The Ways An Air Conditioner Compressor Can Fail, and What To Do About It

Air conditioner compressors usually fail due to one of two conditions: time and hours of operation (wear out), or abuse. There are some failures that can occur elsewhere in the system that will cause a compressor failure, but these are less common unless the system has been substantially abused.

Usually abuse is a result of extended running with improper freon charge, or as a consequence of improper service along the way. This improper service can include overcharging, undercharging, installing the wrong starter capacitor as a replacement, removing (rather than repairing/replacing) the thermal limiter, insufficient oil, mixing incompatible oil types, or wrong oil, installing the compressor on a system that had a major burnout without taking proper steps to remove the acid from the system, installing the wrong compressor (too small) for the system, or installing a new compressor on a system that had some other failure that was never diagnosed.

The compressor can fail in only a handful of different ways. It can fail open, fail shorted, experience a bearing failure, or a piston failure (throw a rod), or experience a valve failure. That is pretty much the entire list.

When a compressor fails open, a wire inside the compressor breaks. This is unserviceable and the symptom is that the compressor does not run, though it may hum. If the compressor fails open, and following the steps here does not fix it, then the system may be a good candidate for a new compressor. This failure causes no further failures and won’t damage the rest of the system; if the rest of the system is not decrepit then it would be cost effective to just put a new compressor in.

Testing for a failed open compressor is easy. Pop the electrical cover for the compressor off, and remove the wires and the thermal limiter. Using an ohmmeter, measure the impedance from one terminal to another across all three terminals of the compressor. Also measure the impedance to the case of the compressor for all three terminals.

You should read low impedance values for all terminal to terminal connections (a few hundred ohms or less) and you should have a high impedance (several kilo-ohms or greater) for all terminals to the case (which is ground). If any of the terminal to terminal connections is a very high impedance, you have a failed open compressor. In very rare cases, a failed open compressor may show a low impedance to ground from one terminal (which will be one of the terminals associated with the failed open). In this case, the broken wire has moved and is contacting the case. This condition – which is quite rare but not impossible – could cause a breaker to trip and could result in a misdiagnosis of failed short. Be careful here; do an acid test of the contents of the lines before deciding how to proceed with repair.

When a compressor fails short, what happens is that insulation on the wires has worn off or burned off or broken inside the compressor. This allows a wire on a motor winding to touch something it should not touch – most commonly itself a turn or two further along on the motor winding. This results in a “shorted winding” which will stop the compressor immediately and cause it to heat up and burn internally.

Bad bearings can cause a failed short. Either the rotor wobbles enough to contact the stator, resulting in insulation damage that shorts the rotor either to ground or to the stator, or end bearing wear can allow the stator to shift down over time until it begins to rub against the stator ends or the housing.

Usually when one of these shorts occur, it is not immediately a hard short – meaning that initially the contact is intermittent and comes and goes. Every time the short occurs, the compressor torque drops sharply, the compressor may shudder a bit visibly as a result, and this shudder shakes the winding enough to separate the short. While the short is in place, the current through the shorted winding shoots up and a lot of heat is produced. Also, usually the short will blow some sparks – which produces acid inside the air conditioner system by decomposing the freon into a mixture of hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid.

Over time (possibly a couple of weeks, usually less) the shuddering and the sparking and the heat and the acid cause insulation to fail rapidly on the winding. Ultimately, the winding loses enough insulation that the inside of the compressor is literally burning. This will only go on for a few minutes but in that time the compressor destroys itself and fills the system with acid. Then the compressor stops. It may at that time melt a wire loose and short to the housing (which can trip your house main breaker) or it may not. If the initial cause of the failure was bad bearings causing the rotor to rub, then usually when the thing finally dies it will be shorted to the housing.

If it shorts to the housing, it will blow fuses and/or breakers and your ohmmeter will show a very low impedance from one or more windings to ground. If it does not short to the housing, then it will just stop. You still establish the type of failure using an ohmmeter.

You cannot directly diagnose a failed short with an ohmmeter unless it shorts to the housing – a shorted winding won’t show up with an ohmmeter though it would with an inductance meter (but who has one of those?) Instead, you have to infer the failed short. You do this by establishing the the ohmmeter gives normal readings, the starter capacitor is good, power is arriving at the compressor, AND an acid test of the freon shows acid present.

With a failed short, just give up. Change everything, including the lines if possible. It is not worth fixing; it is full of acid and therefore is all junk. Further, a failed short could have been initially induced by some other failure in the system that caused a compressor overload; by replacing the whole system you also will get rid of that potential other problem.

Less commonly, a compressor will have a bearing failure, piston failure or a valve failure. These mechanical failures usually just signal wear out but could signal abuse (low lubricant levels, thermal limiter removed so compressor overheats, chronic low freon condition due to un-repaired leaks). More rarely, they can signal another failure in the system such as a reversing valve problem or an expansion valve problem that winds up letting liquid freon get into the suction side of the compressor.

If a bearing fails, usually you will know because the compressor will sound like a motor with a bad bearing, or it will lock up and refuse to run. In the worst case, the rotor will wobble, the windings will rub on the stator, and you will wind up with a failed short.

If the compressor locks up mechanically and fails to run, you will know because it will buzz very loudly for a few seconds and may shudder (just like any stalled motor) until the thermal limiter cuts it off. When you do your electrical checks, you will find no evidence of failed open or failed short. The acid test will show no acid. In this case, you might try a hard-start kit but if the compressor has failed mechanically the hard-start kit won’t get the compressor to start. In this case, replacing the compressor is a good plan so long as the rest of the system is not decrepit. After replacing the compressor, you must carefully analyze the performance of the entire system to determine whether the compressor problem was induced by something else.

Rarely, the compressor will experience a valve failure. In this case, it will either sit there and appear to run happily but will pump no fluid (valve won’t close), or it will lock up due to an inability to move the fluid out of the compression chamber (valve won’t open). If it is running happily, then once you have established that there is indeed plenty of freon in the system, but nothing is moving, then you have no choice but to change the compressor. Again, a system with a compressor that has had a valve failure is a good candidate for a new compressor.

Now, if the compressor is mechanically locked up it could be because of a couple of things. If the compressor is on a heat pump, make sure the reversing valve is not stuck half way. Also make sure the expansion valve is working; if it is blocked it can lock the compressor. Also make sure the filter is not clogged. I once saw a system that had a locked compressor due to liquid lock. Some idiot had “serviced” the system by adding freon, and adding freon, and adding freon until the thing was completely full of liquid. Trust me; that does not work.

Should diagnosis show a clogged filter, then this should be taken as positive evidence of some failure in the system OTHER than a compressor failure. Typically, it will be metal fragments out of the compressor that clogs the filter. This can only happen if something is causing the compressor to wear very rapidly, particularly in the pistons, the rings, the bores, and the bearings. Either the compressor has vastly insufficient lubrication OR (and more commonly) liquid freon is getting into the compressor on the suction line. This behavior must be stopped. Look at the expansion valve and at the reversing valve (for a heat pump).

Often an old system experiences enough mechanical wear internally that it is “worn in” and needs more torque to start against the system load than can be delivered. This system will sound just like one with a locked bearing; the compressor will buzz loudly for a few seconds then the thermal limiter will kill it. Occasionally, this system will start right up if you whack the compressor with a rubber mallet while it is buzzing. Such a system is a good candidate for a hard-start kit. This kit stores energy and, when the compressor is told to start, dumps extra current into the compressor for a second or so. This overloads the compressor, but gives some extra torque for a short time and is often enough to make that compressor run again. I have had hard-start kits give me an extra 8 or 9 years in some old units that otherwise I would have been replacing. Conversely, I have had them give only a few months. It is your call, but considering how cheap a hard-start kit is, it is worth trying when the symptoms are as described.

And this, in a nutshell, is what can happen to an air conditioner compressor and what you can do about it.

Portland Oregon Apartments That Approve With Bad Credit Or Broken Lease

Portland Oregon, also known by other names such as “Rose Garden” and “Little Beirut” is a large city that occupies an important place in Multnomah County and has a population upwards of 500,000. The city’s location close to such notables like Seattle Washington and Vancouver makes it an attraction for students, businessmen and people looking to settle. This makes the area apartments a hot item with applications being submitted on a daily basis. To adhere to housing laws, Portland apartments conduct routine credit and rental history checks on potential tenants. This essentially means that if your credit score is low or you have a prior broken lease with a previous apartment, you may be denied an apartment in Portland Oregon.

The fact that there exists a standard practice of checking credit and rental history in Portland area apartments, it does not mean that there will not be apartments that will not work with problem applicants. While they may be few, they do exist nevertheless. Many applicants with bad credit or broken lease report a level of frustration when searching but if you fall into this category, here are a few areas with the city that you can look for second chance apartment:

  • Northwest including Pearl District
  • South West
  • Northeast
  • Southeast and more…

The reason it is difficult to locate second chance Portland apartments is because they do not get into the routine practice of advertising. One reason they do this is because they want to maintain their quality rating and also be able to keep their rates high. They also want to maintain a reputation of renting only to the most financially-stable tenants. This generally means that a casual search of apartments which approve applicants who are credit-challenged may yield disappointing results.

One method then that can be used to locate these types of apartments in Portland Oregon is learning to network. This means sharing with others who have been in similar situations. This is because they may have helpful ideas as to where one can locate an a leasing office manager who is understanding or lenient or apartments which are willing to overlook credit shortcomings. Another option is to utilize the power of the Internet to search and locate potential apartments and then call them ahead of time. You can also contact apartment locators and see whether they can offer any helpful insights as to which apartments would be willing to work with you.

It is also essential to bear in mind that even when you do find such an apartment, there will be basic requirements to meet. One is that you must have a job and have had it at least 6 months. Another is that your job must be paying you at least 3 times the amount of the rent and thirdly, you may have to go through a background check.

Do All Flat Feet Need Surgery?

Studies suggest 20-30 percent of all people suffer from flat feet. Duck feet, as some may call it, is medically describes as pes planus. Though flatfoot is a well recognized diagnosis, its cause is not as well defined. Flatfoot can be seen in young children and is actually considered normal up to the age of two or even five years old. Some flatfoot conditions occur much later in life and in reality; flatfoot can be encountered at any age and cause a broad range of pain from absolutely none to physically debilitating.

The most basic way to describe a flatfoot is rigid or flexible. A rigid flatfoot is flat all the time. Whether standing or sitting, the foot never appears to have an arch. A flexible flatfoot on the other hand looks and appears normal when non-weight bearing but as soon as one stands up the arch disappears and the foot collapses to the floor. Generally, those with a rigid flat foot experience more pain. Those with flexible flatfoot have a wider range of discomfort. Some experience no discomfort at all.

Whether experiencing pain or not, the general public and many of patients are quite concerned about their flatfeet. As if the flatfoot is a ticking time bomb that will ruin their life, everyone wants to know what they can do for their flat feet! There is truth to when your feet hurt your whole body hurts, but often, the trick to keep your feet happy is not taking them under the knife. With that said, there are a considerable number of people who benefit greatly from surgical reconstruction of their foot. These people have exhausted all conservative treatments that have all failed to bring them relief.

Where to start? If you are asymptomatic, don’t worry so much. There is nothing you can do short of surgery that will recreate an arch. When you have a flatfoot, it is often a combination of soft tissue failure and boney alignment dysfunction. The biomechanics of your foot becomes compromised. You can still walk but for some, it is not without discomfort. Simple measures such as orthotics and bracing are often all that is needed to rid the discomfort. This also means that shoes play an important role. Every day of the summer I have patients strolling into my office in flip flops and other poor excuses for shoes. Low and behold, this only creates problems for flatfooters.

Parents often get very anxious when they see their child flopping around on archless feet. Studies have shown that athletic performance or injury rates have zero correlation to flat feet. If the flat feet are asymptomatic, no treatment is eminent through research is lacking to really determine the value of an orthotic on long term symptoms. For children that have symptoms, they may have an underlying coalition, meaning they may have bones in their foot that are fused that shouldn’t be. These children improve significantly with surgical procedures to correct this deformity.

Generally, my rule of thumb is pain needs to be treated and concerns of your health should always be addressed. Flatfoot does not mean you need a complex surgery. Though surgical procedures for flatfoot can greatly improve one’s symptoms it is not for everyone.

Medical Alert Devices

Medical Alert devices are electronic gadgets worn on your body to alert your family, friends and doctor in case of a medical emergency. They are normally meant for senior citizens, but they are equally crucial for all those who suffer from serious and debilitating diseases like cardiovascular conditions, asthma, allergies, neurological problems, epilepsy, fainting, blindness and numerous other medical conditions.

Medical Alert devices come in many shapes and designs. They may be in the form of buttons, necklaces, bracelets, pendants or wristwatches. They may have designer shapes. They may be made of precious metals like silver or gold, or come in practical shapes without any attention to their aesthetic appearance. Image-conscious wearers usually go in for these devices in form of fashionable (medical) jewelry, which is less likely to advertise their medical problems to others.

Since wearing these devices is often a medical necessity, one has to be careful before deciding which device is best suited to their type of disease. The simplest form of these devices are manufactured as jewelry items with the medical history of the patient, along with telephone numbers of his family and doctor, engraved on them. But far more useful than these are the jewelry items fitted with sensors and electronic mechanisms that activate the transmission system installed within, and connect to telephone lines or radio frequencies to contact the patient’s family, friends, and doctor, and also summon medical assistance. These devices contain the medical identity of the patient and the history of his disease so the critical time in diagnosing is not wasted.

Considering the millions of people the world over suffering from different medical problems, the market is awash with fashionable designer medical jewelry meant for these persons. Therefore, one must be cautious before spending money on them. It would be better to seek the advice of one’s doctor before deciding which device suits your medical condition. These devices are sophisticated, and likely to be costly and beyond the reach of ordinary persons. But if a thorough search is made through the Internet, Yellow Pages or other sources, cheaper but equally useful accessories can be bought. Care should also be taken about the reputation of the manufacturing company with regard to the product quality, guarantee of its effectiveness and after-sales service.

Cruise Lines Reviews – Which Line Is Best for You?

Cruising has become a hugely popular vacation option, not just in the States, but in many countries around the world now. Cruise lines reviews can certainly help you make up your mind as to which line you would like to sail on and also which of the many beautiful itineraries available you would to try.

Due to the massive popularity in the cruise vacation industry, there are so many different cruise companies for you to choose from these days. They all differ from one another and have their own unique selling points. A cruise company will often try to create its own little niche within the massive cruise market. This is what you need to look for in order to determine which line you would like to sail on.

Cruise Lines Reviews – Information on a few of the leading cruise lines

Carnival Cruises:

Carnival Cruises is the flagship line of the huge Carnival Corporation & PLC, which is now the largest cruise operator in the world. The Carnival fleet itself is known for catering for the younger ‘party’ crowd. They currently have 23 ships in their fleet, the majority of which sail in and around US and Caribbean waters. They do have a couple of ships that go as far as Europe and Hawaii, but the younger crowd that they cater for generally prefers to spend less on a cruise and more when they get on-board.

Princess Cruises:

Princess Cruises is now actually part of Carnival Corporation as they merged back in 2002. Princess Cruises is known for its elegant ships and itineraries that span the globe. They have very elegant interiors and the typical guest on a Princess cruise is a more mature one that favors the scenic cruising rather than the busy night activities. This being said, they do have some very busy ships, especially the ones that sail in the Caribbean in the winter time.

Royal Caribbean Cruises:

Royal Caribbean are known for their enormous ships. They currently have the largest cruise ships on the seven seas and their Oasis class, which consists of the two ships, the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas. These two ships each weigh in at a staggering 225,282 gross tonnage, carry up to 6360 passengers and have a crew of over 2000 to keep them running smoothly. Royal Caribbean ships are also well known for the activities they provide on-board such as their ice-skating rinks, climbing wall, a wave surfing pool and even a boxing ring. They have massive promenades that run through the middle of the ship, with shops, bars and restaurants lining each side. The typical guest on a Royal Caribbean cruise is somewhere in the middle of a Carnival guest and a Princess guest.

Holland America Line:

Holland America line is another cruise company that operates underneath the Carnival Corporation umbrella. Carnival actually purchased Holland America Line back in 1988 and has helped them go from strength to strength. They don’t go for the massive ships that other lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival have. They like to have smaller, more intimate ships that sail to beautiful itineraries all over the world. The typical guest on-board a Holland America Ship is an older guest, mostly retired and can afford to do the longer itineraries too far off places that they like to offer.

These are just brief cruise lines reviews of four very different cruise lines. There are many more to choose from, but this will give you an idea of how they can vary and what they have to offer.

Flat Or Round HDMI Cable For Your Home Theater?

Just when you thought it was safe to go out and buy an HDMI cable, you now have to consider a new and interesting concept; flat HDMI cable. What in the world were the manufacturers thinking when they came up with that idea? I thought all cables are supposed to be round.

There are a few advantages to using flat HDMI, but in my opinion, these advantages have nothing to do with the quality of video. I have used both flat and round HDMI cables in many installations and compared them side-by-side. I have never seen a difference in picture quality. I have asked other installers that I work with to also compare the flat against the round and they agree with my comparison. Visually we cannot see any difference in picture quality between the two cables.

Of course the hard-core home theater buffs will disagree with me and say that a flat HDMI cable will give you better video quality. There is a theory that states a round HDMI cable has internal wires that are wrapped around each other, where the flat one separates each internal wire across the width of the cable. This is supposed to eliminate the “crosstalk” (interference) that you may experience in the round cable. The flat HDMI may eliminate this “crosstalk”, but visually, it sure doesn’t make much difference in picture quality.

The biggest advantage to using a flat HDMI cable is convenience. It is easier to work with and I use it when my installations don’t afford me a lot of room to move around.

Here are a few advantages to using a flat HDMI cable:

  1. It bends easier. A round HDMI cable is thicker and cannot bend as easily as a flat one. This makes it easier to install into/along walls.
  2. It’s easier to tuck behind a hanging HDTV. A round HDMI cannot be wrapped up as tight as a flat one can, and will tend to bulge from behind the television.
  3. You can hide it behind a baseboard better. It lays flat against the wall and this lets you put the baseboard back flush without gaps.
  4. Running it under carpet is easier. Just make sure you don’t put it in under the carpet in a high traffic area. This is something that installers are doing these days since the cable with not cause a bump in your carpet.
  5. It can be painted easier than a round one can. This is a huge advantage if you decide to run your flat HDMI along the top of your baseboards and paint it to blend into the wall.

So the flat HDMI cable will function just as well as the round one will (maybe even better if you believe in the “crosstalk” theory), and as long as it is certified by the HDMI committee, you should consider buying the flat HDMI cable because of convenience, not video quality.

What Is the Difference Between Reinstatement Vs Modification of a Home Loan or Mortgage?

If your mortgage lender has sent you a letter demanding that you pay all of your back payments, as well as all late fees, penalties and legal fees in order to become current, then the process they are working with is called a reinstatement of your loan. Your lender views the delinquent amounts as defaulting on the terms of your home loan. This requires them to demand you catch up or they must foreclose on you and take your home. Can a home loan modification avoid this process and get you current without your having to pay this large amount? If the answer is yes, then why is this true? You may ask, what is the difference between reinstatement and modification of a home loan?

The demand for payment letter that a borrower receives is based on the terms of the loan. It only allows for paying the payment as described in your loan documents. If you are behind on your payments, you are still going to be held to the terms of your contract with the lender. There is no language in your loan to allow for changes. Therefore the lender has no other option other than collect or foreclose. You have fallen into default and the only contractual way to become current is to pay all past due amounts. Then your loan has become “reinstated” and you can keep your home as long as you continue to make payments on time. This process is called reinstatement.

But, the problem with the reinstatement process is, that if you are too far behind then you will be unable to find enough cash to catch up all at once. The language of your loan, then triggers a foreclosure that you are unable to stop.

Unless….You are able to work out an agreement with your lender to “change” the language and terms of your loan. This type of situation will call for “modifying” your loan. You modify the terms to make it possible for you to continue owning and paying for your house. It would include interest reduction to lower your monthly payment and taking your unpaid payments and putting them back into your loan. The new terms would have the effect of creating new monthly payments, which would be affordable to you. Your monthly payments would now fit within your monthly budget.

Why would the lender do this? Because, your lender loses a great deal of money whenever they foreclose on a home. This is complicated, but the costs your lender must pay can include:

1. The cost of the foreclosure process going through the court system.

2. Your home will probably sell for less today that just a few years ago due to the economy. If your lender receives less than you owe them, then they lose this money.

3. Care of your home while it is in the selling process. This includes large realtor commissions, utility bills and upkeep.

4. The lender borrowed money from an even larger lender in order to loan you the money you used to buy your home. Your lender must pay this back.

5. While your home is in foreclosure or being sold, your lender cannot use it as an asset on the bank balance sheet. They are then criticized by government regulators.

Well what does your lender want? First of all, the lender wants you to catch up your payments on your own and get a reinstatement.. If that is not possible and you can identify the problems you have had that forced you to get behind, then the lender wants to work with you. The lender wants you to show what was wrong; what is different today; and what amount you can afford. Then they must see if they can make your plan work from their point of view.

If you can agree on terms that work for you both, then you can change the words, or terms, of your loan to incorporate the new agreement. You will not be getting a new loan or a refinance loan. You will do a “home loan modification”, which simply changes some of the terms of the loan, so that it now includes your new agreements.

Home loan modifications are done thousands of time per day, due to the present housing crisis. You can do it yourself, if you are familiar with the process. However, this can be tricky. I would interview several home loan modification process experts. Find out what they promise, what they charge and if they will take payments. For my recommendation see my resource box below.

Basic Concepts of Art Deco Interior Design

People will think it is fun working with art, especially if we are arranging something for ourselves. Colors, clean lines and bold prints are very interesting to be mixed. If you are planning to redecorate your entire home or only a room, it is useful to know about the basic concepts of art deco interior design.

The first concepts you need to pay attention when arranging yourself is geometric shapes and clean lines. And you should know that it consists of well-defined lines, sweeping curves similar with the streamline design of planes. Besides the well-defined lines, there is also other popular design using of geometric shapes, angular blocky, include the influence of ancient Aztec temples like trapezoids and shapes.

As the influence of industrial power, materials such as stainless steel and textures enter the art deco. It affects people’s vision on nature and creates such things like lacquered wood. From this influence, it is growing and the expression of the space of a room becomes more creative.

The stainless steel and textures also influence the use of clean lines that give sense of stark and opulent at the same time. In the industrial time, other materials also become popular such as marble, ebony, and glass. If you want a glossy surface, there are many materials in art deco available for this sense.

Next, art deco interior design developed with the influence of many other cultures. Not only in one country but also brought many effects from other country with its own characteristic. The result is more materials involved in this art and give you many options if you want to redecorate interior design living room.

There are also more fabrics and softer materials like sharkskin, zebra patterns, or soft elegant silks affect people’s vision in the art. So, it is possible if you want to get a situation of warm pacific waters, savannahs of Africa or the beauty of Chinese and Japanese. With a little imagination and creativity combining those materials, you are able to apply art deco as well as possible.

Being Cremated – The Inside Story on Being a Cremator Technician at a Crematorium

There is only one certain thing in life and that is when you are born you will eventually die, hopefully after a long life, but whatever the circumstances surrounding our passing once we are gone what happens next to our physical body is something that not everybody wants to think about. The fact is that the two main choices are to be cremated or buried depending on preference.

Perhaps you have given it some thought but feel a little awkward and are not sure where to go to find out the information that you want to know without feeling that people will judge you and think that you have a misplaced morbid curiosity.

Well, I can assure you that, that is not the case and whilst most folk are content to be happily ignorant and prefer not to know, for others the more information you have the better and can help you cope with what is to come. Because, whichever way you dress it up to think about death can be a sobering and frightening thought.

How Can I be So Sure?

As a cremator technician (I cremate people, not deal with the machinery when it needs attention) I can give you an insight into the cremation process which will hopefully ease any worries or concerns you may have (or give you the answers that you have been looking for) and give some comfort knowing that you will be well looked taken care of after you pass away.

I have been doing my job for several years and consider what I do a small (but just as important) part of the larger funeral process that starts when somebody dies. An awful lot happens before I get to play my role within this process and as a cremator technician what I do is very much out of the limelight and ceremony that a funeral service will normally include.

But (and I feel that this is a very important point) I cannot stress enough that you can be sure that you or your loved ones are treated with the utmost dignity and respect at all times and I consider it a privilege to do what my work entails.

After all, I am the last person to deal with anybody in their physical form and as such I like to think that anybody who passes through my hands has been cared for in the best way that I can. So, with this in mind what happens to you when you are cremated?

Dispelling Urban Myths About Cremation

Firstly, I think it is important to dispel a couple of commonly thought urban myths and although I am not sure of their origins or how they started it is surprising at just how many people believe them to be the case.

Urban myth 1 is that more than one coffin is cremated at a time. The cremators themselves are of a dimension that only allows for one coffin to be placed inside at a time and it so it is physically impossible to do more than that.

Urban myth number 2, bodies are taken out of the coffin to cremate them. By law I have to cremate the coffin and its contents as I receive it at the crematorium and as such I deal with a sealed unit that I have no need, wish or indeed right to tamper with.

Also, cremation itself involves the combustion process and although the subject of the fuel is an emotive one, the coffin itself is essential to help start the process in order to cremate ethically and correctly.

The Cremation Process itself

(Some People May Find This Slightly Distressing, so Please Continue Reading with Caution)

Once the funeral service has taken place my role then starts and does not finish from the moment I receive the coffin through to the point that I place the cremated remains safely into a suitable container (be it an urn, casket or a keepsake of some sort) at the end of the cremation process.

Each crematorium will be slightly different in as much as the mechanisms and cremators may not work in the same way but essentially what goes on inside the cremator is.

So, once the coffin is inside the main chamber it is subjected to temperatures of up to 1200 degrees Celsius and the actual process from start to finish takes approximately 1 hours as an average. Body weight, embalming and certain illnesses do play a part in longer or shorter cremation times.

During this cremation time everything is closely monitored and although a computer program runs things smoothly and efficiently, manual intervention is possible if needed.

What Happens After the Cremation Has Taken Place

Once the cremation has finished, you are left with the cremated remains that need to be cooled and processed into a more manageable size. You will find that most people commonly refer to this as ash although what you are in fact looking at is ground bone (more of which in a moment).

The cremated remains are raked down from the cremator into a hopper and air is passed over them until they have reached a temperature suitable for the next process to take place which involves the large piece of bone to be crushed by a machine into smaller pieces.

The process of crushing the bone is called cremulation and basically involves a machine with a rotating drum containing steel balls to facilitate this. Once ground, the remains are placed into your chosen container (as previously mentioned) when my job as a cremator technician is done.

Another very important point that I must stress is that of identification. At each stage throughout the cremation process each individual is accompanied by an identification card that stays with them at all times until it is finally placed with them inside their container.

A duplicate is placed on the outside of the container to ensure the continuity and positive identification at all times so there is no room for error or mistakes to mix people up, it is very simple and a very effective way of doing this.

Can Anyone Become a Cremator Technician?

My job itself is governed by a very strict code of ethics to ensure that dignity and respect is maintained at all times but, that aside I thinks that it takes a special kind of person to do what I do and I see myself in a caring role and treat everybody who I meet with the care and compassion that I think is rightly deserved.

Nobody really likes to think of their own mortality, much less about burial or cremation but to know that you are still looked after in death is a comfort I like to think.

Everyone that I deal with is especially important because they are somebody’s Mom, Dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle etc. And I for one never forget that.

Best Tool For Shaving Your Balls

As the owner of a popular male pubic shaving guide site, I get asked a lot how and what to use when it comes to shaving your balls. Of course at first for some this may be a laughing matter but seriously speaking, you can’t use just anything down there because no man wants to risk getting nicked or cut, you can imagine how much that would hurt.

I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it again: NEVER USE A RAZOR BLADE. Unfortunately many guys simply don’t understand that message and I also receive messages asking me what they should do after getting a bad cut in their scrotum area. You don’t want to be one of the guys asking me this, getting a cut down there is simply put, painful.

So what is the best tool to use for shaving your balls? Let’s first clarify what tools you shout NOT be using or which methods are best avoided. It is pretty obvious that a male is different from a female, which is why men shouldn’t use the same pubic shaving techniques that women use.

Methods such as bikini waxing and razor blades are NOT recommended. There is also laser hair removal but that can be very expensive and often not an affordable choice for the majority of men. We emphasize on NOT using a razor blade because you can easily get cut or nicked. Also many times using a razor blade leaves you with ingrown hairs, irritated skin and in worst cases all of this can develop into infections.

You must also understand that the male genital area is made up of very sensitive and delicate skin. Don’t use the same razor or electric shaving machine that you use on your face down there, it’s no hygienic and not recommended. Male pubic shaving should be done with patience and delicately for the best results.

If you are going to use shaving cream to lather up your balls then be sure to use shaving cream for sensitive skin, remember that you have sensitive skin down there. You will not need aftershave and it is recommended that you not use this either because it can also cause irritation and burning.

The best tool to use to shave your balls is the Philips Norelco Bodygroom. It is the ONLY male pubic shaver available that is designed specifically for men. The Bodygroom is cordless and waterproof so you can use it in the shower, it comes with a charging base as well and three comb lengths so you can trim down your pubic area first which is always recommended for guys who are shaving their balls for the first time and have lots of pubic hair.

Advantages of Becoming an Aerospace Engineer

Now is a great time to get in aerospace engineering. NASA is beginning to phase out the space shuttles (due to be retired in 2010) and is in the process of developing the Ares rockets. These are to be the spacecraft of the future. There is a great deal of involving in the development of these rockets. There are to be two rockets per trip in the Ares program, a rocket that carries the crew, the Ares I rocket, and a rocket that carries the cargo, the Ares V rocket.

For students beginning college in the near future, this is a chance to help develop and work in the next step of space exploration. NASA is planning to establish a base on the moon by 2018 and to launch a manned mission to Mars from the moon. What an honor and privilege it would be to work on the first manned mission to another planet! Over 200 private companies currently have contracts with NASA on the Ares program. NASA is planning the first test flight for the Ares I rocket to be scheduled for 2009.

NASA is also currently developing a new lunar lander named Altair. Altair will be capable of landing four astronauts on the moon and it will provide the astronauts a temporary base on the surface moon for one week. Here at NC State, our aerospace engineering department is working the ablative shielding for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the command module of the Ares I rocket. The ablative shielding is the layer of material that burns off the spacecraft during reentry. It prevents the spacecraft from burning up on reentry. Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract for Orion.

There are many co-op and internship opportunities available for aerospace engineers. Many of the private aerospace companies offer co-ops and internships and NASA offers a few as well. Co-ops and internships are like extended job interviews. You are paid to go and work at an aerospace company and if they like you, then you are already in good standing with the company and the company knows what you are capable of. They may offer a job before you even graduate! Imagine still being in college and having the peace of mind that when you graduate, you already have a job waiting for you.

Many private aerospace companies are in the development stages of commercial space flight. Virgin Galactic, for example, is working on a spacecraft designed to take tourists into space for short period of time. Many other companies are working on similar civilian space projects as well. Aerospace engineers also develop aircraft and projectiles. The U.S. military is always looking for a cutting edge in aircraft and missile technology.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Family Houses

There are many different types of real estate property. These include condos, apartments and single family houses. Single family houses are those that are occupied by only one family and have only one dwelling unit. This is quite different from apartments and condos which have multiple dwellings and are occupied by many families. Like other types of real estate property, these houses also have some advantages and disadvantages. These advantages and disadvantages are discussed below.


Firstly, single family homes have more appreciation in value and are more resistant to down markets than multifamily dwellings. Thus, your investment will be protected and yield greater returns.

Secondly, such houses provide control over your space. You can renovate, remodel or revamp your home the way you want. There are no restrictions on changing the look of your home. Thus, you can make your home match your personality. However, you still have to follow city and locality rules.

Thirdly, there is more privacy in such houses. You don’t share walls with anyone and so, can enjoy the peace and quiet. You also don’t have to put up with any nonsense of other families living in the community.

Fourthly, there is no association to deal with. You don’t have to give any maintenance fee for your home or follow the strict rules and regulations of the association.


Firstly, the cost of single family homes is high. They are more expensive than multifamily homes. Many people cannot afford them single family homes and so, opt for multifamily houses.

Secondly, maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowner. This can be quite a headache as everything from landscaping to plumbing has to be done by the homeowner himself.

Thirdly, amenities like swimming pool and gym will cost a lot in single family homes and are affordable only for those having high income.

Fourthly, the cost of maintenance is high in these homes since everything has to be done by the homeowner. In multifamily homes, the cost is shared and so maintenance is not that high.

Finally, it is better to have an apartment or condo in the city near facilities like hospitals and transport rather than a home in the suburbs where everything is far away. This is especially true if you work in the city and have to commute to your workplace every day.

In the end, the suitability of a single family home depends on you and your needs. So keep these advantages and disadvantages as well as your own preferences in mind when deciding whether or not to buy such a house.

10 Reasons Why Sound Insulation is So Important

If you’ve ever been involved in a building project, or refurbished your home, then perhaps you know exactly why sound insulation is so important, and why it is fundamental to the design and construction of your project. If you’re not aware of why it’s so important, then here’s what you need to know.

1. Land to build houses on is hard to come by, and so houses are closer together, and so people are living closer together, which means that noise from one house can easily be heard or felt in another house, even if the noise isn’t especially loud.

2. Sound insulation affects both new building projects and refurbishments, so if you’re involved in property construction, or want to make the most of your house, then you’ll need to make sure that you take into account the fact that you’ll need to be aware of noise levels.

3. The UK Building Regulations specify how much noise is allowed, and what sort of acoustic flooring and other sound insulation products are available and suitable for your project.

4. Because noise is seen as a Health and Safety issue, it’s important that people aren’t subjected to excessive noise. Residents have a right to be able to relax during the evening and at weekend, without having to listen to the noise from their neighbours.

5. You might already have some idea as to what sound insulation products you need, or what sort of sound control you want. If you’re building an office block, or a hospital, then your needs will differ from somebody who wants to lessen the effects of drum or trumpet practice in their home.

6. If you know you need to reduce the noise in your home, then you’ll need to make sure you get the right products for your build. You’ll need to make sure that the acoustic insulation you use on your project meets the relevant UK Building Regulations,

7. Airborne sound is the sound of music or conversation, and because walls seem to be very thin in new builds, it is often possible to hear conversations and music in neighbouring rooms and houses, even though the music or conversation might not be classed as very loud.

8. Impact sound is the sound of something hitting something else, rather than music or conversation. Playing drums, footsteps on stairs or a washing machine vibrating on an uneven floor are examples of impact sound.

9. Flanking transmission is the path that sound takes, and explains how music or other noises can be heard elsewhere in the building. If you’re building a hotel or want to install a home cinema system than you’ll want to reduce the amount of noise that travels.

10. Unless you are experienced in sound reduction and acoustic flooring, it’s probably a good idea to get your sound insulation fitted professionally, so that you know it has been done correctly, and that it will be effective and meet the relevant standards, and will pass any inspections.

Now you know more about why sound control is so important, perhaps now is the time for you to think more about sound insulation in your home.

Low Sodium Diet – Understanding it and How to Cut Your Intake

Sodium is one of the most prevalent substances present in numerous food items people regularly take in everyday. It is also one of the biggest contributors to high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels among other complications.

This is why a low sodium diet should be observed if you want to have a healthier and lighter body. However, to cut back sodium efficiently in your eating habits, you must first understand it.

Where can you find sodium?

As mentioned earlier, sodium is almost everywhere, so to nail down where you can find high amounts of sodium, here is a list.

1. Salt–Since saltis a compound made up of sodium and chloride, salt is the number one source of sodium.

2. Canned, frozen, and other processed foods–This is because most canned foods use salt as a preservative, among other artificial ingredients.

3. Frozen dinners

4. Sauces, dressings, and marinades

5. Crackers and Cookies

How to cut down your sodium intake?

For one, you can lessen your intake of the mentioned sodium rich foods. However, you cannot just drop your intake to zero because it is still a much-needed nutrient in the body.

Another option is by switching to more natural foods. As processed, preserved, instant, and canned foods are very rich in sodium, consuming them less is a good way to cut back. However, if you cannot avoid foods like these, look for low-sodium alternatives.

Lastly, you can also use a substitute ingredient to sodium. There are numerous salt alternatives available in the market; make sure they are healthy by checking the nutritional facts. You can also go for natural salt substitutes like smart salts.

By closely watching your diet and maximizing it to low amounts of sodium, you will not only be healthier, but may also enjoy the benefits of weight loss.

ShakleeKids Incredivites – My Review of Incredivites

Shaklee has just announced a new line of products. These are products for children and are called the ShakleeKids line. One of the new products that is being offered is a chewable mulitivitamin / multimineral dietary supplement called Incredivites.

Incredivites has been formulated to "close the gap" between the nutrition and most kids are getting compared what their bodies need. Most kids today get 25% of their calories from junk food, and french fries is the number one vegetable source for many school age children. There have been many studies done that indicate that kids that have poor nutrition do poorly at school.

Poor nutrition has also been linked to negative impacts to a child's immune system, bone growth and overall physical development. This can cause a lot of missed school days and a host of physical issues as children grow up and tax their bodies in sports and other school activities.

Incredivites was formulated as a "super nutrition boost" primarily for children ages 4 to 12. Incredivites is the first children's chewable multivitamin in the US with lactoferrin. This is a nutrient found in breast milk and helps keep kid's immune systemworking as it should. This allows for children to avoid fatigue and recover quickly when they do get sick. Incredivites also has 23 essential nutrients and is packed with 600 IU of Vitamin D per serving.

The Vitamin D is lacking in many kids due to spending more time inside as sunlight is a major source of it. Vitamin D is very important to kids developing strong bones and
Teeth. When kids get the correct amount of Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus can be absorbed much better into their system. This allows their bones and teeth to develop strong and correctly.

Incredivites has no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives added and is naturally sweetened with xylitol which does not promote cavities. It is pleasant tasting and easy for kids to take.

Incredivites is a great addition to the ShakleeKids line of products. Like all Shaklee products, it is always safe and always works.