Tips to Ensure Electrical Safety

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It is a proven fact that everyone’s lives are almost totally dependent on electricity. A one-hour blackout can send some people into a whirlwind not knowing what to do, are unable to get any important work finished, what they are going to do without electricity to charge their computers and cell phones and more. The dependency on electricity is increasing so it is time to learn sometimes about electrical safety.

Electrical safety is important to know because there are many hazards that can happen from not following the basics of handling electrical appliances and electricity in general. It you mishandle electrical appliances or handle them without using the right safety measures can result in electrical fires. Many fires that occur each year are due to electricity mishandling or not following electricity safety. Adults and children both should learn about electrical safety.

One of the most important things to remember in regards to electrical safety is to avoid exposing appliances and electrical outlets to water. This type of combination can be very dangerous so if you have wet hands do not plug or unplug electrical appliances or touch electrical outlets. If you have any electrical outlets in areas that are water prone like your kitchen or bathroom you should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This piece of electrical equipment, in case of exposure to water, will help to prevent shocks.

When you are unplugging a cord make sure that you do not tug on the cord but instead pull out the plug. If you tug on the cord instead of pulling it out by the plug it can result in the exposure of electrical wires. It can also be harmful. Any appliance that you are not constantly using should be unplugged. There are some appliances that generate heat, like your refrigerator and television, which should be located in areas that have an open space around them. This will help to normalize the high temperatures they put out. Make sure that any appliances that generate heat are not cramped up with other appliances around them because they could overheat and cause problems.

Before you plug in any appliance make sure that you are checking the wattage because there could be a variation in wattage that could cause short circuits and electrical shocks, which can be dangerous. Make sure that you do not overload an electrical socket with too many appliances. If you need to use a surge protector instead of an extension cord. Cover any open electrical outlets with a face place to prevent any exposure of open wires.

I hope this helps.

5 Factors Affecting the Cost of Installing a Septic System

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Septic systems are used primarily in rural areas where public sewer systems are not available. People living in the rural area know all too well the importance of a septic system. A septic system is an efficient means of disposing of household waste discharges from the toilets, baths, washing machines, dishwashers, etc. The septic system needs proper and regular maintenance, they need to be pumped out at least once a year, depending on the tank size and the number of occupants in the house. Thought taken for granted in the city they are an indispensable part of the drainage system in the rural areas.

Below are 5 important factors that are worth considering if you are looking for septic tank cost for both replacement of an old tank or for new installation.

1. The Size of the Septic Tank

The size of the septic tank will have a direct effect on its cost. Obviously, the bigger tanks cost more than the smaller ones. When choosing your tank size it is important to remember that household waste not only from the toilets and bathrooms but also from the dishwashers and washing machines will go into it. So, it is imperative that a tank of adequate capacity is fitted. Also, consider buying tanks of reputed brands as a poorly designed septic tank may cause immature breakdowns and overflow.

For instance, if the septic tank is too small, you will learn that the tank requires frequent pump outs and this will push the maintenance cost up. On the other hand, a large tank will relatively cost more not only for the product but also in its installation. Additionally, larger tanks are normally installed below ground so it can limit your options.

2. Installation Location

There are two options- above ground and below ground installation. Above ground septic tanks are usually cheaper and are more suited for smaller systems. They are also cheaper to install. Yet, these tanks need to be emptied more frequently than the below ground tanks, especially if they are not paired with a leaching field. This can drive up the overall expense of the system over the tank’s lifetime.

On the other hand, a below ground septic tank is, well, installed underground. These systems are not cheap, especially considering their installation costs. You would have to dig a hole large enough to fit the tank in and prepare its footing. However, you may have no other option than to use a below ground tank due to the scarcity of available surface area in case of small sites.

Some councils require their permission to use a certain variety of septic systems. So, you should check your local regulations first before investing in it.

3. Drain Field

A septic system generally consists of a septic tank and a drain field. Drain fields are required for below ground septic tanks. The advantage of having an underground tank is that it can be fitted with a soakaway. This allows some of the treated wastewater to be filtered into the surrounding. Thus, you are required to empty the tank less often, reducing the overall expense over the system’s lifetime.

On the flip side, before installing the septic system, you will have to ensure that the ground is suitable for a soakaway. This needs to be done by a professional. Getting this checked and installing the required pipe and drainage system will also raise the price.

4. Material of the Septic Tank

Understandable, septic tank made of better quality material like a high-density polyethylene model are more expensive than say a concrete model. The cheaper models, though allowing for a cheaper septic system set up don’t last as long and are required to be frequently replaced. So, if you can afford it, it is worth paying the premium price of a costlier tank because it will last much longer. So, a high-density polyethylene model, though having a much higher initial cost, will last far longer and is more economical in the long run.

5. Labour Cost

Lastly, labour cost will constitute a sizeable amount of the final cost of the installation. For instance, the cost of fitting a new tank generally differs, averagely cheap and can be a lot higher for larger tanks. Also, if you are replacing an old tank, then the cost of having the old system removed need to be considered.

Fortunately, if you have basic plumbing knowledge, you could try installing the entire drainage system yourself to save on installation cost. You could hire a digger to dig the hole instead of hiring a professional this will further drive the cost down.

How to Choose The Right Plumbing Contractor

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Choosing a contractor to carry out your building, home improvement and repair job is not always the easiest thing in the world. I am sure that every one of us has a method to make a choice, be it making an online research and checking a number of directories, counting on recommendations from friends and family, or using their intuition and choosing the company you feel like reliable and experienced enough. There are still a few simple and basic, yet very effective ways to make sure that you are making the right choice.

Today, I will take a more in depth look at how to choose the right plumbing contractor for your needs. I outline some helpful guidelines for you in order to help you orientate what a professional plumbing contractor must be able to offer.

• Ask for recommendations

Word-of-mouth is probably a method many of us count on, when making an important decision. You cannot deny it, it is in our human nature to look for advice and helpful information and when it comes to services such as plumbing services, recommendations can be very helpful. Do not hesitate to take your time and do your research, estimate all advices and tips you may get, always ask for what your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues could recommend. If some of them have experienced a recent plumbing project and service, ask them how the plumber handled the problems, would they hire the same contractor again, if required.

• Look for credentials

Getting recommendations is half of the job done. The other half consists of making some more research and look for credentials. You can get this over the phone, or by simply having a look at the website of the contractor, most of the companies already have one. What you have to look for is if the plumbing contractor holds all the certificates, licenses and qualifications required, do they meet the standards in the branch along with designations from professional organizations and associations such as the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors Limited or Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering. Being a member of such associations and organizations usually means that every member has to be able to meet high standards in the branch. The bonus is that these associations often offer the opportunity for additional training and developing the skills too.

• Interview

I know that it may take some precious time you simply don’t have, but making a short interview with the candidates and narrowing down the list of contenders can be also very helpful. You will be able to learn more about the history and experience of the company, the policy of the contractor, ask for a portfolio of previously completed projects. A contractor should be communicative and answer all your questions, not hiding important information.

The main qualities and features of a good plumbing contractor and practice will include: someone, who is really easy to access through phone, e-mail or address, someone that carries insurance that protects you from liability, someone reputable and with good reputation, reliable and trustworthy, someone that have earned professional certificates and licenses.

5 Signs Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality Isn’t Exactly Healthy

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Itchy and watery eyes, scratchy throat, and uncontrollable coughing are all symptoms of colds, allergies, and air pollution. But, many people suffering from these signs simply expect their symptoms to worsen at certain times of the season without giving any thought to the quality of air inside their residences. In fact, many unfavorable symptoms are a result of low air quality inside the home rather than pollutants or allergens related to seasonal allergies. Here are 5 signs your home’s indoor air quality is not healthy.

1. Allergy symptoms

As mentioned above, allergy symptoms are synonymous with illnesses and sensitivities to allergens. Many people simply feel that their issues are related to seasonal allergies. They seek medical advice and medications to alleviate their symptoms but fail to check their air filtration and HVAC units for contamination. While many allergens worsen during high allergy seasons, the amount of allergens in the air is largely determined by the condition of your air and heating unit and air ducts.

2. Dryness and Irritation

Are you waking up with extra dry eyes or getting excessive bloody noses. While the latter may be a sign of a serious medical condition, it can also be a sign of dirt and dust in the air absorbing extra moisture. If your skin is also unnecessarily dry, you may have too much dirt in your vents and your air filter may no longer be working at its optimal state.

3. Dirt around vents and fan blades.

Can you visually spot large clumps of dirt and dust around vents and fan blades? Unclean ducts allow excess dirt and allergens to flow through your HVAC unit and back into the air you are breathing unnoticed. However, visual signs will appear around vents and fan blades- the spots where air flows the most.

4. Guests and friends cough and sneeze

The body can do amazing things. Even with dirty air, you may adapt and find yourself clueless to how contaminated your air may be. If you invite company over and they immediate begin to sneeze or cough, there may be allergens and dust in the air that you have grown accustomed to.

5. Layers of dust on flat surfaces

Are there layers of dust the settle on your window sills, tables, and other flat surfaces shortly after dusting? If you find yourself dusting all the time and never making any progress, you have an issue with your air filtration. The air filter may be clogged which no longer allows for the air filtration needed to prevent dust from being blown around your home.

If you have any of these signs you can benefit from a ventilation duct cleaning, change in air filter, or overall heating and ac unit inspection. Don’t hesitate to contact an HVAC specialist immediately so you can live with healthy clean air in your home.

3 Common Electrical Problems in the Home

home-electrical blogWhen looking at electrical problems there are three common ones. These are power surges, overloaded circuits, and redundant wiring. Any of these problems can cause an electrical fire so they should be fixed as soon as you can. All three of these electrical problems are simple to identify and simple to fix. Most can be taken care of by the home owner but if they are not sure what to do they should call an electrician to take care of the problem.

1. Power surges

These happen because of a sudden increase in the electricity provided by your electric company. When this happens it can cause the circuit to overload causing electrical items to shut down. You are not able to fix this at your level but there is a way to handle these power surges. You should purchase surge protectors. Plug all of your electrical equipment and appliances into these surge protectors. Normally you can plug in six electrical appliances or electronic equipment into one surge protector. The surge protector has a circuit built in that will help to make sure that any power surges are sent through a different circuit.

2. Overloaded circuits

This can happen when extra power outlets are created and use the existing wires for the power source. It is a shortcut method and can create problems when you have multiple appliances plugged in and drawing electrical power at the same time. As a result the demand for electricity has exceeded the capacity and will cause a short fuse. For this problem you will need to have an electrician determine what the electrical power drainage is on each circuit. They will then correct the wiring so that there is a balanced circuit load.

3. Redundant wiring

This electrical problem normally happens in homes where the someone tried to make their own electrical wiring but did not use all of the wiring. Many times there are live wires that are left that were not correctly terminated or capped. You can trace all the electrical wiring or hire an electrician to do it. This needs to be done so there are no weak connections.

There are various signs that can signal that you have an electrical problem like the continual need to reset fuses for a certain circuit, or there could be lights that flicker. If the computer shuts down when there are power surges or you are having problems using several appliances at the same time in a particular room like the kitchen you should try to find the problem or call your electrician to check why you are having these electrical problems.

7 Electrical Safety Rules to Always Remember

Workplace-health-and-safety-1920x960 Whether working around electricity or just general electricity basics at home, safety is first and foremost the main thing that you need to consider. Even when you think you already have a safe work environment or safe home, this does not always mean that you are able to control or prevent potential hazards concerning electricity. This is why it is important that you stay cautious and always work safely so that you may be able to control several risks of injuries, even death.

We’ve compiled these tips and ways to be safe around electricity. These safety rules should give you a good starting point when it comes to using and working around electricity the right way.

1. Don’t overload extension cords and/or outlets

Plugging a bunch of stuff in one extension cord or outlet could only damage the entire electrical system of your house or workplace. At some point, it can even lead to a fire if used incorrectly. Always keep in mind that extension cords are only for temporary use. If in case you need power in that particular spot permanently, make sure to have a licensed electrical contractor to install permanent wiring solution to that spot.

2. Switch off and unplug electrical items/appliances that are not in use

This is highly important especially when you and your family will be out on vacation for a while and will have to leave the house alone for several days. Items left unplugged might be a fire risk and will also consume energy unnecessarily.

3. Make sure all your outlets are childproof

Having several kids at home or at the work area also means having to ensure safety at all times, especially when it comes to electrical stuff. One great way to do this is to make sure that childproof plugs are used for your electrical outlets so that children won’t be able to poke small items into them.

4. Never use electrical items in the bathroom

Most electrical items are not designed for bathroom use, and even when using such items like electric toothbrushes and shavers, you still need to watch out and be careful not to get them wet. You should also avoid plugging and unplugging them with wet hands.

5. Look for marks of standards or approval before purchasing electrical products

States and countries do have specific standards when it comes to electrical products and you should only purchase those items that are approved and have passed those standards. These standards should be met to ensure that the product have met the electrical safety requirements.

6. Inspect your electrical system regularly

A regular inspection will greatly help in prevent certain risks and problems from occurring. A licensed electrician should be able to help you maintain your system and have it inspected on a regular basis. This inspection will ensure that everything is running properly and is meeting the standard electric codes.

7. Always make sure that leads and wires remain visible at all times

Leads and wires should never run under carpets so you can always check and see the state of the wires and cables. Aside from electrical safety, hidden wires often cause tripping and other related accidents especially when you have several kids around.

Other tips to keep in mind

Electrical safety is something that should never be taken for granted. Awareness and cautiousness can prevent possible accidents and even save lives, so to speak. Cords that have already cracked or frayed should be thrown away and replaced immediately. Remember to also stay away from power lines – maintain at least 10 feet of distance from neighborhood power lines