How to Clean Your Hot Water Tank using Vinegar

Most of the house has a hot water tank to get hot water for bathing and other uses. But the efficiency of these water tanks keeps getting low as time passes. This is because there are certain minerals and calcium present in water that keeps settling up to the base of the water tank and this cause the tank to use more energy to heat water.

The great way to check your home is using your energy and giving you hot water efficiently in minimum time is to ensure your water tank is acting normal.

How to Clean Your Hot Water Tank using Vinegar

One of the general way to get these minerals out of your tank is to empty it. However, there are always chances that all the minerals will not come out with that so adding a little vinegar in the tank can do the rest. Vinegar acts as cleaning agent and breaks down the settled minerals so that they can come out of the tank easily.

So, follow the below procedure to take out the gunk out of the hot water tank.

Tools and things you require to do this job

  • Vinegar
  • Wrench socket
  • Hose and bucket
  • Funnel and Teflon tape
  • Towel

How to add vinegar to the hot water tank?

This procedure is time taking and if you are not sure that you can do this then call the professional technician for this. However, this maintenance task is easy, everyone can’t do this easily.

Removal of Anode rod

This is the first step that you need to do. Follow the below steps in order to do it easily.

Turn off the power to the tank – Find the home circuit break and turn it off so that your hot water tank would not receive any power.

Open a home faucet – you just need to open a faucet which provides hot water and is attached to the tank. Doing this would not create a vacuum and the water will easily drain out from the tank. You can open the faucet a little only and put a bucket below so that your water is not wasted and keeps moving into the system.

Attach the hose to the drain valve – This is the time when you require the tool as you need to place the valve to the base of the tank. Turn the level to the off position and your work is done.

Turn off the cold water entering the tank – You just have to turn off the lever. You will see a pipe that is attached to the tank from the above. This is the cold water inlet to the tank.

Drain water from hot water tank – In this step, you have to drain water just small amount of water not the whole water present in the tank. Open up the drain valve, this is located at the bottom of the tank. Allow some water to drain out from the tank. Now, close the faucet you opened in the previous step. You can also empty the water from the tank in a bucket but if your tank is larger then you must have to dump water 3-4 times from the bucket.

Find the location of anode rod – You have to find the location of the anode rod and remove it. Anode rod is a metal rod which is placed in the tank to prevent the rust from building inside the tank. Generally, it is located at the top of the tank and is covered by a lid. So, in order to take out the anode rod you would have to remove the lid first. This lid is screwed so use a screw driver to take out the screws placed and then remove it from the tank.

Once the lid is removed, use a wrench to loosen the socket and carefully take it out as it may be rusted from inside or eroding.

Add vinegar to the Tank

Pour the vinegar in the tank – Since, you can access the tank now it is the time to add the vinegar solution to the tank. So, take the funnel and place that in the place from where you took out the anode rod. Pour the vinegar and once it is done take out the funnel and place that aside.

Placing the anode rod in its place – Now, if your anode rod is in good condition, place the same rod in its place from where you took it out. In case it needs to be replace put a brand new anode rod and then tighten it with the wrench. You can also use a Teflon tape to ensure it is air tight.

Adding water to the tank – Since we have already placed the anode rod back inside, now we have to add some water to the tank. Open the cold water valve and let the water go into the tank for 5-10 minutes. In 5-10 minutes the tank will not get full but it will stir the vinegar to the whole tank.

Keep the vinegar solution inside the tank for 5-6 hours– The solution that we have put inside need time to break up the mineral deposits at the base and other parts of the tank. So, let it remain inside the tank for more time if possible. Also, let everyone in your family know about this.

Drain the water and vinegar solution from the hot water tank– The water and vinegar solution would have done the work in 5-6 hrs and therefore, it is time to drain out the solution from the tank. Open a faucet as we did earlier and then open the drain valve. The solution will start draining out with the sediments of the materials. If gets clogged, use your hand and clear up the hose.

Fill the tank again – Since the tank is now cleaned from the vinegar solution, it is time to refill the tank again. Remember to close the drain valve before filling up the tank.

Supply the power to the tank – Go to the circuit breaker from where you stopped the power supply to the tank and turn on the power.

Voila! You have cleaned your hot water tank and now your tank will show its efficiency again.

The Easiest Way To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

The Easiest Way To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

Traditional hardwood flooring is one of the best wood flooring options but there are different alternatives to that which are easy to install and a bit cheaper than hardwood. Vinyl plank flooring is one of them.

Vinyl plank flooring requires relatively less skill and experience as compared to the hardwood flooring but gives the same look to your home.

The Easiest Way To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

This guide is all about preparing vinyl plank flooring and how you can easily install to your home.

Prepare the floor before installing

Before starting the vinyl plank flooring the one thing that you need to check out first is the floor. The floor should be smooth as an uneven floor can give you unexpected bumps and wear faster. So, check out the uneven surfaces, the planks, and the staples and nails which are making the floor hazardous for your flooring.

Use a floor scrapper to smoothen the surface and making it even. However, if the uneven surface is too high then use a floor grinder instead.

This will produce a lot of dirt so clean the mess up and sweep out the dust from the floor.

Planning your layout

Planning the layout is very essential as you need to think from where you need to start the flooring. We would recommend to start the flooring from a wall and take it to the outwards. Better if you can test the flooring set up before you start as if anything goes wrong you will have to redo the same work again.

If you test first, then you would have an idea from where to start the work and how to set up the planks so that valuable time is not wasted up.

Removing the trims

You must remove the trims and casing before you start the installation of the plank. You can remove them easily with a pry bar as most of them are attached through nails and removing the nails would remove them from the surface.

If you don’t want to remove any of them and want to keep as it is then your work will become more as you will have to cut the planks and adjust them accordingly. Only do this if it very important to keep.

Cutting the vinyl planks

Cutting is an easy task that anyone can do but you need to take care of some of the thinks before doing it.

It is better and easy if you first measure the floor and planks and then mark it so that while cutting it all the planks are of the same size as you need during the flooring. Use a saw or a knife that can cut the plank easily and smoothly. Draw a straight line or align the planks and cur them straight.

Connecting the Planks

Connecting planks is not very difficult as they are prepared in such a way that they connect to each other easily. All the planks come with a locking mechanism.

Each plank edge has a locking system to the other plank you just need to place the plank at the 45-degree angle and then place the top edge of the plank with the receiving edge of another. Both the planks will lock itself and it would not be visible when to put it on floor.

Use a rubber mallet on the bottom and edge of the plank while connecting. This will make it tightly fit to one another.

Cut the planks around the corners

Most of the home have walls with protruding edges. In this case, you would need to cut the edges lengthwise or width wise to complete the installation. So, mark the portions where you need to cut the edges and then cut it off through a saw or a utility knife.

Installing the trims again

Now that you have cut the planks and installed it around the protrusions, your work is done. Take a look and see how well you have done it! Now, reattach the trims and casings, you can use an electric nailer for this.

Advantages of vinyl flooring

You have already gone through the steps of installing the vinyl planks to your home floors. But, do you know the advantages of this. Let’s have a look at the advantages below.

  • One of the best advantages of vinyl planks is that they are water proof. So, you don’t have to worry about the water spills as it will not cause any harm to your flooring. So, you can use it for your home floorings, cafes, bathrooms, kitchens and basements.
  • These are durable and can be used in commercial spaces too. They can even withstand heavy traffic.
  • Vinyl flooring is easy to maintain and you just have to sweep it regularly and mop it weekly. This will keep the floor look great as always.
  • There are a lot of varieties of vinyl planks available in the market with rigid core construction. You can also get a hand-sculpted textures with a thickness of 8mm making it more durable.
  • DIY installation can be done easily with click-lock or gluing down the planks.
  • It is cheaper, durable and affordable as compared to hardwood flooring.

Types of vinyl plank flooring

There are 5 different types of vinyl planks which can be used as per the traffic on the floor.

They are:

  1. Luxury Vinyl Plank
  2. Core Vinyl (Rigid vinyl) plank
  3. Stone plastic composite vinyl plank
  4. Hybrid Vinyl plank
  5. Wood Plastic Composite Vinyl Plank

Wrapping it up

There are a lot of flooring options in the market and you might get confused with which one to use for your home. But, believe me, you should always use the flooring material which is best suited for your family. If you use Vinyl planks, then also you have a lot of option depending upon the traffic on the floor.

However, for home, you should also think about the water spills and how they can harm different floors. Vinyl floors are water-resistant and affordable, at the same time gives the same luxury look what you get in a hardwood luxury flooring.…

The Joy of Sowing Seed – Straight Into the Garden!

As march passes and April comes, the weather becomes a little warm and the weather starts settling down. This weather is best suited for the hardening of transplants and therefore we start setting up the beds and get ready to sow the new plants that are well suited for the warm weather. We directly sow the warm season crops directly into the ground and they start developing as the time moves on.

Why should we directly sow seeds outdoors?

Outdoor direct sowing is something that is being done from hundreds of years and there is no doubt that this is the fast and most reliable way to get big results without caring for the transplants.

You can use some of the tools that can easily be found on online shopping websites. This is also a fact that most of the summer crops give better results when sown directly into the ground. When sown directly, their root system goes deeper into the ground and therefore they can survive better even in drought.

In spring season too, we directly sow most of the plats like pumpkins, corn, snap beans, summer squash and so on.

In mid-may when summer is about to go at the peak, we sow melons, watermelons, cucumbers, peanuts, beans, and cotton. Most of them are fruits that are good to have in summer, having a lot of water.

Most of the gardeners who have done tomatillo and ground cherry farming knows that nightshades are not enough to sow these plant seeds.

What happens to the root system when not sown directly to the ground?

These plants can develop deep ground rots when sown directly to the ground whereas when they are shown in a pot or nursery, these plants develop spread out root system which is of no use in case they are not watered regularly.

The deep roots go much deeper into the ground and break up during transplanting. However, they are better preparing for summer. When you chose any of the plants for transplanting what you search for? The only thing we search for and thin them out by is their environment adapting power adaptation to the sun, insects, and wind.

To direct sow squash, melons, okra, or some other crop that requires a broad spacing, just “station-sow”: sow four or three seeds to every place in which you would like a plant. You might choose to sow a bit more intensely than you want transplants since this can assist in preventing the seed from drying out. You will have to pay particular attention to keeping the ground moist while the seeds are germinating.

Now, it is the time for your seeds to germinate and emerge. Once they start showing true leaves then you need to thin them so that they could not be the reason for shades to the other plants nearby. Always choose those seeds which are sturdiest to save for the future and keep the remaining once different before they reach the ground. It only means that you should have a proper distance between both types of seeds.

It’s better to soak the seeds before sowing them up to the ground directly. The water will pump up the seeds and now the seeds have power to even survive in low water.

So, this year try to direct sow the seeds to the ground rather than going for transplants. You would really be surprised to see their time to transplant. You would also come to learn that they can easily thrive in drought than transplants.

How to soften the seed shell?

There are three different methods of softening the seed shell and germination. These are bag method, cup method and freezer method.

Let’s start with Bag method.

Bag method

This method is best suited for difficult situations where you have a problem in sprouting up the seeds.

  • Use a coffee bag or towel and soak that well with water.
  • Keep the seeds in between the folded towel and put it into zip lock bag and seal them.
  • Now, keep that bag onto the heating surface. (60-70 Fahrenheit temperature is ideal)
  • Spray the bag everyday with water.
  • You will see the seeds sprouting up in a few days. You can now place it into the pot.

Cup method

  • Get a 2.5 ounce gelatine cup. Don’t get confused by the name. You can get these at the party supply store.
  • Now, you have damp a towel and put it at the bottom of the cup.
  • Place the seeds on the top layer of the towel and keep the lid over it.
  • The last step is to leave the cup at a place where it can get 60-70 degree Fahrenheit temperature.
  • Spray with water every day and in few days’ seeds will start germinating.

Once you get the germinated seeds, you can put it in a pot or sow it to the ground.

Freezer method

As the name suggests, this method requires a freezer in your house. If you have a freezer, then use this method.

  • Keep the seeds into the freezer for at least 2 days.
  • Now, take out the seeds from the freezer and keep in inside the folded paper towel.
  • Damp the towel with water every day.
  • Put the folded towel with seeds in a plate and cover it.
  • Now, keep the plate to a warm place where the temperature range is 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep checking the germination, in a few days you will see the seeds germinating.
  • Use the germinated seeds and sow it to your pot or ground.

Tips for germinating seeds

  • One of the important thing to consider is the temperature as this is very important for the seeds to grow. Ideally, 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit is best suited for germination of seeds.
  • Always use two to three germination methods to grow seeds. Try some of the seeds first and the germination method which best suits your seeds use that one only for the rest of the seeds.
  • Always make sure that the place where you have sowed the seeds never gets dry as at an early stage of germination seeds require proper watering.

Tips and Tricks for Composting at Home

Before going forward, I would like to ask a question, do you really love gardening? If yes, then you won’t get a better option than home composting to keep your plants healthy. It is simply very easy and at the same time makes waste useful and not just for filling up the land.

Tips and Tricks for Composting at Home

So, in this article, we have listed out the steps to create your pile of compost for your garden. Go through the steps below to make compost at your home for your garden.

Step 1- choose your container

Choosing the container simply means going for container size and type depending upon the amount of compost you need. The garden area and space available to use for composting also need to be taken into consideration.

If you are composting outside in a place where you get sunlight, then you need 3’ X 3’ bin. Better keep a small bin in your kitchen and then empty it the bin placed outside for composting.

The waste that you are collecting needs to be turned weekly so get a tumbler or something big where you can rotate this easily. However, you can keep your waste pile in an open-air if they are brown ones. But, when you use tumbler you can keep this upside down and the moisture and heat will do the rest.

Step 2- Ingredient Mix

Ingredient mix refers to mixing up the brown and green waste. It is always advised to keep 30 parts of carbon and 1-part nitrogen. You can simply say as this needs to be maintained in the ration of 30:1.

Brown waste constitute wood chips, sawdust, newspaper and dry waste whereas green waste are the kitchen wastes such as eggshells, fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds and tea.

Always remember not to use the waste from fish, meat, dairy and pet as these will do more harm than good by attracting pests.

Caring

Compost piles require very low maintenance. You just need to add both the wastes regularly, green and brown ones. You also need to turn it weekly making sure that the bacteria do their work.

Once you see that your compost is dark and smells like soil then now it is ready. However, you must do the baggie test. In this test, you have to take out some of the compost and seal in in a bag. Now, keep the bag sealed for 2-3 days and then open it. If you get a stinky smell out of that then your compost is not done whereas if there is no smell change then your compost is done and don’t require any extra work.

You are good to use this compost for your gardening. Use it for your garden plants and make them healthy.

Some extra tips for home composting

  • Composting needs time, so go for good amount of it rather than creating a small amount. Get a bigger bin as it depends upon the bin size.
  • Combining different materials are good for a healthier compost full of nutrients for plants.
  • Open air composting is good but always ensure to add a layer of organic fertilizer or previous compost and add some water so that the composting bacteria keep doing their work easily.
  • In summer brown waste are less or no and we are full of green waste so store pine needles and brown materials for later use.
  • You have to wait for the compost so don’t panic and wait patiently. The bacterial will show its magic and you would be really happy with the nutrients that you would be providing to your garden plants.

Things you should compost

  • Newspaper
  • Egg shells
  • Wood chips
  • Saw dust
  • Hair and fur
  • Cardboard
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruits and vegetable peels
  • House plants
  • Leaves

Things you must not compost

  • Tree leaves of Black walnut – The leaves of this plant releases substance that are harmful for plants
  • Ash of charcoal or Coal – They may contain some of the substance which can make the plants dead.
  • Dairy products like milk, yogurt – They stink more and also attracts rodents and pests.
  • Diseased plants or their leaves – The diseases of that plant can get transferred to the other plants.
  • Meat or fish bones and left overs – They can stink and even attract pets and rodents which can make you plants dead or diseased.
  • Fats, lard or oils – They create odour problems when composting. Also attracts pests.
  • Pet wastes – These can contain bacteria, parasites, germs, viruses harmful to humans and pets.
  • Chemical pesticides – Never use chemical pesticides for plants as they can kill the useful bacteria which composts. Always check before using any of them.

Benefits of composting

Composting has a lot of benefits and therefore it is even recommended by soil and environmental experts. Listed below are some of the major benefits of composting.

  • They enrich the soil and keep them moist for a long time.
  • Composting can also prevent plants from diseases.
  • You don’t need chemical fertilizers if you do composting.
  • They help in the production of bacteria that is really essential and stops them which are not essential or harmful.
  • You get a material which is enriched with nutrients.
  • They also nearly stop the emission of harmful methane has.
  • Also helps in lowering down the carbon footprint.

Wrapping it Up

The compost gets ready in nearly three to five weeks. If you purchase a good compost bin, then you don’t have to worry about any smell coming from the compost. On the other hand, these compost can enrich your soil and provide a nutrient natural ingredient that can protect your plants from diseases and rodents.

So, we will just give you our last recommendation that getss a bin from the nearby hardware store which is best suited for the amount of compost you need for your garden. Always keep turning your piles once a week and keep a track of what you throw for the compost.…