How To Report Your Inventory To The IRS At Tax Time When Your Are Self-Employed

If you work for yourself and make or buy items for resale, according to current IRS rules you have inventory expenses to report. Every business owner is required to report those expenses on the back of their Schedule C tax form because inventory costs are not deducted in the same manner as other normal business expenses.

Because of this, the IRS requires that every business, no matter how small, track inventory expenses separate from all other business costs. Your inventory expenses not only includes the cost you pay for those resale items, or all of the pieces needed to assemble the items, but it also includes all shipping charges and wages paid for assembly.

You are not allowed to deduct inventory expenses until an item is sold or otherwise permanently removed from your business inventory. All unsold inventory costs must be carried forward into the following tax year. Unsold inventory includes everything you have not sold, traded, trashed, given away or donated. It also includes all inventory items sitting in stores and warehouses that have been sold on consignment.

There is a small section on the back of the Schedule C small business tax form where you fill in the value of your opening inventory, the cost of all inventory added during the current tax year, any inventory removed for personal use, and your end of year inventory value.

For IRS inventory records that will survive a tax audit I have devised a formula called LATER – List, Account, Total, Evaluate and Report. Here’s how it works:

LIST – Write down all items purchased for resale as those items arrive. Make a simple six vertical column chart on lined paper; I use a spiral notebook. Title those six columns as follows:

  • Item Name
  • Total Cost
  • Number of Sellable Items
  • Per Item Cost
  • Remaining Inventory
  • End of Year Value

Fill out the first three columns as items arrive. To get the per item cost divide the total cost of each item by the number of sellable items and write that amount in column four. You will fill in the last two columns on the last business day of the tax year.

ACCOUNT – On the last day of the tax year account for all unsold inventory; both on your shelves and out for sale on consignment. Enter this count for each item as remaining inventory.

TOTAL – Multiply your remaining inventory count by your per item cost for each item and enter that value in the final column. Total everything in the second and last columns. The first figure is the total spent to add merchandise and the second your end of year inventory value.

EVALUATE – Look over all remaining inventory to evaluate its quality and shelf life. Remove all unsellable merchandise to be trashed, donated or reserved for use in future promotions. Deduct the value of any inventory trashed or donated. Items used for future promotions will be deducted when used.

REPORT – On the back of your Schedule C tax form you will find a place to enter the total of all merchandise added and your end of year inventory. Add the tax year’s opening inventory and merchandise added together, and subtract your remaining inventory value to fill in the cost of goods sold.

This year’s end of year inventory value becomes the following tax year’s opening inventory value.

Take the time to make this simple six column inventory chart at the start of the tax year, follow the LATER formula, and you’ll get those inventory deductions right every time.

Trampoline Spring Replacement Is a Regular Practice

Have you noticed that your trampoline just doesn’t have the bounce that it used to? This is a common problem that every trampoline owner will encounter eventually. The most common cause of bounce loss is due to the overstretching of springs. When springs are overstretched, they lose their memory and strength.

The problem of spring overstretching is relatively new to the trampoline industry. Until about 1999, nearly all trampoline manufacturers equipped full sized round trampolines, which are usually 14 feet in diameter with between 96 and 104 springs, with springs that were at least 8 inches in length. Since the late 1990s mass merchants, like WalMart, have pushed vendors to produce cheaper trampolines. As a result of this push, manufacturers began producing trampolines with less spring quantity and quality. Typical mass merchant trampolines now have only 72 to 88 springs that are only 5.5 inches to 7 inches in length. This spring configuration is especially prone to overstretching.

Industry experts have reported that customers with older trampolines (who have 96 to 104 springs that are at least 8 inches in length) buy only 5 or fewer springs when replacing their jumping mat. However, it is common for owners of newer trampolines to buy many more (or replace all) springs. The customers state that the springs have overstretched.

For customers who discover this problem at the same time their jumping mat needs replacing, there is an easy and free opportunity for correction. Manufacturers, who produce the trampoline mats, can adjust your mat size to fit your trampoline with longer, durable springs. This produces a much better trampoline that will be cheaper to maintain over its life.

When extending the spring length it is safe to add an extra inch to the overall measurement, including the hooks on each end. For example, if your current trampoline is equipped with 7 inch springs it would be safe to increase to 8 inch. Experts do not recommend adding more than 1 inch due to the increased risk of touching the ground while jumping because the trampoline height was designed with the shorter spring length in mind.

If you elect to extend the length of your springs, you will need to order a new trampoline mat to keep the entire trampoline components tensioned correctly. Keep in mind that you will need to order the new mat based on your frame dimensions and not your mat dimensions. You will not need the same size as the original mat if you are changing the length of your springs.

If you are unsure if your trampoline springs need to be replaced you can perform these two tests to make your determination. You will need to remove springs from the trampoline so they are in a relaxed state for both of these tests. Any spring that does not recoil when in the relaxed state is considered overstretched and will need to be replaced. Sometimes the spring can appear to be recoiled when it is not installed on the trampoline, yet the spring still needs replacing. To determine this you should clench a spring in your fist, grabbing the spring at one end. Shake the spring back and forth to see how tight the spring is. Trampoline designers recommend that you should do this to at least 10 springs that pass the first test, to see the variance in the amount of tension in the body of the springs. The springs that are loose should be replaced. The only limitation to this test is that it will be difficult to recognize particularly loose springs if every spring is loose. If you are still unsure we recommend that you contact a trampoline manufacturer.

New springs typically bounce better than old springs; however, if a spring passes both of the tests mentioned above the benefit of investing in new springs will be small and is not usually practical. Rust on springs may become a problem eventually, but rust is not typically a reason to replace springs. Rusty springs that pass the above tests can usually continue to be used.

Riccar Vacuum Cleaner – Dirt Doesn’t Stand A Chance

No matter what your needs in vacuum cleaners, a Riccar vacuum cleaner can be found to make your life easier and help keep your home cleaner. Riccar makes some of the best vacuum cleaners on the market today. They range from state of the art uprights to canister vacuum cleaners. No matter what your needs, Riccar has the perfect vacuum cleaner to suit you.

The Riccar Radiance upright vacuum cleaner offers Hepa filtration and a Tandem Air System found in higher quality vacuum cleaners. The Radiance promises to pick up 99.9% of dust and dirt particles from your carpet, making this Riccar vacuum cleaner a smart choice for those of us who have allergies or pets. The Hepa filtration system ensures clean air quality when vacuuming your home as well. The Radiance is a high powered, luxury machine that is guaranteed to give you satisfaction in vacuuming your carpeting. In addition, the attachments make it easy to also vacuum your upholstery, drapes and even hard to reach places, such as between stair risers.

The Vibrance is a mid-sized upright vacuum cleaner made by Riccar. This machine may be slightly smaller than the full sized vacuums, but it packs a powerful punch. It does a superb job in vacuuming and is also very lightweight and durable. The Vibrance is an excellent choice for those who have smaller storage area but want a powerful, upright vacuum cleaner.

Riccar also makes a large variety of canister vacuum cleaners. They range from premium, full sized, mid-sized, compact and subcompact. The 1800 Premium Canister is large and very powerful and can be used on carpeting and, with an attachment, bare floors. The nice thing about this canister vacuum cleaner is that despite its enormous power, it is virtually silent. No more listening to the shrill sound of a vacuum cleaner. You won’t believe how well this vacuum cleaner works on so little noise.

The Moonlight Compact canister vacuum cleaner by Riccar has features that are usually only seen on larger canister vacuum cleaners. It has a Hepa air filtration, a full bag alert and many different tools to make vacuuming your carpet and furniture relatively easy. Best of all, because it is compact, it is lightweight and easy to store.

For smaller areas or homes, the Sunburst Sub-Compact canister vacuum cleaner by Riccar has everything you need to keep your carpeting and upholstery looking like new. The machine is very light-weight, which makes storage a breeze. Despite its small size, however, it has all of the bells and whistles you would expect to find in a large, premium canister vacuum cleaner. The Sunburst is a great buy for the money and really performs well. I highly recommend this little powerhouse for anyone who has limited storage, a small apartment or even a college dorm.

Riccar makes a large variety of premium, compact and subcompact canister vacuum cleaners as well as some of the top upright models. No matter which type of vacuum cleaner product you are looking for, a Riccar vacuum cleaner is a great choice.

Area Rug – Top 10 Things to Know Before Purchasing a Handmade Oriental Rug

When you are planning on buying a rug to compliment the décor in your home and to help keep the floors warm, there are some things you need to consider. After all, you are going to spend a fair bit of money and you want to be sure that you get a high quality product. You also need to be aware that there are people out there who are selling fake Persian, Turkish, and Oriental handmade rugs and passing them off as the real thing. Here are a few things you should know before you go out and buy a rug:

  1. Where was it Made: Be sure the rug was made in Turkey, Iran, or Central Asia. If it isn’t, then it simply isn’t genuine. This is one time when you do not want made in the USA.
  2. Is it Handmade: You need to be sure that what you are buying is really handmade, especially if you are paying handmade prices. There are people out there who will try to sell you a machine-made rug and tell you it is handmade. You can tell the difference by looking at the back of the rug. If you can clearly see the design, then it is handmade, but if the design is faint or not visible, then it is machine-made.
  3. Quality: Now that you have determined that you are looking at a handmade rug (if it isn’t you would have walked away) you need to know if it is a well made rug. You can tell the quality of the rug by feeling it and looking at it. If the rug feels very dry and the colours are dull, then the rug is probably made from dead wool, which is wool that has been taken from a dead sheep rather than from a living sheep. You want a rug made with live wool. You also need to measure the number of knots the rug has. You can do this by measuring the knots per square inch. This means that you need a ruler and you literally count how many knots are in one inch and then square that number. The higher the number, the higher the quality.
  4. Take a Photo of Your Room: When you go to the rug store to buy a rug and you are certain the rugs are genuine and of good quality, you can easily get swept away by the selection of rugs. Having a photo of your room with you can help you stay focused on the task at hand – buying a rug that works in your room. This way there is less of a chance that you will end up with the wrong rug. If you buy rugs online, then you don’t need to take a photo of your room.
  5. Determine the Size: Before you choose a rug to buy, make sure of the size you want. You can tape fabric on the floor and get a good idea of the size you want before you buy the rug.
  6. Rug on Wood: If your rug will be on a wooden floor, then be sure to leave an eight inch space all the way around the rug.
  7. Padding: When you get padding for under the rug you will prolong the life of your rug.
  8. Dark or Light: Getting a dark or light rug depends on what effect you want in the room. If you want the room to look more spacious, then choose a light coloured rug. If you want a cosier feel, then choose a darker rug.
  9. More than One Rug: When you are buying more than one rug for a room, make one rug larger than the other ones. This is the dominant one and the other rugs can similar in design and colour.
  10. Rug and Curtains: When you choose your rug, consider your curtains and make sure they don’t clash.

These tips will help you pick a Turkish area rug or runner rug that will compliment your room or hallway and give you lasting beauty and warmth for many years to come. Then all you have to do is bring your rug home and enjoy it.

Carpet Pile Reversal – What You Need to Know About Carpet Pile Shading

What is Carpet Pile Reversal?

Pile reversal is an effect in which different areas of the carpet pile surface appear as dark or light patches.

It’s also known as water marking or pooling, although water has nothing to do with it. Some people refer to it as shading, although the term shading can refer to other carpet conditions such as pile pressure, pile flattening or crushing.

It happens in cut pile carpets of any fibre component whether natural or synthetic. It is more apparent in plain carpet than it is in patterned. It is rarely seen in loop pile carpets.

What is Happening?

The shading appearance seen in the carpet pile is when the pile fibres adjust to lay in altered or opposing directions to the normal run or ‘lay’ of the pile. This gives rise to a change in appearance because light then reflects off the sides of the fibres rather than the tips. The sides or tips of the adjacent fibre strands will reflect light in a different way, so the pile displays varying light or dark shades. Again, light that reflects off the tips of the tufts will be less reflective and therefore appear to be a different, possibly darker shade.

What Causes It?

Pile reversal can occur in random areas of a carpet.

A number of reasons for pile reversal have been put forward to try and explain the exact cause, but no specific explanation has yet been established.

It is not considered to be a manufacturing fault but is more likely to be due to the localised influences of the property the carpet is installed in.

Some of the suggested causes are said to be due to variations in sub-floor levels, foot trafficking, tensions created in the carpet during manufacture, changes in humidity or even electro magnetism and static electricity.

The theory that electrical cabling in the property and electronic appliances produce electromagnetic fields suggests that these forces can influence the carpet’s pile lay and force it into patches of unsightly, permanent shading.

Can it Be Corrected?

No existing treatment has been confirmed as effective.

Not much can be done to recover the carpet’s original appearance. Vacuuming or brushing the pile will only provide a short-term change in appearance. The affected pile will soon return to the distorted position, particularly when walked on again.

Steam cleaning has been tried to ‘re-adjust’ the fibres, but they usually revert to type after a short period.

In the meantime, if you suspect that you have pile reversal contact your supplier immediately.

Most new carpets will have some form of warranty and pile reversal may be covered.

But not all are; so I suggest that you discuss this problem with your carpet supplier before making a purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions About Catalytic Converters

Choosing the right catalytic converter for your car is increasingly recognised as one of the most important decisions you will make when maintaining your car. Whether you are looking to maximise performance, minimise fuel consumption or do your bit for the environment getting the right catalytic converter for you will save time, money and avoid the headaches of failing an MoT.

Here are some frequently asked questions about catalytic converters:

Why should I have a catalytic converter?

If your car was fitted after 1st August 1992 with a catalytic converter from new, you need to have one for the MoT. It needs to be in good working order to comply with the Government’s emissions legislation. The engine has been designed to work with a Cat and besides giving out toxic emissions, the performance will be reduced if your Cat is not working properly. You will fail the annual MoT if either it is not present or it is not in good working order.

Can I remove my Cat?

If your car was registered after 1st August 1992 you must have the Cat present and working for the MoT. Previously registered cars can have the Cat permanently removed.

Why do people want to remove their Cats?

Without a Cat the engine gives more power and reduced petrol consumption. You may remove the Cat for track / competition / display use, for example.

Why might my Cat fail?

Road Damage

The outside of the cat can be damaged by hitting solid objects in the road. ie, speed bumps, large rocks etc.

Plugged or contaminated

Plugged or contaminated catalytic converters are caused by the wrong sort of fuel in your car. Using leaded or lead replacement fuel will plug up the monolith and cause it to stop working. A similar thing will happen if fuel additives are used that are not suitable for use with a catalytic converter.

Melted / Broken substrate

A monolith is usually broken when it is impacted by an object or when it suffers a sudden change in temperature. If the catalytic converter suffers road damage (See section on road damage) the monolith inside can be cracked due to it being crushed by the movement on the steel can.

The use of exhaust paste before the catalytic converter can cause the monolith to break. When the exhaust paste has hardened, small pellets may break away and shoot into the catalytic converter. The monolith will gradually be destroyed by these pellets and break down. The catalytic converter can also be damaged by excessive engine vibration. Another possible cause of a fractured monolith is a sudden temperature change. (See number 7 in “Caring for your Catalytic Converter”)

The monolith can be melted when unburned fuel is injected into the catalytic converter. This can be caused by the car being bump or tow started, or if the car’s engine requires several turns before firing. More information can be found on this is the section on “Overheating”.


There are many problems that can cause a catalytic converter to overheat or fail. The most common cause is unburned fuel entering the catalytic converter. Also faulty spark plugs and leads will cause the engine to misfire and ruin the catalytic converter. It will also be damaged if the distributor timing is out.

  • Oxygen Sensor – An oxygen sensor collects and sends information to the Electronic Control Unit. This is used to control the fuel/air mix. If the oxygen sensor is faulty, or it has been contaminated with silicone from anti-freeze or sealant, he fuel/air mixture will not be corrected and excess fuel will enter the catalytic converter, causing it to overheat.
  • Fuel injection systems – If a fuel injector is leaking internally or dribbling fuel into the engine the catalytic converter may be damaged. The excess fuel will enter the exhaust system and cause it to overheat. Due to the varying fuel injector systems the proper manual should always be consulted when trying to diagnose a problem.
  • Map Sensors – Map sensors tell the Electronic Control Unit the load on the engine and the amount of air entering it. If this sensor fails it causes a rich condition in the engine, which can overheat the catalytic converter causing it to fail.
  • Carburettor systems – A worn or defective carburettor can cause a catalytic converter to overheat. Problems such as improper float or air/fuel mix adjustments and worn metering rods can damage the catalytic converter. The choke system also needs to be operating properly so the right level of fuel enters the system. If too much fuel enters the system it will overheat and eventually fail.
  • Canister Purge Valve Control – This vacuum operated valve vents fuel vapour from the carburettor bowl to the charcoal canister. If the vacuum is breached the charcoal canister will flood, causing the air/fuel mixture to become very rich. This will cause the catalytic converter to overheat and break down.


A catalytic converter should not be considered to be a silencer although it does have some silencing qualities. Noise can be caused by excessive fuel getting into the catalytic converter.

What happens if my Cat fails?

If a catalyst fails it can block and the car will break down.

What does my Cat do?

Catalytic converters are specialist environmentally friendly devices fitted in the exhausts of vehicles which ensure that hydrocarbons are burnt off and that minimise the emission of harmful pollutants. Cars fitted with converters can use only unleaded petrol as the lead in leaded fuel poisons the converter and irreparably damages it.

Car manufacturers have ruled out the retrofitting of catalytic converters on older cars, saying that it could irreparably damage the converter, as vehicles which have been using leaded fuel for many years have lead deposits in their engines. On fitting with a catalytic converter, these deposits could poison the Cat and damage it permanently.

Unleaded fuel, when burnt, produces gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen, the latter three can be poisonous or carcinogenic. A Catalytic Converter, which is working correctly, creates a chemical reaction between these gases, which converts them to relatively harmless gases. It is critical for the environment that you have your Catalytic converter checked regularly to ensure it is functioning properly.

Catalytic converters fitted to vehicles can reduce toxic emissions (e.g. Carbon Monoxide, NO2, HC) by up to 90%. Catalytic converters do not reduce CO2 emissions.

Can I fit a Cat to a car which doesn’t have one?

If your engine ran on leaded petrol you cannot. The old deposits will poison the Cat.

How can I best care for my Cat?

There are several things you can do to ensure your ‘cat’ has a long and healthy life.

  1. When fitting the catalytic converter, don’t use exhaust paste in front of the cat. When the exhaust paste hardens it can break off in chunks and damage the monolith. Paste can also block the monolith.
  2. Always use the correct fuel for your car.
  3. Never use a fuel additive without first reading the instructions to find out if it is suitable for use with a catalytic converter. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer of the additive.
  4. Never attempt to bump or tow start your car. This causes unburned fuel to be injected into the catalytic converter, which makes the monolith overheat and melt.
  5. Never tow anything that is too heavy for your vehicle to cope with. For example, an overloaded caravan will actually push a car along when it travels downhill. This sends unburned fuel into the exhaust system and can cause the monolith to melt down.
  6. Have your car regularly serviced to your car makers specifications. In particular, make sure the engine is running properly. A poorly tuned engine can cause the monolith to break down or become covered in soot, which stops it working regularly.
  7. Take care when driving through deep puddles, fords or parking when there has been heavy snowfall. The catalytic converter operates at an extremely high temperature, and when it comes into direct contact with water or snow it cools down more rapidly than the monolith, and in extreme circumstances the monolith can be crushed as the steel shell contracts.
  8. Don’t park your car over long grass or anything similar. As the catalytic converter operates at such a high temperature it can actually set the grass on fire!
  9. Drive slowly over speed bumps or very bumpy roads to reduce the chance of the exhaust system being grounded. This could cause impact damage to the catalytic converters.

How To Remove Stickers and Decals Off a Football Visor and Window of Your Car or Truck

Question: When putting decals on a Football Helmet Visor, how do you remove the black decals that come on the visor?

Answer: If the sticker or decal that is on the visor is an easy peel vinyl, it should remove easily, but if it’s a standard adhesive, it can be difficult to remove.

In this case, what you’d need to do is get a hair dryer and heat the decal up enough that it is quite warm – but not hot – to the touch. Once this is done, get a fingernail under one edge of the decal and slowly pull it off. Hopefully it won’t leave any adhesive behind.

If it does leave some adhesive behind, you can get “orange peel” glue removers from the hardware store or possibly a larger grocery store as well. Apply to a soft paper or cloth towel, then dab on the glue until it softens, then rub it until it comes off. Clean the remaining residue with a dry corner of the towel. This type of glue remover works well on most plastics I’ve used without dulling or clouding the finish of the plastic.

Question: I purchased a large decal to apply to the rear window of my car, and I was wondering if there is any product that could be applied to the rear window to make the sticker easier to remove, plus protect the window simultaneously?

Answer: Not that we’re aware of. In reality, the decal itself will protect your vehicle’s rear window quite well. And if you understand how glue works, you won’t need to worry about getting the decal back off.

Of course, now I’m going to tell you how to get window decals off your car windows or bumpers the easy way. Well, sort of easy.

Most window stickers of the exterior application variety will be printed on vinyl sticker material or polyester decal material. The glue typically used is an acrylic adhesive, which, over time, becomes hardened and more difficult to remove. If you’re purchasing wholesale decals for resale, it might be wise to look into removable glue decal materials which are becoming popular for this reason.

But no mind. In your case you’ve already purchased a large sticker for the back window of your car, and you’re nervous about damaging the window, either during the application or removal of the decal later. In neither case do you need to worry about the window.

When it comes time to remove the decal from your car or truck, get a heat gun or a hair dryer to warm up the decal. If you’re using a heat gun, the lowest heat setting should do the trick. If you are using a hair dryer, you’ll likely need to use the highest heat setting. With large stickers, you may need to heat a small section of the decal and work it off a section at a time, especially if it’s been on the rig for an extended period of time. Once you’ve heated a small area (100 square inches or so), begin to peel the vinyl with a slow but steady pulling motion at around a 45 degree angle. As you get to the end of the heated window/vinyl, you’ll feel it become more difficult to remove the vinyl. Stop and heat another section of vinyl/glass, and repeat.

When you have the entire decal removed, you may find that there is some glue residue remaining on the glass. You’ll need a good “orange peel” oil glue remover, available at many hardware stores, to apply with a spray bottle or a soft towel or soft paper towel to the glue. Allow the glue remover a couple minutes to soften the glue. You may want to apply a second application of the glue remover to the residual glue to further soften it, especially if the decals have been on your car for more than a year.

Once you’ve softened the glue sufficiently, you can take a glue remover soaked towel and gently rub the areas where the glue is remaining. Once you can visually observe that the glue is gone, take a dry, soft towel and wipe the window again to remove the glue remover residue. If you need to apply graphics immediately, you can use isopropyl alcohol to neutralize the glue remover, or if the decal was on a painted surface on your car or truck, warm soapy water may be preferable to alcohol, which could potentially dull your car’s finish.

Step-By-Step Instructions on Making Your Own Golf Driving Mat!

Golf driving mats can be useful when it comes to improving your golf skills but not everyone who is on a tight budget can afford them. This is where the knowledge of building your own golf driving mat comes in handy.

Making your own mat is not as difficult as you think! By following these step-by-step instructions, you can make your own driving mat in no time.

A notable benefit of creating your own golf mat is that you can customize it according to your requirements. For example, you can opt to have more or less padding according to your comfort zone.

Apart from that, if you are an artistic person who likes to add something extra to each of your possessions, then you can do the same as well with your driving mat and personalize it according to your taste.

1- First of all, assemble the items which are needed for making a driving mat. This includes plywood, artificial turf, hand saw, knife, bonding spray/glue and carpet padding.

2- Next step is to cut the plywood piece using a handsaw into a 3 by 5 foot rectangular shape. This is the ideal size and shape though it can vary depending on your comfort level.

If you have enough space to stand on the piece of plywood and you are able to hit the golf ball with comfort, then the size is apt for a golf driving mat.

3- After that, you need to cut a piece of carpet padding and artificial turf. They need to be the exact same size of the plywood.

This is done to make sure that the padding and turf cover the plywood piece completely and perfectly.

4- Using the bonding glue or spray, stick the piece of carpet padding to the plywood piece. If you need a softer mat, then you can add another layer of carpet padding.

5- After the carpet padding has been put in place, you will have to again spray the glue onto the top of the padding.

6- Place the piece of cut artificial turf on the padding. Care should be taken to avoid creases.

7- Let the mat rest for a day or two before using it to practice your golf skills!

It is recommended to use a bonding spray or glue in a well ventilated area.

By following these steps, you will be able to make your own fuss-free golf driving mats that are easy to maintain and great to practice on!

Tips for MidMark M11 Error Code 007

Midmark M11: Error Code 007 – What Does It Mean?

If your autoclave has malfunctioned and is displaying the error code “007” it means that the diagnostics portion of your Midmark M11 has detected a water leak somewhere within its system. And It is most likely to be located in 1 of 3 areas:

  1. Door Gasket
  2. Fill Solenoid Valve
  3. Vent Solenoid Valve

Tip # 1: Door Gasket: First Check The Door Gasket. Is there steam escaping from around it? It’s a good idea to take the gasket off weekly and wash it with a mild soapy water. If you have not replaced it in a while, go ahead and replace it. (Midmark recommends replacing it at least once per year (every 6 months if under heavy usage).

Technical Tip–>The Dam Gasket should Always Be Replaced At The Same Time The Door Gasket Is Replaced

Tip # 2: The Fill Solenoid Valve: Just as it’s name implies, This valve controls the water entering the chamber. When functioning properly, it opens when the unit is in the fill cycle. But it can get stuck in either the open or the closed position.

If you find that no water is entering the chamber, then it is stuck closed. If it continues to allow water to enter after it has reached the fill mark and the dial is switched off the fill mode, then it is stuck open.

A sure sign that the Fill Solenoid Valve is stuck in the open position is when you go to use it and the reservoir is empty. Even though you know it was full the last time you saw it, or you recently filled it.

There will be other evidence of it being stuck open as well, including: water under the autoclave, on the counter or even on the floor.

Tip # 3. The Vent Solenoid Valve. This valve controls the water leaving the chamber and re-entering the water reservoir. Like the Fill Solenoid Valve, ot can be stuck in either the open or closed position.

If It is stuck open, you will hear an excessive “Gurgling” Sound in the bottom of the reservoir during the sterilization cycle. If it is stuck in the closed position, you will notice water in the chamber at the end of the cycle.

No matter which part ends up being the source of your problem, the repair is not difficult to perform. You can fix it yourself and save the cost of a service call. We will be happy to help you with easy to follow , step-by-step directions.

Diamond Hardness – Can a Diamond Be Broken or Scratched?

A diamond is a type of gemstone which is often believed to be everlasting in nature and unable to be damaged in any way. Although this is a nice notion to have, the truth of the matter is that diamonds can be damaged if not treated in a careful manner. It is important to note what can happen to a diamond if not treated properly and ways to safeguard against damage to one’s diamond ring, diamond necklace or other type of jewelry item in which this beautiful gem is part thereof.

How Can a Diamond be Damaged?

A diamond has an extremely hard consistency to it which is one of its many wonderful attributes. However, there are ways for this lovely gemstone to be broken, scratched or otherwise damaged. Damage to a diamond can occur by dropping it on a hard surface, scraping it roughly against concrete or other similar matter or simply repeatedly storing it in a place where it is not properly contained. Although damaging a diamond is not an easy thing to do, it is something which can occur from time to time.

Ways to Safeguard Against Diamond Damage

Many pieces of diamond jewelry are worn on a daily basis, such as a diamond engagement ring, which makes the occurrence of damage highly possible due to frequent wear. In order to safeguard against damaging one’s ring, bracelet or other diamond jewelry piece, there are a few steps one can take in their daily wear and storage of such an exquisite item. When wearing the diamond, one should always be cautious when doing so and try not to bang into any walls or other fixtures which may put a chip in the diamond or even break it if the contact is hard enough.

Another way to carefully wear one’s diamond jewelry piece is to ensure a tight fit on the ring or complete closure of the clasp. If one’s diamond jewelry item does not fit right or is not closed properly, they are more likely to drop the jewel and have it be stepped on or crack upon hitting a hard, unforgiving surface. In order to ensure that the diamond jewelry item fits well and closes properly, it is a good idea to have a jeweler look at it from time to time to ensure that it is in tiptop shape.

Damage in the form of scratching can also occur to the diamond if it is not stored properly. The best place to store one’s diamond jewelry is in a felt covered jewelry box where each jewelry item has its own separate compartment. This will help to ensure not only that the item is in a spot where it will not bang up against other jewelry items but that it is in a place where one will not lose sight of it. In order for a diamond to be scratched it must come in contact with another diamond which has the same hardness.

Insure Your Jewelry Items

An additional safeguard to have in place involves insurance on the diamond jewelry item. Since diamonds are often pricey in nature, it makes sense that one would want to insure the jewelry item in case it were to be lost, stolen or damaged. Although most insurance companies will not insure loose diamonds, there are many which are more than happy to offer insurance policies which will cover your diamond once the gem is placed in a fixed setting. An insurance policy which covers this precious stone is a great way to cover your losses should it be damaged in any way.

Apartments in Houston Where You Can Rent With a Broken Lease, Bad Credit And-Or a Criminal Record

Many apartments in Houston conduct criminal background checks and credit checks before approving prospective tenants. In the past, this practice was rare and even unheard of but this has changed due to first and foremost, security concerns. While in the past tenants could be easily approved after providing proof of income, today most apartments in Houston insist on credit checks and criminal background checks. This means that proof of income alone may not be able to secure one a decent place to rent in and within the Houston area. Is there a way to be approved for an apartments in Houston even with bad credit or a criminal record?

Renting in Sugarland, Missouri City, Clear Lake, Katy with bad credit or a felony

Many apartments in Houston will require a rental history check, background check and even a credit check. But there are apartments in some areas that will be willing to overlook these issues. One can find these apartments in:

  • Sugarland
  • Alief
  • Mission Bend
  • Clear Lake
  • Katy
  • Downtown Houston
  • The Heights
  • Texas City
  • Stafford
  • Pasadena
  • Greenspoint
  • Westchase

Before applying for an apartment in Houston, it is important to know why they conduct credit checks and/or criminal background checks on applicants. The first reason is so as to be fair to their prospective tenants and avoid being deemed discriminatory. Another reason is off course safety. Apartment complexes in Houston want to minimize crime and police activity within their grounds as much as possible because this causes existing tenants to decline to renew their leases.

Ways of being approved if you have a broken lease or bad credit in Houston

There are many people who are looking to rent apartments in Houston. But renting with bad credit or a criminal record can be a bittersweet experience. There are a few ways you can undertake in order to be approve in Houston. One of them is knowing your credit score.

Know where to rent

Knowing your credit score before the apartment does is wise. This is because in Houston if you have a tarnished credit rating, you may be denied an apartment. Knowing your score therefore becomes one of the most important initial steps to take in order to be approved. Knowing what is contained in your credit allows you to fix whatever issues that need to be fixed in order to raise your score.

know the locations

There are some apartments in Houston which will still approve despite of bad credit and/or a felony. One of the challanges is actually finding where these apartments are located. Since they rarely advertise, the applicant is left groping in the dark as to which approve and which ones don’t. One place to search is Another can be Craigslist.

Are you looking for ways to be approved for an apartment in Houston with bad credit and/ or a criminal record (felony or misdemeanor)?

Get Flat Abs and Lose Weight With a Detox Diet

The fastest way to get flat abs and lose weight is to use a detox diet. Your diet can be greatly compromised when life becomes too busy and you are bombarded with increasing levels of stress. If you would like to get flat abs try a detox diet which will support your energy levels, revitalize your system and burn belly fat.

Through daily living, the human body is always exposed to toxins and pollutants found in the environment as well as in the food we eat. If your system is overloaded with toxins and cannot remove them naturally it will deposit them in fatty tissue adding to body and belly fat making it very difficult to get flat abs and burn fat.

The human body has a complex system composed of skin, lungs, intestines, kidneys and liver to help eliminate the toxins. The liver found in the digestive system works very hard to detoxify and purify the body and release stored and trapped toxins. If the liver is overburdened with toxins your metabolism will be sluggish. To get a flat belly a detox diet will support liver cleansing so this organ can work more efficiently to burn fat.

Detoxifying is directly associated to the food we eat and in order to lose weight and get flat abs eating an organic and nutritious diet will aid in the cleansing. A typical detox diet takes 7-14 days and can be implemented at least 3-4 times every year. If you really want flat abs fast you can fast for the first 24 hours on fruit or veggie juice or soup. This gives your digestive system a great break and time to heal. Check with your medical doctor first.

When you are under-going a detox diet, you need to refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol. Alcohol is full of sugar and works against getting flat abs and losing weight. It’s also a good idea to reduce caffeine intake and if you can, cut it out completely. You should also avoid eating any processed foods because of the low nutritional value. Drink lots of fluids to effectively remove toxins in the body. When I say fluids I mean water and herbal teas. For a detox diet you need to drink 1.8 liters of water everyday.

To get Flat Abs Eat these Foods

Taking a detox diet does not mean that you will skip your meals. You can still eat three times a day; however, for the first two days eat only organic vegetables and fruit. Do not eat fruit with any other foods. Eat it alone. If you suffer from Candida you need to fore-go the fruit and eat only vegetables and some brown rice. This will enable you to keep your usual energy levels throughout the day.

Some of the foods that should be part of your meal while detoxifying are: brown rice, quinoa, beans, lentils, buckwheat, fish, tofu, green leafy vegetables, carrots, fennel, leeks, kiwi fruit, grapes, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, mango and green apples.

To successfully get flat abs on a detox diet, you need to avoid all fried and fatty foods, all dairy products, white bread, white rice, white flour, carbonated drinks and all processed foods and sweets.

A detox diet promises a lot of healthy benefits for your body and internal organs. This kind of diet can sweep away toxins and give you more energy and vitality and a flatter belly. Just eliminating sugar alone will restore your health.

Discover more about flat abs and losing weight with a detox diet.

VIN Number Decoding For Classic Muscle Cars

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given in regards to buying a classic muscle car was to invest in high quality resource materials so I could crack the code on Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) to make sure that I was not getting scammed.

The best way to find a high quality book is to find what the experts are using. With the internet, you can type a subject like Camaro restoration book into the Amazon search box. You can also Google it and follow the links, which will take you to various forums and websites. Chevrolet by the Numbers, by Alvin Colvin, is the best book I have ever found for Chevrolet part numbers, Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN), trim tags, and model ID. The book is an easy read, with chapters designated to the different components. Again, I used this process in my quest to purchase a rare Camaro. Just Google the car you are looking for and follow the links. The best resources will be obvious.

Here is a list of objects you will need when decoding your car.

Small flashlight, notebook, resource or reference book, mechanics mirror, pen or pencil, cordless or corded droplight, floor jack and jack-stands, coveralls, rags, brass wire brush, brake cleaner, yellow or white colored grease pencil, digital camera or camcorder.

If you are continuing to read this information, I can only surmise that buying a classic muscle car with the proper numbers and matching parts is important to you! Good! It should be! If this is true, I will walk you through an example of decoding a car. This will give you an idea of what it takes to properly decode a car.

Be prepared to take your time. I also discovered a sure fire way to determine who your true friends are. Ask them to go along to help you decode a car! Having an extra body can sometimes cut your time in half. I also recommend finding an expert or consultant on your car, and buying a couple of hours their time, especially if you are looking to purchase a special model classic car. It’s been my experience that an extra set of eyes can only help the cause. I found an expert through one of my reference books. Prior to me going to look at my current car, I spent about an hour talking with him, and making a list of things I should be looking for. (Of course, if you want someone to handle the process from A to Z, services are available. This is a great option if you are buying the car from remote.)

The Process

Before I arrived the owner told me the car was basically a roller project, meaning the engine and transmission were removed from the car. The engine, transmission and other components were placed in a pile where it would be easy to look at the numbers. The owner also claimed it was a limited edition Camaro, yet he didn’t have any paperwork like an original order invoice, or a protect o plate (a special metal plate shaped like a credit card that is used for warranty and repair services). This type of paperwork trail eliminates the need for further documentation. If you do not have this type of paperwork, then follow along. When I arrived at the location where the car was stored, the first thing I did was to check the VIN number. The VIN number is probably the most important number on a car. If you do not know how to decode a VIN on a particular Chevrolet, you will be unable to verify other components or numbers. What is nice about the book is it actually walks you through the whole decoding process, including providing the specific numbers location. As a sidebar, any good resource book on your particular make and model car will outline the way to decode your car, including number locations and decoding info. On 1968 and 1969 Camaros, the VIN number is located on the top of the dash board, on the drivers side. The number is visible through the windshield. I wiped the dirt and dust off of the VIN tag, and copied the numbers into my notebook.

VIN number

I was able to determine that my car was originally a V8, it was a 2 door sport coupe, made in 1969, assembled in Norwood Ohio, and it was the 662,8XXrd car built at that plant in that year.

Trim tag.

In 1969, all Camaro trim tags were located in the engine compartment, riveted on the upper left hand corner of the firewall. I took my rag and cleaned all of the dust and gunk off of the trim tag. Since the numbers were not that clear, I recleaned the trim tag, and removed the rest of the gunk. I used my flashlight to illuminate the numbers, and then copied the numbers into my notebook. Some of the trim tag numbers matched up with the VIN tag numbers, which was a good sign. The remaining numbers indicated that my car body was number 353,XXX to come down this plant’s assembly line. The interior was originally a standard black interior, and the car was built in the first week of June, 1969. The car was originally painted dusk blue and it was equipped with a spoiler package and a chrome trim package. So far everything was lining up. The reason for all of this detail is to illustrate how you can confirm that what you think you are buying is exactly what you are getting.

Before I move on, I want to share how this is relevant. A husband and wife from my car club went to look at a Chevelle. The car was advertised as a Super Sport. During the inspection process, and referencing the above book, they uncovered a number of inconsistencies. According to the numbers, the car had originally started out as a plain Jane 6 cylinder car. The car was now painted a different color, had a different color interior and a different engine. You get the picture. Over the years, one (or more) of the previous owners modified the car and tried to make it into a Super Sport. The point is it may have not been done maliciously, but the car still did not start out as a true Super Sport. And having the Super Sport option obviously raises the value of the car.

Engine code identification.

The engine is stamped in (2) places on a 69 Camaro. One is on the right front engine pad. The other location is on the rough casting portion on the rear of the engine, just above the oil filter. Again I wiped off the areas I just described with brake cleaner sprayed on a rag. You need to have a clean surface, and normally brake cleaner will do the trick. The front engine pad numbers appeared to have been restamped at one time, maybe after the engine block was decked (Decking in a machine process to check the flatness of the block deck for irregularities that cause compression and water leaks.) The tricky part is reading the numbers on the area above the oil filter. I recommend a really bright light and a magnifying glass. If that doesn’t do it, then I suggest taking a little muriatic acid an applying it to the numbers. This should make the numbers readable. The reason this number is sometimes hard to decipher is because these engines were hand stamped, and punched onto a rough surface. According to the numbers, I determined the engine was a 425 horsepower high performance engine, with a 4 speed manual transmission. The last numbers also corresponded with the last numbers in my VIN, which meant this was the original engine to this car. The numbers told me the engine was assembled June 14, which fell in line with the build date. The engine block part number that is cast into the rear of the block was cleaned with a rag and brake cleaner as well. The block part number indicated ahigh performance block used for Camaros. Another piece of the puzzle confirmed.

Rear axle identification.

The numbers on a Camaro rear axle are stamped on the top of the right axle tube. My experience has been that this area is normally pretty crusty and rusty. And this rear axle was no exception. After considerable wire brushing, I wiped the area clean with brake cleaner. Laying on my back, I shone the light on the area, while holding a mirror. It still wasn’t clear enough for me to read accurately. I then took my grease pencil, and ran it over the numbers. The purpose of the grease pencil is to provide contrast with the metal of the axle tube. When I put the mirror back over the area, I was rewarded with a very sharp image of the part numbers, which I copied into my notebook. According to the numbers, this rear axle assembly had a 4.10:1 gear ratio, limited slip. The axle was assembled June 16, 1969. Are you seeing a pattern starting to appear here? The axle numbers also indicated the axle to be original to the car based on the dates codes referencing June 1969 build date. I took the same approach with the other parts.

Here are my findings. The cylinder heads, intake manifold, carburetor, and transmission were the correct part numbers for the car. However none of these parts were date coded to the car. One of the heads was manufactured in April 1968, the other head was manufactured in February of 1969. The transmission was manufactured Jan 24th 1969. The reason I know all of these parts are not correctly date coded to the car is I decoded each one, by researching the part numbers, and date codes. All of this information is important, because not only did it verify what the owner had told me, and it also showed that the other parts were in line with the build date. Thereby providing further confirmation of what I was looking at. During my investigating, I took pictures with a digital camera of all of the parts and part numbers, as best as i could. I spent about 30 minutes walking around the car with a video camera and editorializing what I was taking footage of. I also took the list of things the Camaro expert had told me about and checked them off one by one. Later in the week I called the Camaro expert and shared my findings. I reviewed all of my research, including going over the individual part numbers, and the “things to look for” checklist. By the end of the phone call, I was 99 percent positive that this Camaro was what it was being advertised as.

The last thing I did was to have the car documented and certified by a Certified Camaro appraiser.

GM also stamped hidden VIN numbers in (2) different places on the car. The reason for the hidden VIN numbers was to add another step in preventing and identifying a stolen car. Because it is fairly easy to remove and swap out the VIN tag on the dash, the hidden VIN’s provided a back-up system of check and balances. For example, someone could possibly swap out a VIN tag, but if they didn’t know about the Hidden VIN numbers, a person in the know could easily identify the numbers not matching up. Because the car was bought a roller project, it was easy to check these hidden VIN’s, against the VIN tag on the dash. I wanted the appraiser to check them personally, and he confirmed the numbers as matching and authentic. In other words the certificate authenticates the car. Many appraisers will also supply you with a report on their findings. The nice thing about having a car certified is this type of paperwork is normally viewed as iron clad documentation. It normally raises the value of the car, because of the authenticity certificate. And if you ever go to sell the car, now you have documentation to provide the seller that the car is a real (Super Sport, Rally Sport, Z/28, etc. You fill in the blank)

Some people may wonder why would anyone go through all of this work.

However, keep in mind that many of these muscle cars are 20 plus years old and have gone through numerous owners and modifications. All of that history is prior to it being restored back to showroom original condition. In other words, many parts are bolt on and interchangeable from other models and different years. So just because the parts look ok, doesn’t mean that they even belong on the car. In the above example about the couple and the Chevelle, the car was priced as a Super Sport, yet the trim tag and other numbers reflected a totally different story. Even though the car was beautifully restored, it was really nothing more than a modified 6 cylinder, base model Chevelle that someone converted over to a V-8 at some time in it’s life. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with modifying a car to an individual owners taste. The issue is when the car is sold and the seller forgets to mention (consciously or unconsciously) and inform the new owner of the modifications. Our Chevelle couple would have gladly paid the asking price if the car was a true Super Sport. But, because they knew how to decode the car, they were able to save themselves a lot of time, money and aggravation. At the time the difference between a plain Jane Chevelle and a real Super Sport was over $10,000. Just to throw some numbers out there, let’s be conservative and say it takes 6 hours of research to decode a car. Using our $10,000 figure, that equates to approximately $1,600 an hour. Not a bad return on your time investment. As muscle and classic cars have become more popular, I have seen many cases where just for the fun of it, an owner will start to do research on a car he or she owns.

Discovering your car isn’t really what you thought you purchased can really knock the wind out of you. By investing a small amount of money, and time, in researching and decoding your prospective muscle car purchase you can sleep at night knowing that you received the value you paid for. Anyone else interested in investing a couple of hours for peace of mind when purchasing a classic or muscle car???

Multiple Lines in a Hunt Group Or Hunting Lines

A hunt group is basically two or more individual phone lines tied together so that a call that rings to the first line, rolls over to the second line in that group, if the first line is busy. If the second line is busy it rolls over to the third line and so on. Yes, it does work exactly the same way over-lines, for callers who are calling in.

There is no difference.

If the first line is busy it rings the second and so on. In a hunt group, each line has its own individual phone number and all lines are manually programmed to forward a call to the next line when busy.

Its like programming your home line to forward to your cell phone, but you are only forwarding calls only when your home line is busy. That means you can get two calls answered when someone calls your home phone.

And you can continue this by forwarding your cellphone to your office phone, when busy. So now you can get three calls getting answered when someone calls your home phone number.

Of course, this is just to explain how hunting works, and if you try this on with your home phone line it may or may not work depending upon your home telephone service provider.

In case of business lines in a hunt group, this is exactly what happens. You get a bunch of lines all having their individual phone number and programming to forward when busy.

The problem with this is that when you call out, the outgoing call display will show the caller ID of the line you are calling out on.

So unless you use your first line or your pilot line to call out, called parties will not see your main number on their call display. In effect you will actually be seen as having lots of phone lines each with different numbers. This may not be what you want.

Think about when you want to downsize the number of lines, or move offices..there are a bunch of numbers you will have to deal with, that all your customers have been dialing in on.

( Yes, often customers tend to save the numbers that show up on call display and use that to reach you.)

The Benefits of Effective Cable Trunking

Cable trunking is an ideal way of hiding, disguising and managing cables and wires. PVC coated, galvanised flexible conduit, small fibreglass cable trunking and large industrial steel trunking are just some of the cable trunking options available.

Most businesses have a server room which houses the core of their computer network and data. Such equipment inevitably comes with a mass of interlinked cables, which is a fire risk when they’re not managed properly. Without a carefully thought out cable management strategy, a server room can soon have a tangled mess of wires and cables across floors and doors.

Many fires start in server rooms as a result of malfunctioning or overheating electronic equipment. Burning cables add to the problem through toxic smoke which is generated by the burning of rubber insulation and the exposure of live electric wires. Therefore, it is worth well worth purchasing cable trunking which is fireproof. One fireproof cable trunking solution is Kopex Flexible Conduit. This provides a flame retardant cable solution made from a galvanised steel core and a PVC cover which is both flexible and versatile.

Trunking pillows are also an effective cable trunking solution, and can lower the risk of fire. They are made of fire resistant compounds and are used to plug holes bored in walls and ceilings for electric cables. If holes are sealed, this will reduce the likelihood of the fire spreading to the next room.

The best time to install cable trunking is when equipment is first being installed. The route of each cable should be planned and executed in an efficient and methodical manner. This should lower the fire risk and make management of the wires easier.

Cable management kits are available which supply a range of items to help you organise your cables effectively. These items include cables wraps, ties, clamps and trunking to help tidy cables and increase airflow around them.

Cable management problems not only look unprofessional, but are a major health and safety risk. Individuals who work in close proximity of the server room could trip over a loose cable, which endangers both the member of staff and the equipment. You may think that a few loose cables in an enclosed room won’t make a difference, but if your business ever relocates to different premises, it will be much easier to move and unplug the server, if the cables and wires have been properly managed.

Steel conduit is renowned for its durability to ensure cables stay protected, but they are very heavy and lack flexibility. In recent years steel wire baskets have grown in popularity. Steel wire baskets not only achieve similar results to steel conduit, but their versatility and low price allows it to meet growing budget and time constraints as well as faster installations.

Another material used in cable trunking is glass reinforced polyester. These materials are cost effective and also contain fire retardant, self-extinguishing and anti-corrosive properties which ensure utmost safety in hazardous environments.

When fitting cable trunking make sure you are meeting all the relevant safety guidelines. Large cable trunking may need to be installed by an expert to ensure its fitted properly.