Water Conservation Portland

Portland Plumber: Save Water by Switching to Tankless

It’s not a secret that we like tankless water heaters. If it’s appropriate, we will almost always recommend that our customers have a tankless water heater installed as opposed to a conventional water tank.

We’ve been doing business in Portland for well-over a decade and experience has proven that properly maintained tankless water heaters outlive and outrun their conventional counterparts.  And they do so while conserving energy.

Water on Demand

During the summer months we use a lot of water.  Water for pools, gardening, and staying hydrated.  One of the many useful qualities of a tankless water heater is that it heats water on demand.  The water does not sit in waiting as it does in conventional tanks.

Do we really need to waste additional water and energy with conventional heaters?  Think about it this way: if you’re planning a vacation this summer, your conventional water heater will continue to heat even while you’re away.  It’s always working and always heating—just sitting there, taking up a lot of space, and increasing your utility bill.

Other reasons to go tankless?  That’s easy:

  • Save space
  • Lower monthly water bill
  • Conserve water and energy
  • Continuous flow of hot water for as long as desired
  • Eco-friendly
  • Aesthetically appealing with sleek high-tech design

Will We Fix or Install a Conventional Water Heater?

Absolutely!  We are fully stocked with conventional and tankless water heaters.  We’re there for you regardless of your choice in water heater, and so are our guarantees and warranties.  Our trained and licensed technicians are at the ready with industry-leading equipment to manage any and all of your Portland plumbing-related needs.

Please contact 3 Mountains Plumbing if you have any questions regarding the differences between conventional water heaters and tankless water heaters and which one might be best for you and your home. 


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Portland Plumber: Signs You Need Water Heater Repair

Is Your Shower Hot Enough?

Few household problems may be more frustrating than a shower or bath that is just not hot enough. You work hard, you play hard, and you pay your water bill on time. You deserve hot water!

So, What is the Problem?

More than likely, the problem is caused by a faulty water heater.  Water heaters must be maintained, preferably before a major catastrophe occurs and you are stuck with an unfortunate onslaught of cold water that never heats up.

Signs of a Broken Water Heater

  • Cold water that won’t heat up. If you’re getting nothing but cold water, there is most definitely something wrong with your water heater.  Give us a call right away so we can help.
  • Room temperature water.  While better than freezing, room temperature water is not good enough and is a sure sign that something is wrong with your home’s plumbing system.
  • Fluctuations in water temperature.  Water temperatures should remain steady based on your comfort level.  There should be no varying degree of temperature beyond your commands.
  • Very low water pressure. Hotter water temperatures should not equate to low water pressure. This is another sure sign of a water heater problem.
  • A hasty installation by a local home project store.   These water heaters are, more often than not, inappropriately sized.

If your water is slow to heat up, but does eventually get hot, it may be because you have a conventional rather than tankless water heater.  While we’re happy to repair or replace a conventional water heater, 3 Mountains Plumbing always recommends tankless water heaters for both long-term cost efficiency and lower environmental impact.

3 Mountains Plumbing only employs fully licensed plumbers with the experience necessary for big water heater installation jobs.  We make sure the job is done right the first time and are always prepared for the unexpected.  We also provide our customers with a full three-year warranty on all service and products, so you’re covered in the rare event something should not go according to plan.

Give 3 Mountains Plumbing a call to find out more about the benefits of a tankless water heater installation, or if you have questions concerning your water temperature. We’re happy to help!

Portland Plumber: What to Look for When Purchasing a Portland Home

Top 3 Plumbing Basics You Should Know

Home buying can be a highly rewarding experience, but it may also be wrought with questions concerning your new home’s infrastructure, how it all works, and how it may best be maintained.

Having served the greater Portland area for over a decade, we thought it might be valuable to share a few tips we’ve learned from assisting our customers throughout the years.

1. Check the water temperature

If this is going to be your new home, it’s certainly worth taking the time to check the shower temperature.  The water should be nothing less than hot.  Room temperature is not good enough. A lack of hot water, or water that takes a great deal of time to heat up, could mean a problem with the home’s water heater.

2. Find out the age of the water heater<

You should check on the date your home’s water heater was installed and when it was last maintained.  No one wants a surprise water heater purchase on their hands after having just purchased a new home.  Water heaters should be well-maintained.

It’s also worth noting whether or not your new home has a tankless or conventional water heater.  While 3 Mountains Plumbing is always available to help service or replace either, we recommend tankless water heaters for their longevity, long-term cost-effectiveness, and lower environmental impact.

3. Check codes and permit history

Make sure that your new Portland home meets all plumbing codes and is up to date. We’ve found that backflow prevention device codes are something some prospective home buyers forget to check. More information on backflow prevention device codes for the greater Portland area may be found at PortlandOregon.gov.

While licensed inspectors will hopefully find everything that needs to be addressed before you make your home purchase, it is always possible for them to miss something.  It’s critical, as a Portland home buyer, to be as self-reliant as possible.

It is important to us to create lasting relationships with our customers.  While we’re available for 24-hour emergency service, we are always happy to meet you when the situation is less dire.  Please Contact 3 Mountains Plumbing with any additional questions regarding the plumbing systems in your new Portland home.

Portland Plumber: Tankless vs. Conventional Water Heaters

Which is Better For Your Home?

If it’s time for a water heater replacement in your Portland area home, you need to know the facts.  3 Mountains Plumbing of Portland has proven and successful experience with water heater replacements.

Overall, tankless water heaters are better for the environment and for long-term success and safety.  Still, there are some benefits of having a conventional tank:

Conventional Water Tank

  • Lower initial installation costs
  • Should maintain hot water even if various fixtures are being used simultaneously (shower, sink, washing machine)

Tankless Water Heaters

  • Lower long-term costs
  • Take up less space
  • Unlimited and continuous supply of hot water
  • More environmentally friendly

3 Mountains Plumbing finds that many of the tankless water heater calls they receive are from customers who had them hastily installed by a home project store.  Oftentimes, these are improperly sized which is why tankless water heaters tend to get a bad rap.  However, if installed properly, 3 Mountains Plumbing believes the benefits of tankless water heaters far exceed those of conventional water tanks.  Not only do tankless water heaters align with the green initiatives at 3 Mountains Plumbing, they are also more economical in the long run.

If you have questions about tankless water heater or conventional water tank replacements, please contact the experts at 3 Mountains Plumbing.  

Portland Plumber: 3 Benefits of Tankless Water Heater Installation

Instant Hot Water, Less Cost

3 Mountains Plumbing of Portland receives calls from many customers complaining of tankless water heater problems—most of which were hastily purchased from local home project stores, and installed incorrectly or not sized appropriately.

If  installed properly by an experienced professional, they are far more beneficial for long term Portland homeowners.  Here are a few reasons why:

1. Environmentally Friendly

Traditional water heaters generally hold anywhere from 40 to 80 gallons of water. The water heater heats the water up to 120 degrees and then just waits and waits to be used.  This means that when you’re on vacation, water continues to sit and heat. That’s like leaving your car running in the parking lot while you’re at work all day. It’s wasteful and unproductive.

Tankless Water Heaters, on the other hand, heat water instantly upon your command.  That means the burners only fire when needed, and there is no needless waste of gas or electricity.  This is particularly relevant in Portland, where customers are especially environmentally conscious.  Tankless water heater installations fit in with the 3 Mountains Plumbing mission dedicated to green initiatives and community service.

2. Fewer Opportunities for Piping Problems

Whenever water sits in waiting, there is an increased likelihood of corrosion and sediment build up.  This is especially relevant in older homes with galvanized water piping.  Since more environmentally friendly tankless water heaters heat up on command, there is less room for sediment to gather and cause corrosion problems.  By nature, tankless water heaters last longer and are more efficient then their traditional counterparts.

3. Repairs are temporary. Get it replaced

With over a decade of plumbing experience in Portland, the professionals at 3 Mountains Plumbing recommend tankless water heater installations. Can they do repairs? Of course!  But they have seen repeatedly that it is far more cost efficient for their customers to replace rather than repair. Repairs are a temporary fix that will no doubt cost more over the long term.

Contact 3 Mountains Plumbing with questions concerning tankless water heater replacements in Portland.

Portland Plumber: Common Water Heater Repairs

Check for Signs of Water Heater Leak

Water heater repairs are common in Portland. There are many working parts that make up a water heater and many things that can go wrong if not installed properly in the first place. Repairing water heaters for more than a decade, 3 Mountains Plumbing has found that trouble with the following are some of the most common water heater repair requests in Portland:

  •  Thermostats
  • Gas Control Valves
  • Limit Switches
  • High Water Pressure
  • Pilot Light Not Staying On
  • Burner Assemblies
  • Galvanized Rust
  • Sediment Deposit and Corrosion

And if you suspect your water heater may be leaking, check for these signs:

  • Water rapidly changing from hot to cold
  •  Water taking excessive time to heat
  • Temperature and pressure relief valve dripping

Additionally, CPVC and galvanized pipe, while less expensive, tend to break down over time, thus causing even more water heater troubles. 3 Mountains Plumbing replaces this PVC and galvanized water heater pipe with brass and Wirsbo. Brass and Wirsbo piping is longer lasting and far less susceptible to corrosion caused by sediment deposits.

3 Mountains Plumbing has found over time that these water heater repair requests are a little too common.  While leaks may be patched and adjusted, they will most likely not hold indefinitely.  This is why 3 Mountains Plumbing suggests replacements when water heaters start to fail.  They remind their customers that repairs are only temporary and are less cost effective in the long-run for Portland homeowners.

While water heater repairs may certainly be made to your Portland home, 3 Mountains Plumbing likes to inform their customers of water heater, or water heater piping replacement options.  Proper replacements with stronger, more durable piping, will ultimately last longer and save customers money.

Think you need a water heater repair or a replacement? Contact 3 Mountains Plumbing for a professional assessment today!