Metlund D’mand System Or the Chilipepper CP6000 – A Product Comparison

Hot water demand systems are specialized circulating systems for use when there is not already a hot water return line. They are systems designed to pump your hot water from your water heater to your fixtures fast without running water down the drain.

Your cold water line connects to the inlet of the water heater. Your hot water line connects to the outlet of the water heater. So if you connect a pump between your hot and cold water lines you can pump the water in a big circle.

A hot water demand system pump connects between the hot and cold water lines at the sink furthest from your water heater. When you desire hot water you push a button that starts the pump. The pump sends the water through the hot water piping to the pump, and the cooled off hot water that was in the hot water piping is send back to the water heater inlet through the cold water piping.

When the pump senses an increase in temperature, it shuts off, preventing hot water from getting in the cold water line. If the pump is strong enough, you can get your hot water faster than running the faucet.

Demand systems use very little electricity, costing typically between $1.00 and $2.00 per year to operate.

Let’s compare two such systems, the Metlund D’MAND System, and the Chilipepper CP6000.

Metlund D’Mand Systems

The Metlund D’MAND system has three different models with different horsepower ratings. The bigger the horsepower rating is, the faster the flow rate.

The first model, the S-50 sized one, has the lowest power and the lowest price at about $339.50 for the S-50T-PF-V-102. According to the Metlund website it is not recommended for tankless water heaters. The S-50 has 1/40 horsepower. The performance of the S-50 is listed as having a maximum flow rate of 8 gallons per minute with a maximum pressure of 10 feet of head. 10 feet is equal to about 4.3 psi.

However this is a bit misleading. In order to pump 8 gallons per minute the pump cannot have any back pressure, so the outlet can not be hooked to anything.

With only 4 psi the pump can’t pump much water through even a straight piece of pipe. Only at zero psi backpressure can the pump push out 8 gallons per minute. With the given information it’s impossible to tell what the flow rate would be when it is installed in a plumbing system.

Metlund suggests using it for runs of less than 50 feet, and it has a 3 year warranty. You have to use full 1/2″ fittings to plumb the pump in because there isn’t enough pressure to pump much water through the small restrictions in the angle stop valves under the sink.

Metlund Model S-70T

The next larger model is the S-70T. The website recommends the S-70T for pipe runs shorter than 60 feet when used with a tankless water heater and up to 100 feet with a standard water heater. The S-70T motor has 1/25 horsepower. As with the other models this unit requires full 1/2″ piping connections and the warranty is 5 years.

This pump is rated at 14 gallons per minute and 16 feet of head. The 14 gallons per minute has to be done with 0 psi back pressure, and at 16 feet of head (7psi) the output flow drops to zero. Retail Price: about $441.50.

Metlund Model S-02

The largest model, the S-02, again with a listing of 28 gallons per minute and 30 feet of head (13 psi), has 1/8 horsepower. As with the previous models this one requires full 1/2″ plumbing connections. This model weighs 16 pounds.

The S-02T-PF-V-102 has a list price of about $759.50, and the warranty is 5 years.

All three models list a life expectancy of 15 years, and shut off when a temperature increase of 3 to 4 degrees is detected at the pump.

All three models are available on Metlund’s website.

Chilipepper CP6000

Chilipepper Sales only manufactures one model, the CP6000 which has a powerful 1/3 horsepower motor. It produces a maximum pressure of about 60 psi (138 feet head), and has a maximum flow of about 4 gallons per minute. (with no back pressure)

The Chilipepper was designed to be connected to the plumbing with standard hoses used for connecting the faucets to the shut-off valves. That way you do not need to turn off the water to the house. All you need to do is turn off the shut-off valves under the sink, and connect up the hoses.

The horsepower is needed to force the water through the tiny (less than 1/4″ dia.) openings in the hose connectors. Since nearly all the pressure is used to overcome the pressure drop created by the small holes, the Chilipepper nearly always pumps 2-3/4 to 3 gallons per minute no mater what the piping situation.

The CP6000 is 7-1/2″ long x 4-1/8″ wide x 3-1/2″ tall making it substantially smaller than the smallest of the Metlund units. It is also lighter at about 4 pounds.

To achieve the small size and big power the CP6000 uses a brush type motor. The brushes will wear out after about 500 hours of operation. If you use your pump 5 times a day 365 days per year, and it runs 1 minute each time (100 -150 feet), then you will accumulate about 30 hours per year. So you could expect your pump to last about 16 years. A new lip seal and a new set of brushes will get it back up and running again.

The CP6000 has a maximum run time of 3 minutes. If it doesn’t detect an increase in temperature within 3 minutes it will shut off. The reason for this is that if the water heater breaks down, there would never be an increase in temperature to shut it off and it would run forever.

To determine the maximum distance from the water heater that can be handled by the Chilipepper, we need to see how far the water would be pumped in 3 minutes. This will depend upon your plumbing. Since the pump produces a flow of about 3 gallons per minute no matter what size the piping is. The smaller the pipe the faster the water will flow.

For an example, at 3 gpm the water velocity in 3/4″ inch diameter type L copper pipe would be about 2 feet per second. In type L 1/2″ pipe the velocity would be about 4 feet per second. Therefore, assuming the worst case, that the house is plumbed entirely with 3/4″ pipe, the maximum distance your fixture could be from the water heater would be about 360 feet. If plumbed entirely with 1/2″ dia. pipe, the distance would be 720 feet.

The CP6000 has an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee, and it can be returned for a full refund for with no questions asked.

The CP6000 has an adjustable temperature sensor so you can set the unit to turn off when it senses a temperature of 3 to 12 degrees, allowing you to fine tune the arrival of hot water to your liking.

The CP6000 retails for $179.99 on the Chilipepper Website.

Both Metlund and Chilipepper have code approvals.

Kettlebell Conditioning for a Lean, V-Shaped Torso

If you’ve never worked out with a kettlebell, you are missing out on one of the most effective fitness tools of all time. With a cheap and compact instrument such as this, you can build the kind of body that drives women crazy. Kettlebell conditioning is one of the best ways to become much stronger and much healthier.

The Four Exercises You Must Learn

If you want to make the most of these workouts, there are really only four exercises you need to master. These four will work every muscle in your body and ensure that you end up with a balanced physique that is both irresistibly attractive and makes you look like the kind of guy who people don’t want to mess with.

These four exercises include:

  1. The Swing
  2. The Turkish Get Up
  3. The Clean and Press
  4. The Snatch

Let’s take a quick look at each one and see how it fits into your program.

The Swing

The swing is the first exercise that everyone learns with kettlebells, and for good reason. This workout will focus on your lower body, building the kind of strong glutes that women wish more guys had. The swing consists of swinging a kettlebell from in-between your legs to straight out in front of you using quick and powerful deadlift-like movements.

The Turkish Get Up

The Turkish get up focuses the effort primarily on your upper body, building the kind of strong shoulders that are essential to having a V-shaped torso. But it also works your core muscles, strengthening your six pack. With this exercise, you lie on the floor with a kettlebell held above you with one hand. You then sit up, supported on one arm, and proceed to stand up, all the while holding the weight overhead. Reverse this movement to complete one rep.

The Clean and Press

This is a movement that is inspired by the classic Olympic lift of the same name. From the ground, you hoist the weight up to your shoulders in one clean movement, then press it overhead. This movement will bring your back muscles into play, building the slope of your V-shaped torso.

The Snatch

Another lift based on the old-school Olympic lift, the snatch is similar to the clean but instead you pull the kettlebell all the way overhead and lock out your arm. This lift, along with the previous one, will burn fat away due to its ability to cause the body to secrete HGH. This will help you get the defined abs you are looking for.

The Kettlebell Conditioning Plan

It couldn’t be easier to get fit using these four exercises. Each workout, do three sets to fatigue, switching off arms as necessary. Perform this routine 1 – 3 times per week and you will have a V-shaped torso in no time!

Peg Perego Prima Pappa Rocker High Chair – Best Deal?

Looking For The Peg Perego Prima Pappa Rocker High Chair Best Deal? 

By the end of this article we will not only show you where to find the best deal but will also talk about some of the features and benefits of this stroller. 

If you are looking for a baby highchair that provides the ideal eating environment for infants and toddlers, the Peg Perego Prima Pappa Rocker High Chair is the perfect idea for you. This baby high chair is an incorporation of comfort, style, convenience and durability all at a reasonable price. A closer look at some of its specific feature should give a better picture of why the Rocker Chair is so popular.

Features

– Brand new premium, soft touch Prima Classe upholstery

– A footrest which can be adjusted to three different positions to accommodate the child’s growth.

– A net storage pouch on the back of the Peg Perego Prima Pappa Rocker High Chair seat large enough to store small toys and milk bottles.

– 7 height positions from right down at the floor to above standard dinner table heights and 4 tilt- in space reclining positions for infants through toddlers.

– Dual trays which can be removed single handedly; furthermore there are dishwasher safe which makes them great for serving, eating and cleaning up.

– 5 point safety harness and passive restraint system so that the baby is safe and secure in the Peg Perego Prima Pappa Rocker Chair seat at all times. Large, mar-resistant and quiet castor wheels with rear brakes which make it easy to move the high chair around on floors and thin carpets.

– Padding which contributes to keeping the baby comfortable and happy during meal times.

– A one handed compact fold; when not in use, this chair can be folded and stored without occupying too much space.

The downside for some with the Peg Perego Prima Pappa Rocker is the leatherette covering; while it looks great you will need to be careful while washing it. 

When looking for the best deal you will probably always want to buy online. There are many online stores that sell this high chair so go with one that has a great reputation and can offer a guarantee on their merchandise. One such place is Amazon or even Ebay because they drive prices lower by their auction format. 

Great Cars Under 1000 Dollars – All-Star Profiles – Mitsubishi Eclipse

If you’re searching for a cheap performance car under $1000 dollars its hard to over look the DSM Mitsubishi Eclipse. For those not in the know DSM stands for Diamond Star Motors. Although this profile is for the Eclipse (1990-1994) the Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser were part of the Diamond Star trio and are basically the exact same car with a few different aesthetic touches. These cars are starting to consistently fall into the sub-$1000 dollar price range and have for many years been offering enthusiasts a lot of bang for their buck. These DSM’s are available in several models, but for this profile we will only be focusing on the Turbo cars. (because turbos are fun!)

All-Star Profile Mitsubishi Eclipse (1990-1994):

In 1990 the DSM trio stormed our shores with a car that offered a ton of performance for the money. The Mitsubishi Eclipse was a sports coupe with aggressive styling (love it or hate it) that offered not only the option of a turbocharged four cylinder engine known as the 4G63 but also the ability to combine this with pavement gripping all-wheel drive. The GS-T being the front-wheel drive only turbo version and the GSX offered the all-wheel drive. In the early 90’s before America was used to getting the latest in all-wheel drive rally inspired vehicles like the EVO and WRX the Eclipse really stood on its own in what it could offer.

The 4G63 engine which is still used today in a much more updated Mitsubishi EVO offered 180-195hp and quickly became a tuner favorite. The 4G63 is just one of those engines with an uncanny ability to absorb quite a bit of abuse and fork over a lot of extra horsepower with relatively little upgrades. Simply turning up the boost on these engines (with supporting fuel and ignition upgrades of course) is such an easy way to make giant killing power. For those who want it all the after market offers basically every upgrade under the sun for these cars and usually your budget is the only limiting factor.

Now when it comes to finding your DSM especially one for under $1000 dollars, the choice must be made carefully with several factors in mind. First off these cars are still desirable, but their age is making them become much cheaper. Unfortunately its no real secret that these cars are fun and offer lots of power, which in turn means that you’re going to have some tough luck finding a clean one that hasn’t been beaten on. In fact like most popular tuner cars the modifications done by the previous owner can be a plus or a huge minus.

The 4G63 engine is capable of taking quite a bit of boost and abuse but in general when you combine big turbo power and all-wheel drive in a 15+ year old car it shouldn’t shock you too much if a few things break. Not to say these cars can’t be reliable in fact there are still lots modified and stock examples still running trouble free everywhere, but do not expect one of these to run like a new Camry. Do your research and take the time to find a good example, although most that are under $1000 dollars may still be pretty rough these cars can be great starting points for a tuner project and can still offer a lot of performance and stack up quite well even against the newer cars on the road.

What’s the Difference Between a Wireless Repeater and a Wireless Bridge?

The main difference between a wireless repeater and a wireless bridge is that a repeater simply extends the range of a network while a bridge ties two networks together. A client bridge links computers. A wireless repeater connects routers. These simple definitions don’t quite cover what they do and why you may need them, so read on for more information.

What Does a Wireless Repeater Do?

A wireless repeater is a device that creates an access point that bounces a wireless signal to the main router. This increases a wireless signal’s range. For instance, if your access point is on one side of your house and you want to use the network on the other side, but the signal is low or nonexistent, then you simply set up a wireless repeater at the edge of the range of your first access point. Thus, the wireless signal is extended.

What Does a Wireless Bridge Do?

A wireless bridge connects more than one network of signals together. These are usually physically separated networks. It allows businesses to connect different offices and floors of networks together to make a seamless connection rather than overloading a single network with too many connections. Why would you not want to overload a single network with too many connections?

Think of a wireless network like a local highway. The more data you have, like cars, the slower traffic becomes. If you have routed that traffic properly, you will avoid data congestion and maintain optimal data speeds. This is why it is essential to set up a separate network on each floor of an office building and then connect them, rather than setting up a repeater system.

However, it is essential to set up a repeater system within floors, especially if the floors are large. Data tends to slow down the longer the cables or airspace is between the devices. A repeater takes the data and resends it gain at original speeds. So repeaters slingshot data between the sender and receiver while routers act like highways, directing that data traffic. Bridges are simply connections between different networks.

What to Look for When Buying a Repeater?

Are the bridge, repeaters, routers, and wireless antennas compatible with each other? This doesn’t always mean the same brand, but it is probably a good idea. Some equipment is only capable of sending and receiving signals to other equipment of the same type, for instance, bridges with bridges. Look carefully at the product you are buying and make sure it is compatible with your routers and if it offers the repeater mode. Check for a removable antenna, external connector, and multiple Ethernet ports. And make sure it has both point to point and multipoint nodes. Make sure the range between devices will cover the distance you need it to in the location you plan to set it up in.

What to Look for In a Wireless Bridge

Bridges tend to be compatible only with other bridges of the same type of chipset and firmware. Before you purchase on, make sure it is compatible with all your other equipment as well as other bridges. Also, check for the same things you did in a repeater. Consider getting a power-line bridge to penetrate cement brick, metal walls, metal shelving, and other obstacles that can hinder or stop a wireless signal. This allows the signal to get a boost by traveling down electrical wires.

Basic Set-up

Place your router in a central location. For a home, this would be in the middle of common areas you use. For an office, locate it centrally in the building. Build outward from that. Check where the range of the router signal is, then set up repeaters so that their range overlaps the router signal. Set up the bridges between routers of different floors or building and between rooms separated by wireless signal obstacles. Each brand of wireless device is different and has different range distances. And remember to set all devices within a wireless setup to the same wavelength.

It is important to fully understand how your routers and repeaters need to be set up for optimal network service between all devices and the internet in your home or business. The right set up will enable seamless and fast connection within your network and to the internet. It will also ensure a secure connection for transferring data and files within your network and to the internet.

Polaris RZR Performance – Gain 10 Mph For Free

An increasingly popular modification RZR owners are doing is removing the plastic spacer that is on the crank shaft in the drive clutch assembly. This can increase your to RZR’s top speed by as much as 10 mph.

The RZR’s transmission is a pulley based constant velocity transmission (PVT) that consists of 3 major assemblies, the drive clutch, the driven clutch, and the drive belt. The drive clutch and the driven clutch both consist of two conical shaped pulley halves, called sheaves. The transmission operates by sensing centrifugal force that cause shift weights to push against rollers that push the movable sheave closer to the other sheave to pinch the drive belt. The closer the two sheaves are pushed together the further out the belt is pushed.

Removal of this spacer allows the two sheaves to come completely together where the belt would move out to the largest diameter on the sheaves. We have found this will increase your RZR’s top speed anywhere from 5-10 mph. Some will say this is going against the original design of the transmission, but we speculate that it was designed without the spacer and was added on later as an easy way to limit the RZR’s top speed for liability reasons. We have heard some arguments that removal of this spacer will decrease the life of your drive belts, but we have yet to have any issues. A proper break in period at lower speeds for the first 100 miles on a new RZR or after a new belt is installed is highly recommended to ensure a longer belt life.

Removal of the plastic limiting spacer is a simple process that requires a clutch compression tool that can be purchased through your local Polaris dealer (part # 8700220)

1. Remove driver and passenger seats.

2. Remove panel that is behind the seats to gain access to the outer clutch cover.

3. Remove the push rivets and fasteners holding the rear seat base and remove from vehicle.

4. With a screw driver loosen the clamp that holds the clutch outlet duct to the clutch cover and slide it off.

5. Remove outer clutch cover screws and remove clutch cover.

6. Remove drive clutch assembly by removing the clutch retaining bolt that threads into the crank shaft. (Facing the rear of the vehicle the drive clutch is the clutch assembly on the left) To remove the clutch retaining bolt you will need to secure the drive clutch assembly, aka the spider cage to keep it from spinning. A wooden hammer handle slipped into the spider cage works well for this. The clutch assembly is pressed onto the crank shaft and can be fairly easy to knock loose by tapping on it with a rubber hammer. (This is where the factory service manual would tell you to use a drive clutch puller, which you can order through your local dealer, part # PA-48595)

7. Once the drive clutch assembly is removed take it to a work bench where you can install a spring compression tool. Once it is clamped down you can loosen the 6 3/8″ bolts that hold the clutch cover plate on. Once bolts are removed you can then loosen the spring compression tool unloading the clutch spring and then remove the cover plate. Before removing the cover plate use a sharpie to mark where it is aligned with the drive clutch assembly. They need to be bolted back together the same way because it is the way they were balanced from the factory.

8. After the cover plate has been removed you can slide the main clutch spring off and then remove the plastic spacer that sat inside it.

9. With the plastic spacer now removed slide the clutch spring back on then with the clutch spring tool compress the assembly back together until you can get the 3/8″ bolts started. Tighten them the rest of the way torqued to 20 ft pounds.

10. Reinstall sheave assembly by sliding it back onto the crank shaft, then re install the clutch retaining bolt that threads into the crank shaft. Be sure you have the lock washer, thick washer and the plastic collar on the way they came off making sure the plastic collar centers in the clutch shaft as you tighten. This bolt needs to be torqued to 40 foot pounds.

How to Hang a Window Box

Hanging a window box to your home is often a difficult task, especially if it is to be directly mounted to the exterior wall. There are several questions you must ask yourself when embarking upon this quest: How much weight needs to be supported? What type of material is the box? What kind of surface is the window box mounting to? What kind of brackets or other supports are available? These are just some of the many questions that need to be answered in order to successfully hang your window box.

Wood and PVC window boxes are generally heavy duty and meant to be able to hold a lot of dirt and support a lot more weight than vinyl. Vinyl is generally not recommended for direct mounting to the house due to the thinness of the material, its susceptibility to cracking, and its lack of structural support. These light duty boxes usually sit atop specialized metal L-brackets that can be directly screwed into the exterior wall.

A heavy duty window box is often mounted one of two ways:

(1) brackets are installed to the home and then the box is secured separately to the brackets or (2) the window box is bolted directly to the home through the back face of the box.

If brackets are used, they are generally functional, although sometimes faux brackets are available that lend no mounting support at all. To mount brackets you will need to begin by measuring the height of the box and offsetting the brackets by that distance beneath the window sill. Next, you will need to measure equal horizontal spacing from the center of the window sill to each side for bracket placement. If the box is longer than 48″, three or more brackets are generally recommended. To hang a window box on siding or stucco, you will want to find the studs and anchor the brackets at those points for the most support. The stud is best found inside the house and under the window with a stud finder. Screw the bracket through the siding with four 4″ thick gauge screws, two at the top and two at the bottom.

To hang a window box on brick, you will need to repeat what was done for stucco. However, unlike stucco, you will need a special “hammer drill” to drill into hard brick. Begin by pre-drilling a 1/4″ hole and then place a 1/4″ drywall anchor in the hole. Screw through the bracket and into the anchor and the bracket will be securely fixed to the wall.

Once the brackets are secure to the wall the window box can then be placed on top and be centered with respect to the window. Finally, drill through the bottom face of the box and directly into the support brackets until secured. It is generally recommended that your window box overhang the width of your window by 1-3″ on each side for aesthetics and to avoid looking disproportional.

If you wish to mount to the home without the use of functional brackets, the steps are very similar. Begin by pre-drilling a hole every 18″ in the back face of the box, preferably near the vertical center. Hold the box up to the window in the appropriate position and mark on the house with a pencil through the pre-drilled holes. Remove the box and then drill 5/8″ holes where you have marked. Place a 5/8″ lead anchor shield into the hole. Hold the box up over the lag shields and screw 3/8″ lag bolts with washers into the anchors until secured. This is the most heavy duty way to install a window box and circumvents bracket failure due to rotting over time. It is not recommended, however to install wooden window boxes this way, because the back of a wooden window box is usually the first part to rot out. This method works well with PVC window boxes made from solid material since they never rot.

Well, now you’re ready to hang a window box. If you haven’t already bought one, now you’ll have all the confidence you need to add value and curb appeal to your home for years to come. Hanging a window box is a fun and empowering task that will allow you to enjoy your window flower boxes that much more.

Rebound Hammer – 6 Steps to Measure the Strength of Concrete

A rebound hammer is an instrument to determine the strength of rock or concrete. Since this is an essential element of structural design and is specified for compliance purposes, it is vital to know the strength of the concrete. This hammer is also known as the Schmidt Hammer in honor of its inventor Ernst O. Schmidt who invented this measuring device in the 1950s.

The rebound hammer test is based on the principle that the rebound of an elastic mass depends on the hardness of the surface against which the mass impinges. When testing the impact bolt of the rebound hammer strikes the surface of the concrete with a defined force. After the impact, a metal body, the so-called hammer rebounds. The rebound distance is measured by a sensor and passed on to the display unit as an electrical signal.

6 Steps to measure the strength of concrete with a rebound hammer:

  1. Use a grinding stone to smoothen the test surface.
  2. Perform a few test impacts with the rebound hammer on this smooth, hard surface before taking any measurements which you are going to evaluate. Perform a consistency check on the test anvil.
  3. Ensure all settings are correctly done.
  4. Position the hammer perpendicular to and against the test surface. Push the concrete test hammer against the surface at a moderate speed until the impact is triggered. Be aware that the plunger generates a recoil when it deploys. Therefore it is recommended to hold the rebound hammer with both hands, perpendicular to the test surface, before triggering the impact.
  5. Each test surface should be tested with at least 12 impacts dropping the highest and the lowest and then take the average of the remaining. The individual impact points must be spaced at least 25 mm apart. The British Standard BS 1881: Part 202 advices to test on a grid pattern with a spacing of 20 to 50 mm.
  6. Interpret the test results.

Using Mosaic Tiles to Create Unique Designs

Mosaic tiles are simply very small tiles that are usually supplied on a special mesh backing for ease of installation. They are available in all the standard materials that you would expect of regular tiles such as ceramic, porcelain and natural stone of various types. They also come in glass and metal or metal-effect, so are enormously versatile when it comes to creating different pattern, design and colour combinations in a bathroom or kitchen. They are especially suitable for using with larger tiles to inject individuality into what might otherwise be very plain walls. Because of their size they can be used to enhance, highlight or border almost any structural or other type of feature.

Mosaic tiles are often available in the same range as much larger tiles so the same tile colour and texture can be used to create subtle designs for those who do not want an eye-catching design or colour, but they are much better used to create vibrant, original designs. If you are not quite brave enough to bright colours in your main bathroom or kitchen then try using them in a small cloakroom where an interesting, individual look might be better appreciated. One of the advantages of mosaic tiles is that they are easy to fit in small, awkward places so a cloakroom is, perhaps, the perfect place to start to discover how they can transform a room.

Installing mosaics if much quicker than you might imagine because they are supplied on a mesh backing sheet already accurately spaced out. They do not have to be installed one-by-one unless you choose to do so to make a particular pattern. The best approach to designing a layout using mosaics is to focus on an area that you wish to highlight – this might be a border at waist-height or one close to the ceiling. Alternatively, it could be a wide vertical strip running centrally behind the bathroom sink from floor to ceiling. These types of wide vertical panels are particularly easy to install if you make the width of the border the same width as the mosaic sheet so that you do not have to divide up sheets. But equally with a bit more effort vertical panels or horizontal borders made up of 3 or 4 regular sized mosaic tiles (or 1 or 2 of the larger size) can look extremely effective and individual.

When using horizontal borders or vertical panels of mosaic tiles, especially in a contrast colour, it is essential that they are perfectly straight and level. The mosaic tiles within a sheet are, fortunately, perfectly square but each whole sheet or section of a sheet must be laid out very accurately for a professional finish. Also watch out that you don’t apply too much pressure to one side of a sheet, which can cause mosaics on the other side to lift up off the wall behind. Use a large spirit level and wooden battens to mark out the edges of the mosaic section for a perfectresult.

Mosaic tiles can be used for narrow borders, shower areas, bath surrounds or even for a whole bathroom but because of the high proportion of grouting to tiling be aware that the effort to keep the grouting looking clean in a shower area will be much more than for large tiles. If this is a concern for you (particularly if you live in a hard water area) then reserve the mosaic detailing for areas that are not drenched in water on a daily basis.

Another interesting use for mosaics is to use natural stone mosaics as a border with large porcelain or ceramic tiles. This not only saves on cost but introduces a slightly less textured natural look without too many variations in colour. Always choose the large tiles first as these will dominate the design theme of your room, then select from the wide range of mosaic tiles to add a vibrant contrast, a different texture or simply an interesting design effect. Whether your large tiles are natural stone, ceramic or porcelain tiles, there will be a mosaic tile to complement them.

Why and How to Install a Flexible Chimney Liner Up a Chimney For a Wood or Fuel Burner

Fuel burning appliances that you have which burns wood/fuel to heat your house need to be vented to the outside of your home. This can be done through a chimney liner, which is the material on the inside of your chimney’s flue that contains the combustion products from your burner until they are vented out the top of the chimney.

Flexible liners are made of continuous lengths of corrugated tubing which are installed inside the flue. Lining a chimney or fitting a wood burning stove or fire carries no stipulation that the work cannot be done as a DIY job but all work however does have to comply with the building regulations. If this work is not carried out by a competent person (E.G a HETAS installer) it must be inspected by someone from your local council’s Building Control Department. This is classed as “Building work” and you must notify your local council’s building control before work starts. In any case there may well be local planning restrictions converting chimney work and new chimneys that you have to follow. You may be required to erect scaffolding around the chimney down to the ground for health and safety. Reference should be made to ‘The Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document J Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems 2002 Edition’ or the building control department of your local council.

An existing chimney or a new flue or chimney installation must be given a visual inspection to check that it is in good order, clear of obstructions and is of a suitable size and type for the appliance you plan to install. If you are handy with tools and have a good understanding of how fireplaces and chimneys work, you may be able to do most of the liner work yourself.

The first thing you need to do is check your local building and fire safety codes. In some areas, you will be required to have a licensed chimney specialist make repairs or do new liner installations for you. If you find that it is permissible for you to do your own chimney work, be advised that replacing or installing a chimney liner requires precision work under potentially dangerous conditions. So, unless you are confident you know what you are doing, it might be best to let an expert do your chimney repair and lining installation work for you. If you are confused about the best type of liner to install in your chimney, your local chimney cleaning professional can give you advice during your annual chimney cleaning.

Fitting a flexible chimney liner to an existing chimney is a two person job.

You will need the following tools and equipment to fit a flexible chimney liner to an existing chimney: A length of rope(10m), other ropes (for safety), cement, sand, integral water proofer, unibond, trowel, hammer and cold chisel, metal snips, buckets, old paintbrush, Phillips screwdriver, adjustable spanner and pliers, roof ladders, ladder or scaffolding structure.

Before attempting to fit a chimney liner to an existing chimney, you must always sweep the chimney. Do not attempt to fit a liner without first sweeping the chimney. Remember that debris may very well fall down the chimney at any time during the installation of the flexible liner. A wood burning stove should be fitted at the same time, or soon after a flue liner has been installed.

Talk to your supplier about the type of wood/fuel burner you need and about the flue liner you need to serve it. The efficiency of the fire will depend on putting the right wood burner into the right opening and using the correct flue. If they do not all match up you could be wasting a great deal of energy.

Fitting a flue liner into an existing chimney can certainly be a DIY job but certain, very important rules have to be adhered to. The size of the flue used depends on the size of the flue outlet on the wood burner. The flue used must, under no circumstances, be smaller than the flue outlet of the fire or stove. For a wood burner or other solid fuel fire or stove producing up to 30KW a 150mm flue must be used. For an appliance (burning smokeless fuel only) producing up to 20KW, a 125mm flue can be used. The amount of soot deposit created by a wood burner is quite considerable and a 150mm flue is suggested in every case. If you open up an old fireplace and would like to place a wood burner in the opening you must first arrange for the chimney to be smoke treated to see if it is safe to use without a liner. If the flue needs a liner, check with your supplier as to the best liner to use under your circumstances. A flexible liner is the easiest to fit.

***Please make sure you stay safe while you are working on the roof. Proprietary scaffold and roof ladders must be used and under no circumstances should you attempt this job on your own. It is a two person job.***

Now tie a large knot in the end of a rope (preferably a 10mm nylon rope) and lower it down the chimney to the hearth at the bottom of the fireplace. Tie the other end of the rope to the chimney pot. If you feel the rope you slack before it hits the hearth it has probably got caught on a ledge or a change of direction in the stack. Lift and drop the rope a couple of times to allow it to fall down. When the rope is at the bottom, tie a piece of string to the top at the top of the pot or mark it in some other way. The distance between this mark and the knot that the end of the rope is the length of flue liner you need to buy. You also need to measure how wide and long your stack is so you can order a closing plate. The closing plate should overlap the inside edge of the brickwork by about 25mm leaving 75mm of brickwork exposed all the way round.

Having obtained your liner you need now to remove the chimney pot and the surrounding haunching. If this is done carefully you will save the pot. Place the pot somewhere safe and squash flat the last 9 inches of the liner and fold the flat section back on itself. Push the rope through the fold and tie it together under the fold. Now use some strong duct tape and tape the folds together. Put plenty of tape on the actual crease of the fold itself to smooth of the sharp edges. You will soon be pulling this liner down the chimney and the more times it gets stuck (and we promise it will get stuck!) The more you will wish you had “wasted” a bit more tape rounding off the end. Now tie a large knot in the other end of the rope and once more drop it down the chimney. When it gets to the bottom get your work mate to pull it through while you feed it into the hole from the top. When it gets stuck, pull it up a little and tug it down again. Very few chimney stacks are straight up and down so there may be a few bends to work through.

Check that the liner is the correct way up. There is a purple arrow sprayed onto the flexible liner which should point up the chimney.

Flue liner is not the cheapest of materials but do not be tempted to cut costs by being too accurate with the length of liner required. It is a great deal better to have some to cut off than it is to be 25mm short. If using rockwool insulation then attach this around the flexible liner. You can wrap the entire liner at once or fit it section by section as you pull it down the chimney. It is important to insulation for your flue pipe. It is a long way from the wood burner to the chimney pot and as the hot smoke rises it will cool down on the metal of the liner. If the liner is not insulated the hot air could condense causing a lot of water to run back down the liner into your stove. This makes the stove or fire totally inefficient. Next the flue outlet is fitted to the top of the wood burner. To stop heat escaping from any gaps the flue outlet bracket sits in a slight recess at the top of the wood burner and a length of fire rope is placed in between the two. As the flue outlet is tightened down onto the top of the wood burner, the fire rope is squashed into place.

Connect the stove to the flexible chimney liner adaptor with a length of rigid flue and give it all a minimum of 24 hours to go off before you light the stove. A notice plate must be completed and permanently posted in the building when flues have been installed.

Benefits of Hiring A Painting Contractor

Color provides the state of mind and aura of a certain place. It has the power to make or break an area and should never ever be disregarded. Employing an expert painting contractor can assist you in having trendy shades for your house that you have not even imagined having. They have the ingenuity and knowledge you transform your property transform to a middle ages charming artwork or an elegant looking spot. Your home need not look unprofessional.

Your home is not just an area for sleeping. It is an area to discover calmness and what better way than to tap the services of a specialist painter that can transform your home into what you envision it to be. In the past, paint that has been used is only water-based. The choices have been really minimal. Yet, as a result of advancements, one has the option of paint innovation. Brighter, better choices can now improve any area where it is applied.

Altering the Personality of a Room and Breathing New Life to It

By painting your residence, you can make it look new. It additionally brings a better feeling and a rejuvenating personality to your space, bringing life and glimmer to any room. Impress your family members, buddies as well as guests. For individuals that intend to make their room unique, they have actually textured paints as a choice. The fantastic thing about these shades is that they can be customized to match your chosen color scheme.

Repainting options are numerous. You can pick from catalogues and see how you want your home to be like. A color specialist would certainly help you balance the appearance. If you want to update the design, you can also work with an interior designer to aid in putting furniture in order and balancing out the view of the room.

A Painting Contractor Helps You Save Time and Money

There are negatives that can happen when you choose to repaint your home by yourself. You could wind up investing more in repairing blunders and defects. By hiring a painting contractor you can be helped by good painters who could make certain that every area will look spotless.

Painting your very own property may look simple. However, you would need to be an expert to figure out the appropriate shade, mix as well as texture. You would definitely not want a space which looking cheap just because you painted it on your own. The time you invest on painting the house alone is so valuable to throw away. Work with a painting contractor instead to complete the task for you.

Different Types of Fashion Jewellery

There are many types of fashion jewellery accessories. Some of these accessories are more expensive than others depending on the maker of such jewellery. To be fashionable, you should choose the kind of jewellery that you is suitable for your age, personality and appropriate for the occasion worn. Some jewelleries are classic as they do not go out of fashion and styles. The size of earrings worn should be proportionate to the face size of the wearer.

These are some of the types of earrings jewellery, hoop earrings, drop, button earrings, and stud and chandelier earrings. Costume jewelleries are not as expensive as any type of unusual material can be used in making some of them. There are silver and gold plated costume jewellery, others are made of wood, plastic or shells. These are the type of accessories that can look trendy as well as fun to wear while at the same time look cheap or fake.

The types of fashion jewellery that are expensive are called fine jewelleries. These fine jewelleries are made of silver, platinum or gold. Most fine jewelleries are made of precious or semiprecious stones. It is always advisable to buy this kind of jewellery from a jeweller that is reputable. There is some jewellery that imitates fine jewelleries, but they are not as expensive.

You can create optical illusions with any type of fashion jewellery. A slender neck can be made wider or a thick neck made slender. Some jewellery can be used with casual or sport wear. Make sure that the weight and texture of the jewellery you wear complements the garment’s weight and texture. Other accessories such as cuff links can be used in place of buttons on the shirt’s wrist. Lapel pins are worn on the lapel of any shirt’s buttonhole. These are the kind of jewellery that are used for specific occasions or when they are in fashion.

The most used fashion jewelleries include, necklaces. Under necklaces there are medallion, locket, bib, choker, pendant, chain, lariat and multi-strand necklaces. These are the types of bracelets, cuff bracelets, I.D. bracelets, bangle, hinged, charm bracelets. Rings should be proportionate to the hand. Large hands should wear heavy bracelet. These are the types of rings, cluster rings, solitaire, dome rings, wedding and engagement rings, adjustable, and cocktail rings.

Semiprecious stones which are next to precious gems include amethyst, aquamarine, turquoise, topaz, garnet among others. Precious stones are known for their rarity and durability, this include ruby, diamond, emerald and sapphire. These are beautiful fashion jewellery accessories of all time.

Underground Irrigation Repair Without Digging – All it Takes is a Heat Gun!

I developed this irrigation repair technique out of desperation. A sprinkler head had launched itself out of the ground right beside me one day and landed in a potted plant. The resulting geyser was spectacular, but the location was horrible!

The area around this particular sprinkler head was surrounded in paving stone and brick, and worse, right up against a fence. To make things harder, I had installed a french-drain only a foot away! The riser’s nipple was missing. Sure enough, a replacement stand-pipe wouldn’t even begin to screw in! Obviously, the broken off part of the nipple was stuck in the t-connector – deep underground! Before I developed this technique, I would have had to dig lateral trenches about 2′ long on each side of the connector, cut the supply lines off each end of the connector, added a sleeve and spacer, then glued in a replacement t-connector. Not this time! There was too much involved in digging this connector out of the ground!

I have a special purpose tool I’d bought from The Home Depot just for this problem. It’s the PVC variant of an “easy-out.” Unfortunately, it wouldn’t work! I couldn’t get enough pressure (the connector was buried just about the extractor’s full length), and I kept scraping my knuckles against a fence post. The stand-pipe wasn’t PVC, it was vinyl. It was so slick, the knife edges of the extractor wouldn’t bite into the inside edge.

But vinyl melts! I have a 1200 watt heat gun I’d bought for paint stripping. The extractor’s tip is metal and by using this heat gun, I got the extractor’s tip hot. Real hot. Sizzling hot! By pushing the extractor straight down the hole, it gently melted into the broken off nipple – deep underground! I let it set and cool for a few minuets before giving it a twist. Two seconds later, the broken off nipple was extracted!

After screwing in a replacement riser, I cycled the irrigation pump to that zone to rinse out all of the dirt that had fallen into the connector. I put a new sprinkler head on the replacement riser, and guess what? That irrigation repair was done. Not only done, I didn’t have to dig one spade of dirt!

The trick was heating up the extractor’s tip hot enough to melt into the broken off vinyl nipple to get a grip.

A few weeks later, I had a different problem. I had mounted new window boxes along one side wall of my home and wanted to use my in-ground irrigation system to water the new flowers. I had a capped off riser right where I need to place a 4′ riser. Unfortunately, this was an old steel riser that I’d bumped into several times with the mower, and when I removed the pipe it left the t-connector’s threads stripped and choked with rust-scale! Unlike most of my irrigation repair projects, this line is very shallow. Shallow enough for me to scrape away the top to really see the damage.

There wasn’t anything I could do to thread the new riser into place, I was going to have to replace the t-connector – or maybe not. I have a pretty complete shop and I have metal working tools to tap holes for screw threads, or cut outside threads for bolts. Since I had to go to The Home Depot or Lowe’s anyway for a replacement t-connector, why not see if they had a tool for pipe threads?

The staff at Lowe’s laughed when I asked them for a tool to cut internal 1/2″ pipe thread for an underground PVC t-connector! Their only advice was to dig it up and replace it. No Way! The staff at The Home Depot didn’t laugh out loud, but they also suggested replacement fittings.

I did buy the fittings, but I also found the perfect tool – an 18″ length of 1/2″ steel pipe! Once again, the 1200 watt heat gun came to the rescue. By heating the pipe end, the thread section, I was able to plunge it into the buried t-connector. It sizzled as it sank in and I quickly worked it in deeper as I screwed it into place. Without letting it sit, I unscrewed the steel pipe to prevent it from welding into place. I repeated this operation several times until all of the pipe’s threaded section was within the t-connector’s nipple.

Guess what? The new replacement 4′ PVC riser threaded itself right in! By using heat, pressure, and steel threads, I was able to partially melt the underground t-connector and cut new threads. Not a spade full of dirt was dug up for this irrigation repair!

Since then, I’ve helped neighbors with their irrigation repair projects that left them amazed – “you can actually cut new threads underground without having to dig” – Wow, thanks Bill, real big thanks!

Not all irrigation repairs can use this technique. Let’s face it, if the t-connector’s nipple or connecting pipes crack or break, you will have to dig. But try this tip first and see if it works. You’ll know within minuets if there’s a more serious problem. You’ll get wet standing there, but you’ll quickly see upwelling around the sprinkler head in operation if there’s a broken pipe or cracked nipple. Oh well, at least you gave it a try!

I’ve had this cheap $20 heat gun for more than twenty years. Not only does it do a great job lifting paint, I’ve used it for boat electrical repairs (heat-shrink tubing), removing self-adhesive vinyl tile, contact paper, and sanding disks, and even starting fires in my charcoal pit. This is NOT a hair dryer – keep safe, keep it away from you at all times!

In conclusion, I was able to use my cheap heat gun and cheaper steel pipe to apply enough heat and pressure to re-mold stripped out internal threads, and enough raw heat to let another tool’s edges cut into material that without that tool, would have required digging lots of dirt for these simple irrigation repair projects!

A Brief Biography of Rene Boissevain the Agate Adventurer and Creator of The Crystal Caves Museum

In 1964 myself (René), Nelleke my wife, and our daughter Iefje emigrated from Holland to Australia. I was 29 years old and Nelleke a few years younger.

We choose to live in the tropics of Far Northern Australia, a place unknown to many people around the world.

Cold weather and a longing for adventure was the main reason to leave The Netherlands. We found a job in the tobacco fields. During that time we met a guy from Macedonia and he introduced us to a place called Agate Creek. I had never even heard the word agates before. This was my first introduction to the world of semi precious stones and in particular agates.

In later years, 1965 to 1968, we went to Agate Creek with an old Nissan Patrol. It had very primitive suspension, there were terrible road conditions and getting there took two full days.

Not many other people were there, digging for these potato looking treasures. The so called surface material was already gone by then. To dig a hole up to 3 meters with pick and shovel in dry hard soil was hard work. The heat, the millions of flies and always being short of drinking water, were the harsh circumstances we had to cope with. But the rewards were so exciting.

Digging for the agate nodules was something that was not for the so called “city slickers”! But coming home after 12 to 14 days to Atherton with bags full of agates made up for all the blisters and sorrow, despite the fact, that only 30 to 35 %, after cutting, are good for collectors world wide. We are very, very selective and sort out the ones with flaws, fractures, uninteresting patterns and large crystallizations in the center. But the ones that are good are so beautiful in colour, patterns and design, that it is not easy to find comparison with other agates elsewhere in the world. Mother Nature did a wonderful job!

A very interesting book about agates in general, including Agate Creek agates is available from http://www.agate-nodule.com/category/publications

These days Agate Creek is still a very interesting place to visit and is far more accessible than in the old days. Now, there is a camping ground, fresh water and lovely people to point out places, where you still can dig up some agates.

In 1996, Nelleke and I, with the two girls went back to The Netherlands to try and sell the rough agates. It was not a smart move at all, as the Dutch people did not know what they were and what to do with these “Rocks”.

What now? I decided to start making jewelry from the agates. That worked and we start making a living again. In 1969 we opened, with borrowed money, a Museum called “De Oude Aarde” (The Old Earth) in a place called Giethoorn, near Zwolle.

Although not ours anymore it is still one of Holland’s most interesting mineralogical Museums. A must if visiting in Europe.

In 1977 we returned with the 3 girls to Northern Queensland, to our beloved Atherton Tablelands. After 3 years taking it easy I decided to start another museum. This time a-dream-come-true fantasia museum, to awaken people to the phenomenon of crystal formations from around the world. With financial help from Australia’s development bank I build a spectacular semi-underground simulated cave museum, an adventure land, a fairytale for all age groups. Visitors are supplied with a miner’s helmet with light and a catalogue. To complete this mini-expedition takes about an hour. It’s been the biggest success in my life. Visitors from all over the world have visited this exciting and at the same educational cave-museum, with its incredible collection of the most spectacular specimens from around the world on display. Many of the larger specimens are free standing and can be touched. This is much appreciated as you can read regularly in our visitors book.

The creation of “The Crystal Caves” took 14 moths to complete, with the help of a dedicated group of 5 fine people. The grand opening was in 1992, when the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Mr. Bob Gibbs flew in from Brisbane to perform the opening. Television, newspapers and other media were all there to support the opening and marveled at the wonders from deep down in our Earth. You can see picture of the museum at http://www.crystalcaves.com.au/ .

The remaining agates, those that were shipped to Holland, were returned to Australia in 1977. Combined with the agates we left with friends, we are now selecting, cutting and polishing them after all those years! You will find in our new web site http://www.agatesaustralia.com only the best of Queensland agates for sale.

Keystone Lift Tickets And Discounts – How To Get Cheap Ski Tickets For Keystone Resorts

You’re moments away from walking up to the ticket counter at the Keystone Ski Resort and laying down a wad of cash so you and your family can experience The Outback, Dercum Mountain and North Keystone Mountain. I know its worth every penny, but here is an idea. Let’s say you planned your vacation in advance and bought Keystone Lift Tickets from the comfort of your own home. This way, you don’t have to slop around in your ski boots while carrying your children’s ski gear. Since you bought your discount lift tickets online you simply show up and hop on the lift. Read on to learn about saving money on your Colorado ski vacation.

1) Book Keystone Ski Tickets Online

Ahhhh….the power of the internet. What a miraculous thing. Simply log on and spend just a couple minutes finding ski deals that will save you 10-30% on lift tickets and activities. Many lift ticket consolidators that sell lift tickets online will send you the voucher via email. Simply plan ahead, book your tickets and sit back while they send you your voucher for ski tickets to the Keystone Resort.

2) Keystone Lift Tickets On eBay

Many savvy searchers go to eBay and search for “Keystone lift tickets” or “Keystone ski coupons.” eBay has a multitude of coupon options. Though you will still have to wait in line at the ticket counter, these coupons could save you a good deal of money if you’re coming with a big group.

3) For Groups

Speaking of groups. Often times groups visiting Keystone are offered bulk discounts. If you’re coming with a group of 20 people or more it is advisable to contact the resort directly to see if they are willing to provide a free ticket or offer discount rates.

4) Buying Lift Tickets at the Resort

Scalping tickets at the resort sometimes works out but is not the preferred method for saving money on Keystone lift tickets. However, many families buy multiple days for skiing only to realize their legs are too tired for another day on the slopes. If you are lucky enough, they will walk up to you and offer the tickets directly. Keep your eyes out, they are often found hanging around the ticket corner or in the parking lot. MAKE SURE you check that the dates are valid on the ticket. Again, this is not the preferred method for getting discount tickets but sometimes works.

Keystone, Colorado is a place built on authentic character and smiling locals. Come experience skiing Keystone’s famous back bowls but make sure you don’t pay FULL PRICE!