Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What is the expected life of an UPS battery?

All APC batteries should last three to five years. Below are some guidelines to ensure optimum life expectancy:

1. Make sure that the APC UPS battery is kept in a cool, dry location with plenty of ventilation. Ideally, the temperature where a UPS is kept should not exceed 75° F (24° C). Also, for ventilation purposes, leave roughly one to two inches on each side for proper airflow.

2. Only perform runtime calibrations on the UPS one or two times a year, if necessary. Some of our customers want to check their systems to verify that their runtime is sufficient. However, consistently performing these calibrations can significantly decrease the life expectancy of your APC battery. Click here for more information on runtime calibration.

3. Do not store APC batteries for extended periods of time. New batteries can be stored for 6 to 12 months. After this period, the battery should be used or it will lose a great deal of its charge. It is not advisable to store batteries that have already been in use.

4. Do not exceed 80 percent of a UPS unit’s rated capacity due to the reduction in run time. When loads increase, runtime lessens. In the event of a power failure, a UPS loaded to full capacity will drain and discharge its battery quickly and will lessen the life expectancy.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Proper Disposal of Asbestos Containing Materials


Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance made from silica which is now banned due to its link with myriad health complications. While its use can be traced back centuries, it was primarily used between the turn of the 20th century through the late 1970s in industrial capacities.
Asbestos is a fibrous material which lent itself well to construction compounds. It was used in most capacities as an insulation and fireproofing compound, which could be added to a number of different materials. Many of these materials still exist today. In fact, asbestos-containing materials can be found in nearly 80 percent of structures built before 1978.

What to Do About Asbestos

It is important to remember that not all these materials pose an immediate threat. Asbestos must be rendered “friable” to be considered hazardous. Friable asbestos fibers are those which are within a damaged or aged compound and can potentially be released into the air. When materials contain friable asbestos, they must be disposed of. However, there are a great deal of governmental regulations in place to ensure that these materials are disposed of properly and safely.
  • Firstly, a concerned home or building owner should begin a dialogue with an asbestos consulting service to ensure the material is indeed hazardous and friable.
  • Next it is important to choose a properly licensed asbestos abatement company to remove the material. These companies are specially licensed to remove and dispose of asbestos in safe and appropriate manners.
Those who find that they have asbestos within their home that is not yet hazardous should monitor the material regularly and be careful not to disturb the compound. If these materials are intact and undisturbed, they will not pose an immediate hazard.

Health Hazards

Asbestos was banned in the late ’70s because of the clear connection between those exposed to it and the development of the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma. No level of exposure is safe and even tests which indicate the presence of small asbestos samples should be taken seriously. By taking proper precautions you can ensure your home or office’s safety.

In quaint Avila Beach Calif, oil firm plans resort where crude once spilled

Diesel fuel, gasoline and crude, it turned out, had been saturating the soil under the town and its quaint beach for years. Public health advocates and the state accused Unocal of spilling toxic substances into a source of drinking water.
Unocal signed one of largest environmental settlements in California history: an agreement to cleanse Avila Beach.......

The project is seen by many as inevitable — even, potentially, transformative. But bitterness from 'the trauma' lingers for some.

AVILA BEACH, Calif. — Pretty regularly, the clouds cartwheel in from the sea and sock everybody in around here, except tiny Avila Beach. It'll be dreary up in Morro Bay and dreadful down in Pismo, but here, the hills cut through the fog and leave a little circle of sunshine. It's a microclimate, technically. But locals like to think of it as a halo.

Things often seem to just happen here, whether it's a feeding frenzy of humpback whales in the bay or a nude volleyball game over at Pirate's Cove. It had been a charmed Central Coast existence, with one disastrous exception: a massive leak from an oil tank farm that sent 400,000 gallons of petrochemicals oozing under the town.

This was not just any oil spill — it was an underground lake of muck that built up over decades, polluting Avila Beach so severely before it was discovered in 1989 that the town had to be destroyed, effectively, to be saved.

Much of Avila Beach, including its entire business district, had to be torn down and reconstructed, its iconoclastic, working-class character, many believe, lost in a thicket of bulldozers, lawyers and regulators.
Today, a final chapter to that saga is underway: An oil company wants to build a resort on the very piece of land where the spill originated.

The development is viewed by many area officials as an inevitability — even, potentially, a transformative addition, one that would mark the opening of a spectacular seaside property to the public for the first time in a century.

But among some of the salty old guard in Avila Beach, word of the resort proposal has been sobering — as if the bitterness associated with "the trauma," as one official called it, was always just a shovelful away, like the crude oil that once permeated the dirt.

"Whoever's got the billions and the trillions always gets the last laugh, right?" said Michael Reichman, who was born here in 1962. Reichman sipped his coffee with a friend the other morning at Avila Grocery & Deli, a Front Street pillar. "It's a joke."

In 1906, Union Oil Co. built the oil tank farm on 95 acres just south of San Luis Obispo. By World War II, 2 million gallons of crude oil a day was being pumped from huge storage vats into tankers in the bay. The pipes went right under Front Street.

In 1989, a man was working on his basement when he struck oil.

Diesel fuel, gasoline and crude, it turned out, had been saturating the soil under the town and its quaint beach for years. Public health advocates and the state accused Unocal of spilling toxic substances into a source of drinking water.

Unocal signed one of largest environmental settlements in California history: an agreement to cleanse Avila Beach that cost the company as much as $200 million, the equivalent of half a million dollars for each of the town's 400 residents.

It was a terrible slog. Bulldozers removed about 300,000 cubic yards of earth, sometimes digging 15 feet deep in the heart of town to excise the last of the pollutants. Commerce ground to a halt. Many residents were displaced; some were given a check for their pain and inconvenience and never came back.
"We kind of miss the old town," said Mike Cullen, 65, who lived and owned businesses here for more than three decades, and now visits from his home in Oahu with his dog, Buddy Blue VI. "The whole thing just got erased."

The town was rebuilt as something different — more tourist-friendly, a little less dive bar, a little more wine and cheese. Many see it as a nicer, more welcoming place.

"It was, quite frankly, an eyesore," said Rick Cohen, executive director of the Avila Beach Community Foundation. The agency dispenses at least $60,000 each year in community-building grants financed, still, through the Unocal settlement. "Now it's beautiful."

"But there is an acceptance that it is a different kind of town," said San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill, whose district includes Avila Beach. "You can't reconstruct funky."

Chevron Corp. bought Unocal in 2005, acquiring both the legacy of the oil tank farm and the majesty of the bluff, which is now wiped clean of the massive storage containers.

Talk of redevelopment has been percolating for years, but it is suddenly getting serious; Chevron was recently granted permission from the county to take the first substantive step, changing the zoning of the land.
Many people in town want the fenced-off property essentially opened up but undeveloped — a notion summarized nicely by Reichman, who said he'd like to see "a bitchin' park for the people, for the public."


How to Avoid Exposure to Chemicals that Mess with Your Hormones

By Dan Shapley

A new report from the Environmental Working Group and Keep a Breast Foundation identifies the "dirty dozen" endocrine disrupting chemicals--those substances, often found in consumer products, food and elsewhere in our daily lives, that mimic hormones and may affect a variety of health issues. A growing body of independent science points to concerns about the effect of some of these chemicals, even at low doses (since the chemicals mimic hormones, which themselves can have big effects on the body in tiny concentrations).

The actual list will mean something to some people, with some now-recognizable chemicals like Bisphenol A and phthalates topping the list. Also on the list: dioxin, atrazine, perchlorate, fire retardants, lead, arsenic, mercury, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), organophosphate pesticides and glycol ethers.
More critical are the tips for avoiding each of these substances. As any consumer who has schooled herself on the subject of avoiding any one of these will know, however, the task is not easy. Here's a sampling of tips that will get you started:
  • Eat fresh food, rather than canned.
  • Avoid cash-register receipts.
  • Avoid plastics marked with "PC" for polycarbonate, or recycling number 7. Don't store or cook foood in plastics of any kind, including plastic wrap made from No. 3 plastic.
  • Eat less meat, fish, milk, eggs and butter.
  • Buy organic produce.
  • Choose a water filter that will remove atrazine, perchlorate, lead, arsenic and other chemicals.
  • Avoid personal care products with "fragrance" in the list of ingredients.
  • Be sure to consume the recommended amount of iodine, iron, calcium and Vitamin C.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Don't eat fish high on the food chain, like tuna, swordfish and shark.
  • Don't use non-stick pans, or products with stain- and water-resistant coatings.
  • Don't buy cleaning products or other household chemicals that include the ingredients 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).
There are many more tips available in the guide itself--a must read.

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles