Archives for March 2013

Build a Backyard Waterfall and Stream

Nature is beautiful. Everything that projects this wonderful serenity of nature is also great. Waterfalls and green growth around are spectacular. Now it is possible for us to build a backyard waterfall and stream in our home. It complements other features and also provides a good place to sit and to forget the whole day’s stress. The water rippling sound as it hits the rocks and water clarity gives us the feeling that we are in the woods having adventure. Now in this article you will read how to build a back yard waterfall stream.

Materials needed-
There are few tools and materials required to complete the project. The tools include a wheelbarrow, spade, level, rubber mallet and utility knife. The required materials include, waterfall pump, horse kit, connections, gravel, clamps and ball valve, cement, PVC primer, EPDM pond liner, saw bits, waterfall foam sealant, sewage basin, lid, field and decorative boulders and an underlayment fabric.

Step by step instructions:

Step 1: A project overview-
The end result of this program is to have a stream that flows into a gravel bed, it stays clean with little maintenance. Gravel will filter the water, which is then collected by the pump at the end of the stream. The pump takes the water to the top again. The stream is gentle sloping with multiple falls as it goes down. There is also a liner and catch basin. The area around the fall needs landscaping to create a serene environment.

Step 2: Location-
As the owner, it is good to study and visualize the best location for the waterfall. It could be behind trees or at the deck. There are a few areas points that you should consider when selecting the location of the waterfall. To start with, it is good to study the soil, if it is hard to dig; a pond above the ground on the stones is advisable. However, if the soil is easy to dig, a shallow pond can be dung below the ground level. A gentle slope is needed to facilitate the flow of water. The waterfall needs a height of 4 to 6 meter to create a bubbling sound. The higher the fall, the higher the sound it produces. Above all these, the location will also depend on your preference.

Step 3: Get stones-
Various stones with different shapes will be the key to add beauty to the stream. Seek around and ask for the prices. Select a colorful, flat and oddly shaped stones both in small and big sizes. Do the same for gravel but avoid limestone as it encourages algae to grow.

Step 4: Mapping and digging-
Put the stones and boulders around the site. Mark the location of the waterfall and the stream. Likewise, mark the location of upper and lower basins. Use chalk or paint to mark the areas. Dig a hole to place the lower basin. Put stones alongside it. You can use dirt and gravels to keep the stones in place. Dig a hole 2 ft wider than the basin and of 6 ft in depth to place the basin. Prepare the upper pool as the lower one together with the stream tracks.

Step 5: Place the basins-
Starting with the lower basin, drill two holes and attach the adapter to the basin. Cement it firmly. Lay the rubber liner and fabric to the holes. Put the pump and attach the hose. Put the lid and stone layers. Remove sharp objects underneath the basin.

Step 6: Lay liner stones and water-
Lay the fabric from lower to upper basin with slacks at the bottom of each waterfall. Lay decorative stones around the pool. Make sure to put a spillway and small stone around it. Make a staircase and put gravel to invite people and birds. Spay the entire stream area with water. Put water until it rises past the layers of stone in the lower basin. Pump up the water and see it falling. Sit back and enjoy the waterfall.

Author Bio- This article is written by Tressy Jones. She writes about Home Improvement. She works for W A Air Conditioning. They provide best air conditioning services.

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How to Open a Pool after Winter Season

If you want to know how to open a pool then you’ve come to the right place. With spring around the corner we all want to get back to our pools, but we feel unsure about how this should be done. Luckily, we’ve listed a complete routine for you to make sure that the only thing you need to worry about is enjoying the season.

1.     Check chemical levels-
Make sure that you have proper inventory for your pool cleaning ready in your hand. If any of the chemicals were not stored properly or they are in low supply, then you will have to buy replacements. Chlorine for example, if left open over a prolonged period may decay and cause harm to your pool.

2.     Remove debris over the pool cover-
Over the winter dead branches, leaves and debris build up that need to be cleaned up before you remove your pool’s cover. Clean the area around your pool and do the same on the surface of your pool cover, doing this step diligently it will save your lot of time. Finally, remove the pool cover and wash it with a mild detergent to get rid of any bacteria before you move it to storage.

 3.     Inspect your pool-
If your pool is vinyl-lined, you will want to search around the edges for any rips or tears caused by rocks and other debris. If you find any torn parts this can be repaired with a patch kit available at local department store near your house. If there is something that you are unsure of then call the company representative who installed the vinyl for you.

 4.     Plugs & skimmer baskets-
You will want to remove any freeze plugs from water inlets. If you used antifreeze, than drain your pool till it is below the inlets and doing the same for the antifreeze. Next, remove winter plates from the skimmer box with care. Fit the hose from the skimmer and turn jets leading to the pump & filter.

5.     Equipment and plumbing
Reconnect the filter, pump and heater with attention to any rust or decay, if needed make necessary replacements. Check valves to see if they are open and start filling pump with water to test for priming and lubricate O-rings and gaskets.

 6.     Fill & start filtration-
Once everything is in working order, start pumping water into your pool carefully to prevent any debris from falling in. Switch on the power to the pool system and look for any type of malfunctioning, if needed contact a mechanic for repairs.

 7.     Test water
After 1-2 days use your pool water test kit to take a sample for a local pool professional to examine and make necessary adjustments. If you use a mesh cover make sure to add 2-3 gallons of liquid shock and open your pool early in April or May to let the shock treatment to settle in for about 2 weeks.Finally once everything is complete, you and your family can jump in and enjoy a clean and refreshing pool. We hope you found this article helpful on how to open a pool after winter season?

Author Bio- This post has been written by Tressy Jones. She loves to write about Home Improvement. She works for MSMechanical.com. They provide best air conditioning services.

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Pool Maintenance Essentials

Pool maintenance is very important and cannot be ignored. You should clean your pool regularly as they are open water systems that are prone to rain, snow, insects, debris and insects among others. Moreover, fallen leaves as well as other organic matter inside the pool ultimately decay and attract bacteria. Unclean water pool can lead to spread of waterborne diseases like amoebic dysentery, typhoid, cholera, gastroenteritis and salmonellosis. Some of the problems commonly associated with pools include pool discoloration, cloudy water, sharp chlorine smell, algal upsurge and itchy eyes. You can avoid these problems through proper maintenance of your pool.

1. Two times a Week:

• pH Level-
Retaining the correct water balance is vital. The pH level which refers to the level of acidity or else alkalinity should be tested two times in a week. The pH level should be a little alkaline, about 7.2-7.6. This is the pH level in which chlorine is most efficient. In addition, this pH level is the same as that of our skin. You can control this pH level by either adding an acid, like muriatic acid, or else an alkali like baking soda or soda ash depending on if the water is excessively acidic or excessively alkaline. Wrong pH levels can cause damage of pool and equipment.

• Chlorine Level-
Disinfecting the pool involves destroying bacterial as well as algal forms. Poorly sterilizing the pool makes it a procreation ground for bacteria. You can use chlorine or bromine to get rid of these bacteria as well as algae forms. Your pool water must have a 1.0-3.0 ppm level of chlorine. You can get chlorine in the form of tablet, granular or else liquid. Because a chlorine level is not constant, it is recommendable to super chlorinate the pool regularly, especially during the night while the pool is not being used.

• Check Skimmer Basket-
You must check the skimmer basket and clear of debris in order to maintain a fresh and flowing pool water. Debris like leaves, insects, bird dung and other filthy substances should be removed from the pool’s surface by means of a surface skimmer or else leaf net. Moreover, the pool tiles should be cleaned, to remove rings and froth lines, using liquid or pounded tile sanitization agents.

2. One time per Week:

• Shock Treatment-
The best method to destroy chlorine compounds I through shock treatment. It is advisable to shock the pool during the evenings as this increase the amount of chlorine in the swimming pool as well as destroys bacteria, leaving the pool shining and beautiful.

• Algaecide-
You should treat your pool every week with algaecide to control algal toxins. You must preferably do this in the morning following the shock treatment. Look for high-quality algaecide that kill the algae without destroying the pool tiles.

• Metal out-
Metal Out is a substance that gets rid of metal particles inside the water. To get rid of small metal particles that often suspend on the surface of the pool water add metal out every week.

• Clarifier-
To clear the irritating cloudy water adds a quantity of clarifier to the pool water. The clarifying agents remove particles which are very small to be trapped in the sieve. Clarifying agents make the small particles to collect together, to create bigger particles that may be discarded through vacuuming or filtration.

3. Monthly:

• Check calcium Level-
It is important to check the level of calcium in the pool water as water with very low calcium can be corrosive whereas water with high calcium can lead to scale formation. You can simply take a sample of the pool water to your nearest pool store for test.

• Alkalinity-
Right total alkalinity can prevent rapid changes of pH levels in the pool water. The right total alkalinity is 80-120 ppm, which may be adjusted by adding baking soda.

4. Mid-Season:
It is important to once in a while clean pool filters with filter cleaner degreaser as they are prone to get accumulated with oil and grease.

 

Author Bio: this article has been written by Well Back. He loves to write about Home Improvement. He is evangelist at CrossvilleHeatingandCooling.com. They provide best air conditioning services.

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Tips for Planning Your Pool

Though planning and building a pool can be an exciting experience for the people who know how to tackle the things but if you are not familiar with the things then you should read out tips planning pool provided in this article. You should be aware of the ways of building a pool in your backyard if you are ready for it.

Creating photo-book:

A photo-book containing various ideas for planning your pool can be a good attempt in this direction as you can get the idea of types and styles of pools to choose for your place. You can search on social networking sites and various other websites to find these photos. You can share the information collected from online search with your pool builder to start the pool building work according to the plan settled between you and your builder.

Establishing the budget:

The construction of pool is costly affair so its budget should be considered while planning your backyard pool. You should first of all fix a budget of building pool so that you can start the construction work accordingly. Though you can extend the budget if needed but initially it is necessary to ascertain the budget for it.

Choose the right building materials:

Because this project will ultimately be a water containment unit, it is important not to take an short cuts with choosing the building materials.  Choosing quality materials will make the poll last longer with minimal care.

Using the trusted resources:

You should contact the reliable pool builders and designers after consulting your family and friends who had recently built up pools in their homes. You can also read out the reviews provided on the pool builders’ site to decide in this respect.

Wisely select the location:

The location of your pool is next essential part of pool planning. Before building the pool in your backyard you should think over various aspects that can affect its suitability like soil quality, surrounding views and privacy.

Consider the frequency of use:

The frequency of using the pool is one of the necessary tips planning pool which can be helpful in planning its construction in much better way. You can add various other facilities like landscape lighting, water heaters, slides etc. if you are going to use it very frequently.

Know the rules:

You should go through local pool building rules and regulations before starting the pool construction at your home as there may be some restrictions from local authorities as per the situation of your home.

Green environment:

Building an eco-friendly environment around your pool will not only save your money but also provide a green and attractive look to the location. You can also avail various incentives from the local authorities for your green thoughts.

Maintenance of pool:

It should also be essential part of your planning before building it. The balancing of Ph and cleanliness of the pool water should be easy. You should also consider while planning your pool whether you can maintain it yourself or want to engage some service providing company for this purpose. The pool building contractor can help you in contacting some reputed service provider for the proper maintenance of your pool.

Insurance for the pool:

Insurance cover is also an essential part of your pool planning for the safety of the users and the pool itself. You can contact an insurance agent for this kind of services.

Safety of the users:

Safety of the children, animals and other guests around the pool is another important issue among the tips of planning pool. You can put alarms, fencing and various other safety covers at different layers to ensure this issue.

Author Bio: This post has been written by Well Back. He loves to write about Home Improvement and Technology. He is recommends AireCentral.net for heating and cooling service.

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540 Gallon Custom Aquarium

540 Gallon AquariumI recently built a 540 gallon aquarium.

A unique 540 gallon aquarium however. In fact, the first of its kind. I wanted to take two completely separate 130 gallon aquariums, use both of their front and back long panels, and create as single large square aquarium.

Sounds easy enough right?

These two aquariums were each 6 foot aquariums. I bought them second hand for about $1 a gallon (which is a cheap way to buy big pieces of glass!).

Now that I had my glass, it was time to put this thing together. Now obviously, I had only 4 sides. This tank was to be a tank that was 6’X6’X2’ (2’ tall). I was missing a bottom piece however. Since this tank was going to be in my basement, a 6×6’ bottom glass piece was not only going to be impossible to get down there, but also far too expensive.

So after weigh all of my options and methods to create a bottom for it, I settled on a plywood bottom. I have built plywood/glass aquariums in the past, but never like this.

Ultimately, the key to a plywood aquarium is what you water proof it with. What I water proofed it with is the focus of this article. Why? You will see why if you read on.

First and foremost, there is a plethora of products you could possibly use. Now, some of you may know who I am, while others do not. My real name is Joey Mullen. I am also known as “Uarujoey” or “The king of DIY” on YouTube. I make videos on DIY projects for my YouTube channel, which happens to be the most popular aquarium channel on YouTube.

That creates a bit of pressure for me as you can imagine… thousands would be watching this build. So I wanted to make sure I not only picked the right product, but it also had to meet, if not exceed, my expectations.

I settled on Pond Armor. Why? You already know why… You are on their website right now, almost entirely due to being referred or based on their reputation.  That’s what brought me.

What made me actually commit to using it? Well, for starters, the reviews. They are all amazing.  More importantly, the price. The price per square foot beats anything else in its class, which is hard to compare, as Pond Shield is in a class of its own.

Then there was the fact that Pond Shield is non-toxic. This is a HUGE importance. We keep pets that cost a lot of money, not to mention, we love them. We need something that is going to be safe.

The color selection Pond Shield comes in is also something unseen. The ability to choose the color I want, instead of using a color that is simply available is a HUGE plus for me. So I was able to make my decision off of these simple points alone. Now the REAL wow factors happened when I received the product and started applying it.

All I did was follow the simple and easy to read instructions that come with the product. In doing so, I was successful with it. I felt it was far easier to apply then I thought it would be.  If you can stir a stick, and paint a piece of wood… you can do this!540 Gallon Aquarium

Ok, so it was easy to use…. what else?

Once applied, I had the option to apply the next coat a short while later, or wait until the next day and sand/apply the second coat. This is a huge plus… I didn’t have to baby sit it. I basically got to pick how quickly I applied it (while following instructions)

After a short while, I had the Pond Shield applied and cured in the required thickness.

Now this was my favorite part. This stuff had a finish that looked and felt like glass! This was a HUGE plus. I could apply suction cups to it if needed, and cleaning it would be a breeze. Not to mention silicone would stick to it after I sand the area I was applying silicone to.  And by stick I mean It’s basically permanent! Perfect! I was able to simply silicone my glass panels into place!

At the end of the day there was not a single thing I didn’t like about it. Even when I tried to find some negatives in it, I couldn’t. Although I did drip some on my cement floor, I figured it would be easier to remove cured paint rather than wet (in this case), I simply let it cure which was bad idea. After curing, I couldn’t get the Pond Shield off the floor unless I took a hammer and chisel to it! I ended up removing bits of my cement floor to get it up. So adhesion I guess you could say well, don’t worry about it sticking to whatever you need it to stick to!

Will I use it again? YUP! I won’t only use it, but whenever anyone needs a recommendation on a water proofing agent for their aquarium or pond, you can bet I will be telling them all about Pond Shield.

I hope this is enough to help with your decision whether Pond Shield is right for you or not. If not the product, the customer service you will experience with Pond Armor is world class. Give your fish what they deserve, and you will not regret it!

Pond Armor certainly gets my seal of approval!

Joey Mullen…

AKA “UaruJoey”

AKA   “The King of DIY”

You can view my complete tutorial on this build on You Tube

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