Understanding the Risk of Concrete Dermatitis

One of the most common construction materials is concrete with more than a million workers in various occupations using it regularly. However, not many people are aware that exposure to wet concrete poses some risks. If you use concrete in your work or you supervise any work that makes use of concrete, it is a must to learn about its hazards, one of which is developing concrete dermatitis.

What is concrete or cement dermatitis?

This is a skin condition caused by contact with cement. The combination of the cement’s wetness and chemical abrasion and corrosion can lead to skin irritation. When people working with cement become sensitive to cement’s additives such as chromium salts then they could develop allergic dermatitis. Some of the symptoms of concrete dermatitis are redness, itching, blister formation, swelling, and scaling.

Who Is at Risk?

Cement is a basic ingredient in many building materials such as tile grout and plaster. It is also a binding agent used in making modern mortars and is also added in modern stucco or render to make it more durable. So, aside from construction laborers working with plain concrete, other workers or using cement-containing materials are also at risk of concrete dermatitis including those who do concrete finishes, who use precast concrete, truck drivers of ready-mix concrete, carpenters, cement block and brick cement layers, tile setters, plasterers and terrazzo workers. In addition, over exposure to cement dust is also hazardous because cement dust when mixed with sweat becomes very corrosive. Those at particular risk include cement plant laborers, cement drilling workers and disaster emergency units such as firefighters.

Why is Wet Cement Hazardous?

Portland cement, the most common cement type, consists of calcium oxide which turns into the highly alkaline calcium hydroxide when water is added to cement. On the pH scale, ph14 is the highest alkaline point and calcium hydroxide has a pH of 12-13, making it extremely damaging once it gets onto human skin which has a normal pH of 5.5 and is actually slightly acidic. That acidic layer of skin helps it repair damage and because alkalis counteract acid, prolonged skin exposure to strong alkaline substances such as in wet cement can cause severe skin damage.

First Aid Treatment

If fresh cement comes into contact with skin, rinse the skin with clean, cool water at once. Likewise, if cement gets into the eyes, flush with clean, cool water for about 15 minutes. Seek medical help if irritation does not subside.

Can Lemon Juice Substitute Lime Juice For Weight Loss?

Some people are wondering if lime juice can be substituted for lemon juice for weight loss and vice versa. The answer would be yes. Any fruit which consist of citrus acid in it can be substituted with each other such as lemon, grapefruit, lime and others. Both lemon and lime juice can provide acidic elements and some zest to your recipes when baking and cooking. If you don’t have one of them then it is alright to substitute with the other.

Why Use Lemon Juice for Weight Loss

There are already several claims about the success of this diet. In order to effectively lose weight, you can squeeze a lemon in the warm water every morning. Some people are wondering whether these claims are actually real. Well, it seems that it is a fact due to the evidence gathered on the effectiveness of lemons in regulating the absorption of sugar in the body as well as in improving your digestion. Aside from this, it has also vitamin C which is a very important element for those who are serious about their weight loss. This is because the body will absorb more calcium into the fat cells which can help in losing weight.

How Does Lemon Juice for Weight Loss Works

Actually, it is quite surprising how juice of the lemon can be very effective in sugar absorption as well as in regulating metabolism and as a result helps you in losing your extra weight. The secret is hidden behind the acidity content of the lemon. Lemon juice is full of citric acid. That is why, if you take a glass of lemon juice with warm water at the start of the morning, you can achieve a healthy natural digestion in your stomach. The citric acid in the lemon will interact with enzymes and the other acids in your digestive system so that you can have a worry free and healthy digestion.

Lemon juice for weight loss can lower your absorption of sugar. According to studies, it just takes a little lemon and you can already lower your absorption of sugar. This is due to the high content to acid in lemon. Aside from the lemon juice, you can also eat the lemon peels. The peels contain pectin which can help in losing weight because it will form a gel substance in your stomach and helps in the sugar absorption of the food that you eat.

According to the research done at Arizona State University, those people who are eating foods which are full of vitamins such as lemon, lime, oranges, kiwi fruit and grapes are less likely to gain more weight compared to those who have low intake of vitamin C. Aside from having a healthy digestive system, it can also help in absorbing more calcium from the foods that you eat and the calcium will be stored in the fat cells. The more calcium you have in your fat cells, the more you will burn fat. So, this is another benefit from lemon juice for weight loss.

Chain Saw Bars – How to Tell When Yours Needs to Be Replaced

If you use your chain saw at all, eventually you’ll need to look into replacement chain saw bars.

Extended use, improper bar oil application, and dropping, bending or other damage to the bar can all necessitate bar replacement.

What do you need to know about bars in order to get the right one? And how can you maintain the current bar that you have now? This article will discuss these points.

How Do You Know When You Need to Look at Replacement Chain Saw Bars?

One way to tell if your bar needs replacement is simply to look at it carefully.

Is the bar visibly bent? Does the chain slip out of its track? Are you having issues with bar oil lubricating well? When you look at the track on the bar, does it look worn, with the track edges clearly chipped or otherwise deteriorated?

These are all signs that your bar needs replacement.

Of course, damage to the bar can occur if the saw is dropped. When cutting through large tree trunks or limbs the bar can become stuck in the saw groove, which can cause the bar to warp or bend. Do you notice your saw cutting or pulling to one side? These can all be signs that you need a new chain saw bar.

Bar oil is extremely important for the proper operation and maintenance of the saw, and if the bar oil reservoir is allowed to run dry, you can expect that you will be needing a new bar very soon.

If your chainsaw gets extended use, you will want to examine your bar closely at regular intervals to watch for track wear. Since most people use a saw to cut through wood with downward motion, the bottom of the saw bar takes the most pressure, and thus show wear first.

Things to Know Before Buying Replacement Chain Saw Bars

It would be nice if one-size-fit all, but unfortunately this doesn’t happen with chain saw bars.

There are many makes and models, and unless you’re a professional logger who is well-versed in the many variations of chainsaws and parts, then you’ll want to keep the same original size bar that your saw came with.

However, there are after-market bar companies providing new and improved bars that can replace your current bar. For example, the Cannon Bar Works company of Canada makes replacement bars for a number of saw models, and advertise that their bars are laser cut and milled with a unique flame hardening process to provide longer bar life.

To find a replacement bar, you’ll need to know your saw make and model number. You’ll also need to know the chain pitch and the chain gauge.

Chain pitch establishes the size of the chain. Common pitch sizes include ¼ inch,.325 inch and 3/8 inch. The drive sprocket also has to be the same pitch as the chain.

Chain gauge is basically the thickness of the drive link where it fits into the bar groove or track. Chain gauge and the groove bar gauge have to match. Common gauge sizes can be.050,.063 (measured in fractions of one inch), and so on.

You’ll need to know these numbers before you look at new bars.

Proper Care and Maintenance for Chain Saw Bars

The single most important thing you need to do to maintain your bar is keep the bar oil reservoir full!

Bar oil lubricates the chain while it is moving within the groove. Always use new bar and chain oil. Do not use motor oil or bar oil that has been “recycled.” Impurities and dirt in used oil can cause damage to your chain and saw.

A good rule of thumb is whenever you fill the gas tank on your saw, fill the bar oil as well.

Also, make sure that your new bar, sprocket and chain are properly installed and tightened, since improper installation can increase kickback potential.

What is Kickback and How Can It Be Prevented?

A new chain saw bar can be a big help in preventing kickback accidents.

Kickback is generally when the chain teeth on the tip of the saw bar “grab” the wood and “kick” the bar back toward the operator. This is often a quick and violent action and can be quite dangerous to the operator. (Imagine a saw in full power pivoting off your hands and coming right at you.)

Most chain saws have a tip guard. Some people will remove it, but it is a great safety feature! Maintain a firm grip on the saw at all times, and make sure your saw has the chain brake intact. Avoid sawing with the tip of your saw – use the blade near the motor as much as possible.

Do not saw between your feet when your standing on a log. Maintain your chain, keep it sharp. Chains that are dull are more prone to kickback.

There are even chains that are called “low-kickback,” which are designed for kickback prevention.

Shop online, or your local chain saw dealer can also provide you with suggestions to find the best replacement chain saw bar for your application.

Do You Suffer From Stiffness Or Pain in Your Hands Or Wrists? Here May Be Some Reasons Why

It is estimated that 30-40 million adults in the US over the age of 45 complain about stiffness in the hands and fingers ranging from general stiffness to one of the many forms of Arthritis. Sort of like that feeling you get when it’s cold outside, only it isn’t cold. Not all symptoms of stiffness in the hands and fingers are due to one of the many forms of Arthritis. Today more than ever people’s hands are simply overworked, whether from a hobby such as playing musical instruments to knitting to rock climbing, playing tennis or data entry work on the computer. Day after day, our hands perform arduous tasks of varying intensity, but the demand is always on one side of the hand; using the muscles responsible for gripping and squeezing. Due to this constant stimulation, the flexor muscles of the hands and fingers significantly over power their opposing counterpart, the finger extensors or muscles that pull the fingers open.

As with the rest of the body, when one group of muscles and the joints they surround such as the hips, knees or shoulders, get overused, the percentage and risk of injury increases. The joints of the fingers are constantly being used with virtually every activity we do, just as mine are now writing this article.

Within the past 10 years, the majority of Americans have integrated computers and mobile devices into their everyday lives. This unknowingly places an even greater amount of stress on the muscles used to close the hand. Statistics show that parts of the body that take abuse due to repetitive, forceful activities over extended periods of time often leads to arthritis in those joints along with tissue damage such as tendonitis. Similar to retired athletes, symptoms may not manifest until many years later.

There are numerous theories regarding the breakdown of our joints causing stiffness and conditions such as Osteo Arthritis which leads to reduced range of motion and weakening in the muscles surrounding those joints.

So, what can be done to make the hands and fingers feel and function better and reduce the stiffness that often times gets in the way of doing the activities we enjoy? A good strategy is one that emphasizes a multi prong approach.

Always check with your doctor for any symptoms to rule out conditions that need further evaluation and treatment. But a few things that will likely make a positive difference without taking much time or money would be to exercise the hands and fingers in a large bowl of warm water for a few minutes each day to get the joints of the fingers moving while in a warm environment. The resistance generated by the water will help exercise the hands and provide some mild muscle stimulation. Also, it is important to make sure to stretch the muscles in the palms by pulling back on the fingers several times a day, this will help improve finger joint range of motion as well as improve flexibility in the muscles in the palms and wrist that are tight and overworked.

Last and likely most important is to exercise the muscles that move the fingers in the opposite direction of we use them each day. This is probably one of the most important exercises the hands can do to re-balance all of the on sided activities that the hands repetitively perform. Rubber bands and therapy putty have some levels of effectiveness but are more limited than they are effective as they are not specifically designed for that task. There is a device called The Xtensor, similar to pieces of equipment found in health clubs; The Xtensor is specifically designed to exercise the fingers in the opposite direction of how we use them every day it works on either hand and allows each finger to exercise independent of the other. As with exercise for any other part of the body, rest is important meaning exercise the muscles to the point of fatigue but allow them to rest, recover so they can exercise again but only just a bit stronger.

Three Tips For Choosing Tap Shoes

There are lots of shapes, styles, and colors of tap shoes to choose from. All tap shoes have one thing in common however, and that is the taps that are fastened to the bottom of them. That’s what makes a functional pair of tap shoes.

The first thing to look for is an inferior style of fastener to hold on the tap. This fastener is called a rivet. You can identify a riveted tap by looking at the fastener itself. Is there a slot to put a screwdriver in and remove the tap? If not than you are more than likely looking at a riveted tap.

Rivets are great and a very strong fastener, ninety nine percent of the time. Every once in a while a rivet is not fastened to the shoe properly and becomes weak. As the student uses the shoe the rivet becomes weaker and looser. It eventually comes loose and the tap pops. When this happens to a riveted tap the shoe cannot be repaired. The shoe has to be thrown away and you’ll have to buy a new pair.

Your second tip is the type of fastener that you should be on the look out for. Always look for a screw that is holding on the tap. A screw is much less likely to fail than a rivet. And if a screw does for some reason become damaged, which I have never heard of, you can easily remove it and replace it. Again you can identify a screw by looking for a slot for a screwdriver. You will see it easily by flipping over the shoe and examining the tap. You won’t be able to miss it.

Your last tip is to get a shoe with a solid heel. Hollow plastic heels are a sign of a very cheap pair of tap shoes. Hollow heels don’t give the fastener, either rivet or screw, much material to bite into and hold the tap on. The tap can easily pop and there’s a good chance they will be unrepairable.

Now if you find a pair of taps with both hollow plastic heels and rivets you’ll definitely want to save your money. Shoes combining both of these undesirable features have been know not to last through a single semester of tap dancing. You’ll mostly see this with children’s tap shoes that are suspiciously inexpensive compared to most of the other available shoes.

Top 6 Benefits of Fencing Your Garden

A garden develops only when it is nurtured properly. If gardening is your passion, then you must be well aware of the immense hard work and patience that are required to cultivate a garden of your choice. Fencing is one of the many tasks that need to be accomplished for the proper maintenance of your dream garden. Putting up the right fence is not only essential for gardening but putting up a sturdy fence around your property is also of utmost importance to ensure its security. Below are provided some of the key advantages of building a privacy fence.

The following are some of the significant benefits of putting up privacy fences:

Provision of shelter – Installing barriers around your garden or property will provide them with shelter against the natural elements like the gusts of wind that can destroy your garden. This may also give shade to your plants against the scorching rays of the sun.

Putting demarcation – Fences will also assist in demarcating your property from others. This is most required at the time of any controversy in regards to the boundary of yours and your neighbor’s land or home.

Security – The proper barriers will ensure the safety to your garden as well as house against the stray animals. They will also keep your children and pet safe from any external threat. These things will also prevent the intrusion of trespassers in your area.

Beautification – These boundary markers will also help in enhancing the beauty of your garden. You may paint these so that they go well with the house and blend well with the backyard. The charm of your garden landscape will be more magnified if you can install the proper barriers. Just ensure that these grilles are constructed of materials that readily accept the decent paints or stains.

Minimal maintenance – These guarding amenities call for minimum maintenance. After a certain period, you just need to apply varnish on these and put away the debris with the help of water and soap. The loose ends should be tied well so that the hurdles remain robust and stable. The rust formations can be done away with the assistance of sandpaper while the insecticides will help in the keeping away of pests.

Prevention of Noise – Some of these can also prevent the noise from outside enter your property. This will diminish the intensity of noise and thus help to maintain a peaceful environment in and around your home.

All the above benefits can be derived if you go for the proper fencing of your property. Thus, choose wisely and get a tough hurdle for your assets.

What’s Better: A Steel or Aluminum Pool Fence?

Most people assume that they need an aluminum pool fence because steel will rust and fall apart sooner or have to be painted every year. There was a time when this was true under most circumstances, but these days that doesn’t always have to be the case. There’s plenty of companies making steel fence panels that powder coat their fence panels or use other processes that make the panels easily withstand the elements for more than 20 years. This means you’re no longer stuck with only being able to use aluminum as your fencing material in areas where there’s a lot of moisture in the air.

Owners of saltwater pools are usually the most concerned when it comes to choosing the metal their fence is going to be made out of. There’s no reason for them to be concerned either. The coating on modern-day, steel, fence panels easily hold up when installed next to saltwater pools. They’re used on coastal properties all over the world without any problems. It’s important to keep in mind that I’m referring to steel fences that are made by reputable manufacturers and not panels that someone painted in their backyard with spray paint.

Even after being informed about the latest processes used for coating quality steel fence panels, many people don’t know how they would benefit from having steel rather than aluminum. The biggest advantage steel has over aluminum is strength. Aluminum fences are nowhere near as strong as steel fences of the same size. If an aluminum fence is exposed to much abuse, it’s going to bend and maybe even break. This is something that needs to be taken in to careful consideration before installing one in a location such as a park that’s going to have a lot of people around it. Things such as kids trying to climb it are inevitable.

Another drawback to using aluminum is it requires a special welding machine if you ever need to repair any damage or need any custom work done. Most people don’t know how to weld this type of metal either. This means that repairs and custom work will end up costing you more money. In most cases it’s cheaper to replace damaged sections of fence than it is to have it repaired. Unless it’s severely damaged, steel fencing can often be straightened out and welded where necessary to make minor repairs.

There are some minor drawbacks to using steel also. No matter how good the coating is, just like with an automobile, if you put a scratch in it that goes beyond the paint into the metal, that area will eventually rust. If you happen to get a deep scratch, you shouldn’t be alarmed. All you have to do is get a little paint and touch it up just like you would with a vehicle. You also need to keep in mind that all panels aren’t coated using very good techniques. For this reason, you want to make sure that your steel fencing panels come from a well-known manufacturer with a good reputation. This is very important because there’s a lot of companies that still make panels that rust easily. They all look good new, so you won’t know it until around a year down the road.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Room Sharing

Why people ready for sharing the rooms? Well, let’s be frank, due to the growing expenditure of living, you cannot afford to live as single. Most people who have just started doing job can’t afford to live by themselves. So as too many individual prefer to share the room with someone who will lay down their burden. In metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai people come from their different states to make their careers prefer the flats available for room sharing.

Room sharing has the both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side you will always find someone to talk when you will come back to your office and really you will enjoy the years of living together or your loneliness is reduce and you can share the rent of flat at the end of the month. You can also share the basic needs and requirements such as internet and cable since you will both be using them. Another great thing in having the roommate is one can afford the bigger space to live.

Finally there is someone to share the responsibilities. This will split your other works like dish washing and cleaning. It will save your time and money also.

Room sharing drawbacks are that you have no isolation; means, it may create interference in your personal life or always having somebody going through all your personal things. You have to share the bath room, the kitchen, the laundry room and the living room. If the understanding between them is not similar than it may creates trouble among them. It will be very hard to live together for long time. If you don’t have the similar lifestyle, likes and dislike then you will get frustrated with each other very soon. Another issues that individual often face is if one is preparing for the exam and other one is creating disturbance by turned the television on loud.

Here I mentioned all possible merits and demerits of room sharing. It’s really necessary for one to clear the all essential issues before you start living together.

To get the best accommodations details, log on to various classified sites.

The Importance of Hotels and Accommodation in Promoting Tourism

In the modern times, the way people spend their vacations has undergone a great change. People like to spend good times with family and friend while at the same time exploring various tourist places across the globe. As a result the tourism industry across the globe has seen an unprecedented growth which in turn has also resulted in tremendous growth in the hotel and accommodation facilities.

Comfortable hotels and accommodation facilities play a very important role in popularizing any tourist destination. If a person, who is quite far away from home, gets to enjoy the same facilities and comforts as he enjoys at his home, then he is bound to become attached to the place. On the other hand if the tourist ends up at a place where the hotels and accommodation facilities are not satisfactory, it is quite likely that he might never return to that place.

Perhaps that is why, hotels and accommodation facilities being made available at different tourists spots, have shifted focus on providing maximum comfort to tourists at reasonable rates. It is also vital to provide comfortable accommodation to people from diverse economical backgrounds. While five star hotels can cater to the needs of affluent visitors, small and medium range hotels and lodging houses are available for use by a middle class traveler.

Blog reviews are also vital that information about all the hotels and accommodation facilities available in a particular tourism spot is available to people quite easily. For this there can be no better option than internet, as most tourist gain information about the hotels and accommodation facilities through this medium only. The other ways are by making booklets containing information about the hotels and accommodation facilities available at train and bus stations.

The information provided to the tourists should be detailed and correct. It should contain the information related to room rentals, types of rooms, catering services, check out times, pick and drop facilities etc. Additional information about the significant tourist spots in the area can also be provided both on the net as well as the booklets, to promote not only the hotel but the tourist spot as well.

Redevelopment Of Co-Operative Housing Societies

With the real estate prices touching a new high, residents in old buildings are now discovering that they have an opportunity to unlock immense value from their property by offering it to a builder/developer for redevelopment. Developers, on their part, are also on the lookout for properties with unused development rights where they can build a new structure of a few storeys higher and sell those additional flats for a tidy profit for them. While it may sound like a typical ‘win-win’ situation, the process of redevelopment isn’t as easy as it sounds. It comes with a set of rules, procedures and implications which you need to understand.

It is needless to mention here that the Redevelopment of housing societies is usually burdened with bitterness and complaints of high-handedness and corruption against the Managing Committee. Hence, with a view to ensure transparency in societies seeking to undertake redevelopment projects, the State Co-Operative Department has, for the first time, issued guidelines for societies to follow under section 79 (A) of the Maharashtra Co-operatives act, 1960.

The recent guidelines are issued by a committee comprising the co-operatives commissioner and CIDCO chairman pursuant to a deep study of complaints by members of Housing Societies undertaking the redevelopment of their property. According to an important feature in the guidelines, a redevelopment scheme has to be approved by the general body only if three-fourths of the society members are present at the meeting.

The subject of redevelopment has assumed great significance because in Mumbai, majority of the buildings owned by the Co-Operative Housing Societies are quite old and in a dilapidated state. In case of redevelopment of old buildings which have completed 30 years or are beyond repairs as certified by the Govt. approved architect on the basis of his “Structural Audit”.

The first and the foremost step before going in for redevelopment would be a structural audit of the building. The structural audit report will determine whether the building should go in for redevelopment or for major repairs. In the absence of the technical report it would not be legally permissible to pass a resolution in the general body meeting. However, it is a fact that many co-operative societies suddenly call for General Body meeting and decide to go in for redevelopment in the absence of a structural audit report.

There are two important things in a Resident/Developer arrangement. One is from the commercial angle and another is from the technical angle. A Developer usually assures a certain amount of cash by way of corpus, an additional area or a mix of both. He may give an alternative accommodation for your temporary stay, foot your rentals or give you a monthly compensation within which you have to find your temporary accommodation.

Before you negotiate with a Developer, you need to establish the market value of the property you will receive on completion of redevelopment. This is a better approach than quoting a random figure to the builder that would make them feel short-changed or the high amount would make the builder shy on the new project.

The technical angle refers to the finished good. Does it match the quality and terms and conditions assured by the builder? In fact, at the agreement stage itself, the society residents should appoint a lawyer to draft and finalize the agreement. It usually takes a year for a builder to convince the society members and take an in-principle approval. The society members should ensure the timely completion of the project which is the most important detail to be mentioned in the agreement.

The main parties involved in the any redevelopment project are Society and Developer. Committee Members dealing on behalf of cooperative housing society are mostly non-technical and are laymen.

Therefore it is very important that the drafting of the Tender / agreement is done meticulously so that there is no chance of dispute and/or difference between both the parties. Excellent skills and vast Legal & Technical knowledge is required to draft such an important document. It is very important to avail the services of a professional, who is legally as well as technically qualified and a person who has the vision to anticipate future problems and requirements.

In any scheme of redevelopment, the primary objective is to ensure guarantee of performance. Performance is principally in the area of timely construction, quality control and adherence to rules, and regulations.

The best way to select the builder is to invite sealed tenders through a public notice and such tenders should have the basic eligibility criteria mentioned. This will bring in more transparency in selecting the developer. Brief details and advantages of the tendering process are given below.

BRIEF DETAIL OF TENDERING

– Preparation of Tender Document including Technical, Commercial and Legal conditions, detailed Specifications and offer etc

– Advertisement in 3 local News paper

– Selling Tender documents

– Identification of Developer and evaluation of offers and Recommendation

– Guidance in Negotiation

– Formation of suitable agreement

ADVANTAGES OF TENDERING

– As advertisement is given in 3 prominent newspapers society will get good offers from reputed developers.

– As offers are invited in a sealed tender form, there is a severe competition among the bidders.

– As all the specifications and terms and conditions are same for all the bidders, it becomes easy for comparison and evaluation.

– Earnest Money Deposit in the form of PAY ORDER payable to the society is taken from each and every bidder so that unwanted or non interested parties do not bid for the work

– Mode of measurement of carpet area and person who will certify the same is clearly defined.

– Entire redevelopment proposal to be done in society’s name making it safer for society in case of any problems faced by developer.

– Right to change and or remove developer stays with the society.

– As all the details pertaining to commercial terms such as Bank Guarantee, temporary accommodation, cost of additional area etc is clearly defined the chances of ambiguity and disputes are virtually non-existent.

– Detailed technical methodology of work is laid out in the tender document under the head of technical specification.

– Basic rates are mentioned in the tender document enabling members to change any specification for their individual uses.

– Right to check amendments of plans during the progress of work is kept with the society.

– Material to be used is spelt out with brand names to avoid any confusion.

– As all the items are defined clearly the chances of getting realistic offer are excellent.

– Consequences of delay are defined in tender document.

– Tender is a legally binding document.

– Bye Law No 158 recommends need of tender document for construction of building.

After a proper feasibility report is submitted, the next step in the process of Redevelopment of any society is the most important one, viz: Selection of the PERFECT DEVELOPER, who will meet all the needs of the society, and at the same time be financially stable, and having a lot of experience of Redevelopment because unrealistic offers can often lead to redevelopment projects being stalled and leave residents in a fix.

This is achieved by the process of tendering, wherein the PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT will float a tender document containing all the Legal, Technical, and Commercial & Other important Terms & Conditions, whereby maximum safety of the society members is ensured, as they are parting with their life’s most valuable possession…. their house, in the hands of a perfect stranger.

Before we agree to re-development plan, please read carefully, the procedural aspects are strictly followed as per the Govt. guidelines at the Meetings of the Society.

The Government of Maharashtra has issued a Circular bearing No. CHS 2007/CR554/14-C, Co-operation, Marketing and Textiles Department Date: 3rd January 2009 which contains a Directive under Section 79(A) of Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act 1960 for all the Co-operative Housing Societies in the State of Maharashtra regarding the Redevelopment of Buildings of Co-operative Housing Societies that wherever, the buildings of Co-operative Housing Societies in the State of Maharashtra are being redeveloped on a large scale, a number of complaints were received from members against managements of Co-operative Societies in which redevelopment is taking place. In respect of most of the Co-operative Housing societies, nature of complaints relating to redevelopment is as under:-

1. Not taking the members in confidence in the process of redevelopment.

2. There is no transparency in tender process.

3. Appointing contractors arbitrarily.

4. To work by violating provisions of Co-operative Act, Rules and Bye-Laws.

5. No orderliness in the work of Architect and Project Consultant.

6. Not planning Redevelopment Project Report.

7. Not adopting proper procedure in finalizing tenders.

Whereas there is no concrete policy in respect of all above points of complaint and therefore Co-operation Commissioner and Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Maharashtra State, Pune had appointed a Study Group under the Chairmanship of Joint Registrar, Co-operative Societies (CIDCO) to study the complaints received at various levels and for consultations with all constituents working in the relevant fields. The said Study Group has expressed the opinion that it is essential to frame regulations for redevelopment of buildings of Co-operative Housing Societies after consultation with all the constituents in the field of Co-operative Housing.

Directive for Redevelopment of Building of Co-operative Housing Society

1. Requisition for convening Special General Body Meeting for Redevelopment of Society’s Building:-

Not less that ¼ members of the Society the building of which is to be redeveloped should submit a requisition to Secretary on the Managing Committee elected as per provisions of Bye-Laws and lawfully formed along with their scheme and suggestions for redevelopment of the Society’s building for convening Special General Body Meeting to finalize the policy on redevelopment of the building.

2. Convening Special General Body Meeting:-

On receipt of an application as per Directive No. 1 above, Managing Committee should take a note thereof within 8 days and Secretary of the society should convene General Body Meeting of all the members of the society, Agenda of the Meeting should be furnished to each member 14 days prior to the day of meeting and acknowledgement thereof should be kept on record of the society.

Before convening the said meeting, Society should obtain list of Architects / Project Management Consultants on the panel of Government / Local Authority and obtain quotations from minimum 5 experienced and expert persons for preparing project report for redevelopment work of the building and one expert person from among them will be selected in the Special General Body Meeting.

Following business will be transacted in the said Special General Body Meeting:-

1. To take preliminary decision by taking into consideration demand of the members for redevelopment of society’s building and suggestions received in respect of the same.

2. To select expert and experienced Architect / Project Management Consultant on the panel of the Government / Local Authority for work of redevelopment of the building and to finalize items of work to be done by them and terms and conditions of work.

3. To submit outline of the program for redevelopment of the building.

3. To accept written suggestions from members relating to redevelopment of the building:-

Members of the Society will be entitled to submit in writing to the committee eight days prior to the meeting their realistic scheme, Suggestions and recommendations for redevelopment of the building in the name of experienced and expert Architect / Project Management Consultant known to them. However, that Architect / Project Management Consultant should submit a letter that he is desirous of doing work of redevelopment.

4. Decisions to be taken in the Special General Body Meeting:-

Quorum for the Special General Body Meeting convened for redevelopment of building of the Co-operative Housing Society will be ¾ of the total members of the society. If quorum is not formed, meeting will be adjourned for eight days and if there is no quorum for the adjourned meeting, it will be deemed that members are not interested in redevelopment of the building and meeting will be cancelled.

On formation of quorum for the meeting, Suggestions, recommendations and objections from all the members with regard to redevelopment of the society’s building will be taken into consideration and opinions expressed by all the members will be recorded in the minutes book with names of concerned members. Therefore a preliminary decision will be taken whether to redevelop society’s building or not. Such decision must be taken with majority vote of more than ¾ of the members. On preliminary resolution about doing the work of redevelopment getting passed, following business will be transacted in the meeting.

a) To selected expert and experienced Architect / Project Management Consultant

from the panel of the Government / Local Authority for work of redevelopment of the building and to finalize items of work to be done by them and terms and conditions for the same.

b) To submit an outline of the program for redevelopment of building.

5. Providing minutes of Meeting to all members:-

Secretary of the Society should prepare minutes of Special General Body Meeting as above within ten days and a copy thereof should be furnished to all members and acknowledgement therefore be kept on record of the society. Also one copy should be forwarded to the office of the Registrar.

6. Issuing Appointment Letter to the Architect / Project Management Consultant:-

Secretary of the society will within 15 days of the meeting issue Appointment Letter to the Architect / Project Management Consultant selected in Special General Body Meeting and Society will enter into an agreement with Architect / Project Management Consultant incorporating therein terms and conditions approved in Special General Body Meeting.

7. Work to be done in the initial stage by Architect / Project management consultant:-

a) To survey Society’s building and land.

b) To obtain information about conveyance of land to the society.

c) To take into consideration prevailing policy of the Government and the regulations applicable from time to time depending on ownership of the land (MHADA/SRA/Municipal Corporation) and to obtain information about FSI and TDR, which would be available in relation to building and land of the society.

d) To take into consideration suggestions and recommendations from the members for redevelopment of the building as also the residential area to be made available to the members, commercial area, vacant area, garden, parking, building specifications etc. and to prepare a realistic project report.

e) Architect / Project Management Consultant should prepare the project report within two months of date of his appointment and to submit the same to committee of the society.

8. Action to be taken on receipt of redevelopment Project Report:-

a) On receipt of Redevelopment Project Report as above, Secretary of the society will convene a joint meeting to approve the Project Report with majority vote by taking into consideration suggestions received from Committee Members and Architect / Project Management Consultant. Notice in that behalf will be published on the Notice Board of the Society mentioning time venue etc. of the meeting.

b) It should be mentioned in the notice that a copy of the Project Report is available in the society’s office for members to see and the notice should be served on all the members that they should submit their suggestions eight days prior to the next Committee Meeting and acknowledgement of such notice should be kept on record of the Society.

c) Seven days prior to joint meeting, suggestions received from the members will be forwarded by Society’s Secretary to the Architect / Project Management Consultant for his Information.

d) There will be a detailed discussion in the Joint meeting on the suggestions / recommendations from members and opinion thereon of the Architect / Project Management Consultant and project report will be approved with necessary changes. Thereafter draft of tender from will be prepared and date of next joint meeting will be fixed for discussion on draft tender form and finalizing the same.

e) While preparing draft tender form, in order to get competitive quotations from renowned experts and experienced Developer, either carpet area or corpus fund fixed (not to be changed) and by finalizing other technical matters, the Architect / Project Management Consultant will invite tenders. Society’s members will be entitled to furnish information about it to the reputed and experienced Developer known to them.

9. Preparing List of Bids Received:-

a) On the Last day for receiving quotations, Secretary of the Society will prepare a list of offers received and display the same on the notice board of the society.

After 15 days of the last day for receiving quotations, Secretary of the society will convene special meeting of Managing Committee of the society. Authorized representatives of bidders and members of the society desirous of remaining present can remain present for the meeting as observers.

Tenders so received will be opened in the presence of all and the Architect / Project management consultant will scrutinize all tenders and prepare a comparative chart and after checking merit, reputation, experience and comparative rate etc. and select minimum 5 bids and if the bids received are less than 5, all the bids for putting up before Special General Meeting and concerned bidders will be informed about it immediately.

10. Selection of Developer:-

a) Office of the Registrar to appoint Authorized officer for attending General Body Meeting:-

An application with list of the members should be sent within eight days to the registrar for appointment of Authorized officer to attend the Special General Meeting of the Society for selecting a Developer out of those selected by committee of the Society with the help of the consultant, by taking into consideration his experience, merit, financial capacity, technical capacity and competitive rate etc.

b) Convening Special General Body Meeting for finalizing tender:-

After appointment of authorized officer, with his prior permission Secretary of the Society will fix the time and venue convene Special General Body Meeting for appointment of Developer and Agenda of this meeting will be sent to all the members 14 days prior to the meeting by hand delivery and by registered post and keep acknowledgement thereof on record of the Society. Also, office of the Registrar will make arrangement to keep his authorized representative present for the meeting.

Also arrangement will be made for video shooting of the meeting at the cost of the Society. Any person other than formal members will not be entitled to attend this meeting. Therefore members will be required to present at the venue of the meeting with their Identity Cards. At the time of submitting redevelopment proposal to the concerned authority for sanctioning, selection of Developer and other work should have been done in the presence of authorized officer from Registrar’s office.

c) If there is no quorum for Special General Body Meeting:-

If the quorum of ¾ members out of total members is not formed for Special General Body Meeting, the meeting will be adjourned for eight days. If quorum does not get formed for adjourned meeting, it will be deemed that the members have no interest in redevelopment of the building and the meeting will be cancelled and thereafter the said subject will not be taken up before the Special General Body Meeting for approval.

d) In the Special General Body Meeting to be convened for selection of Developer, authorized representative from the office of the Registrar will be present and observe proceedings of the meeting. Also, on concerned representatives and authorized officer remaining present at the venue and at the time of meeting and on quorum of ¾ members getting formed, following business will be transacted in the meeting.

i) Providing comparative information in respect of tenders selected for presentation (for redevelopment work).

ii) Presentation by bidders one by one.

iii) To select Developer for redevelopment of the building, to finalize terms and conditions and finalize the tender.

iv) To obtain consent from the selected Developer.

v) Give information about further work. It will be essential to take written approval by ¾ majority vote of the members present for the meeting for selection of Developer. If the selected Developer of his representative does not remain present for the meeting, further action will be taken by presuming that they have given their consent for the project.

11. Agreement to be entered into with Developer:-

Subject to the terms and conditions approved by General Body Meeting of the Society, an agreement should be entered into with the Developer within one month under guidance from the Architect / Project Management Consultant. Along with the points suggested by the Architect / Project Management Consultant appointed by the Society, following points will also be included in the agreement.

(1) The period for completing redevelopment project of the Society will not exceed more than two years and in exceptional cases, it will not exceed three years.

(2) Developer will give a Bank Guarantee for amount equal to 20% of the project cost.

(3) During the period of redevelopment, the Developer will make available to the members alternative accommodation in the same area as far as possible or arrange to pay monthly rent and deposit as acceptable to members or make available transit camp accommodation.

(4) The said agreement will be registered under Registration Act, 1908.

(5) On completion of redevelopment project, new members will be admitted in the Society only with approval of General Body Meeting of the Society.

(6) Carpet area to be allotted should be clearly mentioned in the agreement.

(7) Development right vested in the Developer will be non-transferable.

(8) Members will vacate their respective premises only after all legal approvals are received for redevelopment of the building.

(9) Rights of those who are in possession of the flats will remain unaffected.

(10) If any dispute arises in the work of redevelopment, provision should be made in the agreement to resolve the same as per provisions of Section 91 of the Act.

(11) After receipt of Occupation Certificate, flats in the redeveloped building should as far as possible be allotted as per present conditions floor-wise and if it becomes necessary to allot flats by drawing lots, on completion of construction, Developer should make arrangement drawing lots, and at that time flats should be allotted in the presence of Registrar’s representative and this process be recorded by video shooting.

(12) Any Committee member or Office Bearer of the Society should not be the Developer or relative of the Developer.

(13) Building plans sanctioned by the Municipal Corporation / Competent Authority should be put up before the General Body Meeting for information and if any member wants copies of approved documents, he should submit application for the same to the Society and it will be binding on the Committee to furnish the information by charging necessary fee.

By order and in the name of the Governor of Maharashtra (Dr. Sudhirkumar Goyal) Principal Secretary (Co-operation and Marketing)

Copy to:

1) Co-operation Commissioner and Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Maharashtra State, Pune.

2) Divisional Joint Registrars, Co-operative Societies (All).

3) District Deputy Registrars, Co-operative Societies (All).

Select File (14-C).

Ref.: Z:00 – 5002 GOVERNMENT CIRCULARS & COURT JUDGEMENTS 20082 GOVT CIRCULARS 2007142 Directive for Redevelopment of Building of Co-operative Housing Society [English] 03-01-2009.

A well drafted consent of at least 70% the Society members must be obtained in writing during the Society meetings when the subject of redevelopment is discussed. However, the minority members of co-operative housing society cannot obstruct a redevelopment project. On Jun 28, 2010, the Bombay high court has once again ruled that members of a co-operative housing society who are in minority cannot obstruct a redevelopment project and must abide by the majority decision of the society, unless they show that here is some prejudice caused to them or a fraud has been committed.

In a recent ruling, the Bombay High Court has stated that the issue of minority of tenants cannot be an obstacle for redeveloping a property if minimum 70% of the tenants are ready for the same.

The judgment came against a matter of a redevelopment in Dadar where 17 members were opposing the redevelopment of an old Parsi chawl. Based on the writ petition filed by the group of dissenting members, Justice D.B.Bhosale granted the permission to BMC to forcibly evict the families with the police help in case of any opposition from the others against the redevelopment.

It is important to note that as per the section 103B of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Act, 1976, with the guidelines for redevelopment of old Municipal Properties by the Municipal Tenants Co-Operative Housing Societies on the land owned by the Corporation under regulation 33(7) of the Development Central Regulations for Greater Bombay, 1991, it is necessary that more than 70% of the eligible existing Municipal tenants should give written consent to redevelop the property under the scheme with a formation of a co- operative society / association and an initiative proposal for the redevelopment.

The court has held that once 70% or more occupants /tenants give their consent for redevelopment by forming a co-operative body and if the scheme is approved by the corporation, it is binding to all other occupants. As per the guidelines, the tenants / occupants with separate stand, have no choice but to follow the norms. Being in minority (about 30% or less than that) the only choice for them remains is, to give up their tenancy rights and quit from the scheme.

The special general body has to approve the bid of the successful bidder in a meeting attended by the registrar. The entire proceedings have to be video-recorded. Once the agreement is accepted in terms of area and corpus fund, it cannot be revised. The successful bidder has to give a bank guarantee equivalent to 20% of the total project cost to show his financial strength, and proof that he will not throw away the project midway.

The Developer values the kind of Societies that either have some open plot of land or are willing to demolish the old structures to reconstruct new buildings. Where such redevelopment is possible, Developer normally agree to pay some consideration by way of Corpus Fund including more area in their existing flats to the members and seek permission to construct a building on the open plot of land or to construct a new, bigger building using the Transferable Development Right (TDR), Floor space index (FSI) after demolishing the existing structure.

Depending upon the offer from the Developer and subsequent negotiations him, he either provides alternate residential flats to the members of the Society or pay rent in advance by way of post dated cheques, one month rent as brokerage and transportation charge etc. to secure an alternate accommodation till the new building is constructed and the members are rehabilitated in their new flats. All the demands and negotiations have to be carefully recorded in the ‘Development Agreement’ for successful execution of redevelopment in a housing society and the office bearers and the managing committee members have a strong role to play.

In any process of redevelopment, one must be aware of various documentations that are required and also one must understand the tax implications on redevelopment of immovable property. The principal documents are ‘Development Agreement’ and ‘Power of Attorney’ which are to be registered by paying appropriate stamp duty.

By executing the Development Agreement’ with the Society, the Developer gets the required permission to develop the land and submits the papers to concerned civic authorities. Upon various sanctions available to him, the Developer constructs the buildings at his cost, retains some flats for him to be sold in the open market and earn profit.

It is important for a Society to have a valid conveyance of land and building in its favor for it to be redeveloped at a later date and that includes acquiring marketable title, permission for reconstruction and construction of additional floors by use of TDR and FSI, or else, Society may not get any approval of plan from Municipal Corporation. But due to our ignorance, majority of Builders fail to convey the title to a Co-Operative Society after the flats initially constructed on a plot of land.

In fact, the greater majority of the Co-Operative Housing Societies, formed in Mumbai in the last twenty years, do not have the land conveyed in their favor which results in the Developer or the earlier owner continues to remain the owner of the property. This results in a situation where these Societies have only possessor rights and not the ownership rights over the land, depriving them of the additional TDR FSI that is the main driving force for entering into such redevelopment agreements when required at a later date.

The task of satisfactory completion of redevelopment of any Housing Society and to get back their members in their dream houses is not difficult provided the Office Bearers and the Committee Members are honest and justify their respective posts in the welfare and well being of the members of the Society.

Cleaning of GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete)

The best solution to have a clean finish project at the end of construction is to prevent staining during the construction project. It is important to protect the GFRC during storage, setting and after it is installed. GFRC should be stored off the ground on non-staining planks or pallets. The GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) storage site should be out of the way of heavy construction traffic. If the GFRC is going to be stored for an extended period of time, it should be kept on pallets and covered with nonstaining tarps or plastic. Once it is installed, GFRC pilasters, columns, windowsills, panels etc. should be protected with plastic nonstaining material during the remaining construction.

After construction, final wash down may be needed. Use of acids or brick cleaners is not recommended. The most common stain from construction is dirt. Dirt can be removed from GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) by scrubbing with a mild detergent and water. When other stains are encountered, the most important step is to identify the stain and its cause. Any treatment used to clean GFRC should be tested in a small inconspicuous area prior to cleaning the main units.

Power washing and sandblasting or not recommended procedures for cleaning GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete). Metal fiber brushes should not be used for scrubbing GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) they may scar the surface, and small bits of metal residue from the brush, left on the GFRC may later rust or corrode and cause staining.

Three Common Door Problems

During normal use or even during hanging, a door and its frame may develop several defects.

A binding door

If the hinge side of a door comes into contact with the frame before the door is fully closed, it is probably because the hinges have been sunk too far into the door or frame. A door in this condition is said to be hinge bound. A door may also become hinge bound if the screws project out of their countersinks and stop the hinge closing fully.

This problem can be cured cither by packing out the hinge in its recess – use materials such as sandpaper, card, card¬board or hardboard – or by driving the screw fully home. In the latter case, new screws which are smaller than the original ones may be the best solution.

Insert packing beneath the hinges to cure a hinge-bound door. Protruding screws should be replaced

A sticking door

Occasionally a door may stick when it comes into contact with the frame through too much paint on the door and frame or, in the case of external doors, because the wood has swollen.

The simplest solution is to plane off a sufficient amount of wood to allow the door to close freely. Take the wood off the door, not off the frame – it is much easier. The door may have to be removed to get at the top and bottom. Take care not to overdo planing down external doors that are damp. The door will shrink when it dries out and a large gap will be left if too much is taken off.

When a door which has to pass over an uneven floor catches the floor over the high spots, you should locate the problem places on the floor, put sandpaper over them and pass the door over the sand¬paper a few times.

A sagging door

Doors usually sag because the hinges have been pulled out of the frame or door edge, or because the hinges have been strained. Hinges often work loose when a door is hinge bound. To resecure the hinges you can:

o use longer screws

o use thicker screws – size 10s instead of 8s, for example, so long as the hinges have holes and countersinks large enough to accommodate them

o insert pieces of dowel into the screw holes before putting the screws back in.

A problem with strained hinges usually means that the hinges were not big enough – a pair of 75mm hinges will generally hold an internal door, but a heavy external one may need three 100mm hinges.

With boarded and panel doors the swinging (lock) stile – the one opposite the hinges – may drop so that the door bottom catches on the floor as you open it. This sag in the frame can usually be attributed to one of two causes.

Loose joints

In framed doors – panel and boarded – the joints occasionally work loose. To resecure them, cut new wedges for the ends of the tenons and bore two holes through the stile and the tenons to take pieces of dowel. Glue the wedges and dowel firmly in place. If the tenon is broken in the mortise hole, bore two holes down the tenon into the rail and glue pieces of dowel in place to strengthen the joint.

Poor bracing

Framed boarded doors need to be properly braced. A door that is not adequately braced – because its braces are at too shallow an angle, say – has no braces, or has its braces the wrong way round will sag. Braces should have their lowest point at the swinging stile.

A ledged-and-braced door with adequate bracing. Note that the braces hold up the non-hinged side of the door

How High Should Church Chairs Be Safely Stacked?

Stackable chairs are an excellent choice for churches, as they are versatile, lightweight and easy to store when not in use. They also allow much more available space in multipurpose rooms. They can create a hazard if they are not stacked and stored properly, however. Here are some tips for stacking your church chairs safely and efficiently:

Consider the Type of Chair

There are many different types of church seating available to choose from, and each style will have different stacking considerations. Sturdy, functional and economical church chairs are available in high back, steel frame with poly resin seating, wood, fabric lined, padded and ergonomic styles. Whether or not the chairs have arms and thick padding will also affect how they stack.

Chairs with a lot of padding should not be stacked too high, as they will begin to lean forward. Church seating can be comfortably stacked seven to eight chairs high or about eye-level.

When selecting types of seating for your church, the specification listings and reviews will typically include all pertinent information. Companies that specialize in church and banquet chairs will be able to help you decide what style best suits your church’s needs and budget, as well as any safety considerations.

How to Properly Stack Chairs

Regardless of the chair style, stacking should always be done on level ground and in a safe area where people will not be bumping into them or moving around them frequently. Children should never be allowed to play near or climb on stacked chairs.

Check manufacturer information to be sure that your chairs are designed to be stacked. This will prevent damaging them or creating an unstable stack. If they have armrests, start stacking by holding it by the armrests. Armless chairs should be picked up and held from the underside of the seat. Position the two back legs of the second chair directly above the back legs of the first chair in the stack, then slide the chair down. The underside of the second chair will sit on the seat of the first. As you bend down to pick up chairs, do so from your legs not your back to prevent back-strain.

Don’t Stack Them Too High

For church chairs with thick padding, a stack of seven or eight chairs is a good height. Some especially large styles might limit stacks to about five or six chairs. Thinner padded vinyl, molded plastic or metal chairs can be safely stacked to a height of roughly 10 chairs. Use good judgment and do not allow stacked them to lean or go above eye level. The higher they are stacked, the more likely they are to fall over. Stacking the seating too high also puts increased strain on your back.

Stackable chairs are excellent choices for churches because they are easy to move, versatile and allow more space in multipurpose rooms. They come in a variety of styles that affect how high the chairs can be stacked. You should always remember to use common sense in stacking your church chairs to avoid injury to yourself or others.

How to Deal With Toilet Problems Effectively

Having grown up in the 50’s I am partial to some rock and roll but not when I am on the toilet. An unstable toilet that shifts around when you sit on it is irritating. Not only is this uncomfortable but it might also rock enough to eventually break the bowl. The problem can usually be corrected without calling a plumber but you must be careful not to break the toilet bowl when you attempt to fix it. Never forget that china is porcelain. On each side of the toilet bowl at the base you will find caps that cover a bolt and a nut. If you wiggle the toilet bowl–a toilet bowl is best handled with nitrile or latex gloves–and can see the bolts are not tight, your best course of action is to tighten them but carefully and a little at a time until the bowl rests securely on the floor. If the bolts are tight but the bowl still rocks look closely at how the base attaches to the floor. Are there gaps? Is the floor uneven against the bowl? You can buy small plastic shims designed to fix this or make your own out of hardwood. The plastic ones will not need to be replaced but may be hard to find. I looked these up at the Home Depot site and they show DANCO plastic toilet shims in a four-pack. Be careful not to break the bowl by forcing the shim in too far. It is easier to break a toilet bowl or tank than you might think. Nearly everyone who takes up the plumbing trade breaks a few in the learning process. If you have any doubts it is best to call a plumber.

The other issues that are common in toilet problems are: phantom flush, a tank that does not fill, a tank that will not flush, a bowl that empties slowly, and the constant sound of water running. The easiest of these to deal with is the full tank that will not flush. This usually happens when the chain that attaches from the tank lever (most people think of this as the handle) inside the tank to the flapper. A flapper is a piece of flexible material that blocks off the hole in the flush valve where the water escapes as the toilet flushes. Flipping the tank lever pulls the chain and the flapper comes up allowing the water to start pouring down through the flush valve. The flush valve is the plastic part that attaches to the toilet tank (the part where the water to flush the toilet is contained); it often looks like a smokestack with a large opening at the bottom and two hooks where the flapper is connected. If the handle turns but nothing happens then reattach the chain to the flapper but leave some slack in the chain. If you make it too tight then water might continually leak from the tank because the flapper will not seat properly. Test the flush by tripping the handle and watching to see that the flapper rises, hangs back while the water escapes, and then reseats tightly on the flush valve.

When you hear your toilet flushing in the middle of the night–it happens at other times but the hustle and bustle of our daily life drowns it out–it is not a ghost in the bathroom. Phantom flush is caused by water leaking from the tank into the bowl. When the water level in the tank gets down to a certain level the fill valve (also called a ballcock) kicks on and adds water to the tank. The fill valve is the device that fills your tank. The problem is not with the fill valve; the problem lies with the flapper or the flush valve. Old flappers lose their shape and warp. When they become warped water can flow past them slowly and the tank will slowly go down until the fill valve is tripped and adds water to the tank. The first step is to remove the flapper, take it to your plumbing outlet, and replace it with an equivalent flapper. Remember to attach the chain as in the earlier paragraph and test to make sure that the tank operates properly. If that does not fix the problem then you probably need a new flush valve. Flush valves have a rounded edge that seats against the flapper. If this seat develops an opening where water may pass, then it leaks. It is highly unlikely but you could also have a leak in your tank; it does happen but rarely. Replacing a flush valve can be tricky, not because the process is technically difficult but rather because of corrosion. The first thing to do is to make sure that the valve on the wall, called an angle stop, works; you don’t want a flood in your bathroom. Now examine your toilet. A two-piece toilet is bolted together. Normally this is with two bolts that go between the tank and bowl but sometimes there are three; these can become corroded and hard to turn. This is where many toilets are broken by novices. I have had to use a saw to cut these bolts more times than I wish to remember; the bolts were frozen solid. When in doubt cut them with a saw or call a plumber. One-piece toilets cannot be taken apart and replacing the flush valve might be easy or difficult depending on the make and model of the toilet. When in doubt, call a plumber. Most flush valves are attached to the toilet tank with a nut that screws on to the bottom of the flush valve and presses against the bottom of the tank. I recommend taking a picture of your flush valve before you attempt any kind of repair and checking with your local plumbing store to see if it is a common replacement part.

A tank that does not fill is commonly caused by a failed fill valve. If you flush the tank and hear no water running, the ballcock is the culprit unless the valve to the toilet on the wall is turned off or the water to the house is off. Take a picture of it with your phone, if possible, and make tracks to the local plumbing store to get an idea of how easy removing it might be and how much they cost. Most fill valves attach to the tank like the flush valve with a single nut and washer and then connect to the water supply at the wall with a flexible connector. Before you consider doing such a job yourself be sure that the valve on the wall shuts off the water. These wall valves are rarely used and often fail. It is no fun to disconnect the flexible line from the toilet and have a flood in your bathroom that you can only stop by turning off the water at the main! Do not over tighten the nut on the fill valve when you attach it to the tank or the tank may break.

A tank reservoir that never fills completely or the sound of water constantly running is usually caused by either the flapper or the flush valve allowing water to pass out of the tank. Start by replacing the flapper. This is the same problem that causes phantom flush and refer to that section above. The sound of water running constantly could also be a leaking fill valve. If the fill valve is leaking the water in the tank will be up to the top line of the flush valve, the top of the tube. You will see water pouring down the tube. A failed fill valve needs to be replaced.

A bowl that empties slowly can be caused by two things: a partially clogged drain line or clogged jets. This is often true of our new low flush toilets, there is not enough water going down the drain in a flush to properly move solids down the line. If paper and other solids build up the drain size is effectively reduced and the water will not go down the drain as quickly as it should and the bowl will not empty properly. If the obstruction is in the line close to the toilet the best tool to use is a closet auger with a drop head. This tool is a drain snake specifically designed for a toilet. The best closet augers extend up to 6 feet. The other possible issue could be clogged jets. Inside the toilet bowl there are holes located inside the upper rim. These holes, or jets, become clogged over time with calcium and other mineral deposits. The jets are designed to help the water in the bowl flush out. Unclogging these requires the use of a dangerous solvent such as Calci-Solve or another brand of hydrochloric acid. Acids such as these should be applied by a plumber who is trained in their use. Hydrochloric acid gets hot in water. It can get so hot that it will cause the toilet bowl to explode and I have heard of this happening. If the jets are clogged I recommend either replacing the toilet or calling a licensed plumber to solve the problem.

Horse Training – How to Teach Your Horse to Counter Arc

If you want to teach your horse to counter arc his body, you must first understand you can’t teach it overnight. Also, it’s not an easy thing to teach either.

It takes plenty of time and most of all it takes patience. Plus, a little know-how helps a lot too. There are different ways to teach this and I’ll reveal one way here.

You can start teaching the basics by using a fence. So the first thing you want to do is have your horse travel with his head bent while going along the fence. Your horse walks straight along the fence and then you bend his head to the fence. Why are we using the fence? This keeps the horse from going the direction his head is bent.

Gradually, as your horse gets better and better at this, you ask the horse to move away from the fence. The whole time his head is bent. After you’ve done it one direction then do it the other direction.

There are other ways to teach this but this is a great example because you can visually see this going on in your mind.

I should probably also say you’ll want your horse to understand leg cues too. After all, when you take him away from the fence he’ll need a leg cue to tell him to move. So as your horse’s head is bent, you’ll bump him with your leg. You don’t apply constant pressure – instead it’s a rhythmic bump.

Be aware of how you’re sitting in the saddle too. Sit balanced, sit straight and deep in the saddle. Also, be very aware of how you do this each time with your horse because it is vital you are consistent with how you teach the horse. Teach it to him the same every time. However, if you find you’re not having luck teaching your horse with this technique, then learn another technique. You always want to know more than one way to teach a horse something.