Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When to Change Filter on a CWR Sports Water Filter Bottle

Question about the product ES-CWR-SB Sports Water Filter Bottle for Safe Water .

Q:"I bought the bottle years ago & used it a lot but how do I know when the filter no longer filters out junk?? I wasn't using town water so if I buy another filter how do I tell when it's no longer working? I don't want to get sick just to find out it doesn't work anymore.I travel from country to country all the time is there another inexpensive safe portable water filter I should be using instead of this one? thanks." Danielle.

Answer: Danielle, it's time to change the water bottle filter. The filters currently cost about $25. The recommendation is to change them every 12 months or sooner if you use it often. Each filter life is about 160 fillings with municipal water. The bottle holds 22 ounces.

Here are some additional features:

* Removes lead and heavy metals, chlorine, industrial chemicals, dirt, other contaminates, and bad taste.
* Eliminates parasites like cryptosporidium and giardia, and bacteria like E.Coli by 99.99%.
* Laboratory tested by State and EPA accreditied laboratories to meet EPA & ANSI/NSF (snd 53) protocol and requirements.
* Not intended for use with salt water. Do not allow unit to freeze.
* Filter has a shelf life of 50 years.
* Six (6) month limited manufacturer's warranty.

If you want a better unit for any emergency situation anywhere, consider this unit, Travel Size Stainless Steel Gravity Feed Water Purifier This one uses a single Doulton Ceramic Filter Element: One 7" Ceramic Candle with Granular Activated Carbon (GAC). The ceramic filter lasts for approximately 2,000 gallons between filter changes.For intermittent filter use: Clean, dry thoroughly,then store. Filter may last several years. This is lightweight and compact as it nests to 7 .5 x 3. 25 inches. This unit has a 1 year warranty by CWR. Although currently selling for about $150, this Doulton ceramic filter unit is superior to the bottle unit.

Thank you for your question. Enjoy your travel.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Replacing 12V Propane Gas Alarms in an RV or Trailer

Question about replacement 12 volt propane gas alarms for a motorhome.

Q:" How do I choose the correct 12 volt propane alarm for my motor home? The brand that was in my motorhome is no longer available?" Thanks. Joe

Answer: Currently, we are selling Safe-T-Alert propane alarms, USA manufactured, that meet all RV standards. Unfortunately, we are unable to locate a manufacturer that sells a unit with the third wire, that one that closes the propane gas valve if a leak if detected.

Choose a unit by answering these questions:

Is the current propane alarm mounted flush with the wall? If so, measure the opening. The units we sell are:
  • 30-442 (Flush Mount)Case Dimensions:6.375"W x 2.875"H x 1"D
  • 40-442RV Flush Mount Gas Alarm: Case Dimensions Recessed portion = 3"H x 4"W. Depth = 1 1/8". Flush mount portion = 4"H x 4 7/8"W. Screw Holes = centered, 4 1/2" apart.
Is the current propane alarm surfaced mounted, ie. not flush with the wall?
  • 30-441 (Slim Line Surface Mount): Case Dimensions: 6"W x 1.875"H x 1.5"D
  • 40-441RV Case Dimensions: Bottom (where mounted) = 3"H x 5 3/8"W. Top = 3"H x 5"W. Depth = 1 3/8". Screw holes = centered, approx. 5" apart.
Do you want a brown unit?
  • 40-442A-BR is chocolate brown and a flush mount. The 40-441A-BR is the corresponding surface mount unit.
  • The 30-441A=BR is the chocolate brown surface mount propane alarm and the 30-442A-BR is the chocolate brown flush mount model.
What is the maximum amp draw you want?
  • Both the 40-441 and 40-442 draw 46 milliamp (0.046 amp.)
  • The 30-441 and 30-442 draw 76 mA. This 30-442 can replace the CCI-7770 Propane Alarm that is discontinued.
The warranties are longer on the 40 series units. If you are interested in the product manuals, we have them listed below the pictures of each product.

I hope this helps answer your question. We do recommend that you test your propane alarms and your RV carbon monoxide alarms at least once per month.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Go Power RV Solar Kits: Do I Need a Digital Regulator?

Questions about RV solar panels by Go Power.

Q: "I see that you sell the Go Power brand solar panel kits for RV's. What is the advantage of a digital regulator on a solar panel kit? I own an RV, want to go to areas without electricity and am not sure which one to purchase. Also what is the difference, besides cost, between the 50 watt, 80 watt and 110 watt kits?" Thanks. Joe

Answer: We recommend the solar panel kits with the digital regulators unless you plan to monitor the battery or power pack very closely. A digital regulator keeps track of the battery charge and stops power to the battery once it is fully charged. Overcharging batteries can result in explosions or damage to the battery.

The higher the wattage, the faster the battery or powerpack will recharge. The other factor is, of course, the amount and intensity of sunlight that hits the solar panel. For example, a 1500 watt powerpack like the Xantrex XPower 1500 unit, would require about 72 hours of direct sunlight to recharge fully with the 110 watt solar kit, 144 hours with the 50 watt solar kit and about 108 hours with the 80 watt solar kit. Most portable powerpacks like the Xantrex 600HD are no more than 600 watts so figure about half that time for a complete recharge.

Before you make your choice, I recommend that you consider how many appliances you plan to use each day, what the watts are used per appliance and how long each day you plan to operate them. Also how many days do you plan to be off the electric grid? If your preference is a more primitive campground, the larger units are a better choice if you need to run blowers on furnaces, etc.

Thanks for your interesting question. Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Solar Panel Charging a Xantrex XPower Powerpack 1500 Watt Inverter

Question about using a solar panel to recharge a Xantrex XPower Powerpack 802-1500.

Q: "I would like to purchase a Xantrex 802-1500, but can I charge it with a solar panel and would a 40 watt panel do the trick? Do you sell solar panels or would you know which one I would need. Thank you, John D."

Answer: A solar panel can be used to recharge this large capacity, cart mounting 1500 watt power inverter with built-in battery pack. According to the product manual, a 12-volt solar panel rated to produce a maximum of 12 amps can be used to charge XPower 1500 via the DC Power Socket. Once the solar panel’s DC plug is inserted into the DC Power Socket and the solar panel is placed in the sun, XPower 1500 will charge automatically just as with the AC Charger. With direct sunlight, a typical 3 Amp solar panel will charge XPower 1500 in about 24 hours. If the solar panel does not have a regulated output, disconnect it immediately after XPower 1500 is charged.

Remember that a solar panel large enough and with enough power to recharge the unit is quite expensive. For example, we sell the Go Power 110 Watt Solar Kit with Digital Regulator . This would take about 72 hours of direct sunlight to fully recharge the unit AFTER the initial charge. The specs are :Output Power: 110 W. Rated Current: 6.7 A. Rated Voltage 16.5 V. GPR-25 digital regulator Dimensions of panel 62.4 x 26 x 1.5.

There is risk of battery pack damage if you use a solar panel: 1. with an unregulated output 2. with one that exceeds 15 volts DC. 3. with a generator output not intended for battery charging. 4. if you leave a solar panel with an unregulated output connected after charging is complete.

Initial charge is about 36 hours. The 120VAC option is more certain if you don't have lots of sun. Using a 12V DC outlet takes 24 hours to recharge. Using 120VAC takes 6 to 8 hours' time to recharge a 100% discharged battery. Recharging time is based on using the supplied 5 amp charger, or charging from a vehicle lighter socket.

I recommend that you stay in an RV park periodically where you can recharge using AC unless you opt for a very expensive solar panel module. Thanks for your very interesting question. Sincerely, Barbara









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Sunday, August 3, 2008

How Big a Solar Panel Will This Mount Hold?

Question about the Go Power Universal Solar Panel Tilt Mount Kit:Item Code ARM-UNI

Q: "Will this hold a 200 watt solar panel or what size of panel does it hold?"

Answer: The solar panels we typically sell for this Tilt Mount Kit range from 5 watts to the more popular 10 watt and 20 watt panels. For those who plan on extended stays in wilderness areas and want the convenience of electricity without a noisy generator, we also sell solar panels up to the 110 watt solar panel that comes with a digital voltage regulator.

We contacted our Go Power distributor for the answer to using this with such a large solar panel. Here is his response"

" The tilt mount kit will hold a panel that large. However, remember that if the wind catches that panel, the panel will pull the mount off whatever it is attached to. This kit is designed to fold flat against an RV, boat, motor home, trailer, etc."

Specifications on this Tilt Mount Kit are as follows:

  • Lightweight: 0.7 kg / 1.55 lbs
  • Easy and quick to install
  • Ideal for boats, trucks, motor homes and trailers
  • Adjusts from 0-75 degrees
  • Tilting can increase performance up to 70%
  • Adjustable without tools
  • Dimensions 15.5 inches x 2 inches x 1 inch.
Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

What does turbo cooling mean on a power inverter?

Question about the product: Vector Black and Decker 1500-Watt Power Inverter VEC050D.

Q: "This VEC050D has Turbo Cooling. Does this mean that the inverter has an electric fan? What is the warranty? Who holds the warranty?"

Answer: The Vector 1500 watt power inverter has an internal electric cooling fan to keep the unit from overheating , thus protecting the internal lparts. This cooling fan is called "turbo cooling." The warranty is 2 years and is held by the manufacturer after the first 30 days.

If there is a problem with the inverter within the first 30 days after purchase, Safe Home will coordinate replacement. After 30 days, please contact the manufacturer directly. Customers report that Vector Black and Decker is easy to deal with about warranty issues.

This 14 pound power inverter has a 3000 watt surge capacity and maximum continuous power of 1500 watts. Use the 3 AC outlets with grounded or ungrounded plugs. The efficiency rating is 87%. This is a great power inverter for tv sets as the noise-free technology filters modified sine wave and eliminates horizontal lines and static that can appear on TV sets .

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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