No Hot Water From Combi Boiler

One of the most commonly asked questions that I get asked is: why there is no hot water in my taps? To be able to diagnose this problem we need to establish the type of heating system that is installed at the property in question. Generally there will be many options to choose from such us: instantaneous electric water heaters (electric), instantaneous gas water heaters, storage water heaters, electric showers, gas fired combination boilers, gas fired traditional boilers and hot water cylinder, unvented hot water cylinders and variations on above.

This series of articles will deal with the most common systems in UK starting with combination boilers also known as ‘combi’ boilers. Other systems we will discuss in further articles are:

– Unvented cylinders

– Traditional cylinders (vented)

No hot water on combination boiler. The first thing to check in case there is no hot water on combination boiler is to see if it works in central heating mode. To do that you will need to make sure that your wall mounted thermostat is calling for heat. You also may have a programmable thermostat. In that case make sure that it is set to constant on central heating mode. If boiler fires up then we can suspect that a diverter valve is stuck on heating mode. A visit from an engineer will be required to replace this part.

If combination boiler does not work in both hot water and heating modes there are some steps that can be performed by the owner before calling a heating engineer to eliminate most obvious possible causes. Combination boilers require on average 1 bar pressure in central heating system to function satisfactorily. Look for a pressure gauge on the front of the boiler or sometimes on central heating pipe work.

Most boiler makes will have markers in green or red pointer (as on the picture) showing required system pressure. If system pressure is low then that may be the reason for boiler not firing up in both domestic hot water and heating modes. By low we understand below marked field on the gauge. Most boilers will not fire up if pressure drops below 0.5 bar. If low pressure has been detected next step is to top up system pressure. Majority of boilers on the market would have been fitted with a filling loop that comprises of no.2 valves and a flexible metallic connector. Good plumbing practice requires that filling loop should be detached and left by the boiler with no.2 valves capped of to avoid accidental over pressurising the system and leaks from PRVs (Pressure Relief Valve). In reality however 90% of installation have filling loops attached. Let’s assume we have our filling loop in place.

Some filling loops will have a singel tap while other may have 2 taps or a flat screwdriver point. On single tap ones it is enough to turn one tap on. On filling loops with 2 taps you will have to turn both on. On filling loops without taps you may need a small flat screwdriver to turn them on and off.

Be aware that some combination boilers and not fitted with filling loops. The best example is Worcester Bosh CDi range of boilers that require a special plastic key to top them up. This may be a major hassle if the key had been lost! I will not detail how to top those boilers up as there is a very detailed guide on how to do that on Worcester Bosch web site.

Once you know where your filling loop is and how to use it turn the boiler off and fill up the system to around 1.5 bar pressure. On some boilers (Vaillant Eco Tec Pro) there is only green and red field without digits showing pressure. Top up to 2/3 of the green. System topped up? Hot water back on? Great! No hot water? Read on.

With your system at correct pressure check if boiler controls are set properly. There should be hot water thermostat on the boiler. It may be the case that it is turned all the way down. If it is, set it half way up and try again.

System pressurised? Controls in on position? Hopefully your hot water is back on. If not suspect a more serious issue and call a qualified heating engineer to help you with your hot water problem.

Source by Szymon L Czaban

Indian Women: Their Achievements

The normal representation of Indian women is that of a loving mother, a dutiful wife, an obedient daughter and someone who stays at home, completes all the chores at home, is an all-forgiving figure and is selfless. But the truth is that with time, these women have transgressed from being a nobody lost in the crowd to a somebody who people revere and respect; someone with a name and a designation that is more than just a relationship tag.

This liberalization of women in this country is not a recent activity; it had started way back when ladies like the Rani of Jhansi, Pritilata Waddedar, Usha Mehta and Sarojini Naidu toiled sweat and blood with others of the same league to free India. There is hardly an Indian soul who is unaware of the Rani of Jhansi. An independent India saw leaders like Indira Gandhi, Aruna Asaf Ali and Sucheta Kriplani. They showed how a saree clad woman could do more than cooking, cleaning and raising kids and become great leaders to govern a country. As time passed, the women of India started to venture into several other fields. Though not originally from India, Mother Teresa accepted this country as her own and gave a home to several homeless kids, setting an example before the others about social service. But this was just the beginning as Nirupama Rao shone bright as she assumed the role of the Indian ambassador to the USA after holding positions like the Indian foreign secretary and the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka. There are also ladies like Kiran Bedi who emerged as a solid rock and turned around the police force by introducing corrective measures in the prisons and giving a new meaning to the infamous convicts. But if you thought that the ladies were only running the show in the political and administrative scenario, you will be awed to learn that their prowess is in diverse fields.

There are several ladies who have found a place in the sun in fields of science, music, dance, painting, literature, sports, fashion, beauty and entertainment. Names like Mallika Sarabhai, Indra Nooyi, Kalpana Chawla, Arundhati Ray, Shehnaz Hussain, Mira Nair, Sania Mirza, Aishwarya Rai, Anoushka Shankar, Sonal Mansingh, Gurinder Chaddha and Jhumpa Lahiri so prominent in the international horizon that it is a no brainier that these women are not typecasts. Indian women have woken up to a whole new world of education and enlightenment and that is what has given them the strength to evolve and

become self sufficient. They are not just famous, they are inspirations to hundreds of women out there.

Though the treatment of village women differ from that of urban women, these ladies present a ray of hope and give a reason to look forward to development.

Source by Niyati Khanna

Ask the Engineer – “Gutter Covers Vs Cleaning the Gutters?”

You see ads for gutter protectors every where telling you that you’ll never have to clean gutters again, but before you buy, think twice. In fact don’t think; do research. The cost of gutter protection can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

Since most gutter covers are known for poor performance, it might make more sense to contract a gutter cleaning service several times a year for between $75 to $100 or so. And if indeed you can find a reputable insured company that will service you it’s probably the best way to go. Yet, that may be a difficult challenge; and having someone else or you cleaning your gutters may not be the way to go. Why? Answer: There are several reasons:

1. Not all gutter cleaners do a good job. Rosemary paid $75 to have her gutters cleaned and just three days later they overflowed. Did the contractor do a bad job or did enough leaves fall to clog the downspout? Answer: No way to tell.

2. The fellow Joe hired to clean his gutters didn’t have any insurance. Big problem! Unfortunately there was an accident with the ladder and the fellow sued Joe; and Joe went through a nightmare the fellow’s doctors and Joe’s own insurance company.

3. Claire had a company clean her gutters at an advertised price of $75 but ended up paying $350. The company replaced end caps, drop tubes, elbows and charged her an arm and a leg for every additional service.

4. Jim always cleaned his gutters until his ladder slipped and he ended up falling through his living room bay window and ended up in the hospital with a broken pelvis.

Yes, to avoid these issues, it looks like the smart thing to do is install a gutter protector with a promise to solve clogged gutter problems. But buyer be ware. If you choose the wrong product it can also be nightmarish with flooded basements, mildew, mold, soil erosion, and worse yet the be totally dependent on the installing company as you can no longer access your own gutters to clean them.

So let’s do some research. Basically there are six different types of gutter protection devices:

1. Screening devices which are not really recognized as gutter protection devices. Made of wire, metal, or plastic, they work simply with gravity and require routine ladder maintenance.

2. Filters, membranes, and brushes installed in or on existing gutters. Basically they are not any more effective than screens and require routine ladder maintenance.

3. Fin type with rounded front nose and solid flat top. Their advertising graphics lead you to believe that debris is jettisoned off onto the ground when instead in medium-to-high debris areas enough debris sticks to the surface to clog the gutters. Here you have to depend on the installing company for service. See resource box for photos.

4. Flat solid top with rounded front nose and a trough–fin type with trough. Since the basic fin type fails, the next progression was to add a trough. But it doesn’t take a college graduate to see that debris that goes into the trough (basic screening system) will either clog the trough or break down and pass into the gutter and clog it. See resource box for photos.

5. Flipping type gutter or rain dispersal units. These require removing your gutters and installing either a gutter with a hinge that gets flipped or fins (installed horizontal to the fascia board) to disperse the water. They both look viable until you see them work. The rain dispersal unit doesn’t work in slow rain fall and debris lays on top of it blocking it from working. The flip clean gutter requires a rain coat for when the gutter is full of putrid debris. The flip clean gutters are also known to warp rendering them useless.

6. Rounded front nose with vertical louvered water collectors and a flat solid top. Whereas with the fin type of gutter cover that will pass full sized leaves, the louvers discriminate the size of the debris the gutter cover allows into the gutter. This gutter guard is the only rounded nose type that limits the amount of debris or size of debris that can pass into the gutter.

This one system has proved that gutters can stay free flowing in heavy debris conditions for twenty years; and that’s no small feat. The only downside is that in heavy debris conditions debris can accumulate on the louvers and block them off meaning that some kind of maintenance is required.

Whereas most other products require someone to go up a ladder and clean the gutter or the cover, it can easily be done from the ground using a telescopic pole and brush. Because it’s easy to see where cleaning is required, there’s no guessing where to do the brushing. No rain coats are required (as might be with the flip type gutter) to do this simple task as it can actually be done dressed in a suit and tie.

After all, telling someone, who has to clean his gutters several times during the fall, that no maintenance will be required is like asking the him to believe in Santa Claus.

Source by Richard Kuhns

IT Job Titles – What Do They Mean?

Although only a few decades old, the information technology or IT field is as broad and deep as industries that have been around for centuries. IT job categories, titles and specialties abound – so many that anyone investigating IT as a career is likely to be very, very confused. What’s the difference between a Network Engineer and a Network Support Analyst? Between a Web Developer, a Web Designer and a Web Technology Specialist? Just what does a Database Administrator do?

Although labels and responsibilities tend to vary from employer to employer, here are some common IT job titles and their descriptions. Consider these when looking for an IT career that best suits your interests, talents and temperament:

Database Administrator – A database is any collection of information that a company or organization keeps on file (e.g. customer names, addresses, inventory, etc.) The Database Administrator (DBA) is in charge of organizing, maintaining and updating this database and creating systems so that people authorized to view, add or remove information are able to do so as quickly and as easily as possible.

Internet Solutions Developer – This is a “catch-all” description for a person responsible for devising and executing Internet-based projects. The job usually involves working with programs that allow the public to view and interact with a company, organization or agency’s Website.

IT Project Program Manager – This is a managerial position requiring some years of experience in the IT field. The IT Project Program Manager is responsible for finding solutions to IT-related problems and then implementing those solutions, often with the help of a team.

Network Administrator – A “network” is any collection of computers that are linked either to each other or to a central server so that information can be created, shared and updated. The Network Administrator is generally responsible for making sure than an existing network runs smoothly and for adding or removing hardware (computers, printers, etc.) and software (programs, applications) from the system.

Network and Security Specialist – The Network and Internet Security Specialist is the person responsible for making sure people who use a computer network only get access to that information they are allowed to see, that information in the network database’s is protected and properly preserved, and that the network cannot be accessed (or “hacked”) by unauthorized individuals, wherever they may be.

Network Engineer – The network engineer is usually responsible for 1) Designing new computer networks, 2) Actually creating these networks, 3) Installing the computers and software that connect to the networks and, 4) Ensuring the network is able to grow and function as needed.

Network Support Analyst – A Network Support Analyst is much like a Network Administrator in that he/she is responsible for keeping an existing network operating as needed, but has fewer managerial responsibilities. The Network Support Analyst may also be responsible for monitoring how people actually use the network, identifying problem areas and then recommending and implementing solutions.

Software Developer/Engineer – “Software” is the set of instructions that make a computer do what you want it to do. The Software Developer/Engineer is the person who writes the instructions, also known as “code,” for these computer programs/applications. Software Developer/Engineers may work “in-house” developing customized programs for a specific employer or client, or may work on programs that are then sold commercially.

Technical Support Specialist – Computers and networks invariably have problems, and it’s the Technical Support Specialist’s job to identify these problems and find a way to correct them. Technical Support Specialists often work at “help desks” where they communicate with company employees or customers by phone, IM or email.

Web Developer – Web Developers create, maintain and update the functional aspects of Websites, be they on the Internet or on a company’s internal Intranet. When designing a new site, they’re usually responsible for creating its architecture, navigation and interactive functions. They may also be responsible for creating programs or applications designed specifically for the Web.

Web Designer – While the Web Developer is concerned with the technical aspects of a Website or Web-based application, the Web Designer is responsible for how such a site or application actually looks. This is an artistic position that requires training and experience in graphic design and layout – and perhaps even animation — as well as the technical aspects of Web operations.

Web Technology Specialist – This position combines the responsibilities of the Web Developer and Web Designer. The Web Technology Specialist needs to not only the technical aspects of Websites and applications, but also needs to frequently handle the design and graphic aspects as well.

If you are considering career training in Information Technology, you need to understand these (and other) job descriptions so you can pursue the education and training that will qualify you for the kind of IT job that fits your talent and personality.

Source by Allen B. Ury

Branches of Facilities Management

As a business, having a commercial property is very important but adding value to it makes it a more lucrative proposition. In order to maintain the utilities within a property there has to be a deliberate intention to seek the right resources that ensure all real estate assets are well maintained.

An integrated facilities management solution therefore comes in to ensure that clients receive the best possible management for their facilities. This service will go a long way in the reducing the amount of redundancy and management related wastage that is associated with poor management.

There are several categories of services involved in facilities management and outlined below are three of the main ones:

1. Estate management

This includes a wide range of services that generally focus on the general oversight of realty including the physical premises, equipment and environs. In many cases this will also include certain support services. Below is a list of some of the major activities involved in estate management:

  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Overseeing utility services such as cleaning, waste disposal and landscaping
  • Tenant and service provider liaisons
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Inspections and quality checks
  • Security services

2. Office support management

Many serviced properties are equipped with offices for various purposes and there is a need to have qualified personnel to man these areas. Some of the office duties that require professional oversight include:

  • Front office management
  • Transport office management
  • Courier and mail services
  • Concierge services
  • Warehouse administration

3. Engineering Management

Mechanical equipment and maintenance are a big part of any real estate property and they have to be managed in a professional manner. Facilities management offers specific engineering management solutions to fit the needs of specific properties. Some of the areas of concentration are:

  • Operation and maintenance of mechanical equipment
  • Reactive and planned maintenance for onsite equipment
  • Management of energy equipment
  • Quality assurance
  • Assessment of possible risks
  • Health and Safety Procedures

The main basis of all these activities is to be able to increase the value of any facility through professional handling of service provision. This is in line with local and international standards.

All the services mentioned above take a considerable amount of time and effort to deploy and maintain. This is the main reason why the facilities management is often an outsourced service and it is often pegged on professional execution even though sometimes they are seen as an unnecessary cost items.

Outsourcing the facilities management ultimately leads to reduced wastage due to proper maintenance and supervision.

Source by Adil Akkus

A Personal Review of Oris Watches

Oris watches have long been recognized as beautiful crafted Swiss watches. Oris watches may not have the same brand recognition as some other Swiss-made watches but they are never the less an exceptional timepiece that anyone would be proud to own.

I’ve owned an Oris wristwatch for many years; in fact, my Oris was my first ever Swiss watch. I’ve never tired of my Oris watch, and although I have since bought other fine Swiss watches, I wear it often and still admire its simple but elegant design. So, perhaps the following review of Oris watches is a personal view, though I have tried to remain objective on the current collection of Oris watches.

Oris watches used to follow the more traditional lines of watch design, but recently the company has endeavoured to offer the consumer more up-to-date watch designs, particularly in the sports watches arena. Oris began making sports watches only as recently as the nineteen seventies. Their first sports watch was the Oris Chromoris. Oris still manufacture the Chronoris today, the most recent model being the Chronoris 2005. The Chronoris Chronograph is a simple design made from stainless steel with a black and orange saddle-leather strap; the strap is supposed to emphasize the ‘sportiness’ of the watch, however I feel they are better sports watches on the market today. A better sports watch offered by Oris is the TT1 collection. These watches come with mechanical automatic movement with simultaneous indication of 2 individual time zones. You also get a date display at the 3 o’clock position as well as a black dial with luminous display, a curved scratchproof sapphire glass, with water resistance up to 100 meters. In my opinion the Oris TT1 Worldtimer is the best watch in this series. Recently Oris teamed up with the Williams F1 Team to produce the Oris Williams F1 Team sports watch. I’m not a tremendous fan of this watch. Call me a snob, but I wouldn’t want a watch I owned to be known by any other brand except the watch brand. Also, I think if you are looking for a sports watch they are other brands of watches that offer better styling.

The Oris Big Crown Collection belongs to their aviation series. The big crown being a reminder of the early days of aviation when pilots had to adjust their watches whilst wearing thick gloves. This collection of watches is more like what I’d expect from Oris. The Oris Big Crown comes with mechanical automatic movement with stop function display of hours and minutes from the centre, small permanent second at nine o’clock, decentralised minute and hour counters, second counter from the centre, date at three o’clock. The is black guilloché with white numerals and indices, white lacquered hands; all contained in a stainless steel case 316L with applied fluted bezel, screwed case back. The watches are water-resistant to 50 m with plexiglass and black calfskin leather strap with Louisiana croco pattern and security clasp. The watch is also available with metal bracelet. The Oris Big Crown is a very beautifully designed piece of engineering.

The Culture series of Oris watches is what Oris is all about. Currently Oris offer the Frank Sinatra collection and the Miles Collection. These watches come in various models offering chronograph, complication, mother of pearl facia and diamonds) for those who like such things). My favourite collection is without doubt the Artelier collection. The Oris Artelier Chronograph, Oris Artelier Complication and Oris Artelier Lady Date are fine watches, but the Oris Artelier Pointer Date is the jewel in the collection. Oris are famed for their pointer date or sweep calendar. The company first developed this feature in 1938 and the pointer date is pretty much unique to Oris. Most watches display the date through a window on the dial but the Oris pointer date is a third arm that moves anti-clockwise around the face; the days of the months being displayed as another circle of number outside the hour marks: the end of the pointer arm being either a t-shape or the more traditional semi-circle. I own a pointer date Oris watch and am only too delighted to show this unique feature to those who appreciate a fine watch.

Without question Oris watches are top rated Swiss watches that are a desired by consumers who appreciate good quality mechanisms with simple but elegant designs. Oris watches are also reasonably priced compared to some other brands of watches and owning a beautiful Oris wristwatch is well within the means of most people.

Source by Robin Cassidy

Medieval Occupations

You’ve probably had some rotten jobs in the past, but I’ll bet none of them were as bad as the jobs from Medieval times.

Rat Catcher

Not exactly the kind of eye-catching name to attract new-hires in the Want Ads. However, rat catchers were actually held in relatively high esteem by town-folks. Rats, mice and other vermin were often carriers of many diseases and afflictions. A rat catcher who could rid a town of these critters could be very handsomely rewarded. However, putting himself in unsavory locations and risking his own health went, as they say, with the territory, as he frequently would come in contact with diseased or rabid animals.

Grave Digger

This field was a growth industry during the Middle Ages as war, famine, and diseases provided plenty of “raw material” for the gravedigger. Much like the rat catcher, a busy digger could earn quite a good income.

Messenger

Hmmm, this doesn’t sound like too bad of a job. After all, how hard can it be delivering messages. No doubt, you’ve heard the term “don’t kill the messenger”. This kind of gives you a clue as to the main problem with being a messenger. Oftentimes, the delivered message was not well received. The messenger was the lucky victim of this wrath frequently leading to the death or imprisonment of the unfortunate messenger.

Miner

The need for gold or silver was hugely important for most kingdoms as a way to field their armies and expand their territories. While the wages of miners were above average, they had to work in very dangerous conditions. If cave-ins, lethal gases, and collapses weren’t bad enough, a miner would not see the light of day for two to three days at a time. They weren’t especially skilled, but the job did require a certain raw determination to overcome constant obstacles.

Leech Collector

Leeches were widely used for centuries as a medical aid. The thinking was that the leeches would suck out the bad blood from an ailing person, leaving only the good blood behind. Obviously, leeches had to be found. Enter the leech collector. Easy enough job – just wade through muddy marsh water and let leeches attach themselves to your legs. When you’ve “collected” a sufficient number, return to dry land and remove them. Ah, there’s the rub, as Shakespeare once said. Not only were the leeches constantly sucking blood while they were attached, but if not pulled off properly, their teeth were left behind, still embedded in the flesh. This condition often lead to festering, infection, and not infrequently, death. Even if the extraction is done right, the sores left behind could easily become infected. I can see the ad for this job “Work outside in the fresh air, stroll leisurely through natural water, collecting valuable animals that are used in medical treatment. Will train, no experience needed”.

Fuller

Even given the jobs described above, this may be the worst job of the Medieval times. To remove grease and other impurities from freshly woven woolen cloth, it had to be placed in a vat of stale urine and then stomped on for hours (kind of like crushing grapes only not so pleasant). Besides the obvious stench, the fuller had to be constantly alert to make sure that the whole woolen batch was evenly treated; if not, the entire batch was ruined and the process would have to start all over. That would really make me PO’d if that happened!

Petard Engineer

This job has a nice ring to it – after all, an engineer is a pretty prestigious profession. However, being a petard engineer was not so glamorous during Medieval times. A petard was a small bomb used to blow up enemy fortifications, such as castle walls or gates. The engineer’s job was to run as quickly as possible avoiding enemy arrows, all the while carrying the lit petard that he would eventually place next to the fortification (assuming he made it that far). If the fuse was a little “short” or faulty, then the petard would detonate before it was put in place, gently lifting the hapless engineer up into the air for a much better view of his surroundings. Thus the term “Hoisted with his own petard” is used to describe a situation in which a person is harmed by one’s own actions.

Treadmill Operator

No, there were no health or athletic clubs in the Medieval world. Instead, think of a giant hamster wheel attached a hundred feet or so high up on a not-yet-finished cathedral. The operator would trudge for hours, turning the big wheel which moved a winch attached to a crane which then hoisted building material. In addition to the mundane nature of the job, it was also dangerous in that if the whole assembly had been poorly constructed or sudden bad weather hit – the whole device could come crashing down. Many times, blind people performed this work since they didn’t really need to see where they were treading.

Whipping Boy

Yep, there really was a job called whipping boy. When the prince misbehaved or fell behind in his schooling, only the king had the divine right to administer punishment. But, alas, the king was often away, doing whatever kings do when not in their castles. So, no king, no punishment for the prince. But someone had to pay. Enter the whipping boy. Normally, he had been raised and educated with the prince since birth. Often, a bond of friendship developed between the two. The thinking was that since they were such good friends, when the whipping boy received punishment, the prince felt at least emotional pain for his friend.

This job seems similar to that of a fireman. A lot of sitting around, waiting, and them – bam! – you’re on the job. No word on what happened to the whipping boy once the prince became king. Maybe he became the whipping man, although that title just doesn’t really rock.

Source by Eric Kampel

The Burden of Homework

There are many children who realize how important a good education is to secure a decent career. They are the ones who are trying their best to keep up academically. But, they are tired, stressed and frustrated. They are burdened with homework and the demands on their time.

Time is man’s greatest enemy. We live in an information era that is fast paced with things (like technology) that are always changing. While adults manage to organize themselves and cope with the hectic schedules on hand, children are battling to find enough time for schoolwork, sport, recreation and relaxation. And we all know how important and healthy balance is. There are those who will reason that homework doesn’t promote academic achievement. Others believe that homework does more harm than good. In the end one needs to define homework.

1. What is homework? Homework is a supplement to work done in the classroom on the same day.

2. Why is homework important? Homework helps to reinforce concepts, information or skills.

3. How does a student benefit from doing homework? Homework is beneficial because it stimulates the brain. It is also an intellectual discipline and it serves to instill a sense of responsibility.

Homework is not the problem. Teachers often give homework to keep children busy. They give homework to punish their students. Sometimes homework is given because time in class is not enough to do all the work assigned. There are times that children sit at home with work that has never been explained or discussed in class.

Teachers should categorize homework. Homework is important in three ways: for the purpose of

  • preparation for the next lesson;
  • practicing new skills; and
  • understanding concepts and information through additional information.

Homework should never take up too much time. Let’s take the example of ten minutes per learning area, per afternoon. For children who have fourteen learning areas, this in effect would mean that time set aside every afternoon for homework is two hours and twenty minutes. On the other hand, if children spend an hour doing mathematics homework, where would they find the time, energy or optimism to do the homework assigned for their other thirteen subjects? Official school hours differ from one country to the next. Let’s say they average between five to six hours per day. With a two hour homework schedule, children would be spending seven to eight hours per day academically.

To ease the burden, parents need to take a greater interest in what their children are doing. Communication is very important between the three parties involved: parents, children and teachers. If parents share the same concerns as their children regarding the amount of homework given, it will help the young ones to realize that there is a sense of justice.

Schools can assist children with homework policies. These policies will set the guidelines with regard to the amount and types of assigned homework. Most school policy guidelines for homework are set at a maximum of twenty to forty minutes for all learning areas.

Homework will never be popular. Children will continue to see it in a bad light. They need to be encouraged constantly so that they will have a positive attitude towards education. Children are our future. We need to put them first, because a negative and uneducated future can only be detrimental to society on the whole.

Source by Karin Steyn

6 Things to Remember on the Properties and Use of Cement in Concrete

Good quality concrete starts with the quality of materials, cost effective designs is actually a by-product of selecting the best quality material and good construction practices. Technical knowledge is an advantage for concrete producer, even if the concrete mix design is good but uncommon or wrong procedures are practiced it will result to failures.

Normal concrete is the combination of cement, aggregates (coarse and fine), water, admixture. In which, cement is the most importance factor that influence the characteristics of concrete. Difference types of Portland cement are manufactured to meet various normal physical and chemical requirement for specific purposes. Portland cement are manufactured to meet the specification of ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) C150, ASTM 1157, AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) M85

Here after are important things to remember on the properties and use of cement

1. About 30 kilograms of water are required to fully hydrate 100 kilograms of cement.

2. Hydration starts as soon as water is introduced to cement.

3. Rule of thumb: the higher water/cement ratio the lower the strength so keep water cement ratio as low as possible.

4. It is a good practice to order cement in advance to cool down its temperature, remember that 5 degrees

increase in cement temperature increases concrete temperature by 0.5 degrees.

5. Normal temperature range of cement before batching should be 66 Celsius degrees to 85 Celsius degrees.

6. Specific gravity range is between 3.10 to 3.25 of Portland cements and blended cement is 2.90 to 3.15.

Source by Do Nguyen Hung

HUD Requirements For Manufactured Home Foundations

Are you looking to purchase a manufactured “mobile” home and finance it with a FHA loan? Are you looking to refinance your current loan with an FHA loan? If you are, then the foundation of your home will have to be reviewed by a licensed structural engineer to ensure that is complies with HUD requirements dictated by HUD Handbook 4930.3 entitled, “Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing” and as updated per the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (enacted July 30, 2008). New homes must meet the requirements of HUD Handbook 4145.1, REV-2, CHG-1 entitled, “Architectural Processing and Inspections for Home Mortgage Insurance” and reported using form HUD-92051 entitled, “Compliance Inspection Report”.

The foundation requirements posted by HUD are often times more stringent than those required by the local building code. The intent of these requirements is to make your home safe by increasing it’s ability to withstand strong winds and earthquakes, more resistant to moisture problems and enhanced bearing strength to reduce the possibility for foundation settlement.

Below is a list of the basic HUD foundation requirements:

• Poured concrete footings or approved engineered foundations must support the piers.

• If using concrete blocks (CMU) as piers, then the piers must be either laid in Portland cement mortar or dry-stacked and coated with a fiber reinforced surface bonding cement. Steel jack stands are an approved pier substitute provided they are designed and sealed by a licensed engineer.

• The chassis must be anchored to the footings (screw-in earth anchors are not allowed).

• Enclose the foundation with a durable skirting. As of May 21, 2009, vinyl or metal skirting materials are allowed.

• Provide adequate ventilation in the crawl space area. 1 square foot of net free area per 150 square feet of crawl space floor area is required around the perimeter of the home.

• The ground underneath the home must be covered with a 6mil minimum thickness polyethylene vapor barrier.

• All equipment used to transport the home (tongues, axles and wheels) must be removed from the site.

• All utilities must be permanently installed.

As you can see, the requirements are more stringent than those required by most building codes. I recommend contacting your local licensed structural engineer who can assist you with determining your home’s compliance and what steps, if any, are required to upgrade the foundation of your home.

Source by Jon R Vandergrift