Using Tools to Get the Job Done

Choosing the Right Plumbing Materials and Design for Your Business: Factors to Consider

When you are a business owner and are planning to have your newest place of business built from the ground up, there are a myriad of areas that you will need to focus upon in order to get your business off the ground and to have it run properly. One of the most important factors to consider is your plumbing, both in the materials and overall design of the the plumbing system. However, if you are not an expert in plumbing systems, all of the different options may be difficult for you to decipher and comprehend. While you can rule out residential plumbing supplies, there are other options including commercial, industrial, and what is known as ultra-pure plumbing. In order to determine which of these types of systems are right for you, it is important to understand what will factor into your decision concerning plumbing supplies.

The Scope of Plumbing Use

One of the primary factors to consider when choosing your plumbing supplies and materials is how much you will be using your plumbing systems. Many pieces of equipment require a great deal of water use to keep the systems cool or simply for the processes they are performing. You need to assess the quantity of water that your business will need on a daily basis.

Generally speaking, industrial and ultra-pure plumbing systems are designed to carry much larger quantities of water. If your business is small or does not require equipment that draws from the water supply, commercial plumbing may be an option that is better suited to your business needs.

The Required Purity of Water 

Water purity is also an important issue in determining the type of plumbing supplies and materials that you will need for your business. You may not think so, but most industrial plumbing systems require water that is significantly more pure than that required of a commercial plumbing system.

Commercial plumbing uses processes that make water pure enough for safe human consumption or use to wash hands, dishes, and the like. This often means that the water goes through a process like reverse osmosis that can remove large ions in the water as well as potentially dangerous pesticides, bacteria, and even pharmaceutical drugs that may be in the water supply.

On the other hand, industrial and ultra-pure systems go through a much more involved process, such as a combination of reverse osmosis, deionization, carbon filtration, and demineralization (or a few of these depending on just how pure the water needs to be). Any business that mixes chemicals like in the pharmaceutical industry or cleaning-product manufacturing will require the purest water possible.

Now that you better understand a few of the key factors to consider when selecting the right plumbing materials, supplies, and design of your business plumbing system,and with this information, you can better make the right choice for you and your business.

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Cracked Concrete Foundation? Monitoring It With A Concrete Crack Measurement Device

If your historical home was built on a concrete block foundation and you have recently noticed cracks in its basement walls, then your home is currently experiencing a very serious foundation problem. Left alone, the foundation will continue to deteriorate and will eventually ruin the structural integrity of your house. Thankfully, a foundation contractor can use some specialized tools and monitor the cracks to determine their rate of spread. Armed with this information, they will use their professional experience to decide if your home’s foundation needs to be repaired or is able to simply continue on an active monitoring program.

The Root Causes of Concrete Block Foundation Cracks

When you see cracking in your basement, you should always assume that your home has a major foundational issue that needs to be evaluated immediately by a structural engineer or licensed concrete contractor. Since the concrete blocks used to build your home’s foundation were set on footers that were installed into the subgrade soil under your home, you will notice cracks in the basement when one of the footers cracks or becomes damaged from the weather. As the footer moves around in the soil, the concrete blocks will separate along their mortar lines and cause the cracks to appear.

Vertical foundation cracks are typically caused by a cracked footer, while horizontal cracks are generally caused by the soil around your historical home freezing each winter and then thawing in the spring. As the freeze-thaw cycle continues year after year, the pressure placed on the home’s foundation will cause the masonry blocks to develop mortar line cracks.

Monitoring Devices for Concrete Block Foundation Cracks

When a structural engineer or concrete contractor comes out to evaluate your home’s foundation, they will bring with them some specialized tools that are used to measure and monitor foundation cracks. A small, ruler-like device is used to measure the width and depth of the cracks to determine their severity. If the cracks are small enough that no foundational repair work needs to be immediately performed, then concrete crack monitors can be installed on top of the cracks. These simple devices are used to measure the cracks each month and determine the rate of spread of the cracks. If the cracks are stable over a period of time, then they can often be left alone. But, if the cracking continues to get worse, then your home’s foundation will need to be professionally repaired. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Certified Material Testing Products.

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Four Directions You Can Take Your Industrial Conveyor Systems And The Benefits Of Each

Conveyor belts are no longer “roll horizontally one direction” modes of factory transportation. You have options. Conveyor belts can now take your factory’s lines in four directions. Here are the four directions for today’s industrial conveyor belts and some benefits of each.

Up and Over Conveyor

These conveyor belts move products up a short incline and then over a hill. Sometimes they may move up a short incline with a steep drop-off at the top, too. 

The benefits of using an “up and over” conveyor belt are:

  • Flipping products without dropping or touching them by hand, which may be essential for food items and electronics
  • During the automation process where it might be difficult to fit a human body in between machines, coating the top side of a product and then coating the bottom side as well 
  • Testing products for durability and flaws

Steep Incline Conveyor

Steep incline conveyors move products from a low point in one part of the factory to a higher point in another part of the factory (think moving grain from a thresher to a silo, if you need a visual). Usually produce in canning factories is moved this way, or recyclables that have been sorted and need to move to separate areas in the plant.

The benefits of using the steep incline conveyor are:

  • No contamination or cross-contamination of foods during processing
  • No sharp objects to touch, which may cut or injure the employees attempting to handle the objects
  • Overhead conveyors in the next part of the plant can easily collect objects as they pass through the doorway that leads from the incline conveyor to the overhead one

Rotating Vertical Conveyor

Rotating vertical conveyors are often used in giant storage cabinets. They move columns and lines of buckets that frequently contain parts, tools and fasteners for your employees to use, but they can have other applications as well. 

The benefits of a rotating vertical conveyor are:

  • More floor space to work
  • More storage space for equipment,tools and industrial supplies
  • Better organization of equipment, tools and supplies
  • Quick, easy access of everything stored in the vertical cabinet

Circular Conveyor

Circular conveyors are frequently used to cap or seal items. They may also be used on a larger scale to rotate cows in and out of a milking shed. (The cows stand on the circular conveyor and go for a few rounds on the belt while being milked. Then they step off and walk out–sort of a “cow carousel”.)

The benefits of a circular conveyor are:

  • All products (or animals!) are in perfect alignment so that the expected tasks are simultaneously accomplished with no errors
  • Employees can quickly spot flaws when they do occur and pull the flaws from the circular conveyor or fix them as the “carousel” completes a round or two
  • The circular conveyor can move as quickly or as slowly as you want/need it to, instead of one fast speed

Now you can decide for yourself which of these you need in your factory. Contact a supplier, like Queen City Material Handling Equipment, for more info.

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Water Quality Issues

The news has been filled in recent days with stories about contaminated drinking water. You do not want to wait until your town becomes a news story before you take action. You need to find out now if your water is fit to drink. You can take several steps to ensure that you and your family are safe from unsafe substances.

Color and Smell

Often, the way your water looks and smells is an excellent indicator of its potability. If your water comes out of the tap looking red or brown, you probably have too much iron in your water supply. Too much iron is usually more of a cosmetic problem, leading to stained fixtures, but it can be a health problem for people with hemochromatosis, a disease that allows you to absorb too much iron into your system, damaging internal organs. If your water is blue or green, it could mean that it contains too much copper. At a high level, copper can cause serious digestive problems.


Unfortunately, many water problems are not detectable by sight or taste. In those instances, you have to rely on testing done by federal or local agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency posts their water quality results every year on their website. If you have concerns, you can also ask your supplier to test your water for you.  If you have a private well or other source of water on your property, you will need to pay a water testing service to evaluate your water. You may use a home kit for testing, but these are not particularly sophisticated. They may serve as an indication that more in-depth testing needs to be done.


If you do have a contamination problem, you need to have a purification system installed as soon as possible. For many people, a whole-house filter is the best solution. These systems can remove sediment, chlorine, heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, and other harmful substances. Considering what dangers lurk in the water table, a quality filtration system is an excellent investment.

On the local level, you can push for an improved water and sewage treatment plant. Towns and cities with aging plants and infrastructure raise the likelihood that your home’s water will be contaminated. Although federal regulations are in place, they do not mean that your city is in compliance. Timely upgrades to physical plants are essential to your community’s health.

Although municipalities are under federal guidelines for water quality, you need to be proactive in protecting your home’s water. You have to be even more diligent if your water comes from a private supply. If your water looks and smells bad, you may well have a serious problem. Other non-visible threats exist as well. Check the EPA website and consider paying for individual testing to keep you and your family safe from water contamination.

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Ensuring Safety In The Stockroom: Three Things To Consider When Using Pallet Racks

Pallet racking systems offer a convenient way to store items in your warehouse or stockroom, but there are certain safety precautions you’ll want to consider before you place a single pallet on your racks. Proper safety protocols ensure worker safety and helps to protect your inventory. Here are just a few things you can do to make your pallet racking system safe and secure.

Pallet Rack Netting

Pallet rack netting covers the open spaces between the shelves on your pallet rack netting system. This netting prevents loose boxes on your pallets from falling, which can damage your products and can potentially cause injuries to anyone standing in the aisle in your stockroom. You can cut the netting to fit around your racks or any sprinkler systems you may have installed to customize the setup on your racking system.

Guardrails And Post Protectors

The ends of pallet racks can be vulnerable to impacts from forklifts and pallet jacks, which can damage your racking system. Guardrails and post protectors absorb the impact from the vehicles and equipment in your stockroom, protecting your pallet racks from damage and collapse. You should consider installing these on any aisles where your pallet racks’ ends are exposed. Post protectors are designed to fit around the base supports for your pallet racks, and they can be added along the length of the rack to provide protection from all angles, while guardrails are placed on the floor in front of the racks. You can use both items together for multi-layer protection.

Wire Decking

Wire decking features a mesh design that reinforces the bottom of your pallet rack shelves, helping to contain any small items that may fall as your staff loads and unloads pallets. This is a smart addition to pallet racks in warehouse club-style stores where customers may walk underneath racks as they shop. If your pallets aren’t wrapped when placed on your warehouse pallet racks, this decking can also help to protect your loose inventory that might become dislodged during the order picking process. The decking is typically easy to install, with the typical design fitting over your shelving framework. You can also invest in pallet racks with the decking built in.

Talk to your warehouse staff about any safety concerns they may have while working in your stockroom and consider these helpful accessories to improve workplace safety. With the right precautions in place, your pallet racks can store all your inventory and space pallets safely and securely.

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Lumber Harvesting Methods

Lumber is an important industry that provides materials to building supply companies like Henning Building Supply Co Inc. Since the process of harvesting lumber can differ, organizations like the EPA regulate lumber companies to ensure that they’re harvesting trees in the best way to keep the environment protected. Whether it is a federal or private woodland, certain methods and rules must be followed in order to protect natural habitats. Here are some of the most common ways lumber is harvested, and the differences between them.

Clearcutting Method

The process of clearcutting involves removing all of the trees in an area at one time. This method is controversial because it cuts down a quantity of trees and can prevent natural reforestation. On the other hand, this method can be helpful for certain species of trees that don’t grow well while under the shade of other trees. It is also good when used to cut down an area of diseased or dying trees in order to keep the disease from spreading to healthy trees.

Seedtree Method

The seedtree lumber harvesting method involves selective removal of older or more mature trees. The reason for this is to provide a source of seeds for new trees to grow. By using this method, new room is made for younger trees. The harvester carefully selects seed trees to help assure that the new trees grow strong and in large numbers.

Shelterwood Method

This particular lumber harvesting method selectively removes specific trees to help establish new tree growth underneath a canopy or other trees’ foliage. Larger, taller trees stay intact in order to provide shade and shelter to new trees. This can help the young trees stay protected and helps them grow to become healthy new areas of forestation.

Group Selection Method

The group selection method harvests older trees and thins out some slightly younger trees in intervals. This method is done repetitively to encourage natural regrowth and helps reestablish a group of trees that are mixed in age. This is a good method to use for areas with a high wildlife population, because it allows the animals to live and thrive in an environment where they are accustomed to living among older trees. Each of these lumber harvesting methods are done with the preservation of the natural environment and trees in mind so that future generations and wildlife can continue to thrive without causing harm that cannot be undone.  

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Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Used Trailer

Investing in a trailer may be essential for being as productive as possible with your job. Unfortunately, these trailers can be remarkably expensive. Luckily, you can significantly lower the amount that you will have to pay by opting for a used trailer. While this can be an excellent choice for your needs, it is important for you to get the most from this purchase by following these two tips.

Repair Any Existing Damage to the Bed as Soon as Possible

It is common for people to purchase used trailers that have minor body damage, and this damage is often to the bed of the trailer. Trailers with this type of damage are often sold for a deep discount, and while this can be a great way to further reduce the cost of this purchase, you should make it a point to have any damages to the bed addressed as quickly as possible. If you delay repairing this damage, there is a chance that it can greatly worsen, which can result in a structural failure of the trailer or more expensive and extensive repairs.

Fortunately, repairs to trailer beds are often relatively simple. For example, corrosion can usually be removed by sanding the metal before sealing it to prevent the issue from returning. If the bed’s wood planks are broken or rotting, they can be replaced relatively easily.

Have the Trailer’s Electrical System Inspected

When evaluating a trailer for potential purchase, you will likely know to pay special attention to the wheels and axles. However, it is common for individuals to overlook the importance of having the electrical system thoroughly inspected. While you may not realize the importance of this system, it is essential for allowing the lights on the back of the trailer to work. Following this step is especially important if you purchased the trailer from an individual as opposed to buying it from an established dealership because a dealership will closely inspect the wiring to make sure it is in good condition before placing it for sale.

Buying a used trailer may be essential for your job, but don’t overlook some important steps for ensuring that the trailer is in good condition. If you make it a point to repair any damage to the trailer (regardless of how minor) as soon as possible and have the electrical system inspected, you should find that you get as good of a return as possible on your used trailer. Contact an establishment like Arrow Trailer & Equipment Company to get started on your search.

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