Grundfos Booster Pump

Grundfos Booster Pump
– A Review

Whole House Hot Water Recirculating System

grundfos booster pumpA booster pump or whole house hot water recirculating system is a nonsubmersible pump designed to bring hot water to your kitchen and bathroom faucets without having to run and waste water for several seconds waiting for it to get warm. How well a water circulation pump depends on many factors of your household; size of hot water heater, pipe length, distance of pipes from hot-water heater, and last but not least, temperature and climate. Before I had a Grundfos circulation pump, it required over a minute for the water coming out of my kitchen faucet to get warm first thing in the morning. I was constantly filling pots as the water ran, as to not waste so much water. I had heard about hot water recirculating systems before, so when I had a new hot water heater installed last summer I decided to finally give one a try.

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Kobalt Battery Powered Lawn Mower

Kobalt Lawn Mower
a Complete Review

Kobalt Battery Powered Lawn MowerI made a bold decision today and bought a Kobalt Battery Powered Lawn Mower. I have always been one to jump on new ideas fairly quickly. While battery-powered mowers are not exactly new, the larger, more powerful 40 volt and 56 volt lithium batteries are a fairly recent innovation which opens up new possibilities for lawn and gardening tools such as mowers. My 18 Volt Milwaukee drill and Impact driver made a lasting and favorable impression on me and so did my Ryobi, 40 Volt Rechargeable Grass and Weed Trimmer.  The big question many of us have is this: Could something as big as a battery-powered lawn mower ever replace the long-time, standby gas lawn mowers that we’ve been using for years and years?

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Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer


Ryobi Lithium ion 40-Volt Grass Trimmer

The Ryobi RY40210, 40-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless String Trimmer/Edger is a beast. I have struggled with a Black & Decker, Ni-Cad, cordless grass trimmer for the last 7 years. My main complaints were low-power and short battery-life. Still, I tolerated it because I enjoyed the convenience of cordless, no-gas, easy and less, time-consuming start-up times. My third complaint, however, is something I have with 95% of all grass trimmers: the string line doesn’t always feed properly and seems to disappear way too quickly. My prior, gas-powered trimmer was way too heavy and burdensome, so I actually considered getting another electric, corded weed trimmer. Then, I asked myself a question: Do they make a lithium, ion cordless grass trimmer that is as powerful and impressive as the Milwaukee Impact Driver and Drill I purchased last February? Wouldn’t a battery-powered weed eater that was powerful and long-lasting enough be the perfect solution? Do they make such a thing?

Battery Powered Trimmers vs. Electrical Cord Grass Trimmers

The Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer is replacing my Black and Decker Hedge Hog which just doesn’t hold much of a charge any more. My initial guess was that it would be more difficult to keep a grass trimmer running long and powerful enough since it requires more consistent operation than a drill or impact driver. With a drill or driver, you’re using only quick bursts of power where-as a grass trimmer requires long, sustained operation. I did some research and was surprised to find that there are a number of lithium-ion powered grass trimmers on the market that advertise a full 20-40 minutes of uninterrupted, full-power, grass-trimming operation. My Ni-Cad, Black and Decker only lasted 10 minutes per battery and was never all that powerful at full charge. But, if I could get a high-powered, long-lasting cordless trimmer, I concluded that was the superior way to go! Besides, I really only needed a good 30 minutes of full power to get a flawlessly trimmed lawn…or, so I thought. That was before I discovered the 40-Volt RY40210 trimmer by Ryobi.

Long Lasting Lithium Battery Power

To tell you the truth, I am unsure how long this battery will last because I have yet to even come close exhausting it. I spent at least 45 minutes using it on full power the first day I used it. After 45 minutes, the battery indicator was still at full charge. Length of battery-charge was not the first thing that impressed me with the Ryobi grass trimmer, however.

40-Volt Lithium Ion Battery offers Unprecedented High Powered Performance

I was almost shocked by the high-speed growl when I first pulled the trigger switch all the way down on the RY40210. I cannot imagine a gas engine providing more horsepower. The Ryobi gives you an incredible amount of RPM – more than you’ll ever need for basic grass trimming tasks. In fact, I was so taken-aback by the sheer, raw power of the 40-Volt engine that it took me a while to actually learn how well it operates.

Setup an Operation of the Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer

Thanks to my absent minded ways, the Ryobi grass trimmer did probably take me longer to assemble than the average person. Still, it was a relatively easy and pain free experience and I was up and running in about 25 minutes. The remarkable power of this unit fascinated me so much that I didn’t read the instructions as clearly as I should have. I didn’t realize that I needed to release the power trigger a full, 2 seconds in order to allow the string to feed. Consequently, I ended up losing all the string inside the reel. Dreadfully, I had to open the spool and that is when I had the old familiar mess of tangled line. Once I got the thing re-strung and working properly, I began to get the hang of using the machine properly. The Ryobi RY40210 pivots for edging and has a wheel to help guide you along the edge of your line. I must say it works far better than any other dual-purpose grass trimmer that I’ve used for edging in the past. As a grass trimmer, standard, long blades of grass and weeds are no challenge for the powerful 40-Volt motor of the RY40210. Nothing can get in the way of this machine. When I think back to those down the aisle at Home Depot, who picked out gas trimmers that cost $100 more, I can’t help but to think they made a huge mistake. All is not perfect with the Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium ION Trimmer, however:

I still have my doubts and concerns with the old-fashioned, spool and string. I get the cold sweats every time I have to think about re-stringing a weed trimmer. This one appears to be no different than the other one that I had problems with, but then again, that could be said about any trimmer. My other slight, complaint is the weight and size of the 40-volt battery. There is a reason it lasts so long and provides so much power and you can feel it on your back after you’ve used it for a significant length of time. On the other hand, could the weight of the battery possibly be any worse than lugging around a gas engine? Last, I am disappointed that Ryobi does not make a more powerful grass blower for use with the 40-Volt battery. It would be the perfect compliment to the extra charge that is still available to me after trimming the lawn. Ryobi does make a leaf blower that works with the 40-Volt battery, but actual users complain that the power of the unit is disappointing and completely under utilizes the strong capabilities of such a strong, impressive lithium ion battery.

Conclusion and Final thoughts on the Ryobi RY40210 Grass Trimmer

If not for the few complaints above, I would give the Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer a perfect, 5 stars. Still, I cannot imagine a grass trimmer/weed-eater/lawn edger that would satisfy my needs better than this one. I’ll take a high-powered, long-lasting battery over a cord or gas engine any day. The Ryobi Lithium-Powered Weed Eater and Edger is one of the better outdoor tools I’ve purchased in many years. I highly recommend.

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Costco Simpson Pressure Washer

Costco Simpson Pressure Washer
Updated: April 1, 2017

It could just be my experience with the very poor quality, Task Force Pressure Washer, but my impression remains that gas-powered pressure washers are made of a much more durable quality than the electric ones.  I have now owned the Costco Simpson Gas Powered Pressure Washer for exactly four years and it is still running fine. I did have to place a couple of o-rings, but unlike the Task Force, the structure is modular and non proprietary and parts replacement is cheap. I’ve found this pressure washer to be a little finicky when it comes to getting it started after long periods of not being used. Other than that, this unit is 10-times better than the ridiculously poor-quality Task Force.

Original Review from April 2013

Costco Simpson Pressure Washer

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In three years, I went from the failed Task Force Electric Pressure Washer to the Costco Simpson Pressure Washer with a Honda Engine. I’ve been without a pressure washer for two years thanks to the extremely poor quality of the Task Force. The Task Force worked good enough the first couple of times to make me realize how valuable it is to own a pressure washer. Just make sure you get one that lasts. The negative reviews on the Task Force speak for themselves. Don’t get a Task Force Pressure Washer. So far, the difference is like night and day. It’s important to note a couple of things: For one, the Honda Gas-Powered pressure washer you see at Costco has a Honda engine, but is not entirely made by Honda. While Honda has a great reputation for building quality products, we need to keep in mind that they cannot control everything that has their name on it.They build the engines for lawn mowers, power washers and other kinds of equipment. Before we get to the review, I need to answer the all important question that comes up with Electric Pressure Washers vs. Gas Powered Pressure Washers.

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Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver

Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver

How do you rate the Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver: 

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If you never have owned a cordless impact driver then perhaps you are like me and don’t know what you are missing. I chose the Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver at my Home Depot store as part of a package with the 3/8″ reversible drill. For years, I’ve tinkered around with inferior power tools. From my horribly under-powered cordless, Ryobi screwdriver to my cheesy, 12-volt Skil Power Drill. These tools have lasted long enough for me to spend plenty of years cussing at how meek and timid they are whenever I needed to get s simple job done around or outside of the house.  The screwdriver served its purpose for a while, but there are times when you just need a little more ump to drive some screws into places. The Skil 12-Volt drill seemed like a great deal. I paid about $50 for it at Home Depot and it came with two batteries and a keyless chuck. The Skil 12-Volt Drill, however, had three major problems:

  • It is a pain to pull the battery in and out.
  • It’s big, clunky and no good for tight places
  • The batteries wear down, even when you’re not using them

It dawned on me, that I do more driving than drilling. I had never heard of an impact driver before until my brother-in-law showed me his cordless Dewalt driver and sold me on how useful it is. I’m not much of a handy-man like my brother-in-law, so I let him explain to me what it could do for me and why I might want one.

What is an Impact Driver?

Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver BatteryThe purpose of an Impact Driver is to drive long screws and bolts into wood and other materials. Basically, an impact driver is a heavy-duty, powerful screwdriver that works by giving you  extremely strong torque for turning screws while reducing the risk of stripping the screws or bolts. Such a tool is neither a drill nor hammer-drill, but in many cases can be a convenient replacement for both. The important thing to remember is convenience. Would a corded impact driver make sense? Probably not, but neither would an under-powered re-chargeable one that can’t get the job done. Problem solved. Say hello to the 18-Volt, lithium battery which is in my opinion, the greatest thing that ever happened to cordless, power tools. The other feature of the Impact Driver is a socket that Impact Driver Bitholds hex-shaped driver bits into place simply by pulling forward, inserting the bit and letting it retract back into place. Bits will never loosen and it only takes seconds to insert, remove and replace them. Before I settled on the Milwaukee brand, I just want to say that just about any 18-Volt Impact Driver will be a huge upgrade to your tool collection if you don’t currently own one.

Basics of the Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver

I can’t tell you how many times I stripped screws with my traditional power drill.Every summer, the handle on my fence gate seems to loosen up. I have never been able to get screws that are fat and sturdy enough to hold into place. My new Milwaukee Cordless Impact Driver made a 30 second job of fastening it tight with heavy-duty, 2.5″ Lag Bolts. Some of the published reviews from handy-man publications pointed out that the Milwaukee 18-Volt Impact driver bested the competition for number of lag bolts that can be driven on one battery charge. (Up to 138 bolts). On the other hand some users have complained that the battery drains quickly. This is not a problem if you have two batteries or buy the Milwaukee 18V Battery Chargerextended (larger) battery. If you’re not familiar with lithium ion technology, you’ll love the fact that the power never degrades while your using the tools. The Milwaukee driver has a battery gauge that when you press-on-it, tells you how much power is left. The battery only has two states of operation: on or off. So, when your battery is down to it’s final few seconds of life, it is still delivering the same power that it did when it was fully charged. Also, unlike the old, 12V Skill drill, the batteries don’t seem to lose any of their life as they are sitting on the shelf.  One other great thing – the battery only takes 20-30 minutes to charge. Finally, another really nice touch is the LED light just under the nose of the driver that lights up only when you are using it. Well, so far I am very impressed and I cannot wait to find some heavy duty jobs to do around the house. In fact, I may have a good reason to test the 138 lag-bolts claim as I have reason to bolt some angle frames into some wood-ties in my back yard. Meanwhile, in case you’re curious, here are some specifications from the user manual.

Milwaukee 2650-20 Specifications

  • Model # 2650-20
  • Volts: 18
  • RPM: 0-2 200
  • Drive Shank: 1/4″
  • IPM: 0-3 200

 

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