What Is The Difference Between a Cinder Block and Concrete Block

Homeowners may choose different materials for their homes and other projects. Cinder blocks and cement blocks are quite popular. You have to clearly know their differences and advantages, so you can know which is best for you and what you need.

Composition

One of their major difference is their composition. Concrete is made of aggregates, which are commonly finely crushed stone or sand. It is the end product if cement and a filler component. On the other hand, a cinder block is actually a generic term for structural blocks. That means that they are made from different things. However, the term “cinder” was from back in the day, when people use to burn coal to heat their homes. 

Today, cinder blocks are composed of different aggregates instead of sand or gravel. They might use ash, coal, In some cases, they are the same size as concrete blocks. 

Weight

Concrete blocks are significantly heavier than cinder ones. That is mostly because of their hollow structure. Concrete is typically more compact. It is also because of the proportions of the aggregates and other materials in it. 

Strength

Of course, concrete is much stronger than cinder. You should know if it applies to the project you want to do. Never use a cinder block for in some places that require strength. An example is pavements or driveways that will have to carry a huge weight. 

Remember, you should follow building codes in any project you may have. It will ensure your safety and the strength and durability of your end product. 

Concrete and cinder blocks both have open cells, so they can get reinforced with metal or other materials. It is up to you to decide, just make sure that you consult a professional if it is about some serious project. Put safety as your utmost priority.

Durability

Cinder blocks are banned from many areas, especially because they will not stand up to elements. They can bend, and are prone to bowing and buckling. It does not even have a lot of tensile strength. It is best to reserve it for projects that will suit its properties and features.

On the other hand, concrete is efficient and has lots of advantages that it can offer. It is undeniably strong and long-lasting. Many houses and infrastructures built more than a hundred years ago are still standing today. It can stand up against many elements, even time.

Price

If you think that builders today will prefer concrete, then you are wrong. If the building code in your area agrees to it, then you may still use cinder blocks. Remember that whatever you do should adhere to the regulations of the area. Because of that, cinder blocks can get costly, because of demands in an area. They are also easier to lift, so many may still prefer them.

Do not forget to ask experts when you are planning on building something. It is also significant that you consider codes in an area and follow them strictly, to avoid any problems.

How Many 80-pound Bags Of Concrete Does It Take To Make A Yard?

To begin any construction work, it is important to identify the amount of concrete that you need. You want to be as accurate as possible in buying the right amount of materials. You can find several concrete calculators online that say the same figures, but in an actual world, you may want to know the estimated number of bags that you need per yard or area that you will work on. Knowing the numbers or the exact mathematical computation per pound is not as practical as knowing the amount needed per bag or packaging. 

So how do you calculate the amount of concrete needed for any home or commercial projects? 

How many 80 pound bags of concrete does it take to make a yard?

Short answer:

45 bags. 

An 80-pound bag of pre-mixed cement and concrete is 0.6 cubic feet per the bag

Since there are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard, so the equation is 27 / 0.6 = 45

Long answer:

If you are amazed by a bit of mathematical computation, then read on. The first thing that you need to do is to determine the volume of the space that you want to fill. This is not as complicated at all. Filling out a concrete or chocolate ice cream cone is no different. Determining the volume is quite easy. Due to the amount of concrete needed for most construction jobs, it is best to measure the volume in cubic feet. But if your project is massive, then it is recommended to calculate the volume in cubic yards instead of cubic feet. 

To simplify things, whenever you hear the word cube, think of an ice cube. The ice cube has three sides – about the sides that touch the ice tray in your freezer. The simplest way to get the volume of an ice cube is the multiple these three sides. If you have a perfect ice cube, the width, length, and depth will be the same. For example, it will be 2 feet wide, 2 feet long, and 2 feet deep. Therefore, when these figures are multiplied, you will get a volume of 8 cubic feet. 

Refer to this formula: 

Volume = width x length x height (depth) 

Meanwhile, concrete slabs’ dimensions are not equal. They are not perfect cubes. That is why the computation is a bit different. If you have a slab that is both 2 feet wide and long, the depth or height unlikely to be 2 feet. It might be 4 inches in depth for an average concrete slab. Hence, follow this simple formula: 2’ x 2’ x 4”. But you cannot multiply feet by inches. You have to compute everything in the same units. So, after multiplying everything, simply divide it by 12. You’ll get the answer 1.3 cubic feet. 

Refer to this formula: 

2 feet x 2 feet x 4 inches 

2 x 2 x 4 = 16 / 12 = 1.3 cubic feet 

For filling a round hole in the street to install a post or mailbox, the equation for the volume is different from the cube or rectangle.

The formula for the volume of a round hole is: 

Pi r2 x depth 

3.14 x radius x radius x depth 

The width of the radius is the half portion of the round hole. But if you are not working on a big construction project, this will be easily calculated in terms of inches. 

If your round hole is 36 inches deep and 10 inches wide, the equation would be:

 3.14 x 5 x5 x36 /1728 = 1.6 cubic feet 

In case you forget the divisor which is 1728, just remember this formula: 12 x 12 x12 or simply the figure of cubic inches in a cubic foot. 

Now that we’re done calculating the volume, the next step is to calculate the number of concrete bags you will need to fill the round hole. When you walk into your local hardware store, you will usually see on the packaging or product label, how many cubic feet the bag can fill. This refers to the yield. The yield on an 80 pounds bag is about 6/10 or 0.6 cubic feet. Given the example mentioned above, the equation would be: 

1.6 / 0.6 – 2.7 bags 

The yield is almost always constant. You can use 0.06 yield on any calculation. 

How to Fix a Broken Sprinkler Pipe?

Indeed, sprinklers are utilized for easy irrigation over a large area. It makes watering more convenient than manually doing it for a huge mass of land. For outdoor sprinklers, it can be prone to damage due to external factors. During the wintertime, frost and snow can cause damage to your sprinklers especially those that are uninsulated.

As the sprinkler system is prone to damage, it should be noted that the above-ground portions of a sprinkler system can eventually crack if not drained. Cracks can occur when water is not thoroughly drained. Hence, it can cause damages to the system due to the expanding ice. This makes repair deemed necessary. Also, water loss and erosion result from a broken sprinkler pipe.

During wintertime, it is the most susceptible season for sprinklers to possible experience damage. This is to ensure that you thoroughly drain your sprinkler system before winter comes. This can save you a fortune. Instead of minding about repairs in the future, it is best to avoid worst-case scenarios by being prepared beforehand.

Broken Sprinkler Pipe due to Freezing

For underground sprinkler pipes, it is situated under the soil to be insulated from cold temperatures. But for pipes that are above ground, these are the most susceptible and prone to leaks and cracks upon exposure to freezing. For pipes that are rigid such as that of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes, water has the potential to expand upon freezing. Since these pipes are rigid, it can create cracks and fissures due to the expansion of ice. For flexible pipes such as that of poly piping, which is used in drip irrigation, can still be prone to cracks and damage as it still have rigid zones in it. These rigid zones can be found in glued joints, but these joints are easy to locate. So crack or damage detection can still be easily done.

Avoid Freeze Damage

During winter time, irrigation is deemed unnecessary due to the weather. To avoid freeze damage, it is best to thoroughly drain the sprinkler system and switch it off as early as in fall.

Detection of Leaks

Leaks can be due to cracks formed on the pipes due to the expansion of water from freezing. For pipes situated above ground, leaks can be easily determined and pinpointed as it is obvious how there are water spurting out from a certain zone. When expansion of ice creates cracks onto the pipe, the unfrozen water will now spurt out from this cracked zone.

However for detecting leaks from pipes situated underground, it is more difficult to determine. But then, if the sprinkler system is pressurized when the break happens, a large wet area will be seen in the soil. The difference between a moist and wet soil from a dry one can determine whether there is a potential leak from the sprinkler pipes underground.

For those sprinkler lines that are not pressurized, these leaks will only be apparent when the sprinkler system is turned on. One can see that the spray volume is reduced, or even non-existent. There will also be a wet area formed in the soil to indicate the source of leakage.

Repair and Restoration Procedures

For pipes that were caused by freeze damage, it is deemed that it is not repairable. The best way to fix it is to replace the pipes. Moreover, any damaged section of the PVC pipe is opted to be cut out and replaced. To do this, cut a new piece of pipe shorter than the section removed. Splice it into the line with a coupling on each end. This procedure is called telescoping. Telescoping PVC couplings make the procedure easier as one end goes onto the pipe whereas the other end slides out to fit onto the other piece of pipe.

Where to Buy Air Conditioner Capacitor?

Your air conditioner is composed of many components that make it efficient, safe, and function properly. One of the most essential part is the capacitor. It is a cylindrical object that provides power in the system, especially to devices on startup. Some problems you might encounter with your air conditioner is probably caused by a bad capacitor. To help you replace it, you have to find one that matches your system. Here are some places where you can find a capacitor.

Local HVAC Store

Probably, HVAC stores near you will have what you need. Tell them the specifics they will be able to help you most of the time. If due to some unexpected problem, what you are looking for is not available, there are still other places to look.

Online HVAC Stores

 You may browse catalogs on the internet on HVAC store sites. Verify if it is exactly what you need. You may also check reviews and stars given by other customers. It will be convenient to purchase online, but you have to wait for a while.

To make sure you are buying the best capacitor for your system, there are many things to consider.

Capacitor Type

There are two types of capacitors you can find in your air conditioner. The run capacitor powers the system while it is turned on. The start capacitor gives a boost to some devices like the fan, compressor, or others. Take a look at where the connection from the capacitor leads. Check the terminal your capacitor is connected in, that is also information you must have.

Capacitor Shape

 While most of the capacitors are cylindrical, some might still vary depending on your air conditioner type, model, or brand. Make sure you purchase one that is identical to your old capacitor.

Capacitor Voltage

 The capacitor voltage is critical to your system. Take note of that one because it is essential to get a capacitor with the same voltage range capacity. Most of the time, you can find this printed on the side of the capacitor cover. It is also on your owner’s manual, so be sure to keep those in case needed.

Capacitance Value

Another piece of information you have to keep is the capacitance value. This one is also printed on your capacitor. A run capacitor will have a different value than a start capacitor. It is measured in micro Farads, sometimes expressed as μf or MFD. Find a capacitor that has an identical capacitance value to your old one. 

When looking for a capacitor, make sure you will get the right one that matches your system, to avoid other problems. A bad capacitor is easy to fix yourself, after all. You will only have to pay for the capacitor.

If you are not confident with doing the work on your own, contact a licensed expert to do it for you. You may also check if your unit is still under warranty, or if you have a plan with your HVAC contractor. Repairs and replacements will be easy if you have someone for help! 

What Service Should Be Done On Home Air Conditioners and Furnaces?

Making plans for regular service with your HVAC contractor will benefit your air conditioner and furnace. It will increase the chance of your technician catching the small problems before it gets big. Tiny repairs won’t cost as much as service calls. It will also help maintain your units and make sure they work perfectly.

Here are the essential services your contractor might offer:

Check-up 

 Your contractor should check up parts of your air conditioner and furnace to know if they are in good condition. They have to make sure that the air and blower filters are free of dust, fur, or other things that may obstruct airflow; it can happen at least once every 30 days. 

 Coils also gather some dirt, dust, or debris once in a while. The evaporator coil may even get covered by ice, while the condenser coil is exposed outside. It can get blocked because of leaves and foliage. Examining this will also help your air conditioner and furnace greatly. 

 Chimneys and vents should also get checked to know if enough air is circulating in the system. Your technician has to examine if the ductwork is properly insulated or if the pipe joints are connected. Condensate drains also need some inspection once in a while to make sure it is free of any obstruction.

 Thermostats, motors, breakers, and other electrical components also have to get checked occasionally. Some problems you may have with your unit might be because of broken fuses or capacitors.

 Another good thing to check is the refrigerant level. It will go down after a long time of use, and your air conditioner might not be able to cool the air enough. Regular check-ups will also reveal if there are any leaks with the system.

Cleaning

Your HVAC contractor should also offer some cleaning services for components like the air or blower filter, condenser coil, evaporator coil, and others that may require cleaning after some time of use. The parts of your unit should be free of blockages to get the proper airflow and work efficiently. If all are good, you will consume less energy and spend less on electricity bills.

Repair and Replacement

To preserve or prolong the outstanding performance your air conditioner and furnace gives you, some parts that may malfunction need repair or replacement. Even if you take good care of your units, components may get worn out. Compared to emergency repairs, it will save you a lot if you have planned services with your contractor. Some extra fees might be required if the part that needs repair is a complex one. Replacing the compressor may also add some additional costs since it is quite expensive.

Inspection

After making repairs or replacements with your air conditioner or furnace, your technician should inspect if everything works fine before letting you use your unit again.

Do not hesitate to make service plans with your HVAC contractor to be saved from emergency repair costs! Contact one now to make sure your units always work in the perfect condition!

How to Manually Turn On An AC Unit

Technological advancements are made throughout the past years, and it only made our daily lives easier and better. As an example, remote controllers are made to make it easier for us to operate devices and even household appliances. You can even turn an air conditioning unit using a remote. 

As usual, people usually tend to misplace things such as keys, ball pens, and cards. But what if you misplaced your remote controller? Imagine if you’re in the middle of a hot, humid afternoon, and suddenly, your remote is gone! It would surely make you lose your temper and make you hot-headed. But don’t panic, take a deep breath and relax. There are always different ways to do some things, and this time, you can do it manually. 

If you’ve never tried to read or even touch your manual, this is the perfect time for you to do it. User’s manuals are often filled with information that you need and answer the questions in your mind. You can even find ways here on how you can operate your air conditioning unit manually. But what if you misplaced it too? Don’t worry, I got you. Here are some tips on how you can turn on operate your air conditioner manually:

Find the Power Button

In turning on any device or household equipment and appliances, the first thing you should do is to find the unit’s power button. Usually, different models and brands of air conditioners might have different power button placements, too. If you have your manual, you can easily locate it by looking at the diagram showing the unit’s different parts. But if you don’t, try finding it on your own. The usual areas are somewhere near the thermostat, on the sides of the unit, somewhere at the lower right corner, or in some cases, behind the front grille. This is essential for turning the unit on and off.

Reset the Unit

If you happen to set the unit’s timer using the remote and can’t control it manually anymore, you can always try resetting the unit once the timer is up and the unit shuts down. Usually, all you have to do is to unplug the unit and head for your circuit breaker. Turn it off and wait for 30 seconds. Do this and you’re good to go.

In some models or units, it has a built-in reset button. You can use this, unplug the unit and wait for 30 minutes before turning it back on again.

Download Remote Controller Apps

If none of the tips above does the job for you and you want to use your remote controller so bad but you have yet to buy another one, then you should want to start downloading and trying some remote controller apps on your mobile device. Millions of these are available on Google Play or App Store. Try to find the ones that are working. If you find this convenient, you can use this to turn your unit on and off. You can use this temporarily before buying a new remote.

If none of the tips above worked for you, then it might indicate that a lost remote isn’t the only problem of your unit. You can always try to call for diagnostics for this matter. Nonetheless, we hope we’ve helped! Good luck with operating your unit manually.

Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Right Away

It might give you a shock if your air conditioner short cycles or turns on and off repeatedly, especially during a hot summer day. It is best to shut your unit off entirely to avoid causing more damage, don’t force it to work because there might be a problem. Calm down and do not panic, because here are the reasons to help give you some ideas and solutions.

Parts Need Cleaning

Some parts, like the air filter, evaporator coil, and condenser, need regular checking and cleaning. Clogged up dirt, dust, or debris will reduce efficiency and airflow, causing the unit to short cycle. Make sure to inspect these parts once or twice a month and to clean them as needed. Inspect them and make your unit run again after cleaning.

Electrical Problems

Some electrical parts of your air conditioner might be having trouble. It might be a malfunction with the circuit board, electrical connections, wirings, or others. A common problem would be a capacitor. It is essential to the unit for it provides a boost of power to the components and to keep them running, so a bad capacitor will most likely cause it to turn off and back on. An electrical problem is hard to diagnose and solve unless you are a professional, call your HVAC contractor or technician to aid you.

Component Malfunction

Parts may overheat, fail, or malfunction. An example is the compressor. Over time, it might not be as good as it did before and cause short cycles, and may need repair or replacement. It is always good to take care of the malfunctioning part before it does more damage to the system. Contact a licensed professional to help out because a compressor is hard to repair and would require replacement, most of the time. That can be quite costly, but it is good if a warranty or plan will cover it.

Refrigerant Levels

 Long term use will cause refrigerant levels to go down and cause short cycling. A simple recharge from your HVAC technician is good. However, refrigerant levels may also go down because of a leak. Modern air conditioners have sensors to detect those and shut the system off before the problem gets serious. A refrigerant leak is dangerous so do not attempt to turn it on again and call your HVAC contractor to solve the problem.

Unit is in the Wrong Size

An air conditioner too large for your HVAC system will eventually turn off after it cools your home quickly. This might result in uneven cooling in your house and make the unit turn on again. It might cause your unit to have a short life span and consume more energy than necessary. Make sure that when installing a new air conditioner, choose the one that will perfectly suit your system.

Many of these problems may be avoided if you have a service plan with your HVAC contractor. Do not be afraid to contact one if you think your air conditioner malfunctions. 

How Often Should Air Conditioner Be Serviced?

Air-conditioners are essential to keep our homes comfortable. It dehumidifies the air, and keeps it chilled when it is hot outside. The unit also purifies the air to get rid of impurities, smoke, dust, and odors. 

Today’s air-conditioners are the most efficient and power-saving compared to older models, but like other appliances, it may break down once in a while. It also needs to be taken care of according to its needs. It has to be maintained, cleaned, and inspected at regular intervals.

Importance

The first reason is to make sure that your air conditioner is working at its best. Your unit loses 5% of its efficiency every year, and surely, you do not want that. With regular maintenance, you can recover most of it. 

Maintenance will also get rid of the existing small problems in your unit that might turn into bigger ones if left unchecked. It will cost you more to repair those in your air-conditioner, though you can avoid those with inspection.

If your unit is maintained properly, it will work continuously and will be available to make your home comfortable in the months you need it the most. Your air-conditioner will also last for a long time, and you would not have to replace it until 12 to 15 years later. It may even last longer than that! 

Taking care of your unit should be of importance if you want lower electricity bills and air-conditioner repair costs. 

How Frequent

At least a once a year inspection will be good for your air-conditioner if you do not suspect any problem with it. However, some components might get dirty, which will reduce its efficiency. Try to check the air filter. Ideally, it should be cleaned or changed every month. You may also check the condenser if it has some dirt or debris.

You may check your unit yourself and clean the parts you can. Just make sure to consult your owner’s manual to avoid making more damage. You may also contact your HVAC contractor to sign up for their annual inspecting or cleaning services to save more. 

How Much

If you do not have plans with your contractor, a diagnostic test or inspection would cost about $80 to $100. Annual service costs will range from $150 to $300, with additional fees if some parts of your air-conditioner need replacement. 

These are just estimates, and you may still get lower prices if you know your contractor. If not, do some research and ask several companies to know how much it might cost. Remember that an annual service will require less money than what you might spend for emergency repairs, if ever your unit malfunctions unexpectedly. It is better to avoid problems that your air-conditioner might bring than to take care of them later. It will save you both money and time. 

A yearly inspection and maintenance should be in place for your air-conditioner. This is to make sure that it will work perfectly, especially at a time you need it the most.

Dispatch Tree Manager Pro Review

Dispatch Tree Manager Pro is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software package by the same name. This review examines its capabilities and how it can be used to better the efficiency of a large business organization.

Tree trimming

There are several common tasks that may be performed on an ERP system. These tasks include creating and managing customers, workers, products, and other resources, and upgrading and expanding the systems to deliver more information, to clients and partners. Of course, each of these systems may need to be managed separately.

However, there may be cases where users may not always need to know the core functions of each system that they use. This is the situation with Dispatch Tree Manager Pro.

In this case, users can manage data for a particular system without having to worry about having to know the details of the management tool. The software was designed with this in mind. It allows for users to use a system-wide view, or a special module that allows them to access their own data.

In terms of features, Dispatch Tree Manager Pro provides for a wide range of different options. There are features for managing user-defined projects, changes to the data, and data tuning. Users can also use the software to install reports and build dashboards.

A more detailed look at the features of the product will help users understand how well the software does in comparison to other systems. These include:

Time and attendance. It can be used to create projects for employees to complete. For example, the payroll department could use the software to create project profiles, such as project timelines and resource requirements. The system would be able to compare these with employee requests.

Customer project management. This allows the system to provide input and output functions to help organizations manage projects for clients and partners. For example, it could be used to track results and schedule daily updates for clients to take advantage of.

Resource mapping. It allows employees to map their resources, such as their contacts and operations centers, into areas that correspond to areas of management. This allows for better management of the resources that employees use, as well as managers who oversee the tasks that employees perform.

Inventory. By using this system, the inventory for a particular company can be organized and tracked, and used to generate reports and to access inventory lists. It can also provide inventory plans for services and products that can be used to set policies and guidelines for using resources.

Manage team member performance. In addition to performing tasks that they were assigned to do, team members are usually required to do many other tasks as well. As a result, it is important to have a way to create and manage assignments and tasks to employees, which can be used in the Dispatch Tree Manager Pro.

The system in Dispatch Tree Manager Pro provides a full suite of tools that allow for easier and more efficient operations. This includes templates for projects, task management, and reporting. It also includes data analysis and customization options.