Should I Replace My Old Tank Water Heater with a Tankless One?

January 29th, 2015 by Anthony Bracco

Water heaters can sometimes have a bad reputation, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency. There have been a number of advancements in the plumbing industry over the last decade that have helped water heaters become much more efficient, and one such advancement has been the advent of the tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters have made such a splash that many homeowners are wondering: should I switch to a tankless water heater? The best way to decide this is to understand the capabilities of a tankless water heater and see if it fits your hot water needs in Oviedo.

How a Tankless Water Heater Works

Tankless systems are often called “on demand” because they don’t hold hot water in a tank to be used; instead, they heat water almost instantaneously when a hot water tap is opened in your home. A tankless system can accomplish this because it uses a component called a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger starts as soon as hot water is called for; the cold water flows through the heat exchanger where heat is transferred to the water, heating it for use. The heated water then flows to the open tap.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless systems offer a few benefits worth considering:

  • Space-savers – tankless water heaters are much smaller than storage tank water heaters, freeing up space that would normally be taken up by the water tank.
  • Always have hot water – with a tankless system, you can’t run out of hot water because the water operates on demand.
  • Better energy efficiency – a tankless water heater uses up to 30% less energy to generate hot water, making tankless water heaters very energy efficient.
  • Longer lifespan – tankless water heaters have an average lifespan of 20 years as compared to a tank water heater, which have an average lifespan of 10-13 years.

If you are considering the replacement of your tank water heater in Oviedo with a tankless water heater, call the experts who can help you every step of the way: Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc.

Reasons Backflow Issues May Occur in Your Home

January 20th, 2015 by Anthony Bracco

The name pretty much says it all: “backflow”. Without having a full definition in front of you, you can probably guess that backflow isn’t a good thing for you or your plumbing, and it’s not. Your home’s plumbing is set-up so that wastewater stays very separate from your potable water. When backflow appears, a problem has developed whereby the wastewater is somehow backing up in your plumbing and entering your supply pipes, i.e., your potable water. There are ways to help prevent backflow, and these days most plumbing requires some kind of backflow prevention service for your property. But there are a few ways in which backflow can occur, and we’ll outline some of these below.

Backflow Isn’t a Clog

One thing to be clear about when it comes to backflow is that it isn’t caused by a clog in the system; clogs stop wastewater from exiting while backflow is the mixture of wastewater with your potable water. Here are a couple of ways backflow can occur:

  • Problems with pressure in the system – your plumbing system works on a delicate balance of pressure; should this pressure become imbalanced on either the supply side or the outgoing wastewater side, backflow can develop. There are two kinds of backflow problems that can occur because of pressure: backflow, which is categorized by downstream pressure that overpowers the upstream pressure and backsiphonage, which develops from negative pressure, which has something of a vacuum effect on your plumbing system.
  • Backflow preventer breaks – plumbing systems have been required for some time to have devices called backflow preventers. These devices prevent any kind of wastewater from backflowing into your potable water. If a backflow preventer is poorly installed, or it develops a leak, the device can malfunction and allow wastewater into your system.

Backflow in your water is a potentially dangerous situation. If you suspect you may have a backflow problem, call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. today and schedule an appointment for plumbing repair with one of our specialists in Lake Mary, FL.

Do I Really Need Whole-House Pipe Replacement?

January 13th, 2015 by Anthony Bracco

Whole-house pipe replacement is a very big job, and not something that is done lightly. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s necessary. The water pipes in your home are not really installed with the intention of you having to replace them at some point. In fact, water pipes are specifically designed to withstand a lifetime or two of water flow. Nothing is perfect, however, and if you do need whole-house pipe replacement then something has gone seriously wrong. Let’s examine some of the things that can provoke a whole-house pipe replacement.

Older or Harmful Pipes

Modern plumbing pipes are almost entirely made of copper, which is highly resistant to corrosion by water. Copper piping can last up to 100 years or more, assuming normal use and nothing catastrophic happens. In the early-to-mid twentieth century, however, pipes were often made of iron or lead. Iron can still last a long time, though it rusts more easily. Lead, on the other hand, tends to leech into the water that runs through the pipes. This is extremely bad for you. If you find out that any of the piping in your home is lead, replace it immediately. Polybutylene (plastic) pipes were also used in the late twentieth century, but proved far too brittle to be effective. If your house has plastic pipes, you should probably have them replaced before they rupture.

Visible Signs of Corrosion

If you live in an older house, around 50 years or older, you should make a habit of checking all the visible pipes in your home at least once a year. If you notice leaks, rust, or any other signs of corrosion, you may have a problem. The pipes in most homes tend to be uniform in material, unless a section of them has already been replaced. That means that if you find corrosion in one part of your pipe network, there’s a good chance that it is elsewhere as well. You’ll need to call a plumber to make sure, however.

If you’re worried about the water pipes in your home, call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) and schedule an appointment with us. We provide quality pipe replacement services throughout the Maitland area.

Is Rust a Sign I Need Water Heater Repair?

January 6th, 2015 by Anthony Bracco

Rust on anything is evidence of corrosion that has developed from excess moisture, which typically isn’t a good thing. When it comes to water heaters, the big question is: where is the rust located? The reason this question is important is that there is a big difference between rust being only on the outside of your water heater or on the inside. This does not mean that rust on the outside of a water heater is a good thing, but it is better than rust coming from the inside.

Sacrificial Anode

Water and metal are usually a bad combination, but there are a lot of instances where the two have to come together. When it comes to water heaters, there are two ways in which the process of corrosion via rust is inhibited: first, by insulated lining in the water tank and second, by a component known as the sacrificial anode. As its name suggests, the sacrificial anode’s job is to attract the electrolytes that help create corrosion. Sacrificial anodes are made of highly active metals, so the anode is the part that will corrode first out of all of the water heater’s components. This is done purposefully so that the less active metals that comprise the water heater won’t rust and corrode.

So What If You See Rust?

This is where you need to see where the rust is. Sacrificial anodes have an average lifespan of about 6 years. Once the anode is fully rusted, the electrolytes inside the tank will likely move on to other parts of your water heater.

Rust Prevention

So what can you do to help prevent rust and know the state of your sacrificial anode? One of the best ways is to schedule annual water heater maintenance. During a water heater maintenance appointment, all the components of your water heater are checked, including the anode; if the anode is rusty, it can be replaced during the appointment. Flushing your water heater twice a year also helps, as it removes any built-up sediment and bacteria in the tank.

If you are seeing rust on your water heater, and aren’t sure if it’s coming from a problem inside the tank or outside, it’s best to play it safe and make an appointment for water heater repair in Winter Park, FL. The experts at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc., can help with any water heater issue you may have, so call us today!

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015 by Anthony Bracco

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) hope you have a great start to the year and a, uhm, fruitful 2015.

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

December 25th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at Modern Plumbing, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

How Commercial Backflow Prevention Services Benefit Your Business

December 17th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

The people on your commercial property trust your commercial plumbing system to be just as safe and reliable as the one they use at home. Whether employees are washing their hands in the break room or kitchen staff members pour a glass of water for a guest, they expect that the water is clean and healthy. One real risk that many commercial property owners and managers don’t often consider is that a plumbing system that is not maintained may risk the chances of backflow. Backflow prevention devices are put in place in most plumbing systems to keep unwanted sewage or other sources of cross contamination out of the water supply, but they need frequent maintenance to do so.

If you need a backflow prevention device in Sanford for your commercial property, or if you need it tested to ensure continued quality, call the experts at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI).

How Backflow Prevention Works

Backflow is defined is the undesirable flow of waste into the potable water supply in case of a pressure change in the plumbing. Your water supply is kept pressurized so that it can easily flow from the faucets and fixtures in the home. Your drainage system, on the other hand, relies on gravity to move wastewater along the pipes. If the pressure were to change in one of these areas, cross contamination could occur via back-pressure (when the water supply pressure is increased) or back-siphonage (when the water supply pressure is decreased). This may be due to a water main breach or a number of other issues. Backflow prevention devices usually use an air gap and a series of check valves to prevent this from happening—but they need regular testing and maintenance to work properly.

Professionals Only: Safety Is Key

You should only have professionals service your plumbing system to ensure the absolute safety of everyone in the building. They know what to look for when making sure the parts have not worn down and are still just as capable of protecting your plumbing.

Call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) to learn more about commercial backflow prevention in Sanford. We offer quality maintenance, repair, and installation for all of your plumbing components.

Signs You Need Commercial Jetting for Your Business

December 10th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

Almost all businesses rely on plumbing in one way or another. Many, such as food service companies, place an enormous reliance for their daily operations on an efficient plumbing system. In order to keep the side of the plumbing that removes wastewater from your business working at its best, you will occasionally need to schedule commercial drain and sewer line cleaning services from professionals who have experience with commercial plumbing.

One of the best services you can arrange to have for cleaning your drains is hydro-jetting. Using high-pressure water blasted through a nozzle at the end of a long hose, commercial plumbers can eliminate tough clogs and organic build-up inside drains and sewer lines. Commercial jetting is the most efficient way to keep your plumbing effective at removing waste water cleanly and effectively, helping your business to stay open and up to code. To schedule commercial jetting in Orlando, FL, call our commercial experts at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) today.

Ways You’ll Know It Is Time to Schedule Commercial Jetting

  • Bad smells from drains: You don’t want the embarrassment in your establishment—whatever sort of business it is—of sewer-like odors wafting from the drains. The moment you detect these smells, you need to call commercial plumbers to find out the cause. In many cases, cleaning out the accumulation of waste trapped in the drainpipes with hydro-jetting will solve the problem.
  • Frequent troubles with slow drains: As the sewer and drainpipes become lined with organic waste, the drains will do their jobs much slower. If slow drains become the rule rather than the exception at your business, you should schedule drain cleaning from commercial plumbers right away.
  • Tough clogging: Often times, clogs occur because a large item became lodged in the drainpipe. Situations like this will usually only require a quick fix from a professional plumber. But when accumulation in the drains leads to closing off the pipes, hydro-jetting is the best solution: it will not only break through the clog, it will thoroughly clean the drain to prevent the problems from returning.

Commercial hydro-jetting is a fantastic solution to many troubles you may encounter with drainage at your workplace. But you must depend on experienced plumbers to handle it, since the equipment is potentially dangerous in unskilled hands, and you will only receive a thorough cleaning with trained professionals on the job. Call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) to schedule commercial jetting in Orlando, FL.

How Commercial Jetting Benefits Your Business

December 3rd, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

Your commercial property requires proper care and maintenance in order to run smoothly and to keep clients, customers, employees, tenants, and city regulations satisfied. And one component of your property you simply cannot afford to neglect is the plumbing. Plumbing issues can mean a disaster for your business, as leaks or clogs can cause floods on your property or allow sewage to back up through the drain. And if a clog in your plumbing system results in sewage backup on public property, you can get a hefty fine from the city if you’re proven responsible.

The grease trap from your commercial kitchen helps to prevent clogs from forming. However, this doesn’t guarantee that your drains won’t back up, particularly if you don’t follow proper maintenance procedures. One of the best ways to maintain your drains is by hiring a professional for commercial jetting services, which could ensure your bathroom and kitchen plumbing runs smoothly and that you don’t end up paying a lot more later in repairs, clean-up, and fines.

What Is Commercial Jetting?

Commercial jetting involves the use of a hydro jet to clear the drains of any material stuck inside of the pipes. First, a quality plumber should inspect the pipes to find any major clogs in the pipes and make sure those are addressed first and foremost. The plumber may decide to use a tool to pull out blockage through the drains, or they may decide to go ahead with hydro jetting. The plumber will use a thin hose and move it along the pipes so that it can shoot water out at extremely high pressures and eliminate any buildup from the insides of the pipes.

With commercial jetting, a professional can also clean out your grease trap, a service which is particularly important in a commercial kitchen. Grease traps keep F.O.G. (fats, oils, and grease) from building up, since these substances solidify as they cool down. F.O.G. is responsible for many plumbing clogs, continuously collecting until debris gathers in your pipes and the pressure imbalance leads to major issues.

When you decide you need commercial jetting in Sanford, call on the professionals at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI). Our commercial jetter is capable of delivering strong enough pressure to break up the toughest of clogs and clear out grease traps as well. Call us today!

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Modern Plumbing Industries Inc., we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!