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.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sensaphone Web600 Remote Monitor Uses Internet

Question about Sensaphone remote temperature monitors that do not need hard wired telephone lines.

Q: "I've looked at your Temperature Guard Monitor for several years. I am now free to travel since I retired. I want to protect my home from furnace or air conditioner failures. But that monitor requires a land-based phone line and I don't have that anymore. (I discontinued my telephone land line and now use a VOIP,voice over internet phone.)Do you have a remote temperature monitor that does not need a land telephone line? I have high speed internet access." Thanks. Tom

Answer: Sensaphone just released a new product,the Sensaphone Web600. This is a compact web-based remote monitor that has an optional battery back-up for when power fails.

The Web600's compact case measures 4.5 inches by 3.25 inches by 1.5 inches. There are 6 available zone inputs. A battery back-up unit (not included) plugs into the left side of the unit. Also there is an ethernet connection and a input for the 5V DC power adapter. There are two lights, a power and an alarm light on the top of the unit.

Besides temperature monitoring, the Web600 can also read values from humidity sensors, air quality sensors, water leak detection sensors and much more. For example, if you are worried about your sump pump failing, install the Sensaphone Compatible Water Detection Sensor.

Thanks for your question. Enjoy your travels and let the Sensaphone contact you or a neighbor or friend if something goes amiss at home.

Sincerely, Barbara

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How to Install a Mirror over a Bathroom Mirror Defogger

Question about the product Product Code: = 120 Volt Heated Mirror Defogger Model CL-MIR18P75W120V. that defogs a mirror area up to 18 inches x 25.25 inches.

Q: "Can the mirror be glued to the wall over this mirror defogger? Or does the mirror have to be clip mounted? Can the defogger element be wired to the light switch for on and off control? Thanks." Julie.

Answer: Yes, you can glue the mirror to the wall over this unit as long as you do not get glue on the unit itself. Installation of the mirror defogger element by Calorique is simple. Stick the defogger element to the wall, make a few simple electrical connections and replace your mirror. You can wire the unit into a light switch.Power consumption is 75 Watts. Included are attached 18 inch lead wires for hard-wiring.

Thank you for your question. Smile when you look in the mirror after stepping out of your shower!

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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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Using Watts Up or Kill A Watt Meters for Home Appliances

Question about the Watts Up and Kill a Watt Electricity Usage Monitors.

Q: "Electric costs in Florida are to increase up to 30% this next year. What advice do you have about deciding which electrical appliances I should replace with more energy efficient ones? How can I measure current usage without going to a lot of expense?

Answer: I suggest you begin checking power usage on appliances with compressors, i.e. refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Most appliances over 8 to 10 years old are energy hogs. I replaced my old manual defrost freezer (circa 1971, much in need of a new gasket) several years ago. I checked the power usage by plugging it into a Watts Up. I learned a new unit would pay for itself in less than 2 years just in energy savings!

If you want to check the power usage of a system such as your TV, DVD, speakers, etc, the easiest choice is by using a Kill A Watt Power Strip with Surge Protection. For data logging, the best choices are the Watts Up units that connect with your computer.

Prices on these power monitors range from about $40 to about $250. Since these units can be used over and over again, your extended family, neighborhood, church, etc. can move the unit from place to place doing your own energy usage audits.

Thanks for your questions. Remember that there are some electric company rebates on Energy Star appliances.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What powers the ThermoHawk 630 & how does it work?

Question about the product: the ThermoHawk 630 thermometer.
Q:"What type of batteries does it use? How does it work?"

The ThermoHawk 630 uses 9V batteries. This is a professional infrared thermometer for use in manufacturing plants, checking out HVAC systems or electrical equipment troubleshooting. Hand held, the ThermoHawk 630 lets you check the surface temperature of almost any object from as much as 8 inches distance. Auto mechanics, scientists conducting experiments, electricians testing terminals on circuits and others needing to know operation temperatures between 0~50°C(32~122℉) find this device very useful. Check for leakage around pipes going into your home or uninsulated heating ducts. You can do your own energy audit or check the surface temperature on your refrigerator shelves.

Hope this helps. Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

How to Change a Bulb in an Eclipse Computer Lamp

Question about the Eclipse Computer Light bulbs .

Q: "I bought three replacement bulbs for Eclipse computer lamps and none of the bulbs fit."

Answer: These are exact replacement bulbs for your computer lamps. Over the years we have learned a few "tricks" to installing thes replacement bulbs. If you always leave your light on, the bulbs last for years.

The bulbs we sell are special Sylvania bulbs with a blue tint which is better for illuminating computer screens.

To Replace a Bulb in an Eclipse Computer Light:

Place the bulb on a counter, writing side up. Ignore the metal clamp on the right side of the computer lamp. Instead insert the bulb at a slight downward angle with some force into the left slot until you feel it pop in. We found that it had to be pushed in 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch more than we thought. Then push the bulb downward into the right clamp.

We hope this solves your problem.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Monday, February 11, 2008

What is the Temperature of a Gro-Mat?

Q: "What is the factory preset temperature for the Gro-Mat built in thermostats for the SUPER Gro-Mat Mat Size 17 X 37 with Frame ? Thanks. Harrison.

Answer: 130 to 135 degrees F. This is considered the optimum germination temperature range. The mat and rack work together: heat travels upward through the 2 inch open space between the flat and the mat. Heat circulates into and through the soil.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Does a 115V AC Cozy Legs use a standard USA outlet?

Q: "My Cozy Legs radiant heater's instructions state to plug into a 115 VAC outlet. Is that a standard American household outlet?" ..Kay.

Answer: Yes, that is a standard USA outlet. Your question sent me to investigating alternating current and its voltages. (Somehow I don't recall learning this in high school physics. Or maybe I forgot?)

For residential alternating current (AC), the voltages 110V AC, 115V AC, 117V AC, 120V AC, and 125V AC are all functionally the same. Electric companies have slowly increased the line voltage over the last 100 years to cope with increased loads. The tolerance is generally +/-10%. That's +/- 11.5 volts in this case. So, a 115VAC appliance will run between 103.5 and 126.5VAC. Interestingly enough, AC power in Mexico is about 127 VAC with occasional power surges causing appliances to blow fuses.

For years, Safe Home Products has sold Kill a Watt meters and Watts Up meters that give you electrical information such as power quality of an AC outlet and what voltage, watts or amps an appliance draws, etc.
Thanks again for your interesting question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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