THE COMPOSITION OF SNOWFLAKES: ARE NO TWO ALIKE?

THE COMPOSITION OF SNOWFLAKES: ARE NO TWO ALIKE?

December 25, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at BZ Dependable, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

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HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO INSTALL MY NEW BOILER?

December 18, 2014

This is honestly a pretty difficult question to answer, mainly because it almost entirely depends on the state of your home’s heating infrastructure when the installation begins. If you had a boiler as your previous heating system, then it’s safe to say that most of the required parts are already in place. If you didn’t have a boiler before installing the new one, then it could take up to several days to get everything acquired and installed. Let’s take a look at some of the parts that may increase installation time if you don’t have them.

WATER PIPES

*BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. no longer offers radiant heating services. Check out our other heating services to find the perfect fit for your heating needs.

If you’re installing a boiler, then you are likely going to be using a radiant heating system for your home. Radiant heating systems rely on water pipes to distribute heat throughout the house. These pipes are usually installed in either the subfloor or the walls of each room. As you might imagine, this requires quite a bit of work unless you’re building a brand new house or remodeling an old one. The walls or floor will need to be torn up to allow the new water pipes to be installed. This can add as much as a week or two to the installation of your boiler system, depending on how many rooms you want heated.

FUEL

Again, this may not be a problem if your new system uses the same fuel source as your old one. If not, though, modifications will have to be made. This is especially true with natural gas lines, which need to be connected from outside the house. Usually, installing an entirely new line should be done in less than a day. That depends on your circumstances, though.

VENTING

Proper venting is vitally important for both the boiler’s safety and yours. Most heating systemsrequire venting, so you probably already have the proper flue or chimney. If you used something like a heat pump before, though, you may need to have a flue installed for your new boiler.

If you’d like to know more about how long your individual boiler installation may take, call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating, Inc. We provide heating installation throughout Teaneck.

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HOW LONG WILL DRAIN INSTALLATION TAKE?

December 12, 2014

Having proper drainage is just as important as a steady water supply, as without it we wouldn’t be able to utilize any of the water-using fixtures or appliances in our homes. Whereas in the old days, one would have to carry a bucket of water from a well and bring the wastewater back outside to drain, in modern times our plumbing system helps make any home cleaning, bathing, or cooking task move smoothly, even though many of us don’t take the time to think about it.

Because drains are so important to our homes, there are a couple of instances in which you will need new drain installation in Bergenfield. If you were to install a new appliance like a dishwasher or washing machine, you would need to add a drain to connect onto the sewer pipes. The other scenario is if your existing drain pipe were to become damaged and require replacement. For each of these instances, you may begin to wonder: how long will the process take?

Planning for Drain Installation

Well, that all depends on whether you choose an expert for installation. Professional plumbers can get the job done quickly, but will also have to take the time to choose the proper tools and materials, inspect the drain, and make sure it is installed properly.

The plumber will first have to check that your new installation complies with local codes. They must then determine the proper length and design of the pipe based on factors that help them to determine the flow rate, such as the amount of people in your home and how much water will go down the drain on a daily basis.

Furthermore, it will likely depend on the amount of digging and dismantling that will be required when replacing an older pipe. If it’s a lengthy piece of piping that needs replacement, the process could take several days. But don’t worry: plumbers will plan to make sure you still have operating plumbing in the meantime.

In general, it’s difficult to say how long your particular drain installation will take because it is contingent upon so many specific aspects. If you need drain installation in Bergenfield, call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating, Inc. to get a free estimate and a 100% guarantee on your new drain.

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WHAT IS KETTLING AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR MY BOILER?

December 4, 2014

It’s pretty likely that you’ve been around your boiler a few times while it’s been operating. Most of the time, a boiler is no more noisy than any other heating system. If you hear a deep rumbling noise coming from your boiler when it’s on, however, it’s a sign that something is wrong. This rumbling sound is part of an issue called “kettling,” called such because it essentially makes your boiler into a giant tea kettle. Here, we’ll examine what causes kettling, and why you should have it looked at as soon as possible.

HARD WATER

Hard water is the term for water with a much higher concentration of minerals in it than normal. It is common throughout the Midwest, though it can affect some areas on the coasts as well. This kind of water is especially hard on pipes and faucets, causing calcification and rust. In a boiler, however, the biggest problem is the formation of lime scale.

KETTLING

Over years of flowing through your boiler, hard water will deposit small amounts of the minerals within it on the inside walls of the heat exchanger. Eventually, these minerals will build into scaly deposits that restrict and even block the flow of water through the heat exchanger.

As the water spends more time in the heat exchanger, due to the restricted flow, it begins to evaporate into steam. This causes a massive increase in pressure within the heat exchanger, causing the deep rumbling noise that is characteristic of kettling.

WHAT KETTLING CAN DO

Kettling is very unhealthy for your system, and should be addressed immediately. Kettling can prevent your boiler from adequately heating the house, by restricting its ability to distribute enough hot water. The increased pressure from the water expanding can also wear out your heat exchanger much faster than normal, causing leaks to occur. It is commonly thought that, due to the sound and the obvious pressure concerns, boilers that are left kettling for too long may explode. Modern boilers have multiple safety measures installed to prevent this from happening, so it isn’t anything to worry about.

If you’re having problems with your boiler, call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating, Inc. Our heating professionals cover all of Englewood.

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