Plumbing Tip: What’s Causing that Leaky Toilet?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Most homeowners have been there. You go into the bathroom in the morning, still a little bleary-eyed from sleep, and are shocked to find that the floor is wet. Then your realize your toilet is leaking.

The tricky part is determining where that leak is coming from in order to fix it. Try these simple methods to diagnose the problem quickly before you call an Orlando plumber.

 Sweating Toilet

One possibility is that your toilet is not leaking at the base itself, but that the toilet is sweating and the liquid is pooling at the base. It is easy enough to make this distinction; just check the toilet throughout the day to see if there is any moisture on the outer surface. If so, your toilet is sweating.

“Sweating” is caused by humid air condensing on the cold porcelain. The only way to fix this problem is to insulate the toilet.

 Bad Tank Seal

Another possibility is a bad seal. There are two main seals on your toilet that can leak: the tank seal and the wax seal.

To check for a bad tank seal, put some food coloring in the tank. You don’t need a lot, just enough to noticeably change the color of the water. Then, let the toilet sit without being used for a few hours. If the water on the floor is colored, then the tank seal on your toilet needs to be replaced.

 Bad Wax Seal

The other seal that can leak is the wax seal that is located at the actual base of the toilet. Diagnosing this problem is similar to the tank seal method above.

Again, add food coloring, this time to the water in the bowl. Then flush and repeat. After adding coloring the second time, let the toilet sit like in the steps above. If the colored water starts collecting around the base of the toilet after a few hours, the wax seal needs to be replaced.

Once you have determined the cause of the leaking, you can properly fix it. Some home owners are savvy enough to do toilet repairs on their own, but most will need to call an Orlando plumber like Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. Fixing a toilet seal is a relatively quick job and worth the expense.

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Memorial Day Weekend in Central Florida

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Holiday Emergency Service | Orlando | Modern PlumbingModern Plumbing Industries Inc. would like to thank the brave men and women who have protected and served our great country. We wish everyone a very enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. There are lots of activities and ways to commemorate the holiday here in Central Florida.

Memorial Day and Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony: Starting at 11am the City of Ocoee will honor fallen troops at its annual Memorial Day Ceremony on May 28 at Bill Breeze Park.

Memorial Day Salute: This free event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on May 29 at Cypress Grove Park, Orlando. Attendees are encourages to bring picnics and blankets and enjoy guest speakers, military displays, and a posting of the colors.

Memorial Day Weekend: Memorial Day Concert: A classic concert featuring the DSC Symphonic Band and Concert Choir, to be held at the Daytona Beach Bandshell.

Memorial Day Parade: The town of Sanford will be honoring current American soldiers and Veterans with a parade through downtown Sanford. The parade will begin at 10am on May 28th.

Remember that Modern Plumbing Industries Inc. is open for all of your emergency plumbing service needs, even over Memorial Day! If you find yourself in need of emergency plumbing service in the greater Orlando metropolitan area, call our emergency number. Leave a message, and a service technician will be in touch with you within 15 minutes.

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Orlando Plumbing Guide: Calculating Water Usage and Tips to Conserve Water

Monday, May 21st, 2012

How much water do we actually use every day?  Much research has been done on this subject, and by calculating water usage it is seen that on average, an American household of four uses 400 gallons of water per day of direct indoor water use, not including outdoor water usage which can bump that number up drastically higher.  To pinpoint exactly where water is being used the most, extensive research has been done.  Below is a list of indoor and outdoor water usages per household item or appliance; it can be used to easily identify the best places in a home to focus on in order to conserve water usage every day. To find out much water your home uses, talk to your local Orlando plumber!

Average Indoor Household Water Usage

  • Toilets (27%)
  • Washing Machines (22%)
  • Showers and Baths (19%)
  • Sinks (16%)
  • Water Wasted (145) – leaky faucets, toilets, and showerheads

Average Outdoor Household Water Usage

  • Lawn care accounts for 50% of indoor and outdoor water usage combined
  • Swimming pools take 19,000 gallons of water to fill on average, and when left uncovered that water evaporates at a staggering 1,000 gallons per month.  Pool covers can keep 30% to 50% of that water from evaporating.

Tips to Conserve Water in Daily Life

There are some simple ways to conserve water in our everyday lives.

  • Fix leaky faucets, taps, showerheads, and sprinklers
  • Run the dishwasher only when it is completely filled
  • Rather than rinsing dirty dishes, scrape excess food into the trash or compost
  • Wash vegetables in a bowl of water while using a vegetable brush, rather than running them under the sink faucet
  • Boil food in as little water as possible, just enough to cover the food completely
  • Turn off the tap when not directly in use such as while brushing teeth or shaving
  • Place a plastic bottle filled with water in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used for each flush, or consider installing low-flow toilets
  • Spend less time in the shower, take less baths and keep water levels low when you do bathe
  • Only do full loads of laundry
  • Don’t overwater plants
  • Use a pool cover to keep the pool cleaner and to keep water from evaporating
  • Water the lawn during the cool part of the day to ensure minimal evaporation, and ensure sprinklers are set to only water foliage, not the sidewalk
  • Switch out water-thirsty lawn for more climate-friendly landscaping or plants which need less watering

By calculating water usage in order to see where the average consumer uses water on a daily basis, it makes it easier to identify suitable areas where water can be conserved. For any Orlando plumbing repairs or to install low flow fixtures in your home, give Modern Plumbing Industries a call!

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Lightning and Leaking Pipes

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Pipe Leaks | Orlando | Modern Plumbing IndustriesFlorida is well known as the thunderstorm capitol of the United States. Here in the lightning belt, we get particularly severe thunderstorms and lightning. Apart from the dangers of being caught out in one of these storms, did you know that lightening can cause expensive damage to your pipes? Studies conducted by the Orlando Utilities Commission have shown that lighting can cause pinhole leaks in metal piping. In a study done in 1991 the Orlando Utilities Commission found extremely high levels of copper in a home’s water supply and sand crystallization surrounding pinholes in copper pipes after lightning strikes-further proving the damage done to plumbing during these storms. When lightning strikes it follows the path of least resistance, seeking the most conductive substance it can find. When an electrical charge traveling through the ground comes in contact with a home’s copper piping or ground rod it travels along this line until it hits another non-conductive material. At this point the charge needs an outlet, “a minilightning strike occurs within the pipe as the charge jumps from the copper to the water – leaving a hole behind. The stronger the bolt, the bigger the hole”. Some home owners see immediate damage to their pipes, to which they are often alerted of by the hissing sound of water under pressure leaking through these pinholes. Other times it can take months to discover the damage.

If you are concerned that lightning has damaged your plumbing, or about potential damage call Modern Plumbing Industries for advice on the best methods of prevention and testing for pinhole damage. We have proudly been providing top quality plumbing service throughout Central Florida since 1975.

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Plumbing Tip: Stop Sink Clogs Before They Start

Monday, May 14th, 2012

A clogged bathroom sink can disrupt your morning routine. A clogged kitchen sink can make preparing dinner a frustrating task. Stop those annoying plumbing problems before they happen in your Winter Springs home by understanding how clogs occur. The main culprits are grease, hair, and food.

Hydrophobic and Hydrophyllic

In the world of chemistry, substances that dissolve in water are hydrophyllic. Salt and sugar are the most obvious examples. Substances that don’t dissolve in water, such as grease, oil, and organic solvents, are hydrophobic. They will quickly cling to any available surface that allows them to separate from water. Grease and oil from different sources will clump together rather mix with water.

When grease and oil are poured down a sink, they coat the inside of the drain pipe. Water will not remove them. Soaps and detergents are effective cleaners because they have both hydrophobic and hydrophyllic properties. They can pull some of the grease and oil away from the walls of the drain and into the  water, but the base layer of grease stuck to the pipe will not move. Over time, the grease stuck inside the drain accumulates. Hair and food debris gets caught in the grease. Eventually, the clot becomes large enough to stop the water from moving. No matter how much water you flush down the drain, the grease clot stays put.

Hair and Food

We all know we’re not supposed to flush things down the drain, but when we use a bathroom sink for routine grooming, it’s almost impossible to prevent an occasional hair from falling into the drain. When cleaning the dishes after meals, a small amount of food waste inevitably makes its way into the kitchen sink drain.

Over time, the strands of hair and bits of food accumulate in the U-shaped portion of the drain called the trap. Once an object becomes snagged inside the trap, it becomes an anchor for other objects to grab hold of. A clot of hair,  food particles, and other debris slowly accumulates.

Preventing Clogs

Most homeowners know that cooking grease should never be poured down a sink. But they may not realize that many foods, even lean foods like chicken or fish, give off small amounts of grease or fat when they cook. Scraps of food ground up in the garbage disposal can release grease that clings to the walls of the drain. For any busy kitchen, it’s nearly impossible to prevent some grease or oil from making its way into the drain. To help prevent a grease build up in the kitchen sink, add some dish detergent whenever you put cooking liquid, food scraps, or plate scrapings into the sink. Follow up with lots of hot water. For bathroom sinks, when you see a hair fall into the sink, try to wipe it away with tissue before it slides down the drain.

For any Winter Springs plumbing repairs, give Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. a call!

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Save up to $125 on a new tankless water heater!

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Rinnai Rebate | Orlando | Modern PlumbingA new tankless water heater provides you with endless hot water, on demand! You will also benefit from space savings, lower energy bills, and longevity. Chose Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. for your Orlando area tankless installation and maintenance. Call today to find out about receiving up to $125 in rebates off a new Rinnai tankless water heater.

 

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Plumbing Guide: Garbage Disposals

Monday, May 7th, 2012

For most Orlando homeowners, the garbage disposal is an essential kitchen convenience.  Food preparation and cooking become much easier when peelings and scraps can just be whisked into the sink and down the drain. Many of the earlier environmental concerns about garbage disposals have been resolved. Most municipal water treatments plants now have the technology to extract the pulverized food debris from waste water and turn it into sludge that can be sterilized and disposed in a landfill or used for fertilizer.

When to Replace a Garbage Disposal

Obviously, when your garbage disposal stops working it’s time to either fix or replace it. While it’s possible to service a garbage disposal, it would probably be cheaper to replace it. But if your disposal is still operating, how do you know when it’s time to for a new one?

Garbage disposals don’t last forever. No matter how well it’s made, any appliance exposed to thousands of gallons of running water, detergent, food scraps, bones, and the occasional spoon accidentally dropped into the drain is going to wear out. A disposal in good condition should be able to dispatch a few potato or apple peels in a matter of seconds. If your unit seems to take forever to accomplish a simple grinding task, it may be time for a new one.

A foul odor emanating from the disposal that won’t go away after a thorough rinsing may also be a sign that it’s time to replace it. As the components in the grinding chamber wear out, food can get trapped inside and rot. You may adapt to the smell, but guests will probably not appreciate it.

Even if your disposal is in good shape, you may want to look into replacing it. Garbage disposals are rated in horsepower. Basic models are usually rated in the 1/5 to 1/3 horsepower range, while top of the line models are in the 3/4 to 1 horsepower range. The difference may seem small, but it has a major impact on performance. If you have a smaller unit in the 1/5 to 1/3 range that is a few years old, and you like to cook, it may be worth your while to consider replacing it.

Size Matters

Most manufacturers offer a range of models with increasing power ratings. If you do a lot of cooking and use your disposal a lot, the few extra dollars investment in a 3/4 or 1 horsepower disposal is worth the money. Not only do more powerful units dispatch food scraps more easily, but they can handle tougher jobs like bones and meat scraps that might jam a smaller disposal. More powerful disposals are less noisy and they tend to break down less. The only drawback of larger disposals is that they tend to be larger and take up more space. It’s best to consult an Orlando plumbing contractor before buying a new disposal to make sure it will fit under your sink.

Call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. today to learn more about upgrades you can make to your home’s plumbing!

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Save Water, Save Money!

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Save Water | Orlando | Modern Plumbing IndustriesDid you know that the energy needed to deliver, heat, and treat water for 10 households could power a refrigerator for an entire year?  That doesn’t even include the amount of energy you use to heat water for bathing, cooking and cleaning. Low-flow fixtures can help you use less water, and therefore less energy. You can also conserve water by taking shorter showers, watering your lawn at night, and only running your washer and dishwasher when they are full. Saving water is good for the environment and your wallet!

Another way to save on your bill and conserve energy is to switch to a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters cost less to operate, use less energy, and take up less space. Call Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. today to find out more information on tankless water heaters and other ways to save on your energy bill.

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