Salt Vs Salt Free Water Softeners

A recent debate that is brought up often after water softeners are which systems are better, the salt based or salt free softeners? Several factors will need to be considered when answering this question. In this installment we will look at how both systems work and what advantages/ disadvantages of each to understand which system is best suited in a certain situation.

Salt Based Water Softeners

Taking a closer look at how these products work, these systems are designed to remove hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water which than provided soft water. This process of hard water removal is done through “ion exchange”. Salt based softeners require the use of salt pellets and regeneration periods or a recharge cycle. As a result, these systems will prevent scale buildup, reduce future staining on appliances and laundry, and personal hair and skin softness. They will ultimately save you money by prolonging the life of your water base appliances and use less soap/ detergent when cleaning. If your home has high levels of hard water, this type of softener will be your best choice for your concerns.

Salt Free Water Softeners

Despite their name, salt free water softeners do not soften hard water. They work by crystallizing calcium but does not remove it. Salt free water softeners are more specifically a water conditioner that prevent the hard water from adhering to the surface of an object such as the inside of your water pipes. An advantage of using this type of water softener/ water conditioner is that they do not waste water the same way as traditional softeners. They are also less expensive to operate and require less maintenance. This method of hard water treatment is not as effective as a salt-based system and will not be able to remove high levels of hard water.

Choosing Potassium Chloride

A third option that can be done to remove your hard water issues but will remain on the healthier side would be soften water by using the alternative of potassium instead of sodium. Potassium is an essential mineral that provides good health to people and to the environment. Water conditioning units at Reynolds Water are designed to use potassium just as well as the use of sodium. Simply change the product by changing to a different bag option and your set.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.



Understanding Bus Plugs


If you are not an electrician or familiar with the terms used in the electric power fields, the products that make our homes and business run efficiently may be very mysterious. For some people, a bug plug sounds like its something the belongs in the automotive industry for actual busses? We are here today to get your electrical knowledge straightened out and give a inside look to what a bus plug really is and what it does.

What Is It exactly?

Bus plugs are basically what the name entails and are large industrial electric plugs that are like the ones you find in homes. However, Industrial or manufacturing plants that utilize heavy machinery require specialized power needs that is unique when compared to typical power distribution systems that are used inside residential or commercial buildings. Each bus plug is designed to connect to a specific section of bus duct or also known as busway, overhead and will then transfer electricity down to any chosen product whether it’s a lighting system or heavy equipment that needs power below. Busways were first produced in the late 1920’s for the automotive industry in Detroit and have since continued to improve and make their ways into many industrial plants to be utilized.

Why use them?

When looking at many industrial plants or buildings, many are structured in design with large open floor plans to maximize the total square footage and allow a variety of uses for the specific area. One of the major benefits of the busway and bus plug system is the flexibility of each product. With this type of installation, there is no physical hard wiring and the whole electrical system can be removed and rearranged to accommodate the building floor plan needed. As the future continues to change the machinery used, there are no concerns as to how power will be given to new equipment when things need to be moved or upgraded. Bus duct systems are a very efficient solution to get a lot of power to a big area that power distribution continues to change frequently. This is another reason why manufacturing plants need these products in order to provide large quantity of power to different areas of the building.

Proper Maintenance

Unplanned downtime can be detrimental and costly to any business and can be avoided with proper maintenance and service on products when needed. Bus ducts are extremely important in effectively providing power to switchgear and other different loads. Unfortunately, it is typical to find that critical systems that transmit power for industrial facilities are often neglected since many of people are unaware that regular maintenance and service is required even though bus ducts do not utilize moving internal parts.

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We offer a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugsbus ductspanelswitches, and transformers. Services include asset managementproduct reconditioning, and electrical products. More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com



The World of Kitchen Designs


They often say the kitchen is the real most intimate room in the home. It’s a product of its user, and it takes on the personality over time. Any kitchen lover wants it to look like the best of their personality, but the actual options are even bigger than that. When remodeling a kitchen, you want it to look as best as it can, considering how often you’ll be in it. Luckily there are many options to choose from, a few of which will be covered here.

Modern

Arguably among the most popular designs right now, this design strays away from the more natural material used in other designs in favor of more manmade material, such as laminate, ceramics and molded plastics. Darker colors are preferable here, and give the space a more comfortable atmosphere, although some may find it rather cold. The design itself can be considered originating from midcentury Nordic design, with bolder angles and flatter surfaces.

Coastal

More popular, understandably, the closer the house is to water, coastal design focuses primarily on color. Because of the proximity to water, the colors and hues tend to reflect that of the beach, with brighter browns and blues. The accessories in the kitchen tend to be more beach-focused, with artwork and wall accessories favoring sand, boats, etc. A lot of kitchens in this design reside in vacation houses, as it lends to a feeling of being on or near the beach (a great getaway trip during those harsh winter months.

Country

Whereas modern designs favor manmade material and coastal designs favor beach-themed accessories, country designs tend to mix modern elements with natural material. The amount of woods and rustic material is prevalent alongside the more country-style accessories and artwork. Farm-style imagery and wooden furniture are the main elements of pure country design, but plenty of kitchen owners are now blending country and modern designs to create a sleeker and darker-colored country design.

Colonial

Colonial kitchen design marries modern rustic atmosphere with historical context and is a favorite among lovers of American history. Because of the historical context, clues of that nature can be found adorning the walls and overall decoration. The color spectrum sticks to earth tones and more muted colors, matching that of kitchens from the 18th century, and the use of different woods for furniture and cabinetry makes this easy. The lighting used should reflect the nature of lanterns, candles, etc, and can cast a warm glow over the room that is very cozy and inviting to guests.

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovationsflooring upgrades, and home remodelingservices.  More information can be found online at https://jfcremodeling.com/.



What Goes into a Pool?

Having your own pool on your property is a wonderful luxury. Having full access to it anytime you want without having to worry about screaming strangers and lifeguards can be liberating, if you don’t mind being responsible for your own maintenance. There’s little doubt that any owner of a private in-ground pool is fully aware of all the elements that go into a pool, but those who may not own one but one day will may not fully be aware of what exactly makes a pool a pool. This article can be used as a brief overview of some important elements and the overall makeup of the plastering process used on every pool installed.

Plastering

                Plastering is at the tail end of pool installation. It is that final layer installed on the in-ground pool that smooths out the surface for users to touch without injury. This can also be installed using different material, such as vinyl and fiberglass. Fiberglass especially is much stronger than the typical plaster and is much more resistant to the typical wear and tear of the conventional plaster, such as mold, etc. Vinyl has the benefit of being much easier and quicker to install and is cheaper to install overall. It’s important to take any factors of your pool to heart before deciding on which liner to use, taking into consider the costs and general upkeep requirements.

Tiles

                The tile used in your pool may seem like a trivial element but when looked at visually the importance comes more into view. Using tile on a pool gives the owner an incredible diversity of options and looks to have your pool stand out in the neighborhood. Not only are colors an option but creating a design or pattern unique to your own personality will give you an edge and give your entire pool area its own personality that guests can recognize and enjoy. Aside from being a visual blank slate on which to craft your design, tiles can also be incredibly long-lasting if kept in good condition. Being an outdoor element, tile is designed and manufactured to withstand the harsh outside conditions and can last for years when handled correctly. Your pool can be the highlight of your property for years if you understand the maintenance and upkeep required.

Chemicals

                The pool makeup itself is important but equally crucial is the water inside of it. The water is where your friends and family will spend the time, so you need to be aware of how to balance it chemically to keep those people safe. The Pool Products website recommends the following chemicals:

  • Stain & Scale Preventer
  • Granular Shock Chlorine
  • Chlorine Tablets
  • pH Increaser and/or pH Decreaser
  • Alkalinity and/or Calcium Increaser
  • Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer)
  • Algaecide and Clarifiers if needed
  • Complete Test Kit or Test Strips.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Pre-planning Linac Maintenance

Medical linear accelerators have continued to make progress through history since the late 1950’s and pave new ways for curing a variety of different cancers that once were not an option to treat. The design of the equipment combines the use of hardware and software that together gives the advantage of precision and overall success of today’s cancer treatment worldwide. Manufacturing and design continue to evolve and become a better tool for future use in reliability and efficiency but as with all mechanical systems, dysfunction and failures still exist. Having unplanned accelerator downtime and failures can impact a company and its patients very negatively. The scheduled treatments need to be performed at precise times given by the cancer specialists for an effective procedure while fighting against cancer. To avoid these situations from occurring, proper testing and maintenance of the radiology equipment must be done.

Steps During Maintenance

  1. Deliver a daily quality assurance (QA) treatment
  2. Automatically move and examine the log files that are created
  3. Create baselines, then perform daily operating and performance values to statistical process control (SPC) for examination
  4. Investigate if any alarms have been activated
  5. Inform the facility and system service engineers

Trained Professionals

Medical physicists will typically receive basic training of the principals of linear accelerators functionality, but much hands-on experience will be lacking since there is a limited access to linacs that’s are in clinical use but more importantly because these devices can only be adjusted with small set of parameters to maintain. For actual technicians, training for service personnel is generally one of the largest components to a person early on in employment. The process can be lengthy and costly and require unique training from the manufacturer of linear accelerator company.

Scheduled Maintenance and Repairs

Typically, Linac machines will be under an annual service contract that will provide scheduled, preventative maintenance throughout the year to keep the radiotherapy machines running optimally. Keep in mind, older equipment may reach their “end of life” period and may no longer be supported or even worse parts can become sparse or unavailable which may be a reason to start to look for replacement linear accelerators. Extending the life of your current systems with upgrades will be the most cost-effective option for your business. By repairing or upgrading the system this will also not only save money but save precious down time that will need to be taken if having to remove and install new equipment is needed. Not having a machine functioning will mean no treatments being performed which could cost you losing valuable patients.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  Radparts provides high quality, user friendly, low cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at https://www.radparts.com/.

Wood or Aluminum: Which is Right for Me?


After spending months (sometimes years) of stressful time and planning, you and your loved one step outside on the deck and marvel at your new large yard behind your newly bought home. You gaze upon the neighborhood and watch the neighbors’ kids playing with pets, swinging on swing sets, and jumping in a pool. You see all this and realize you don’t have a fence surrounding your own pool, and that needs to change. But how do you decide which kind of fence is best?

Choosing a fence to surround your home’s yard may seem like an easy choice (and it can be) but there are certain factors to consider before putting the extra money down on your yard. Some questions to ask yourself are whether you’re putting a fence down for privacy or practicality, or whether you mind people seeing into your property or not. Do you want something you can paint to a color of your liking or a classier approach? Do you have a puppy that you don’t want escaping? The options are vast but straight-forward.

Weighing the Options

Fencing material is an important part of the deciding factor. Wood fencing has been around for ages but as time goes on more and more people prefer the streamlined and more modern look of an ornate aluminum fence. Naturally wood fences can provide more privacy, while aluminum fences can be sturdier and last much longer. If you have a pool a subtle aluminum pool fence can match the visual quality of your pool area and bring both elements to a heightened atmosphere.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages to consider before making the big purchase.

Choosing Cost

Price is a big deciding factor when buying a fence, and the price of labor is often a forgotten element of the equation. Since wood fencing can often involve being built from scratch, the cost of labor is much higher than aluminum fencing, which generally comes pre-built and segmented. While the cost of aluminum material is generally cheaper than wood, not all woods types are more expensive. The overall size of your yard and thus size of the fence should be considered, as the amount of material and labor can add up unexpectedly.

Maintenance

If you expect to remain in your new home for decades or longer it’s worth considering how much you want to spend on fencing maintenance in the future. Wood is a natural material that can be weathered by the elements much quicker than aluminum fencing and must be repaired or outright replaced over time. If you wish to have a fence for privacy but live in an area known for active tornadoes or harsh weather you should consider such events damaging the wood over time, especially with its predictability. Aluminum fencing can brave almost any weather and is considered much sturdier and more resistant to mold and outside forces.

Fencing your yard may seem like a stressful endeavor at first but the reality of the situation is much simpler. You have questions to ask yourself and understand your intentions with a fence, but the options are there. You’ll be looking at this fence for years, so make it something you like looking at.

iFenceUSA is an online distributor of wholesale aluminum fences and gates for residential, resortcommercial, and industrial applications.  As an industry leader in maintenance-free aluminum fencing products we have all your aluminum fence and gate needs covered.  More information can be found online at https://www.ifenceusa.com/.



Aging on Your Own Terms

Over the course of recent time, more and more elderly are deciding to age in place rather than spending the remainder of their lives in an assisted living facility. The reasonings behind both pathways are vast, and each person sees it differently, but what are some advantages of aging in place? How can you prepare for a loved one to spend the rest of their life at home, on their own terms?

                Aging in place is simply the act of living out your elderly life at home and forgoing the conveniences and relative safety of living at a retirement home or senior care center. By doing so you elect to remove certain peace of mind elements including 24/7 care and making sure you get enough exercise, but different people may find those elements negligible if it means keeping your total autonomy. This of course varies for different people, but it is possible to make your home safer for an elderly person who made need adjustments but still wants the autonomy.

                Keeping your autonomy is a great idea for somebody who still retains a sound mind, but a sound mind does not always mean the body is equally sound. Making sure your bathroom is equipped with the proper tools for safety is a large step in making sure somebody aging in place can do so without finding danger in simple tasks. Having a step-in tub that enables the user to remain stable is a no-brainer, but having a stool installed is a great way for somebody to rest without having to leave the tub or shower itself. Grab bars are also crucial to prevent falling. None of these options will be optimal if the user has to ascend or descend stairs to get to the bathroom, so having the primary bathroom on the main floor is exceedingly important.    

                If the elderly is wheelchair bound, having enough space in the home is something nobody should overlook. A person cannot retain his or her autonomy if they are unable to turn around in a hallway while in a wheelchair. Similarly, not having a proper ramp to get into the home itself defeats the purpose of having any safety measures in the home. Having plenty of pull bars around the house and in bedrooms can help the user transport themselves onto a bed.

                Ultimately, deciding to age in place is not always the decision of the elderly person. With different mental aging issues like Alzheimer’s and its accompanying side effects affecting most mental capabilities, living at a senior care center would be the best and only option for those affected. Having somebody with limited mental capacities aging in place would diminish the effect of any safety-increasing modifications simply because that person cannot take advantage of them properly. It can be frustrating when a person first experiencing these side effects does not agree with the decision to keep them under watch, but until a cure is found the best course of action for these people is a care center. No amount of home modifications can help in every case.

                Aging in place is an admirable and understandable decision but making sure the correct safety protocols are in place is crucial in order to make that autonomy is consistent. If you have a loved one at that stage of life, make sure you properly go over all options and requirements before deciding that aging in place is the correct path to take. Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/

Types of Salt for Your Water Softener

As a home owner, certain appliances will need to be maintained in order to keep your house running efficiently including your water softener. Regularly, the salt supply will need to be replenished in order to keep hard water from coming into your water system. While out shopping, you may find yourself questioning what the best choice for salt is exactly to purchase since there is a variety of choices to choose from. In todays article we will discuss the difference between the salt options and help you decide which choice is best for your softener and home.

Sodium Chloride Options

Water softeners or conditioners can be used with either sodium chloride (most commonly called salt) or potassium chloride. When at your local grocery store or home improvement store one thing to keep in mind when looking at the bags for purchase, its important to notice the purity levels. Many of the bags sold in these places will contain high level of water insoluble material. This impurity over time can cause buildup in the water reservoir or cause the water softener to not function properly. If you notice this buildup occurring, the brine tank will need to be cleaned more often to avoid this from happening in future. A closer look at sodium chloride and you will see there are 3 different forms to choose from: pellets, crystal, or block salt. Salt pellets are the most common and typically are the less costly than potassium pellets. Like many things found in the consumer world, spending a little more money upfront for higher quality products is well worth the expense since this typically will mean less maintenance and fewer cleanings needed to keep your softener functioning efficiently.

Potassium Chloride as Alternative

If sodium chloride doesn’t seem to be the right fit for your homes needs, the alternative option can be potassium chloride for your brine tank. Potassium chloride is 99.9% sodium free, so this option is great for individuals who are looking to decrease their sodium intakes. The largest disadvantage with this type is the price tag attached is much higher in comparison to sodium chloride. It can also be less readily available when searching at your local stores and your options are smaller. Switching your home form sodium to potassium may require an increase of salt dosage on the program settings value by an extra 10% to guarantee proper regeneration. If needing assistance with this, Reynolds Water Conditioning technicians can assist with this.

Salt Maintenance Tips

Checking your salt level inside your brine tank monthly is recommended. If your system regenerates more frequently, more checks and salt refills will need to be done more often as well. The salt in the brine tank should be at least 3 to 4 inches above the water level, but less than 4 inches below the top of the brine tank for best efficiency. If regular checks on the salt levels are performed you will begin to have non conditioned water through the household and will notice hard water by orange appearance, smells and taste different from before. Be sure to loosen any hardened salt around the edges of the tank or any large solid masses also known as salt bridges before adding additional salt each time.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.

Eye Exams 101

In the world of health priorities, our eyes seem to be on the lower end of that spectrum. We focus mostly on our bodies, then our teeth, but making sure our eyes are as healthy as the rest of our body usually comes out as nothing more than a “I’ll keep an eye on it” (no pun intended). Some people put off a dentist appointment or doctor checkup so long that they have a subpar understanding of what exactly such an event entails. For eye appointments a lot of people only recall the machine that shoots a puff of air at your eye, but the entire process is good to understand before making that long overdue appointment.

Why are eye exams done?

The reasoning for eye exams may be obvious: they are used to check the overall health of your eyes. But, the goal of an eye exam is to pinpoint and discover any issues your eyes may be developing at the earliest stage possible. The earlier an issue arises, the better the chance of treatment. It’s when somebody puts off an eye appointment for years that any issue that may be present most likely has advanced to stage an untreatable stage. Having regular eye exams prevents any issue from metastasizing too late.

When should I be making appointments?

The relative age of the patient is a key deciding factor for making regular eye appointments. For example, newborns and toddlers will usually have their pediatrician look for the most common eye issues during regular checkups. Only when something is found is a proper eye exam conducted, even at that age. For children a little older it is important to have the eyes checked prior to starting elementary school, after which you can expect checkups every one to two years. For adults, the frequency depends on your age range.

What should I do before, during, and after?

  The steps to take when going through an eye exam may seem dauting but the reality is much simpler. For first timers, understanding your eye health history is beneficial to both you and the doctor conducting the exam (not unlike an appointment with a general practitioner). Keep a tally of any health issues you’ve had in the past that may or may not be affecting eye health. You can also take this time to talk to the doctor about LASIK if you know your vision could already be better.

The exam itself is generally short and simple, with machines being used to test visual acuity and sensitivity. When you think of the phrase “better, worse, or the same?”, this is when you’d be asked that question. Also, yes, this is when you’d have the puff of air shot into your eye, so mentally prepare for that.

After the exam you’ll typically get the results of your exam and any issues that may have been found, if any. If issues are found (for example: cataracts), preventative measures and possible surgery can be discussed, and if your vision isn’t as great as you’ve boasted for years, you can try on glasses and find a frame that best fits your style with your new prescription.

That’s it! Not as daunting as it may sound, but it really is something one should keep up with, especially if you want a glasses prescription that is up to date.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  More information can be found online at https://michiganlasik.com.

Is Event Planning Software Right For Me?


Planning an event is hard. An obvious statement but planning an event has so many factors of which to keep track that it can not only be stressful on the planner, but stressful on those who attend should anything go wrong. Event planning is a serious juggling act, but there are tools to help any planner manage all the elements that go into kicking off an event that nobody will forget.

One of the most popular and convenient tools is actual event planning software itself. Whether you are planning a personal event or something in the corporate space, there exists planning software for all occasions. But the question is, what do you need to look for in event planning software?

Can I Plan an Event From Scratch?

If you’re about to start planning a meeting from scratch, you’ll have to understand exactly what steps to take in planning the event with which you may need software aid. Long before the event is kicked off you should have a website made for the event that also includes a way for attendees to register. This, if done well, can eliminate any headaches over people showing up with no actual accreditation. You’ll need to market the event somehow, and there exists software to help get the event out there to audiences who may be a direct target for such an event. Even deeper, depending on the size of the event you may want to incorporate building maps or integrate the software with the systems of the building. The software you choose should make your job easier, not add on nifty features that could end up overwhelming the planner.

What if I already have ideas?

If you’ve planned events before and have an overall template with which you work, consider event planning software to help fill in the cracks. If you’re planning a large corporate event and want to keep track of who attends and overall attendee engagement, consider using software to create an event application for your phone that can give each attendee his own virtual badge. That way not only are you saving money on badge-printing costs, but also leaving less of a mess when these badges are inevitably strewn about on the event floor.

Email marketing is a powerful tool when planning an event, and such software exists to help blast invites out to targeted audiences. Mailchimp and Slack are two ways to send out invites and information not only to the targeted audience but also professionals in the industry who may not be on your radar at the time. Software exists to bring that data to you, so you’re never left in the dark with knowing exactly who is attending. Eventbrite is also a great tool to let people not on your radar discover your event and decide whether to attend, and such tool also makes it easy to RSVP within the same resource.

One tip when using software to plan an event is to make sure attendees have a way to express questions/comments/concerns after the fact. That way, you can keep track of feedback and adjust your next event accordingly.

Event Planning DC provides full event planning, partial event planning, wedding planning, month-of (day-of) event coordination, event styling/design and decorating services throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia, with access to local and national vendors who may provide additional services suitable for your event and budget.  We pride ourselves on providing only the highest quality event coordination, giving you and your guests the perfect day, no matter what the occasion including exclusive corporate and non-profit eventsweddingsBar & Bat Mitzvahs, community events and milestone celebrations.  More information can be found online at https://www.eventplanningdc.com.