Drowning – Pool Drain Entrapment

Pool  drain  entrapment is one of the most horrifying ways a person can drown. It can happen when all of the normal safety precautions appear to be observed. It can happen to a child holding their parent’s hand and to adults who never swim alone. Once it starts it is almost impossible to stop in time to save a life, but it doesn’t have to happen in the first place.

Pool  drain  entrapment occurs when a pool  drain  cover is defective or missing. Normal pool operation involves cycling the water through a filtration system, and in order to do this, water must be sucked out of the pool through the  drain . When the cover is defective, excessive suction can cause swimmer’s hair, clothing, or body parts to be trapped in the  drain  until they drown. In extreme cases, swimmers are disemboweled by the suction.

Defective  Drain  Covers

 Drain  covers should be inspected on a regular basis for brittleness, cracks, loose screws, and improper fit. Obviously they must be present. Defective  drain  covers include those which are:

o Loose

o Improperly attached

o Brittle and failing

o Broken or cracked

o Missing

The purpose of the  drain  cover is to prevent body parts from entering the  drain  and to prevent the  drain  from becoming blocked or partially blocked.

How Entrapment Occurs

A partially blocked pool  drain  creates extreme suction. The suction can be so great that the victim cannot be pried loose, even by several large men. When a pool  drain  cover is missing or broken, a swimmers arm or leg can enter the  drain , blocking it and creating suction. Long hair and loose clothing can also get caught in a  drain , causing partial blockage and increased suction.


Disembowelment is the worst-case scenario. When a swimmer sits on a defective or missing pool  drain  his or her intestines can literally be sucked out through the anus. The damage is irreparable, and often results in death. Those who survive face a lifetime of intravenous feeding and will require a colostomy bag.

There are several measures that pool owners can take to prevent pool  drain  entrapment:

o Pool  drains  should be regularly inspected for cracks, brittleness and a secure fit. If there is any sign of a defect, no one should be allowed in the pool until the problem is corrected.

o All pools should have a visible and accessible emergency shut-off switch which immediately shuts down the pump. Everyone who uses or hangs out around the pool should know where the switch is and be able to operate it.

o A modern system, designed to prevent excessive suction should be installed. There are several types of systems which do this. One uses two  drains  for each pump so that if one becomes blocked water still flows through the second  drain . Another type detects high suction and disables the vacuum to prevent entrapment.

How to Choose a Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill

Cordless drills are a standard item in the tool collection of both the average weekend warrior or professional tradesman, alike. Cordless drills are available in a myriad of sizes and configurations and it is common to find stores stocking 50 + different cordless drills, alone.

For some, shopping for one of these “Man Tools” can be a daunting task. One thing is for sure – you do not want a tool that is inappropriate your intended job. To help you make sense of this, I will discuss the various types of cordless drills and drill features.

Battery Type

Traditionally, cordless drills have been powered by nickel-cadmium (NICAD) batteries. The main problem with NICAD batteries was the inevitable development of “memory effect”. The battery packs develop the tendency to accept only a partial charge as full and you are left with a battery that has greatly diminished run-time.

Newer lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries are starting to be available in more and more cordless drills. Li-Ion batteries offer some distinct advantages over NICAD batteries including no memory effect, longer run times, longer service life, and higher power output. In addition, lithium-ion cells contribute less weight than an equivalent NICAD cell.

Drills are available with battery packs in a range of voltages commonly between 9.6 and 24 volts. The higher voltage packs (18-24 volts) are almost exclusively used in industrial grade hammer drills and impact wrenches.

Frankly, I would not even consider a cordless drill without a lithium-ion power system. They are a little more expensive than NICAD counterparts, but, well worth the cost given the added benefits listed above.


Drill-Drivers are easily the most common type of cordless drill. The are useful for most common household tasks as well as light construction work. These drills are available with either a 3/8 or 1/2 inch chuck. For most weekend-warriors, a cordless drill with a 3/8 inch chuck is suitable. Drills with 1/2 inch chucks offer greater diversity in usage and more torque, but, at a price of greater weight and bulk.

Compact Drills

Compact drills are a newer offering since the development of Lithium Ion battery technology. Compact drills are basically miniature versions of their drill-driver counterparts. They are useful for both professionals and home handyperson who require a drill capable of reaching confined areas in light to medium drilling applications. As an added bonus, some compact drill models can comfortably fit in in your pants or jacket pockets. Finally, because of their compact size and light weight, many women find these drills much easier to use than their full-size cousins.

Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are used only for nut/bolt driving applications. They are ideal for automobile technicians who need to change tires or who do a lot of work on brakes. Because of the drills transmission, they are usually not suitable for applications such as boring wood. However, some models are available with variable transmissions which allow the user to switch between boring and driving applications.

Hammer Drills

Hammer drills, a.k.a. hammerdrills are the “Big Daddy” of cordless drills and some models even equal the size and power of their corded counterparts. These drills are primarily used to bore holes in concrete or light masonry work. They are commonly used in home construction when wood studs need to be fastened to concrete.

I hope I have given you a little more insight as to what to look for in a new cordless drill. By getting the right drill for the right job you will save a lot of time and money in pursuit of your “Man Tool”.

How Safe Is A Timber Building In A Fire?

Always an emotive subject and always in need of clarification. Whilst we all know that the timber buildings are not only attractive, but are also sustainable, economical and provide fast construction solutions; the assumption can be that because we use wood for fuel it must therefore burn easily! However, this is not strictly accurate. In reality, wood is selected as fuel because it burns slowly and at a predictable rate and these are the same qualities which make it a safe construction product in the event of fire and should give you confidence in your timber building.

The “charring rate” of a wood structure means the time needed for the wood to be burnt through. This can be calculated to determine the safety of a building or how long it will take to burn and weaken its structural integrity: a calculation of the “degree of redundancy” in the structure. As a result of the thermal properties of your timber building this can mean that the timber log will char on one side yet not even be warm just a few millimetres inside the log. These qualities contrasts with the unpredictable nature of other structural products such as steel; which heat up more uniformly and give rise to expansion and loss of strength over the whole section, or masonry which cracks and spalls. Fire-fighters prefer to enter a burning building made of timber because they are better able to estimate how long they will be able to remain safely inside. Timber will not fail dramatically like, for instance, reinforced concrete.

Different timbers char at different rates largely depending on their density with some denser hardwoods charring at just 15 mm per 30 minutes. Even low density timbers will take 30 minutes to burn through to a 25mm thickness which immediately indicates the slow burn rate expected of an MPL wood building: which is constructed from a minimum of 68mm solid log – this will ensure that the wooden building will retain structural integrity for over an hour of exposure to fire.

Structural timbers need to meet standards BS5268-2 which give a depletion rate of 20mm in 30 minutes.

However, it is important to note that all buildings whether constructed from timber or brick and block must comply with building regulations and this includes fire prevention and containment.

Although a timber building takes a very long time to burn through, the surface can allow a flame to travel to a more readily combustible material such as soft furnishings. For this reason it may be recommended that an additional Fire protection treatment is used in areas where there is greatest risk i.e.: close to boundaries (externally) or in hallway/vestibule areas (internally).

Treatments such as NON-COM, available from specialists as Arch Chemicals, can be applied off-site to external cladding materials and will result is a certified Class O protection. Similarly internal treatments such as Nullifire, which can be applied on site in just one day, can ensure that Class O protection is available where required. To comply; materials must have a Class 1 Surface Spread of Flame and low fire propagation index in accordance with BS 476 Part 6. Most timbers can achieve Class O where treated with a suitable fire retardant treatment.

These treatments not only keep you safe in the event of fire – but can also prevent ignition and reduce the rate of heat release, all of which helps to keep the structural integrity of wooden building for longer.

Whether these treatments are required is generally determined by the Building Regulations Officer of the Council when assessing your application for the new wooden building.

What the Heck Is a Donkey Steam Engine?

What the heck is a Donkey Steam Engine? Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral? Is it a gray animal with big ears or a steam snorting machine? I will answer these questions in due time, but first it is important to understand logging operations in the West prior to 1880.

Logging as an industry has been taken for granted by the vast majority of the population for many, many years. We just assumed that as we needed lumber, it would be readily available. We never thought about the loggers that endured backbreaking and extremely dangerous work to bring us whatever type of lumber we needed. As the demand for lumber to build the West grew, the industry struggled to keep up. This article describes that struggle to bring more and more timber out of the western forests.

In the Time-Life book, The Loggers, the history of logging in the West is described: “As Eastern logging company people moved West seeking more and more timber resources, they were amazed at the abundance of vast forests with giant trees and superb lumber. The exploitation of those colossal Western forests began in the late 1820’s. The pioneer period of Western logging lasted for about 90 years, gaining momentum year by year. The men who filled the logging gangs, and ran the sawmills of the Far West, were a diverse group and originally came from all over the globe. But, they had one thing in common: great muscles, insatiable appetites, and the daring and drive to do dangerous labor for as little as $1 a day. They were a tough, hard working, hard drinking, rowdy bunch that faced death or serious injury every day on the job.” Yet, these tough characters took great delight in telling stories in the bunk house at night about the mythical exploits of their woodsman hero, Paul Bunyan, and his blue ox, Babe.

For many years logging operations were limited to areas close to water where logs could be floated to mills, or to reasonably flat ground where animal power (horses and oxen) could be used to drag the logs along roads paved with smaller diameter logs arranged across the path. This kept the path from becoming too muddy and made the logs slide more easily. These were known as “Skid Roads” and were first used in Washington’s Puget Sound area in the early 1850’s.

Lumbermen could now take trees growing a mile or more into the woods and get them to a staging area, or to a stream, to be sent on their way to the lumber mill. But a Skid Road had to be carefully and meticulously designed and built. It had to lead downhill, of course, but not too steeply. Its curves had to be gentle and banked. Swampers cleared the route with axes and shovels and Buckers prepared the skids. A man walked in front of the logs as they were dragged along and spread grease on the skids to make the logs glide more smoothly. This man was known as the Grease Monkey, hence the term “Greasing The Skids.”

By the way, the official definition of Skid Road is, “the district of a town frequented by loggers.” It has come to mean those brightly lit blocks in any logging town that were lined with saloons and honky tonks, cheap restaurants and lodging houses. The term has subsequently morphed into Skid Row, “a squalid district inhabited chiefly by derelicts and vagrants.” It owes its creation to the logging industry.

Oxen were preferred to horses for pulling the logs out of the forest as they were easier to keep and possessed more pulling power. The man in charge of the ox team was the Bull Puncher and was typically the highest paid man on the logging crew. Pulling the huge logs downhill was extremely dangerous for man and beast. How do you stop a runaway log once it starts its downhill journey? The answer: you don’t — you just run like heck!

The process was slow, expensive, hard on the animals, and they could not negotiate steep terrain. There was no OSHA or SPCA in those days to enforce safety in the logging industry.

By 1880, the forests of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota had been heavily logged for 40 years and were becoming depleted. Lumbermen had already abandoned Maine. The problem was many-fold — the Eastern forests were diminishing as a source of timber and the demand for lumber was accelerating. There was a rush of population to the West and as new towns and cities were being created, the lumbermen were in timber heaven. As this demand for lumber skyrocketed, there had to be a better and faster way to get logs out of the forest and on to the mills. The Western mills’ appetites were becoming insatiable.

Now, to answer the question: “What the heck is a Donkey Steam Engine?” It is the common name for a steam-powered mechanical winch, or logging engine, developed by John Dolbeer in 1881. This year is generally declared as the beginning of technological change in the logging industry. Dolbeer received a patent for his engine in 1882.

The Donkey Steam Engine is really just a wood-fired steam boiler with some important attachments. The boiler supplied steam at a pressure of 80 to 100 PSI to a one cylinder engine connected through a connecting rod to a crank shaft, on which was mounted a flywheel with some sort of brake mechanism, a lever operated clutch configuration and a complex of reduction gears and drive wheels to a winch. The winch could be either a large pulley with a horizontal shaft or a drum, or a capstan mounted on a vertical shaft. In either design, the operation was basically the same; a steel cable was wound around the pulley or drum and when the clutch was engaged, the engine pulled (with great force) whatever was attached to the other end of the cable. The whole apparatus was usually mounted on a heavy-duty wooden sled which made it easier to move from one “setting” to the next.

These engines were dispersed throughout the logging operations and were used to drag logs from the mountain sides to a central location where they could be loaded onto a horse or ox-drawn wagon to be transported to a lumber mill. A Donkey Steam Engine with a half-mile long steel cable could yank immense logs to them like matchsticks. These were pretty big “matchsticks” but the Donkeys retrieved them with relative ease.

This was extremely dangerous work, as were most jobs in the logging industry back then. Handling these long steel cables while one end was attached to a Donkey Engine was frightening to contemplate. One false move, or if a cable under tension should snap, instantly releasing all that stored energy, it became a giant whip running amok and could easily cut a man in half. A slack cable just lying on the ground could suddenly be yanked taut by the engine with disastrous results if the crew was not paying attention. There is a recorded incident in which a team of Choker Setters had just connected the Donkey cable to a giant log but was not out of the way yet. A limb accidentally fell on the signal wire blowing the whistle on the engine. The engineer assumed that the signal was legitimate and engaged the clutch on the Donkey. The result was deadly.

Fortunately, logging today is a much safer industry but still requires a clear head and situational awareness of the surrounding conditions, both in the forest and in the mill. I would say that next to coal mining, logging was the most dangerous occupation in the country.

Alas, the invention of the internal combustion engine led to the development of the diesel-powered tractor in the 1920’s which put an end to the Steam Donkey and the use of animals for hauling the log laden wagons. The tractor did to the Donkey what the Donkey did to the Bull Puncher. It could go just about anywhere in the forest and haul much bigger loads than an ox drawn wagon, and do it so much safer. That’s progress.

Rather than remove the now obsolete Donkeys when their day was done, they were just abandoned where they were last used; giant piles of forest litter, most never to be seen again.

To the people who used them, Donkeys, made their livelihoods possible and easier. From its beginnings in the 19th and 20th centuries, to its heyday in the early 1900’s, to its decline and extinction in the 1950s, steam logging certainly captured the imaginations and hearts of generations of the people who were there, and of the folks who now read about the old logging days. The Donkey Steam Engine modernized logging methods when it was introduced to the industry and came along at just the right time to greatly improve productivity. It replaced the older methods such as, teams of oxen, horses, and gravity-fed water flumes, to mention a few. It was the muscle that moved the logs to a central area called a “landing” from where they could be loaded onto wagons, rail cars, or floated down a river, and out of the woods to the lumber mills. From the mills, the lumber was transported on to build the great cities of America.

Different Types of A Board With New Generation Features

The increasing uses of A Boards have given A Board manufacturers a lot of importance. They are continuously working on bringing new types of A Boards in the market so as to take care of the increasing customer requirements. There are manufacturers who are focusing only on one type of A Boards, whereas there are some manufacturers who are manufacturing different types of A Boards. They are easily available in the market and on the internet. The buyer may easily compare the A Boards from different manufacturers and decide to buy one. There are several types of materials used to manufacture A Boards. Some of these are –

  • Wooden A Boards – The class these A Boards have are different from any other A Boards. They are manufactured using the solid wooden construction where the wood quality is the best. The finish of the frame gives it a rich look. Chalkboards are most famous under this wooden A Boards which can be easily wiped to clean the surface of the board for further use. There are different kinds of woods which can be used to manufacture these A Boards. Some of these woods are heavier than the other ones. They are strong enough to fight against the windy weather. They can be used for indoor and outdoor purpose. Wooden A Boards are mostly used in restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, and coffee shops. Some of the wooden A Boards are reactive to water, which is one of the disadvantages in having it.
  • Steel frame A Boards – Steel made A Boards are the strongest in the category. They are light weight, and can be easily moved from one place to the other. The steel used in manufacturing these A Boards is properly anodized so as to protect it from getting rust. They may cost more than the wooden A Boards, but are more durable.
  • Aluminum A Boards – Aluminum A Boards are the lightest in the A Board category. They are durable and portable. They can be carried anywhere because of their light weight. Aluminum A Boards may cost between wooden A Boards and steel A Boards.
  • Paper A Boards – These A Boards are not much used, but are best for the internal uses. They are the cheapest in terms of money and are environment friendly. They are mostly used as calendars inside the house or a shop.

These are some of the widely used materials in manufacturing A Boards. Most of the small and medium level advertisers are taking help of A Boards to communicate their message or signs to the visitors. They use it because of the cost-effectiveness and purposefulness of these A Boards. There are many A Boards who are continuously working to come up with the new generation features in the A Boards. Some of them are successful in coming up with the new useful features. Let us have a look at some of these unique features.

  • A Boards come in single-face and two-faces boards. This feature makes the advertiser access his need because he may or may not need a two face A Board. When they have an option in choosing the number of faces, it gives them certain difference in price as well. Advertise looking for a single face A Board might not like paying for a two face A Board just because he does not have any other option.
  • A Boards are available with a swinging board. The central base is movable in these A Boards which moves when the wind blow it. They look attractive.
  • There are few steel and aluminum A Boards which are available with a spring loader just above the base of the frame. This gives the A Board extra strength to handle the wind especially when the speed is high enough to move it.
  • There are some A Boards which are available with a slide feature. When the advertise want to change the message, all he need to do is to take out the central sliding sheet and put the new message. This is useful when the external frame to heavy to move. It does not affect the external frame when the old message has to be removed.
  • The rotating central sheet is something which is very new. When you are buying a rotating single face A Boards, you are actually getting two faces with it. One will be visible easily and the other one would be just behind that. Once you rotate it, you will be able to see the other one. This is again very useful when there is more than one message and are required to be changed at different point of time.
  • The foldable A Boards have become very common these days, but is one of the exciting features of it.
  • The wheels at the base of the frame are something which has helped advertisers in moving their A Boards from one place to the other. Before these wheels, advertiser used to struggle their bulky and heavy A Boards, but that is not a case now.
  • Small and medium size A Boards come up with handle on the top so that they can be carried easily without much inconvenience.
  • Some A Board manufacturers have developed electronic A Boards which will be able to change the message by using some buttons.
  • Weather resistant A Boards were introduced long back, but A Board manufacturers have also developed sun resistant A Boards so that the advertisers can use the same A Boards for long time. This further increases the life of the A Boards.

These are some of the exciting features which the present A Boards are having. Apart from these, the manufacturers are continuously working with Research and Development team to come up with something new. Whatever features they come up with will surely add on to the use of the A Boards. A Boards have become one of the necessities of the advertisers.

Long Lasting Vinyl Porch Railings

Wooden porch railing is slowly being replaced by Vinyl railings since it has many advantages over wood railings. The major advantages are

The vinyl porch railings are long lasting. They last longer than wood railings

They are virtually maintenance free. The painting required for wooden railings is not required for the vinyl railings. (You have additional time for your golf. No more of “paint the fencing and then only you can go for golf” type of order from the lady of house)

The vinyl railings look good for long time if you have selected the material in a proper way.

It is ideal material for DIY work. Just cut and paste work is involved, with minimal skills you can build good looking railing systems for your porch

It is virtually unaffected by whether. Sunlight snow, rain does not mar the looks if you have selected the material properly.

How To Erect Vinyl Porch Railings

The porch railings systems are available in market today. You can choose the color combinations you like and bring the material and start working on it. The speed with which you can do the work will amaze you. However, you must follow certain rules for making a good-looking Vinyl porch railing.

Make a plan for railing. Count the number of posts you will require for your railing system. Keep a distance of about 6 feet between each post so that it will have strength and will not give way when you lean on it.

Select a coloring system for you railing system. Vinyl porch railing can be given the color of your choice just by selection of material. If it is possible, you can make a colored sketch your self on your computer and see how the railings will look like.

You can select different colors for the top railing, the stand post, and the bottom support. You can also select a different color for the center rail.

Make your purchases from the same store and from the same manufacturer. That way you not only save, but also make sure that everything fits together. Remember loose fitting system cannot make a good railing

Now you can start working on railings. Follow the simple procedure given below.

1.Working with your Vinyl porch railing starts with marking the post. The accuracy with which you mark the posts determines the look of you railing systems and therefore you should take great care in marking the posts.

2.The verticals posts, the top rail, and the middle rail can now be made. Make the entire railing on the ground before erecting and fixing it in the bottom posts. Once you erect and fix the verticals, it might be impossible for you to work on them later on.

3.Work on flat ground and complete one side or at least the maximum portion of the side. This way you will make sure that you do your work with minimum help from outside and with minimum efforts.

4.When the entire side is complete, you can start gluing them to the bottom posts. You might require some help here as it might be impossible to lift the railing and fix it in position. Your family members or friends can help you.

So you can erect the vinyl porch railings with minimum efforts and go for your golf routine or fishing expeditions.

General Contractor + Specialty Contractors Overhead & Profit Values in Replacement Cost Values

How Insurers & Adjusters Can Underpay Basic Construction Replacement Cost Values

Many contractors and consumers that are involved in establishing/estimating replacement costs for a catastrophe damaged home or business may run into a very unfair and irrational construction estimation methodology that some insurers try to force on naive or even educated insurance claimants.

To understand how it works, look at the two estimation examples at the bottom of this article.

The first estimate is a common and historically basic “Cost Plus 10% Profit” type construction estimate.

The second is a insurer contrived synthetic construction estimate.

As you compare the two estimates, keep in mind that common sense dictates that from the roof to the foundation, each construction component’s costs contain general contractor and specialty contractors business costs, which would include their own overhead and profit costs.

These are necessary and INHERENT construction replacement costs, (like materials and labor), insurers & insurance agents account for, yet insurance adjusters may try to avoid disclosing and paying to claimants, whether they use a contractor or not.

Does the Texas Department of Insurance Condemn or Condone –

– Insurers Unfair Claim Estimate-Payments to Home & Business Owners?

Question: What is one MAJOR claim underpayment scheme being forced on post-catastrophe home and business owners, (all across Texas), as this note is being written 7-1-2009…??

Hint: As mentioned, it has to do with common construction replacement costs that are paid for every month by unsuspecting consumers…as part of their home and/or business protection insurance payment.

Answer: Insurers are not openly and objectively returning general contractor (G.C.) overhead and profit (O&P) costs, or in other words, intrinsic “loss values”.

Why should that be a concern to [Texas] citizens as consumers, and contractors?

(Special Note: Nationwide Insurance settled May-2009 for paying approximately 700,000 G.C. O&P underpaid claimants.)

Well, if a contractor charged you for 40 year shingles, and 30 pound felt, yet (since HE knows they look practically the same from the ground), used your inexperience in construction to intentionally install 30 year shingles and 15 pound felt, and the contractor alone knows they could (unfairly) pocket the extra money you had trusted them with), would you feel as if they had defrauded you?

The Texas Department of Insurance has easy to read information to help you make sure that, whether you use a [general] contractor or not, you are paid for your loss properly. The TDI does not want us to be intentionally or unintentionally defrauded. They do not want insurers to make “illegal windfall”.

TDI Bulletins B0045-98 & B0068-08 makes it clear that insurers, adjusters and agents should not unfairly or intentionally deduct, or keep, money you are owed. TDI Bulletin B0045-98 states that replacement costs of your insured structure has a “prospective contractors’ overhead and profit” built into it.

Bulletin B0068-08 confirms the fact.

Quote B0045-98: “There is NO SITUATION in which the deduction from replacement costs of… overhead and profit…will be the correct measure of the insured’s loss”.

–See below for a “correct measure” example of basic construction estimation math form–

From childhood, many have heard about the [primary/general] contractor “Builder Bob”. Further common life experience shows that replacing structures reasonably and likely requires “prospective” general contractors fair and equitable replacement costs, using various specialty tradesmen.

In short — General Contractor Costs + Roofing Contractor Costs = New Construction Roofing Costs, or conversely, The Insured Replacement Cost Value of Your Roof!

Yes, COMMON SENSE DICTATES; You have pre-paid for a prospective G.C. to contract with you to repair or replace your insurance protected roof, AND, every other part of your home or business along with it.

So if an insurance adjuster tries to cut out approximately 20-59% (or more) of common contractor market overhead cost, and profit cost, and sales tax cost, report that act to the Texas Department of Insurance, or your state’s insurance department, so that they can help protect you from being treated unfairly, or financially defrauded.

http://www.tdi.state.tx.us TDI Fraud Unit – 1-512-463-6492 / 1-888-327-8818 FraudReport@tdi.state.tx.us

Contrived Excuses Insurers, Adjusters & Insurance Agents May Use To Underpay Your Insurance Claim

Many contractors, consumers, and adjusters are familiar with the following claims:

1. “We don’t pay general contractor overhead & profit on roofing in [Texas]”. (Unfair basic “fair market” construction estimation and loss value logic.)

2. “The damage is really not severe enough to require a general contractor”. (Actually, in a fair market a G.C. determines what work they require, not an insurance company.)

3. “You really don’t “need” a general contractor to repair or replace the roof…you can hire a roofing contractor directly”. (People pay insurance premiums values for total general contractor involvement for the replacement of every construction component of their structure.

People do not pay premiums to problem solve as an educated and experienced general contractor would when repairs are needed for single trade damage work, like siding or roofing work.) They pre-pay for a trusted general contractor of their choice.

4. “More than 1-3 trades are needed before we “allow” general contractor prices”.~ (Double-Speak logic that helps insurers keep general contractor O&P values woven into the 1-3 trades, or ANY trades work.)

5. “Roof Contractors “unit costs” include overhead and profit costs”.# (Maybe so, maybe not, but by themselves they DO NOT contain general contractor O&P value).

6. If we (repaid) general contractor O&P costs on all claims, we would have to raise rates. (Why would rates have to be raised when G.C. O&P costs are already being charged to consumers?)

7. “If we paid general contractor and roofing contractor overhead and profit costs for roof losses, we would be improperly paying twice for overhead & profit costs”. (Do the math below. This is simply, not true, and more double-speak).

Remember this basic fact – Most likely a general contractor built your home or business, and so their own business overhead costs and profit costs, along with the individual specialty trade contractors business overhead and profit costs, are woven into the roof and every other piece of the structure. Period.

Your insurance agent determined replacement costs accordingly. From the roof to the foundation, you have prepaid for a general contractor to fully replace your property, and/or partially replace it.

DO NOT BE MISLED! The insurer will NOT be improperly paying twice for overhead and profit, when they pay once properly for the general contractor + roofing contractor value of your roof, or other loss.

Fair & Unfair Construction Market Estimation Practices

(Imagine these are wind/hail/rain/fire/earthquake etc. damage replacement cost value (RCV) estimates.)

Basic Fair Market Contractor Example

6,800.00 – Remove and Replace Roof Shingles

850.00 – Remove and Replace Guttering

4,600.00 – Remove and Replace Siding

900.00 – Remove and Replace Windows

3,400.00 – Remove and Replace Sheetrock

5,800.00 – Remove and Replace Carpeting

22,350.00 – Sub-Total

2,350.00 – 10% Overhead

24,700.00 – Total (Cost)

2,470.00 – 10% Profit

$27,170.00 – Grand Total (Correct cost plus 10% profit math.)

A historically fair and reasonable (“Builder Bob”) line itemed estimate that shows logical and elementary “Cost plus 10% Profit” mathematical form.

Basic Unfair Insurer/Adjuster Example

6,800.00 – Remove and Replace Roof Shingles

850.00 – Remove and Replace Guttering

4,600.00 – Remove and Replace Siding

900.00 – Remove and Replace Windows

3,400.00 – Remove and Replace Sheetrock

5,800.00 – Remove and Replace Carpeting

22,350.00 – Sub-Total

975.00 – 10% OH (G.C. Roof/Carpet O&P Costs Ignored)**

23,325.00 – Total (Underpaid)

975.00 – 10% Profit (Underpaid)

$24,300.00 – Grand Total (Underpaid $2,870)

**G.C. 20% overhead and profit is unfairly missing towards the roof/carpet work ONLY, and G.C. O&P is improperly summed up as the same price each, thus the 10% profit math is obviously, yet deceptively, false.

~Allstate Ins. actually (misuses) the main contractor’s O&P line for specialty trade contractors 29% OP. They pay a 49%+ factor for G.C./Specialty trade contractors combined O&P, but will also unfairly claim that losses need a certain damage level to warrant G.C. work.

#Roof Contractor “unit costs” do not contain G.C. O&P in estimating programs historical data.

So, in summary, understand that your or other insured structures did not “Poof” into place, and that a general contractor using specialty contractors are financially accounted for by insurance agents construction replacement cost values…values that general contractors costs helped determine nationwide!

From the roof to the foundation, help your insurance adjuster to estimate accordingly…or in other words, fairly and equitably.

Baby Bottle Mania

If you are a first time parent, one of the first things you will receive at your baby shower is a baby bottle. Everyone knows and accepts that babies would need a bottle very soon, even if you plan on breastfeeding at the start. Baby bottles come in different sizes, shapes, and bottle oz (ounces).

Before you or your friends start shopping for the cutest, Disney-character imprinted baby bottles you can find, you will need to familiarize yourselves with the appropriate bottle oz for your baby at every phase. You might be thinking that it would not matter since you can control how much milk you put in anyway; however, it is very easy to go beyond the ounces that your baby can drink. Besides, bottle oz also determines how big the bottle is; your baby would have a hard time holding a baby bottle with a large capacity for milk.

A newborn baby would most likely be breast fed. On the other hand, if you are a working mother and would like to go back to the office right after, you might be looking for ways to store your milk for the baby. A bottle of 2 ounces is perfect for this as your precious baby would need 2 oz of milk every 3 to 4 hours. For babies that are already a month old, a bottle of 4 ounces is needed every 4 hours.

As your baby grows a bit older, the bottle you will need would also grow. However, the feedings would be about 6 to 7 times in a day instead of every three or four hours. To make sure that your baby is getting the right amount of milk, consult your pediatrician. Each baby is unique and the amount of milk it would need is based on its weight. You can also check online resources to get a basic idea of required milk consumption for your baby.

If you have a stack of baby bottles with different bottle oz, you just have to choose which bottle you will be using as your baby grows up. All bottles should be washed and sterilized after each use and at some point; you will have to change the teat or the whole bottle itself. Be ready for your baby’s needs and start hoarding those bottles from your baby shower and your own personal shopping now.

FIFA Ultimate Team Login

FIFA Ultimate Team login has fast become one of the most popular modes in FIFA history. The latest edition comes jam packed with extra features and modes meaning there are now more ways than ever to create your dream team. With all these new additions it has left the game a rather daunting prospect for pros and new players alike. Thankfully, this article is here to help. We’ve got top tips that will help you become a better manager and have you acquire players that feature in FIFA Ultimate Team Of the week login time after time!

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to becoming a master tactician.

– Make Sure There’s Chemistry.

This is notoriously difficult to get right but it is worth spending time on because if it’s not right then it won’t matter if you have both Ronaldo and Messi at your disposal, if they don’t gel it isn’t going to work. When 2 players have the same nationality, same team or even better both, then naturally there will be better Chemistry. Having players who have the same formations on there playing cards also greatly increases chemistry.

-Get Used To Unusual Formations.

It is very easy to fall into the trap of using the common 4-4-2, or 4-3-3 formations. If you can put the time into learning the less common 4-5-1 or 3-4-2-1 formations then it can often confuse your opponents and make buying specific players for your team a lot easier. If you can find players in the auction that have more unusual formations at the top of their cards then it can be a lot cheaper to buy them than it would be to say buy the same player with the common 4-4-2 formation.

-Never Give Up

Like all the great teams, they never know when they are beaten. They play until the last second and quite often they get something out of the game, even if it is only a consolation. If you just quit the game because you are losing then you won’t receive any coins at all for your efforts. When you lose a game you still get coins on how well you played or how cleanly you played. Score some goals and you will still be rewarded. If you quit then you get nothing which is not only frustrating for your opponent but a waste of time for you also.

-Challenge the FIFA Ultimate Team Of The Week Login

When the team of the week is made available then make it a habit to challenge them with your best team. The harder the difficulty you set the higher the bonus you will receive for beating them.

-Complete Your Duties As The Manager.

Do you think Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola get into winning habits by forgetting about the day to day tasks? Wrong! This is the building blocks of any super successful football club or FIFA Ultimate Team.

The first set of managerial tasks consists of 12 easy steps. Challenging the FIFA Ultimate Team Of The Week login, changing your club kit and so on and so on..

The Tasks will get harder to complete as you go on and the rewards will become bigger. It is worth keeping a close watch on the list as you play because essentially, like Arsene Wenger often does, you will get something for nothing!!

What Does a Network Switch Do?

A piece of network hardware that allows computers to talk to each other is called a network switch. You’ll find several options when you look into purchasing a switch. These include unmanaged, managed, and smart managed. Within these categories there are also switches with additional features built in.

Switches perform the same function as hubs, in that you can form a network with one, but a switch is faster. Hubs used to be fairly popular several years ago because of their price. But, they have lost their popularity now that switch pricing has dropped dramatically, as well as the fact that they offer better performance.

The difference between switches and hubs lies with how information sent to them is processed. When a signal comes into a hub it will take that signal and send it to every computer on the network. Switches, on the other hand, will receive the signal and send it only to the computer the signal is intended to reach. As you can imagine network usage is cut down dramatically this way, especially with multiple computers all trying to send & receive data at the same time.

For an average home or small network an “unmanaged” switch is the most common type of switch. These types are referred to as plug and play (PNP) as you do not need to configure them for use. Simply plug them in and they are ready to work.

Large or special networks often use a “managed” switch. A managed switch has many settings administrators can change such as creating virtual LANs (VLAN’s), setting the port speeds, and a host of other options. You need a web browser or a command line interface such as telnet or Secure Shell to access the switch settings.

A “smart managed” switch is a mix between an unmanaged switch and a managed switch. These switches are rapidly gaining popularity because they are as simple to use as unmanaged switches, but they allow you more control. You can determine such things as port speeds and VLANs, but they still don’t have as many features as a managed switch does.

Two of the more popular features of switches are Jumbo Frames and Quality of Service. With Jumbo Frames a packet of data is allowed to be larger than the standard size. To use this feature both the switch and the Ethernet adapter need to support Jumbo Frames. The Quality of Service (QoS) feature prioritizes network traffic to allow data to be categorized so that the most important data is given priority.

For the diehard user (or if you want to be really organized) you can purchase a rack mount switch. Some rack mount switches are stackable meaning you can easily increase the number of computers on the network. But for a typical small network $10 can get you up and running.

Teenage Driving Safety

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for US teens. Sixty-one percent of teen passengers are killed while riding with a teen driver. In response to those two statements, most US states and territories have adopted GDL laws. GDL is the acronym for Graduated Driver Licensing. While GDL does not guarantee your teen will not be involved or injured in a crash, there are ways that help evaluate the teen driver’s maturity and experience that may increase his or her safety.

I am an injury prevention educator for a local hospital and teach youth and parents how to utilize GDL components effectively. In an effort to reach more parents with this important information, I am sharing much of what I teach through a series of articles.

If you have a teen itching to learn to drive, familiarizing yourself with the GDL in your area will be one of the most important laws to understand. However thinking beyond the GDL requirements and restrictions is essential for increasing teen driver safety. Parents are the key to teen driver safety when they know which ‘knowledge lock’ to open.

GDL focuses on building the bare minimum of driving skills along with some specific restrictions but utilizing GDL effectively is more complicated than you may realize.

Teens want to be good drivers; expect to be good drivers; are more than capable of developing good vehicle operation and driving skills when provided access to well-practiced driving experience, but teaching a teen to drive is not just about desire, vehicle operation, driving skills and experience.

The complication lies in the fact that a sixteen year old is highly disadvantaged with the driving piece due to human brain maturation, specifically the pre-frontal cortex.

The pre-frontal cortex of the brain becomes operational around the age of twelve or thirteen, reaching most of its maturity by the mid-to late twenties. The pre-frontal cortex of the brain is largely responsible for judgment, reason, and logic and decision-making, all of which is required for safe driving.

The synapse in a teenage brain do not connect in the same way as in an adult brain which is the answer to why teens say they “don’t know” when a parent asks, “What were you thinking?” Teens do not want to make mistakes but the immature brain development does not always help them make good decisions.

Pre-frontal Cortex Maturation Guidelines

There are four reasonable expectations for measuring the maturation of the pre-frontal cortex to consider before licensing a youth.

  1. Youth who refuse to wear safety gear when going faster than they can walk or run should not be considered for licensure
  2. Youth who require being reminded to complete homework or chores do not have suitable maturation to take on the responsibilities of the driving privilege
  3. Youth with behavior problems need a safe and controlled environment to work out the angst…a vehicle is NOT a safe and controlled environment
  4. Only license youth who are successful at keeping agreements i.e. if they say they will be home at a certain time but do not call to re-negotiate the terms they are not successful with keeping agreements

Considerations for Driving Requirements Beyond Vehicle Operation

A driver utilizes approximately 1500 skills–among them are perception, observation, interpretation and anticipation skills all of which develop in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain and necessary for safe driving.

The reason you find yourself hitting the ‘artificial brake’ when riding with your teen driver is that teens mistakenly believe the driving environment is the immediate area surrounding the vehicle. Guaranteed…if they saw what you are reacting to, they would hit the brake too! But if they don’t see it, they won’t react. Teen drivers have to be taught to ‘scan the driving environment’. While you are driving ask them questions about the behavior of vehicles you observe as one way to help them develop necessary scanning skill. Example: Did you see that car signal for the last ten blocks but make a different maneuver?

Provide driving lessons that focus on well-practiced experience. ‘Well-practiced’ means: To develop a good habit it must be executed correctly at least twenty-one times successively.

Most GDL laws have three stages to licensing


  1. Minimum Age and Duration of Permit
  2. Required Supervised Driving Hours
  3. Intermediate
  4. Minimum age for Licensure
  5. Nighttime Driving Restriction
  6. Passenger Restriction

Full Privilege

It looks easy, but meeting the basic legal minimum requirements are not adequate for teen drivers. Keep in mind just because something is legal, it doesn’t make it safe.

Example: Let’s say your state requires a minimum of 100 hours of supervised driving practice when the teen does not take a formal driver’s education class. Let’s say the teen is logging the 99th hour but you still find yourself:

  • Holding on to the seat or arm handle; Gasping; Hitting the artificial brake
  • Pointing things out like, “I notice you are driving too close to the car in front of you.”

If you stick with the only the legal requirements of GDL and license the youth who do you think is going to be pointing things out to him if YOU are not in the vehicle? To measure driving readiness for basic vehicle operation and traffic awareness, work with the young driver until:

  1. You no longer need to point anything out
  2. You no longer feel like holding on or gasping
  3. You no longer need to hit the artificial brake

Next time: Curfew and Passenger Restriction

Waterfront Properties in Belize

A serene cool breeze blowing over the blue shining water greets you with the first light of morning, the water tide sweeps across your doorway and the dazzling sky merges with the water to give you the much needed peace of mind in this materialistic world. This peace can be experienced only at a glorious waterfront house. Belize possesses the gift of nature’s beauty. Variety of cultures and languages thrive in Belize surrounded by natural beauty which is hard to find in any other part of the world. A waterfront property can help you experience the best ambience created by nature.

Waterfronts in Belize

Belize is facing the beautiful Caribbean Sea with a 174 Miles long barrier reef famous for all kinds of flora and fauna and hell lot of adventure activities. To add to this there are many beautiful lagoons in Belize around which several world-class planned communities have been developed. The lagoons here are best for underwater adventure and picnicking.

Properties near Lagoons

· The shining blue Lagoons glorify the boundaries of these properties. These are world class planned communities that provides marvelous waterfront properties.

· You have the liberty to construct your dream home on your terms or you can avail the help from the estate limited here who will provide you with their various mesmerizing house designs.

· The Planned Communities here have the Property Owners Association which takes care of all the community facilities like a playgrounds, swimming pool, community pier, boat ramp etc.

· The communities have access and frontage on Cocos/Progresso Lagoon, which leads to Chetumal Bay going out to the Caribbean Sea. Here all the residents can enjoy fabulous paddling adventures Lagoon and have free boat access to the Caribbean Sea where they can enjoy at some of the best diving spots in the world.

Properties near Serene River Beds

The Properties here stand on the edge of the streaming rivers that flows onward and joins the Caribbean Sea.

A house here is all what you will crave for after going through its mesmerizing features.

· The homes here have unique architectural designs to perfectly blend with the natural environs. You may have your own unique house design or choose from the styles such as the Mediterranean style, Key west style, Contemporary style and southwest style provided by the Waterside Limited.

· The communities here will make sure that as an owner you will never have to grumble upon the water, electric and telephone facilities.

· 50% of the community land is developed and maintained as preserves, green areas, open spaces and reserves where the community members can enjoy recreational activities.

· The properties here are well connected through fully compact all weather roads for smooth traveling.

· Every parcel owner will have an access to the river to get on with adventurous activities like canoeing, fishing, kayaking, snorkeling and rafting.

· Property Owners Association maintains all the community facilities and develops communal harmony among the community members.

Pure Enjoyment along Pure Water

The waterfront properties combined with the planned communities provides the essence of the best dwelling places. With commercial establishments and major towns just a few miles away from the waterfront properties in Belize, you be sure to have a perfect balanced life.

Top 5 Must See Attractions in Budapest, Hungary

Beautiful and majestic Budapest sits on the two banks of the Danube river, and is ready to dazzle its visitors with the many splendors it has to offer. Some people say that if you land in Budapest blindfolded with no idea of your destination, coming from Paris, you could think you landed in Moscow, whereas coming from Moscow, your guess would be that you landed in Paris. Let us help you discover the top five attractions of Budapest and comment them with hand-picked bits of facts by our expert tour guides.

St Stephen’s Basilica Budapest

The St Stephen’s Basilica is an ecclesiastic basilica. It is named in honor of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c 975-1038), whose mummified fist is housed in the reliquary behind the altar. Along with the Hungarian Parliament Building, it is the tallest building of the city center (96 m). It has a width of 55 meters, and its length is 87,4 meters. It was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction. Much of this delay can be attributed to the collapse of the dome in 1868 which required complete demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up.

The neoclassical style characterizes best the building. The facade is defined by two large bell towers. In the southern tower shelters Hungary’s biggest bell. Its weight surpasses 9 tons. The original bell had a weight of almost 8 tons, but it was used for military purposes during the second World War. Visitors may access the dome by elevators or 364 stairs for a 360° view overlooking Budapest.

Matthias Church Buda

Officially named as the Church of Our Lady, it has been popularly named after the greatest Hungarian king, Matthias Corvinus, “Matthias the Just”, known in Hungarian as Mátyás király, who ordered the construction of its original southern tower. In many respects, the 700 year history of the church serves as a symbol (or perhaps a reminder for Hungarians) of the city’s rich, yet often tragic history. Not only was the church the scene of several coronations, including that of Charles IV in 1916 (the last Habsburg king), it was also the site for King Mátyás’ two weddings (the first to Catherine of Podiebrad and, after her death, to Beatrice of Aragon).

Any Hungarian historian of note will tell you that the darkest period in the church’s history was the century and a half of Turkish occupation. The vast majority of its ecclesiastical treasures were shipped to Pressburg (present day Bratislava) and following the capture of Buda in 1541 the church became the city’s main mosque. To add insult to injury, ornate frescoes that previously adorned the walls of the building were whitewashed and interior furnishings stripped out.

The church was also a place of the so called Mary-wonder. In 1686 during the siege of Buda by the Holy League a wall of the church collapsed due to cannon fire. It turned out that an old votive Madonna statue was hidden behind the wall. As the sculpture of the Virgin Mary appeared before the praying Muslims, the morale of the garrison collapsed and the city fell on the same day.

Budapest Parliament Building

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the National Assembly resolved to establish a new, representative Parliament Building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. A competition was published, which was won by Imre Steindl, but the plans of the other two competitors were also realized, facing the Parliament: one serves today as the Ethnographical Museum, the other as the Ministry of Agriculture.

The construction of the winner’s plan was started in 1885, inaugurated in the millennium anniversary of the country in 1896, and was completed in 1904. (It is to be noted that the architect of the building went blind before its completion, similarly to Beethoven who composed his late works deaf, and he could not live up to the completion of his plan.) There were a thousand people working on it on average; 40 million bricks, half a million precious stones and 40 kg gold were used during the construction.

Similar to the Palace of Westminster, it was built in a Gothic Revival style. It is 268 m long and 123 m wide. Its interior includes 10 courtyards, 13 passenger and freight elevators, 27 gates, 29 staircases and 691 rooms (out of them, more than 200 office rooms). With its height of 96 m, it is one of the tallest buildings of Budapest, along with Saint Stephen’s Basilica. The number 96 refers to the nation’s millennium, 1896, and the conquest of the later Kingdom of Hungary in 896. The main facade is the one facing the Danube, but the official main entrance is from the square in front of it. Inside and outside, there are altogether 242 sculptures on the walls.

On the facade, statues of Hungarian rulers, Transylvanian leaders and famous military people are to be seen. Over the windows, there are pictures of coats of arms of kings and dukes. The main entrance is the stairs located on the eastern side, bordered by two lions. When entering the Parliament, the visitor can proceed on gigantic ornamental stairs, see frescoes on the ceiling and pass by the bust of the creator, Imre Steindl in a niche of the wall. Other statues include those of Árpád, Stephen I and John Hunyadi. One of the famous parts of the building is the hexadecagonal (sixteen-sided) central hall, with huge chambers adjoining it: the Lower House (today the National Assembly meets here) and the Upper House (until 1945).

Further sights include the stained glass and glass mosaic paintings by Miksa Róth. Due to its extensive surface and its minute details, it is almost constantly under renovation. However, the renovation of its central part was finished in the summer of 2005, scaffolding was removed for a few months and this part can be seen white again. Renovation was resumed in the autumn of 2005; new covering materials and methods are hoped to be more resistant to weather.

Heroes’ Square Budapest

The Heroes’ Square (HÅ‘sök tere in Hungarian) is one of the main representative squares of Budapest, Hungary. It marks the end of Andrássy Avenue (all part of the World Heritage), neighboring the City Park. Two major monuments define the square: the Museum of Fine Arts on the left and the Palace of Arts (or Art Exhibition Museum) on the right. The central sight of the square, the Millennium Memorial (also known as Millennium Monument or Millenary Monument) features statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century as well as other outstanding figures of Hungarian history. The construction of the memorial begun when the millenary anniversary of the arrival of Hungarian tribes was celebrated (in 1896), but it was finished only in 1929. On the 16th June of 1989 a crowd of a quarter million people gathered at the square for the reburial of Imre Nagy, executed in June 1958. The Millennium Underground line also stops by the square.

Andrássy Avenue Budapest

The Andrássy Avenue is the most representative avenue in Budapest. It connects Deák square with the City Park. It is mostly bordered by Neo-renaissance palaces with refined facades, beautifully handcrafted staircases, and it is a protected site on the World Heritage list. It was originally built in 1870, to ease Király utca drowning under heavy traffic and to connect the downtown city parts with the city park. The construction began in 1872 and the avenue was inaugurated on the 20th of August 1867. A blend of the plans proposed by the top 3 competitors Lajos Lechner, Frigyes Feszl and Klein & Fraser was realized. Many of the palaces were planned by the most distinguished architects of the time, and financed by Hungarian and other banks. The carry out was mostly finished by 1884 and mainly aristocrats, bankers, landowners and historical families moved in. It was named in 1885 in honor of the main supporter of the plan, Prime Minister Gyula Andrássy.

The construction of the first underground in Continental Europe was proposed in 1870, since the capital had consistently alienated the ideas of any surface transport means on this prime location. The construction of the metro began in 1894 and was finished in 1896, for the opening ceremony of the Universal Exhibition and general festivities.

Copper Pipes and Connectors

Plumbing refers to a system of pipes that allows water into and out of a building or a structure. The term itself comes from a Latin term, plumbum, which is commonly known as lead.

Here is a piece of history on plumbing.

The first plumbing systems were installed to get rid of human wastes. In the Indus Valley, which is found in western India and Pakistan, most shelters had assembled drainage for waste disposal by the year 2500 BC. Moreover, a palace on the island of Crete had pipes to supply the dwellers with drinking water by about 2000 BC. The ancient Romans used lead metal for their pipes. In addition, their old systems still have installed iron pipes and older houses have lead pipes for their water and wastes, respectively.

However, present-day plumbing make use of copper pipes for central heating pipe-work and for water feeds. However, the use of modern plastic pipes, brass, and even steel are also slowly taking place.

Why is copper popular in modern plumbing?

Many plumbers and manufacturers have discovered some advantages of copper over lead and iron pipes and these are:

1. Copper costs low as compared to lead and iron.

2. Copper does not corrode relative to iron.

3. Copper is non toxic relative to lead.

4. Copper is easy to work with and relatively soft as compare to both lead and iron.

5. Copper pipes are manufactured in an array of sizes:

a. between 8 and 10 mm – for micro-bore heating systems

b. between 12 and 15 mm – for connections to appliances and individual taps

c. 22 mm, 28mm, and 35 mm – to overcome pressure drop

Moreover, trade outlets may keep stocks between 3 and 4 meters while those DIY or Do-it-yourself outlets may stock sizes between 1.5 and 2 meters.

Below is some information on connectors:

1. Connectors are typically fitted to the size of pipe. The main styles, which cater for needs for pipe-runs are:

a. straight connector

b. connector with 90-degree bend

c. T-shaped connector

Normally, they are made to connect to pipes that have the same sizes or different sizes at each end.

2. Connectors can be made to integrate modern pipes that have sizes in meters to copper pipes that have bigger sizes to outside screw threads such as used on sink taps and/or iron pipes.

The two basic types of connectors used for linking copper pipes are:

a. Compression connectors

These are used as internal rings, which are compressed onto the copper pipe. In addition, end nuts are tightened onto the body of the connector.

These connectors can be reassembled and dismantled easily. Also, if a pipe run is to be dismantled, the end of the pipe can be cut so that the end nut can be removed. Then, the connector can be reused again with a new set of olives.

b.   Solder  connectors

These types of connectors are made to provide a fit that slides into the pipe that is made of copper. To do this, the joint is usually heated. Then the gap between the connector and the pipe is filled with  solder  through capillary action.

There are connectors that assemble a ring made of  solder  into the body, while others are made of  solder  and copper and need to be integrated around the exposed gap after heating the pipes or connectors.

Unlike compression connectors,  solders  are not reusable. They cannot be dismantled and disarranged too.

This article is made to provide you with basic information on copper pipes and connectors. I guess we can leave the plumbing to the plumbers themselves!

Stained Glass Art – The Basics

Some Basic Facts About Stained Glass Art

Stained glass art is a deeply rewarding hobby for amateurs, and colorfully expressive medium for serious artists alike. There are many aspects to the craft that you should learn about and master if you are to be successful at it, including how to cut the glass, foiling heavily textured glass, grinding, soldering (flux application and filling gaps, burnishing, etc.), and finishing (application of patina). Other aspects of this unique art form are lamp photography, zinc framing, and, for the more ambitious and assured stained glass art practitioners, pricing your finished works.

Choices on cutting stained glass mean cutting large sheets, cutting curves with a tapping technique, or learning how to cut inside a deep curve. Grinding glass is fairly easy to learn, and artists need not become journeyman technicians on a grinder to be able to smooth out the edges. Foiling heavily textured glass entails taking a strip of quarter inch foil (approx.) and edging the glass with it, then taking a knife and cutting it flush with the edge. Foiling may prove to be a bit of a task, but cutting and trimming it down so the glass pieces fit smoothly will be well worth the extra effort.

In the soldering process, flux application prevents oxidation of the base and filler materials, and is a very brief process, whereby it is simply brushed on once. Flux also acts as a wetting agent, and reduces surface tension. Centering the glass is the next step, and means making space between all the glass pieces for the solder. Dropping the solder comes next, and involves touching a rope of solder to a soldering iron, allowing the substance to melt into the cracks between the glass. Filling the gaps and burnishing comes next, involving taking the hot iron and making finer touches to the solder-filled cracks. Beading the lead lines is a nice aesthetic flourish, and involves taking the hot iron again and making a raised bump of solder at intersections of the malleable strips. Patina application is the final step, and is quite easy. The liquid is merely poured on the finished glass piece and spread around, using protective latex gloves.

Stained glass art translates into finished products such as boxes, lamps, and other decorative objects, as well as entry to other mediums, such as photography. Panel lamps, Styrofoam mold lamps (Worden system), fiberglass mold lamps, or Odyssey system lamps (“no tacky wax method”) are among the choices for lamp-making. Panel and mold set-ups allow you to make your own stained glass lamp designs. Photographing your lampshade for exhibition purposes allows you to put your new objet d’art on film, provided you use the right photographic accessories, such as slow film (100-200 ASA), a camera with 80A filter mounted on a tripod, several feet of black velvet to place the object on, and special incandescent light bulbs and clamps for lighting the lamp for starker, more vivid effect.

Be patient with the stained glass art rendering process; don’t expect to get it on the first try. Keep at it, and try different methods of cutting the glass and patterning it within the frame. Working with different textures and sizes of glass pieces will also allow you to discover various ways to help realize the finished products you envision. Stained glass art offers a uniquely gilded sense of accomplishment for those who “practice” it. For centuries, of course, stained glass artists put the icing on the cake, so to speak, by proffering the majestically colored windows for history’s greatest structures–Europe’s cathedrals, castles, abbeys and churches. The legacy left behind by stained glass art is one of a very noble craft, that is virtually synonymous with Holy Grail quests and the age-old battle for supreme artistic expression even during ages of great repression.