Grill Selection – Going Green

Grill Selection
Making the Right Choice
Green Grilling

In earlier blogs we discussed the four different fuel types for grill use. We also discussed combining some fuels for flavor enhancement and for smoking. Then the question came up “What is the environmental impact of the fuel types?” This is a very good question.
For the last several years we all have heard about going “Green” with cars, appliances, and less energy consumption overall for our homes, but really no discussion of grill and smokers until recently.

The center of the debate of which fuel leaves less of a carbon footprint is between charcoal and gas.  A gentle man by the name of Tristam West who is a researcher with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory shared the following information on several online websites.

Currently in the US, 76 percent of Americans own at least 1 gas grill and 42 percent own more then one gas grill. Sixty one percent of gas grill owners use propane grills; 48 percent own a charcoal grill; 9 percent own a natural gas grill and only 7 percent own an electric grill. So, what are the carbon emissions of different fuel types for grills?  To answer this question lets look at an excerpt from an article by Collin Dunn.
“When it comes to carbon emissions, gas-powered grills win in a landslide. Tristam West, a researcher with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, compared the carbon output of gas, charcoal and electric powered grills when producing 35,000 Btu’s per hour, a typical industry baseline. West’s calculations showed that gas produced 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide each hour, compared to 11 pounds for charcoal. As mentioned above, electrical grills produce a whopping 15 pounds of carbon dioxide for every hour at 35,000 Btu’s, so aren’t the best choice from the carbon perspective.”

This debate can even go deeper because fossil fuel gases are not a renewable resource.  Tristam goes on to state that lump or chunk charcoal is carbon neutral because it is made from virgin wood with no additives and it is a renewable resource.  The problem is that this is not manufactured in large quantities locally and may have to be imported from many continents away, which raises its carbon footprint.

As grill manufacturers continue to try to produce more fuel-efficient grills, whether it is gas or charcoal, the carbon footprint should become less.

The debate of “green grilling” will continue and it should be fun to follow.

– Todd Smith
W.P. Law, Inc.

Dirty Water Irrigation Control Valves

Dirty Water Irrigation Control Valves

Dirty water irrigation control valve. If your standard irrigation control valves are failing to turn on or turn off due to dirty water, look into using the Rain Bird PESB scrubber series of dirty water control valves. The plastic scrubber on the valve scrapes the stainless steel screen to clean and break down grit and silt material each time the valve is actuated. This prevents debris build up and clogging.

The valves also have a manual external bleed that permits flushing of debris from the system during start up and after repairs. The Dirty water irrigation control valves are available in 1”, 11/2”, and 2” sizes.

Contact your local W.P. Law Inc. about any questions or applications for Rainbird PESB scrubber valves.

Steve Richardson

W.P. Law Inc.

Impact Rotor Sprinkler Troubleshooting

Impact Rotor Sprinkler Troubleshooting

If your impact rotor sprinkler head has stopped rotating or having trouble reversing, here a couple of things you can check for.  A grain of sand or debris in the nozzle vain or the PJ tube can cause the head not to rotate or prevent the impact arm from having enough force to drive the head throughout its entire pattern.

The nozzle can be removed on most impact rotor sprinklers allowing you to clean the nozzle vain by inserting a small wire or paper clip to push the debris loose. The PJ tube is found on the arm of the impact sprinkler. It is a very attractive place for insects to build a nest. The nest will cause a blockage or reduction in the amount of water flow passing through this tube. The tube can be cleaned the same way as the nozzle vain.

Another problem that happens is sand or silt getting into the bearing nipple washers. These are the washers that are located near  the male thread of the impact sprinkler head. These washers serve two purposes. They provide a seal to the water being supplies to the head, and also serve as the slick surface to provide rotation of the head. 

You can clean the debris out of the washer by washing them with water.  Do not use petroleum products on the washers; they are designed to be water lubricated only. Petroleum products will cause damage to the washers and will eventually cause the Impact rotor to stop turning.

Steve Richardson

W.P. Law Inc.

Bird Season

Bird Season

It’s that time of year again: bird season. No, not the bird season where you can shoot your limit and grill your day’s birds wrapped in bacon.  No, I’m talking about South Carolina’s other state bird, the mosquito.

Mosquitoes are very common in our great state and can make summer activities like barbequing and patio gatherings completely unbearable. They are practically a part of life in the South and we all just have to deal with them. However, there are ways of taking back your backyard and enjoying the summer mosquito free.

W. P. Law, Inc. offers a few different options when dealing with mosquitoes.  Bifen I/T is a sprayable broad spectrum insecticide that is very good at controlling many insects, including mosquitoes.  Simply add the recommended amount of Bifen I/T per gallon (as stated in the label) in a pump sprayer and mix thoroughly.  Spray in all the places mosquitoes like to hide: in all your shrub beds, any thick brush close to your house or porch, under decks, etc.  While you’re spraying for mosquitoes, go ahead and spray along the foundation of your house, along eaves, in the crawlspace, even in the garage to control spiders, roaches, whiteflies, thrips, fire ants, and most other crawling insects. Bifen I/T will not stain brick, wood, vinyl, concrete, or sheetrock.  Make sure to spray when you know there will be no rain for at least 24 hours (if you get an afternoon shower, you may need to reapply).  Also, be careful not to spray in any bodies of water: i.e. goldfish ponds, creeks, rivers, lakes, or drains leading to any of these. Bifen I/T will not harm pets or children.  The addition of a spreader sticker will aid in helping the Bifen I/T stick to what you are spraying and aid in rain fastness.

Another product W. P. Law, Inc. carries is called Cyzmic. Cyzmic is also a broad spectrum insecticide that controls mosquitoes, roaches, ants, spiders, whiteflies, thrips, etc. Cyzmic is unique in that it is a microencapsulated formula, which means the usage rates are much lower, and it is slow-release so it stays active much longer.  Another benefit of the microencapsulation is that it is much easier for flying insects, like mosquitoes, to pick it up, even with their light “footprint”.  Application of Cyzmic is similar to that of Bifen I/T, except for the usage rates and it is longer lasting.

Whether you decide to use Bifen I/T or Cyzmic, you can be confident that the backyard will be yours to enjoy mosquito (and ant, spider, roach, and whitefly) free.  So stop spraying yourself with Off and put away those citronella candles and tiki torches and feel free to grill all summer long. It is YOUR yard…

Backflows for Irrigation

Backflow Prevention Devices for Irrigation Systems and Why They are Needed

The laws vary from state to state and even among municipalities, but everyone
requires that a backflow prevention devise be installed on any type of cross
connection made to the municipal water system. This includes all irrigation
systems. Backflow prevention devises are life savors. They prevent hazardous
materials such as lawn chemicals and fertilizers from entering the drinking
water system. Backflow devises have a testing requirement and should be tested
to the standards of your municipality when required. Making sure your backflow
prevention device is working properly is insurance to your families safety and drinking water supply.

Steve Richardson
W.P. Law Inc.

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