Tips & Tricks for Buying Cleaning Contracts

Starting a carpet cleaning company is about more than just acquiring the right equipment – it also takes some marketing prowess. Getting word out about your services is key. And as a business owner, you’re going to have to be savvy in convincing others to contract with your business for their floor cleaning needs. Buying cleaning contracts is one option for carpet cleaning businesses to land consistent business.

Why Contracts Are Important

The great thing about contracts is that it guarantees consistent work for a specific time frame – as long as you continue to do your job accordingly. Contracts are legal agreements between two entities, which in this case is between another business and yours. You can land contracts with hospitals, property managers, schools, government facilities and a number of other customers who may need the type of services you offer regularly.

Bidding on projects is normally how you would win contracts, but again, the other option would be to purchase contracts from others.

Finding Customers Who Are Looking for Your Services

Another reason to look for contracts for sale is because it puts you in the position of gaining business from customers who are already looking for your services. You may even be able to land carpet cleaning jobs with those who want specific equipment, such as steam cleaners or truck mounted machines.

If you’re interested in finding such contracts to buy, then here’s how you can do so.

How to Find Cleaning Contracts

The first step is to research your competitors. Do any of them seem like they will be going out of business soon? These could be opportunities to step in and buy the contracts they have. You can attend local networking events to meet with other floor cleaning companies in your area. You may come across some business owners who are planning to exit soon and are looking for bids on their contracts.

If you meet such individuals, then you’re going to have to act quickly to secure the deal. There will more than likely be quite a few other cleaning companies also interested. In some cases, you may even be able to come to an agreement with the other interested parties that involves splitting up the contracts.

How to Buy Cleaning Contracts

Make sure that everything is written down and documented before agreeing to buy an unwanted cleaning contract from a competitor. It doesn’t matter how great of friends you’ve become – documentation is key.

It’s also recommended that you bring along a lawyer to oversee the drafting of the paperwork and agreements. Some of the things that needs to be in the agreement includes the price of the contract, the terms for payment, non-compete clauses (in case the business owner decides to reenter into the floor cleaning business in the near future).

After finalizing the deal, everyone involved must sign the agreements. Once that’s been taken care of, make it your mission to visit with your new customers to introduce yourself and your company. Provide brochures and other information that can help them to get acquainted with your carpet cleaning business, equipment, prices and services.

Make sure that you begin working on schedule, so that their floor cleanings aren’t interrupted in any way.

What to Look for

Not all contracts are a good deal, so make sure you know what you’re getting into beforehand. What you want to look at includes:

  • The price of the job – find out how much you will be paid by the customer for the work involved.
  • Length of contract – make sure you will get your money back and a profit. Also find out how long the company has been contracting with the customer to ensure it’s legit. If it was a recent deal, then it could be a red flag for a fraudulent deal.
  • Seller-customer relationship – determine if the two are on good terms, so that you don’t pick up a contract that is about to be terminated.

If you’re looking to improve your tile and carpet cleaning equipment and machines to accommodate more business, then make sure to check out many great resources and deals available online.

How to Make a Cool Covered Wagon From Easy-To-Find Supplies!

Build a fun Covered Wagon that actually moves with just a few items you can find around the house. This is a fun craft for kids, parents, teachers and educators to learn to build, and you can make it with very simple supplies. Just follow the instructions, and view the video and photo step-by-step instructions at the below links for more specific information.

Covered Wagon

Always use your imagination and be creative when building this project or any others. It’s your creation, so be inventive when looking for building supplies – you just may be surprised! When building your project, experiment with new and different ways of putting it together. The most important thing is to have fun!

Find these or similar supplies!

* 1/2 gallon juice or milk container

* Cereal box or some cardboard

* Regular masking tape

* Brown paper bag

* 4 plastic container lids

* 1 big straw

* 4 small straw

* 4 feet thin wire (coat hanger)

1. Cut your container!

Start out by cutting your juice or milk container in half. This is fairly difficult to do, so take your time. I usually us a ruler to mark my cut line all the way around before I make any of my cuts. Then I like to use a utility knife and a pair of scissors to make all the cuts. You may have noticed that I used the half with the cap on it. This way, when someone sees my covered wagon, they will know what it was built from.

2. Tape your wagon body!

Next cover your wagon body with tape. I usually spend quite a bit of time on taping my projects so they will look cool. Starting from the bottom up, run your tape all the way around. Then overlap your tape a bit with additional tape and give it another layer. To completely cover the container’s print, you will have to give it 3 or 4 layers of tape. The more time you spend, the nicer the job. Another tip is I always use scissors to cut the tape, trimming, altering and modifying as I go. I also modified the front a little. Its your project, so see what you can come up with.

3. Make the seat!

To make my bench seat I got a little carried away. The simple way is to cut two pieces of cardboard out for the bench sides and glue or tape them in place. Cut one or two rectangle pieces as shown, cover them with tape and attach them to your bench sides. If you feel up to the task you can make some fancy back supports. You can see in my photos that I used some pieces of old shishkabob sticks to make my back rest supports. Then I cut, covered and attached the back rest.

4. Make the cover frame!

Making the cover for your wagon so that it is a covered wagon is pretty simple. You could simply take a piece of paper and cut it to the width that you want and bend it into the shape you like and attach it to the sides of your wagon. You could find some pipecleaners, or a bendable straw. We would love to see what you can come up with.

5. Make the cover!

I cut some straws into 6 small pieces and glued them into the inside of my wagon. You can tape them into place if you like. Then I cut three equal pieces of wire about 14 inches. But you can use anything you’d like… pipecleaner lengths or bendable straws work well too. I carefully bent them into shape and placed them into my straws. I then cut a piece of brown paper bag to fit over my wire supports. After making sure it fit, I crumpled it up so that it looks like old piece of canvas, and I then taped it carefully into place from the inside.

Wheels can definitely be difficult. A simple way to make them is by cutting out four circles from your cardboard box. Maybe even draw spokes and rims on them and then attach them to the sides of your wagon. But if you want your wheels to actually roll, here’s what I did:

6. Make the axles!

Making the rear wheel axle and support is fairly straightforward. I cut a fat straw to the width of the bottom of my wagon, and then taped it onto the bottom as shown in the photo. I then inserted my axle straw into it. Leave your axle straw long and cut it to length when you attach your wheels.

7. Finish the axles!

For my front wheel axle, I decided I didn’t like its location on the wagon bottom… the wheels looked too close together to me. If you like, just repeat step 5 for the front of your wagon bottom. Instead I cut a rectangle piece of cardboard and taped it to the bottom with about an inch hanging out the front. I then taped my axle assembly to it. This is all up to you and how you want your project to look, so have fun and try different things.

8. Attach the wheels!

I attached my wheels using a hot glue gun. However, you could simply tape them on instead. First, I glued the wheels onto one side leaving my axle straw a little long. Next I glued my wheels onto the other side making sure that they were centered as best as possible. VOILA! – You’re finished!

With most projects I build there is never really a point where my project is completely finished. I could keep adding and adding smaller details to it. At some point I stand back, look at it and say COOL! It’s done! Other times I come back and see it and think of something else I could do to it. The point is to is have fun, experiment and try using different materials and ways of putting things together!

What Is A Contactor In An Air Conditioning System? A Bad Contactor Can Lead To Major Failures!

A contactor is defined as an electrical relay used to control the flow of power in a circuit. Many people also refer to them as a relay. A relay is actually defined as a device that responds to a small current or voltage change by activating switches or other devices in an electric circuit. In the real world of heating and air conditioning, what this means is a contactor is capable of handling a higher current than a relay. Relays are usually reserved for small pilot duty applications. Most heating and air conditioning service technicians will not call a contactor a relay.

We will be discussing a typical single pole or double pole contactor as would be found in a modern home using a split system gas furnace with air conditioning or a heat pump. Single poles have only one set of contacts while double poles have two. Single poles are used by many manufacturers of equipment. Single poles only break half the power to the fan motor and compressor while double poles break it all. We feel most heating and air conditioning service technicians probably like breaking both sides, at least we do.

Contactors actually have at least two separate circuits in them. (Some commercial contactors have many circuits). One circuit is the low voltage coil circuit and the other is the load circuit.

The coil circuit in MOST home air conditioning or heat pump systems uses a 24 volt coil, however, there are some systems that use a 230 volt coil in conjunction with a small relay that switches the contactor on and off. These 230 volt coil systems are predominantly on older systems or commercial units these days. Before changing any contactor be sure the correct coil voltage is used or a burnt coil may result. The coil voltage will be marked on a small tag on the side of the contactor. The line/load circuit in the home contactor is used to supply 230 volts to the load side of the equipment from the line side. In other words, the main 230 volt power coming from the power source of the home flows across the contacts in the contactor to the line side (compressor, fan motor and any other component) when the coil is energized by a call from the home thermostat for cooling or in a heat pump for cooling or heating. When the thermostat isn’t calling for the unit to be running, the coil releases and the contacts open causing the compressor and fan motor to stop.

Thousands of on and off cycles however, cause a couple of problems. The most obvious problem is that the contacts themselves get burnt from constantly arching as they open and close the 230 volt connection. Contacts can actually weld themselves closed after a period of time. These thousands of cycles also cause the plastic sliding mechanism to wear. This wear often causes the contactor contacts to stick closed even though the thermostat has stopped sending an electrical signal to the coil. When this happens it usually goes unnoticed by the homeowner and can quickly lead to a frozen evaporator coil and or compressor. When a frozen condition exists the oil in the compressor is also frozen and can’t lubricate the internal parts inside the compressor. This conditions amounts to the same thing as running your vehicle with no oil! The other issue with burnt contacts is that there may be a voltage drop and added heat sent to the compressor and fan motor since the contacts are burnt.

To put things in perspective, changing a contactor is very cheap protection against having to replace a $1,000- $1,500 compressor. Contacts should be examined every year before operating the unit and usually should be replace every five years or so.

DIY Projects for the API Lunchbox

One of the coolest trends in recording equipment in the last decade or so has been the emergence of API’s 500-series “Lunchbox” format. The Lunchbox and other 500-series racks can provide power and housing 6-11 modules in a single 3RU chassis. These racks are great for DIYers like me love building electronics but don’t possess the time, skills, or tools to build their own racks.

Of course, DIYers have found ways to have their own fun with the 500-series. Eisen Audio’s DIY500 was the first module to the scene. It provides a PCB, faceplate, and the other hardware needed to build a transformer in/out, DOA-based (API, Twin Servo, et al) microphone preamp.

The next to arrive were ClassicAPI’s preamps in the vintage API-style. Created by a 1976 API console owner with a penchant for authenticity, the VP25/VP26 and the VP312 are precise clones of original API circuits. ClassicAPI has also worked with other manufacturers to replicate the original API iron and opamps. All of this makes the VPxx to closest thing on the market to a real vintage API preamp, closer even than what is offered by API today.

A couple of years ago some DIYers started talking about creating a modular system specifically for DIY. The result is 51x, a format with the 500-series form factor but with added +/-24v power rails. And last year the 51x Alliance brought out the 51x Alliance 511 Rack, a DIY, 3RU, 11-space rack with the choice for a 2RU power supply. Now the DIY community has their own modular rack with a hefty PSU and the correct voltages to power Neve preamps, a John Hardy DOAs, and so on.

Since the Alliances big announcement, the community has exploded with new modules for the format. Some, such as Don Classics Neve clone, Igor’s SSL buss compressor, and Classic API’s VP312DI have already been release. Others are on their way: [silent:arts] posted pictures of an optical comp based on the D-AOC and Igor intends to release a kit for an 1176-style compressor. Jeff Steiger of ClassicAPI has even started work on a 500-series/51x console (!!!) with the first draft of a “second stage” fader and filter unit already announced. It’s a great time to Do It Yourself!

Iranian Marriages and Iranian Temporary Marriages

The majority of the population of Iran follows the “Shia” beliefs of Islam. Most Iranians follow the primary branch of Shia Islam called “Ithna Ashariyyah” (or “Twelvers” in English). Iran’s Shia population constitutes almost 90-95% of its Muslim population and almost 40% of the entire world’s Shia population.

“Sunni” Islam is the other major branch of Islam. Majority of the world’s Muslims are Sunnis and they constitute between 80-90% of the global Muslim population. Shias believe that Ali, who was Prophet Mohammed’s first cousin and son-in-law was his true successor, whereas Sunni’s believe that after Prophet Mohammed, the first four Caliphs were his rightful successors.

The institution of Shia marriage involves Pillars (“Arkan”) and “Statutes” (“Ahkam”). The pillars of marriage are “Sigha” (Formula) and “Mahall” (Persons). Other branches of Islam have additional pillars regarding Guardianship and Witnesses, but these are not entirely applicable to Shia marriages.

The “Sigha” (Formula) states that marriage is a legalized contract (“‘aqd“). There is a declaration (“ijab“) by the woman that she proposes to get married to a man and acceptance (“qabul“) by the man to take her as his wife.

The “Mahall” (Persons) lays down rules when a woman and man can not marry. Marriage is not allowed between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man, with blood relatives, with relations by marriage, with two sisters, with a foster mother who wet nurses a child, if the man already has four wives, if the man and woman have been previously divorced and the woman has not remarried and divorced.

Marriage statutes include Dower (“Mahr“), Support (“Nafaqa“) and Annulment (“Faskh“). The Dower/Dowry can be in the form of cash, property or other assets that belong to the husband. The Dower is given to the wife at the time of the marriage. Support indicates how the wife is treated (including food, clothes, shelter, etc) once she lives with her husband. Annulment relates to the annulment of the marriage in case of a disability. Disabilities can be mental or physical and can include insanity, impotence, leprosy, etc.

Shias allow a form of temporary marriage called “Nikah Mut’ah“. The duration of the marriage is fixed at the start of the marriage and the marriage gets annulled at the end of the period. This form of temporary marriage (“Mut’ah“) is mainly observed in Iran. There are four pillars of a Mut’ah (sourced from Murata (1987)); the first two, “Formula” and “Persons”, are similar to a permanent marriage. The third pillar is “Duration” (“Mudda“) and the fourth pillar is “Dower“. The Mut’ah must have a stipulated time period with a date on which it will be annulled and it must have a Dower/Dowry.

Most Islamic countries do not recognize temporary marriages. Most Western countries not only do not recognizetemporary marriages, they also do not recognize polygamy. Consider the case of an Iranian family that wants to immigrate to the USA. If there is more than one wife in the family, the man of the family will be able to take only one wife and will have to show to the US authorities that he has divorced his other wives. What complicates matters further is that diplomatic ties between Iran and USA are practically non-existent. Since the US does not have an embassy in Iran, Iranian applicants who want to immigrate to the US have to travel to Switzerland or UAE or Turkey. Furthermore, Iranian legal documents, such as marriage/divorce certificates, academic records, etc are in Farsi and the applicant has to provide Farsi certified translations for these documents.

CNC Milling Machine Parts and Components

When you are looking for CNC milling machine parts and components there are a variety of places where you can find them. There are many Internet sites and the machines come in a variety of prices.

Depending on the type of machine you need the price can be steep but there are many small machines that can do the same job if you are looking at this as part of a small business or a hobby. Also, you can buy a machine to cut metal or wood, to do fancy scroll work or to do engraving on metals and other applications.

You can decide whether you will purchase a brand new machine or a used one. Most people do not suggest buying a used one because you aren’t sure what you are getting but buying other types of machines like CNC routers seem to be a good idea because of the cost.

All CNC Milling machines contain the following parts:

– Axis — depending on the type of CNC milling machine it could have anywhere from one to six axis which will also determine the size and what it is supposed to do.

– Column — the column is what travels along an axis that holds the part that mills or cuts.

– Control panel — the part that holds the computer keyboard (sometimes small, other times large) where you program the G-Codes into the machine.

– Cutting tool — the cutting tool is attached to the column and is the part that actually cuts the piece in the way that the operator specifies.

– Spindle — the spindle holds the cutting tool in place.

– Coolant supply tubes — these are the tubes where they coolant is pumped through in order to keep the metal cool and the cutting tool lubricated.

– Table — the table is the area that the workpiece will be attached to either using a clamp or a vacuum. This is where the workpiece will sit while being milled.

There are several different types of milling machines that can be found and they are small or large depending on what they do. Here are a few:

Vertical CNC mills have a vertical spindle axis. This means that the cutters that do the milling are held vertically in the spindle and they rotate on the spindle’s axis. In this type you can extend the spindle or the table to make drilling or plunge cuts. Bed mills and Turret mills fall into this category.

Horizontal CNC mills have the same type of table as vertical CNC mills but their cutters are mounted on an arbor that sits across the table horizontally.

Hobbyists will most likely use a box mill which is mounted to a bench and basically moves up and down. Knee mills have an x-y table and its moves up and down the column. It can be adjusted with what is called a vertically adjustable knee. Many larger industries use the C-Frame mill because it is the most conducive for larger work. They are only vertically mobile and it used a fixed spindle head for that movement.

Why You Should Buy A Mobile Wireless Charger

Despite the idea that many of us are resigned to the fact that there will always be an untidy mess of wires from all of our gadget chargers, eternally cluttering up our homes, it does not have to be that way. It is now possible to buy one inexpensive and easily storable device that is able to charge many of your devices at once.

Mobile wireless charger pads are one of the latest gadgets to hit the market. Although the science behind wireless charging is not new, technologists have recently managed to develop wireless chargers that enable you to simply place a device onto a charging mat in order to charge it up. Although the mobile wireless charger mat has one wire to plug the device into the wall, there are no wires at all between the charging pad and the gadgets that you are recharging! All you need to do is attach a tiny clip, accessory or case (depending on the brand of charger you choose) to your mobile phone or other rechargeable device, and lay it onto the charging mat. These pads can help reduced all that clutter down to just one wire and a small stylish pad or mat.

They are simple to use; all you have to do is put your device onto the mat, and it should start charging. One of the best things about these pads is that you can charge more than one device (MP3 player, camera, mobile phone etc) at once! Many mobile wireless chargers are able to charge up to three things at one time. Once this charger is plugged in, simply place your device onto the mat and it should charge as quickly as it would with its standard charger.

Other advantages of mobile wireless charger pads are that they are very portable; some charging mats designed for travel even roll up. This means that you do not have to take all your individual chargers with you when you go away. Because there are no wires, you can still use your mobile phone whilst it is charging without any danger of getting an electric shock; as long as you keep it close enough to the mat to allow it to continue charging. The mats are also very durable, and should last for years if treated with respect, so you should be able to attach the adaptation accessories to any new mobile phone or gadget that you purchase in the future.

Chair Mat Benefits and Types

When working in an office on a computer it is vital that you invest in a chair mat. It will help you by not allowing static to get to the computer. If static goes through your computer you can lose valuable information and work as well as wreck havoc on your computer. It works by eliminating the static from the person before he or she touches the computer.

Chair mats also keep the desk area clean and new looking. You will save the life of your carpeting simply by using it. Many people drink soda, coffee and/or eat at their desk and mishaps will occur. Wet or muddy shoes will also damage your floor over time. For a small investment, you take out the worry of accidents. One can easily wipe up spills with a cloth on the plastic surface.

It will also help the person working at the desk by not having to struggle to move from one area to the next. This way, the chair easily glides across the floor versus having to struggle to push around with one’s leg muscles. Repetitive pushing with one’s leg muscles can cause leg pain and back pain.

Many quality mats have protective edges that are made so people do not trip on them. Most chair mats come in a variety of sizes to fit your office needs.

Here are the types of chair mats to be aware of:

White chair mat – You may want these as the mat will fit right under your desk and let you slide on the wheels of your office chair with ease. Get your work done quicker and safer by using one.

Clear chair mat – You can select a one to make the chair mat less noticeable. Some people prefer the clear variety so that the office rug shows through. Or maybe you have wooden floors in your office that you want to show off. No matter what your particular style of flooring at your place of business, the clear office mat will practically and invisibly fit in anywhere.

Chair mats for carpets – These come with a lip to slide under your desk. On the bottom of the chair mat there are tiny textured “dots” to hold the chair mat in place. The textured dots grip the carpeting so that the mat will not slide around. The top of the mat is not slippery when walking on it, yet will let a person slide around on their wheeled chair with ease.

Chair mat for hard floors – Keep your wood floor, vinyl wood floor, etc., looking newer longer with a white or clear mat for hard surface floors. The wheels of the chair become dirty and can leave stains. By using one you will avoid such a mess. The mat for hard floors also has a safe edge all around it so people will not trip on them.

Keep your hard work on the computer safe. Also, wheel around the carpeting, wood, tile or other type of flooring with ease to get maximum work done. Keep your floors looking clean and beautiful by using a chair mat.

Techniques in Rug Making

Rugs are often interchanged with carpets. Although given that there is a wide range of designs to choose from, unlike wall-to-wall carpets that area permanently attached, rugs don’t only serve as a kind of flooring but it can also be a decorative additions to dull walls inside a home. So how is it really made?

Rug making is a prehistoric art and craft that would probably not go out of date. It goes way back and evolves through time. It is a skill that was involves a lot of techniques and procedures. It may seem challenging for one to do but considering that it was established back in the days where there is not much technology and machines to help people with their everyday lives, people have found a way to make it less difficult. So what are these techniques that were used during the ancient times and are still being used until today?

Rug-hooking has been around for at least two centuries. In ancient times, it was a craft most commonly done by people experiencing scarcity: Poor communities. And since that is so, they would often search their homes for scrap materials to be used, usually snippets of used fabrics. And while women from rich families where enrolled in schools teaching quilting and embroidery, deprived women would use whatever materials they found accessible to make their own home-made floor coverings. Customary hooking of rugs is a process involving loops of fabric, specifically wool, being pulled all the way through a backing material. This technique is identified as Traditional rug hooking. It uses a tool similar to a crochet hook that is mounted in a wood handle for support.

On the other hand braiding is a technique that is most familiar and probably common to ones ears. The process starts from the center working its way out until the desired size of the rug is achieved. Similar to braiding your child’s hair, this technique most often uses three or more strips of cloths or fabrics but can also be possible using thick yarns, sewing the braids together to keep it intact. Braided rugs are most commonly elliptical than rectangular in shape.

The word Crochet is derived from the French word croc that means a hook. Crocheted rugs are made of thick fabrics or threads using a sizeable hook. Just like the traditional rug hooking, the process of crocheting involves loops being pulled but this time instead of pulling through a backing material the fabrics are being pulled through other loops which is very similar to knitting. Crocheting isn’t just for area rugs. In fact, in early times it is considered a livelihood by most families creating garments and mantles.

Braiding, Crocheting, and Hooking are just some techniques in the art of rug-making. There are more others like needle-punching, and weaving that area used in the process. Each technique requires tools and materials that are probably similar to one another. How ever hard rug-making is, one thing is for sure. It requires a special skill that if one does not possess; he or she will not succeed in this field: PATIENCE.

The Best Way to Remove a Guacamole Stain From Carpet

Having parties can be a lot of fun, at least until someone spills something all over your carpet. If one of your favorite party snacks is guacamole, like mine, you may know about those bright green stains on your carpet that start to turn brown over time. Here is the best way to remove a guacamole stain from carpet, so you can enjoy your party again.

Deal with the stain as quickly as possible. You may not want to get down on your hands and knees during the party and start scrubbing away, but at the very least make sure to scrape up as much of the guacamole as possible from the carpet. While scraping it be careful not to spread the stain further. If you can’t deal with it right away, at the very least keep the stain moist by placing a damp paper towel over the area, to help ensure the stain does not set while you continue on with the party.

Use a dishwashing liquid cleaning solution to blot at the guacamole stain. When you are ready to tackle the stain, like right after the party guests leave, mix a solution of 2 cups cool water and one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Using this stain removal solution blot at the carpet stain with a clean white cloth, until the stain is removed.

If that does not completely remove the stain try a stronger solution using ammonia. Hopefully the dishwashing solution will work to remove the guacamole from the carpet, but if not you can try a stronger solution of two cups water mixed with one tablespoon of ammonia to use for blotting at the carpet stain. Always test this stain removal solution in an inconspicuous area of the carpet before applying directly to the stained area. Blot at the carpet with this solution until the stain is removed.

Remove the cleaning solutions and dry the carpet thoroughly. Whichever cleaning solutions you end up using must be removed from the carpet by blotting with water to rinse away the chemicals. You may also want to neutralize the ammonia solution by spraying the carpet with a solution of one tablespoon vinegar with two cups cool water. Next, make sure to allow the carpet to dry thoroughly for 24-48 hours. You can aid in drying the carpet by placing a white cloth over the damp carpet, and laying a heavy object on the cloth. This will help wick moisture from the carpet into the cloth to help it dry more quickly.

Technical Writing – FrameMaker – Display Conditional Text in FM by Using a Single Text Block

You want to display different versions of the same text in a FrameMaker technical document.

You’d like to toggle different versions on and off.

There is one condition however: you do not want to use multiple copies of the same text block (with perhaps different paragraph tags assigned to them) for fear of messing up the formatting of your pages.

How would you do it?

It’s simple, but you need to watch out for the simple tricks explained in this article.

For example, let’s take this hypothetical case: how to display the same text in different colors without changing its paragraph tag?

1. Create as many Conditional Text conditions as you like. Let’s say; Blue and Red, turning the selected texts into blue and red, respectively.

2. Select your text and apply ALL the conditions to the same text. The resultant color may be something like Pink. That’s okay.

3. Do this to all your target texts (or apply the copy-and-paste trick explained at the bottom of this page). Now you can de-select everything. Your main document does not need to be selected at all in order to turn on and off different colors as explained below.

4. Click the Show/Hide button in the Conditional Text dialog box to display the Show/Hide Conditional text dialog box.

5. Move into the Show list-box the condition that you want to make active. Click Set to turn the color of all previously “conditioned” set of texts to your selected color.

6. IMPORTANT: To shift to another color, you first have to move ALL conditions back to the Hide list-box. This will cause all text to disappear momentarily.

7. Move into the Show list-box the NEW condition that’d like to be active. Click Set to turn the color of all previously “conditioned” set of texts to the NEW color.

COPY and PASTE TRICK: You can copy and paste the “conditioned” text as long as you also copy and paste the PARAGRAPH MARK at the end of the text. The conditioning information is embedded not in the text itself but the paragraph mark that follows it (just like in MS Word).

That way you can assign multiple conditions to only one block of text; copy and paste it with its paragraph mark; and then type over the pasted and “conditioned” piece of text any new content you want.

Removing Glass Splashbacks

Seams. Imperfections. Cracks and chips. Although glass splashbacks are both modern and attractive, if they are improperly installed, they will eventually have to be removed and replaced. Splashbacks cannot be reused because each design is specifically rendered for that space. Cutting, or splicing an existing splashback with another will make the new splashback more susceptible to cracks and seams. Also, it is hard to exactly match the new splasback with the old.

Cracks, Chips and Color

Removing a colored glass splashback that has imperfections is important. Do not splice it with a new one as matching the color will be nearly impossible. The tint is unique to each splashback and therefore incredibly difficult to recreate. Gaps are another possibility as affixing another piece of glass to an existing one creates pockets in the adhesive around the borders of the two pieces. Each glass piece is essentially an individual piece of work and cannot be exactly created with another piece.

Removing the Old Piece

No surprises here. Use a jigsaw, chipping tool or small crowbar to lift the edges first. Do not attack the middle of the piece as you might go into the wall behind the splashback. Start at the edges first and gradually work your way to the middle taking pieces away as you move closer to the center. Removing the splashback in pieces is also a good way to make sure the surrounding area isn’t damaged in the process. Removing glass or tile requires the same process but the caution comes with keeping the butting wall damage-free.

Some glass splashback companies include the removal of the previous material in their installation costs, but each company is different. However, if you are installing a new splasback inquire about removal costs first before doing it yourself because if anything happens to the butting wall, you won’t be held responsible. Check glass splashbacks London or glass splashback UK on the web for more inquires.

Disadvantages Of Hair Extensions And Bonding

Hair bonding uses glue to bond the extensions to your existing hair, but can also be glued to your scalp. You can visit your nearest salon and find out the different types of human hair extensions that they are capable of doing. Taking proper care of human hair extensions is very important if you want your hair extension to last for a long time.

The greatest disadvantages of individual strands are:

o Application of foreign chemical or metal substances or objects to your hair;

o Hair damage during the removal of the extensions;

o Inability to use certain hair care products in order not to damage extensions or your own hair.

Future videos will include techniques for hair extensions for professionals and consumers, perming, barbering, coloring, bridal looks, braiding, ethnic hair and straightening just to name of few. You will have 2 basic choices for hair extensions.

Some of the topics available include the tousled look, mid length cut, retro fashion Mohawk, layers with long hair, shine and texture, Spanish look with extensions, texturizing short hair, heavy layered cut, hair color, wedding updo and 5 tail chignon among many others. It also features articles on the care of hair extensions and hair loss information. Human hair extensions are extremely popular with both the younger generation as well as people who are a bit aged.

Hair weaves are another form of hair extensions and can also be made out of synthetic or natural hair. Your hair extensions will not receive the natural scalp oils so you will need to add moisturizing to your routine. It is best to go for a well-known maker of hairpieces and extensions, such as Diva in a Box, Put On Pieces or Raquel Welch.

Jessica Simpson is known for her beautiful hair, but her stylist Ken Paves uses extensions to keep that famous Jessica Simpson Sedu hairstyle. Clip-in extensions are perfect if you want to turn your hair into beautiful flowing locks instantly. No matter where you located your hair extension salon, make sure that your stylist is qualified to apply the extensions.

Auto Air Conditioning Repair 101

When your car or truck A/C is not blowing “cold air”, the first thought is to panic. $$$$ signs are going through your mind. Your A/C is broken and the repair is going to be expensive. This article takes the mystery out of automotive air conditioning and serves as a primer so that you can make common repairs yourself and save MONEY on professional repairs.

A/C Principles

There are books and publications that contain volumes of information on the subject of air conditioning repair. This information is often too technical for the you to learn how-to fix your auto air conditioning system.

In the nutshell, here is all that you need to know about the fundamentals of refrigeration so that you can fix your auto air conditioning system yourself.

Air conditioning is the process in which air inside the passenger compartment is cooled, dried, and circulated. Heat is removed from inside the vehicle and transferred to the outside air.

All air conditioners whether, it is an auto A/C, household refrigerator or home HVAC, work on the same principles. Namely, a liquid refrigerant is changed to a gas and then back to a liquid. If a change-of-state of the refrigerant is to take place, heat transfer must take place. The two (2) rules that apply to refrigerant are:

1. Refrigerant in a gaseous state collects, absorbs, and holds heat.

2. Refrigerant in a liquid state releases that heat.

A/C Operation and Components

For your auto A/C to blow “cold air”, R-134A refrigerant must pass through and change state in three (3) components, one (1) receiver-dryer, and one (1) expansion valve that makes up the closed auto air conditioning system. The components of the system are:

1. Compressor – A device that pressurizes the heated refrigerant..

2. Condenser – A radiator for refrigerant that transfers the heat that was absorbed in the passenger compartment to the cooler air.

3. Evaporator – Is a small radiator located under dash in the passenger compartment. Liquid refrigerant entering the evaporator creates a pressure loss. The liquid refrigerant absorbs heat from the air blowing across the evaporator. It then boils and changes state to vapor before it enters the suction port of the compressor.

4. Receiver-Dryer – Is a canister that stores the liquid refrigerant when the compressor is not running. It contains a desiccant that removes moisture from the system.

5. Expansion Valve – Is a metering device that controls the amount of refrigerant to the evaporator.

A/C Quick Check

A check that can easily be made to check the health of the A/C system is the “feel check”. With engine running, turn the auto A/C control to “ON” and the blower on “high”. Take a test drive to warm the engine until the A/C system pressures stabilize. Raise the hood. With the A/C “On”, locate the large tubing connected and routed from the compressor (low side) to the expansion valve (inlet side) of the evaporator. Next, locate the small tubing that is connected to the discharge-side of the compressor and routed to the outlet side of the evaporator. When you feel these two (2) lines, you should observe these results:

1. The low-side line should feel “cool” to the touch.

2. The high-side line should feel “warm” to the touch.

If the high-side tubing is not warm and the low-side is not cool, further tests will have to be made as the system is not doing any work. There is an internal problem; such as, a defective component or a leak in your A/C system.

Testing A/C System

Before system temperature tests can be made, a checklist should be followed (below) to setup for testing the A/C system:

1. Set the A/C “ON-OFF” switch to “ON”.

2. Set the temperature control to “maximum cooling”.

3. Set the blower on “high” or the highest number on the control switch.

4. Temperature inside passenger compartment should be stable and getting cooler.

5. Engine speed must be a minimum of 1500 rpm’s.

6. All windows should be be in the “UP” position.

Check Temperature

Your compact car or truck has a small capacity A/C system and a loss of “cooling” would be more noticeable than a larger capacity auto A/C system. If a noticeable loss of “cooling” capacity is noticed, a temperature check at the vent registers should be made. This check can be made with an instant read or digital temperature thermometer.. The discharge air from the vents in the passenger compartment should range from 38 to 42 degrees F.

A/C System Diagnosis

Assuming that the discharge air test measured at the vent registers is out-of-range, a system pressure test will have to be made. Professional A/C technicians connect a tool known as the manifold gauge set to the “low” and “high” side service valves of the system. For you to diagnose and look inside the A/C, it will be necessary to become proficient in the use of the manifold gauge set.

A manifold gauge set that is suitable for the needs can be purchased at most auto supply stores and Internet A/C tool and supply store fronts for less than $50.00. TIP: Look for a gauge set that has a built-in sight glass.

Locate the “low” and “high” side service valves.. Connect the hoses (they are a snap connector fit) to the service valves in the following manner:.

1. Connect the blue hose of the gauge set to the “low-side” service valve of the compressor.

2. Connect the red hose of the gauge set to the “high-side service valve of the compressor.

3. The yellow hose of the gauge set is connected to a vacuum pump or a refrigerant can to add refrigerant to the system. The yellow hose is not connected to the system at this time.

Static Test

If you find an out-of-range temperature reading, the manifold gauge set should be installed on the “low” and “high-side” service valves. With the engine “OFF” and the compressor and clutch not engaged, the blue “low-side” and red “high-side” gauges should show equal readings of approximately 80 to 120psi. These readings would indicate that there is a refrigerant charge in your A/C system. If the readings were 50psi on each gauge, this would indicate that there is refrigerant in the system but a LOW CHARGE. If the readings were 10 to 20psi on each gauge would indicate that there is little or no refrigerant in your A/C system.

Engine Running Test

Start the engine,.turn the A/C switch”ON” with the blower on “high” and run for a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes. Observe the reading on the manifold gauge set. TIP: A manifold gauge set with a built-in sight glass (mentioned above) will save you diagnostic time as most A/C systems do not have a sight glass built-in the receiver-dryer on the high side of the system.

With this feature, you look for bubbling refrigerant oil and refrigerant in the sight glass on the manifold. Oil moving through the glass would indicate that the compressor and clutch are engaged. Refrigerant is being moved from the low-side throughout the A/C system in the refrigeration cycle.

Low Charge

With the engine running, A/C switch “ON”, and the manifold gauge set installed, a “low-side” pressure reading of 20psi over 150psi would indicate that your A/C system has a LOW CHARGE. The low reading of 150psi on the “high-side” gauge would be the tell tale that the system is doing very little work. A LOW CHARGE usually is an indicator that there is a refrigerant leak from a component on the “low” or “high-side” of the A/C system. A refrigerant leak in the system would have to be repaired for the A/C system to blow “cold air”. TIP: REFRIGERANT DOES NOT WEAR OUT, IT LEAKS OUT. Some symptoms to look for a LOW CHARGE condition are:

1. Compressor clutch short cycling.

2. Clutch will not engage.

3. Little or no cooling.

4. Oily residue on hoses and components.

Leak Checking

For your A/C system to blow “cold air”, refrigerant leaks will have to be found and repaired. Usually, leaks in an A/C system are minor and can be fixed with a screwdriver or hand tools. Most A/C systems use schrader valves for easy connection of the manifold gauge set. That said, these are no more than overgrown bicycle valves that use a valve core. When you are checking a system, the valves are the first place check for a leak. Other targets; such as, oil residue on hoses connected to the compressor is the second place that should be checked. TIP: When tightening the bolts to the suction and discharge ports of the compressor with hand tools, do not over tighten. Rubber 0-rings are placed on the suction and discharge ports of the compressor for sealing. The seals will create a leak when over tightened. Only tighten snug.

When your A/C system has a LOW CHARGE, a refrigerant charge will have to added to check for the leak. Refrigerant that contains a dye for leak checking a system is used for this purpose. The manifold gauge set, refrigerant, and a can tap valve will be needed to add refrigerant to check for a leak in the system.

Connect the manifold gauge set as discussed above. Connect the yellow hose to the can tap valve and front seat (turn clockwise) the valve. Close the blue gauge on the manifold gauge set. Open the valve on the can tap valve. Slowly open the valve on the blue or “low-side” gauge and let the refrigerant flow from the refrigerant can into the system until you see a reading of 60psi on the “low-side” gauge. TIP: Placing the refrigerant can in a pan of hot water will allow the vapor refrigerant to enter the A/C system quicker. WARNING: Do not invert the refrigerant can. Doing so will allow liquid refrigerant to enter the system resulting in a ruined compressor.

Professional A/C technicians use an electronic leak detector to find leaks in an system. Use a battery-powered UV leak detector kit and special UV glasses. This kit can be purchased at auto supply stores and Internet A/C supply store fronts.

The UV glasses should be worn when checking for leaks. Simply place the tip of the detector on a fitting or connection to each component to be checked in the A/C system. When a leak is found, a light greenish color will be seen through the UV glasses.

Air Flow

An often overlooked cause of your A/C system not blowing “cold air” is debris that clogs the condenser. Bugs, plastic bags, and leaves from city and highway driving will prevent air from passing through the fins of the condenser. The condenser should be cleaned with a cleaning solvent. Bent fins on the condenser should be straightened with a fin comb.


A restriction is a condition that is a blockage. Usually, it is traced to the outlet side of the condenser. Some form of debris has formed causing a restriction of refrigerant flow through the condenser tubes.. The passages in the tubes of most condensers that are used in compact cars and trucks are very small. An effective way to diagnose a restriction in your A/C system is the manifold gauge set. The “high-side” (red) gauge would move into the DANGER zone, over 300psi.

System Repairs

When a system has been opened, and a component removed, moisture has entered the system. For your A/C to blow “cold air”, that moisture will have to be removed with the aid of a vacuum pump.

At this stage of the repair, you have two (2) choices to finish the repair of your A/C system. The first choice is take the car or truck to an A/C professional. At their shop, they will evacuate the system, check your work, and recharge the A/C system for a fee.

The second choice is to repair your A/C system yourself. You will need to borrow or buy a vacuum pump to finish the repair. A small 2-stage vacuum pump that is designed for automobile refrigeration systems is available for less than $100.00.

After replacing a component, moisture has entered the system during the repair. For the A/C system to blow “cold air” the moisture will have to be removed. Install the manifold gauge set to your car or truck service valves as described above. After repairs, your A/C system is evacuated and recharged by applying the below steps:

1. Blue hose to the “low-side” service valve.

2. Red hose to the “high-side service valve.

3. Yellow hose to the suction port of the vacuum pump.

4. Close the hand valve to the vacuum pump.

5. Back seat (open) the hand valves on the blue and red gauges of the manifold gauge set.

6. Connect the electrical power to the vacuum pump.

7. Open the hand valve on the vacuum pump.

8. Run the vacuum pump for three (3) minutes.

9. The needle on the “low-side” gauge (blue) show should be in a vacuum at 28.3hg.

10. A system with no leaks will pull a vacuum of 28.3hg in three (3) minutes.

11. If the needle of the blue gauge did not fall to 28.3hg, the evacuation will have to be aborted as there is a leak in your car or truck A/C system.

12. The leak will have to be found in the A/C system using the UV detector and UV glasses.

13. Once the leak has been found and repaired, continue the evacuation steps as described above for 25 minutes.

14. Front seat (close) the hand valves on the blue and red gauges and observe the needle on the blue gauge.

15. The needle should hold steady at 29hg, indicating a tight system with no leaks.

16. Any needle movement toward “0” on the blue “low-side” gauge would indicate a leak in the system and the evacuation would have to be aborted and conduct a search for the leak.

16.Look in the owners manual or service manual for the factory recommended refrigerant charge. It is usually from 16 to 28 ounces.

17.Attach the can tap valve to a can of refrigerant Make sure that the tap valve hand valve is front seated (closed).

18. Turn the A/C control switch to the “ON” position and blower switch to “high”.

19. Start the engine and run at 1500rpm’s.

20. Place the refrigerant can in a pan of hot water. Warning: Do not invert the can for this process as liquid would enter the system and ruin the reed valves of the compressor.

21. Continue this process until the factory charge (approximately 2 1/2 cans) has entered the system.

22. Shutoff your car or truck engine and let the A/C system stabilize. When the readings on the red and blue gauges are equal, remove the blue “low-side” hose from the service valve.

23. Restart the engine and remove the red “high-side” hose from the service valve.

24. Close the hood and take your car or truck for a three (3) mile test drive.

25. Place an instant read or digital thermometer in the vent register in the passenger compartment.

26. The temperature should range from 38 to 42 degrees F on a 90-degree day.

Tools and Materials

1. Manifold gauge set

2. Vacuum pump

3. Hand tools

4. Battery powered UV leak detector

5. Can tap valve

6. 134A refrigerant dye

7. 134A refrigerant

8. Instant read temperature thermometer

9. Digital temperature thermometer

Stone Retaining Walls – Tuckpoint Them to Preserve Them

What are the common problems – An old stone retaining wall that was well constructed can last hundreds of years… no kidding. Even the best built walls though will eventually succumb to the powers of Mother Nature and will at some point need some type of repair. Generally that repair is the re-setting of a few loose stones and the replacement of missing or deteriorated mortar joints.

Pressure wash to remove dirt and loose material – The first step in the tuckpointing process is to thoroughly pressure wash the wall. This not only removes dirt, mold and soot but the pressurized water will etch the surface of the joints which will aid in the bonding of the replacement pointing mortar.

Care should be taken not to get to close to the wall. It may take a few minutes to figure out the distance needed to get the best cleaning action without destroying the wall itself!

Fill in all mortar joints if you can – Whenever I have a stone tuckpointing job I always try to convince the customer to completely point in all the mortar joints. There are three reasons for this.

The first reason is that most walls have a rake joint so it is easy to point in over the existing mortar.

The second reason is that the color of all the new pointing mortar will be the same since all the joints will be tuckpointed. This prevents problems when the customer is expecting the new joints to match the old joints perfectly; something everyone wants but most are not willing to pay for.

The third reason is that you can use a grout back to fill in the joints which allows for quicker installation time and more value for the dollar spent, so the customer gets more bang for his dollars.

Mixing of the tuckpointing mortars – Since I typically use a grout bag I mix my mortar fairly loose or wet. I also use a bonding agent which will help initially with water dispersion throughout the mix but will become problematic on hot days due to the drying of the mortar in the grout bag.

So good advice is to keep the mortar loose and periodically clean and dampen your grout bag to remove any hardened material. This will allow you to apply even pressure as you grout the joints to a consistent thickness and make the application simpler and easier.

Squeezing the mortar into place – How to place the tuckpointing mortar can be done in numerous ways but the grout bag is the most productive. I start at one end of the wall and begin filling all of the deep holes in the wall with new mortar making sure it is about the same height as the existing mortar joints.

When I have finished with the deep holes I go back to the beginning and start grouting every joint. I let the new mortar stand ‘proud’ and ‘ride high’ above the face of the existing stone. This allows ample material when I push the mortar back into the joint.

Finishing the tuckpointing – After I have grouted a sufficient area I take a fat tuckpointer of ¾” or larger, depending on the joint size and start to push the mortar into the joint between the stones. This tightens the joint and closes off any voids that may have been missed during the grouting process.

Immediately after I take my tooling iron and ‘finish the joint out’ with the desired joint type such as flat, beaded or grapevine finish. Then when a light crust has formed over the new joints I take a soft brush and brush away any loose tags and smooth the joints out.

As with all masonry repairs the process isn’t too difficult however if you want your work to be presentable and to look nice, you must pay attention to the details!