Friday, March 23, 2012

Installing a Ball Valve

Cutaway of a simple manual ball valve 1) Body ...Cutaway of a simple manual ball valve 1) Body 2) Head 3) Ball 4) Lever handle 5) Stem Italiano: Sezione di valvola a sfera :1) corpo :2) tenute o sede :3) otturatore (la sfera vera e propria) :4) leva di azionamento :5) stelo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Installing a ball valve can be a fairly difficult process, and it is something that can easily be done wrong, resulting in wasted time and money making fixes. Worst of all, installing a ball valve  improperly is essentially installing a safety hazard for you and everyone around. Follow these easy steps to make sure you install your ball valves properly and safely:

Double check to make sure everything is turned off! Sounds like a no-brainer, but it you don't want a big mess to clean up.

Holding the ball valve against the pipe, make marks on the pipe with a marker so you know  where the pipe needs to be cut. Make sure you don't cut off too much, as part of the pipe should sit inside the ball valve. It's always easier to cut too little instead of too much!

Put towels underneath the pipe before cutting the pipe. With your pipe cutters, slip them over the pipe, tighten and rotate them around until the pipe is cut.

Follow proper instructions for installing the particular type of ball valve you have. Once installed, make sure you test it at a low pressure.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Help push the Pickens Plan. Wind Power across the Great Plains.

Studies from around the world show that the Great Plains states are home to the greatest wind energy potential in the world — by far. The Department of Energy reports that 20% of America's electricity can come from wind. North Dakota alone has the potential to provide power for more than a quarter of the country.
Today's wind turbines stand up to 410 feet tall, with blades that stretch 148 feet in length. The blades collect the wind's kinetic energy. In one year, a 3-megawatt wind turbine produces as much energy as 12,000 barrels of imported oil... How do we get it done? The Pickens Plan is a bridge to the future — a blueprint to reduce foreign oil dependence by harnessing domestic energy alternatives, and buy us time to develop even greater new technologies.
Building new wind generation facilities and better utilizing our natural gas resources can replace more than one-third of our foreign oil imports in 10 years. But it will take leadership.Pickens Plan

This post was written by Offgrid and originally appeared here