Helping you deal with Hard Water problems

Water is one of the basic utilities that we need to survive and live comfortably. We need water for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing and even for industrial purposes. Our sources of water are both natural and man-made. Natural sources include rainfall, lakes, rivers and oceans while manmade sources are dams, wells and canals. A common classification of water is describing it as either soft or hard water.

The difference between hard water and soft water is that hard water contains a higher concentration of minerals collected mostly from the ground and rocks. When the rain water runs through soft rocks such as limestone, it absorbs lime from them. Other minerals that make the water ‘hard’ are magnesium and calcium. Water from the rain is the soft water type but when we channel it through the ground and into our water ways such as pipes, it goes along picking minerals.

One major problem with hard water is best seen in washing. This is because soap does not lather up well therefore making washing hard. This makes one end up using more soap and synthetic detergents. Further, washing in hard water leaves behind some scum on the surface of clothes making the clothes look unclean. In addition, bathing using hard water is undesired because it leaves ‘cud’ on our skin that does not rinse off. This residue clogs the body pores. With clogged pores one is susceptible to skin conditions such as rashes and even acne.

To deal with the problem of hard water, in washing, cleaning and bathing, one should ensure they use softened water. A simple way of softening your water is by purchasing what is called a water softener. This softener simply does that, to exchange the magnesium and calcium ions in the water with sodium ions or potassium ions, depending on whether the softener uses sodium or potassium. I myself use a Fleck water softener system at my new apartment, and I’m pretty happy with it so far.

Further, you may treat the water with vinegar or lemon juice by simply diluting the water with the vinegar or the lemon juice before use in cleaning and washing. If the clothes and kitchen ware is already stained by the hard water, soaking a piece of cloth in vinegar and rubbing the kitchen ware with it has been shown to remove such stains by dissolving the mineral deposits.
Another way of softening hard water is by boiling. The minerals in water solidify when heated in temperatures above 50 degrees. Wait for the water to cool down. When you notice some white particles settled at the bottom, siphon the water leaving the particles behind.

Another problem with hard water is that it damages kitchen appliances such as coffee machines, dish washers and boilers. This happens because hard water brings about lime scale development. When hard water is heated in temperatures above 55 degrees, the minerals solidify as the water evaporates thus forming lime scale. This lime scale clogs taps and other home appliances such as dishwasher, washing machine and coffee machine therefore damaging them. Further, lime scale coats the heating elements of such appliances making them less energy efficient.

To deal with this problem, one should ensure that these appliances such as the coffee machine have an inbuilt water filtration system. The softeners in a coffee machine for instance block water contaminants and therefore prevent minerals from clogging the machine.

However, hard water is not essentially bad. The mineral components in it have quite a number of health benefits. Magnesium for instance is an essential mineral that plays a part in reducing blood pressure by modulating vascular tone. Further, magnesium ions are heart friendly as they aid in keeping the heart rhythm steady. Calcium ions too have health benefits as they help in development of strong teeth and bones in children.

Registering a domain, what does x mean?

You may have heard a lot of terminology surrounding the domain names market, and you may not be sure exactly what it means, so we’re going to go over a few of the most common terms you’re likely to hear.

Appraisal: Appraisal in the domain world is the same as in other industries – it is the process of valuing a domain – deciding how much it is worth.

Domain Name: This is the actual domain name itself – the web address you type into your browser, for example yoursite.com

DNS / Domain Name servers: Also refered to as DNS servers, these are special servers which tell your internet browser where to go to find the website which is hosted on a domain name.

Web Host: This is a server, much like your computer at home which is housed in a special building and is designed to store websites in order to let people on the internet look at them

IP Address: This is like a street address, for servers (See web host above) that the DNS server (also above) tells your web browser to look at to see the website you’re looking for.

DNS Propagation: This is a process which involves all of the main Domain Name Servers across the world talking to each other to make sure they all have the same list of IP addresses for every website.

Registrant: This is the person who has registered the domain name, and is classed as the owner of the domain name for the amount of time which they have paid for. This can be anything from 1 year, to 10s of years if they renew every time their registration period is coming to an end

Domain Registration: This is the process of buying a domain name to use for your website. Once you’ve paid for a domain it will be considered registered.

Domain Registrar: A domain registrar is a company who sells domain names to the general public for a period of time.

Domain Renewal: When a domain name is due to expire (that is, get to the end of the term which it was registered for) it will be offered to the current owner for them to pay for additional years of registration, if they do not take up the offer the domain will expire. Registering Expired domains is then possible, as the previous owner is no longer in control of the domain.

Subdomain: A subdomain is basically an addition to a domain name which allows you to point part of the domain at a different website, or host your own seperate website on a subdomain. For example, yourdomain.com is the domain name, something.yourdomain.com is a subdomain.

TLD: A TLD, or Top Level Domain is the last part of a domain name (after the name itself, behind the last dot) for example com, net, org.

WHOIS: This is a lookup (or the database itself which is looked up) of a database which holds all of the information about domain names, you can do a whois on a particular domain name and find out information such as when it was registered, when it expires, and who registered the domain name (where available)

Selling your internet based business

For those of you selling an internet business, or a website you’ve had for some time, it’s worth considering calling in the professionals.

There’s no denying that a car dealership sells cars for more than a private seller, and the same works with websites and domain names, brokers such as www.w3businessadvisors.com are experts when it comes to valuing, marketing and selling online businesses, and that’s why you shouldn’t overlook what a broker can do for you.

If your website is generating a stable, monthly income then you can expect to command at least 6 months worth of income as a sale value for your website, however, the general range is even higher than that, with 6 – 12 months being the norm, and some certain niches even bringing up to 18 months worth of income.

You might be thinking that you’ll find it easy enough to sell your website by yourself, and that could possibly be true, but many of the larger public marketplaces are full of people who are looking to buy websites just to sell them on again for profit, so the amount they are willing to pay is often significantly less than a website is worth.

Not only that, because of the low entry requirements to these marketplaces, you can spend days, even weeks discussing details of the sale with someone, only for them to pull out at the last minute because they can’t afford it (or even worse, never could!), or have changed their mind, or have decided they’d like to pay less.

We all know the old saying, time is money, so paying for a professional to handle the sale may cost you money, but it will save you time, so if you value your time then handing the process over to someone who does it for a living is likely going to be the better option.

Allowing a professional service or company to sell your website or other online business for you means you’ll have a professional valuation, and know exactly what your website is worth, it’s then up to you whether you agree to sell it for less or not.

The website broker will do all of your advertising for you and will handle any questions, queries and discussions with potential buyers. Generally websites sold via brokers will achieve their true worth, sometimes even more – this is in part due to the professional nature of the brokers, and the trust that buyers place on buying from a broker, but also because a brokerage fee is usually a percentage of the final sale value, so it is in the website brokers best interest to sell your website or online business for the highest possible amount – the more they sell for, the more they get in fees.

This also helps you out, because if you’re happy with one price, and a broker manages to sell your website for more, the difference between your asking price and the actual sale price will often cover most of the broker’s commission, meaning you effectively paid nothing (or very little) for their services, and also saved your own time. That’s win-win for everyone involved, you don’t need to spend time marketing and trying to sell to possible time wasters, the buyer feels that they have a good deal and also have the security of buying through a broker, and the broker has made a percentage of the sale value.

At the end of it all, you’ve offloaded a website you no longer wanted, and made some money – what’s not to like?