Tips & Maintenance: Water Heaters

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It takes only ½ second to scald someone in 150ºF water, 1 second in 140ºF water, and 4 minutes in 120 ºF water, according to the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association. Modern water heaters are factory set at 120 ºF, but many older models deliver much higher temperature water. South West Plumbing technicians can inspect and adjust your temperature to ensure safety for your home and family.

Any water heater without a working temperature and pressure relief valve is a time bomb waiting to explode. Plumbing and heating technicians encounter too many of these bombs. South West technicians can help identify these kinds of important issues.

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10 Interesting Plumbing Facts

Plumbing problems, we all have them and they are awful. They smell bad, flood our houses and destroy a lot of stuff. So when the worst happens, who do we call to fix it? The heroic plumber! However, the average person does not know much about the noble profession, so we assembled some facts to enlighten us all about where our modern plumber comes from.
First, a brief history of plumbing: “Plumbing” comes from the word for lead, which is plumbum. People who worked with lead were called Plumbarius, which was eventually shortened to the word we use today. Plumbing dates back to roman times when the Romans used lead pipe inscriptions to prevent water theft. After that virtually no advance in the profession was made until the 19th century when actual sewage systems were created to eliminate cesspools. More recently, technology has taken off and resulted in the modern piping and water treatment that we enjoy everyday.
Here are some crazy facts about plumbing and its rich history.
    1. Albert Einstein was made an honorary member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union after he had announced that he would be a plumber if he had to live his life all over again.
    2. In the technology capitol of the world, Japan, some urinals have voice activated flushing mechanisms. The urinals respond to several commands, including “fire”.
    3. Over 100,000 US dollars were spent on a study to determine whether most people put their toilet paper on the holder with the flap in front or behind. The answer: three out of four people have the flap in the front.
    4. 90% of pharmaceuticals taken by people are excreted through urination. Therefore our sewer systems contain heavy dose of drugs. A recent study by the EPA has found fish containing trace amounts of estrogen, cholesterol-lowering drugs, pain relievers, antibiotics, caffeine and even anti-depressants.
    5. President Richard Nixon had set up a White House Special Investigations Unit to plug intelligence leaks in the governmental processes associated with the Vietnam War. The members of this convert group were popularly called “plumbers.”
    6. The toilet is flushed more times during the super bowl halftime than at any time during the year. We imagine the 8 million pounds of popcorn, 28 million pounds of potato chips, and 1 billion chicken wings really get to you at halftime.
    7. Who are the most famous plumbers ever? Mario and Luigi of course! They have been in over 200 games since Mario bros was created in 1985.
    8. King George II of Great Britain died falling off a toilet on the 25th of October 1760.
    9. The “Bathroom” has been named many different things in many different places. Here are a few of my favorite ones: The Egyptians named it the House of Horror, the Romans named it the Necessarium for obvious reasons. The Tudors who ruled England for a period of time called the bathroom the privy or house of privacy. People of France call it “La Chambre Sent” meaning the smelly house, self-explanatory of course. Israelis call the bathroom the house of honor, this one confuses us the most.
    10. The average person spends three whole years of their life sitting on the toilet. We hope you brought a good book.

Common Mistake

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Never store flammables in the vicinity of a furnace, boiler, or water heater, especially one with a standing pilot light. This is a more common mistake than you may think, because basements and utility rooms are commonly used as storage areas as well. Some combustibles that people often don’t recognize are swimming pool chemicals and many household cleaners.