This page contains a collection of Top Tips that have appeared on the home page, but that are non-specific or global in nature, rather than applicable to any one renewable technology.

Top Tips

  1. More piping problems - solution: the layout of piping should ensure that it is easy to reach

    The advantage of metal piping with braised joints is that they withstand a considerable amount of shaking, or mild vibrations without cracking and starting to leak. The disadvantage of plastic piping is that the sealants used, simply block up a join, but do not seem to form a chemical bond with the actual plastic material of the piping. This means that as soon as one side of the joint is moved or vibrated the sealant simply parts company. Just look at the effect of stepping into your bath or leaning on your kitchen sink to see the strip of plastic sealant parting company.

    If you have to straighten the pictures hanging on your walls at frequent intervals, then your house has a vibration problem. This could be because you live close to a railway line, or even within half to a mile from a trunk road, or a busy motorway, or even in a town; or it could be due to seasonal subsidence - wetting and drying of the soils beneath your house; or the gradual tilting of a concrete pad where building has been put up on filled in bogs etc. Whatever the reason, try to ensure that the joints in all pipes, whether water, oil or gas, are easy to reach. Problems in the future should not mean that one has to dismantle sheets of chipboard flooring and fitted carpet, or chip plaster off the walls in order to find the offending leaks.

  2. Water for the garden does not have to be pure; in fact plants like the phosphates and bits of organic waste present in both used washing-up and bath water. So this summer use as much of your household water as possible to feed and water your vegetables and flowers. Lawns should be left to their own devices, as grass roots will grow down to seek water. Well intentioned owners watering the surface of a lawn, only encourage roots to grow up towards the wet surface! Obviously this only excerbates the problems in a dry summer. However, do not pour strong suds onto any soil as this has a bad effect on the essential soil insects and worms.

  3. Burn fewer hydrocarbons to make less CO2 and less water vapour, thus maintaining the percentage of oxygen in our atmosphere from where it can also diffuse into the marine and freshwater environment. Both carbon dioxide and water vapour are Greenhouse gases; and are quite natural on the surface of the planet. But we do not need to generate more by burning fossil fuels from below ground.