach—or there might be a different reason for the water not draining away, such as a caved-in pipe.

As soon as you realize you can’t fix this one yourself, call 3 Mountains Plumbing. We’re so experienced, we’re pretty sure clogs begin to shrink when they hear one of our trucks pull up! In all seriousness, with our cutting edge equipment, we can determine the location and scope of the problem. We use hydro-jetting as a fast, cost-effective and non-invasive technique to remove most blockages… leaving your pipes as good as new! So put our number your phone, and call us for all your plumbing needs!

Drain Cleaning in Portland: Don’t Wait!

If you’re thinking about skipping drain cleaning in Portland, it could be the biggest mistake you ever make with your home’s plumbing. The cleanliness of your drains can determine how well your home plumbing fixtures are able to perform. Squeaky clean drains ensure home plumbing fixtures such as showers, sinks, toilets, and garbage disposals are working to the best of their abilities. However, it’s your duty as a homeowner to keep them clean, and unfortunately too many homeowners in Portland allow them to go to waste.

3 Mountains is here to tell you not to wait and call us immediately when you need drain cleaning in Portland. Our plumbers will scrub away drains with effective solutions that gets cleaning done quickly. We’re also available at any time, so never think it’s a bad time to pick up the phone. But whatever you do, don’t hesitate when you first notice your drains may be unclean.

Why Shouldn’t You Wait for Drain Cleaning in Portland?

While it may be true good things comes to those who wait, it doesn’t hold true so much for drain cleaning. It can seriously jeopardize your home’s plumbing, creating long-term permanent damage to forever ruin its performance. Here’s why you should be proactive:

  • Less Money Spent on Repair: When you let your drains go unclean, it can lead to serious problems with your home’s plumbing, including clogs and other malfunctions. These problems can only worsen with time, leaving you unable to use your home plumbing fixtures to their fullest extent. It can also severely rack up costs on repair bills and leave you in a state of financial chaos. Don’t worry about losing money and get on drain cleaning stat.
  • No Grime Buildup: Whether it be your sink or garbage disposal, a buildup of things like hair, food, cooking grease, and other substances can cause your drains to experience major clogging. Effective drain cleaning solutions from 3 Mountains eliminate buildup, ensuring your home’s plumbing fixtures operate smoothly.
  • Working Plumbing Fixtures 24/7: When you stay on top of drain cleaning, you can see improved performance in all your home’s plumbing fixtures. No longer will you have to worry about a frequently clogging toilet or a faulty garbage disposal. Your drains will keep your home happy and more importantly, sanitary.

Contact 3 Mountains today for drain cleaning in Portland. It can mean all the difference in you enjoy life in your Portland home!

Comparing Rooter Services in Portland? Call 3 Mountains Plumbing!

Your sewer line does one of the most important chores in your home—it transports waste away from your property. This is not a simple task. Over time your sewer line is susceptible to breakage and corrosion that is not only harmful to your pipes, but your home’s entire plumbing system. Tree roots are major culprits in sewer line damages as they interrupt water flow, create clogs, and lead to broken pipes. Clogs and other types of blockage can cause sluggish draining and apply damaging amounts of pressure to your pipes.

If you suspect that tree roots have impacted your sewer line, you need immediate, professional assistance. The experts at 3 Mountains Plumbing are your source for reliable and effective rooter services in Portland. Don’t settle for less than the best!

3 Mountains Plumbing—Rooter Service You Can Count On

Sewer line issues can be expensive to repair and cause serious damages if handled incorrectly. Trust only a trained and experienced technician like those from 3 Mountains Plumbing to safely alleviate clogs and repair sewer line damages caused by tree roots.

The experts at 3 Mountains Plumbing utilize rooter technology to rid sewer lines of tree root growth. Rootering, or power rodding, consists of a mechanical hose with sharp, rotating blades that cut through debris and tree roots. This technology allows for safe, tree root removal without laborious excavation and pipe replacement.

Rooter services include a routine camera inspection and analysis prior to rootering. This service is especially important as the inspection allows the plumber to target the location of tree roots, observe the extent of damages, and evaluate the condition of the sewer line. Camera inspections save time and money because they allow experts to analyze sewer line damages without excavating the entire line.

If you’re unsure if your sewer line could benefit from a rooter service, or you know you’ve had tree root issues in the past, ask a technician from 3 Mountains Plumbing to evaluate your plumbing system.

Schedule your rooter service by calling 3 Mountains Plumbing today.

Drain Snaking in Portland & the Plumbing Problems it Solves

A clogged drain can seriously ruin your day. Unfortunately, they happen more often than you’d like! When you have a drain clog, it’s important to know just what to do.

When you need drain snaking in Portland, you need 3 Mountains Plumbing! 3 Mountains Plumbing can handle all of your plumbing clogs—no matter the size!

Why Drain Snaking Is So Effective 

3 Mountains Plumbing uses drain snaking to effectively unclog any blockage from any pipe. This method works by inserting a long thin cable into the clogged drain. This cable is then caught within the blockage. As the snake is pulled out, it brings the mass with it. The process is repeated as needed until the entire mass has been removed. Voila! Your drain is clear and running properly once again.

But drain snaking doesn’t just unclog your drain—it’s the safest way to do it!

Other methods of drain cleaning involve the use of harsh chemicals. Sure, these chemicals loosen the dirt in your drain, but they don’t necessarily remove it. Often times, the clog is simply moved further down the drain leading to bigger, and more serious drain clogs.

Harsh chemicals aren’t just tough on your clog; they’re harmful to your drains. They can corrode your pipes, leading to expensive repairs. Drain snaking doesn’t damage your pipes! It’s safe and simple.

3 Mountains Plumbing—Your Source For Expert Plumbing Service 

3 Mountains Plumbing won’t just unclog your drain. They’ll make sure it’s unclogged. A highly trained technician will use an advanced video inspection tool to target your drain clog at the source. From this, they can provide you with the exact cause of your drain clog. Once the drain has been cleared, a final video inspection is done to look for any other debris that could have been missed.

Your plumbing is an important part of your home! Don’t settle for less than your home and family deserve. At the first sign of a drain clog, contact 3 Mountains Plumbing! Call today to schedule your drain snaking service!

Tips For Drain Cleaning in Portland

Clogged drains happen in every home, but you don’t always need a professional plumber to perform your drain cleaning. Portland residents can try a number of things themselves to unclog their drains before calling a plumbing company like 3 Mountains Plumbing.

A sink that won’t drain, a toilet that overflows, or standing water in the basement. These are all signs of clogged drains that, if left addressed, can not only make your life miserable but also cause further damage to your home. Drains become clogged because we flush a variety of things down them every day including soap scum, grease, hair, food and sanitary items and sometimes, these things bunch together to form clogs that can’t be resolved by simply flushing more water down the drain. What follows are three easy DIY tips to unclog blocked drains in your home.

  1. Baking soda. If a sink’s not draining, Tipnut advises that baking soda can sometimes effectively resolve the situation. First, remove as much water from the sink as possible. Then pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a kettle full of hot water. Once the drain empties, pour in another kettle of hot water and finally, let the cold faucet run for a couple of minutes to flush the drain out.
  2. For sinks, bathtubs and toilets, the plunger can offer an effective way of removing clogs. Make sure there’s about two inches of water in the sink, bathtub or toilet, and stuff a rag into any overflow holes. Then place the plunger over the drain and pump vigorously up and down before removing it. In most cases, the suction will break up the clog and suck it upwards. Once this happens, pour hot water down the drain to clear any debris that’s left. Then carefully clean the sink, tub or toilet before using.
  3. Cable auger. If the plunger doesn’t do the trick, remove the sink trap under the sink and empty out the water into a bucket. Check to see if the trap’s clogged and clean it if necessary. If the clog is further in the system, remove the trap arm and use a cable auger to break up the clog. Put the parts back and run hot water through the drain to remove any debris.

Remember: for drains you can’t unclog yourself, call the experts at 3 Mountains Plumbing!