How Backflow Preventers Protect Your Water Supply

August 20th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

When you turn on a tap in your home, you should see the clear, clean water you rely on for cooking, showering, or cleaning. Access to clean water is expected by most homeowners in Apopka, so we tend not to think much about the quality of our water when we turn on a faucet. However, it’s important to know that your water supply may be at risk for contamination at any time, particularly if a backflow prevention device is not in place or is not tested regularly.

Your water supply is kept at a high pressure so that water can easily flow out of any tap in your home. The sewage system, however, is not pressurized, relying instead on gravity to remove waste from the home. If anything happens to increase the pressure of the exit drain or to decrease the pressure of the water supply, backflow may occur.

Backflow can be defined as the unwanted reversal of flow causing non-potable, or unsafe, water and other substances to enter the water supply. Backflow occurs when the pressure of the non-potable system is higher than the pressure of the potable water. This may happen for any number of reasons including a breach in the mater main or a sewer line blockage.

The best way to protect your water supply from contamination is with a backflow prevention device. Backflow preventers provide an air gap or physical barriers that prevent wastewater from polluting the freshwater. Although there are multiple types of backflow preventers, they generally prevent backflow with check valves that only allow the wastewater to flow in one direction.

Many homes already have backflow prevention devices installed, but these should be tested regularly to check for worn out parts and to prevent sudden failure. Any source of contamination puts your health at risk, so you should allow a plumbing professional to inspect and test this portion of your system during an annual plumbing maintenance visit.

Don’t put the quality of your water supply at risk. For maintenance, questions, or to install a backflow prevention device in Apopka, call on the professionals at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI).

How Hard Water Can Lead to Pipe Replacement in Sanford

August 13th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

Have you noticed a metallic taste to the water from your taps? Is it difficult to work up a lather of soap in the bathroom or kitchen? Have you noticed flaky white deposits along fixtures like sinks and bathtubs?

You probably have hard water in your home.

Now don’t panic…hard water is rarely detrimental for your health. However, it can lead to problems with your plumbing, causing damage to appliances and reducing the volume in pipes. It’s not uncommon for hard water to lead to a need for pipe replacement in Sanford, FL.

Fortunately, you have Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) on your side: we can handle all the plumbing repairs necessary to combat the effects of hard water. And we can eliminate hard water as well with the installation of a whole-house water treatment system. Call us today for help combating problems from hard water.

What is “Hard Water” Exactly?

“Hard water” is water that enters your home from the municipal system that has a high concentration of minerals suspended in it. The most common minerals are magnesium, gypsum, and calcium. It isn’t harmful to drink, although you will notice the taste of the minerals, and it makes it more difficult to develop soap lather.

Why is Hard Water a Problem for My Pipes?

The main trouble from hard water is that it leaves mineral deposits along the inside of plumbing. Imagine the flaky yellow-white material you find on your fixtures building up along the inside of the pipes. That’s what will happen over time due to hard water. As the calcium deposits accumulate, they will reduce the water volume inside the pipe, which will cause a spike in water pressure. If the water pressure rises high enough, it will cause pipes to begin leaking and require replacement.

Is There a Way to Prevent Hard Water?

Yes: a whole-house water softener. These water treatment systems attach onto your water main and add sodium ions to the hard water that enters your home from the municipal system. The sodium ions counteract the minerals in hard water and balance them out. You’ll have “softer” water, noticeably better tasting and no danger to your plumbing. Installing a water softener requires the work of a professional plumber.

If you need to have pipe replacement in Sanford, FL because of hard water deposits, take a serious look into installing a water softener. You can expect more plumbing repairs in the future if you allow the hard water to continue.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) offers a variety of whole-house water treatment systems to make sure you have water entering your home that is healthy for both your pipes and you.

Contact us for water testing that will help you find out what sort of water treatment you need.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

August 7th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

The development and spread of tankless water heaters has given homeowners the advantage of always having enough hot water to meet their needs. Where the standard storage water heater keeps a standby tank of water ready for use that can run out before more water can heated up, a tankless system is an “on-demand” water heater that heats up water as it is needed, and therefore has no supply that can run out. Tankless systems also use less energy and will pay for their installation after a couple of years.

Despite all their advantages, tankless water heaters will not work ideally for all household. Call the Maitland, FL water heater experts at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) to schedule an appointment to learn more about how well one of these advanced home comfort system will work for you.

The Operation of a Tankless Water Heater

People often initially find the concept of a water heater without a tank to be strange and hard to understand. But tankless water heaters are not terribly complicated.

The basics of a tankless system is a heat exchanger that transfers heat from a power source (either electric or gas) to the water in the pipes. The exchanger in the tankless water heater turns on whenever water starts to flow through the heater. A whole-house tankless water heater is connected onto the water main, so all water entering the home must pass through the system. Whenever your turn on a hot water tap, water begins to flow and the heat exchanger comes on, heating up the water as you need it.

There is one drawback to this, which you might have noticed from the description: there is a delay between the when the water receives heat from the heat exchanger and when it reaches the tap. For larger houses, the lag can be greater for a tankless water heater than it would be for a standard storage system.

Tankless systems are also available in point-of-use models, smaller units that attach to individual taps. They have little lag time, and in some cases are more cost-effective.

Tankless water heaters need professional installation. When you call up the experts at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI), we will help you determine if a tankless water heater in Maitland, FL, whether whole-house or point-of-use, is a good choice for you based on your hot water needs, the number of people in your home, and your budget plans. We will also assist with selecting the best power source for the system, and then install it so you will receive a steady supply of hot water to keep you and your family comfortable for many years.

Why You Need Backflow Prevention in Longwood, FL

July 30th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

When you turn on a tap in your house, you expect to see clear, clean water come from the faucet. The idea that the wastewater in your sewage system might contaminate this freshwater is awful thought…but it’s something that could occur without the protection of a backflow preventer on the plumbing for your home.

Your home may or may not already have backflow prevention on its plumbing. If you are unsure, contact a professional plumber. The plumber can recommend that right installation of a backflow preventer if you don’t have one. If you already have one, the plumber will perform tests on it to see if it needs repair work. Keep in mind that not all plumbing contractors are certified in backflow prevention and repair, so make certain that you a company like Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) that has a staff with the right certification for backflow prevention in Longwood, FL.

The Importance of Backflow Prevention

The fresh water that comes into your home through the municipal system is pressurized; that way, when you open up a tap, the water immediately comes out. The sewage system, on the other hand, relies on gravity and ventilation to remove wastewater from your home. If the pressure should change on either side—loss of pressure for the fresh water, increase in pressure for the wastewater—it will result in sewage pushing up the wrong direction and forcing into the firewater pipes.

This imbalance can occur for a number of reasons. Loss of water pressure can occur because of problems in the municipal water supply or due to an abrupt drain due to a water main breach. The influx of wastewater due to the drop in pressure on the supply side is known as back siphonage. The reverse can occur because of sewer line blockage or sewer system issues, and the result is known as backpressure.

In either case, you can have seriously contaminated drinking, bathing, and cooking water, leading to major health troubles. A backflow preventer placed onto the plumbing uses a check valve to stop the wastewater from entering into the freshwater. The valve permits the wastewater in the sewage lines to move only one direction.

A backflow preventer must be professionally installed to make sure that it fits your plumbing needs. It also requires regular maintenance, which you can have done as part of annual plumbing maintenance, to make certain the important mechanical parts are not wearing down and allowing wastewater to move two directions.

To find certified inspectors for backflow prevention or other plumbing services in Longwood, FL, call on Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI). Since 1975, we’ve helped central Florida homes keep their water clean and their plumbing healthy.

The Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

July 21st, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

When you first hear about the existence of a “tankless” water heater, the idea may sound a bit too strange to be true. Because we are so accustomed to thinking of a water heater as a large metal tank where water is kept hot for immediate use, it is difficult to break away to the idea of heating up the water as it runs through the pipes, which is essentially what a tankless water heater does. The device is attached to the water main, and uses a heat exchanger to warm up the water as it passes through.

If it sounds intriguing, you should know that a tankless water heater is far more than a neat gimmick. It can serve some useful purposes that will make life more convenient and save you money. Although not ideal for every home, we encourage you to look into a tankless water heater in Sanford, FL for your next installation. Call our water heater experts at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) for more details.

Why Go Tankless? Here Are 3 Reasons:

  • Never run out of hot water: That’s right… if you live in a household where somebody has to go with a lukewarm shower every morning, a tankless water heater is a great solution. Tankless systems heat up water “on demand,” activating the heat exchanger when a tap comes on demanding hot water. Because there is no standing supply in a tank that can be depleted before the system can heat up more, you won’t run out of hot water!
  • Save energy: The standard storage water heater is a “standby” system that keeps water ready constantly for use. This is an advantage when you want hot water without having to wait, but it also means that the water heater must remain on continually to replace heat loss and keep the water hot. This translates into large expenditures on utility bills. But tankless systems only heat up water when you need it, and they do not use energy at other times. You will cut down significantly on your heating bills with the installation of a tankless system.
  • Longevity: The stress of holding large amounts of water and continually using electricity or natural gas to keep that water heated eventually will take its toll on a storage water heater. Tankless systems in general will last many years longer because of the reduced amount of stress placed on them.

Tankless systems are more expensive to install upfront than storage systems. However, they compensate with their energy-efficiency and longevity. Check with a water heater installation expert to find out of the energy savings will offset the costs of purchasing the system. In some cases, a storage water heater is a better choice, but you may be surprised to learn how much you can save in the long run with installation of a tankless system.

Since 1975, Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) has installed and serviced water heaters in Central Florida. Count on us to help you with installation and care for a tankless water heater in Sanford, FL. Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.

Tools Plumbers Use for Drain Cleaning

July 15th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

Drain cleaning is a service you can have done on a regular basis to help keep your home’s plumbing efficient and to reduce the problems that can afflict it. You can also have emergency drain cleaning to clear out thick and obstinate clogs that a basic sink plunger cannot eliminate. Professional plumbers experienced with drain cleaning in Winter Park, FL use a variety of special tools to make sure you have clean drains without causing any damage to them.

To schedule drain cleaning, whether for an emergency or as a preventive measure, contact Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI). We will bring the best tools to the job, placed in the hands of plumbers with the necessary training to do thorough work that will leave you satisfied.

Some of the tools professionals use for drain cleaning

  • Video pipe inspection equipment: These devices consist of a miniaturized camera and powerful LED light mounted on a long fiber-optic cable. The cable snakes down through a drain opening or other access point and sends back a feed to a monitor. This allows a plumber to see the inside of the drainpipes and pinpoint exactly where cleaning is necessary and what kind of cleaning will do the job. Video pipe inspections are useful for a variety of plumbing tasks, and they save time and permit plumbers to perform drain cleaning without using invasive procedures.
  • Mechanical drain snakes: These are basic tools for eliminating most clogs. Drains snakes are a coil of wires that work similar to a corkscrew: the plumber feeds the wire coil down into a drainpipe until it comes into contact with the blockage. The plumber then activates the motor, which screws down into the clog. At this point, the plumber can then either remove the clog or forcibly break it up. Although you can purchase manual drain snakes from stores, they are nowhere near as effective at cleaning obstructions from pipes as the professional motorized models.
  • Hydro-jetters: A hydro-jetter is a cleaning system that uses high-pressure, high temperature water to blast away clogs in pipes and also scour the inside of the pipes to get rid of a build-up of soap scum and fat, grease, and oil. Because of the physical danger from high-pressure water blasts, the job of hydro-jetting must always be left to a trained professional.

A note of caution: do not use liquid drain cleaners. Despite their name, these bottles full of acidic chemicals are poor choices for cleaning drains. Their caustic action will damage pipe interiors, and the chemicals are highly toxic and will leave behind dangerous fumes. No plumber recommends using liquid drain cleaners: if you can’t get rid of a clog or a slow drain using a plunger, call for a plumber.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) offers comprehensive plumbing services, including drain cleaning, in Winter Park, FL and the rest of Central Florida. We have almost 40 years of experience to bring to the job, and we have 24-hour emergency service.

3 Common Water Heater Repairs

July 10th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

A well-installed and maintained water heater can sometimes last up to 20 years, which is a great bargain on an initial investment. But to reach a grand old age like this, a water heater also needs to have repairs done as soon as problems start to emerge. With fast action and a trained technician who knows how to handle any water heater problem, you can stop a malfunction from growing and threatening your entire hot water supply.

At Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI), we have almost four decades of experience with water heater repair in Casselberry, FL and all of Central Florida. When you call us for repairs (and we have staff ready 24/7 for emergencies), you will get top-of-the-line work from technicians who keep on the edge of plumbing technology.

These are 3 of the more common repairs that we do to help water heaters reach their full lifespan:

1. Flushing the tank

This is a standard step that is done as part of annual maintenance. However, it is often a necessary repair. Sediment build-up in the water tank can lead to problems with blocked valves, and will also encourage the development of scale along the inside of the tank and lead to overheating. If you notice discoloration in your water, or you hear rumbling from the tank, call for repair professionals; they will see if flushing the tank will fix the problem.

2. Replacing broken dip tube

The dip tube carries fresh, cold water from the municipal system down into the tank of a water heater and deposits it at the bottom, near the heating elements/heat exchanger, where it receives energy to heat it and then rise to the top of the tank. If the dip tube breaks, cold water will start to gather at the top of the tank and mix with the heated water, resulting in a drop in the water temperature from your faucets and showerheads and causing you to run out of hot water earlier than usual. To fix this, technicians will open up the tank and replace the broken tube.

3. Replacing burnt-out heating elements

In an electric-powered water heater, two heating elements inside the tank directly transfer heat to the water. Like any electrical device, these elements can fail. If the temperature of your hot water turns lukewarm, it may be the fault of a broken heating element in the tank. Repair technicians can replace the burnt-out element with a new one.

Do not try to perform repairs on your own without proper training and tools—especially for gas-powered water heaters. Instead, call on the people who can perform the job fast and accurately: Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI). We are ready to help you with your water heater in Casselberry, FL when you need it. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

Watch for These Warning Signs You Need Pipe Replacement

June 27th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

The plumbing system of a home is designed to handle a great deal of stress as it brings water into the house and removes waste from it. But no matter how hardy the pipes in a home are, sometimes they will wear down and sustain damage that will require professional plumbers replace them. In cases of older homes, a whole-house pipe replacement is often necessary.

Here are a few signs to watch for that can indicate you need pipe replacement in Orlando, FL, either whole-house or targeted. Call the professionals at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) right away to arrange the work. You can trust our experience: we’ve served central Florida since 1975.

Warnings You May Need Pipe Replacement

  • Water discoloration: Corrosion and rust are the last things you want to occur in your plumbing. These are rarely issues that affect modern plumbing systems made from copper and plastic pipes. But for older homes built pre-1970 that have galvanized steel pipes, it can be a major dilemma. When reddish discoloration starts to come from your faucets (and it isn’t immediately after a long absence from home), it’s a major warning sign that corrosion has taken hold in your plumbing and you need to replace all of the aging steel pipes.
  • Loss of water pressure: When water pressure coming from your faucets and shower heads starts to drop, it could mean there is a serious problem somewhere in your plumbing that will require extensive pipe replacement. It might even be an issue in the water main—a serious problem that needs immediate attention to replace the pipe.
  • Leaks: Leaking is one of the major warning signs of plumbing trouble, but they are often difficult to detect. When you notice damp spots on walls, warped floorboards, and a rise in water bills, you may have leaks. Although some leaks can be solved with sealing, in other cases you will need to have the pipe replaced. And when these leaks start to become constant, leading to huge spikes in your water bills, you should have complete pipe replacement.
  • Bitter-tasting water: A sudden change in the taste of your water toward a bitter, metallic taint could come from the municipal system—but it also might come from deterioration in the plumbing that will need pipe replacement to solve. (Whatever is causing it, you’ll need plumbers for the work.)

Pipe replacement is a large task, and it needs plumbers with the right experience and skill. Call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) when you think you need pipe replacement or any other plumbing service for your home in Orlando, FL. We offer a full range of plumbing services that will take care of all your worries. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with us.

Noises That Indicate a Need for Water Heater Repair

June 20th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

Even with the best maintenance done on a top-of-the-line model, no water heater can ever be 100% free from repair issues. At some point, you may need to call for technicians to investigate trouble with your water heater when you notice a drop in the temperature of the water, spot rusty discoloration coming from the taps, or find that you are running out of hot water sooner than you used to.

There are other warning indications that you need work done to protect your hot water supply, such as unusual noises emanating from the water heater. Here are a few of the common warning noises that water heaters will make that indicate it is time to call for repair technicians. For a prompt response and quality work on your water heater in Sanford, FL, make the call to Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI). We have handled the plumbing needs of Central Florida since 1975.

A Few of the Common Water Heater Warning Sounds

  • Rumbling: When the water heater tanks starts to rumble, a noise that people often associate with a tank that’s about to burst, it could mean a number of issues. It’s possible that there is a fault in the mixing valve, or a broken dip tube, which will allow cold and warm water to mix. It could also point to an increase in sediment along the bottom of the tank that has so significantly reduced volume in the tank that the water has started to overheat. Either situation is serious and needs trained technicians on the job right away.
  • Popping: This noise can come from excess water pressure, and you should immediately check the pressure on the tank. If adjusting the pressure doesn’t alleviate the popping sound, call for repair technicians immediately.
  • Hissing and whistling noises: There are some innocuous reasons for these sounds to occur…but enough bad reasons that you should definitely call for repairs, especially since one possibility for these noises is a dangerous increase in water pressure.
  • Running water that won’t stop: This is probably trouble with the pressure release valve; if this occurs in an older water heater, it is usually a sign that it is time for a replacement unit.

Our plumbers at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) can handle whatever issues you may have with your home’s water heater in Sanford, FL. We also offer water heater installation of a wide range of water heater options, including tankless, hybrid, and solar options. Make us your first choice for all your water heater and plumbing needs. Contact us today to schedule your next water heater service.