Opening a Medical Office

Opening a Medical Practice! If you are a physician launching a private practice, or at least considering starting a medical practice, most likely it means it is time for you to do it. The first thing on your mind should be a business plan, it is recommended to draft one on your own and then take it to a professional to handle the rest. Don’t handle the business plan on your own, you will not save money by doing that, in fact you will lose money in the long run. (nice things to have: attorney, accountant, banker, consultant, architect, contractor, IT resources, lots of friends and a ticket to Vegas, you never know when your next vacation will come!)

Next, you will need to find a financial source, yes, a bank is a great idea, and here is where a good business plan comes in handy. Once the financials are in the works, you should have an idea of a location. I hope you picked a great name for your medical practice and created an entity). I am sure you have done some research on the type of office you would love to have and a target location. All that is left is to find suitable space. Your timing couldn’t be better, rents are down and the landlords would love to have you as a tenant. Keep in mind, location plays an important part in marketing your practice. You can also look into medical office buildings for space dedicated to medical tenants; it is a new trend in big cities.

An easy place to make friends. You can work with a realtor specializing in medical space, or you can look for yourself. You will save money if you lease space that’s already built out; all you have to do is remodel. Recommended, you hire a contractor that has experience with the build out of medical space, you will need help with the layout. The trick is to be efficient with space and keep in mind all the new technology. While you are getting all set up in your actual space, there are major things to consider, one of which is your staff. Do you need a solid manager? How much can you pay? Don’t forget about marketing and your hours of operation. These are just sum of the questions that need to be answered. I hope this rough draft with help with some of your questions and I hope you will join us for continuation of Opening a Medical Office.

Pond Liners – The Hole Story

Sometimes I get calls from people who have purchased a new home with an old pond that has a big problem. The number one complaint is that it will not hold water; second is that the water is green; third is that the rock work is ugly – an eyesore!

At that point I ask if their waterfall and pond are constructed with a pond liner, and they are surprised that I knew that. However, eighty percent of all these types of calls pertain to a liner pond and waterfall. We have replaced over $80,000 worth of defective liner ponds. One customer in Rancho Bernardo, California, had spent $14,000 to have a koi pond and waterfall built by a large and well respected local pond liner supply company. They complained of needing to add water daily since the liner pond was constructed over a year ago.

The pond liner installer’s response was that the loss of water was from evaporation. The liner pond was fitted with a manual auto fill system and they discovered the solenoid was turning on every 15 minutes to replenish the loss. In addition to the annoying water loss, they could not enjoy their fish for half the year because of murky green foul-smelling water. They reported the pond liner company came out dozens of times dumping various concoctions in the pond with a promise of startling results. The results were startling all right – our client sued the pond liner store and contracted with us.

The first thing I discovered was that the volume of the liner pond was 8,000 gallons and the waterfall pump was only 1,000 gallons per hour. It was taking eight hours to run the total pond volume through the filter. Secondly, the filter was rated for a 2,000 gallon pond, not 8,000. (Filters are usually overrated by their manufacturers as it is.) Third, the ultraviolet light was also rated for a 2,000 gallon pond, making it only one-quarter effective (according to its ratings) at controlling suspended algae growth. Fourth, because the pump was only 1,000 gallons per hour, it was not strong enough to properly backwash the filter, which requires four times the flow to be back-flushed properly.

Consequently, the filter was overloaded with rotting waste material that was contributing to additional pollution of the liner pond. The fifth defect in design was caused by the pond’s large surface area, which was surrounded by several deciduous trees that were dropping their leaves into the liner pond. Needless to say, there was no skimmer installed. So all this debris ended up rotting on the bottom of the pond, contributing to the nitrate and ammonia overload.

The sixth discovery was that the suction drain on the bottom was at the same end of the liner pond as the waterfall. Consequently, the water was only circulating between the water returning to the pond and the water leaving it (from waterfall to drain). Half the liner pond was not circulating properly and was stagnating because the nitrifying bacteria were not receiving adequate oxygen to do their job of breaking down the nitrites.


We were asked to assess the condition of the liner pond and determine the cost to correct the problems found. We turned off the waterfall in the liner to test the evaporation theory and discovered (with the falls turned off) that the pond was losing 25 to 30 gallons per day, or 750 gallons per month! Installing a larger pump filter and UV was not going to solve all their problems.

I suggested that since a reputable pond builder and store owner was involved, he should get a second opinion. He was confident that, with our reputation of 22 years and 1,800 ponds under our belt (at that time), we knew what we were doing.

After finding a temporary home for the fish, we drained the liner pond and quickly made two discoveries. As the water was being pumped out of the pond, there was a small waterfall developing from the water that poured back through a hole in the liner created from a tree root. Also, water was leaking back through a loose seal around the bottom drain as fast as we could pump it out. (This continued for some time, revealing there were hundreds of gallons of water being stored in the sandy soil surrounding the perimeter of the liner pond due to the ongoing leaks.)

We offered to repair the faulty drain and patch the punctured liner and refill it, but the owner insisted we do it right, using rebar plus 3500 PSI concrete and skimmer. Unfortunately, not one single item in the entire system could be reused in the new construction. Even the PVC piping had to be scrapped since it was undersized for the pump.

In the final analysis, because this project was not thought out or designed properly, the initial $14,000 spent was entirely wasted. Replacing everything and installing it correctly cost the customer $17,000. The new pond was constructed of 3/8″ and ½” rebar, 10″ on center with 4 ½” of 3500 PSI concrete and fiber mix added. The ugly fiberglass waterfall was removed and replaced with a natural looking waterfall constructed of concrete real granite rock.

A skimmer was installed on the opposite side of the pond from the waterfall. The bottom suction drains (two anti-vortex drains in series to prevent turtles or fish from getting sucked against the drain) were placed on the opposite side of the pond from the waterfall to maximize circulation.

Next, a Venturi valve was installed to add additional oxygen and create a circular current in the pond. This delivers oxygenated water to all areas. A 6000-gallon biofilter was installed with two 180-watt ultraviolet lights. The high efficiency filter pump, which runs 24 hours a day, and is rated at 4,800 gallons per hour.

We installed a second pump of the same rating to allow for twice the flow volume off the waterfall on demand. It is also operated by a timer that comes on twice a day for one hour. This keeps sediment stirred up in the waterfalls and pond to aid the filter in removing it. The skimmer now removes 90 percent of all debris falling into the pond before it can become waterlogged and sink to the bottom.

The electronic water level control we installed in the previous pond at the owner’s request was the only item that was reused in the new system. It is designed to add water to the pond automatically as needed due to normal water loss through evaporation and wicking around bog planters into adjacent soil.

This story has been repeated dozens of times over the past few years. Fortunately, most of them were on a much smaller scale.

Most of our business is word of mouth, so I imagine there are many people who, not knowing whom to call, simply gave up and turned their water feature into a rock garden. Think twice before investing too much money into a liner pond. Ask the contractor specific questions about the precautions he takes against leaks caused by roots and critters. Also, get several bids on concrete and rebar constructed ponds, they usually only cost 20% more and can be expected to last for decades.

My last word of advice, be patient, take your time and thoroughly investigate the contractor and his claims.

An ounce of prevention…

Kitchen Lighting Tips

Out of all the lighting projects in the home, one of the most overlooked rooms is the kitchen. Since modern kitchens are replacing traditional kitchens and becoming popular places to congregate over coffee or a snack, kitchen lighting is also developing along with today’s modern needs.

Kitchens require specific lighting to aid in food preparation tasks and often consists of both task and ambient lighting. According to some professional lighting designers, the kitchen is the one of the most versatile and interesting projects to handle. It can also be one of the most challenging due to its cabinets, shelves, appliances, as well as numerous nooks and crannies.

About Task Lighting

The first approach to kitchen lighting is to consider the areas that are in need of task lighting. These are the areas that best lit with lights that are bright and won’t have a shadow and include places such as tables, sinks, and counters. Task lights work best when the fixture is close to the work area gets the maximum amount of light possible. Small under cabinet lights are great choices if you desire illumination for your pantries and/or other closets. The options available for task lighting include fluorescent tubes, spot lights and directional lights.

About Ambient Lighting

Ambient light serves as general lighting that gives the kitchen overall illumination. Fluorescent tubes are a great choice for their efficiency as well as broad and even illumination. Incandescent down lights are a good choice for broad and even illumination while achieving more dramatic effect to your kitchen. Using conventional recessed lights, surface lights or light fixtures that are on a pendant or chain is a good ways to achieve direct lighting.

Other interesting lighting options include adding a layer of accent lighting for artwork and collectable and kitchen occupancy sensors. Kitchen occupancy sensors are a good choice for kitchens with multiple entrances. These sensors operate by turning on the kitchen lights automatically when someone enters the room from any direction. This is accomplished by the sensors “seeing” all the entrances from their location.

Cabinet Lighting

One of the ways to make your cabinet more attractive is the through the use of cabinet lights. Cabinet lights are mostly used to provide a sufficient amount of light for working or to display things.The types of cabinet lighting depends on the brightness, temperature, color and consumption of voltage. Cabinet lights with the effect of florescence can be of a great use for those who have a problem with heat from other forms of lighting. Some lights also have a brightness adjustment effect that can be very useful in each time of the day.

If you are planning on cabinet lighting for your kitchen, be sure to install the lighting in front or near the cabinet. This will provide the exact amount of light required while providing an added elegance to your cabinet at the same time.

The right kind of kitchen lighting will not only add to the function of a kitchen, it will also add warmth and character to the room as well.

Parking Lot Lights – Is Your Parking Lot Safe?

Parking lot lights are an important part of many businesses, a part that can sometimes be a bit neglected. Good use of commercial lighting can help create a safer environment for your employees, customers and your business while also creating an attractive atmosphere.

Parking Lot Lighting

Creating a safe atmosphere is important for those working for a company and for those who choose to do business there. Outdoor lighting is especially important during the months when the daylight hours are shorter as both employees and customers are frequently entering and leaving the building during the dark. Employees should feel safe coming to work and going home in the evening. Clients or customers also need to feel safe, if they don’t they may go elsewhere.

Good use of outdoor lights will also help keep the business itself safe. A burglary or break in is more likely to occur in a parking lot or business that isn’t well lit. Even if there is a security system in the building it’s better to decrease the temptation of anyone getting that far. A business with proper lighting is a far less tempting target of a number of crimes from car burglaries to vandalism.

Crimes often occur in the parking lot. If a crime occurs in your parking lot there may be a chance of a lawsuit. Businesses that do what they can to increase safety in the area are far less likely to encounter this type of situation.

Commercial Outdoor Lighting

Commercial outdoor lighting can do more for a business than increase safety. When designed and integrated well they can also be a part of the whole outdoor lighting design. A good outdoor lighting design can really make your business stand out and even become a conversation piece. It becomes more than general lighting; it can make the company look more professional and impressive.

Generic bright parking lot lights alone won’t achieve this. It will require a thoughtful blend of things like wall, landscape and bollard lights. The industry type and geographical location should also be considered when planning and installing parking lot and other commercial lights.

Truly effective commercial lighting will be multifunctional and varied, taking into consideration safety, security, aesthetics as well as energy efficiency.

Radiant Barriers and Reflective Foil Insulation – Where to Use?

As energy costs continue to climb and we more faithfully commit to demand less energy, the use of alternative insulation products continue to grow.

For years, fiberglass was the most widely used form of insulation. Fiberglass insulation is excellent at slowing the transfer of convective heat. Its performance is measured in an r-value number. Generally the thicker the insulation is, the greater the r-value. Fiberglass insulation is relatively inexpensive, installs quickly, and is readily available.

Although fiberglass is ideal in many applications, it does have drawbacks. It is prone to insect and rodent infiltration. Fiberglass also cannot handle excessive moisture. The r-value of fiberglass insulation drops sharply when any level of moisture is added to the material. This eliminates its use in crawlspace applications and many areas around concrete slabs. This also limits its ability in attic applications.

In the limitations of fiberglass is where radiant barriers and reflective foil insulation products excel. Radiant barriers and reflective foil insulation are impervious to moisture, and insect and rodent infiltration. They are designed to be used in the following applications:

House-wraps: Radiant barriers replace existing house-wraps. Standard house-wraps are a strong weave of perforated vapor barrier. Radiant barrier house-wraps offer this same characteristic but also with a reflective layer allowing it to also block the transfer of radiant heat.

Attics: Radiant Barriers also excel in attic applications. In attics, moisture levels constantly change and most of a home’s heat is either lost or gained here. Fiberglass insulation is not enough to stop the transfer of radiant heat. The use of a radiant barrier that reflects radiant heat is now imperative in attics.

Under-Slabs and Basements: Basements are infinite heat sinks due to their contact with the earth. Their high moisture level severely limits the use of fiberglass insulation. Reflective foil insulation is not affected by moisture and its radiant heat blocking properties are also ideal in these applications.

Crawlspaces and Duct-Wraps: In these areas reflective foil insulation is the only product to use. Fiberglass insulation is not appropriate. Its inability to handle moisture and insect and rodent infestation make its use impractical.

To prevent any confusion, radiant barrier and reflective foil insulation products are designed to stop the transfer of radiant heat. Fiberglass insulation is designed to stop the transfer of convective heat. It is unfair to judge the two types of insulation against each other. They are designed to stop two different types of heat transfer. Stopping both convective and radiant heat transfer has to be done in order to have an efficient insulation system. To do this, radiant barrier reflective foil insulation technology and fiberglass insulation, or another product designed to stop convective heat gain should be used together whenever possible.

Shed Siding – Which Siding Material Should I Install?

Having a shed allows you to have additional storage space outside your home. Many homeowners prefer building their own because they save on labor cost. May it be made to store your wood or for gardening, you need to plan how to carefully build all of its parts so your costs don’t go up. Planning the construction and determining the materials to use for your shed siding is crucial if you want to build a sturdy and functional shed.

Materials for your siding vary considerably, so it can get somewhat overwhelming to pick the one that is right for your shed. The list below provides useful information that will make your decision a lot easier.


Due to its reliability and durability, wood is the most common material used for siding of a shed. You are better off using pressure treated wood if you want to minimize rotting and deterioration. The most common types of wood are cedar, plywood, board and batten, tongue and groove, and wooden clapboard.


Vinyl is another durable material for your shed that is inexpensive, rust-resistant, and requires very little maintenance. Also, you can save on painting costs by selecting vinyl. The downside of using vinyl is that it is not nature-friendly and it can also be unattractive. It is very commonly used because it can withstand different weather conditions, including the harsh ones. Versatility is also another advantage of choosing vinyl as your siding material since it can be molded and painted.


This type of siding is very common for people who want to match their homes with a similar material. Stone can be time-consuming, but you can benefit from having a solid structure that will last a very long time. Stone is very durable and there is very limited maintenance necessary, yet a major disadvantage is cost. Precipitation can threaten the structure of buildings, so it is important that the siding will be able to withstand the weather conditions in the local region.


Materials such as galvanized steel or aluminum can also be use to build your shed siding. But it can also give it an industrial look that may be unattractive. Metal is damage resistant and the most inexpensive material that can be used to fireproof your shed, yet it is prone to rusting and leakage.

Installing Shed Siding

When installing your siding, you must remember to do it along the edges of your foundation. Cost will vary depending upon the height and the size of your shed. When planning how to build you shed, do not forget to carefully consider the materials to be used on your shed siding. Grab a good set of plans online that will be the guide to building siding that matches well with your shed.

Fireproof the Movie Review

A flower may wither, but, will it die? That depends on you.

Fireproof the Movie is a story of expectation that captivates you from the very opening scene as Captain Caleb Holt, played by Kirk Cameron, is reaming out another fireman (Eric Harmon) about leaving his partner at the scene of fire a fire. Since the buddy system is supposed to save lives, a man alone in a fire may indicate his partner has fallen. At home, Caleb’s buddy is his wife Katherine, played by Erin Bethea. There is no friendship there and cinematically, they are ships passing in the night. When they speak, all guns fire on both sides leaving the audience wondering how this will ever work itself out.

Enter mom and dad (John and Cheryl Holt) as Caleb is ready to divorce Katherine. Dad has no words of wisdom except for hope to put his plans on hold for forty days and take the “forty day dare.” Day one is rough, but it’s going to get better, right?

Christians who come to this movie will not be disappointed, as will non-Christians who see a message of hope with a little grace in the mix. How can two people come together when she is considering another love interest, and his thrills come from the internet? How long can they pass in the night before love is reignited, or will it be?

As a movie, I was glad Fireproof didn’t use tired themes like putting fireman Caleb in a life and death situation with Katherine sitting by his deathbed replaying their lives until she realizes she loves him. The supporting cast in the fire department (Ken Bevel, Wayne Floyd, and Eric Young) was great demonstrating what it takes to be a man’s man. The comic relief of a not-trying-to-be-nosy neighbor added to the fun of this movie. Also inspiring was the not so usual credits, where the volunteers and donors were recognized for helping to bring this moving to the big screen.

This movie is a joy to watch with your spouse, your best friend, or anyone who has struggled with anything in their marriage over their lifetime. I highly recommend it.

Soundproofing Materials Needed For an Outdoor Generator Enclosure

Making your own soundproof generator enclosure can be a fun and satisfying task. Most materials can be found easily at your local hardware store or online. Here is a great list of materials that can be used and some facts about them…

Mass Loaded Vinyl

  • Great noise reducer
  • Often used on the outside of a good soundproof shed
  • Is tough and durable
  • Can be layered
  • Can be painted for a more decorative look
  • When applied, gaps need to be caulked or metal tape used for effectiveness

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

  • Used for the walls of the enclosure
  • Preferred over plywood because it passes less sound
  • Some are moisture resistant
  • Some types are fire retardant
  • Flexible and can be shaped or curved
  • Inexpensive
  • Heavier than plywood
  • Emits possible carcinogens when cut

Closed Cell Foam Matting

  • Great for inner insulation
  • An effective soundproof barrier by blocking and absorbing noise
  • Water resistant unlike open cell foam
  • Known to be mold resistant
  • Usually fire retardant
  • Lightweight
  • More durable and stronger than open cell foam
  • More dense and costs more than open cells
  • Some expensive models are a “peel and stick” design

Fiberglass Insulation

  • Inexpensive, compared to closed cell mats
  • Moisture resistant
  • Non-combustible, non-flammable
  • Does not easily deteriorate
  • Effectively controls temperature and sound
  • Needs to be tightly packed for the most optimum sound barrier
  • Skin irritant

Acoustical Foam or Tile

  • Fire resistant
  • Effectively absorbs sound
  • Some absorb water

Soundproof Paint

  • Blocks moisture
  • Reduces noise and vibrations
  • Non-toxic
  • Requires several coats to be effective
  • Flame retardant
  • Maybe hard to find

Generator noise can be a big problem, especially in quiet neighborhoods or campgrounds. These soundproofing materials would definitely be a great asset in reducing noise pollution.

Solar Tube Skylights – Sunshine for Small Spaces

Solar tube skylights, also known as light pipes and tubular skylights channel the light from a small skylight, down through a high reflectance duct, to a ceiling mounted diffusing lens.

Solar tube skylights are advantageous in deep roof construction or when the area to be lighted is too small for a standard sized skylight.

Typical installations include bathrooms and closets, but multiple tubes can be installed in larger rooms for a dramatic effect.

The diffusing lens resembles a typical ceiling mounted glass fixture. Most diffusers are round, but a transition box can used to convert the round tubing to a square diffuser for suspended ceilings.

Solar Skylight Cost

Factors that determine the cost of a solar tube installation are the length and diameter of the tube, whether you install it yourself or hire a professional, and the composition of your roof. If your roof is tile or metal expect to pay 15 – 20% more for installation.

You can purchase a complete 14″ diameter solar tube DIY kit for around $300. Professional installation will run you half again as much, or $150. If you’re purchasing multiple units don’t forget to ask for a discount.

Are Solar Tube Skylights a DIY Project?

The installation seems to be relatively straight forward; cut a hole in the roof for the skylight, another in the ceiling of the room below for the diffuser, and connect the two with the reflective duct. But this is not a project for novices; especially if your home has a metal or tiled roof.

Will A Solar Skylight Reduce My Electric Bill?

Yes, but the savings will be minimal. However, installing a solar tube in a highly trafficked room like the bathroom will save you more money than one installed in a closet.

Will The Federal Government Help Me Pay For My Solar Tube Skylight?

You have until December 31, 2010 to collect a 30% tax credit, excluding labor, up to $1,500 for eligible skylights. Also, check with your State Department of Energy for additional rebates or sales tax credits.

Beechwood Laminate Floor

Although it is well known as one of the softest timbers that’s used for flooring, beechwood is still very attractive as a flooring option. To accomplish the same look in a better, tougher alternative, one would be wise to look to beech laminate flooring instead of real wood. Beech laminate is really superior to the so called real stuff, as it’s tough enough to provide the beauty of beechwood without the worry of the inherent fragility. More and more people are learning that with laminate flooring, they can bring the beauty of beechwood into their home without the worry of easy damage.

Laminate flooring requires no special chemicals with which to clean, it doesn’t crack or split, and any scuffs will just buff right out. This is very different from the nightmare of a scratched real wooden floor. If you have a family, I’m sure you can appreciate just how much easier this laminate floor would be to work with than the real wood alternative.

BHK, Shaw, and Westhollow are some of the top manufacturers that are currently offering a beech laminated floor, though they are among a host of other companies that also have great products. All of these companies offer beautiful flooring options that are also durable and affordable, but there are some differences between them. You’ll want to shop as many various brands as you can know exactly what you want from your laminate floor, as there are many variables.

BHK, for instance, is well known for providing a great beech laminate floor. Select Beech is their most popular product, but Enhanced Beech is also available if you’d like an alternative look for your laminate floor that shares the same great honey color while exhibiting even more wood grain patterns than the Select Beech.

Shaw is a popular supplier of beech laminated flooring. One of their more popular offerings is called the Beech 2-strip, though it is a bit pricier than a lot of the competition. For the budget minded, Shaw offers a Golden Beech laminate floor. Whatever your budget, Shaw probably has something that will fit nicely.

Westhollow makes the Constance Beech line of laminate floor, as well as several other styles. The Constance Beech is pretty much what you imagine a beech floor looking like, complete with the standard light beech color. Other laminate floor choices include the exotic looking South Beech that is a darker, almost honey colored hue that is very alluring. Both the Constance Beech and the South Beech would likely work great for a laminate floor in your home.

Backup Sump Pump Review – What is Right For You?

What is a Backup Sump Pump?

A backup sump pump is another pump that is installed to operate should the primary sump pump fail. Surprisingly enough there are many reasons a primary pump may fail including: electrical power outage, float or switch failure, broken impeller or drive shaft, clogged intake screen.

What Factors Should Be Reviewed?

There are eleven major factors to consider when comparing backup sump pumps: power source, charger strength, trigger, dependability, material used in construction, operational capability, dimensions, size of discharge, protection against solids or sludge, alarm notification, and manufacturer warranty.

1. Power Source

The backup system installed should be sourced by something other than electricity.

What are the different types of power sources used?

  • A Battery provides the power to enable a backup sump pump plugged into it through the use of a wired housing case to perform the pumping cycle for the removal of the water from the pit. Twelve or twenty four volt battery power is used. The voltage and type of battery required varies by manufacturer.
  • Water Pressure provides the power to keep a backup sump pump running. The water used must come from a municipal source and have a pressure between 40 and 100 PSI (pounds per square inch).
  • A portable generator provides power through the conversion of gas or propane into energy. The pump must be plugged into the generator.
  • Automatic start standby generator provides the power when the sump pump is plugged into it.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different power sources?

  • Batteries require monitoring to make sure they are operational in the time of need. Most backup systems have an alarm that lets the owner know when a battery requires maintenance or replacement and is being used by the backup pump. Batteries are rechargeable.
  • Water power requires no batteries and has no moving parts. Operation of watered power systems requires a PSI water pressure between 40 and 100 PSI (pounds per square inch). Private well water cannot be used and the municipal provided water must have reliable water pressure. It takes 1 gallon of municipal water to remove 2 gallons of sump pit water so can be costly to operate.
  • Portable generator: The generator must be placed outside. It must be started manually. Most operate from propane tank.
  • Automatic start standby generator: They are expensive to purchase and install (four to ten times more expensive than battery power) but are very reliable. This type of generator runs off of natural gas or propane tanks and can provide power to multiple household appliances during power failure.

2. Charger Strength

This term applies when batteries are used as the source of power.

  • The higher the charger strength the faster the battery will be recharged after usage.
  • Charger strength varies from.4 to 20.

3. Trigger

Each backup system has a trigger that activates the non electrical power source to begin operation.

What are the different triggers?

  • For battery powered backup sump pumps, when the water level raises the float, the battery is activated into operation.
  • For water powered backup sump pumps, when the float raises, a valve allows pressured water to flow down to the pump. The flowing of the pressured water activates the backup system into operation.
  • An automatic start standby generator is activated when the transfer switch senses a utility power interruption.
  • A portable generator becomes operational when a human starts it.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each trigger?

  • The transfer switch for the standby generator is the most reliable and quickest way to activate the operation of a backup system. The backup pump is operational as soon as the power goes out.
  • Battery and water powered systems are not activated until the water rises to the height of the float. That means water has already collected in the pit.

4. Dependability

  • Batteries deplete and loose charge.
  • Municipal water pressure is not constant. A drop below 40 PSI means the backup system is not operational.
  • The float-switch mechanism, impeller or clogging of the backup sump pump plugged into a battery or standby generator source of power could fail.
  • The tether switch is not as dependable as the vertical switch.
  • Dual vertical switches offer twice the reliability.

5. Materials Used in the Construction of Backup Sump Pumps

What are the different materials used?

  • Thermoplastic: Outer casing is made of a hard, durable plastic.
  • Cast Iron and Stainless Steel: The outer casing and bolts are made of metal.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials?

  • Plastic weighs less and is cheaper.
  • Cast iron and stainless steel lasts a lifetime, weighs more and is constructed to handle heavy duty usage. This material is more expensive.

6. Operational Capacity

What are the volumes at which backup pumps can discharge water?

  • Pumping capacity is measured by number of gallons per minute or hour at a specific rise.
  • Capacity is determined by size of motor and source of power.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of operational capacity?

  • Larger motors using battery or generator power move more water during operation.
  • Smaller motors move less water during operation and require less battery or generator power.
  • The amount of water moved during operation of a water powered backup sump pump is determined by the municipal water pressure. The greater the pressure the greater volume of water that is discharged. Generally water powered pumps have a lower operational capacity.

7. Dimensions of Backup Sump Pump and Pit

Each backup sump pump has unique measurements.

  • A sump pit with an 18″diameter basin or larger provides the greatest flexibility in being able to fit a primary and a backup sump pump into the pit.
  • A tether float requires a larger diameter-based pit than a vertical float.

8. Size of Discharge Port Diameter

What are the different sizes?

  • The size is either 1 ¼ or 1 ½ inches in diameter.
  • Most backup pumps have an adapter to accommodate either size of PVC piping.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different sizes?

  • The capability to adapt to either a 1 ¼ or 1 ½ inch size PVC pipe is extremely beneficial.
  • A size of 1 ½ inches is required to handle heavy volumes of water.

9. Protection against Debris, Sludge, or Spherical Solids

  • Backup pumps use screens to protect against particles.
  • Those with the additional protection of float cages are built so the cage bottom concaves causing particles to run off.

10. Alarm notification

Each of the battery backup sump pump systems have audible alarms that sound when the battery is activated when backup sump system is running. The alarm also sounds when the battery is discharged.

The Basement Watchdog Backup series also has an audible alarm when the battery fluid levels are low.

11. Manufacturer Warranty

What manufacturer warranties exist?

  • Some have no warranty
  • Others have one, two or three years

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a warranty?

  • No warranty may mean manufactures are very confident of product quality.
  • The purchase price of the pump may be higher because the cost of warranty is included.
  • Limited warranties will not pay the entire cost to fix or replace.
  • The length of warranty is usually based on the length of time most of the pumps like it are known to operate without failure.

How Can You Determine Which Backup Sump Pump System Is Best for You?

The following FAQ are provided to help you make your decision.

Are you concerned about other household circuits, experience electricity failure frequently and for long periods of time, and have no ordinance limitations regarding the placement of a 48″ (L) x 25″ (W) x 29″ (H) box outside your home?

  • The automatic start standby generator can provide the most reliable power for a backup sump pump system as well as other household items.

Is your water provided from municipal water source and it is reasonably priced?

  • Water powered backup systems only work with municipal water source not private well sources.
  • It takes 1 gallon of municipal water to pump out 2 gallons of sump pit water.

Are you concerned about backup sump pump float-switch failure during operation?

  • The Watchdog Big Boy, Watchdog Special and Watchdog Emergency Backup systems have a vertical dual float switch. If one float-switch fails the second one begins operation. The float-switch mechanism can also be replaced without removing the backup pump from the pit.
  • Wayne, Little Giant and Zoeller use vertical switches which are more reliable than the tether floats used by Simer Ace in the Hole and Flotec.

Are you concerned with time required to recharge the battery after usage?

  • The Watchdog Big Dog provides the quickest recharging. It has a 20 amp charger.
  • Little Giant and Simer Ace in the Hole have 2 to 3.5 amp charger.
  • Flotec and Zoeller have 8 to 10 amp charger.

Are you concerned about notification of battery depletion or failure?

  • All major brands include this feature.
  • Watchdog Backup systems provide the most detailed warnings regarding the battery backup system.

Is a warranty important?

  • Wayne offers the longest warranty of three years.
  • The other major brand warranties range from one to three years.

Are you concerned about how many hours the battery will run continuously?

  • The continuous run time for all the major brand battery backup sump pump systems is within the range of six to nine hours.
  • Simer Ace in the Hole runs continuously for six hours; Little Giant runs for nine hours; Wayne, Zoeller and Watchdog run for approximately seven hours.

Do you have a sump pit diameter under or over 12″?

  • The Watchdog pumps have the smallest width (9″) and require only ¼” additional for the vertical switch.
  • In most cases backup sump pumps are installed on top of the primary sump pump so size is not as much of an issue.

Do you want to exchange a faulty float/switch mechanism without having to remove the entire pump from the sump pit?

  • The Watchdog sump pump float/switch mechanism is external to the pump so the float-switch can be replaced without removing the pump from the sump pit.

Check Out These Backup Sump Pump Systems Today

Your home is an important asset. Make sure it is protected against water damage. It is cheaper to buy good backup sump pump systems than to clean up after a sump pump failure during a heavy rain storm. Be prepared before those heavy rains come.

How to Get Lean – Tips to Get Lean Muscles and Drop Extra Pounds Quick

Learning how to get lean, develop lean muscle and drop those extra pounds quick does not have to be difficult. Taking a few simple steps in changing your metabolism and your daily routine can start to produce results. No matter if your goal is to lose 10 pounds or 30 pounds, turning that extra belly fat into lean muscle can be done.

Here are a few tips to get you on your way quickly:

  • Walk with some extra weight: Using 5 pound weights that strap to your arms and ankles when taking a 30 minute walk will reap large rewards. That extra weight will not be too noticeable to you, but your muscles will be able to tell the difference. That extra work will help develop the lean muscle you are after quickly.
  • Lean Protein Diet: Also, add in more lean protein and less carbohydrates to your diet. Be cautious to not increase your current level of fat and calorie intake however. Lean protein such as baked chicken or lean steak (avoid rib eye meat, focus on a good skirt steak or New York Strip cut) can really fuel lean muscle development.
  • Use body resistance exercise: Besides the walking weights, you really should not lift other weight when looking for lean muscle building. You can use your own body resistance by doing push ups and squats to develop longer, leaner muscle instead of the bulky muscle that comes with heavy lifting.

Getting lean quick and dropping the unwanted weight can be done with ease if you have a little dedication and motivation.

Full Tilt Poker Cheats – Learn Them All Today!

Poker is one of the games that are very popular in most casinos worldwide. Aside from this, the game is also played online which added to its popularity. Anyone can now choose to play poker even if he does not leave his house. Having these options, you can simply choose between the casinos and enjoy the gaming environment or choose to play with the use of your computer. Also, there are more options for a player. You can play the game using play money or you can choose to play it with real money and compete with real people instead of computers. This option makes the game more interesting to numerous of individuals. This demand may also be the cause why there are many schemes that are connected with poker.

One of the interesting news that you can catch in relation to online poker is the presence of cheats to win the game. The presence of Full Tilt Poker Cheat is rampant today that most people who play online poker would also want to learn how the cheat is done. This is because most players would want to get high profit from each game. However, anyone who has the proper set of mind and strategies can win the game even without using a Full Tilt Poker Cheat. You will only have to know the basic rules of the game and follow it. Also, there are strategies that you can get by watching the way that other players take part in the game. You can learn from their strategies and end up with the amount that you want.

However, since the Full Tilt Poker Cheat that is available today can be an easier option, it continues to get the attention of more players. Full Tilt Poker is just one of the websites where you can play online games. You can use a Full Tilt Poker Cheat so that you will get a better lead in your game and for you to win bigger. Poker can be an exciting game but there are times that you will need some tools that can make you get the pot. However, the Full Tilt Poker Cheat as your method in getting a high price from the game may work for some people but they may not in others. You have to remember that poker is not simply a game of luck. You need to think about proper strategies and techniques.

Online poker can be prone to hacks and cheats due to some factors in the systems that are not yet improved. You can decide to use the Full Tilt Poker Cheat available or you can try other methods. Your decision will affect the way that you actually play the game. You just have to remember that as there are many methods and systems that you can use, you have to make sure that you will only trust the system that has already been proven by other people to work. This will save you from hassles in the future but it will be your way to achieve higher earnings from each poker game that you play.

His Most Famous Comic Strip (The Kin-Der-Kids) – Lyonel Charles Feininger

American painter and caricaturist of German-American origin, Lyonel Charles Feininger or simply Lyonel Feininger (July 17, 1871 – January 13, 1956), was an icon in the contemporary cartoon scene. With most of his artworks being mostly fancy, Lyonel’s many famous artworks were displayed in the then great museums and reputed exhibitions. Apart from visual arts, he was also towards music, as a pianist and a composer. As a cartoonist, Feininger’s most famous works were the newspaper comics “The Kin-der-Kids” and “Wee Willie Winkie’s World,” known for their spectacular graphic experimentation. Chicago’s daily newspaper, ‘The Chicago Sunday Tribune,’ published these strips during 1906-07.

“The Kin-der-Kids” by Feininger is an ongoing short story series about three kin-der brothers, who, in an attempt to explore the world, set out sailing on their family’s antique bathtub. Their dog and a mechanical boy accompanied them. The strips reveal that the Kin-ders received a note earlier, from a Mysterious Pete. The note, unseen to the readers, carried the required details for their trip. The instruction and the reason for the trip remained a mystery throughout, until date!

Before the actual beginning of “The Kin-der-Kids'” publication, the main casts of the comics were introduced to the newspaper’s readers through a special introductory section, “All About the Tribune’s New Comic Supplement,” published on April 29, 1906. The cover of the supplement featured a caricature of Lyonel Feininger as “Uncle.” He was shown suspending the casts, like puppets on strings. A full page bore the colored pictures of the comic’s characters, with a brief explanation about them inside the supplement.

The character sketches of “The Kin-der-Kids'” main casts are:

o Daniel Webster: Quite similar to Wee Willie Winkie, Daniel was a total bookworm, who would not want to get disturbed ever. He was never aware of anything happening around him. Daniel’s character is very similar to that of Wee Willie Winkie.

o Pie-Mouth: He had a big mouth and was accordingly a big foodie.

o Strenuous Teddy: The strongest of all the three of the Kin-der-kids, he would readily show his might as and when required.

o Little Japansky: This was a wooden clockwork boy, the three kids’ uncle fished. It was a mechanical clock device, which a Japanese submarine lost. Therefore, he is described as the water baby.

o Sherlock Bones: This is Daniel Webster’s dog, a blue dachshund breed that accompanies and protects the children during their tasks.

Lyonel Feininger’s comic, “The Kin-der-Kids” also includes characters, such as Aunt Jim-Jam, Gussie, Mysterious Pete and his hound, The Pillsbury Family, and Uncle Kin-der. “The Kin-der-Kids” was published last on November 18, 1906.

Top Of The Line Camper Awnings

Not all campers come equipped with camper awnings. Camper awnings can act as a sunshade or shelter from a light rain in many cases. An awning is an incredibly useful feature to have when spending great amount of time in the great outdoors.

Who wants to sit inside the camper when all the fun is happening outside, just because of a little sun? With camper awnings, this is no longer a problem, sit in the shad of the awning and enjoy the time with family and friends out in nature.

There are a variety of camper awnings available, depending on your camper’s design and construction. However, most designs of camper awnings will work for just about any camper.

There are two main types of camper awnings. One is the retractable type, which is fixed to the side of the camper. The other is the stand-alone awning, which is made for light framed campers or other structures. Camper awnings not only provide shade from the sun or rain outside of the camper, but when placed over the windows, help keep the interior of the camper cool as well.

When shopping around for camper awnings, it is important to look at not only the quality of the awnings but also their ease of use. It is a good idea to go for the camper awnings that are made well, but are also designed to be easily set up and installed.

Remember, you do not want to spend loads of time assembling and disassembling your camper awnings when there is plenty of fun to be had, or it is time to get on the road and head home.

In most cases, camper awnings come in kits which require assembly. Any good camper awning manufacturer will include a detailed instruction manual for quick and easy set up and installation.

The manual should also include tips for care and storage when not in use. Usually, the kit includes the awning, arms and/or braces, horizontal rafters, and overhanging blinds or shades for added shelter. Many camping enthusiasts choose to set up the awning once they arrive at the campsite and leave up the top part the entire time, so it acts as a patio of sorts for the camper.

Different camper awning manufacturers offer different types of awnings, but you will find a great variety out there. In fact, there are many materials, colors, and styles to choose from. What you decide on all depends entirely on what you like, what you need, and what you think might work best with your camper. In fact, many camper manufacturers will offer some camper awnings as well.

If you need a new set of camper awnings, try shopping around on the Internet. There are so many manufacturers available, that it will do you good to do some bargain hunting and comparison shopping.

This way, you will be able to find high-quality, easy to use camper awnings without spending an arm and a leg. It is also a good idea to read user reviews before you make the purchase, to see what other campers, like you, have to say about a particular awning.