Plumbing Question: What Is a Mixing Valve?

Monday, October 28th, 2013

You use running water in your home every day. When you reach for the knobs or handle that controls the flow of water into a sink, shower, or bathtub, you have the option to get cold or hot water, or a blend of both. You probably know the exact combination of the two that’s the most pleasant for you. But did you know that there’s a hidden mechanism in your plumbing to make certain that you don’t get an unpleasant surprise of extremely hot water every time you turn on a faucet? It’s called the mixing valve, and without it your daily supply of water could become dangerous.

The term “mixing valve” has the general application of meaning any device in plumbing that controls the mix of hot and cold water to provide a comfortable temperature. In most cases, a mixing valve isn’t designed simply to provide comfort; it serves as a safety mechanism that will keep you from accidental scalding due to high temperatures.

The danger of scalding water from your plumbing exists because water in a home needs to be stored at high temperatures to prevent bacterial growth. Without the regulation of a mixing valve, this water might flow from your showerhead, bath faucet, or sink and cause you injury. A central thermostatic mixing valve works automatically to prevent this from occurring. The valve’s thermostat is preset so that it will close a plunger and stop the supply of hot water if the cold water pressure experiences a sudden drop. As long as the mixing valve is working correctly, you won’t have to fear getting extremely hot water when you turn a faucet handle.

Central mixing valves operate without the user having to do anything. There are some manual mixing valves that can be installed in kitchens and bathrooms. However, these do not provide the same guarantee against very hot water that a central mixing valve does, so your home should still have a thermostatic mixing valve installed to prevent accidental scalding.

Because a mixing valve is important for protecting you and your family—whether showering, cleaning dishes, or washing your hands—you need to take good care of your plumbing. Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) offers excellent maintenance plans; an annual visit from one of our experts in plumbing in Orlando, FL will alleviate your worries. Contact us today.

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How Much Water Does My Toilet Use?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Of the items that run water in your house, the toilet uses a high volume of water; in general, the bathroom is the place in your home that will use the most amount of water. Your toilet quite a lot of water each time it is used. The amount, however, varies depending on the type. More recent designs have a lower flow, while older ones can use up to four times as much water. And when it comes to a malfunctioning toilet, the waste of water can be enormous.

Conserving water is important for our environment and for your budget. We’re going to explain how much water your toilet might use so you can think about how to conserve, and also why getting repairs is so important. When you need to call a plumber in Orlando, FL, get on the phone with Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI).

A modern low-flow toilet uses about one 1¼ gallons per flush. According to the EPA, older models can use between 3½ to 7 gallons. As a comparison, a running faucet uses about 2 gallons per minute, so a single flush on one of these older models is approximately equivalent to running a faucet for anywhere from two to four minutes.

If your toilet starts to run without stopping, the amount of water it uses will leap up to extremely wasteful levels. A running toilet can waste up to 2 gallons a minute. That means that if you let it run for two hours, it will use 120 gallons of water! Even a leaky toilet is extremely wasteful, with the EPA estimating a use of 200 gallons per day. You don’t want to pay bills for that kind of drain on the water supply, so make sure you see to the problem right away, and get a plumber to help you if you can’t solve it on your own.

Make sure that you aren’t wasting water. Aside from unnecessary flushes, see that your toilet isn’t leaking or running without stop. With an older model, you might consider upgrading to a low-flow toilet with the government WaterSense label. Get in contact with Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) for a plumber in Orlando, FL who can offer you the advice and repairs you need to make the bathroom in your home more water conservation friendly.

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High Water Pressure and Water Heater Repair

Monday, October 14th, 2013

No matter where you live in the globe, from the tropics to above the Arctic Circle, getting hot water is an important part of your daily comfort. Hot water doesn’t just do the job of making a shower a pleasant experience instead of a frigid one; it’s also responsible for cleaning your clothes and dishes effectively by killing bacteria. Whatever type of water heater you have installed in your home in Florida, you need it to work its best for you every time you turn on a tap or start the washing machine.

A problem we sometimes see in water heaters that we repair is high water pressure. Along with rust, sediment build-up, and simple neglect, high water pressure is one of the major foes of your water heater that can lead to the need for serious repair or even a full replacement. It’s also a problem people don’t often consider a danger. High water pressure can cause thermal expansion inside the heater, when the system starts to heat water despite there not being a need for it. This can cause internal damage and other, more severe issues.

The water pressure inside your home should be in the range of 50 to 60 PSIG (pounds per square inch gauge). A pressure that is too high might violate local plumbing codes, which require that any water pressure greater than 80 PSIG needs to have a pressure regulating valve installed. Even if your water isn’t at that high a pressure level, you should consider getting a pressure regulating valve installed if you are above 60 PSIG.

Getting a plumber with expertise in water heaters over to your house will help guide you through this. For an expert, high water pressure isn’t a difficult problem to remedy. The plumber can gauge your water pressure and then install a valve if it’s necessary. If you already have an existing valve, the plumber will know how to adjust it and help you maintain proper pressure.

Working with a water heater can be risky if you’re unfamiliar with plumbing: accidental blockages can lead to ruptures. It’s always better to stay on the safer side and get a professional plumber to help out. Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) specializes in water heater repair in Orlando, FL, as well as water heater installation. We can handle hybrid and solar water heaters in addition to more traditional models, and we’re available 24 hours a day for emergencies. Contact us now if you need help with problems from high pressure water.

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Hard Water and Its Impact on Your Plumbing System

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The term “hard water” often baffles people unfamiliar with chemistry or plumbing. You hear it often, but what does it actually mean?

The simplest explanation of hard water is that it’s water with higher than normal mineral content, usually calcium-based minerals. The most common minerals found in hard water are magnesium and calcium, although a variety of other minerals such as gypsum also occur. Under most conditions, hard water poses no health risks to drink. It can make it difficult to create decent soap lather; it tends to create soap scum instead, and this is the most immediate effect of hard water that homeowners notice.

However, hard water has a more serious danger than simply making it more difficult to get a good tub full of suds. The minerals in hard water will have a harmful effect on your plumbing. Hard water can do damage to your pipes that lead to problematic and expensive repairs unless dealt with. The water treatment specialists at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. have solutions for hard water trouble with your plumbing in Orlando, FL. If you have questions, concerns, or want to schedule water treatment system installation, contact us.

The main difficulty hard water can cause for your plumbing is a build-up of “scale,” which are deposits of calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, and calcium sulfate. (You can see why somebody invented a simpler name for this.) Scale will start to restrict water flow in your pipes. This can turn into an especially serious problem if you use a boiler, since the increased pressure can cause the boiler to overheat.

Because hard water encourages the creation of soap scum, build-up can lead to clogs. Hard water will also increase corrosion that will weaken pipes and make them susceptible to leaking and breaks.

There are a number of ways to combat hard water. One of the best is to have a reverse osmosis system installed to separate the minerals out of your water. There are also DI resin cartridges and a variety of filters that will help. Call in water treatment specialists to test your water supply and recommend a remedy for your hard water troubles.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. is one of your best options for professional work on your plumbing in Orlando, FL. We offer 24-hour emergency service, so call us any time.

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