Monday, August 20, 2012

Fun Black Light Party Ideas

If you don’t want your next party to be just like every other average party that you go to, you may want try black light party ideas. It’s a fun and cool looking theme that is sure to be memorable and get your party guests talking.

 Black light party ideas are great for young kids and teens alike. So they also make a unique birthday party theme. But don’t think that only kids have to have all the fun, they can also be a whole lot of fun for adults as well. That’s because the effects of black lights are still fascinating to many people, regardless of age. A black light party may take some extra planning than other party themes may but it will be worth it.

Of course the most basic need for your black light party ideas will be to have enough black lights to cover the room. You can find black light bulbs in a variety of sizes. The rest of the planning just takes some creativity.

 Black Light Party Ideas: Invitations The hype for many parties starts with the invitation. Your black light party ideas need invitations to get people excited about the possibilities of the concepts. It’s important to use the black light theme with the invitation so they know what to expect. You can do this fairly easily with some basic craft work yourself. Just buy some basic black construction paper to cut up for the invitations. Then use a variety of glow in the dark markers to write the details. You can even encourage the invited guests to read it in the dark to drive home the theme better. On your invitation you may want to do more than just mention it will be a black light party. You may also want to encourage people to wear all white clothes or neon accents so that everybody glows in the dark. This can give the party an even more surreal effect.

 Black Light Party Ideas: Decorations You want your black light party room to be as dark as possible to get the best results. So one of the best things you can do to help this is to have it, either in a room with no windows, or one with the windows covered in black material. There are some black light reactive ropes and other materials you can use to decorate with. But you can also use rope led lights or fiber optic lights. There are other fun lighting options that you can do for short periods of time like strobe or disco lighting. To give your black light party more of a fun, surreal atmosphere, you can even use a fog machine or bubble machine. These are usually available for purchase or rental at most party supply stores. Glow sticks also can have many uses in a black light party. They can be decoration for table center pieces, party favors for your guests. One very unique idea with glow sticks is by inserting them in balloons. This makes a fun, bouncing light that your guests will enjoy passing around the room—you may even be inspired to make a game out of it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

3 Reasons Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

My first microwave was some contraption from the 50s left over by my grandparents when they moved.  It weighed what seemed like 100 pounds and made noises you don’t expect to hear when your food is cooking.  Worst of all, if you turned it on while the deck light and the basement lights were on, the cooking lasted 30 seconds until the entire house went dark.  

Sound familiar?  Circuit breaker problems can be quite the hassle.  Fixing the problem can be simple, but will often require a professionally trained electrician.  Before we can find the solution however, we have to find out why your circuit breaker keeps tripping.

1. Faulty Wiring
If you recently moved into a newly built home or just had your home rewired and are having circuit breaker problem, this might be caused by a wiring problem.  Nobody is perfect.  A mistake in wiring is not uncommon.  You may first notice this problem in electric switch malfunction.  Unfortunately, a problem such as this may require a lot of work, since the entire wiring system will have to be looked at by an electrician.

Residents of an older home in which the circuit breaker keeps tripping could be experiencing a blessing in disguise when it comes to faulty wiring.  A badly wired electrical system, especially one that combines older and newer electrical systems, can lead to severe problems and even fire.

2. Short Circuit
Speaking of severe, here’s another common reason that could explain why your circuit breaker keeps tripping.  A short circuit occurs when a “hot” wire comes into contact with another wire.  You may notice because of electrical equipment malfunction, a burning smell, or melted wiring.

Short circuits are dangerous because they have the potential to start fires.  What complicates matters is that short circuits can occur at any point in your electrical system, so finding this alarming problem can be difficult.  If you suspect a short circuit, you need to get a professional electrician on the case.

3. Overload
Remember that microwave problem I mentioned?  It turns out ancient appliances draw a lot of power.  If your circuit breaker keeps tripping you may be having the same problem we had—electrical overload.  Your circuit breaker is designed to take on a specific electrical load.  Anything higher than that defined load will cause the circuit breaker to shut off.

Each electrical item on a circuit adds a certain load to the system.  If you have a microwave, TV, computers and a hair dryer all running on a circuit breaker not intended to take that much of a load—
lights out.  This problem can have a simple fix.  Don’t run all of these items at the same time.  Otherwise the circuit breaker keeps tripping.

Whenever you’re circuit breaker keeps tripping, keep your safety in mind.  Any victim of electric shock can tell you that wires are not something to play around with if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Likewise, if you’re going to get help, make sure it’s from a certified electrician.  Your buddy Joe may say he’s seen every kind of electrical system known to man, but are you willing to bet your home on it?

If you are in the Oklahoma City or Tulsa area, I would recommend visiting a professional electrical maintenance company.

Hard to Deal with Hard Water

A review of Easy Water's no-chemical water softener.

Hard water is common problem affecting homes using city water or well water.  High mineral content in water can cause problems in your home, and some studies have shown a possible link to health problems. Your home’s plumbing can be clogged and damaged over time due to mineral accumulation, and nobody likes to deal with the pesky soap scum that it causes.  A company called Easy Water developed a possible solution for hard water, a variety of no-maintenance-required products designed to reverse the effects of hard water.  However, since some have found no success in the water softening promised by Easy Water, complaints have arisen from skeptics.

Source of Easy Water complaints

Most Easy Water complaints come from former buyers who have found that the company’s product did nothing to reverse the effects of hard water on their home’s water supply.  This has become a particularly contentious point considering how important reducing hard water can be in a household.  Several customers feel as though they entrusted Easy Water with protecting their property as well as keeping toxins from their drinking water, and were mislead.  Several plumbers have also voiced their skepticism to Easy Water’s promises, noting that hard water build up in pipes hasn’t been solved by Easy Water’s products.

What does Easy Water do?

Easy water offers a solution to hard water that doesn’t involve putting chemicals into your water system.  The most instrumental product offered for this is the no-salt conditioner, which removes the hard-water particles with electro-magnetism and keeps pipes clean, saving the buyer money and the hassle that comes with other water softeners that require more effort from the homeowner.  The product, as well as several other Easy Water products, is supposedly maintenance- free.  Easy Water complaints have voiced customers’ unhappiness with the results.

Easy Water complaints from skeptics

Several skeptics and easy water users have found that the products that are supposed to miraculously reverse the problems presented by hard water are simply a sham design to lure in unsuspecting buyers.  Some easy water complaints have pointed to the product as a sort of placebo.  The manufacturer tells the buyer that all he needs to do is set this product in the water system and sit back while it magically removes unwanted minerals and toxins from the water system.  Because the buyer has seen it on TV and trusts the manufacturer, he throws money at Easy Water and sits back while nothing happens.  

Are Easy Water complaints valid?

You’ll be hard pressed to find many sources supporting the claims that easy water makes.  Complaint after complaint has been recorded claiming that the installation of devices such as the Easy Water no-salt conditioner not only doesn’t solve the problem of hard water, but also makes a home water system more susceptible to its damaging effects.  However, there are some who believe Easy Water to be a tried and true method of water softening, claiming that it resolves some of the side effects of other water softeners such as the slimy feel of the water when using salt.

Easy Water's promotional video:

Adam does work for Country Leisure—a manufacturer of hot tubs Oklahoma City trusts.  He writes about home improvement trends and home recreation development, part of the smart life... Google