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Archive for March, 2016

DIY Self-Contained Water Filtration System-Awesome!

DIY Self-Contained Water Filtration System-Awesome!

 

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Basic Items

This project only requires two 5 gallon cylindrical water dispensing containers, some filters, and a spicket. PVC pipe and some glue are optional.  You will also need a drill, small saw, or a good razor.

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Assembly

The first step is to remove the top of one of the dispensing containers.  Make the cut at the top of the body of the container, just below where it begins to taper off near the spout.  Remove the top and discard.  The next step is to cut or drill holes in the bottom of the other container for the filters to stick through.

The number of holes and their width will depend on what type of filters you decide to use.

Long, cylindrical ones work best because they are already self-contained and you don’t need to create a housing for them.  Some of them also have a stem on the bottom where the filtered water exits.  Try to find filters that have this stem, as they are the easiest to install and anchor into the filter that we are trying to make.  You can choose disposable or replacement filters depending on your needs and expectations.  Just make sure to stock up on supplies so that you will have backup filters when the originals exceed their capacity.

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Attaching the Filters

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PVC Pipe (Optional)

Take some PVC pipe that is wide enough to fit around these filters and cut it into 2-3 inch long sections.  Place these around the filter cylinders.  Place the cylinders vertically into the water dispenser and stick the stems through the holes that you just made.   Move the PVC sections so they touch the bottom of the dispenser while on the cylinders.  Take a pen or marker and trace around the PVC sections on the bottom.

Remove the filters and PVC sections.  Take the plastic epoxy or glue and smear it around the edge of the PVC sections and place them over the spots that you’ve just marked.  Hold in place until they are set.  This will be used to anchor the cylinders in place.

You can also skip the marking and just apply the adhesive directly to the PVC while they are attached to the cylinders and insert into the dispenser as well.  However, this can be messy, and the adhesive may accidentally join the PVC and cylinders together.  The weight of the cylinders may also cause the PVC to lean and prevent the PVC from being properly seated on the bottom of the dispenser.

In any case, allow the sections to dry, wash and rinse the inside of dispenser and place it atop the other one.  The top one should slide right under the rim of the cut that you made on the bottom one.

All you need to do now is place the filtration system in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight and fill with water.  Make sure that you pour less than five gallons so that the water can pass through the filters before dripping into the bottom container.  Depress the spout, pour yourself a glass, and you’re done.

Feel free to modify this basic process to create a system that is more tailored to your needs.  However, this is a great way to have a decent supply of filtered water on hand in the home.  Just remember to pay attention to how much water you are using and replace the filters as necessary.

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How to Safely Change a Tire

How to Safely Change a Tire


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Safety is Paramount

The first thing that you want to do when you get a flat is decide if it is safe to stop or not.  You want to pull over in an area that is far from the flow of traffic, has a smooth and flat surface and allows you plenty of room to work.  You also want to be in an area that is visible to others to reduce the risk of becoming a target for an opportunistic attacker or thief.

If you are pulling off to the side of the road, make sure that you turn your flashers on and set up warning devices or flares if you have them.  You may also want to consider putting on a reflective vest, such as those that road workers use in order to increase your visibility to oncoming motorists.  All of this can help to alert other motorists that you are up ahead and allow them to slow down, move out of the way or even stop and help.  Many people are killed each year because an unsuspecting motorist crashes into vehicles that are pulled off to the side of the road.

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Loosen Nuts First

It is important that you loosen all of the lug nuts on the wheel BEFORE you jack up the Vehicle.  This will minimize the chances of knocking the vehicle off of the jack once it is raised.  It will also prevent the wheel from spinning around as you try to loosen the nuts.  Don’t remove the nuts completely.  Just unscrew them enough so that they can be loosened easily with the lug wrench or by hand once the vehicle is raised off the ground.

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Lifting the Vehicle

Every vehicle has spots along the chassis either in front or behind each wheel where the jack is to be placed.  This will either be a pimple or a dimple or notch.  Find this spot and insert the jack.  Do not place the jack anywhere other than in one of these designated areas.  Otherwise, you can damage the body, crack the frame or cause the vehicle to slip and fall after the tire is removed.  You also run the risk of getting injured if your body is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Consider using some wooden blocks as chocks to place behind other wheels if you are working on an uneven or rough surface to ensure that the vehicle won’t slip or move while you are changing the tire.  You also want to make sure that the jack is firmly planted on the ground and not resting on debris or gravel.  If the ground is not as stable as you would like, place a piece of plywood beneath the jack to provide some additional support.

Jack up the vehicle until the tire is completely raised above the ground.  Make sure that you allow for some space to place the inflated spare onto the wheel as well.  Chances are that the flat tire will be compressed and require less space than the spare that you will install.

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Changing the Tire

Remove the lug nuts and place in the hub cap or somewhere else where they won’t roll away and get lost.  Pull off the flat tire by wiggling it from side to side and up and down until it can be removed completely.  Set aside.  Place the spare against the wheel and align the holes in the rim to closely match the position of the bolts on the wheel.  This will reduce the amount of adjustment that you need to make as you wrestle the new tire in place.  Keep in mind that the tire will be heavy and bulky, so the less “fine-tuning” that you need to do will save you a lot of time and energy.

Lift the tire, slide the holes in the rim over the bolts and start to reattach the lug nuts.

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Tightening the Nuts

It’s easiest to start with tightening the top lug nut before tightening one on the bottom.  Then you can attach the sides and the other bottom one.  This will vary from vehicle to vehicle, and most manuals in the glove box will show a diagram that indicates the preferred order of attachment.  However, there are really no hard-and-fast rules as long as you get all of the nuts attached and secured.  You may need to lean into the tire in order to press it against the wheel in order to get a snug fit.  Tighten each screw by hand as much as possible before finishing it off with the lug wrench after you’ve lowered the vehicle and removed the jack.  You may need to make a few passes in order to ensure that all of the nuts are secure.

Reattach the hub cap, remove the jack and place everything back in the trunk.  If you are driving on a donut, make sure that you do not exceed the recommended speed limit that is stamped on the rim of the tire.  You also want to be careful when driving over potholes, crossing train tracks or heading over uneven terrain.  Keep your driving to a minimum until you can get a new tire in order to reduce wear and tear on the donut.

Always remember to replace the damaged tire as quickly as possible.  You don’t want to be driving without a spare for too long, because you will be up the creek without a paddle if you happen to get another flat.

Finally, consider keeping an extra floor mat in the trunk, some work gloves or knee pads so that you will be more comfortable while changing a tire.  These little things can make a huge difference in terms of reducing the need to plant your knees on rough or hot roadway surfaces.

Nobody likes changing a tire, but in reality, you can get the job done a lot faster than it would take for someone to come to your location and do it for you.  Follow these guidelines and you will be able to save, time, energy and minimize the inconvenience as well as hazard of being disabled on the side of the road.

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