Open Letter to Spa Owners With Grass Backyards

In my job I regularly have to go to people’s homes to fix their hot tub. Usually there’s an issue with the pump or temperature control/heater. And most of the time I simply do my job and replace or fix what needs to and be on my way.

But sometimes I need to look into the tub check the chemicals or something like that.

Some spas are above ground and some are below and some are surrounded by concrete and some by grass. This blog is to the grass backyard people.

“Hose off your feet before getting into the tub.”

The amount of grass I’ve seen in some of these spa’s is enough to clog the filter and cause premature failure cause the pump has to work too hard. So people please check some push or riding lawn mower reviews and buy the mower that suits your needs. It WILL save you money in the long. Keep your grass short and you’ll have less grass sticking to your feet.

Just two cents from a spa technician who sees many peoples backyards.

Why a Portable Generator is a Great Toy to Own

Whether you’re an avid camper, weekend warrior in the yard and or love your tailgating, a portable generator is a great addition to your tool shed. Here I’d like to talk about the different gen-set styles, types and brands. But first, have a watch of this video by Consumer Reports, it’s a buy guide.

So what brand of generator should you get? In short, don’t buy on brand – buy on style. So let’s get right into the styles.

Camping/Inverter/Quiet - The best camping generators are the newer technology of generator – the inverter style. These have an inverter controlled by microprocessor to produce cleaner electricity. They are more quiet, more efficient, but more expensive per kW than their conventional generator counterparts.

They’re best for camping because of these reasons. They are very compact and light and easy to transport. And you don’t usually require extreme amounts of power when camping.

Conventional/Gasoline - The conventional gasoline generators are the most affordable and best for around the home or cabin. They can power your electric lawnmower if you’re too from main power. They usually come on wheels because they can be heavy. Get one of these if you’re only using it around the home.

Conventional/Propane - Propane generators are also great for camping, tailgating and RV’ing. They tend to be more expensive than gasoline powered gen-sets and provide less power for the size. However, they are more enviro friendly and often times (because of how long it stays in storage) more convenient because propane is more common to transport camping etc. Get one if you really want to be enviro friendly while using it.

Conventional/Professional - These big boys are the premium. They have automative grade parts and will last on the job-site. Get one if you rely on your generator to make a living.

Tried and Tested – Why Pumps Have Hardly Changed in 50 Years

Sump pumps are usually impeller submersible pumps and are float operated. This combination has not really changed in 50 years because it just works – sort of like the wheel. There are, however, many homes that still use pedestal pumps because they were more popular until submersible pumps became more reliable. Here we’ll look at the difference between pedestal and submersible and look at the general pump industry over the last 50 years.

If you look at the pump page on Wikipedia you’ll see that there are over 20 kinds of pumps. That is because some are slightly better at doing specific things than others. And as the engineer on a job you’d have to optimise for the things you want picking the pump that suits the task best. And for a sump pit it happens to be a submersible impeller pump. They’re affordable, durable, small and can manage decent flow rate.

Just look at the most popular sump pumps and you’ll see that most are the submersible type. Zoeller being the most popular brand. Over the last 50 years, the main change with the pumps has not been in working design, it’s been in manufacturing technology and materials affordability. So companies can offer a better quality pump (both in material and manufacture) for less cost. So given the market is there for a $150 sump pump, you can get what used to be a $1000 pump for your home.

Looking into the future, over the next 50 years, I see computers and electrics coming more into the control side of things. So I think these pumps will be “smarter”. They’ll be able to tell you when they need servicing and they’ll be able, maybe, to even book in over the internet the spare parts they require if they about to break down.

Pretty cool.

Pressure Washers: A Great Alternative to Garden Hose and Scrubbing

Next time your wife asks you to clean the gutters, you’ll be able to say, “yeah, no worries, dear.”

How is that possible? Well, with a  pressure washer you can easily just point the spray gun and it does the work for you. So what would have been a day or two job, is now half a day. Pretty nifty, hey?

So which pressure washer is best for your needs. Essentially they come in either electric or gas power. And either residential or commercial. So lets say you will use it at home to wash your car only. Then an electric one will suit your needs perfectly. For a full guide check out  how to choose a pressure washer buying guide. It will tell you the pros and cons of each.

If you’re in need of a more powerful everyday use power cleaner then probably gasoline power is your best bet. They’re more expensive, but yeah, more powerful. Check out the full range of all the best here:

Use this technology to increase your fitness

All the rage these days are pedometers to measure how many steps you take in a day. But a heart rate monitor worn during exercise is a much better description of your daily output than a pedometer. For an example, you could take 20,000 steps in 1 day, and you’d think you’ve done heaps of exercise. Don’t me wrong you HAVE moved a fair bit – but still – you’ve probably never raised your heart rate above resting by more than 15%. This means that a lot of the time you’ve just been bouncing the pedometer on your knee sort-a-speak.

So if I were to recommend 1 piece of sports technology for you to use I would recommend getting a heart rate monitor. It will accurately help you get more fit by training you within the proper heart rate zones – much like a personal trainer would. You can get these watches specific to the sport or activity you do. So weightlifting, workout classes, walking, biking or running are all covered with specific heart rate monitors.

Polar, Garmin and Timex are the main brand-names in the industry, with Polar being the inventor of heart monitors as we know them. Garmin tend to have the most sophisticated GPS watches and Timex one’s are catching up in price competitiveness, style and function. For more help finding the best heart rate monitor for your needs check out HRM Reviews as there are some great lists of great monitors according to your style or brand preference.