Alternative Plastic Greenhouse Panels

During the spring and summer months the damage that has been caused to our gardens during the winter can be fully assessed. Whether it’s plants that have been killed off by the frost, wooden furniture that has rotted or greenhouse panels that have broken, it is a time to not assess but repair everything that is broken, ensuring the garden is ready to enjoy in summer.

While many repairs can be undertaken fairly cheaply or easily, repairing your greenhouse can be a whole new matter entirely. Whether they’ve been damaged by a tree branch, strong wind or even a stray football, it can be difficult and expensive to do. However, it is important to keep on top of greenhouse maintenance to ensure that the plants you keep inside are properly cared for.

At this stage the majority of keen gardeners will think about replacing their old glass panel with yet more glass. However, more and more people are turning to alternatives as a way to keep costs down and prolong the life of their greenhouse panels. Glass, often thought to be a strong and reliable material, is actually very susceptible to cracking and it encourages the growth of moss when wet – neither of which is preferable for greenhouses.

The alternative that many are turning to is plastic – either in the form of acrylic or polycarbonate. These materials are incredibly suited to being used for outdoor applications and in, many ways, offer a better solution than glass. For one, they are impact-resistant to a greater extent than glass, making them less susceptible to breakage at any time. For instance, polycarbonate is used to make CDs which are incredibly tough – and it has even be used for bullet-proofing in some instances. Despite this, it is heavier than glass; in fact it’s much, much lighter which makes it better for the supporting structure and easier to install.

All of these characteristics mean that acrylic or polycarbonate is a good alternative, but the main concern for gardeners is heat retention. Many believe that only glass will retain the correct amount of heat for plants to flourish, but this is simply not the case. These sheets of plastic are good insulators and are also available in different thicknesses should you wish to add more insulation. With all the same properties as glass, only enhanced, plastics can make the job of repairing your greenhouse much easier.

Plank Biomechanics

Plank exercises are static contraction model of exercises that targets various muscle groups. Here we discuss about PLANK ON HANDS (or PUSH UP PLANK). According to me, push-up plank is the resultant of resisted closed-kinematic chain bilateral protraction of shoulders and resisted closed-kinematic chain bilateral hip flexion, using full length of upper and lower extremities and this full length being maintained by extensor muscles (Triceps, Quadriceps) of intermediate joints (elbow and knee joints) of all four extremities.

It is easy to comprehend the role of resisted protraction of shoulders with straightened upper extremities that they would lift the upper trunk (Humeral head and medial end of clavicles lift the upper trunk). But this mechanism alone can only give us a cobra pose (yoga- Bhujangasana) with sagged low back, to stretch the abdominal muscles. In this situation, the distance between the xiphoid process and the pubic symphysis increases. But as the rule of PLANK, the distance between xiphoid process and the pubic symphysis must be kept neutral and that should be endured for some period of time. Ultimately, pelvis has to be lifted up and that is possible with bilateral hip flexion with toes (specifically the metatarsal heads) contacting the ground. To perform this task, Iliacus and Psoas major being the agonists of hip flexion, tend to lift the pelvis using the femoral heads (in this posture, closed kinematic chain hip flexion will result in femoral head going upward instead of femoral condyles moving downward). This hip flexion agonists are reinforced by quadriceps to keep the knee extended, so that the entire length of lower extremity can participate in this pelvis lifting maneuver. During this maneuver, the proximal attachment sites (iliac fossa & lumbar vertebrae) of hip flexion agonists must be stabilized to prevent anterior tilt of pelvis and exaggerated lumbar lordosis. The role of abdominal muscles becomes crucial here to prevent these unwanted effects of Iliacus and psoas major. Recruitment of abdominals:

(1) stabilize the pelvis and lumbar vertebrae

(2) ensures the neutral distance between xiphoid process and pubic symphysis

(3) enables the hip flexors to efficiently push the pelvis upwardly using femoral heads.

Finally, plank posture is maintained by co-activation of Deltoid, Triceps, Pectorals, Serratus anterior, Abdominals, Psoas major, Iliacus, Quadriceps. In fact, the same kinetics and kinematics must occur during dynamic push-ups.

Working at Height – How to Develop a Rescue Plan

Rescue plans don’t have to be complex.

Employers should implement a rescue plan that includes procedures for:

  • Preventing prolonged suspension
  • Performing rescue and treatment as quickly as possible
  • Identifying suspension trauma signs and symptoms

Management responsibility for safety needs to give careful consideration to the methodology of rescuing a fallen operative. Such considerations might include:

Dialing 999(911). – Often we think of the word ‘rescue’ as calling 999(911), but calling the local fire brigade does not constitute an effective rescue plan. Response times can be too slow, and not all fire brigades have the capability to rescue from height.

Crane Man Basket – This option has severe limitations, the main one being time. Target time from ‘Man Down’ to being recovered needs to be no more than five to ten minutes maximum. Other restrictions and shortcomings that make this a less than ideal solution are – the crane is out of action for some reason, e.g. it may be:

  • winded-off

  • the driver may be away from the crane

  • rescue by crane is limited to building facades and often is not able to provide access and rescue internal to the structure

  • the crane man basket may be in the wrong location.

Mobile Elevated Working Platforms (M.E.W.P.’s) – This option for rescue can have its limitations such as available access and height restriction as the casualty may be at a height greater than the reach of the M.E.W.P.

Rope Access Rescue – Rope rescue requires a technical competency which demands a high level of training and re-training to acquire and retain this skill set. Given the limited time to complete a rescue, trained rope rescue personnel would need to be on stand-by and within close proximity to any incident. Donning the necessary kit to carry out a rope rescue can also be time consuming given that every minute the casualty is hanging is critical. Perhaps the greatest restriction is that it is a skill to which only a few would, or could be trained.

Third Party Rescue Systems – There are a number of considerations to take into account when considering third part rescue systems. In every consideration TIME is the critical factor. The speed with which the system can be deployed and the rescue carried out is vitally important, as is the SIMPLICITY and EASE of use so that a typical operative can deploy and carry out a rescue after being trained. Remember, whichever methodology you choose, the target time should be to rescue the casualty in under ten minutes.

Planning for Fall Protection must include Rescue – Having a rescue plan is just as important as having a fall protection plan. No site should have one without the other. Just putting together a fall protection program without rescue is only doing half the job. The onus is on the employer to ensure that the suspended operative is rescued quickly. That means ensuring that for anyone who works at height, there is a rescue plan.

Fall protection must include an emergency rescue plan – How will you rescue an operative who has fallen and is suspended in a fall-arrest system? Answering some basic questions can help in developing a rescue plan.

Developing a Rescue Plan – A rescue plan requires answers to the following questions.

If an operatives fall is arrested, can they be rescued in under ten minutes?

How will you know that someone has fallen?

  • Will someone see it happen?

  • Co-workers

  • Other trades

  • Plant personnel

  • Members of the public

What communication systems will be used between the suspended operative and the rescue team?

  • Voice

  • Whistle

  • Mobile Phone

Who will the Co-worker call?

  • Nearest co-workers

  • Supervisor

  • Site Management

  • 999(911) Fire /ambulance where available

Is information available? Who and how will it be communicated?

  • Emergency phone numbers

  • Site address

  • Directions and access for ambulance/fire vehicle or other emergency services

  • Which floor/how high up
  • Operatives condition after fall

How will the safety of the rescuers be assured, as well as that of the suspended operative?

  • Are operatives trained and competent in the use of rescue equipment?

  • Is there sufficient number of trained personnel on-site?

  • Are rescue-training records kept up-to-date including any re-assessments?

  • Is the rescue equipment selected appropriate for the nature of the work?

  • What obstructions are in the way reaching the suspended operative?

  • Have assessments been made of anchor points?

  • Has consideration been given to the method of attaching to the casualty?

How will rescue workers get to the casualty?

  • Rescue Ladder System

  • Rescue Haul / Winch System

  • Keys to building and roof

  • Elevator

  • Pull casualty in through window or balcony

  • Pull casualty up to floor/slab/roof

  • Lower casualty to ground level
  • Climb / rappel down the building/structure

  • Aerial equipment from ground

  • Suspended access equipment

  • Crane Man Basket

How will rescue be assured within five minutes of the occurrence of a fall to minimize the risk of further injury or death due to suspension trauma? And, what rescue equipment is needed?

  • Rescue Ladder

  • Rescue Haul / Winch System

  • Suspended access equipment

  • Ropes

  • Aerial ladder truck

  • M.E.W.P. or scissor lift

  • Climbing / rope rescue equipment

  • Crane Man Basket

  • First aid kit

  • Stretcher available should casualty be seriously injured

What if the operative is injured?

  • Can the casualty still be rescued within five to ten minutes?

  • Is there a qualified first-aid er who understands suspension trauma and knows how to treat it?

  • Who and how will the emergency services and hospital be alerted?

How will the public be protected?

  • Assign someone to direct traffic

  • Set up barriers

How will the accident scene be protected?

  • Prevent further injury or damage

  • Set up barriers

  • Preserve wreckage

  • Aid investigation later

Are there other considerations?

  • Working alone

  • Language barrier

  • Unusual features of building/structure

  • Wind

  • Other hazards

  • No emergency services nearby

  • Distance from rescue teams

WARNING! An operative who has suffered a fall and is suspended in his harness is a true medical emergency. Just because they are hanging in a harness doesn’t mean you have all day to perform the rescue. Rescue has to be planned, practiced and performed quickly and effectively or the victim may very well die before the rescue finally occurs.

If you’re not going to give your employees the skills to perform rescue, then you might as well not even put them in the harness at all.

Practice can save lives Perhaps just as important as having a rescue plan in place is practicing the plan before a real-life fall occurs.

How will the operative call for help?

House Stair Handrails and Guardrails Safety

With guardrails and handrails on our stairs, it is the same concept as with many other safety requirements guiding our daily commute – we often believe these rules are created for others only, until we suddenly realize that there’s nothing to hold on to when gravity’s force pulls our body down the stairs with an increasing speed.

That’s why somebody came up with a list of rules:

1. The stairs’ handrail must be graspable, and the best shape / size to put your grip on must have a 1¼” – 2″ circular shape cross section (preferably circle, but square, or a section of the square with rounded edges and a groove for your fingers, is also acceptable). Flat boards, 2″x4″, or anything else that you can’t close the palm of your hand on, is not acceptable by the building code.

2. The stairs’ handrail attached to the wall should not project further than 3½” into the stairway (some jurisdictions accept 4½” max distance). The distance between the handrail and the wall should not be less than 1½”. This is to keep your fingers from getting trapped between the wall and the handrail, and give enough clearance for your hand.

3. Any stairs with 4 risers or more require handrails. Risers are the boards between the steps (treads); of course you may just have an empty space between each tread.

4. The required stairs’ handrail height is between the 34″ and 38″.

5. When you attach the handrail / handrail brackets to the wall, make sure that they are secured with proper screws to the wall framing, not to the drywall sheet. This is because they have to support a 200 lb load applied at any point of the stairs’ handrail in any direction. Brackets may often be supplied with small, plastic anchors which provide no support whatsoever when used in drywall, and even a small child can pull it off the wall.

6. The ends of the stairs’ handrail attached to the wall should return to that wall. When you’re carrying a shoulder bag, or even wearing a jacket, it might get caught up on that section of the handrail and you’ll either ruin your wardrobe or loose balance and fall down the stairs. If you have a navel post at the end of the handrail, the handrail should return to this post or volute. Also, the stairs handrail should extend to area above the top and bottom nosing of stairs.

Handrail / Guardrail

7. This one is extremely important if you or your visitors have small children. If you have a 4″ diameter ball handy, it should not pass through any of the openings along the stairs’ handrail and guardrail (guardrail pickets for example). The only exception is that triangular space between the riser, tread, and base of the guardrail – a 6″ max diameter is permissible in this area. If you don’t have risers and there is an open space underneath treads, the 4″ max applies there as well. If your ball fit through any of the openings, a small child’s head may as well.

8. The guardrails are required on any walking surface elevated 30″ or higher above the floor / grade.

9. Guardrails in single family properties must be a minimum of 36″ high from the walking surface (balconies, decks, galleries) and no climbable / horizontal bars – kids love climbing.

So how does it look in your house ?

The Best Sunburst Deck Railing Designs Make a Dramatic Impact on Your Backyard Deck Design

Your choice of deck railing design plays an important part in your overall deck design. Whether you’re looking at the deck from the back yard or you’re standing on the deck looking out into the yard – the style of railing will greatly impact the appeal of your deck. To increase interest and to keep your railing design from becoming boring, consider adding some sunburst deck railing (also called starburst deck railing).

Let’s be honest. A standard 2×2 deck railing design, while functional and efficient, is pretty boring – especially on a long run of decking. A sunburst deck railing design provides a more contemporary look and feel to your deck. It will cost a bit more than standard vertical 2×2 baluster railing, but not a great deal. You will still use 2×2 balusters, but the labor costs will be higher, simply because it takes more time to cut and install the sunburst style. There will be slightly higher materials costs as well, depending on the particulars of how you design and install your railing.

It is not necessary to surround your entire deck with a sunburst deck railing design. In fact, it is easy to overdo the design if you are not careful. I suggest that each section of sunburst railing pattern should be separated by a section of standard vertical railing. Make the sunburst sections an accent, not a dominating feature. The result should be areas of added interest. Too much sunburst becomes too “busy” and detracts from your deck rather than enhancing your deck. As a rule, I suggest that individual sections of sunburst patterns should be between four feet and six feet wide. But, you say, my sections between my posts are eight or ten feet wide. No problem. You will just add vertical 2×4’s, evenly spaced from your posts, so that you reduce the span to six feet or less. Then use standard vertical 2×2 balusters between the posts and the 2×4’s. Fill in the space between the 2×4’s with your sunburst design.

It is also unnecessary to have a sunburst design between each and every set of posts, although you may do that. It really depends on the size of your deck – specifically the length of the sides you want to spice up with sunburst sections. Just be careful not to overdo it.

Can I Do This Myself?

If you have reasonable carpentry skills, the right tools, and some time, this can be a do it yourself project. There is nothing difficult about the work, but it is important to plan it out properly. Remember to keep your span for the sunburst section under six feet. Draw this out on paper before you start. Measure the spans between your deck posts. If they are all the same, your job is easier. If not, you will need to select you sunburst section spans to conform with the spans between the posts. I’ll briefly explain the installation process for sunburst deck railing, but this will assume you already have the ability to install a standard 2×2 railing design. If you don’t, there are other places to learn that basic ability. For our purposes, let’s assume you have eight foot spans between 6×6 posts, and you are going to put five foot sections of sunburst design in the center of some of those sections. First, install the top and bottom horizontal rails between the posts. You will need them there in order to have something to secure the balusters to. Place two vertical 2×4 balusters 18 inches inside the posts so that you can cut the center span down to five feet. Find the center and plumb your first baluster there. From that center baluster, work to each side by placing the bottoms of each baluster against the preceding baluster, then fanning the tops out, leaving no more than four inches of spacing at the top. The code requirement remains four inches of maximum spacing. Continue this process until there is no space greater than four inches remaining. As you fan out, each baluster will get longer. Often the pre-cut balusters are not long enough for the longer pieces, so you will probably need to buy some eight foot stack pieces and cut them to length. Then simply install a second top and bottom rail to cover the ends of the balusters, and you’re through.

If you want a tighter pattern at the bottom of your sunburst section, you can cut each baluster on an angle so that they will fit closer together. You will have to cut the end of each baluster at an angle where the join the vertical post (or 2×4 if you used one to reduce the span). The bottoms and most of the tops of the balusters will be sandwiched between two 2×4’s so they will not be seen.

If you opt for a tighter pattern at the bottom of your sunburst railing design, you may need to include a half round piece at the bottom center to cover the angle cuts. Angle cuts will likely extend beyond the top of the bottom 2×4 rail, so after all balusters are installed, cut a half round or elliptical shape of sufficient size to cover them. This adds an additional bit of flair, so you may choose to do it even if you don’t need to cover up any cuts.

Sunburst deck railing can add a nice touch of flair and sophistication to your deck. Use it to transform a plain railing system into an eye catching work of beauty. Whether you do it yourself or you pay a professional, your deck can become a focal point of your backyard.

Cheap Stair Parts – Remodel Your Stairs With Iron Balusters

Remodeling your staircase with iron balusters is fast, easy and affordable! Your stairs are the focal point in your home and a simple remodel will dramatically change the entire look of your home and also increase your homes value at the same time. Most do-it-yourself enthusiasts can accomplish a simple stair remodel on their own without the need of hiring a contractor or stair installer.

A complete stair remodel guide.

After you have decided to remodel your stairs, the first step is to measure out your staircase and create a part list. This sounds difficult but in most cases you can simply count the number of wooden balusters (also called spindles or pickets). In order to meet stair code, your balusters can only be 4 inches apart max. If any gap greater than 4 inches exists in your stair system then you will not meet code and fail any home inspection. If your wooden balusters already meet code then your iron balusters should be able to use the existing holes that were drilled for the wood balusters.

After you know how many you want, it’s time to go online and find some stair parts and pick a design. I recommend you go to cheap stair parts for your balusters. They have a great selection and low prices. Even if you find the same products on another any other website, they will beat that price by 5%. My home was a larger remodel and I spent over $1600 so they also gave me free shipping. I strongly recommend them.

When buying iron balusters, try to stay within the same family of products. Do not mix hammered balusters with plain balusters. Do not mix baluster sizes such as 9/16″ round with 1/2″ Square. Also do not mix finishes. Stay within the same finish for all of your parts. If you do not know what finish to choose, I recommend Satin Black to be safe but Oil Rubbed Bronze is very hot right now and should match your home as easily as Satin Black will.

Once you have purchase your stair parts, it’s time to begin the remodel. Lay out some sheets on your stairs to protect your flooring from debris. Cut out your wooden balusters with any saw that will fit. Just make one cut in the center of the balusters and then wiggle out the the top and bottom. Remove any loose nails. After your balusters are removed, sand around the area and get it ready for any additional stain or paint. Now is the time to re-stain or paint any areas that need touched up.

Get a band saw or a chop saw with a metal cutting blade and cut your iron balusters to length. Measure from the bottom of the handrail to the top of the flooring, add 3/4″ and cut your baluster that long. Then re-drill into the handrail one inch deep. Make sure the bottom has a 1/4″ hole deep. Slide your baluster shoes onto the balusters and then slide your baluster up into the handrail and drop it down into the hole below. Use a dime size drop of non-drip, clear dry epoxy on the top and bottom of the baluster. This will hold it into place easily.

After the balusters are secure, drop the shoes down and then epoxy them to the floor. Now you have a finished look. Do some clean up and enjoy your remodeled stairs.

Wrought Iron Balusters Vs Wooden Balusters – A Comparison!

Whether its home decorating or home renovation – the first thing that comes to mind is stairways renovation. Stairways have to be secure else there is always a risk of accident. However, one cannot deny the fact that these stairways also make our home beautiful. So, what are the solutions- what type of balusters will fulfill both the needs? When thinking about this, two types of balusters come to mind- Wrought iron balusters and wooden balusters. I am sure, most of the people reading this must be having wood balusters at their homes. And if you are thinking of home renovation, then there is no better idea than a wrought iron baluster. Here we will compare these balusters with wooden balusters and will also come to know what advantages does iron has over the wood!

Durability- Iron is definitely durable than wood. Wood balusters get decayed over time. They are also susceptible to vermin and termites. Balusters made from wrought iron do not have all these problems. Once installed, they will be there for lifelong. Now comes the question of getting bored of seeing these balusters year after year. That also has a solution. Get them painted in your choice of color after a certain period of time. There is nothing against balusters made from wood if one can afford to change them over short period of times. If not, its better to get iron balusters installed at your stairways.

Ductility- Wrought iron is malleable and can be molded and given any shape. Thus, these balusters are more decorative than wooden balusters. Wood, as is known, can not be molded to give curvy or decorative shapes while the metal can be twisted into intricate and complicated designs. As a result, you have many options with wrought iron balusters and can let your imagination loose when decorating your home.

Easy Availability- Due to the changed interests of home dwellers and decorators, craftsmen are more inclined towards making balusters out of wrought iron. They are hesitant in experimenting with wooden baluster designs. As a result, these iron balusters are available in showrooms and even smaller shops in most of the cities and towns. They are available on Internet too and can be purchased online sitting right at your home.

As far as cost is concerned, it all depends upon the place where you stay and how much of this metal is dealt with there. Depending upon the quality of wrought iron and on the craftsmanship (the more detailed and intricate the designs, more will be cost), it can be both- cheaper or costlier than wooden balusters. You are now the sole authority to decide whether you need wrought iron balusters in place of your old wooden balusters or not?

Inventions – How To Get Your Product Manufactured

If you are planning to manufacture and sell your invention on your own, this is where your prototype and design plans will be really useful.

Manufacturing can be simplified when you have a working prototype of your invention. To start out, contact a manufacturer who is familiar with new product development. That way, you will have the benefit of designers and developers who can identify and fix design flaws. They may even offer a more effective design solution for your product.

If you are going to have your manufacturing outsourced, that is, manufactured by a foreign company, make sure you research the company very well. Look them up online, research them at the library, find out everything you can about them. Foreign sourcing is a big undertaking, and should not be taken lightly.

However, if you have a solid CAD design, a competent manufacturer can produce your product with little trouble. A CAD design will also make it easier to divide your plans among multiple manufacturers, to avoid giving the entire design to one manufacturer if you choose to do that.

You can contact the Thomas Register at 1-800-699-9822 or check out their website thomasnet.com to find thousands of manufacturers for everything you can possibly imagine. You can visit alibaba.com or made-in-china.com for lists of foreign manufacturers for your particular product.

When discussing your product with manufacturers, always ask if they are open to reducing or waiving up-front production costs for a percentage of future profits, or perhaps some other deal that they may have in mind. Sometimes a manufacturer, seeing the potential in a new product, is willing to produce the product on more creative terms for a guarantee of future business, or a percentage of sales (sort of like royalties).

Be careful, however, with deals like this. Be sure to put a ceiling on the duration of this deal, otherwise, you can end up locking yourself into a lifetime partnership.

The deal should just be financially worth the manufacturer’s effort. For instance, I may offer fifty percent of future sales up until production costs are covered, and then ten percent of sales for a year after, with a guarantee of the manufacturer remaining my exclusive provider for the next year. There are literally trillions of ways to put deals together; it’s all in how you negotiate it.

How To Properly Install Electrical Receptacles and Light Switches

Do you like to save money by doing things around the house yourself?

If you are trying to replace your own receptacles and switches, here are some tips:

When removing old receptacles, note the color of the wires. There should be 2 colors; black and white. Often, there is a third wire, a bare ground wire. You will most likely find that there are 1, 2, or even 3 black and white wires at each receptacle. Connect the black wires to one side of the receptacle, and the white wires on the other side. Most often, 2 or 3 wires of each color are connected to the screws on either side of the devise. There are 2 screws on each side. If there are 2 white wires, then place each wire under one screw. Same on the black side. If there are 3 of each color, often times, the third wire will be doubled up under one of the screws.

If your receptacles were installed after 1970, a new type of connection method was introduced on light switches and receptacles. This “new” idea was called stab-lock or speed wire devices. Stab-lock devices have holes in the back of the device instead of side screws. Some have both screws and holes. When the new homes were initially wired, stab-lock devices made production time fast. Electricians were expected to squat, strip the wire ends, stab them into the holes, slam the plug into the box and jump to the next one. Production was the name of the game. It still is today and the very same method is still being used.

Stab-lock connections are the number one cause of electrical service repair calls. If one single wire becomes loose at the stab hole, every outlet, light, every electrical device beyond that loose stab-lock hole goes dead. It is the same concept as your old Christmas tree lights. If one bulb is bad, everything downstream of it is out too.

If a customer says to me “The breaker is still on, but there’s no power”. There is a high probability there is a loose stab-lock somewhere in the circuit.

Our method of installing switches and plugs is different from the methods used in new construction and takes more time, however you will never have problems caused by loose connections in the devices. Here’s what we do: we physically twist the white wires together. Then we do the same for the black wires. It is important to use good lineman’s pliers. Then, we twist a single white and black lead wire about 7 inches long into each splice. Now, the circuit is feeding through to the next outlet without having to have the device installed to carry the wires through.

  • We recommend that you never use the stab-lock holes.
  • Place the single lead wire under one of the two screws on either side of the receptacle.
  • Black wire on the gold screw
  • White wire on the silver screw

It doesn’t matter which one, upper or lower, as long as black is on gold and white is on silver. This is the correct polarity installation. And this is also why one of the prongs on your cord is slightly larger than the other. It prevents you from plugging the appliance in with reverse polarity. The circuit will never open now even if you remove the plug from the wires.

When you install the receptacle, make sure the ground hole is on the bottom. When it’s on the top, that is an indication that the receptacle is operated by a light switch. The third hole, or the GROUND, connection is the green screw that is attached to the metal frame of the receptacle. That’s used for the connection of the bare ground wire.

If you are replacing receptacles, and you come across one that has both a black and a red wire on the gold screw side, this is usually an indication that one half the receptacle is always live and the other half is operated by a light switch. In order to separate the top half from the bottom half, you have to break the little metal bridge on the GOLD screw side of the plug between the top and bottom. If you break the metal bridge on the silver, or white wire side, you have killed the neutral to the remaining outlets on that circuit. Do not break the bridge on the silver screw, or white wire side of the devise. When reinstalling light switches, you are usually only dealing with 2 wires. One goes on the top and one goes on the bottom. If any wires are doubled up on one side of the light switch, meaning more than one wire under one screw or stab-hole, twist those two wires together and tail off with a single lead wire just like the receptacles.

Although many homeowners feel comfortable doing minor electrical work themselves, please remember that electricity is extremely dangerous and you should always turn off any circuits before working on them. Never work with live electricity. Check to make sure the power is off before doing anything. Sometimes power is still flowing through wires even though the breaker is off. That is not supposed to happen but sometimes occurs due to improper wiring done by non-electricians. You should always double check and make sure there is no power to a wire before touching it. We always suggest calling a licensed electrician for all electrical work but if you are going to do something yourself, you can save a lot of aggravation and expense in the future by doing it correctly.

Lisp Speech Therapy – Tongue Placement Exercises to Help Reduce a Lisp

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who has a lisp? Perhaps you have had a conversation with a person with a frontal or lateral lisp. A lisp is described as excessive air escaping through the front of the mouth when a person produce certain speech sounds. This may remind you of certain cartoon characters. Frontal and lateral lisps can be frustrating to the listener and speaker because of the adverse affect it may have on the conversations or the messages the speaker is trying to convey.

Speakers with lisps may have had speech therapy to correct the lisp when they were school-aged. However, it may have not been a major concern when they were children to correct their speech pattern. Therefore, as a child she/he did not practice the therapy techniques given by their school’s speech-language pathologist.

Now, as an adult, they have experienced the restrictions that a frontal or lateral lisp may have on their communication performance. Having a lisp can keep you from getting your dream job, such as, a public speaker, commentator, receptionist, and other professional careers that require speaking to a mass of people. Having a lisp may even be a deterrent when dating. So you see, a lisp can have a negative impact on your overall communication performance.

You may have developed a lisp because of misalignment of your tongue or teeth. Whatever the cause may be, you have developed and continued a habit that has a negative impact on your speaking skills. So how do you correct this negative habit? You may seek your old notes and techniques provided by your school’s speech-language pathologist many years ago. Or, you can consult with a speech-language pathologist to talk about your communication difficulty and how it has prevented you from getting certain jobs. The speech-language pathologist may recommend a speech evaluation to determine the cause of your communication problem. Speech habits can be changed if you work diligently towards accomplishing targeted speech goal(s).

Self Development: “a personal and professional investment.”

Investing in your human communication skills may help you decrease your lisp and maximize opportunities.

Here are 6 steps that may help you reduce your lisp:

1. When your tongue is in the resting position, it should be behind the front top teeth or the front bottom teeth. Your tongue should never rest between your teeth. The only time your tongue should protrude between your teeth is when you are producing words with the /th/ sound, such as “think” and “thank you.”

2. In the resting position, your mouth should be closed and tongue behind your teeth or hard palate, unless you have some kind of medical ailment.

3. Use a straw as much as possible to drink your beverages, however, drinking from a straw can cause gas. Using a straw may help with motor movement and muscle memory. When using a straw your tongue should not protrude forward.

4. Practice picking up a cheerio with the tip of your tongue and placing the cheerio on your hard palate (the top of your mouth behind your teeth), holding it until it dissolves. This exercise is a muscle memory exercise.

5. Practice holding your tongue back when you speak at all times but not with the /th/ sounds. The /th/ sound is the only sound in American English that the tongue comes between your teeth.

6. When producing the /s/ sound at the beginning and ending of words, practice clenching your top and bottom teeth together so that your tongue does not protrude between your teeth. Remember, the only time your tongue should come between your teeth is when you are producing the /th/ sound.

These exercises may reduce your lisp to a minimal thus reducing “noise pollution” so that you may effectively convey your thought or message.

For further information on this matter, please contact a speech-language pathologist to discuss the best strategies to solve your problem.

Please let us know if this information was helpful to you by commenting in the section below. You may also ask us a question in the comment section, scroll down now and comment.

Liberty Lake Appraiser – Case Study on Primary Lake Frontage

My assignment was to appraise an older home that is located next to the lake with primary lake frontage. The home has been updated over the years and offers more square footage than many of the other homes in the area.

The comparable sales were difficult to locate, as the home offered nonconforming square footage and nonconforming age. This means that there are limited sales of homes offering similar square footage or similar age.

After comparing all of the homes in the area and in every single lake that is located in the MLS, it became clear. This is one of the most sought after lakes in the entire area. The market will pay more for primary lake frontage in this area than for any other lake.

I believe the reason is because there is easy access to the lake and the surrounding area. There are many golf courses in the area. This will appeal to families or retirees that have more money and desire access to these amenities. Secondly, this lake offers one of the best locations to CDA, ID and to Spokane, WA with easy freeway access to other cities in this area.

When comparing homes on any other lake, it makes it extremely difficult. It is clear, that value of primary frontage located at Liberty Lake, WA should not be compared to any other Lakes unless the appraiser explains exactly why. Even if they do use other primary lake front homes located on different lakes, the appraiser should lean heavily on homes sold in this area, even if they are older sales.

DIY Style Facades to Simulate a House in the Forest Considered

There are many ways to produce a log home façade without actually having to go to the expense of having to build a real log home. Perhaps, you are unaware, but real log homes are high maintenance, and they must be protected from the elements. Routine maintenance on the exterior of the a long cabin type home are essential, and that means treating and coating the wood, often every few years – otherwise they go back to nature.

Still, there is something romantic about a log cabin or a home made from logs. This is where log siding comes in. Log home siding can be accomplished in many ways. For instance, real logs can be cut on two, three, or four sides or corners making half rounded planks, these make an excellent siding, and a beautiful real log look. But, remember using real logs presents the same challenge as a real log home. Half log siding can be simulated with many other types of materials such as:

Vinyl Log

Steel Log

Aluminum Log

Log cabin siding using simulated log siding from other materials is possible, and many of these materials look very real, in fact you can barely tell the difference until you get up really close. Some folks want to have simulated notch-like corners to their home, rounded notches, even evidence of spline-fasteners – a real log cabin siding look is not easy to muster, but it has been achieved by using high-tech manufacturing processes with steel log siding and aluminum log siding.

With real log homes there are well over 250 manufactures in the US, and they use woods such as white pine, ponderosa pine, cedar, cypress, redwood, and a very few use oak. Luckily, you can have any of these looks as the siding for your home. And if you are a competent and knowledgeable do-it-yourself type, you might even be able to do this log siding installation yourself. The trick to log siding installation is to make sure all the connections and fittings are not visible, and everything fits flush.

If you’ve never done a lot of work around your home, or made additions to your house, and if you know nothing about siding then you should call a contractor to the log siding installation for you. I hope you will consider all this when deciding on the perfect upgrade for your home especially if you decide to do it yourself.

DIY Solar – Soldering Solar Cells

If you are building “solar panels for your home”, one of the most important things to learn is proper soldering of the solar cells. Building your own solar power system can be a very fun project, but if you are having trouble soldering your solar cells then stop right now! When I first started by first attempt to solder, I failed. I thought to my self, “what am I doing wrong”, then I discovered the secret to soldering solar cells. Follow the instructions below for perfectly acceptable soldering techniques.

  1. Cells I use – To start this mini-training series, you need to determine what type of solar cells to use. My own personal preference is the 3 x 6 inch cells that are rated at.5 volts each. I found that these are easier to solder and work with.
  2. Soldering iron – This is one of the trade secrets of the pros, a proper soldering iron. I have found experimenting with different soldering irons and different wattage of heat the best solutions is to use a 40 watt iron. Buy a good heavy-duty iron, I suggest a soldering station with a wipe sponge to keep your tip clean at all times. The tip I prefer has a slight angle to it and can be easily replaced. To not use any tip wider than 1/8th inch.
  3. Solder to use – This is a very important step in soldering solar cells, the proper solder. There are so many different solders on the market that your head will start to spin wondering which one to use. My rule here, KIS (keep it simple). Any electronics supply will carry solder made for electronics projects that will have a low melting point. This is crucial when soldering our cells.
  4. Soldering flux – It is important that when doing a DIY solar project that you use proper flux. The purpose of soldering flux is to condition the metal that we are attaching to, so that the solder will draw or easily attach. Use liquid flux available in pens designed for electronics.
  5. Heat sink – Here is one of the best steps to follow if you want perfect solder connections. If you want to have consistent soldered connections, then I would recommend using a piece of tempered glass. When I build all my solar cells I use ¼ inch tempered glass. I build all my cells by encapsulating them on the glass, so this works great for soldering them also.

First thing you must do is plug your soldering iron in and let it come to the proper heat temperature. Next, prepare your tip for use by applying solder to it and see if it melts easily. The first time you use your iron you must clean your tip by applying solder then pulling it through your wet sponge, this will coat your tip with a glaze of solder. Now you are ready to get started.

I start by making sure my glass is perfectly clean by using some type of glass cleaner. Now take one of your cells face up or the side that faces the sun, this is your negative side when hooking them up. Having already cut your tab wires to the proper length we can start to solder them to the cell.

Apply flux to the two silver strips on the solar cell. Here is a little trick to help make your soldering easier. Use sockets from a socket wrench set to hold down your cell while applying solder; this keeps it in place while preventing warping of the cell. Next, lay your tab wire flat against the silver strip and hold in place using a small flat tip screw driver. Apply a small amount of solder to your soldering iron; this will be all you need since the factory tab wires are already coated with solder. Now draw your soldering tip across the tab wire, you will get the proper feel for this as the solder melts as you move the iron along the solar cell. Keep doing this until you have enough cells to do one complete panel.

After soldering all your negative sides of your cells you are ready to start joining your cells together making your stringers of cells. Turn over one of the recently soldered solar cells then take another one and slide under the tab wires and dab each of the 6 silver solder points with flux, and attach the same way using solder for each of the solder points. Guess what, you have properly soldered your first solar cells!

What is great about this method is that you are already ahead of most people who do not know the proper way to solder solar cells. Just remember, just the right amount and do not leave the heat on to long or you will warp your cell and possibly damaged it.

DIY Solar – Soldering Solar Cells

If you are building “solar panels for your home”, one of the most important things to learn is proper soldering of the solar cells. Building your own solar power system can be a very fun project, but if you are having trouble soldering your solar cells then stop right now! When I first started by first attempt to solder, I failed. I thought to my self, “what am I doing wrong”, then I discovered the secret to soldering solar cells. Follow the instructions below for perfectly acceptable soldering techniques.

  1. Cells I use – To start this mini-training series, you need to determine what type of solar cells to use. My own personal preference is the 3 x 6 inch cells that are rated at.5 volts each. I found that these are easier to solder and work with.
  2. Soldering iron – This is one of the trade secrets of the pros, a proper soldering iron. I have found experimenting with different soldering irons and different wattage of heat the best solutions is to use a 40 watt iron. Buy a good heavy-duty iron, I suggest a soldering station with a wipe sponge to keep your tip clean at all times. The tip I prefer has a slight angle to it and can be easily replaced. To not use any tip wider than 1/8th inch.
  3. Solder to use – This is a very important step in soldering solar cells, the proper solder. There are so many different solders on the market that your head will start to spin wondering which one to use. My rule here, KIS (keep it simple). Any electronics supply will carry solder made for electronics projects that will have a low melting point. This is crucial when soldering our cells.
  4. Soldering flux – It is important that when doing a DIY solar project that you use proper flux. The purpose of soldering flux is to condition the metal that we are attaching to, so that the solder will draw or easily attach. Use liquid flux available in pens designed for electronics.
  5. Heat sink – Here is one of the best steps to follow if you want perfect solder connections. If you want to have consistent soldered connections, then I would recommend using a piece of tempered glass. When I build all my solar cells I use ¼ inch tempered glass. I build all my cells by encapsulating them on the glass, so this works great for soldering them also.

First thing you must do is plug your soldering iron in and let it come to the proper heat temperature. Next, prepare your tip for use by applying solder to it and see if it melts easily. The first time you use your iron you must clean your tip by applying solder then pulling it through your wet sponge, this will coat your tip with a glaze of solder. Now you are ready to get started.

I start by making sure my glass is perfectly clean by using some type of glass cleaner. Now take one of your cells face up or the side that faces the sun, this is your negative side when hooking them up. Having already cut your tab wires to the proper length we can start to solder them to the cell.

Apply flux to the two silver strips on the solar cell. Here is a little trick to help make your soldering easier. Use sockets from a socket wrench set to hold down your cell while applying solder; this keeps it in place while preventing warping of the cell. Next, lay your tab wire flat against the silver strip and hold in place using a small flat tip screw driver. Apply a small amount of solder to your soldering iron; this will be all you need since the factory tab wires are already coated with solder. Now draw your soldering tip across the tab wire, you will get the proper feel for this as the solder melts as you move the iron along the solar cell. Keep doing this until you have enough cells to do one complete panel.

After soldering all your negative sides of your cells you are ready to start joining your cells together making your stringers of cells. Turn over one of the recently soldered solar cells then take another one and slide under the tab wires and dab each of the 6 silver solder points with flux, and attach the same way using solder for each of the solder points. Guess what, you have properly soldered your first solar cells!

What is great about this method is that you are already ahead of most people who do not know the proper way to solder solar cells. Just remember, just the right amount and do not leave the heat on to long or you will warp your cell and possibly damaged it.

Fear of Holes – Trypophobia

Many people think they are the only one in the world who are unnerved by holes. Not all holes mind you, just tiny holes in asymmetrical clusters, often times with things in them. Like a lotus seed pod. Most people when faced with this fear start to feel really uncomfortable and a creepy, itchy feeling crawls over their body.

The types of holes trypophobics fear fall into the following categories;

Flesh

Holes which occur in different types of tissues, human and animal, this is quite a big category. Human pores on their skin, if enlarged, blackheads, pockmarks left by acne or other skin disorders. Holes in skin caused by creatures that may have eaten through the skin creating a hole.

Food

Cheese that has holes may seem the most obvious but there is also honeycomb. In types of meat holes are found and I think these are to allow veins through. There are lots of completely disgusting holes found in various types of offal. I believe that sweetbreads are particularly good for finding holes in.

Flora

Those dried seed pods you get in pot pourri.

Burrowing

This is about things like worms and maggots and stuff eating into things and creating holes in materials and foods.

Geological

Holes that are created naturally like from the ocean creating holes in rocks.

Other

Holes created in ice and snow as it melts.

Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP fast phobia techniques and methods help in quick elimination and eradication of phobia of holes.

NLP shows you how to understand and model your own successes, so that you can reproduce them. It is a way of discovering and unfolding your personal genius, a way of bringing out the best in yourself and others.

NLP is the study of excellence. It is the study of both the conscious and unconscious processes that combine to enable people to do what they do. The key to success is often unknown at a conscious level. Using NLP you can elicit these unknown pieces.

You may want to improve your relationships, or eliminate an anxiety, or become more competitive in the market place. The key pieces are not found in the muscles, but in your inner thoughts, like words or pictures, or feelings or even beliefs. Once you know these unknown pieces you can change them. NLP exercises are like thought experiments, mental exercises or a game. The laboratory is your mind.

So next time you see holes in something spare a thought for the thousands of people that suffer from trypophobia.