Reasons That You May Need Pipe Replacement

September 10th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

Your plumbing system is made up of fixtures, faucets, and drains that all rely on a complex network of pressurized pipes. Unfortunately, even the smallest change in pressure can affect your plumbing to the point that pipe replacement may be necessary. When leaks threaten your home, you want to fix the problem as soon as possible, which is why it’s imperative that you call a plumbing professional, like the technicians at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) in Casselberry. So why might your pipes need replacement? Is pipe replacement preventable?

If the water pressure changes even slightly inside of your plumbing system, you may need repairs or replacement. One example is the effects of hard water. If you have an excess of minerals in your water supply, deposits may build up along the inside of pipes, changing the water pressure to the point that a pipe may spring a leak. This issue is preventable if you install a water softener at the first sign of hard water.

Another reason pipes may need replacement is if tree roots infiltrate your water or sewer line. Roots naturally grow towards a source of water, so if there is a weak point in your pipes, a root may take hold and work its way inside. If water or sewage leaks into your yard, you may need to schedule pipe replacement services, but your new pipes may offer better protection against tree roots.

Finally, you may need pipe replacement if there are signs that your pipes are older and may soon corrode from rust. While modern plumbing systems are made up of copper or plastic pipes, some older homes may still have pipes made from galvanized steel that can rust through, causing major leaks. If your water is discolored or you notice reddish-brown flakes, pipe replacement may be urgent. If corrosion affects one part of your plumbing system, you’ll probably need to replace all of the older pipes with new copper or plastic piping.

One of the ways to prevent pipe replacement is with regular plumbing repair or maintenance. When you schedule maintenance, a plumber will clean and inspect your entire system to reduce the need for repairs or replacement later on. Whether you need maintenance, repairs, or pipe replacement in Casselberry, call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) today!

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

Why Install Both Low-Flow Fixtures and a Tankless Water Heater

August 27th, 2014 by Anthony Bracco

Most people would love to save money every month on their utility bills, but many do not know that there are some simple ways to do so. Many homeowners waste water and energy with inefficient appliances that increase water, gas, and energy bills. Installing new appliances and fixtures may decrease your bills and help the environment in the process.

Two things you may choose to install in your home to help manage your utility bills are low-flow fixtures and a tankless water heater. In this guide, we’ll detail these items, showing you how they waste less hot water than your current fixtures and how you can save money every month by making a simple change.

Low-Flow Fixtures

If you replace your current showerhead with a low-flow showerhead, or if you install a faucet aerator for your sink, you can save a significant amount on your energy bills, up to sixty percent according to the U.S. Department of Energy. These relatively inexpensive fixtures reduce the amount of water produced per minute, as do low-flow toilets.

Tankless Water Heaters

With conventional storage tank water heaters, water is heated and stored in a large tank. Water fills the tank through a dip tube which leads to the bottom. A burner or electric heating element heats the water, and it naturally moves to the top of the tank where it exits through a smaller pipe. The problem with this type of heater is the standby energy loss that comes with leaving the water heated at all times. A tankless water heater heats water immediately as it passes through, eliminating the need for a tank. When combined with a low-flow fixture, you’ll use significantly less energy and water whenever you turn on a hot water tap.

Other Ways to Save

Installing low-flow fixtures and tankless heaters is not the only way to save hot water. Switching to energy-efficient washing machines and dishwashers can also reduce your bills. You should also be sure to call a plumber for professional repairs at the first sign of water leaks in your pipes. For water heater installation and other plumbing services in Winter Park, save money every month by calling the professionals at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) today!

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.