Over the years I've noticed that truly great landscapes almost all share one thing in common, water fountains. Large or small, natural or man made, these features go a long way in creating a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere in the garden, or wherever you want to introduce the sight and sound of running water. Besides the sensual pleasures they provide, they also give a cool refuge to birds and other small animals. Understanding how fountains work, and taking a brief look at some of the design options available, is a useful exercise.
At first glance, water fountains seem sort of mysterious as to how they work. How does the water keep flowing over and over without stopping? I suppose that's part of the allure. It is a pretty simple process. The water is in a reservoir that provides a place for the pump to be. The pump moves the water along inside a tube that is routed to the top of the fountain, or wherever the water is meant to start it's journey back to the reservoir, where it is then re-circulated over and over. Usually the tube cannot be seen because it is either built into the fountain, or is hidden under or behind rocks, plants, and other items. Once the basics are understood, it is easy to see how water fountains can be made as basic or as deluxe as needed.
One of my sisters bought a small bamboo trickler fountain last year for her small sitting garden. It looked great until the dog got a hold of it. It just couldn't hold up under that sort of abuse. Not all water fountains are created equal, and for Mother's Day this year she got a new, larger, and more suitable design to replace it. It's a more traditional molded, multilayered design that the dog is going to have a lot tougher time ruining (though I suspect she will try). Dogs and destruction aside, the point is that anyone considering getting a fountain for outdoor use should really give some thought to not only the size and placement of the fountain, but also to the elements and other impacts that it will have to endure.
Water fountains come in many shapes and sizes and there's nothing like a large one to really get your attention. One of my favorite designs is the pondless variety. These usually have water running down, over, under, and around rocks and other natural items, all ending up in a reservoir that is covered in rocks (for the large outdoor types), or with marbles or small decorative glass or rocks (for the indoor table top varieties). Another design that is very popular is the classic fountains that look like bird baths. These often have water spouts and are quite dramatic and pleasing. They can make a nice center piece to that special corner of the garden, or can make a stunning entry way focal point.
Everyone loves water fountains. Don't let the mystery of how they work keep you from getting, and enjoying, your very own. Consider where you want to locate it, how it will be used, what stresses it may have to endure, then go for it. You will love having one in your life.
Have you ever noticed that some companies hit their market like a hurricane? One day, no one has ever heard of them, and the next they are setting the standard. So it was with Champion generators. Champion Power Equipment has only been around since 2003, but have taken their various markets by storm. They specialize in all aspects of their business, from product design to manufacturing them in their company owned factory in China, to full customer support for everything they manufacture. Their product lines include portable generators, transfer pumps, winches, and power washers. But it is Champion generators that have really impressed me lately.
Their generators are known for their dependability, affordability, and their durability. Champion pride themselves in their commitment to their customers. They do this by offering the best customer service and warranties in the business. Almost all callers through their customer service line reports a positive experience. Plus, if you call their technical support line, you will get an English speaking technician who really knows his stuff. They also offer a full 2 year warranty on all of their generators. This is one of the best warranties in the market. They can do this because they control the entire manufacturing process, including making their own engines. It is easier to offer a great warranty when you make everything, and are not relying upon another's components.
Champion can boast that they have never had to recall any of their generators. This is quite impressive in such a competitive market. This says a lot about the company. Primarily, that they won't rush a product to market, but that they make sure their new models are fully ready before release.
There are two new Champion generators hitting the market in 2010 that I really like. The first is a wireless remote electric start. We live in a cold winter climate, that often has a lot of snow. My father-in-law likes to show off his new truck by pushing a button and starting it from the kitchen! I have to admit, it sure beats running outside 10 - 15 minutes before you leave just to start the car! So, it makes sense to use the same technology on a generator. When your power goes out, it is often dark, or cold, or in the middle of a storm. If you can push a button and have instant back up power, you will really be happy! These Champion generators have a built in auto-choke and auto-power flow to help the engine start up, while protecting your appliances.
The second nice generator that is new this year is an inverter generator that is super quiet. These generators are stackable, and being parallel, you can easily chain them together to increase your power. Plus, when the electrical load is decreased, the generator automatically idles lower, which saves on fuel.
Winter and storm season will be upon you before your know it, don't get left out in the cold! Plan now, and a great place to start is by checking out Champion generators.
A backup generator gives peace of mind and comfort in case of a power outage. Many people with a dependence on medical equipment are especially served by these amazing machines. Of course, there are other uses for these that many find helpful. Let's take a closer look at these and see if we can learn a little something about them.
As mentioned, there are many uses for these units that are pretty handy. One of the most obvious uses is for people who RV. Having a backup generator on hand means that many of the electric comforts of home can be enjoyed while out on the road. Camping doesn't have to be only about bugs biting you, roots and rocks in your back, and lame food. If you have the ability to fire up your favorite tv, dvd player, electric stove, radio, air conditioner, and a host of other creature comforts, you can really do it in style. Plus, who cares if the noise is bothersome to the other campers, right? Uh, no, that's not right. The nice thing is that the modern generators are not near as obnoxious as their earlier predecessors. Yeah, they still make noise, but not as much as they used to. They are an engine after all.
One of the downsides to having and using a backup generator is that many require the use of gasoline fuel. This means having a dangerous and smelly fuel around that really needs to be tended to. Safety is king, and that certainly applies anytime you are using a machine that has to have gas to operate. But, if you get a good quality storage container for the gas, and use your head about how it is stored, there should be no problems at all. Just top off the backup generator and put the gas away. That way, you don't have to worry about dangerous chemicals, and you can just go on to enjoying whatever it is that the generator allows you to do.
A backup generator goes beyond just making noise, powering up all your gadgets and doo-dads. In fact, they actually do play a critical role for many businesses. Consider, for example, my friend's woodworking shop. He uses power tools (no big surprise there) for nearly every phase of his work. When the power goes out he can't just stop working. Bills still have to be paid, and customers still want they projects tended to and completed. Having a way to keep powering the tools when there's no juice coming down the line is critical. If the electricity gets interrupted he just gets the backup generator out, fires it up, plugs in and keeps on working.
Larger institutional uses exist as well. In fact, there are many models of these generators that are designed specifically for whole business, or home, backup. They are hardwired into the system and can be configured to kick on as backup the moment power goes down.
All in all, having a backup generator around is a pretty smart idea. They are not only for the rich and famous, as they are quite affordable, come in many different sizes, and are easy to use.