Category Archives: Home Construction

How Hammers Are Made

21 Dec 16
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This video shows you the process from start to finish on how hammers are made.
I find this video very interesting and I think you will to. If you like
what you see please like and share this post. Thank you very much
and enjoy


Understanding Alternating Current (AC) vs. Direct Current (DC) – Which is Better?

11 Aug 16
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What is the main difference between AC or alternating current and DC or direct current?
Based on its name, direct current is an electric current travelling in just a single direction as compared to alternating current that occasionally reverses direction. Negative and positive poles in an electric or magnetic field create a condition wherein electrons flow, known as polarity. Direct current system has fixed polarity where a single pole is positive all the time while the other is negative at all times.

On the other hand, an alternating current continuously reverses polarity at a rate that is identified by its frequency. This frequency is being measured in terms of Hz or hertz that is equal to a single cycle per second. In the United States, they make use of 60 Hz while 50 Hz is used in Europe. For instance, Japan uses both, with the western half using 60 Hz and the eastern half makes use of 50 Hz. Majority of today’s appliances are being manufactured in order to accommodate the two frequencies.
During the late 1880s when modern electricity started being produced on commercial scale, there was a fierce rivalry that ensued between AC supporters and DC supporters, which is referred to as the War of Currents. Thomas Edison himself was a staunch advocate of DC while George Westinghouse, with the backing of Nikola Tesla promoted AC.

Why Alternating Current Dominated the War of Currents
At the time, it was clear that alternating current was much superior when it comes to transmission of large electricity amounts over large distance mainly because of its ability of easily stepping the voltage up and down. When electricity travels up and down the conductor, it will lose its energy in heat form because of resistance as expressed by Joule’s first law.

It means that energy tends to be lost in proportion to the current. An obvious solution for this was to increase the voltage to reduce the current – higher voltage will equal the ability of lowering the current for similar power. However, it became crucial to transform the voltage both prior and after the long distance lines when distributing it to consumers.

Back then, the issue with direct current was that there was still no viable means of doing this while it was much easier to do so with alternating current. In today’s world, technology became more advanced in which not only is long distance DC viable but there are even instances when it is far more superior than AC in the form of HVDC or high voltage direct current.

Benefits of Direct Current

• DC is about 1.4 times more efficient since it is not a sine wave.
• DC doesn’t lose power to the reactive losses. These reactive losses are the ones suffered by AC lines through heat because of the natural capacitance of the conductive material as well as the back and forth motion of AC.

Benefits of Alternating Current

• Easier and cheaper to transform voltage.
• Due to the alternating current, plugs can be easily inserted in direction as compared to DC that needs one prong bigger than the other to guarantee proper circuit.

Bottom Line
In light of modern technology, alternating current systems are much more economic for the short distances. AC has the benefit of cheaper transformers and DC, on the other hand, has the benefit of cheaper insulators and wire, making it the winner as far as long distances are concerned.

What water pipe should you use?

25 Jul 16
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Today, there are many different options when it comes to what you can use for a water pipe. In nearly all older houses, you can find a mixture of different types of pipes. This is usually due to repairs and remodels that a house has gone through over the years. This can lead to many, different generations of plumbing being used within a system. In many cases, this will work. However, this can lead to huge problems when the wrong piping is mixed.

Like most other things, a water pipe has an expiration date. This could be up to 100 years, but you still need to know when your water pipes need replacing. The question becomes what type of pipe you should use when you need to repair your pipe system.

There are three main options for water pipes on the market today. Copper, PEX pipe, and PVC pipe are the main options. Each one has its pros and cons; however, they all have excellent performance and last a long time.

Copper is the standard type of water pipe that has been used from the time indoor plumbing become popular. Copper has been proven to last a long time, and it can last up to a 100 years. Many plumbers will use copper for a visible water pipe as it is the most attractive option. It also does not contract or expand which makes copper water pipes the best for areas with temperature and pressure changes. The main issue with copper piping is that it is the most expensive material. Labor is also intensive for copper pipe installation.

copper pipe pic

In Europe, PEX piping has been around since the 1970’s and was released in the 1980’s in the United States. For many remodeling projects, the use of PEX pipe is the best choice. PEX pipe is cheaper than copper and is about the same cost as PVC pipe. PEX fittings are also easier and faster to install than copper. Another major benefit of using PEX pipe is that they do not corrode like copper, and work with acidic water without sustaining damage. The use of PEX pipe is recommended in colder climates since they are less likely to burst due to frozen lines. Also,PEX pipe comes in long lengths and is very flexible. This flexibility means that there are only a few PEX fittings that are used when doing the installation.

PEX_piping_in_basement_ceiling

While using PEX pipe is one of the best options, PVC pipe still has some benefits that are worth looking at. The biggest advantage is that it is the least expensive option for a water pipe. PVC pipe can also handle up to 180F, making it a good replacement for copper pipes for hot water. It is also simple to install, and there is less chance for errors like copper and PEX pipes. However, PVC pipes cannot exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, as they will break down. Also, bug sprays and other chemicals cannot be used on the piping.

pvc pipe example


Support Beam Constructing For Bearing Walls or To Eliminate Floor Sag.

12 Sep 15
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I recently  had a job that I was doing and tore everything apart to find 16 ft. runs with no middle support and very little on each end,    ( VERY SCARY )  . I considered using a piece of steel for a ballast beam, but I searched YouTube for an alternative way to install a beam and stumbled on this video. This video gave me a great idea on how to make and install a support beam without killing your back and hiring a big crew to help install. Granted the beam I installed was nowhere as big as this one, but it did the job and remove the sag out of the floors. If you are not comfortable or unsure, you can always higher an engineer. My method if I am unsure, is to  build and support it to the extreme and don’t take no shortcuts.Take your time and think of every possible situation that could make it fail, and  when you have completed the project, test it by trying your best to make it fail. If it doesn’t fail and still holding strong, then you are done.


Black Mold In Houses – What We Did To Get Rid of It

28 Aug 15
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I recently had a project that consisted of black mold. I mean it was infested, What we did was rip out all the carpets and drywall, all the way down to the studs. Most of the lower floors and joist  were rotted. We used screw jacks to support the load bear beams and walls. We removed anything that was completely rotted of infested. We removed all the electrical wire, Yes it seeped its way  inside the insulation of the wire, plus if your doing a project do it right. Now we are down to the cleaning phase, can you guess what we used, Bleach? NO!  Bleach only kills the upper layer of the mold and doesn’t penetrate the porous surface of the wood. Granted . we tried it at first, and we tried vinegar  . But the best thing we used was Borax. Borax is applied in a water mix and you use a scrub brush to apply. The best thing about borax is that it is a mineral that kills mold and seeps its way in the porous surface and does not have to be wiped off. Granted if its filthy, I would wipe it and re-scrub it. You let it dry completely before putting new building material on. Now when it drys, the borax minerals stay in and on the the wood preventing the mold from returning. Plus Borax is easier on the lungs then bleach. There is more information on this in the links below. Also note when we worked with black mold we used all safety precautions , suits, and respirators .

http://blackmold.awardspace.com

http://www.cdc.gov

PEX – What is it and why is it used

15 Jul 15
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PEX Tubing

What is PEX?
The full name for this product is cross-linked polyethylene, but it is more commonly known as PEX. This type of tubing is ideal for use in plumbing, including domestic water, and is also often used as insulation for high voltage electrical cables. It can even be utilized in the transportation of sewage and natural gas. This tubing is more flexible than the traditional copper pipes and is more resistant to chlorine.
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History of PEX
Remarkably, the very first preparation of PEX material occurred back in the 1930s. At that time, an electron beam irradiated the tube, which was a huge advancement in technology back then. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the cross-linking was developed, by mixing peroxide with the HDPE before extrusion.

In the early half of the 20th century, almost all plumbing pipes were made of galvanized steel, which led to widespread rusting problems. Therefore, in the late 1960s, these pipes were replaced by copper tubing. PEX tubing was first used in hydronic radiant systems from the 1960s onwards, due to its ability to be used in heated water systems, including radiators.
Col.lector_terra_radiant
It wasn’t until the 2000s that PEX became widely used in both indoor and outdoor plumbing settings. PEX was used to replace the old copper pipes as well as the more modern PVC pipes, and is exceptionally useful for high-pressurized water purposes.

What Are The Benefits of Using PEX?
The most popular benefit of using PEX is its flexibility. Instead of rigid pipes such as those made from copper and PVC, PEX can be used to bend around corners without needing constant rejoining. In some cases an elbow joint may be required, depending on the bend needed.

The ability of PEX to run directly from a distribution point to an outlet fixture without needed splicing or cutting is a great advantage. This results in a decreased need for joints, thereby lowering the costs involved in setting up your plumbing. Also, water pressure is not affected because of the flexibility of the PEX, meaning there are less sharp turns for the water to travel.

PEX is more cost-effective than the alternative plumbing pipes. Copper has soared in price in recent times, and the cost of using PEX is around 25% cheaper than other tubes or pipes. Another advantage is that is cannot rust, so it doesn’t need to be replaced, and it also is resistant to developing tiny holes and leaks.

Perhaps the most important advantage of using PEX for plumbers is that it is much easier to install than other types of pipes and tubes. There is no need to have to solder metal pipes together, and no glue required as there is for PVC pipes. All you really need is a special crimping tool and PEX connections. By removing the need for the use of soldering, there is also no risk of fire breaking out during installation. Its no wonder so many more plumbers are now opting to use PEX, seeing as it is less labor intensive and a much safer product to use.

Does PEX Tubing Last?
In short, yes. The life of PEX is much better than the original copper or PVC piping, with an average lifespan of around 50 years. The warrantable age range is 25 years however, but this is more to do with protecting the manufacturer than the longevity of the product. If you live in an area where you often suffer freezing temperatures, PEX tubing is a much better alternative, as it takes a lot longer for the tubing to freeze than it does with other products. This doesn’t mean that they won’t burst – every type of tube or pipe will eventually, it just means it takes a lot longer to get to the bursting point. If you are in a reasonably new dwelling, it is still recommended that you drain the pipes during cold seasons.

Are There Any Drawbacks?
As with any other manufactured product on the market, there is always going to be a drawback. The important thing to consider is whether the drawback outweighs the advantages when choosing what type of tubing or piping to use. An important problem to consider is exposure to sunlight. It is not recommended that you use PEX in an area where there is sun exposure as it can degrade the tubing. In some parts of the country certain insects can perforate PEX tubing, but this is not a common problem.

The fittings required to connect the PEX can be a little more expensive than those used for copper pipes. However, as there are fewer connections needed due to the flexibility of the PEX, and no soldering required, the connection cost is generally offset so there is no real added expense. Also, when you are having PEX installed, the labor costs will be much lower as they are a less labor-intensive product to install.

With radiant heating systems that contain ferrous radiators, there is some risk of rust developing over a period of time. To prevent this from occurring, a particular type of PEX that has an oxygen barrier coating is the preferred product to use. Nowadays this is standard practice when installing PEX tubing that connects to heating systems with metal parts.

The use of PEX was blocked for about a decade due to health risk concerns. Some were concerned about the leakage of chemicals into the water either from the pipe materials, or from outside of the pipes. After a lot of investigations and legal debates, it was found that there was no risk to the health of people whatsoever from the installation of PEX.

Conclusion
To summarize, PEX tubing or piping is an easy to install, cost effective method of plumbing both for domestic and commercial purposes. The benefits that have been found with using PEX far outweigh the possible drawbacks that may or may not occur. Plumbers find it extremely easy to use, and much simpler to install due to the flexibility and need for less tube connections.

Wago Connectors – A Great Replacement For Wire Nuts

31 Mar 15
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They take up less space than the “twisties” and you know each wire is well connected. Not to mention they are much faster to connect. Highly recommend them

PEX Tube – How To Cut Correctly

25 Mar 15
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In this very short quick to the point video, I show you how to properly cut Plumber PEX Tube. If you found this video helpful please Like and share. Thanks for watching.

This is the link to buy the exact tool
that I used in this video.

Q&A on Youtube. Is there Helicoil sets for 7/16 bolt diameter- Yes

20 Feb 15
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Yes but you need to know what the thread pitch is. Here is a link to two different common thread pitches. I hope this helps.

Here is a video on how to find the bolt size and thread pitch and below is a video on how to use a helicoil set / fix stripped threads. Also are provided safe and trusted Amazon links.

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Various Helicoil Sets and Kits


3D Printed Real Houses

04 Feb 15
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