How to Create Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen on a Budget

Everyone loves a good cookout, and having an outdoor kitchen is on the “Wish List” for many homeowners. Whether you are dreaming of a freestanding outdoor kitchen or a built-in type model, nothing beats a great BBQ in a comfortable and entertaining outdoor kitchen space

Here are some tips to save you money and keep you on budget when creating your dream outdoor kitchen. 

Tips to Save on Your Outdoor Dream Kitchen 

Create a “Close to Home” Plan Design – Building your outdoor kitchen as close to your home as possible will save money! Using an exterior wall of your home allows you easy access to electricity and plumbing lines for your outdoor kitchen that will keep your budget in serious check! 
Search Salvage Centers – Once you have selected the center of your outdoor kitchen – the gas grill – consider salvage centers for great deals on architectural elements, old brick or stone, and granite counter tops. These elements can add interest and uniqueness for less cost. 
Built-Ins are Bargains – Purchasing a pre-made built-in grill for your outdoor kitchen can help keep you in budget by eliminating custom building components like stone bases and concrete counters, which can be costly. It can also be moved with you should you decide to buy a new home! 
If you are ready to build your dream outdoor kitchen, the pros at W. P. Law can help you create the perfect design to fit your needs. We have a variety of configurations to choose from to design exactly what you are looking for. Contact the W. P. Law, Inc. office nearest you to get restarted on your new outdoor kitchen today!

4 Things to Look For In an Overheating Pump  

An overheating water pump can shorten the life of the motor and cause damage to surrounding piping. Even a brand new pump can get too hot and suddenly stop working and have to be replaced. 

Save money and hassle. Know the warning signs of an overheating pump. Here’s what you need to know:

1. You Can’t Touch It 

If you can touch the pump (not the motor) without feeling any significant heat, then the pump is probably working as it should. But if the pump feels hot to the touch (be careful) or you see steam, then it is running too hot. This applies only to the wet end. Electrical motors will feel hot to the touch even under normal conditions as most run at an ambient temperature of 40 degrees C, which is over 100 degrees F. This will feel hot to the touch. Of course a motor running at a temperature above 40 degrees C can be an indication of a problem with the motor. 

2. The Pump Sounds like Rocks Are in It 

If your pump is making a noise that sounds like rock are tumbling inside, then the pump is probably cavitating. Cavitation can occur if the suction lift is too high, the suction line is partially blocked or the temperature of the liquid being pumped is high. Cavitation can cause serious damage to the impeller of the pump. 

3. It’s Losing Prime 

The internal components of a pump depend on the fluid flowing past them to keep them cool. If the pump loses prime, then the water inside of the pump casing can get extremely hot (due to the friction of the impeller) and eventually turn to steam. When this happens, the high temperature can damage seals, the impeller, and even plastic piping connected to the pump. The most likely culprits to cause a pump to lose prime are a small air leak in to suction line or a leaking shaft seal. 

4. Look for Clogs 

A clog in the suction line or strainer may be restricting the flow of water and can cause cavitation or loss of prime. Either of these conditions can cause the pump end to overheat. 

5. The Motor is Drawing too Much Current 

The motor name plate includes some important information. Two pieces of vital information are the motor service factor (SF) and the full load amps (FLA). Amperes or amps is the unit of measure of electrical current and is an indication of how hard an electrical motor is working. At a given voltage, the higher the amps the more work a motor is doing. The FLA listed on the motor name plate is the amount of current that that particular motor should draw when it is under full load. The FLA can be exceeded by the amount of the service factor, but anything higher is considered excessive and can be an indication of a motor or pump problem. Several factors can cause a pump to draw too much current. Among those are the pump is operating at the far right hand of the pump curve; a mechanical issue such as bad bearings; a bad winding in the motor; or the pump is wired to the incorrect voltage. 
Don’t Ignore an Overheating Pump
Ignoring it could cost you. If you don’t know why it’s overheating, call an expert. We can help.

3 Signs You Are Losing Money Due to a Hidden Irrigation Leak

We use irrigation systems today to keep our lawns, gardens, and other grassy areas looking good without the hassle of having to water it every day. Sometimes though, there may be issues with your irrigation system that you may not even be aware of, due to most of the system’s components being hidden underground. Here are some indications that you may have a hidden irrigation leak that is costing you money:

Signs Your Irrigation System is Leaking

  1. Your Lawn is Dying – Seeing dry, brown spots of grass is a certain indication that it is not getting enough water. There may be a loss of water to those areas due to reduced water pressure in your irrigation system. Getting too much water due to a leak is also an issue, which can kill root tissue.
  2. Soggy Patches – Leaks in your irrigation systems can leave soggy wet spots on your lawn. If you see areas that are consistently wet and/or feel soft and muddy when you walk on it, this typically indicates a problem with the irrigation system.
  3. Higher Water Bills – Often, the first sign of an irrigation system leak is a water bill that is higher than usual. Look at your water meter and if it is constantly turning, and all other leak sources such as washing machines, toilet, and sinks are working properly, this is a good indication your irrigation system is the problem.
The experienced team at W. P. Law, Inc. is ready to help with your irrigation project no matter the size. From home lawns to ball fields to thousand-acre farms, our highly trained Irrigation Specialists can assist you with system design, troubleshooting assistance, contractor referrals, and installation guidelines. Contact us here for more information.

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