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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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!

Drain Cleaning Portland

Ask a Portland Plumber About Your Drain Cleaning Options

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: do not use liquid drain cleaners!

But don’t worry, we’re not just going to tell you something and not offer alternatives.  We’re delighted to have been in the Portland plumbing business for over 13 years and we know what it takes to safely clean household drains and remove clogs.  Here’s how we get the job done:

1.     Bio-Clean:

At 3 Mountains Plumbing our professionals are committed to implementing green initiatives.  To meet this ongoing challenge we are proud to be a dealer of Bio-Clean; a safe, organic drain cleaning solution.  Bio-Clean is a unique drain cleaning alternative in that it uses live bacteria to feed on all that nasty material that causes drain clogs—grease, hair, and organic waste.

Remember that over-the-counter drain cleaning solutions are toxic.  They are harmful to both your skin and your drain pipes.

2.     Industry Leading Equipment:

Our trucks are fully-stocked with all of the tools, equipment, and parts necessary to fix any drain clog on our first visit.  We use motorized snakes, cutting boards, cutting blades, and cork screws—safe methods that will optimize your piping system.

3.     Portland Camera Pipe Inspection:

Camera pipe inspections are the most efficient way to find and identify serious drain clogs.  The camera enables our technicians to precisely pinpoint the location of the clog so we can work most productively in removing it.  Camera inspections save time by eliminating guesswork and unnecessary household demolition.

We work to keep your pipes safe by removing clogs so that they never return.  We also offer a minimum one-year warranty on all products and services.

Call or stop by 3 Mountains Plumbing today to learn more about our safe drain cleaning and drain clog removal alternatives. 

Professional Drain Cleaning Portland

Why You Need a Professional Drain Cleaner

When was the last time you had your drain cleaned? If you’re not sure or don’t remember, it’s probably time to have it checked out by a professional Portland plumber.

Periodic drain cleaning is an essential part of household plumbing maintenance which we recommend as a way to avoid drain clog emergencies. That said we understand that most homeowners don’t think of taking proactive measures when it comes to plumbing.  While this is unfortunate, as a trusted Portland plumbing company for over 13 years, we are prepared to assist in the event of a drain cleaning emergency.

Portland Drain Cleaning

The number one rule of Portland drain cleaning?  Do not use an over-the-counter liquid cleaner.

You may be thinking, “What is so bad about using a liquid cleaner to clear drain pipes?  They work, right?”  The truth is that yes they do work—but only temporarily.  The problem is that they cause far more damage than good.

When a liquid solution is poured down the drain, it moves the clog.  It doesn’t clear it.  It relocates it and maybe even loosens it, but it does not solve the problem.  This is why you’ll notice the same nasty clogs again and again.  Here are other reasons we think liquid drain cleaners are evil:

Liquid drain cleaners…

  • Speed up pipe deterioration
  • Relocate drain clogs that repeatedly return
  • Do not eliminate drain clogs
  • Are highly toxic and harmful to the skin

Contact 3 Mountains Plumbing for Alternative Portland Drain Cleaning Solutions

At 3 Mountains Plumbing we provide several alternative drain cleaning solutions:

  • Bio-Clean: an environmentally safe drain cleaning product.
  • Industry Leading Technology: motorized snakes, cutting boards, blades, cork screws.
  • Camera Pipe Inspections: Quickly and precisely get to the bottom of the problem.

Contact 3 Mountains Plumbing today to learn more about our safe drain cleaning alternatives and whatever you do, please avoid liquid drain cleaners!