Category Archives: Home Improvment

Common Choices of Indoor And Outdoor Wedding Venues

Hens venues Melbourne play important roles in making weddings truly memorable and flaw-free and this is the reason why couples who are about to be wed usually go out of their ways to make sure that they will be in the best place to celebrate with their loved-ones a very important occasion in life. Finding the best wedding reception locations may take some time and may even result in confusion especially with the wide range of choices that will come before you and making the task easy can be done by knowing the most common options in terms of indoor and outdoor wedding venues.

There is a long list of wedding reception locations but there are places that are commonly preferred by couples and they include the following:

Banquet halls- These places are usually preferred by many because it allows continuous celebration of the wedding right after the church ceremony. This is an indoor type of wedding venue that can also be used for the wedding’s reception where family, friends and relatives can gather together to enjoy the occasion. Some of the advantages of banquet halls are the lighting that can create romantic effects and the atmosphere that the venue creates to allow easy interaction among the wedding couple and their guests.

Beach or bay side wedding location- although some people may consider beach weddings as expensive and luxurious, choosing this location can also be an economical choice and it will just depend on the couple’s wedding reception ideas. Basically, it will not require too much spending for the decoration because the environment alone will be enough to create the right atmosphere. This type of location is simple, relaxing, comfortable and definitely elegant.

Garden wedding venues- These are some of the most popular places to hold a wedding. The greenery, the flowers, the trees, the structure and the open space that that usually surrounds the place often work together to create an elegant and classic atmosphere. You can even find cheap wedding venues that offer a nice garden that can match your theme perfectly. The outdoor setting will also be great for the wedding’s photography session.

There are different types of wedding reception venues that can complete or even top the marriage ceremony perfectly and it is just a matter of evaluating your options well to make sure that you will end in the best place. Garden venues, banquet halls and beaches are just some of the most common locations that are chosen for wedding receptions and for sure, by knowing your choices it will not be difficult to find the best wedding venue that suits your specifications perfectly.

Online Donations for Churches

When talking about church web site design, the topic sometimes turns to the matter of charity donation tax deduction for the church. What are online donations and how can they be processed? An online donation is a donation that is made online to the church in question. This is done by a simple matter of having several different donation processing facilities. You can accept credit cards, or other online payment processors such as Pay Pal or other donation processor companies. Let’s talk about how you would use these services and utilize them on your site.

Using credit cards is an easy way to be able to give a donation. This usually entails that the church have a merchant account with a credit card processor like MasterCard, Visa or Discover. You will have to sign up for a merchant account through these credit card companies, which usually entails a fee for service, but you will have the means to process the payment on site through a credit card company. This is one way to go. There are several other ways to be able to process payment for online donations and the next topic is using PayPal.

PayPal is the best known of all the online payment systems. You can receive funds via credit card, debit card or by PayPal account holders. Here is how it works. You will sign up for a PayPal account and receive a merchant number for your church. You will then put a button on your site that will directly link to PayPal. Then if anyone wants to make a donation to your church, they will simply click on the PayPal button and will be taken to PayPal’s site. There, they will be able to make a donation to your church using either credit card or PayPal account.

These payments will be processed immediately and you will receive email notification via your PayPal email id that a payment has been made to your account. These funds can be transferred into the church’s bank account and usually takes about three days to process from your PayPal account to your bank account. Now Click N By is a system that specializes in micro or very small payments. These services will suit for those selling numbers of items at a very low price.

Now churches can also be helped by signing up for firstgiving.com or justgive.com. This is for non profits in the USA to use. You will simply sign up for the service and your church will be listed in donate online section. They will collect the donations then send them to the church. This is another way to not only keep tabs on online donations, but will also make it much easier for those that are donating online to get the funds to the church. Each one of these ways is a good way to make an online donation and if you are using a web building service, then they will be able to add this to your site.

Choose Just The Right Gift For The Hens Party Or The Bride-To-Be

If you’re after a fun and fabulous hens venues Melbourne you’ve come to the right place. As summer approaches and bridal season is here, it is likely that you will be invited to the traditional bridal shower. Some ladies prefer a more relaxed style for the bridal celebration. The bridal shower, whether relaxed or formal, is truly a “Hens Party” because hens are hens, regardless of the atmosphere in where they kept. The new bride-to-be will need many new things to set up housekeeping, and the hens are a dedicated bunch ready to help her!

 Hens are those female friends and family members who are invited to celebrate the nuptials of a new bride-to-be. Gifts are brought for the new couple, and light refreshments are served. The gifts may range in price and purpose. For instance, guests with a smaller budget may purchase a cleaning bucket and fill it with needed cleaning supplies, all for just a few bucks at the local discount store. More upscale hens’ budgets may provide selected pieces of china and crystal of the couple’s choosing. Some hens love to provide needed household items such as sheets, cookware and small kitchen appliances. Two or more hens may pool their money to purchase a larger item such as a microwave or vacuum cleaner.

 And as always, there will be a few hens who love to give gifts a little more on the risque side: a naughty negligee or bra and panty set.

 A routine hens party usually include the celebration of birthdays of the hens. For example, I know of one hens group that meets every Tuesday. On the first Tuesday of the month, the hens celebrate all birthdays for that month. So several hens may be the focus of attention for that particular party. The birthday gift bags, large and small, are recycled. Many fun objects are given and enjoyed for years to come. Each hen is encouraged to bring gifts designed especially for each birthday girl, I mean, hen.

Some great ideas for hens party gifts and for the bride-to-be can be focused upon the their hobbies or talents. Perhaps the bride-to-be loves plants. A potted plant or fern tied with a nice bow makes a wonderful gift that can last for many years. Perhaps a birthday girl loves yard work. A nice gift would be a few inexpensive yard or patio decorations that can be picked up at the local hardware store. A nice bag of handy yard tools and work gloves makes a unique and inexpensive gift.

 A hens party can be a rally of support upon the death of a hen’s loved one. The hens may give memory stones, memory photo albums and photo frames at this time of sadness.

 So whether it is a shower given in honor of the bride-to-be, or it is a routine hens party, hens love to give and receive gifts. It is a way to celebrate the passage of womanhood, to pass the torch, so to speak. Like the relationship of mothers and daughters, a mother hen always watches out, protects and teaches the younger hens, no matter what stage of life she may find herself in.

How toxic waste is handled while emptying bio treatment plants

Green waste disposal has proven effective way to recycle the waste in your backyard. Precisely, bio treatment plants are important to refine waste water which is hugely coming from the industrial area. Basically this is a process to resist harmful particle in the water. These plants functioning for process sludge and hard waste, which are placed to use as fertilizer. Twisted stream comes from residential area, organizations and many small occupied shops. Now, contemporary sewage treatment plants are fast replacing septic tank systems for environmental merits and life time solution. This procedure of eliminating and split-up the sludge that change into blackwater or greywater is more acquired by nature. This greywater is customized into re-processed liquor which is used for irrigating the flushing toilets and vegetation.

Here, the role of emptying of bio treatment plants has been loaded for avoiding unwanted hazard. It is necessary to maintain major volumes of input. For years, ash waste served you a necessary solution for this sewage treatment. This is because reduce the harm of resources by as aerobic bacterial digestion which help to neutralize sewage and also break down it. This process is very important to saving their mother earth as they’ll as diseases. For functioning Sewage Treatment Plant you need the support of reputed professionals to process the sewage that accumulates naturally over time. Their these waste disposal services group recommend you to their sewage treatment at least for every 6 to 12 months, to remove the sewage and you panel steady servicing to keep all the electrical and mechanical components in the plant in top condition. The deleterious poisonous substances those are stored and extracted in their plants for proper disposal. These deleterious poisonous may be in both conditions as liquid and solid.

The substances are:

1 Harmful chemical fertilizer

2 Pesticides

3 Bio-contaminants

However, according to these waste disposal services bio treatment plant does half the work. Their significant work will defiantly prove the job done in a proper way, within accurate time and in pocket budget. At these waste disposal services you will get an overall solution for commercial, residential and also emergency waste disposal services in Essex and surrounding areas. This is a group with have licensed protected through Environment Agency and based on Essex. There they’ll-known firm working for 25 years and their service serving best from any organization or individuals as they’ll. By making a relation with us you can make their life very easier through their regular service scheme. It will get benefit for you by include regular Treatment Plant emptying. Their rates provide you a big relaxation due to very low cost. At these waste disposal services bio treatment plant you will get trusted services. They are providing you many services including septic tank/cesspool emptying, sewage plant upgrades, servicing sewage plants and pump repairs, interceptor waste removed and drains cleared. They are also providing their services to fir Sewage Pumping Stations. You can opt services by included choices such as the assessment of ground conditions, Building regulations and license applications, Required excavation work, Pipework and drainage, Electrical work and Installation and commissioning of the plant.

Restaurant Deals And Offers Make Your Meal More Enjoyable

Top Asian restaurants in Melbourne like Chinese is one of the most ancient and varied cuisines in the world, yet often gets misrepresented in Australia. Various restaurant deals give us the chance to save money with great deals and discounts. Restaurants provide you delicious food offers to choose the best one to enjoy the food. Mostly those who spend their weekend outside and take dinner out can take advantage of these restaurants deals as usually restaurants offers combo food packages at weekend. So enjoy your weekend with great restaurant deals and discounts.

As all we know that nobody would like to spend their hard earned money worthlessly. But today online shopping has provided more convenience to all to spend their money in the right and beneficial product or service or deal. We can easily get every type of deal here. Deals in restaurants have attractive offers with different-different discount coupons and vouchers.

Especially for the people those are foodie can make their dinner more memorable and enjoyable with these restaurant deals. Restaurant deals like one plus one free, unlimited drinks, discount up to 40-50% on starters and food items attracts people to purchase the deal and helps in saving their lot of money.

Restaurant discount coupons and vouchers are really best way to enjoy the food without the tension of like how expensive meal this is? How will I pay such a big amount? At that time these discount vouchers and coupons help to save their bucks and also helps the restaurant owner increasing its sales. So there is no need to worry about the bills just enjoy your dining out at big restaurants.

But due to presence of number of online websites it always confuses to choose the right. So one should be careful while selecting or going through the website and buying the various deals because there are many fake sites. Discount vouchers and coupons providing websites also help in promoting a new business to advertise and attract people with discount offers. But it works as a link between the people and the new business or service.

These websites provides many other deals like tourism deals, beauty deals, mobile deals, online shopping deals, discount deals and many more that really comforts us as to go outside. Internet boost the online shopping on a very high scale. That results in many online shoppers in India and other countries. More and more online shoppers mean more and more buyers to buy products and services.

Foodies love to take different-different varieties of delicious food especially when getting with great deals and discount offers. And they regularly search for the best daily deals of restaurants as they do not want to skip the deals. Daily deals nowadays have become a winning tool for both shoppers and retailers. So you can go through online websites like Lootbargain.com to enjoy various restaurant deals with discount coupons and vouchers.

10 Things You Should Know Before Donating

Many people around the world donate either their time or money…sometimes even both if the charity organization is lucky. So why do you think this is? Maybe people have too much time on their hands or just want to do something different. Maybe people are filthy rich and just give their money for the heck of it (I don’t fall under that one!). Maybe it’s the “feel good” effect that people are after. Rest assure that no matter the reason to give, they are all good! Nothing should stop us from giving our time or/and money to important charities and causes! Donating to charity helps those in need, it also has important tax benefits for you.

However, did you know that one of the fastest growing trends in “organized con artists” is charity donations and non-profit. Their activity is being able to register a non-profit charity organization (which is very easy to get by the way) and start promoting. They will throw a few fundraisers, increase PR, start word-of-month, etc… and then at the end of the year, donate a penny to the dollar. This means that for every dollar donated to the charity organization, only 1 penny ($0.01) goes to an actual cause. The remainder 99 cents is kept for their pockets! Think of it, the non-profit organization have access to the $250%2B billion (yes BILLIONS!) raised for charities every year (USA stats only). With over 1 million registered charity and non-profit organizations in North America, it is extremely important to do our home work before choosing the right one.

Here are my 10 things you should know before donation:

1. The most important one: Research your charity! Find out who the owner, president, CEO, etc… are. Find out how much they are making. Find out how much of your dollar goes towards their cause. One way to do this is to search on the web. The one site I found to be very useful is charitynavigator.org. They have all this info and more at your fingertips.

2. Ask for physical information. Get to know your chosen charity before giving money. Email them and request their goals, vision, long term plan, etc…in a brochure type of document. Remember, it is your money that you are giving and if they don’t provide you with this information, then they are hiding something.

3. Call the charity directly. Giving them a call gives you a sense of the type of service they provide. It will also give you a good indication on how versed they are in their own cause. Prepare some good questions ahead of the call and put them on the spot.

4. Call the causes. Calling the supported cause(s) (i.e. children hospital, homeless shelters, etc…) to get confirmation about your charity will assure you that this is legitimate.

5. Feel the name. Everything is in a name. If you are looking to donate to Uniteway…think again! You probably wanted Unitedway! Making sure that you have the right organization is crucial. Cons are good at imitating!

6. Feel the pressure. Never feel pressured into a donation! If you get a call asking for funds, ask for all the details. Make sure they explain everything. Ask for a call back number. Ask how the funds will be used. Ask for their website and say that you will donate online. If they can’t provide you with any of those details or are forceful about donating right now over the phone, the chances are it’s a con. Hang up and if you feel you still want to donate, complete steps above.

7. Watch for prizes. If it’s too good to be true it usually is! If anyone tries to sell you on outrages prizes and giveaway for your donated money, before buying, complete steps above (especially if it’s time limited like “you need to donate in the next 5 minutes to get this giveaway”).

8. Door-to-Door. Again, watch the pressure tactics. Many “cons” which has arose with door to door are chocolates for example. Anyone can go buy bulk chocolate at $0.50 each and sell them door-to-door at $5.00 each for charity. If you sell 100 chocolate bars a day…that’s good revenue! But no charity will benefit! So again, are they Unitedway or Uniteway?

9. Your taxes. Watch out for what the charity provide as tax benefits for you…especially if you give a large amount. Tax exempt means the organization doesn’t have to pay taxes. Tax deductible means you can deduct your contribution on your federal tax return. So an organization that has “tax exempt” doesn’t mean you will be able to declare this deduction on your taxes. Be sure to ask for a receipt that clearly indicates “Tax Deductible”.

10. Repeat the cycle! If you have numerous charities that you currently or would like to start contributing to, make sure you follow these 10 things for each one of them. Do not skip one…it might cost you!

Please keep in mind that donating your time is just as important! So in order to validate the organization you want to volunteer to, follow those same steps. A waste of time is a waste of money!

There is also many other form of research you can look into such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), local “watch dog’ organization, and let’s not forget the web! Just make sure that when you perform your search to include your location (city, town) in the search…this narrows it down.

Thank you for reading my article, it was a pleasure writing it for you!

Carl R.

VIG Member

If you would like to know more about IG (important giver) and VIG (very important giver)membership, please visit my web site or blog below:

[http://www.goodwillmall.com]

Buy More, Get More, Give More!

[http://blog.goodwillmall.com]

Learn More, Say More, Do More!

Thank you!

The CNJMB Goodwill Group team…where it’s all about GOODWILL!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Carl_Rioux/251043

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Choosing the Best Wedding Venues

Where to start when searching for a hens night venues Melbourne?

Well start with ricepaperscissors.com.au as they will give you plenty of options.

So if you are planning a wedding without the aid of a wedding planner, your first concern should be to find the wedding venue.

Naturally, the style of venue directly impacts on the style of wedding for it will shape the entire style, theme and décor of the whole day’s proceedings. So after having set a date and a budget (actual or approximate), you need to decide what style of wedding you are after. No doubt some brides (and grooms!) will have been dreaming about their wedding for months or years before they are engaged and will have an idea about the style of wedding they want.

However, for most newly engaged couples the task ahead can sometimes seem daunting. For many, the first port of call will be the internet where you can practically lose yourself in a maze of wedding resources. We suggest you spend an hour or two online together and immerse yourselves in this strange new world of weddings. Confetti and Hitched are useful UK resources, among many others, whilst Martha Stewart and The Knot are excellent sites that focus on the American wedding market where lots of our trends first originate.

Wedding blogs are another useful online resource and nowadays, more and more couples are turning to blogs such as Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake, OnceWed and Rock n Roll Bride for their wedding inspiration. They are well worth investigating.

After only a short time online you should have a pretty clear idea about your preferred style as well as the avenues you want to explore. Some of the most popular ideas that start to evolve might for instance include classic, vintage, rustic, contemporary, chic, retro, funky or seasonal.

Then, from this position you can start to focus your search on wedding venues that befit the general style or styles(s) you have in mind. For instance classic or vintage would tend to lead you toward old historic venues, such as castles or stately homes. Whereas contemporary might lead you toward venues that are more of a blank canvas, such as art galleries. And if you are considering funky or maybe chic, you might focus your search on appropriately styled boutique hotels.

There are several websites dedicated solely to the promotion of wedding venues. Whilst most feature dozens of venues in a wide range of styles of varying quality, one or two go a step further by assessing the quality of the venues featured.

When it comes to selecting the style of venue, your personal and individual personalities, likes and dislikes will dictate to a large extent. For instance, a flamboyant couple will be drawn to venues that have an immediate ‘Wow Factor’ such as a large and elaborate stately home in the country, whereas a more conservative couple might want to consider guest practicalities and opt for a country house hotel close to a city.

There are a wide range of different styles to choose from, from restaurants to rustic barns or boutique hotels to former palaces. Be warned that unfortunately, as is so often the case, you tend to get what you pay for. Furthermore, peak season Saturdays will usually be booked up 9 months or more in advance, so in order to secure the best venues it is important to either be flexible with the wedding date or start your venue search a year or so in advance. Be warned!

However, if you use an online resource that assesses the quality of the venues featured and offers a wide range of criteria in which to focus your search, your venue search should be reasonably straight forward!

Primary Considerations for a Wedding Venue Search

Wedding date

The more flexible you are, the greater your choice of venues. Remember that Saturdays in peak season get booked up quickly so consider Sundays or even Fridays. You will benefit from lower prices too. Note that Bank holiday Sundays also tend to book up quickly.

Type of ceremony

Typically your options will as follows:

Civil – 25 minute legal ceremony that will take place in a registry office or in approved premise, such as a country house hotel.

Religious – 50 minute religious ceremony in a House of God.

Civil with blessing – civil ceremony followed by a separate religious blessing

Civil with humanist – civil ceremony followed by a separate humanist blessing

Note, if you want a religious ceremony, you should already have good links with your local church. Alternatively, if you want to get married outside your own parish you might be able to register with an alternative church if you are prepared to attend mass regularly before your wedding.

Also note, if opting for a religious ceremony, for convenience your reception venue should be reasonably close by, ideally 5-10 minutes away, up to a maximum of 20-25 minutes.

Number of guests

Naturally, if you expect 100 guests you need to identify venues that can accommodate 100 guests and ideally more in order to avoid the possibility of squeezing tables together.

Total wedding budget

As indicated, allocate 50% of your total budget to your venue and catering costs. However this could be from 40%, or up to 60%.

Preferred geographical location(s)

Clearly the wider the geographical area you consider, the greater your choice of venues.

Venue style

There are a wide range of styles to consider, from boutique hotels to country clubs, or stately homes to livery halls.

Exclusive use of the venue

Decide early on if this is essential to you. Many venues only offer exclusive use as standard but others, such as large stately homes and hotels will have the space to accommodate 2 or more weddings at the same time. Usually they will be kept separate but sometimes it is not always the case. In such venues, exclusive use might be an option, for an additional fee.

Do you require guest accommodation onsite?

If so, how many guests and for how many nights? Note sometimes you might be expected to take a minimum number of rooms on the wedding night.

Would you consider a marquee?

Again, keep your options open in order to maximise your shortlist of venues especially if you expect more than 100 guests. Unfortunately there are many, many excellent venues across the UK that can only accommodate up to 100 guests internally, within the walls of the property and therefore a marquee is the only option for larger weddings. That being said, the design and style of marquees has come on enormously over the past 5 years and there are some super-modern styles available for hire.

Would you consider separate rooms for your ceremony, drinks reception, dinner and dancing? Or mind having the ceremony and dinner in the same room?

The venue’s room format is an often forgotten consideration when venue searching and can lead to huge disappointment, especially if you have travelled to view the property unaware of such considerations. It is sometimes the case a venue requires you to have both the ceremony and the meal in the same room. In such instances the room will be ‘turned around’ whilst the drinks reception takes place in another room, outside or in an annex, so you won’t be able to see the tables laid after the ceremony.

Alternatively, it might be that dancing cannot take place in the same room that the meal is served in and this can lead to segregated guests.

Or if you have filled the room to its dining capacity, it is often the case that in order to make space for a dance floor, 2 or 3 tables have to be removed.

Some Additional Considerations

Fireworks, confetti, candelabras/naked flames/tea lights, garden/outside area, late licence.

Again, all these elements can limit your choice of venues so do try to keep your options open! For instance, do you really want to lose out on what might be the perfect venue that happens to calls last orders at 11pm, just because you like the idea of celebrating until midnight or 1am?

Or will you really reject what could be your ideal property simply because they don’t permit fireworks?

Conclusion

We have seen that when searching for a wedding venue it is vital that you try to be as flexible as you can with regard to your preconceived requirements. And clearly choosing a venue can be a difficult and time consuming task. However, if you bear the considerations in this article in mind your chances of finding your perfect wedding venue will be greatly enhanced, as will the time it takes to do so!

Article written by Sam Ketterer, Administrator at Best Wedding Venues – http://www.bestweddingvenues.info

Sam is also a Wedding Planner at Absolute Perfection Wedding Consultancy in London

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sam_Ketterer/24854

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8 Signs You May Have a Problem with Your Electrical Wiring

Electrical malfunctions cause more than 50,000 house fires each year, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International. The majority can be prevented. Electrician Brisbane Southside is capable of fixing your electrical outlets at home for your own safety.

To protect your own home, start by checking your fuse box or breaker panel for the date of your last inspection. Most municipalities require an inspection only when a system is modified during a renovation or an addition. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends having a pro look things over every 10 years. Beyond that, be aware of these potential sources and causes of electrical fires.

Related: Quiz: Are You Prepared For a House Fire?

1. Too many extension cords. Aesthetics aside, there’s a reason electric wires are buried within walls. “An undisturbed wiring system will more or less work forever,” says William Burke, division manager of electrical engineering for the National Fire Protection Association. “But when it’s disturbed or altered, there’s potential for trouble.” Running an extension cord creates additional points where cords can kink, short out or get pinched, leading to tripped breakers, damaged outlets or even a fire. Use extension cords sparingly and for short periods of time — during the holidays, for example. If you consistently need more outlets, have an electrician install them.

2. Dimming or flickering lights. Because light fixtures typically draw only a small amount of power, dimming or flickering is rarely caused by a problem with the fixture itself. More likely the issue is with energy hogs like major appliances or space heaters that are wired to the same circuit. “Appliances that heat or cool tend to draw a lot of power,” says Burke. So dimming could be caused by a washing machine drawing current to heat water. Consult an electrician about moving lights to different circuits or installing dedicated lines for major appliances.

3. Funny odors. A new appliance may produce an off-odor the first few times it’s powered up. But if you detect an odd smell coming from an outlet, turn off and unplug anything connected to it. Don’t use it again until you’ve had a qualified electrician check it out. If your fuse box or breaker panel has a weird odor, call an electrician right away.

4. Sparking. This is never a good sign. How you deal with it depends on where it’s coming from. If a breaker panel, fuse box or outlet is sparking, get an electrician in ASAP. But a sparking appliance may mean that the fixture itself is damaged, in which case you should call an appliance repairperson. He can test the appliance and usually the outlet that powers it as well. A service call from a repairperson is likely to be cheaper than one from a licensed electrician. Plus, if the appliance is new, it may even be repaired under the warranty.

5. Hot outlets or switch plates. “Even when an appliance is meant to produce heat (like a toaster or space heater), the outlet that powers it should never become hot,” says Burke. Electric current may make a switch plate slightly warm to the touch, but if the outlet is uncomfortably hot, turn off whatever is plugged in and try it in another outlet. If the outlet grows hot even without anything plugged in, it may be wired incorrectly. Consult an electrician, who may advise you to flip the breaker or remove the fuse for that outlet until your system can be serviced.

6. Frequently blown fuses or tripped breakers. Circuit breakers and fuses are designed to fail as a way to prevent overloading. If a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer routinely trips a breaker regardless of where you plug it in, the appliance is the likely culprit. But if using a single outlet causes you to blow the same fuse repeatedly, the circuit is probably overloaded. Call in a pro to discuss upgrading the circuit or adding a new line.

7. Buzzing. What does electricity sound like? When things are working properly, nothing. Generally electricity flows smoothly and quietly between connections. But loose prongs, outlets or fraying wire can all cause the current to jump, producing a buzzing sound in the process. If you’re sure a sound is originating at an outlet, stop using it and call an electrician.

8. The wrong outlets in the kitchen or bathroom. Because water is an excellent conductor of electricity, kitchens and bathrooms both require special shock-resistant outlets called ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). GFCIs typically have two small buttons at the center. Take note if outlets in your kitchen or bathroom outlets look no different from those in your family room or bedroom, swap them out with GFCIs to add an extra layer of shock protection around water.

Hidden Electrical Hazards – Check Your Grounded Outlets

Shock hazards and warranty issues. If you live in an older house, you may be shocked, literally, to discover that your “grounded” (three-pronged) electrical outlets are not really grounded, after all. This article describes why that’s a dangerous situation, how to tell if your outlets are really grounded, and what to do if they’re not. Our qualified emergency electrician Brisbane have the training, experience, and equipment to meet every electrical service need of our customer.

The electrical term, open ground, describes a situation where someone has installed a three-pronged outlet, but the cable serving that outlet still contains only two wires, a hot and a neutral, and no ground wire. The three-pronged outlet gives the appearance of an upgrade, but the outlet is not really grounded. This is bad news for two reasons.

Shock hazard

This should be your first concern, and it’s a real one: a receptacle that is not properly grounded is a safety hazard to you and your family. A shock from an improperly grounded 120-volt outlet can cause injury, even death. And take note: those receptacle “cheaters,” those little, grey three-hole plugs with the tab on them that you screw into the plate? They don’t work, and they can present a hazard to you and the equipment you plug into them.

Warranty issues

The following appliances require a grounded receptacle, for both safety and warranty reasons:

  • Refrigerator
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing Machine
  • Computer
  • Television
  • Any piece of equipment with a 3-pronged plug

Plugging any of this equipment into a receptacle that is not grounded can present a shock hazard, can damage the product, and can void the product warranty. Computers have especially sensitive voltage requirements. Note that surge protectors will not work properly unless a ground is present. These appliances and pieces of equipment are not small investments; protect them by using only properly grounded outlets. Where necessary, call in a qualified electrician to run you a new wire.

How to tell if your outlet is really grounded

  • You can buy a small, inexpensive, plug-in tester at your local home center or electrical supply store. They are generally fairly reliable.
  • You could try cutting the electricity at the breaker, pulling off your outlet cover and having a look, but you may or may not be able to see the cable feeding the outlet. The older the house, the more likely it is to be dark and dirty and hard to see behind the outlet cover. It might be necessary to unscrew and pull out the outlet. Note: this is not recommend as a beginner’s DIY project because of the safety hazards involved.
  • Why take chances? Hire a pro. If you have any question whether your outlets are properly grounded – or for that matter, if you have any questions about your wiring or your breaker or fuse box – have a qualified electrician come in and take a look.

What to do if your outlet is not properly grounded

If the tester gives you a negative reading, there may be other outlets in the house that aren’t grounded. We strongly recommend that you bring in a qualified electrician to assess the situation and recommend next steps.

Next steps could involve running new wire, but possibly not. In some circumstances, electrical code allows for ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection (meaning the installation of a GFCI outlet) where there is no ground; however, the code has very specific requirements about how this must be done, including language that must be displayed prominently on the outlet cover. Take note we do not recommend this as a beginner’s DIY project because of the potential safety hazards to you and your family, and the warranty issues with your electrical and electronic equipment, discussed above.

More about wiring in older houses

  • A good rule of thumb: If you see wire and it’s fabric covered, by all means, have a qualified electrician look at it.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission and utility companies recommend panel maintenance every three years. Generally, maintenance involves pulling the panel cover, inspecting all breakers and wiring, re-torquing connections, replacing breakers where necessary, and making recommendations about any further service that may be necessary or desirable. Routine maintenance can avoid a lot of problems.
  • For homeowners with older wiring for whom rewiring is not an option, your electrician might recommend replacing certain breakers with an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). This is a “breaker with a brain,” fire protection technology that works just like a regular circuit breaker but also electronically detects arcing. For new construction and significant remodeling, the AFCI is now required for all circuits leading to bedrooms.

Liz Pauley is a staff writer for ranchrevival.com a website devoted to owners of ranch style houses, old and new.
For additional information on electrical and other issues pertinent to older houses, visit ranchrevival.com

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Complete Guide to Cleaning All Types of Pool Furniture

The most efficient method for cleaning commercial grade outdoor furniture is with a pressure washer, using plain water and a mild disinfectant or detergent under low pressure. DO NOT use chlorine or harsh cleaning solutions. Not to self: If the pressure is strong enough to blow your items around the deck, it’s probably strong enough to peel off the finish as well! Don’t have a pressure washer? Simply clean your outdoor furnishings with a soft brush, mild soap and very warm water. After a few years, when plain soap and water do not clean the worn finish, begin to add small amounts of household bleach. When a half and half solution no longer cleans, it’s time to think about getting new furniture. Pool removal Sydney specializes in removing your swimming pool that can reduce hazards and liability, make your home more appealing potential home buyers, and eliminate costly up-keep by giving give you more yard space for lawn activities.

Using these care and maintenance tips WILL reduce repair AND replacement costs (alphabetized by material):

Acrylic has a durable, yet lightweight composition that can last for many years if taken care of properly. Cleaning acrylic is one of the best ways to extend its lifespan. If you don’t clean your acrylic surfaces, they can become marred with stains, dust, dirt, mold and mildew – however, cleaning them the wrong way can harm the surfaces.

Instructions:

Sweep off any dust or debris that can be dislodged easily – this prevents the dust from acting as an abrasive when you begin to wash.
Dip a soft cleaning sponge into a bucket of warm, soapy water, and use it to wipe the piece.
Rinse with clean water.
Allow the acrylic surface to air-dry in a warm, well-ventilated area.

Your outdoor furniture is exposed to a lot, and aluminum is built to take the heat and the elements. Prolong the life of your Aluminum by keeping it clean and properly treating it as needed. To extend the beauty and life of your aluminum simply follow these instructions.

Instructions:

General cleaning: Use a cleaning rag with mild dish soap and water to wipe down aluminum on a regular basis.
Removing scuffed areas: Try a gel or liquid non-abrasive cleaner (such as SoftScrub). This will allow the scuffed area to be removed without damaging the finish.
Rinse: Use a garden hose to rinse off after cleaning and removing scuffed areas.

While concrete, for the most part, is virtually maintenance free, dust, dirt and debris can still build up on its surface quickly if it’s not cleaned off regularly. You can easily clean your Concrete, but making sure it’s done routinely.

Instructions:

Wipe down with a damp rag to remove dirt accumulation and dust.
Mix warm water and mild detergent in a bucket.
Dip rag into bucket and wash down thoroughly.
Dry with a soft towel.

Fiberglass is one of the most popular types of outdoor furniture on the market today. It’s highly durable, affordable, comes in an assortment of styles and, most importantly, is easy to maintain! There are certain steps that should be taken to effectively clean fiberglass furnishings.

Instructions:

Spray down with a standard water hose to loosen up any dirt and grime.
Mix hot water, a good portion of dish washing detergent, and cup of vinegar into a bucket.
Soak a sponge in the mixture and begin to wipe down.
Grab a water hose, rinse and allow to dry.

Most Recycled Plastic has been purified and UV protected. It’s generally cared for and cleaned with soap and warm water. For certain stains and additional cleaning power, a 1/3 bleacher and 2/3 water solution can be used on recycled plastic without affecting the color. The surface characteristics of the furniture may require the use of a soft bristle brush to get into the creases. Although the quality of the hardware has a high level of corrosive resistance, the hardware can still show signs of corrosion in salt air environments. A practical solution to these signs of corrosion is to wash the hardware and furnishings with soap and water, and using a soft bristle brush to scrub the corroded areas is also helpful.

Resin is an ideal alternative to metal or wood, which can rust, splinter, continually need painting or are just plain heavy. Keeping new tables and chairs clean and looking good for years to come is easy – it’s the older pieces that take a little more effort to restore to a cleaner, newer looking state. Resin is porous, allowing stains to sink in. If stained, try scrubbing with a mild detergent or dishwashing soap. Non-abrasive household cleaners may also help.

Instructions:

Brush loose dust and debris from resin with a stiff-bristled brush.
Spray with water from a garden hose. Use some pressure to remove as much dirt and debris as possible.
Add dish detergent to a bucket of hot water and use a nylon scrubber to scrub down the resin.
Finish the cleaning process with a final rinse and allow to dry before use.

Get your Slings looking clean and fresh with a little elbow grease, and cleaning supplies you probably already have on hand. If mildew is a problem, a bit of extra effort on your part can help control it.

Instructions:

Prepare a solution of 1/2 cup mild detergent mixed with 1/2 cup bleach in 1 gallon of warm water (yes, it’s okay to use a mild bleacher solution on marine grade acrylic outdoor fabrics).
Use a soft scrub brush to work the cleaning solution in to the mesh.
Rinse with clean water and allow to dry in the sun.

Many people don’t care for the upkeep of wood, so steel is an ideal substitute, especially if you’re looking for a clean, modern or contemporary look! Steel requires much less upkeep than wood; however after a few years it may rust or tarnish. You can easily keep this from happening by using a sealant to protect your steel pieces from rusting, which only needs to be applied and re-applied every few years. Regular attention is required to prevent rust, which if left unchecked will eat through your steel. Remember to check your steel pieces regularly, especially at any welded joints.

Vinyl Straps are ideal when you’re looking for the perfect addition to your pool area. However, body lotions and oils can cause damage to vinyl straps. In fact, if possible, require your guests to use a towel when sunbathing or drying off from the pool so that your vinyl strap furniture will have a longer life span. Vinyl is porous, so it is important to protect it from moisture and chemicals.

Instructions:

Mix a cleaning solution of mild dishwashing detergent and hot water.
Scrub the vinyl straps by dipping the scrub brush in the bucket and scouring your vinyl in a circular motion.
Rinse off the soap with a cloth or a hose.
Dry the vinyl with a clean towel.

Wood definitely has it’s appeal. Your outdoor space is exactly that: outdoors; so wood items will blend in beautifully with your natural decor. It looks great, and can add definite flair to your outdoor space. Before you replace your dirty looking wood, try cleaning it first!

Instructions:

Use a dry brush and scrub.
Use the garden hose and rinse off.
Fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap then saturate a clean cloth in the mixture.
Clean a small area at a time (don’t forget the bottom of your pieces as well).
Rinse thoroughly, removing all traces of soap.
Dry using a clean, dry cloth.
Finally, protect your wood during the season by using an oil specially formulated for wood.

The top surfaces of your outdoor pieces are the most critical, and should be cleaned weekly or bi-weekly. Simply wipe down the top surfaces and rinse with filtered water. Once every four to six weeks, wipe down the bottom and back surfaces to control mildew. Take Note: Never throw your furniture in the swimming pool unless a hurricane is imminent and there is nowhere else to put it. This is NEVER a good way to clean off your pool furniture.

Following these simple rules and instructions will result in extended life for your outdoor seating. Annual costs will decrease substantially, the pieces will look great, and your guests are sure to be happy!

ParknPool Corp is a leading online distributor of commercial grade furniture and site amenities such as pool furniture, picnic tables, park benches, trash receptacles, and bleachers. For more information on keeping your outdoor furniture clean and maintenance free contact ParknPool at 877.777.3700. http://www.parknpool.com

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