Pressure Relief Valve – Basics and Guidelines

A pressure relief valve is a safety device that is used to control and limit the pressure in a vessel or a system. In the event that the pressurized system becomes too forced or when there is too much pressure available, the valve acts to prevent any dangerous build-up by releasing gasses or liquids. This regulation of pressurized gasses or liquids effectively brings the pressure back to a normal or manageable level, thus avoiding any serious accidents and dangerous occurrences.

Pressurized Systems

There are many instances where pressurized systems are used. In most cases, the objective is to be able to move gasses and liquids around or to simply store them properly with the use of pressure or force. One of the most common examples of pressurized systems is none other than the water system in the home. When the tap is turned or opened, pressure causes water to pass through the pipes and waterways, thus directing it to where it is needed. Without this pressure, it will be hard to deliver the water anywhere. On the other hand, too much pressure can cause unexpected and often dangerous outcomes. Imagine a gas stove that is powered by too much pressure. The pressure will cause much gasses to be released, thus causing a sudden burst of flame once the stove is ignited or lit up.

Maximum Design Pressure

The maximum pressure that a pressurized system is designed to handle is referred to as the maximum design pressure. Simply put, this is the highest level of pressure that the system can handle in order to carry out its purposes properly. If the pressure exceeds this maximum level, the force can lead to sudden bursts and dangerous outcomes. It is for this reason that most pressure relief valves are set to be activated once the pressure is at the maximum design pressure, or even before the pressure in the system meets this level

Pressure Relief

Most if not all pressure relief systems have a set pressure that activates the safety mechanism. When the set pressure level is reached, the relief valve opens to release gasses or liquids so that the level of pressure is decreased. The release of pressure is coursed through a different pipeline, sometimes even to open air so that any leaks or damages may be averted. Once the system has been relieved of the excess pressure, the valve then closes to allow the building up of the right amount of force needed in order for the system to function properly.

Pressure Relief Valve Guidelines

While the normal person may be familiar to pressurized systems only because of the waterworks at home and the simple gas system for the stoves and ovens, these systems are widely used in the different factories and industrial plants all over the world. There are pressurized systems used in petroleum refineries, natural gas processing plants, energy generating factories, and many more. This widespread use of pressurized systems not only shows their importance to the way the world works, but it has also demanded certain rules and guidelines to make sure that these systems are kept working properly and do not cause harm to anyone.

The very basic standard or guideline that ensures the safety of these pressurized systems is the requirement of pressure release valve systems. Most countries have legalized it and passed it as a law that all industries are required to regulate their pressure systems and vessels and other equipment with the use of relief valves. Depending on the country, there are also certain design guidelines that must always be met. These guidelines dictate the proper dimensions and design of the valves and the pipelines, as well as other codes that set how these emergency relief systems should work.

Choosing Your Pressure Relief Valve

While there are certain guidelines and codes that must be met for a relief valve system to be effective and efficient, the primary guideline or consideration that needs to be thought of when choosing an emergency valve is still the specific project or use for the system. Whether it is for an industrial, engineering, or a simple home project, the valve should fit its purpose. Not all valves can be used for any purpose, and an emergency relief valve is often pre-designed in order to fit a specific use. There are valves for home water heaters, for industrial pipes, chemical pressure systems, and many more. Always choose the pressure relief valve according to its purpose, and if unsure, consult an expert so that any and all harm may be avoided.

4 Steps to Correcting Mallet Toe

Mallet toe and hammertoes are deformities of the joints. They form for a number of reasons. Identifying that reason and treating it is usually necessary to prevent the deformity from progressing further. Reversing it may require surgical correction, if it is not caught in time.

So, if you are starting to see changes in the joints of your toes, it is time to take action. Here’s what to do.

Identify the Reason

What is causing the joint change? Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis cause damage to the joints. Although, past treatments for arthritis focused on pain management, other courses of action are now recommended, included regular physical activity and weight bearing exercises.

The length of your toes and your general foot health could be the cause of the joint changes. For example, if your second toe is longer than your big toe, it could be in a constantly cramped position due to poor fitting shoes, a tight toe-box or hard shoe materials. Bunions and plantar warts can also cause the toe’s tendon to shorten and eventually produce the deformity.

High arches and flat feet can eventually cause the joint changes. Wearing shoes with no arch support can eventually cause the problems, too.

In addition to arthritis, other diseases can cause mallet toe and hammertoes. Or, at least, the condition is more common in people that have diseases like diabetes. A stroke can be a contributing factor. Joint changes are classic symptoms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

Correct the Cause

If none of the above causes seem to apply, then you are not wearing friendly shoes. You need to face that fact, before you proceed. Our feet should be cared for in the same way that we care for the rest of our bodies. Fashion designers have made it difficult for people, especially women, to stand and walk in comfort.

If the cause of your mallet toe is an underlying disease, a trip to the podiatrist is in order. Unlike your regular family doctor, a podiatrist specializes in treating foot problems. Diabetics should visit a podiatrist regularly.

For high arches, custom orthotics is the solution. Orthotic inserts are also helpful for people that suffer from Charcot foot.

For flat feet, arch supports are the answer. In fact, anyone will benefit from good arch support.

Exercise Your Toes

Physical therapy for the toes might seem like an unusual idea, but some exercises will help to stretch the tendons and strengthen the joints. For example, curling up a newspaper with your toes or gently stretching them manually may help reverse mallet toe.

Use Straighteners and Separators

Straighteners, separators and caps combined with practical shoes that have a large deep toe box are helpful for anyone, regardless of the cause of the problem. Even if they cannot reverse the condition completely, they will help prevent it from worsening.

When you choose shoes, make sure that there is plenty of room to wiggle your toes. If not, then the shoes are too tight. Surgery is sometimes necessary to correct mallet toe. It’s best to avoid that option, if at all possible.

Brick Wall Demolition

If you have an old masonry brick wall that needs to be demolished there are certain steps that should be followed to insure a safe and clean demolition. In this post where I am going to give a general overview of how to demolish a brick wall, this isn’t exactly how it must be done but it does give you a pretty good idea of what needs to be done, just use a little common sense as you attempt to complete this project.

You first need to organize your demolition equipment. You are going to need a scaffolding, dumpster or dump truck, large tarps to cover the grounds work area, small hammer drill, partner saw, wheelbarrow, hammer, chisel, gloves, dust mask respirator and eye protection. It is also a good idea to wear long work jeans and a long sleeve work shirt to help protect yourself.

Try to position your dumpster or dump truck as close to the work area as possible, there is no sense in having to handle all the debris twice if you don’t have to. Spread your tarps out below the work area to help reduce the debris field when it comes time to clean up. Start by making a series long vertical cuts about 2 to 3 foot apart with your partner saw from the top of the wall to the bottom as close as you can get down to. If it is an old masonry wall you may be able to skip this step if the mortar joints are weak.

Next you will want to get out your hammer drill. Be sure it is set to vibrate only and use a small wedge tip on the end of it. In this case the small bits generally work better that large ones when taking apart masonry structures. Go to very to course of the wall to begin, never start at the bottom. With you bit attack the bottom of the brick rite where the bottom of the brick meets the mortar, pull the trigger and after a few seconds the brick should pop loose, grab the brick and throw it in the dumpster and continue along one course at a time.

You should avoid trying to take multiple courses at once unless you are skilled in demolition work. Improper demolition can result in a collapse of the entire masonry structure which would not be good especially if you are standing under it, odds are you will suffer serious injury or death. If you notice the wall starting to buckle while you are demolishing it you may need to stop and shore up the wall with bracing until that section of wall is down. As you tear down the wall you should come across wall ties every few feet that may require a claw hammer or a metal cutting blade to remove them.

Finally clean up your work area, there will be a lot of debris so hopefully you put your tarps down well so cleanup will be much easier. If you are planning to replace your brick wall with another masonry structure be sure that the footer is totally cleaned off and all mortar is chiseled off as well, it will make installing your new brick wall much simpler. If you don’t feel that you can tackle this project you should hire a qualified mason contractor or a demolition specialist.

Outdoor Storage Sheds For Apartments

People living in apartments and small condos are always looking for new and inventive ways to optimize the amount of space they have. A question that often arises when pondering an apartment storage predicament is: Are outdoor/indoor storage sheds the answer? Most of the time, depending on leasing contracts; the answer to their question is an emphatic yes!

Sheds have found many innovative homes in and around apartment complexes all over the country. Shed owners have placed their sheds on rooftops, in garages, in basements, in parking lots, and yes even in some actual apartments. Even with the occasional odd locations found for storage sheds throughout apartment complexes, the most popular and widely used location is the balcony. Balconies are useful spots for sheds because it keeps the shed outside and out-of-the-way at all times.

If you have a spot large enough to fit an outdoor shed, there are many manufacturers that you should research to find the shed that suites your needs best. Some of the manufacturers you should look into are Rubbermaid, Suncast, Arrow, and Duramax. Each company’s sheds are different, and there is a wide variety of outdoor sheds you can purchase.

If you just can’t find anywhere for you outdoor storage shed don’t get discouraged, because there is an answer to your storage dilemma as well. The answer is the simple, yet always effective, indoor storage cabinet. Rubbermaid Home Products manufactures a great line of indoor storage cabinets that provide quick and easy storage options. The Rubbermaid 7083 and 7085 storage cabinets are easy to assemble and offer an easy solution to organization and saving space in your apartment. These cabinets can be used to store almost anything from paint and tools to clothes and toys.

No matter what your needs are, or the amount of space you have, there is an outdoor shed or indoor storage cabinet for you. A great place to find any shed you would want is at, they have nearly every manufacturer. Whether you are buying an Arrow shed, a Suncast shed, a Durmax shed, or a Rubbermaid shed or indoor cabinet, your storage woes will be a thing of the past.

Flat Roof Replacement

There are many misconceptions about flat roof replacement that are common and should be addressed; one of them is that they are actually flat. While there is not a pronounced angle in the design of flat roofs they are definitely not flat. If the roof was actually even all the way across then it would be virtually impossible for all of the water to be drained from the roof, which would do nothing but create problems from the beginning. When you are having a flat roof replacement done on your home then you should inquire as to what angle of attack the roofing company has planned to address the drainage of water.

Flat roof replacement has to be done in a manner that is going to resolve stagnant water issues; otherwise you will be in the exact same predicament within a short period of time. The last thing you want to do is pay for the same job twice. Where your flat roof is located and how it is built is going to dictate which tactic is going to be best for you.

If you have a flat roof that has at least one open side, you can have your roof built up to include a natural slope that will be installed in a fashion to propel the water towards the open edge. 1/8 of an inch slope per foot is what has been common in the past and worked fine to this point, but to insure that the water takes the hint and flows in the right direction it is suggested that you have a flat roof replacement that includes at least a ¼ inch slope per foot of roof. Having that extra slope will not create any visual difference but it will help minimize the ability of water to pond.

Your other option is to have a drain system on the roof that promotes the clearing of water off of the roof. A drain system is easy to install when you are getting a flat roof replacement done and should be discussed before the work begins. If your roof has a retaining wall around all four sides or otherwise blocks water from having access to the edges of the roof then you are going to have to go with this option. The two ways of accomplishing a proper drain system are through the use of scuppers and adding drain pipes with inlets. Scuppers are metal flashing that are inserted into an opening that has been cut into the retaining wall.

The scuppers will be sealed around all sides to prevent leaking and crickets will be installed to usher water to the scuppers for draining. Installing drain pipes is something that should be done before the actual roofing material gets applied, all that will be visible are the pipe inlets that are covered with a metal screen of some kind to prevent clogging issues. Crickets and strategically placed slopes will help the water go to where it needs to be. Drains will often work with the current gutter system already in place. Whichever way you decide to go, you should know that the slope of your flat roof replacement is crucially important to its success.

E.P.D.M. is the oldest and most seen choice in flat roof replacement. It is easy to recognize, it is black and looks like rubber. There are many positives about this type material; it is readily available and easy to repair. It does not release any pollutants into the water that runs off of the surface and it works as a good insulator, and it is the cheaper of the single ply options. The negative qualities are that it tends to come apart at the seams leaving it very susceptible to leaks. The material is easily torn by foot traffic on the roof, dropped nails, or weather related damage. Overall it is not a great choice, but it is still a good choice as a flat roof replacement.

The History of Riddell Football Helmets – Protecting Your Noggin Since 1939

Back in 1929, John Tate Riddell started his company armed with a vision of providing better sporting equipment to athletes. And such idea has proven to be very beneficial, not only for J.T. Riddell but for the players as well, for from this concept of his came forth the country’s foremost manufacturer of football headgear.

Removable cleat— the history of Riddell football helmets all began with a removable cleat. Said design was prepared by Riddell back when he was still the Athletic Director and at the same time head of the football coaching staff for a certain high school located in Evanston, Illinois. The year was 1922 when head coach saw the need for developing the current leather-fitted footwear for his team. With the arrival of the rainy season, such condition dictates the necessity of changing cleats and installing a longer mud cleat to adapt with said variable. This process is time consuming, not to mention that the cobbler in-charged of doing such task was also hired by a university ergo not being able to finish all footgear by game time. The invention of removable cleats was openly welcomed and such flamed a string of innovations that led to the groundwork for the history of Riddell football helmets.

Ten years after the formation of the company, Riddell pioneered the fist plastic suspension headgear. This breakthrough caught the attention of the government for it will certainly be to the advantage of the brave men in WW II. This is one of the finest points in the history of Riddell football helmets.

With protection as the main goal, it is hard to believe that helmets, rather than pads, were the last to be accepted in pro football. The former is not even mandatory in football—that is until 1939 when NFL ordered that players wear such protective headgear. Before the dawn of plastic helmets, there was leather. The players may be protected against concussions but not the heat—air can barely circulate inside.

Evolution is inevitable; same applies in the history of Riddell football helmets. RT-2 was the first helmet engineered by the company and sold to the public. Said helmet model was manufactured in 1946, a year after J.T. Riddell’s death. RT-2 was a three-pieced shell using Tenite II with cotton web suspension for the head and neck. Said suspension presents a pocket of air in between the head and the shell of the helmet. Though Riddell wasn’t able to actually see the evolution and expansion of his company, he’ll always live in every noggin he has protected, whether it’s attached to an amateur or professional football player.

Following RT-2 was RK-4. The latter resembles the shape of RT-2, though it’s shell material differs. RK-4 was manufactured utilizing a chemical called Acrilonitrile Butadiene Styrene concocted by US Rubber. The cotton webbing that was present in the RT-2 was substituted by a combo of cotton and nylon. Both models showcased the 3-loop and 6-point regular suspension.

The history of Riddell football helmets includes the models TK-5 and PAC-44. The two shared the same shell composition as that of the RK-4. The difference rests on the interior cushion. TK-5 was originally cushioned with cotton. However, it was altered to that of the interior of RK-4, which was made of cotton and nylon. As for the PAC-44, same was tagged and aimed for the youth. It featured an interior air cushion crafted out of vinyl.

From these forerunners, the company has progressed along with the game. With its ‘firsts’ like the web suspension, air cushion interior and self-contained inflation head gear to name a few, it’s really hard to picture the sports equipment scene without Riddell.

This is the history of Riddell football helmets…so far. With ingenious minds continuously formulating new ideas, it is easy to say that another touchdown is within reach.

How to Prevent Roof Ice Build-up From Causing Major Damage to Your House This Winter

You’ve seen it many times – a mass of heavy ice collecting at the eaves of a roof. But did you ever wonder why these hazardous (and dangerous) ice masses and icicles form? The answer is simple: Trapped heat in your attic melts the snow on your roof. The melting snow then trickles downward to the edges of the roof and re-freezes, over and over again, continually adding more ice mass, and eventually results in extreme havoc to the structure of your roof. You might not know the extent of the damage until it is way too late: Damage such as warping and detachment of eave troughs, fascia board warping, roof wood rot, and melting ice leaking into your house resulting in drywall and plaster stains. Why does this happen? You might be surprised by the answer. The power of ice is tremendous. When water freezes it expands and creates a huge force that pushes against anything in its way. This unstoppable force can bend steel like bubble gum. Imagine this huge level of pressure pushing against soft materials such as wood, aluminum, asphalt shingles, or bricks, concrete, and stone walls (all easy prey for ice dams). Clearly, the damage could be enormous.

What is the answer? Here it is: The only lasting solution to prevent roof ice damming is proper roof ventilation. Why? Because proper roof ventilation removes the trapped heat in your attic (the very heat that causes ice dams) and studies prove that a cool attic during winter stops the thaw/re-freeze cycle and thus stops the melting snow from re-freezing at the roof edges. But how does roof ventilation specifically prevent ice damming? The answer is to create an attic temperature that is close or the same to the temperature outside of the attic using specific roof/attic ventilation procedures such as soffit roof ventilation and ridge roof ventilation. Let’s expand on these two types of roof ventilation. Soffit ridge ventilation is a system of openings along the perimeter of your roof. These openings are referred to as intake vents. Their purpose is to allow air to easily enter the underside of your roof which will then travel skyward to the top of your roof directly beneath the roof boards. Ridge ventilation (at the top of your roof) will now complete the process. Ridge ventilation is a continuous vent that is installed along the entire ridge (or top) of your roof, referred to as exhaust vents.

Using the wind, ridge ventilation pulls air out of the attic using an energy-free power source, namely Mother Nature. Wind creates a negative pressure that effectively pulls a constant stream of new air into the soffit vents, along the entire surface of the attic roof boards, and is then expelled out through the ridge vents. The outcome is substantial. With fresh air constantly being pumped throughout your roof’s attic spaces, any trapped heat is removed. When this heat is removed, the temperature of your attic becomes close or equal to the outside temperature. The result is no melting snow that will dribble down and re-freeze at the eaves of your roof. As a final word of advice, be sure that the ridge vent is baffled. A baffle is simply a small curve on the ridge vent itself that creates the negative pressure that sucks the trapped heat out of your attic much more efficiently than ridge ventilation without baffles. Without this baffle, the effect will be minimal. Lastly, the ratio of soffit and ridge ventilation should be 50/50 for optimal results, meaning 50% soffit intake, and 50% ridge exhaust.

Bile-Acid Binding Resins to Lower Cholesterol

High cholesterol affects approximately 16% of the U.S. population. Chances are if you have high cholesterol; your physician has prescribed a cholesterol-lowering drug, exercise and a clean diet to help you get your cholesterol numbers down.

In my last article we took a brief look at statins and how they are used to lower cholesterol and some of the side-effects that may result from the use of these drugs. In this article we will look at a couple of studies involving statins, as well as another class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called bile-acid binding resins.

Your liver uses cholesterol in order to create bile acids, these substances are needed for good digestion. The medications in this class include Cholestyramine and are sold as Prevalite and Questran, colesevenlam sold as Welchol and Cholestipol which you can purchase at the pharmacy under the brand name of Colestid.

These drugs lower cholesterol in an indirect way through the binding to the bile acids themselves. This prompts your liver to use the excess cholesterol to make even more bile acids, which consequently reduces the level of cholesterol in your blood.

These drugs appear to carry less adverse side effects than the statins, though several have been reported. Some people report constipation, heartburn, gas as well as other gastrointestinal problems. Many of these are problems that some people simply cannot tolerate.

A newer resin, Colesevelam, appears to be the one drug that causes the least amount of problems.

Research is studying the probability that these drugs may be contributing to the loss of calcium in the body. If this is the case; that means taking these could put an individual at an elevated risk for osteoporosis.

In addition to this though, the drugs may also contribute to certain vitamin deficiencies, most notably vitamins A, D, E, and K. If your doctor prescribes this category of drugs, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking vitamins to compensate for this.

Before accepting a prescription for any statin drug, consider the results of this statistical study conducted by researchers in England. It just might open your eyes to the very real dangers these drugs can cause if used for an extended period of time.

Researchers examined the medical records of more than two million users of statin drugs in England and Wales. They wanted to quantify the side effects of this medication during the first five years individuals used it.

In those initial five years of usage, individuals, according to the results, were more likely to develop the following complications:

• Moderate to serious liver problems

• Acute renal failure

• Moderate to serious impaired muscle function

• Cataracts

If this isn’t alarming in itself, consider this other piece of news from the medical community regarding this standard prescription medication. There is talk in the medical community that doctors will routinely prescription statins even for those patients whose LDL levels are not elevated. This option is based on a recent medical study. Of course, the study, called JUPITER, is funded by pharmaceutical companies.

Before you accept that statin prescription, or lament to your doctor that you can’t lower your cholesterol level without some help, think back to this statistical study.

There is still one more possible side effect that bile-acid binding resins may trigger – they may interfere with the absorption of other medications. This includes the thyroid replacement hormones, digoxin (Lonoxin), warfarin, and any number of beta-blocker drugs and some drugs that treat low blood sugar.

This side effect can be prevented, though. Research has shown that if you timed your ingestion of medications just right, you may be able to avoid this. Take your other drugs either one hour before or four to six hours after the bile acid-binding resins.

These days it seems as if the drugs that are developed to help us combat illnesses, can actually decrease our overall health. The best way to avoid drug side effects is to eliminate the need for the drugs in the first place.

A healthy clean diet of lean meats, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, non-fat dairy products and whole grain products along with consistent exercise, stress management, maintaining a healthy weight and a bit of determination can go a long way in helping you lower your cholesterol without the need of prescription drugs as well as to help you avoid high cholesterol numbers in the first place.

How to Use Violin Rosin

Using violin rosin is simple and to the point. The key is to find quality rosin and to apply it correctly so that the bow stays attached to the string at all times while playing. If you don’t apply enough rosin or if your rosin is of low quality, chances are you will end up playing with a weak, flimsy sound that will bounce off the string without creating any real definition. To use violin rosin properly and apply it well enough that your sound stays firm, here are some basic pointers you need to follow.

First off, keep to dark violin rosin. Dark rosin is a lot more effective when it comes to keeping the bow on the string than light rosin. Light rosin will often not stick very well and will have to be reapplied very often. With light violin rosin, you also have to scratch the rosin in order to get enough rosin out of it, which can shorten the lifespan of the rosin by causing it to wear and crack. For this reason, keep to cloth wrapped dark rosin and you will get a lot more out of your rosin. Just remember, rosin doesn’t cost much, but a single piece of rosin will likely last you several years, so don’t go for the cheap stuff!

Next, to apply the violin rosin, run the bow up and down the rosin like you are playing the rosin itself. This light friction will break apart the delicate rosin particles and cause them to be dispersed onto the bow. Do this for 30 seconds to a minute at a time to insure that you have enough rosin on the bow for it to stick well to the string.

And be sure you are applying a little bit too much violin rosin when you first start! When applying violin rosin, the bow will naturally have a tendency to lose whatever rosin it cannot naturally carry with it while playing. In other words, if you have too much violin rosin on your bow and start playing, your bow will shed it in the form of dust and only retain as much as it needs to stick to the string.

The opposite obviously will not happen with rosin if you don’t apply enough! Keep a little bit too much violin rosin on the bow and it will keep your bow flowing smoothly and definitely across the string for every note.

One final word of advice more important than rosin, if you are serious about playing violin, you need more than just good rosin! Get yourself a good teacher! Having a teacher who knows more than you makes all the difference in the world and I highly recommend it.

Should You Remodel To Make Your Wood Burning Fireplace Gas?

If you have a wood burning stove, you may consider remodeling the wood burning stove into a gas stove. As technology has advanced, gas fireplaces have become more prevalent and have many advantages over the wood burning fireplace. However, you will have to decide if the advantages of gas outweigh the advantages of wood burning to justify the expense of remodeling your fireplace.

You most likely have a central heating system even if you do have a fireplace. Modern homes do not need fireplaces to depend on heat during the cold months. However, many people still enjoy a fireplace in their home. You will want to understand the different types of fireplaces before deciding to renovate or change your existing fireplace.

The wood fireplace has is not as common as it once was. Wood is not as readily available either. If you have seen prices of wood at a grocery store, you may have thought of the term `burning money.’ You can find wood cheaper if you look, but you will most likely have to purchase in bulk and store it at your house and if you live in a townhouse or condo, this may not be convenient.

Additionally, some places have limits on when you can and can’t burn your wood in the fireplace. Air pollution is monitored very carefully in some cities and they don’t want wood burned if the pollution is beyond a certain limit.

For these reasons and others, you may want to consider changing your fireplace from wood burning to gas burning. Natural gas fireplaces are much cleaner sources of heat than wood burning. The natural gas is already connected to your home so it could be fairly inexpensive to run a gas line to your fireplace area for the renovation. Additionally, you will not have to deal with the acquisition and storage of wood.

However, gas can get fairly expensive as an alternative fuel source. During the winter months when you want to use your fireplace and other people are heating their homes, the demand for natural gas increases. As the demand increases so does costs. Hence, the logistics of dealing with gas is much simpler than wood, but it can also be much more expensive too.

You may view a gas fireplace as safer too. A traditional wood burning fireplace has a fire that pops and throws sparks. Additionally, you normally have to let the fire burn until it uses up all of the fuel. With a gas fireplace, you can turn it on and off with a switch and it isn’t spitting sparks out onto the carpet as a fire hazard.

Some of the first gas fireplaces looked more like a BBQ grill than a fireplace. However, today’s gas fireplaces can be controlled with remote control and adjusted to look like crackling orange and yellow flames. The artificial logs often resemble natural split logs, complete with a satisfying glow of embers.

Lastly, wood fireplaces require a consistent maintenance to keep them in safe operating order. Gas fireplaces do not require nearly as much maintenance. Hence, gas fireplaces would be most useful for those who are not comfortable with maintenance or do not have the capacity to store excess wood on their property. Families with small children may also benefit from the instant on/instant off options offered by gas fireplace systems.

In summary, gas fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. You may want to change your wood burning fireplace to a gas fireplace. Some reasons you should consider is that gas burns cleaner, you don’t have to deal with wood logistics and in some ways the gas fireplace is much safer.

People Skills: Eight Essential People Skills

Being able to communicate effectively with others requires people skills, and here’s eight essential ones:

1. Understanding people

People not only come in all shapes and sizes, but they come with different personality types as well. You may want to brush up on how to communicate with the four main personality types by reading this article. Indeed, dedicated students of communication could do little better than purchase Bem Allen’s excellent introduction to personality types, ‘Personality Theories’.

People are individuals, with as many similarities from one person to the next as differences. To communicate most effectively, each will require you to communicate with them in their own individual preference style, using their language, their body gestures, and their pace and intonation.

So how do you find out how best to communicate with someone? Spend time with them! Don’t expect to meet someone off the street and talk intimately with them within a minute. Understanding a subject takes time — whether that subject is an academic one or another human being.

2. Expressing your thoughts and feelings clearly

Our brains can only take so much information in at any one time. We are bombarded with messages every second of the day, so to compete with the barrage of ‘noise’ a person faces, your message needs to be clear, succinct and to the point.

It is very worthwhile taking time to plan your communication — no matter by what method it is delivered — to ensure that you are taking the least amount of time to express the right level of thought in the most receptively simple manner.

3. Speaking up when your needs are not being met

Just as important in business relationships as in domestic ones, speaking up to ensure that your needs are met is a fundamental part of any relationship.

You may wish to read this article on assertive, not aggressive, communication, but in a nutshell there are six different ways you can be assertive and not aggressive in your communication: by rehearsing your behaviour prior to the communication; by repeating your communication (the ‘broken record’ technique); fogging; asking for negative feedback; tentative agreement with negative feedback; and creating a workable compromise.

Assertiveness is a useful communication tool. It’s application is contextual and it’s not appropriate to be assertive in all situations. Remember, your sudden use of assertiveness may be perceived as an act of aggression by others.

4. Asking for feedback from others and giving quality feedback in return

Alongside assertiveness techniques, the giving and receiving of feedback is a key communication skill that must be learnt if you want to have any hope of developing long-term business relationships..

Toastmasters International teach a useful feedback and critical review technique — first give a sincere compliment, follow this with any practical suggestions for improvement, then wrap up with further sincere praise. It is known as ‘CRC’, or ‘Commend, Recommend, Commend’, a three-step model for excellence in giving quality feedback.

Remember, too, that truthfulness is a subjective view. What you may find distasteful in someone may be equally desirable from another’s point of view. As I learnt, by living through a series of IRA atrocities in England and watching the US political and media reactions, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

5. Influencing how others think and act

We all have the opportunity to influence how others think and act. All the way from Cialdini’s Persuasion principles down to simple violence (of a verbal or physical nature), we are daily able to shape the thoughts and actions of those around us.

From something as simple as smiling and saying, “Hello!” as a way of influencing someone’s mood, to leading by example during an intense period of change, there are many ways of either leading to or drawing out of others required behaviours and attitudes.

Remember that an attitude leads to an emotion, which in turn leads to an action. Shape the attitudes and you have a more reliable way of predicting actions.

6. Bringing conflicts to the surface and getting them resolved

I confess: I’m not a ‘natural’ at handling conflict. It’s taken marrying into an existing family of three children to help this only child come to terms with conflict.

It’s taken me three years of living in my family to realise it’s possible to co-exist in conflict and not get personally involved. But it wasn’t an easy lesson to learn, I can tell you!

But being a step-father to teenage children has helped me learn the importance of bringing conflicts and resentments to the surface where they can be more easily managed.

Your employees might be harbouring secret resentments of you, and unless you find out what they are, bring these ‘dark secrets’ out into the light of day, you are never going to be able to successfully deal with them.

It’s embarrassing, potentially humiliating and requires a strong level of patience not to launch straight into a defensive mode, but giving people the opportunity to express their concerns, disappointments and anger, face-to-face, gives you tremendous opportunity to put things right, or help them see where their thoughts and feelings are misplaced.

7. Collaborating with others instead of doing things by yourself

I’m a shocker at this, but learning to delegate and share has been instrumental in growing my own business.

The quickest way of burying yourself in excess detail and workload is to try and do everything yourself. Yet sharing the workload can be the smartest thing you will ever do. Here’s why:


Leverage is taking your skills and abilities and allowing others to magnify your work capacity. You train them to do what you do and you do something else.

One bricklayer can only lay a certain number of bricks in an hour, but that same bricklayer can train 15 mates to lay bricks and suddenly those 15 bricklayers are building monuments while the first bricklayer is out securing more work for them.

While the 15 are laying bricks, the original bricklayer can be learning how to perform advanced bricklaying, or learn sales strategies, or learn supervision skills.

The lesson is simple: try and do it all yourself and the ‘all’ will bury you; teach others to do what you do and you build a monument.

Jesus taught 11 men how to do what he did. Then he left them to carry on while he moved on to other things. From the simple act of one man teaching 11 others, a church and the largest, most influential religious movement the world has ever known was born.

8. Shifting gears when relationships are unproductive

Sometimes you need to walk away. Sometimes you need to jettison unhealthy cargo. And sometimes you need to take drastic steps to regain balance and momentum.

‘Shifting gears’ can be as simple as changing the venue of your supervision meeting from a dark office to a nearby cafe. Sometimes it can be moving the meeting from straight after lunch to first thing next morning, when clearer heads might prevail.

Sometimes it can mean increasing the level of assertiveness in order to ensure the point you are making is being received. Sometimes it might mean bringing others into the meeting so that the other person understands the implications of their attitudes or actions.

And sometimes it can mean helping them find a more meaningful and satisfying role outside of your sphere of influence.

As a management psychologist I clearly remember one organisation I consulted to: the only way out of a staff impasse was to remove the impediments to progress. Which meant helping key protagonists find new work outside of the organisation. Sometimes culture change can only be effected in a quick way by bringing in an entire new team and throwing away the dead wood. But only as a last resort.


The whole idea of being people skilled is knowing or finding how to bring out the best in others in any situation, rather than their worst. By mastering these eight essential people skills you dramatically increase your chances of achieving the best outcomes out of your interactions and business challenges.

How to Change a Radiator in a Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee radiators fail in two ways; they leak or they clog. Both of these conditions lead to overheating. The radiator is easy to change using simple hands tools and can be accomplished by an average mechanic in about an hour.

Begin by removing the air intake box. This will give you access to the electrical connectors as well as the lower radiator hose and transmission cooling lines on the automatic.

Disconnect the electric fan and on pre 1991 models the radiator temperature switch. Remove the electric fan by removing the two small bolts (8MM heads) that connect the fan to the radiator cross member. Lift the fan out.

Unbolt the fan shroud from the cross member and slide it back over the mechanical fan but do not remove it. Use care not to loose the clips that the fan shroud and electric fan bolt to. If they break or get lost, you can get replacements at most hardware stores.

Remove the radiator cross member. It is held in place with six bolts that have 10MM heads. There are also four studs that hold the cross member to the front header. These usually have 7/16″ nuts on them. Remove the two 10MM nuts that hold the cross member to the rubber radiator upper mounts. Tip the cross member up toward the front of the Jeep to remove it.

Some radiators have a drain connection on the lower right side that can be accessed by removing the grill. Alternately, the fluid can be drained by removing the lower radiator hose. Place a bucket under the Jeep to catch the fluid as it drains.

Remove the upper radiator hose. On the automatic transmission Jeeps, there are two cooling lines that have to be removed. Unbolt the upper line at the radiator. This is a flare fitting. Use a ¾ inch wrench to turn the connector.

The lower line is a special quick connect. Often these will disconnect by simply pressing the two exposed parts of the clip in with your fingers. Some later model quick disconnects do not have the finger tabs and you will need a transmission line disconnect tool to pop them loose. Also, sometimes the finger tabs will break and the tool will also be required for these as well. If all else fails, use a dental pick to lift the clip over the ridge on the tube coming out of the radiator.

Remove the rubber mounting pads from the top of the radiator so they can be reused on the new one. Unbolt the AC condenser. Remove the clip that holds lower transmission cooling line.

Remove the radiator by pulling straight up. It is held in place by two pins in rubber bushings at the bottom.

If the Jeep has overheated, it is a good idea to change the thermostat as well. It is easier to change the thermostat with the radiator out but not necessary. Also inspect the hoses and replace any suspect ones at this time.

Transfer the upper mounting pads to the new radiator and install any adapters that it has for the condenser mounting brackets. On pre 1991 models, transfer the temperature switch from the old radiator to the new one.

Slide the new radiator into place making sure that the pins slide through the lower condenser mounts and into the rubber bushing in the body. Reconnect the lower transmission line at the quick connect. Replace the lower radiator hose and tighten the clamp.

Reinstall the flare connector for the upper transmission line. Connect the mounting tabs for the AC condenser. Connect the upper radiator hose and tighten the clamp. Reattach the clip that holds the lower transmission cooling line to the radiator.

Set the radiator cross member back in place. It may help to tip it in down over the front mounting studs to get it into place. If it does not drop all the way down, this means that the radiator is not seated on its mounting pins. Check to see where it is binding before continuing.

Install but do not tighten the six bolts that hold the cross member to the body. Next install the four nuts on the studs at the header. Center the cross member and tighten the bolts and nuts.

Reattach the fan shroud being careful with the mounting clips. The shroud has two lower tabs that fit in slots in the radiator. Reinstall the electric fan and tighten its bolts. It fits in just like the fan shroud. Reconnect the wires to the fan and temperature switch.

Reinstall the air intake box. Install a new air filter if the old one is dirty.

Slowly fill the system with a mixture of antifreeze and water. Let the Jeep sit a moment to see if any air bubbles out. Shake the Jeep form side to side to see if more air will bubble out. On pre 1991 Jeeps without a radiator cap, it is helpful to remove the temperature sensor at the back of the head to let the air escape.

Once you have put in as much coolant as it will hold, start the engine and check for leaks. Allow the engine to come up to operating temperature and shut it off. Once it cools, check the coolant level again. Repeat the process until all the air is removed. Be sure to pay close attention to the engine temperature and do not allow the engine to overheat while purging the system of air.

What’s the Difference in Fishing Line?

What’s the difference in fishing line? There are basically three types of fishing line, monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided. However, with all this new technology, they are coming out with new lines that are harder to classify. But for the most part, they fall in one of these three categories. And each type of line has its own characteristics. Knowing these characteristics will help you choose the right line.

Monofilament– This line is softer than the other two, which makes it more manageable. It does retain water which makes it more likely to float. Mono line is not that durable. So, if your fishing around a lot of cover or anything that would be rubbing your line, mono might not be the best choice. It does come in different colors and mono is harder to see in the water than braided line. Mono has a lot of stretch to it. So when the fish strikes, the line will absorb some of the strike, there will be a little delay before you fill the fish. This can help when it comes to setting the hook. Many people set the hook to soon and jerk the lure right out of the fishes mouth. The mono line gives the fish just a little bit longer to swallow your bait. Mono works good for finesse baits and crankbaits.

Fluorocarbon– Fluorocarbon has what they call ” refractive index ” the same thing that water has. This makes fluro virtually invisible in the water. So you can already see the advantages if you are fishing in clear water. However, fluro is stiffer than the other two making it harder to deal with. This is referred to as memory. Fluro is more durable than mono, which makes it more suitable for fishing around cover. Fluro has little stretch, so you can feel the fish strike better than you can with mono line. This also means that you will have a quicker hook set so be patient. Fluro does not retain water so it does sink. Fluro is stronger than mono line. If you take 14 pound test line of each and apply the same amount of pressure, the mono line will break before the fluro does.

Braided– This line has zero stretch. This means, out of all three lines, it is the most sensitive. You will have a very fast hook set with this line. It is also the strongest line out of all three. Braided line does not retain water, so it does sink. Despite being the strongest line, it does not have good knot strength– something to think about. The biggest draw-back on braided line is its visibility. However, if your fishing in stained water or murky water you should be alright.

My favorite line is Berkley TriMax. It has the same stretch characteristics of the mono, and has the durability of the fluro. It’s almost like a hybrid line.

How to Get Tv Channels Without Cable

Americans have a love/hate relationship with their cable companies. We love our favorite shows; we love being able to watch the game; we love having Dora or Curious George come to the rescue on a long rainy afternoon. But we hate the price tag; we hate having to pay for channels we don’t want, and having to pay extra for channels we do. Over 5% of US households have only broadcast TV and another 4.5% have broadcast TV and broadband. The number of us making the break with our cable companies is growing. But can you still enjoy great programming without the high cost? Is free-to-air satellite an answer?

Here are a few ways you can tune in without cable:

• Use online subscription services like Netflix or Hulu.

• Buy a digital converter box and a good antenna.

• Try free-to-air satellite with equipment you purchase and own – not rent for an extra fee. You can find reputable vendors like Ocean Satellite that offer FTA receivers, dishes, switches, and KU LNBs.

Using subscription services is great, but you do have to pay those monthly fees, you are limited to the shows that are offered, and you must have reliable, consistent high-speed internet. With an antenna, you may be able to pick up local channels, depending on your location and surrounding interference. At this point, a lot of us give up and go back to the cable company, but let’s look at the third option, FTA satellite, before we put down any of our hard-earned cash!

What is FTA?

Thousands of TV channels are broadcast in an unencrypted format; this allows you to bypass the pricey subscription and still get TV channels. Now, if you are a big fan of HBO or Showtime, FTA may not be a substitute: very few premium channels are carried. But there are many other benefits:

• There are scores of foreign channels. This is excellent for those who are from other countries, or even those who are learning foreign languages.

• There are English-language channels.

• No monthly bill or contract.

• Install your dish, connect to receiver, and start watching.

• If you have some time and read the instruction guides, you can go the DIY route for installation of your dish and save more money.

• You own your dish and equipment. While this is an upfront expense, you do not have to pay your monthly bills and there are no rental fees like you get when you have cable or subscription-based satellite TV.

Free-to-air television is a great service for people who want to stay informed, learn more about other cultures, learn a foreign language, keep up with events in their home country or locations where friends and relatives live, and, most importantly, be entertained.

How do you start enjoying FTA satellite TV? You will need to purchase a satellite dish, a receiver, and KU or C band LNB. An LNB is a low-noise block downconverter; it takes the transmission received, amplifies it, and downconverts the block of frequencies to a lower block, so that the signal can be fed into the indoor satellite TV receiver.

Some customers worry that FTA will be expensive: let’s look at a price breakdown. An FTA satellite dish can cost from about $87 to about $160. A receiver can cost about $35, a switch is under $5, and a KU LNB can cost around $5 as well. Say you spend $200 on your equipment and another $100 on professional installation. That is $300. How much is your cable bill? The average American household spends about $70 per month on cable. Within about four months, your FTA equipment has paid for itself, and you never have to pay for television again.

Is your cable bill draining the fun out of TV? Maybe it’s time to change how you watch.

Mortgage Loan: Receivable

Managing receivables is fundamental in every firm’s cash flow as it is the amount expected to be received from customers for products or services provided (net realizable value). Receivables are classified as current or noncurrent assets. These transactions are recorded on the balance sheet. Current receivables are cash and other assets a company expects to receive from customers and use up in one year or as per operating cycle, whichever is longer. Accounts receivables are either collected as bad debt or cash discount. Noncurrent assets are long-term, meaning they are held by the company longer than a year. Apart from the well known noncurrent assets, banks and other mortgage lending institutions have a mortgage receivable account that is reported as a noncurrent asset.

Bad debts also known as uncollectable expense is considered as a contra asset (subtracted from an asset in the balance sheet). Contra asset increases with credit entries and decreases with debit entries and will have a credit balance. Bad debt is an expense account that represents accounts receivables that are not expected to be collected by a company. Cash discount is offered to a customer to entice prompt payment. When a customer pays a bill within a stipulated time which normally is 10 days, a cash discount is offered noted as 2/10 which means that if the account is paid within 10 days the customer gets a 2 percent discount. The other credit terms offered could be n30 which means the full amount: has to be paid within 30 days. Cash discounts are recorded in the income statement as a deduction from sales revenue.

Banks and other financial institutions that provide loans experience or expect to have losses from loans they lend to customers. As the country witnessed during the credit crunch, banks issued mortgages to customers who, due to loss of jobs or other facts surrounding their circumstances at that time could not repay their mortgages. As a result, mortgages were defaulted causing foreclosure crisis and banks repossessing houses and losing money. For better loss recovery, banks secured accounting procedures to assist bankers to report accurate loan transactions at the end of each month or as per the bank’s mortgage cycle. Among those credit risk management systems, banks created a loan loss reserve account and mortgage loss provisions. The mortgage lenders also have a Mortgage Receivable account (noncurrent asset). By definition, a mortgage is a loan (sum of money lent at interest) that a borrower uses to buy property such as a house, land or building and there is an agreement that the borrower will pay the loan on a monthly basis and loan installments are amortized for some stipulated years.

To record the mortgage transaction, the accountant debits mortgage receivable account and credit the cash account. By crediting cash that reduces the account balance. Should the borrower default on their mortgage, the accountant debits bad debt expense and credit mortgage receivables account. Mortgage receivables are reported as long-term assets in the balance sheet. The bad debt expense is reported in the income statement. Having a bad debt expense in the same year in which the mortgage is recognized is an application of matching principle.

To safeguard losses from defaulted mortgage loans, banks created a loan loss reserve account which is a contra asset account (a deduction from an asset in the balance sheet) that represents the amount estimated to cover losses in the entire loan portfolio. The loan loss reserve account is reported on the balance sheet and it represents the amount of outstanding loans that are not expected to be paid back by the borrowers (an allowance for loan losses estimated by the mortgage lending financial institutions). This account is adjusted every quarter based on the interest loss in both performing and nonperforming (non-accrual and restricted) mortgage loans. The loan loss provision is an expense that increases (or decreases) the loan loss reserve. The loan loss expense is recorded in the Income statement. It is designed to adjust the loan reserve so that the loan reserve reflects the risk of default in the loan portfolio. The methodology of estimating the loan loss reserve based on all loan accounts in the portfolio in my opinion, does not give a good measure of the losses that could be incurred. There is still a risk of overstating the loss or understating the loss. Therefore there is still a possibility that the banks may run at a loss, and that defeat the purpose of having the loan loss reserve and provision. If loans were categorized and then estimated accordingly, that would eliminate further loan losses.