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Posted by on 7:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Adding A Sump Pump To Your Saturated Crawl Space

If you have a dirt crawl space underneath your home that is constantly saturated with water, then you should start to think about waterproofing methods that can reduce the amount of standing water that sits under your house. Adding drainage tile to the exterior of your house and making sure that gutter downspouts are angled away from your foundation are a few things you can do. You also should add a sump pump to your crawl space if standing water is an issue. Keep reading to learn about some tips to help you with the sump pump installation. Install A Liner Sump pumps placed in basement areas are typically slipped into large holes in the concrete. These holes are called sumps and they collect all the water from the basement so it can be removed by the pump. Your dirt crawl space does not have a concrete formation that can be drilled. While this can make it easier to add a hole with a shovel, the hole will fill in with mud. To prevent this, you must add a sump pit liner to the opening. Sump pit liners are made from polyethylene, polyethylene foam, or fiberglass, and perforated varieties are a good option to allow water to flow through the dirt and into the pit. Polyethylene pits are a good choice for residential use because they are lightweight, durable, and easy to install. Most liners are a little less than two feet deep and this should meet your crawl space waterproofing needs. You do not want your liner to be too deep or the dirt and mud will place too much pressure on the liner and this may cause it to collapse.  Purchase the liner before you start to dig the pit in the crawl space. You should do this when the dirt is relatively dry. October and November are relatively dry months throughout the United States, so dig the pit in the fall. The pit should be secured in the lowest area of the crawl space. Think about where you see the largest puddle form in the space or where the dirt seems to be saturated with water first when water gets into the crawl space. This will be the area where the sump pit should go. When you are ready to set your sump liner in the ground, make sure the top lip of the polyethylene pit sits about one-half to one inch above the ground. Spread some gravel around the lip to keep the liner from sinking into the earth when the ground becomes wet. Purchase The Right Sump Pump Once you have the pit ready, you will need to place the pump in the pit. However, you will need to purchase the right type of device for the crawl space. While basement water is relatively clean when it enters a sump pit, this is not likely for water that flows through a crawl space. The water is typically quite dirty and it will pick up small silt and clay particles as it runs through the holes of the sump liner. The dirt and debris can clog up the impeller device that is attached to a traditional submersible sump pump. To reduce clogging issues, you will need to purchase a dirty water submersible sump pump for the pit. These pumps come in submersible varieties like traditional pumps....

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Posted by on 12:45 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Investigating The Electrical Wiring On A Garage Door That Will Not Open

Automatic garage doors and their connected openers are rarely thought about, until they no longer work and you cannot park or remove your car from your garage. A garage door that will no longer open is extremely frustrating and may signal the need for a brand-new opener. Do not panic though, there are a few simple things that you should look at first before you invest in a brand-new opener. Inspecting the wiring is one of the most important things you should investigate.  Inspect All Wires Your garage door opener will be wired to several different parts and pieces, and breaks in the wires can cause malfunctions and shorts in the system. Wiring is connected to the main electrical plug that attaches to an outlet on your ceiling or wall. One wire will connect to the remote sensor that reads the electrical signal coming from your remote, and another will connect to the manual opener that sits on your wall. You also will notice two wires attached to two small black boxes that sit on the garage door tracks. The boxes are the photo eyes that detect whether or not an object or person is in the way of the door. Inspect all wires from the base of the opener to their connections. Look for wires that are pinched, broken, or missing insulation. These wires need to be replaced. To replace a wire, look for the numbers and letters on the sheathing to purchase the right type of wire. You will notice the gauge, the voltage rating, and the safety rating. Purchase the same color of wiring as well. Colors do indicate the type of wire that is connected to the opener. For example, a white wire is a neutral wire that may not carry electricity and green indicates a ground wire. Other colors indicate live wiring, so you choose a blue, black, yellow, or red wire if you cannot match the color for some reason. Stay away from white and green though, or you may confuse an electrician or future homeowner who wants to complete electrical work on the opener. Look At Terminals Wires will sometimes look as though they are in good condition, but the terminals that connect the wires to the opener may not look very good. These terminals are the point where the external circuit or wire is connected to an electrical component. Terminals are fasteners that conduct electricity and allow it to move through the wiring. There are two types of terminals or fasteners that you may see on the back of your garage door opener. These are screw and tab terminals. Tab or quick-connect terminals are the most common, and they are small slits or openings that fit metal tabs. These tabs are connected to the ends of the wires, and the wires are pushed into the terminals. Unplug your garage door opener and pull the wires out of the terminals so you can inspect the tabs. Tabs can corrode over time and form a layer of rust. If you see rust, then you should replace the tabs. Tabs crimp in place, so cut off the old tab from the wire, strip the end, slip the round end onto the wiring, and use needlenose pliers to crimp the round end down.  If you notice screws on...

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Posted by on 12:27 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reducing Attic Fan Noises

If you have an open home with 9 to 12 foot ceilings, then you likely have a spacious living area. However, this area may be quite expensive to cool during the summer months. Since hot air rises, you can reduce your AC usage by having attic fans installed. This will help to ventilate the upper areas of the home so heat is less likely to accumulate. Attic fans are fairly simple to install and attach to a thermostat. However, you may hear some noises as the fans are running. Thankfully, most noise issues are easy to fix. Whirring Sounds and Slow Speeds If your fans are set on the highest setting and you notice the fan creating a whirring sound and they are moving slowly, then you likely have an issue with the intake of air. Attic ventilation systems require a balance between air intake and exhaust, or the system will not be efficient or effective. The air intake pulls fresh outside air into the attic. The air flow moves hot air towards the fan where it is released out of the roof. Poor airflow into the attic will stall the movement of air to the fan. You can increase air intake a few different ways. If you have a skylight or a window that is close to the attic space, then you can open it to increase airflow. Open windows directly across and opposite from the fan are best to create a consistent cross breeze. If you do not have a window or skylight in the area, then you will need to have another vent installed along the roof. A soffit or eave vent can be added to the edge of the roof or an exhaust vent can be placed close to the roof peak.  If you want to add vents yourself, then consider the ones that can be Installed along the soffit. These vents are easier to install, but make sure to consider the whole area of your attic so more than enough vents are added for proper air intake.  Humming Noises Most fans make humming noises as they run, and the noises are not typically bothersome. However, if you like to keep a quiet home and also want the fans to run at high speeds, then the noises may be a bit too loud for you. Fans make humming sounds normally as the blades move against the air. The bigger the blades, the more noise you will hear. You can invest in a fan that has more blades than the one that is currently installed. The blades will be smaller and make less noise, but they will still move the same amount of air through the exhaust vent. For example, switch from a three blade fan to a five blade variety. Hex nut attachments typically keep the fan blade in place, so use a socket wrench to remove the nut when you are ready to replace the blade. Some attic fans need to be lubricated on occasion, and adding oil to the fan motor can help to reduce noises. Look to see if your fan has oil ports where oil can be added. These ports will be located on the motor housing and they will look like small round protrusions coming out of the side. Place several...

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Posted by on 12:17 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Myths And Facts About Couriers That Every New Small Business Owner Needs To Know

If you are a new business owner today, you may think that you only have a few shipping options with the well known companies. You have likely heard of courier companies but may think of them as only useful for occasional urgent deliveries of medical or legal documents. Meanwhile, you are watching those expensive shipping charges from the “Big Guys” eat away at your profits. The truth is that many new business owners like you have misconceptions about what couriers can truly do. Here are some common myths about couriers debunked along with some facts on how couriers can help you save money and improve your customer satisfaction.  Myth: Couriers All Ride Bicycles and Only Hand-Deliver Documents Many movies and television shows based in the early to mid 1900s have scenes that display a town courier on a bicycle weaving in and out of traffic to deliver an important document. While bicycle couriers still exist and are great options for speedy deliveries in traffic-laden cities, not all couriers ride bicycles and specialize in hand-delivering documents.  One additional type of courier service is a pallet courier. These services have fleets of trucks that can deliver your pallets of goods to companies you may be supplying. This can help you quickly get a pallet (or several) to a client on the fly. You don’t have to fill up the truck or pay for an entire truckload if you are only shipping a pallet or two; instead, the cost of delivering the shipment is split up among all businesses that have pallets in the truck. This leads to fast delivery for an often very low charge.  Other large items can also be transported by couriers, including fitness equipment, industrial equipment, and furniture. As with pallets, you can quickly get a large item to its destination, whether that destination is another company or a customer, without paying the premium price the big-name shipping companies charge. This type of product can also share the truck with the products of other companies, which is called called freight pooling, and the delivery charge can then also be split.  International couriers provide similar services, but shipments overseas are performed by air or sea.  Myth:  Private Courier Companies are More Expensive than Big Name Shipping Options Now that you know what services couriers provide in the 21st century, you may expect that those services come at a premium price tag. While it is true that just like with other shipping options, you will likely pay more for same-day express shipping through a courier than you will for shipping a package at the courier’s convenience, all options are likely to cost much less than the big shipping companies. The reasons for this are plentiful, but one of the largest reasons is that courier services know that they are not only competing with the “Big Guys,” but also with other local couriers. In the end, the competition drives the prices down, and you get better, faster service from couriers for less money. You also only pay for the space your product takes up in the truck, as already mentioned. The big shipping companies never know what will be in their trucks until the last minute, so they charge high fees that help keep them profitable even if they end up with...

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Posted by on 10:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Target Your Water Heater This Earth Day With These 3 Cheap And Easy Adjustments

As Earth Day approaches, now is the perfect time to lower your energy use and costs by making adjustments to your home appliances. With your water heater being one of the top energy-consuming appliances in your home, this is a great place to start. Check out these 3 easy ways you can boost the efficiency of your hot water heaters this Earth Day. Turn Down The Thermostat Hot water heater manufacturers preset their products to temperatures as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hotter than most people need to maintain comfortable water temperatures. Furthermore, hotter temperatures promote the accumulation of sediment which could interfere with the efficiency of your unit. The temperature gauge on water heaters aren’t always accurate, so it will take some going back and forth to successfully find a temperature that suits your needs. Start by turning the power supply to your water heater off and then ever-so-slightly bump the thermostat dial a bit to the left. You’ll find the dial on the gas valve at the bottom of the tank for gas-powered water heaters or behind a screw-on face plate on the front of electrical units. Once you’ve made your adjustments, turn the power supply back on and wait a few hours for your water to heat up. Visit your faucet farthest away from your water heater and (very carefully) use an instant-read thermometer to take the temperature of the water on its highest setting. If the temperature reads 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re good. If the temperature is still above 120 degrees, repeat the process. Increase Your Insulation If you have an older-style hot water heater, there is a good chance that it lacks ample insulation. Fortunately, there is a fast, inexpensive fix for this problem. Visit your local hardware store and look for a water heater blanket. The blanket will cost roughly $20 and will be pre-cut to fit perfectly around your tank. Once you have it, simply wrap it around your unit and tape it in place for an energy savings of $20-$45 annually. Want to save even more? While you’re at the hardware store, pick up some fiberglass pipe wrap and a roll of aluminum foil tape. Wrap the pipe wrap around the pipes leading away from your hot water heater, and then secure it in place with the tape. Congratulations, you’ve just successfully increased the insulation and the R-rating of your hot water heater! Replace Your Anode Rod If you look at the top of your water heater, you’ll see a hexagon-shaped piece of metal. This piece of metal is the head of your unit’s anode rod — an aluminum or magnesium probe specifically intended to collect corrosive elements from your water before they can harm the efficiency of your water heater. These rods should be replaced as they become crusted and caked with sediment. To change your unit’s anode rod, shut off the power to your water heater and then carefully drain its tank. Use an appropriately-sized impact wrench and socket to free the anode rod from the water heater. Take the used anode directly to your home supply store, and ask for an exact replica. The new anode rod will cost you between $25 and $40, depending on whether it is made of aluminum or magnesium and whether the...

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Posted by on 7:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding And Maintaining The Benefits Of An Eastern Red Cedar Tree

Landscaping is not only beneficial for your home’s appeal and value, but it can also increase your home’s energy efficiency and the privacy of your backyard. While surprising to hear, many trees are able to grow tall and large very quickly. Considering the Eastern red cedar tree is one of these fast-growing, shade-producing trees, installing a few around your yard’s perimeter can increase your home’s appeal, value, and privacy. Unfortunately, you may not know the proper techniques for planting and maintaining these popular trees. Using this guide, you can improve your landscaping, home value, and privacy using the Eastern red cedar tree. Benefits The lush green foliage of the Eastern red cedar tree is an attractive addition to your home’s landscape. Not only can it be used as an accent piece, but a grouping of these beautiful trees can create a natural fence or barrier between your yard and the yards of other homes. While the tree does grow in a narrow shape, the Eastern red cedar is capable of growing up to 40 feet high, making it an excellent option for creating shade around your home. The size, color, and shape are benefits, but the Eastern red cedar tree also has a fragrant aroma that combines fruity flavors with cedar wood.  In addition, the tree develops small blue berries in the winter. These berries attract birds, so the Eastern red cedar is a great option if you are a bird lover. From intense foliage and the addition of privacy and shade to the soft, appealing scent of the tree, the benefits of adding Eastern red cedar trees to your landscape are easy to see. Planting Planting the Eastern red cedar is pretty simple, since it thrives in most climates. However, be sure to install the trees in areas that receive full sun and ample size for the future growth. If planting in groups for a privacy screen, space out the trees according to the variety of tree. Here are a few common species of the Eastern red cedar tree: Canaert – The Canaert variety of the Eastern red cedar can grow up to 15 to 20 feet wide, so you must ensure there is sufficient space between each tree when creating privacy screen. Glauca – For a more moderate width, consider the Glauca. The Glauca variety has an average spread of 6 to 8 feet. Gray Owl – The Gray Owl variety is more like a shrub, with an average height of 4 feet, but its 8-foot width still requires ample spacing. When digging the hole for your tree, make sure it offers enough space to contain its root ball. Place the root ball of the tree into the hole, ensuring the top is slightly below the top of the hole. Make sure there is plenty of space around the root ball to fill the hole with dirt and fertilizer, as well. Use your hands or gardening tools to loosen the soil before placing it back into the hole. Pack it in loosely around the root ball, preventing any constriction of the roots. Be sure there are no rocks, pebbles, or chunks of wood left behind in the soil. Surround the tree base with mulch or pine straw and water thoroughly. Maintenance After planting, water your Eastern red...

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