Handyman Hardware

Handyman can be described as a person who undertakes different types of jobs such as small construction works, electrical works, plumbing, painting, and garden maintenance. All these activities are completed with the help of tools and equipment, which are normally referred to as handyman hardware. Handyman hardware does not consist of specially designed tools and equipment; it is just a collection of tools and equipment used by electricians, plumbers, and construction workers.

Many handyman tools are coated with insulation material that provides insulation against electric shocks. Insulation material is made from specially formulated materials and is scientifically tested before being used to coat handyman tools. Insulated handyman tools are rated according to the level of voltage they can withstand which is usually in the range of 1000 volts to 1500 volts.

A number of manufacturers produce handyman hardware tools based on current national standards defined by American society for testing and materials (ASTM). Handyman hardware tools may include pliers, screwdrivers, knives, scissors, bolt cutters, cable cutters, and hammers. Bags that carry these accessories are made from a combination of cotton cloth, leather, and other strong material to make it long lasting. Household users should make sure that the handyman hardware tools they are buying are manufactured according to standard quality specifications.

Handyman hardware tools need to be replaced after one or two years as they are subjected to heavy wear and tear while rendering handyman services. The cost of replacing or maintaining such type of hardware can be unaffordable for many handymen. The best option for them is to work for an organization that provides all the necessary hardware needed for performing their services.

It is necessary to use handyman hardware tools in a technically correct way, as improper handling can damage the equipment being handled as well as the tool. People can take help from handyman guidebooks or magazines for learning the correct use of handyman hardware tools.

LED Light Bulbs

Light is made up of photons which are, in simple words, packages of energy. An excited electron releases photons. The color of the light depends on the wavelength, which in turn depends on the energy released by the electrons.

With Edison’s light bulb, mankind moved from candles to electric light. The electric bulbs ruled for nearly a hundred years. The general light bulb consists of a tungsten coiled filament, inert gas, the glass mount, electric contact and the housing which keeps all intact. With the electric current, the electrons in the atoms are raised to a higher energy level. When they fall back to their normal levels, the extra energy in the form of photons is released by the electrons .When heated with the electric current, the metal filament emits visible light. The inert gas prevents a combustion reaction.

With the rise of semiconductors, LED bulbs become more popular. According to the basic working principle of the diode, when the conduction band is made wide, the light emitted by diodes can be seen by human eyes. To create a large number of photons, LEDs are specially constructed to release electrons. Also, the plastic bulb in which the diode is placed helps concentrate the light in the desired direction. The sides of the bulb make most of the light from the diode bounce off and travel on through the rounded end of the bulb.

The plus point is that LEDs do not contain any filament. LEDs are more efficient than conventional bulbs with filaments. The average life of an LED is up to 10,000 hours. They are more durable and more resistant to blows or shocks. LEDs require less power; hence less battery is consumed than with conventional bulbs. The energy wasted is minimal with LEDs.

The negative point is cost. As they are made with advanced semiconductor technology, the cost is more than for conventional bulbs. But again, long running capacity and durability give LEDs the upper hand.

Carpet Cleaning Machines

There is a wide variety of carpet cleaning machines to choose from. The most commonly used is a vacuum cleaner. Most people prefer an ‘upright’ vacuum cleaner over a ‘canister’ for convenience. Some people also like to use a ‘hand-held’ for stairs and other carpeted areas that don’t offer maneuverability.

An ‘upright’ vacuum cleaner can be used with one or two motors, depending on the type of dirt that accumulates and the type and frequency of cleaning required. Some people also like to use ’spotters’ for spot cleaning. These usually have rotating brushes to scrub the stain off the carpet. In order to select the right carpet cleaning machine, we also need to be sensitive to the fabric that the carpet is made up of.

Another type of carpet cleaning machine is called the ‘carpet cleaning extractor’. The extractor is ideal for deep cleaning. Use a regular ‘carpet cleaning extractor’ or a ’self-contained’ one. A ‘carpet cleaning extractor’ is suitable for deep cleaning as it literally extracts dirt from an entire carpet, not just from its surface. If we use a ’self-contained carpet cleaning extractor’, it injects a cleaning solution in the carpet and extracts it and it can also be used to vacuum the carpet after the process of extraction has been completed.

Many people also use ‘carpet steam cleaners’ for deep cleaning. The ‘carpet steam cleaner’ uses steam to draw dirt out of carpet surfaces, bases and fibers. It is considered extremely effective and several users of these machines say that it helps them get rid of all the dirt in their carpets, even if the dirt has seeped into the fibers and the base of the carpet. The steam injected by the ‘carpet steam cleaner’ loosens dirt and brings it closer to the surface. Then the dirt is vacuumed, leaving the carpet dirt free.

Some other factors that to consider before purchasing a carpet cleaning machine are size, attachments and accessories. The size of the machine should be in accordance with the preferences of the person who is going to use it the most. The choice of attachments, particularly cord length, should be determined based on the dimensions of the carpeted area. Accessories, such as different kinds of brushes, can be added for specific problems such as frequent food stains or dirt related to pets.

Carnivorous Plants

Animals are attracted to carnivorous plants. These plants capture and kill the animals and suck the nutrients from them. There are even some non-carnivorous plants that may exhibit some of the qualities of the carnivorous group. However, they do not qualify as carnivorous plants if any of the stages, such as attracting the animal life form, capturing and killing it, and then digesting and absorbing their vital nutrients, are missing.

In appearance, carnivorous plants are similar to all other plants. Carnivorous plants are found on all continents, except Antarctica. They require a different care regime depending on the category they belong to. Most carnivorous plants require plenty of sunlight, as inadequate sunlight may hamper the growth of the carnivorous plants. Some plants such as Butterworts, Asian Pitcher Plants, and a few species of Sundews grow well in bright indirect light.

Many plant growers, who are unable to provide the required amount of sunlight, can use 20 to 40-watt fluorescent light tubes to enhance growth. Fluorescent compact bulbs, which are equivalent to 100 watts, can also be used as an alternative. This light source is to be placed approximately 6 to 8 inches above the plant. To achieve best results, the light source should be kept on for 12 to14 hours in a day. It is advisable to avoid the use of incandescent bulbs for this purpose, as they emit excessive heat and the wrong type of light.

Almost all carnivorous plants grow in bogs that are never dry. This necessitates the cultivation of such plants in adequately wet soil. Generally, all carnivorous plants are temperate plants, which means that they are dormant during the winter season and are vibrant during the spring and summer.

When domestically cultivating these plants, it is important to repot the plants in a suitable pot before the end of the dormancy period. This provides them fresh soil and more space for growth, which enhance growth. Dead leaves can be removed in the springtime to avoid fungal infections. Fertilizers must be avoided while growing carnivorous plants, as they will burn and destroy the roots.

Care of Orchids

One of the most beautiful flowers, the orchid has survived all these years in a natural, harsh environment. They are found merrily swinging on top of the trees and on the slopes of green mountains. They thrive in the lap of nature, doing fine without the care of overzealous plant growers. Studies show that a number of orchids perish due to overwatering, low light and use of bad quality fertilizers. Adequate lighting is a must for a thriving orchid plant.

Growers and retailers take great care to make sure the flowers reach you in fresh condition, but some loss of moisture happens during their journey to your place. If maintained and looked after properly, your blooms will remain fresh for at least two fragrant weeks. Upon receiving the bouquet, cut half an inch of the stem from each stalk and keep them in warm water for around half an hour. Transfer them into a vase of water and keep it at a cool place. Do not place the vase in a room with central heating, lest your orchids wilt. Weed out any spoilt flowers or buds, and gently spray it with mists of water to preserve the freshness. While handling the flowers, make sure you don’t dust off the pollen from the flower. If you do, the flower will emit gas and fade quickly. Repotting your orchid will kill the soft roots of the plant, so keep it in its original pot. If you have pets at home keep them away, as the likelihood of their munching this delicious plant is high. Try to keep your pots in a humid environment. A good tip offered by experts is to set the pot on a tray filled with a mixture of gravel and water. This does wonders in increasing the level of humidity in the area surrounding the plant. Placing the orchids directly in the sunlight will do more harm than good. Water them twice a week, feed them on fertilizers once a week, and repot them once every two years.

Carbon Block Water Filters

Drinking water can be contaminated due to many sources; some include community landfills, agricultural runoff, polluted runoff and hazardous wastes as byproducts of manufacturing. Leaks of pollutants such as gasoline and leaking underground storage tanks can also cause water to be contaminated. Because of all these contamination sources, the use of water filters is highly recommended.

Carbon block water filters are used to remove contaminants from your drinking water without removing the healthful, natural minerals. These filters combine processes such as mechanical filtration, electrokinetic adsorption and physical adsorption in order to reduce contaminants effectively.

In mechanical filtration, water passes through a graded density-5 micron pre-filter that traps sand, dirt and other particles that can affect the odor, taste and overall appearance of the water. After this, water then passes through a highly compacted solid carbon block. Here, direct mechanical interception of particles occurs.

Next to mechanical filtration is electrokinetic adsorption. In this process, water passes through a graded density prefilter that acquires a positive molecular charge. Here, the media fibers will electrokinetically attract charged colloidal particles. These particles are too small and can’t be drained by mechanical filtration alone.

Finally, the process of physical adsorption reduces all the aesthetic contaminants and health-related contaminants. A carbon block filter media is engineered so that the contaminants in water will be decreased.

These are the three main processes involved in filtering water through the use of carbon block water filters. Even though these filters are effective at reducing contaminants, it is still highly recommended that they be replaced annually or when they become saturated with bad tastes and odors. Aside from this, replacement is also necessary when the carbon block water filter’s rated capacity is reached and the flow rate diminishes.

Car Window Shades

Whether you are traveling in the heat of the sun or just looking for a little privacy, car window shades are a solution to your dilemma. They come in a variety of materials including vinyl, mesh, sunscreens, and nylons and corrugated cardboard. They are designed for windshields, back and side windows.

If you want a subtle looking shade, you can select a plain color, or you can purchase shades that are wild, with colorful designs. Some shades are free, given to drivers by companies wishing to market their products. Logos and messages are printed on the shade and displayed when placed on the windshield of a vehicle.

Portable and affordable car shades work well in any driving environment, especially when the sun’s rays are its fiercest. If your parking spot offers no shade, just pop on the car window shade, and you’ll return to a cool, comfortable car without having to wait for the air conditioning to kick in. They work great as side window covers too. If you have a child, these shades are designed to reduce the glare that shines through a side window, affecting the vision of your child. Although it does not offer protection from ultraviolet rays, it will provide shade and a comfortable ride for your little ones. When side shades are in place, the driver will not encounter any visual distortion, or will vision be impaired while driving.

Car window shades are cheap, very easy to pack and work efficiently. Sometimes, air bubbles appear on the shades, and you might want to get rid of them by squeezing them out. Also, you can’t open windows when the car shades are in place. To put the shade in place, all you have to do is unfold and stick it to the surface of the glass. You do not have to wet the shade or the window. To remove the shade, you simply peel it off and roll it back up.

Camel Crickets

Crickets are insects that belong to the order Orthoptera. Crickets are an important part of the ecosystem since they help in the breakdown of plant material. There are many species of crickets: house crickets, field crickets, ground crickets, cave crickets, mole crickets, camel crickets, snowy tree cricket and the northern mole crickets. Crickets live outdoors in wide open spaces like meadows, pastures and roads. In winter, they go under the rocks or logs to escape the cold. They are nocturnal and are very active during the nights. Crickets are omnivores and feed on almost anything- usually organic materials, plant decay, grass, fruits, seedling plants, fungi and even meat.

Camel crickets, also known as cave crickets or stone crickets, are generally found in caves and other cool damp places like house basements. They have very large hind legs, long slender antennae, head bent backward and drumstick-shaped femurs. They do not have wings. They are about one inch in length and brownish in color. They appear to be humpbacked because of their arched backs. They are also nocturnal but are not attracted to light unlike other crickets. They also do not chirp like house crickets.

Camel crickets usually reside in wells, hollow tress, under damp leaves/stones/logs/boards. They generally wander into houses by mistake and are basically harmless. Camel crickets can be controlled by cleaning out any damp and moist sites in and around the house. This includes dirty piles of stones, bricks or leaves. Sprinkle cricket baits available in the market; sticky traps can be used to trap crickets, which can then be flushed down the toilet or destroyed; call a good pest control company if the problem persists. Acephate (Orthene), carbaryl (Sevin), chlorpyrifos (Dursban), diazinon (Diazinon, Spectracide), Malathion, or propoxur (Baygon) are some commonly used insecticides for controlling camel crickets.

California State Contractor License Board

In a bid to protect property owners from inept or unscrupulous contractors, California’s licensing laws are framed to make certain that contractors are appropriately licensed with California’s Contractors State License Board. California Business and Professions Code §7031 offers a compelling motivation. The law proscribes a contractor from bringing a lawsuit for payment or other damages for services offered if the contractor is not suitably licensed, in spite of the merits of the contractor’s contention.

The California Contractors License Board was founded in 1929 at the request of the building industry. At present the Board persists in ensuring the protection of consumers before and after they engage building contractors.

A fifteen-member board selects the CSLB’s executive officer, or Registrar, and gives necessary commands as part of the administrative policy for the 450 Board staff members who operate from their headquarters in Sacramento and also field offices all over the state.

The board comprises nine public members, five contractors, and one labor representative.

The CSLB monitors the activities of contractors in 42 license classifications. It also probes into complaints against contractors. With the assistance of SWIFT (Statewide Investigative Fraud Team), the Board works to eradicate unlicensed contractors engaged in California.

It makes available free publications related to employing the services of contractors, and the construction procedure. The Board also runs an informational web site and offers a toll-free computerized telephone reply system that gives the public relevant information on contractor licensing.

The Contractors State License Board safeguards the interests of consumers by keeping a close vigil on the construction industry through strategies that improve the health, protection and general well-being of the public in matters connecting to construction. The Contractors State License Board tries to ensure that construction is accomplished in a secure, efficient and skilled way. The main priorities of The Board are licensing contractors and implementing licensing laws, making certain that any person practicing or intending to practice construction be licensed, and implementing the laws, rules and principles governing construction contracting in a just and consistent manner.

California Contractor Licenses

The California Contractors State License Board must approve (with a few exceptions) almost all individuals or businesses engaged in construction on any building, highway, road, parking service, railroad, excavation, or other construction project in California. This applies to all contractors whose total budget on one or more projects is $500 or more. In order to obtain the necessary certificates contractors should contact the Contractors State License Board located at 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95826.

In order to be eligible for a license one must have four years of experience within the last ten years. This yardstick applies to a journeyman, foreman, supervising employee, contractor, or owner-builder. One can submit an application from one and one-half to three years of standard education or apprenticeship to meet this prerequisite.

There are also particular requirements for contractors who work with asbestos. Special conditions also apply to contractors who deal with other harmful substances, and contractors who mount or replace underground storage tanks.

CSLB grants various sorts of licenses to individuals, partnerships, corporations, or joint ventures. They can be classified under Class A, Class B and Class C types. General engineering contractors come under the purview of Class A, while general building contractors are included in the Class B category. Class C is meant for specialty contractors.

Class C has a wide range of sub-classifications and includes insulation and acoustical, lathing and plastering. Boilers, hot-water heating, steam-fitting and plumbing fall under this sub-category. Framing and rough carpentry, refrigeration, cabinet, mill work and finish carpentry, roofing, low-voltage systems, sanitation system, concrete, sheet metal, drywall, electrical signs also fall under this category, as do earthwork and paving, solar, electrical (general), general manufactured housing, fencing, steel, reinforcing, flooring and floor covering, steel, structural, fire protection and swimming pools.