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

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

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.

Continue Reading

Reasons Backflow Issues May Occur in Your Home

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

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.

Continue Reading

Do I Really Need Whole-House Pipe Replacement?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

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.

Continue Reading

Is Rust a Sign I Need Water Heater Repair?

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

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!

Continue Reading

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

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

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.

Continue Reading