Where Fire, Water, Earth And Wind Meet: Commercial Boilers And Their Elemental Issues

Commercial boilers are industrial marvels. They are one of few machines where all the elements come together to produce a fairly clean source of heat. However, for each element that plays its part in making a boiler what it is, there is the potential for malfunction and the need for repair. Here is how that “boils” down.

Water: Boiled and Steamed

The primary source of heat from a boiler lies in the fact that the boiler boils water and produces hot steam, which then rises into the vents and heats whatever you need it to heat. A component that helps boil the water and which frequently has need of repair is the heat coils. Water injected into the boiler tank encounters the heat coils and immediately begins to simmer into a rolling boil. When the coils are worn out, you cannot boil the water.

Earth: Resources Garnered to Fuel the Boiler

Boilers rely on coal, oil, gas or wood to operate. All of these resources are taken from the earth, either deep within it or just above the surface (i.e., wood). Components that are responsible for harboring these fuel resources and which might need repair are the oil tank and/or the lines and valves associated with it. The viscosity of the oil or burned remnants of the oil can clog lines and prevent further consumption of earthly resources. Your repair technician can perform regular maintenance to prevent these issues and/or repair the valves and tank if they fail.

Wind/Air: Necessary to Circulate the Steam

Wind and air are often considered another element. In boiler systems, air is vital on a number of levels to get the steam to circulate. The water has been transformed into hot, moist air, and air pressure within the boiler is responsible for circulation processes, both in and out of the boiler. Pressuretrols and pressure gauges are just some of the air-related components that experience problems because of the constant pressure they are required to monitor and control. False readings or readings that are atypical to your commercial boiler are definitely something you want a repair technician to check out.

Fire: No Fire Equals No Heat and No Steam

In all boilers, ignition is necessary to create fire, and fire creates the heat needed to boil water. A lack of fuel (e.g., coal, oil, etc.) or a faulty ignition switch prevents the creation of fire. If your boiler is cold or the temperature gauge registers temperatures far below normal for proper boiler operation, everything relating to these components (and this element) will have to be examined.

For information on boiler repair, contact a company like Boiler Services, Inc.

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Tips to Find a Contractor for Your Home Renovation

Renovating your home is an exciting thing for most people. There is a lot of planning, a lot of time working out of the design, and a lot of research that goes into the process, so it would stand to reason that finding the right contractor is near the top of the to-do list. It may take some time and a lot of work to find a company or contractor that you feel confident in. Here are some things to consider while looking at potential contractors to work with.

Research, Research, Research

The first step in the process of finding a contractor for your build is to research the area and find as many contractors as you can to talk to. Start working through the list and eliminate any that have no experience with projects like yours. If the contractor is a good fit for your project, put them on the “maybe” list and move to the next one. Be specific in your search and include details that are important to the final renovation as you search.

Check Their References

Just because the contractor has worked on a project like yours does not mean you are done. You need to compile a list of references for each possible contractor. This will take a little time, but you need to call these references if you are going to consider the contractor. The people or companies they have worked with in the past are the best people to tell you what they are like to work with.

Ask the Right Questions 

When you talk to people that these contractors have worked with, you need to ask some basic questions. How were they to work with? How was the quality of the work? Did they meet the deadlines and within the budget? How reasonable were they when it came to changes? The answers to these question will help you decide whether you want to work with a given contractor or not.

Make the Final Decision

Now that you have narrowed down the list, it is time to talk to the contractors. Go over the job with them and get a feel for whether or not you can work with them. Since you will work closely with the contractor for many months to come, you need to be able to gel with them. Meeting in person is the best way to determine how your relationship might be. Don’t feel like you have to pick the most experienced contractor if you don’t think you can work together. Go with the company or contractor that you feel best about!

Start interviewing contractors like Parkview Homes so you can find one that’s a good fit for you.

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Replacement Window Grille FAQ

Purchasing new replacement windows requires a bit of research to ensure you get the most value. If you are like most consumers, you already know that you will need to decide on the type of window frames – aluminum, vinyl or wood – as well as on whether you want single-pane or insulated windows. There is one decision you must make that you may not be aware of, though. That is whether or not you should get a window grille and, if so, what type to get. The following guide can help you with this decision.

What is a grille?

Window grilles are the decorative metal framework placed on some windows to give the appearance of multi-pane glass. They can be made in a variety of designs, from simple gridwork to more more ornate patterns that may even include curves. The metal is sometimes left un-coated, but it’s more often painted white, chromed, or treated to look like black wrought iron.

How are grilles installed?

The most common and least expensive option is to have the grille installed on top of the glass. Keep in mind, this does make it more challenging to clean the windows since you will need to remove any dust or dirt that collects in the seams between the glass and grille.

If you invest in insulated windows, you can have the grille installed within the airspace. This makes maintenance simple since the grille won’t interfere with the window’s surface.

Are there any benefits to grilles beyond decoration?

Grilles can provide some security. Although they aren’t as sturdy as security bars, they do make it more difficult to kick in a window. Airspace grilles can also provide some protection for the insulative gas between the panes. The grille divides the space so, if a leak occurs in one section of the window, not all the gas will be lost.

Can grilles be added later?

Although you can’t add airspace grilles at a later date, there is an option for exterior grilles. Perimeter grilles are specially made to fit your window. They snap into place with the aid of hidden hardware, which your window installer will place. One benefit to this exterior grill option is that you can remove the entire grille when desired, either to change the look of the window or just to make cleaning easier.

Contact a window installer in your area for more help in choosing the right grilles for your replacement windows.

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Little-Known Rules About Trees, Your Home, and Property

When it comes to trees, most people do not realize that there are rules for planting them and rules for keeping them out of the way. A tree-removal service such as Scott Lanes Tree Service can help you if you are now having problems with your trees, but first you should know why they might remove all of your tree rather than just part of it. Here are some lesser known rules about trees, your home, and your property.

Trees Should Not Be Planted or Growing Within Ten Feet of Your House

In most cities and states, there are rules about planting trees within ten feet or so of your house. The idea is this: if a storm takes the tree down, it is probably going to go right through your roof or the side of your home. If the tree is within ten feet of your neighbor’s home, the same thing could happen to their house, and then you would be held liable. Do not plant trees that close to your home, your neighbor’s home, or any other buildings on your property. If they are that close, have a tree service remove them promptly.

Do Not Plant Trees Close to a Sidewalk

Most homeowners think it is a good idea to plant trees close to the edge of the property so that when the trees get really big they will provide a lot of shade from the sun. While this is generally a good idea, trees should not be planted near a sidewalk. The sidewalk actually belongs to the city, and when the sidewalk is destroyed by the root system of your enormous tree, the city will charge you for the repairs to the sidewalk. If you are not sure just where you can plant a tree to get shade and not have it wreck something, ask a tree service where the best spots on your property are.

Trees Near a Fence Should Have at Least Five Feet Between Them and the Fence

Trees in the backyard and in your landscaping near the fence are lovely. However, trees tend to spread out, grow thick over time, and become quite enormous. As such, you should leave at least five feet between the saplings you plant and the fence itself. As the tree grows and the roots spread out, the fence is less likely to be upset by the roots or pushed out of line by the widening tree. If you accidentally planted a tree too close to the fence (or a squirrel planted a tree seed for you!) then the tree service you hire can remove the tree and replant it for you in a better location in your yard.

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Planning The Perfect Pantry — 5 Easy Tips

One of the most-used spaces in most kitchens is the pantry. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the least-planned spaces, as well. How can you design an efficient and attractive pantry? Here are 5 tips to get you started.

Avoid Long, Plain Shelves. Most people think of a pantry as a simple cabinet or walk-in space with long, basic shelving on which to place food. This, however, is a quick trip to disorganization, food waste, and frustration. Instead, try using a variety of shelf sizes and/or installing cube-shaped shelving to help you group and organize foodstuffs. An experienced cabinet company can help you brainstorm ways to maximize your shelf design. 

Make it Accessible. The problem with basic shelving or drawers in a pantry is that it can allow food to get lost in the shuffle or make it hard to get to everything. Solve this problem by including slide-out cabinets and custom shelving for things like spices or other small items. Wire baskets are another good way to corral groups of food items in a way that’s easy see, to pull out, and to access.

Decant Food. Taking food and liquids out of their original packaging is a good way to help organize it and prevent spoilage. Using coordinated clear containers and bottles purchased specifically to match your pantry design can make it easier to know how much is on hand, identify liquids or spices, and store more in less space.

Use all Space. Don’t let space go to waste in a small pantry. Instead, use hanging racks or attach wire shelving to the door of the pantry or to cabinet doors. Do you have a small leftover space next to shelves or walls? Tall, narrow spaces are great for storing baking sheets, racks, and cutting boards. Space above the pantry? Add a horizontal row of wine bottle holders. Work with your cabinet contractor to help utilize unusual spaces.

Keep the Food Together. Maximize kitchen efficiency by placing the pantry near the rest of the food in the kitchen — by the refrigerator. Incorporating storage for both dry and cold items into your work triangle (consisting of the sink, stove, and refrigerator) will help reduce excess steps and make cooking easier. 

By applying some or all of these pantry tips when planning your kitchen remodel, you can help turn an ordinary kitchen into a cooking mecca that you will love to use every day. For more information, contact local professionals like Gerald L Scott Custom Cabinetry.

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Get To Know The Signs Of Contaminated Drinking Water In Your Home

When most people think of environmental hazards that can pose a safety threat or health issue, they think of factors outside of their home. However, because most of your time is spent inside the four walls of your house, it is always best to look at the health hazards that start here, especially when it comes to your drinking water. Contaminated drinking water can be a really huge deal if it is not caught before it starts making everyone in your home sick, but recognizing the signs is not always an easy feat. Thankfully, there are a few signs which could indicate you have issues with contaminated drinking water. 

Your water has an odd consistency or reaction when it comes out of the faucet. Of all of the signs of contaminated water in a residential setting, this is one that is often missed because the change can be so slight that it is hard to recognize right away. A good example is water which foams when it is distributed quickly from the faucet into a glass. If the foam sticks around for a moment, it can mean the water is contaminated with detergents which are often used to dilute sewage. 

Your water is an odd color. If your water is anything other than clear, it is an almost definite sign of contamination. The contamination could be coming from inside your own plumbing lines, but could also be radiating from the public water supply or your well. If you water is milky or white, it is a sign it is contaminated with sediment or mineral deposits. If the water is reddish or has muddy tones, it could point to rusty water lines or excessive levels of iron. 

Your drinking water has an off odor. Clean water shouldn’t really smell like anything at all. While it is common for public water supplies to sometimes have a chlorinated odor, this should be a slight smell. If you start to notice your water has odors other than this, it is definitely time to have your water tested for cleanliness. A few examples of water odors that need more attention include water which smells like:

  • detergent or soap
  • strong chemicals
  • mildew or dirt
  • sulfur or rotten eggs

The bottom line is, contaminated water in your home of any level should be taken seriously. If you suspect your water supply is contaminated, talk to a water treatment contractor, such as Valley Drilling Corp, for testing and available solutions. 

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Have a Victorian-Style Home? 3 Fencing Options to Consider

Victorian homes are known for their distinct architecture. They tend to have multiple stories, a steep roof, classical detailing, and gables. A great-looking home will need a great fence around it as well, which is why you will want to stay away from vinyl. These three fencing options will blend in beautifully with any Victorian-style home.

Wrought-Iron Fencing

Fencing made with wrought iron will be a traditional choice for a Victorian-style home. The fence itself can be constructed using a simplistic structure that has tubes with finials on each picket. Wrought iron can also be used to create a design that has elaborate curls with more intricate finials.

While the wrought-iron material can increase the overall cost of having a fence installed, know that the material will be very durable. All you’ll need to do to take care of a wrought-iron fence is scrub away the rust that forms on an annual basis. If you do this, the fence can last as long as the home.

Stone and Wrought-Iron Fencing

If you do not like the lack of privacy that comes with a wrought iron fence, there are other options that can help incorporate the style. One way is to build a wall made out of stone and top the fence with a small section of wrought-iron fencing.

The masonry you use for the stone section of fencing can be whatever you prefer. You can go with a look that has differently shaped stones with mortar in between, or with brick that matches the style of your house. With a flat top on top of the stone, a short section of wrought iron can top off the wall to bring both styles together. This is the best of both worlds, and a fence like this will really add to the beauty of your home.

Picket Fencing

A picket fence will look very traditional with a historical home. The construction uses wood boards that are installed vertically, with a consistent amount of spacing between each board. The distinguishing feature is a point at the peak of each board. It’s customary for these fences to be painted white, but they can also be left a natural color to create a look that is rustic.

These are just a few fencing options that you can use for a Victorian-style home. For more ideas, schedule a consultation with a local fencing contractor, such as Phoenix Fence, Co.

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