ShedHeads https://shedheads.net The Best Equipment Wed, 26 Jun 2019 15:38:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 https://shedheads.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cropped-Untitled-1-6-32x32.png ShedHeads https://shedheads.net 32 32 Hands-on with the Orca 35 Quart Cooler with Liddup Technology https://shedheads.net/orca-liddup-review/ Wed, 22 May 2019 23:03:44 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3872 Orca is one of many manufacturers producing rotomolded coolers. This particular style of high end coolers is known primarily for incredible durability and multi-day ice retention. Yeti is the most well-known manufacturer in this space. Although they didn’t invent this style of cooler, they were the first to popularize it. And as their popularity grew, […]

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Orca is one of many manufacturers producing rotomolded coolers. This particular style of high end coolers is known primarily for incredible durability and multi-day ice retention. Yeti is the most well-known manufacturer in this space. Although they didn’t invent this style of cooler, they were the first to popularize it. And as their popularity grew, many alternative manufacturers took a similar design and put their own spin on it. In some cases the products were made to be better, other times they were made to be cheaper. This isn’t our first time taking a look at an Ocra cooler. They were featured in our roundup of the best coolers on the market. But Orca was kind enough to send us one of their new 35 quart coolers with Liddup technology, so we decided to take it out into the bush and test it for ourselves.

Overview of Orca Coolers

Orca makes a high end rotomolded cooler. Essentially, this is a foam-core cooler that has been coated evenly with a highly durable plastic. Rotomolding, or rotational molding, is a process that gives the plastic a very even coating with minimal imperfections. In total, you’ve got a side wall that is around 2″ thick, providing an advertised ice pretension of “up to 10 days.”

Orca’s coolers are available in sizes ranging from 20 quarts up to 140 quarts. There are a few key reasons why you might choose Orca over another brand. For starters, they are made in the USA. While they aren’t the only ones producing locally, many competitors are moving production to china to save costs. But despite being produced locally, the standard Orca coolers aren’t really any more expensive than competitors. So you’re getting a pretty good value in this regard.

Another reason people choose Orca over competing brands is the wide range of designs and colors available. Pretty much every cooler has 7+ color choices, with some offering graphic designs. So you can get a cooler featuring the logo of your favorite sports team, camo, or a bunch of other design choices. There are too many options to list here, so you’ll have to check them out for yourselves.

What is Liddup Technology?

If you’ve been shopping around for a rotomolded cooler, you probably know that they are all pretty similar. But liddup is something unique to Orca. After using it for a little while, I honestly don’t think i’d be able to go back to using a cooler without this. Liddup is simply an LED lighting system. When you open the lid, lights come on. When you close the lid, the lights turn off automatically to save your batteries. Works just like your fridge. Simple, eh? Certainly one of those “why didn’t I think of that!” products.

Liddup might not be the most useful for a quick day-trip down to the beach, but these coolers are designed for people who plan to be out and about for multiple days, not hours. If your overnight camping trips are anything like ours, you’re certainly going to find yourself digging around in the cooler after dark – struggling to find your favorite beer or the ingredients you need for a late night snack.

With my old cooler, i’d always find myself using one hand to move things around in the slush while the other hand held up my phone for a bit of light. But with liddup, I was in and out pretty quickly, since I could find what I was looking for right away.

The design is pretty smart. Essentially you’ve got a strip of LED lights across the front lip – just below the lid. The lights are fully contained inside of a C shaped channel, so nothing is shining right into your eyes. All the light is directed down into the cooler. There is also a nice plastic covering the diffuses the light a bit, so it’s not too intense. It appears to me that this light is triggered by a magnet or some kind of proximity sensor, so it only turns on once the lid is raised.

Liddup requires four AA batteries, but they include a set to get your started. I’ve spent a total of 6 days out with the cooler, and the batteries are still kicking. But i’ll update this article once I figure out how long they last.

Liddup is pretty new on the market. Currently, only their 35 quart cooler is available with this feature. You do pay a few bucks extra for it, which is well worth it in my mind. That being said, I do hope that they release this feature on the larger coolers. As 35 quarts might not be enough for a large family or a 4+ day trip.

Orca 35 Quart Cooler Review

Now that you’ve heard my thoughts on the most unique feature about this cooler, let’s go into more details about how it actually performed.

Ice Retention

Most manufacturers rate their coolers for “up to 10 days.” In reality, we’ve found this estimate to be a bit of a stretch. I don’t doubt that if you shoved a large block of ice in this cooler and stashed it somewhere out of the sun, it would probably take around 10 days for the last sliver of ice to melt. But this doesn’t really reflect how consumers actually use their coolers.

We decided to do a bit of a “stress test” on our Orca. To get the best results, it’s better to use blocks of ice and properly pack your cooler to get the longest possible ice retention. Additionally, you should keep in the shade and regularly drain the water out of it.

I simply threw a ton of food and three bags of cubed ice into it, and headed out down a logging road for a three day camping trip with a few friends. We left the cooler in the sun for a while, we waited to drain the ice, and we found ourselves repeatedly opening it to grab another drink. Without making any attempt to improve our ice retention, there was still a decent amount of ice left after about 60 hours. It was getting a little low, and i’d certainly have wanted to top it off if I was staying any longer. But this can be considered a good “worst case scenario.” Still better than my 12V cooler, and I didn’t even have to plug it in!

Design

There were a few unique design choices I quite liked on the cooler. While I picked a light blue model, there are seven different colors to choose from. If you’re going for a standard cooler without liddup, you’ve got even more options.

The T handles are shaped like whale tales – a cool little piece of branding. But they’re also very easy to grasp and use. Opening the cooler and closing it is made quite simple, even though you need a tight seal.

Another thing I really liked about the cooler is the drain design. It’s just a threaded in cap, but there is a little hole punched through it so you only have to turn it a little to let all the water out. You don’t get it all over your hands, and you don’t have to completely remove the cap.

Orca also included a handy little fabric pounch on the back, which is durably made and pretty convenient for storing a few odds and ends.

Durability

Impressive rigidity and durability is often touted as one of the main advantages of rotomolded coolers, and from what we have seen this is pretty consistent from brand to brand. I’ve seen all kinds of stunts pulled, including driving a big jacked-up truck over one of these coolers.

Personally, I try to take care of my belongings. So I didn’t do anything crazy, but we did have the cooler bouncing around in the back of my buddies truck while we drove for a couple hours up a decommissioned logging road, and there is no real signs of wear on it. Once we wiped the dirt off, it looked as good as new. The handles are made from a thick weave fabric with tubular rubber grips on them, so we don’t see these wearing out anytime soon. The latches are made from stretchy rubber, so they’re not going to snap or break. Overall, my Orca was on par with other high end coolers.

Final Verdict

In my opinion, if you’re on the market for a high end cooler the Orca with Liddup technology is your best option. The light is incredibly useful, and the additional cost is pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things. I’d recommend this cooler to anyone who needs their ice to last for multiple days. It’s certainly an investment, but one that will serve you for many years to come. I’d like to see Liddup made to be available in larger sizes, but hopefully this is something that we’ll see in the future.

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Tips for Securing Loads in Your Truck Bed https://shedheads.net/tips-for-securing-loads-in-your-truck-bed/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 21:54:03 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3823 Securing Loads in Your Truck Bed If you own a truck, chances are you spend a lot of time moving your (or, more likely, your friends’ and families’) stuff around. We all know that you can’t just load up the truck bed and be on your way. Every move requires some form of securing, whether […]

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Securing Loads in Your Truck Bed
unsecured Load
Protip: don’t do this

If you own a truck, chances are you spend a lot of time moving your (or, more likely, your friends’ and families’) stuff around. We all know that you can’t just load up the truck bed and be on your way. Every move requires some form of securing, whether it’s simply throwing on a tonneau cover or strapping things down. Properly securing your items is not just a matter of making sure you don’t lose anything. It’s also a matter of safety. Poorly secured truck loads are common culprits of serious road accidents. Not only do you need to consider the safety of other on the road, you also have to remember who bares responsibility when an accident like that occurs – you. Here are some tips for securing different kinds of cargo to your truck bed.

Securing Large Items

We’ll start with oversized items, since this is where most problems occur. When you’re transporting especially long materials, such as lumber, always put the tailgate down. Raised tailgates are not designed to withstand top loads. Folding the gate down also makes securing the items much easier in the long run. When transporting long, flimsy material like lumber, plastic conduit, or siding, wrap them up with stretch cling film. It keeps them together, prevents them from damage, and allows them to be more easily secured.

Next come the all important straps. A word to the wise: don’t rely on ropes and bungee cords. While they can help add extra security, ropes and bungee cords are much too flimsy to be used alone. They’re far more likely to fail you, especially in any unforeseen circumstances like bumps or sudden stops.

Always use ratchet straps as the primary strap for securing your load. Ratchet straps are far sturdier, and they have a much greater securing capacity. The ratchets allow you to tighten the straps beyond the capability of other kinds of straps, and you can do so far more easily and safely. Take advantage of the hooks and divots in your truck bed as much as possible for the most secure load. Don’t hook anything to a wide edge expecting it to stay. You want to be able to give the strap a good yank without anything budging. Ratchet straps are especially useful when securing taller items like motorbikes as well. Since you won’t be able to cover the bikes, having good strong straps is even more important.

Securing Smaller Items

For items that fit in your truck bed, a tonneau cover is hard to beat in terms of security. Straps can be used in conjunction with tonneau covers when you don’t want stuff flying around, but tonneau covers provide a one-stop solution to most truck bed security problems. Simply load up your truck bed, throw on the cover and you’re good to go. The added advantage of a tonneau cover is that no one can access what’s inside. Aside from physically securing your stuff inside your truck, they also keep everything safe from theft. Tonneau covers are also great for protection from the elements. Most good tonneau covers are water and weatherproof, making them an invaluable addition to your truck and its load.

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Truck Canopy vs Tonneau Cover: Which one is Right for You? https://shedheads.net/complete-list-tonneau-cover-reviews/vs-canopy/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 21:48:36 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3820 Tonneau Covers vs Canopies: What’s the Difference? If you’re a truck owner, chances are you’re spending a lot of time transporting various items from place to place. The last thing you want is for those items to fly out of your truck bed and end up sprawled across the highway. By far the easiest way […]

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Tonneau Covers vs Canopies: What’s the Difference?

If you’re a truck owner, chances are you’re spending a lot of time transporting various items from place to place. The last thing you want is for those items to fly out of your truck bed and end up sprawled across the highway. By far the easiest way to accomplish securing your stuff is with a truck canopy or tonneau cover. Some people opt for both, while others tend to choose one over the other. Canopies and tonneau covers are very different despite serving the same purpose. Let’s compare some of the main factors.

Ease of installation

Both canopies and tonneau covers take a bit patience to install. The advantage of a tonneau cover is that it is much easier to install on your own. By contrast, truck canopies generally require a helping hand. They are much larger and more cumbersome, and it’s quite a feat to be able to install one on your own.

On the bright side, both canopies and tonneau covers don’t need to be removed on any regular basis. So as long as you intend to use them for a while, installation shouldn’t be a huge problem. That being said, if you intend to go back and forth between an open and covered truck bed somewhat regularly, a tonneau cover definitely has the upper hand in this category. They’re much easier to install and uninstall on your own, and if you have a foldable or soft tonneau cover, it’s not necessary to uninstall them at all. You can simply fold back the tonneau cover and access your open truck bed.

Reviews

While both products are favorably reviewed, what works for you really depends on what you need it to do. To find out if a tonneau cover really suits your needs, check out our roundup post below:

https://shedheads.net/complete-list-tonneau-cover-reviews/

Appearance

For some people the appearance is a non-factor, but there is a drastic difference between canopies and tonneau covers in this category. Canopies give your truck the styling of an SUV. They’re much roomier of course, but if you prefer the truck look then you might not be keen on the aesthetics of a canopy. In some cases, it can be difficult to find a canopy that matches your particular truck’s style or colour. If you’re more concerned with getting the job done than looking good, this might not matter at all. But if you tend to appreciate a nice looking truck, a canopy can be a bit of a set back. Tonneau covers lay flat on the top of the truck bed, so they won’t affect the appearance of your vehicle. There’s also a wide range of styles and materials that give you a bit of flexibility in the appearance department.

Functionality

One of the huge advantages of a canopy is that it offers a lot more cargo space. Since tonneau covers lay flat on your truck bed, you’re somewhat limited as to what you can protect under the cover. Canopies give you a lot more flexibility in this area. They’re also great for those who like to have the option of camping. While it’s theoretically doable under a tonneau cover, a canopy somewhat doubles as a portable camper, which is a pretty cool feature.

That being said, you might have a hard time fitting your motorbikes even under a canopy. And where a foldable tonneau cover can just be rolled up, when something doesn’t fit in the canopy, removing it is a bit more work. The large size and sturdiness of a canopy is a great feature in some ways, but it also makes it much more difficult to move and store. Tonneau covers offer much greater flexibility in this category.

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DIY Tonneau Cover https://shedheads.net/complete-list-tonneau-cover-reviews/diy/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 21:44:07 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3817 How to build your own DIY tonneau cover For almost every truck mod, there seems to be an eager DIY-er out there determined to find a way to make their own. DIY projects are all the rage these days, and with enough skill and time, you can actually get some pretty impressive projects done. The […]

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How to build your own DIY tonneau cover

For almost every truck mod, there seems to be an eager DIY-er out there determined to find a way to make their own. DIY projects are all the rage these days, and with enough skill and time, you can actually get some pretty impressive projects done. The important thing to keep in mind with any DIY project is that they rarely save as much money as one might think. The best way to approach a DIY project is as a hobby, not necessarily as a replacement for another product. This is especially the case with tonneau covers. If you don’t know what you’re doing, a DIY tonneau cover will end up costing you a lot of time and money at the hardware store, and likely won’t turn out anywhere near the quality of a store bought cover.

Nonetheless, if you’re a skilled hobbyist with the right knowledge and equipment, here’s how you can make your own tonneau cover.

DIY

Most DIY tonneau covers are hard style. Since soft covers will probably require some sewing techniques (and an industrial sewing machine), and folding tonneau covers require a bit more precision, the easiest go to is a hard style tonneau cover.

What you’ll need:

  • 6 pieces of 1X2” plywood (again, measurements may vary)
  • 2 sheets of plywood (measurements will vary depending on the size of your truck bed)
  • Vinyl fabric
  • Drill
  • Table Saw
  • Screws
  • Stapler
  • Hinge (piano hinges work great)
  • Screws
  • Spray glue
  • Contact glue
  • Black paint

The Steps

The first step is to build two frames using the 1×2 plywood. One frame will be fixed to the truck bed, and the other will be used for the liftable tonneau cover. For sizing, each frame should sit within the truck bed with about 1 cm of space on each side between the bed and the frame. The frames are important because they give the structural strength to the cover, and will be used to secure the cover to the truck bed.

Next, cut two pieces of plywood to fit the frames. The plywood should exceed the vertical and horizontal lengths of the frames by the same width as the sides of your truck bed. In other words, if you lay the plywood flat on the top of the truck bed, it should sit exactly covering the bed of your truck edge to edge. Make sure there is no overlap between the frames, as you will need to install the hinge.

Painting

Next, paint the plywood. This step is optional, but it can help protect the wood from absorbing moisture and extend its lifespan and increase durability. Once the paint is dried, attach the piano hinge where you want the tonneau cover to fold.

A lot of DIY tonneau covers go bare bones and stick with plywood as the main source of protection from the elements. If you’re really reaching for quality, vinyl fabric goes a long way in terms of improving the functionality and durability of your tonneau cover. The best way to secure vinyl fabric onto the plywood covers is to first spray the wood and back of the fabric with spray glue. Spread the fabric evenly across the plywood, and secure the edges using contact glue. Using a staple gun, staple along the edges around the bottom so the edge of the fabric is folded inside. Install your tonneau cover using screws, Tnuts and steel angulars across the frame. You can put rubber on the top of the steel angulars to avoid damaging the trunk. Completing the installation will vary depending on the size and make of your truck, so enjoy some artistic freedom and your new DIY tonneau cover!

Tonneau Cover Reviews

Some people don’t have the craftsmanship to build their own, while others might prefer something a little more reliable. If you’re feeling like this project might not be right for you, check out our list of tonneau cover reviews. We’ll help you select a model that fits your price and budget.

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5 most popular truck mods https://shedheads.net/5-most-popular-truck-mods/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 21:37:44 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3813 Five Must-Have Truck Mods Part of the fun of owning a truck is jacking it up with aftermarket parts to improve the functionality and usefulness of your beloved vehicle. Some truck owners go for aesthetics with massive tires, lift jobs, and exhaust pipes, while others value functional add-ons like bed extenders and tonneau covers. Whatever […]

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Five Must-Have Truck Mods

Awesome Truck Mods

Part of the fun of owning a truck is jacking it up with aftermarket parts to improve the functionality and usefulness of your beloved vehicle. Some truck owners go for aesthetics with massive tires, lift jobs, and exhaust pipes, while others value functional add-ons like bed extenders and tonneau covers. Whatever your tastes, here are the 6 most popular truck mods.

Bed liners

raptor liner review

Bed liners are easily one of the most useful mods you can add to your truck. Chances are your truck bed is going to see a lot of wear and tear, as you’re hauling everything from tools to furniture in and out. One of the best ways to protect your truck bed is with a good bed liner. There are two basic bed liners to choose from. One option is a removable plastic liner, and the other is a permanent spray-on bed liner. Removable plastic liners are great if you don’t feel the need to have your truck bed covered at all times. It gives you the option of taking it out whenever you like. The downside is that installing and removing a plastic bed liner can scratch the truck bed, causing just the kind of damage it serves to prevent. Spray on bed liner is a much easier, one-time solution. It is of course permanent, which can be considered a pro or con depending on your needs. It’s important you know what you’re doing if you choose to spray the liner yourself, because you want the liner to be as even as possible.

Tail gate protector

tail gate protector

Just as a bed liner protects your truck bed from damage, a tail gate protector does the same for your tail gate. The tail gate arguably sees the most traffic and is prone to more damage than most other parts of your truck. Some truck owners take pride in the dents and scratches as signs of heavy use and affection, but others want to keep their truck in tip top shape. That, or they’re using their truck for particularly heavy duty tasks that require some extra protection. A tail gate protector is a great investment either way. It’s especially useful for protecting your tail gate from loose items flying around the truck bed, like tools and other sharp objects.

Tool box

husky tool box for truck

If you’re using your truck for work, chances are you’ve got a tool box in your truck bed. The best thing about a tool box mod is that it can be used for so much more than tools. One of the best advantages to owning a truck is having the ability to haul things around that other people just can’t. Often times we’re talking large objects like furniture or large loads, but other times it’s just a large quantity of smaller objects. The tool box acts as great storage for fishing or camping gear, or even just for common vehicle maintenance things like oil, fluids, or straps.

Tonneau cover

Tonneau Cover Reviews

A tonneau cover is another great investment that helps you secure whatever it is you’re hauling in your truck. It won’t work for especially large items that are taller than your truck bed, but a tonneau cover allows you throw whatever you want in your truck bed, batten down the hatches, and fly down the highway without having to think twice about losing your items. They also improve your truck’s aerodynamics by covering the truck bed.

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What is a Surge Arrester? https://shedheads.net/whole-house-surge-protectors/arrester/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 02:11:25 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3810 updated: May 22 / 2019 If you’ve ever tried to research surge protectors, there is good chance you’ve also come across the term surge arrester. Surge arresters serve the same purpose as surge protectors, but they operate in an entirely different way. Where surge protectors use a parallel circuit design – diverting extra voltage to […]

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updated: May 22 / 2019

If you’ve ever tried to research surge protectors, there is good chance you’ve also come across the term surge arrester. Surge arresters serve the same purpose as surge protectors, but they operate in an entirely different way. Where surge protectors use a parallel circuit design – diverting extra voltage to another line – surge arresters operate on a design called a series circuit. Rather than diverting the extra voltage, a series circuit “stores” the voltage and releases it gradually over time.

Gas discharge arrestors

Gas discharge arresters work much in the same way as household surge protector, but uses gas tubes rather than MOVs. Where MOVs use semiconductors, gas discharge arrestors use inert gas as the conductor between the hot line and the ground line.

The variable resistance of the MOVs is very important to the functionality of a surge protector. It allows the protector to divert extra voltage only when necessary, and once this voltage has been diverted, the hot line voltage returns to a normal level. Meanwhile, the standard current can continue to flow, so that the voltage to your electronics goes unchanged even in the case of a surge. To relate this back to the hose analogy, the MOVs act like a pressure sensitive valve that is only activated when the pressure gets too high. The same principle of variable resistance applies to surge arrestors. At a normal voltage level, the gas in a gas discharge arrester does not conduct electricity well. But when the voltage increases enough, it ionizes the gas, making it a strong conductor. Electrons pass through the conductive gas until voltage levels stabilize, and the gas is no longer ionized. In this way, the gas is naturally variable. So the overall process of diverting voltage is pretty much the same, the only real difference being the type of conductor.

Better or worse than a protector?

Some argue that the surge arresters are better at protecting your electronics. The argument is that they react more quickly than a surge protector because they don’t need to divert the voltage. Some also say that sending electricity to the ground line (as in a parallel circuit) can disrupt the electrical system in a building, thus series circuit designs are better as they avoid this potential problem. Another argument against common surge protectors is that MOVs themselves can blow in a power surge, rendering them useless. This is actually true, but probably not as big a concern as you might think. It’s rare to have a power surge strong enough to blow your surge protectors, and there are things you can do to help avoid this. Primarily, turning off your electronics when they are not in use, and making sure you don’t run too many devices off of one outlet. Furthermore, in a particularly massive power surge (like the one you’d see in a thunder strike), it doesn’t matter whether your system runs on a parallel circuit method or a series circuit. The excess of energy in a thunder will render both useless. For this reason, many advanced surge protectors include an arrestor as part of the circuitry.

Again, thunder related power surges are extremely uncommon, so this is no cause for alarm. If you’re especially worried about it, there are such things as lightning arresters. These tend to be costly, but they are specifically designed to handle power surges caused by lightning.

Different styles with Different Benefits

While there is a bit of technical lingo involved, overall arresters provide similar functionality to the more commonly known surge protector. As a consumer, the important thing to do is simply look at the rating. The engineers who designed the system will have chosen the appropriate components, so you don’t really have to worry about the terminology all that much when shopping.

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How Surge Protectors Work https://shedheads.net/whole-house-surge-protectors/how-they-work/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 00:43:56 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3806 How Surge Protectors Work Most households contain at least one surge protector. In fact, there’s a chance you have one without quite realizing it. That’s because the immediately obvious use for a surge protector is that you can plug multiple components into one power outlet. Most frequently, this type of surge protector is found near […]

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How Surge Protectors Work

Most households contain at least one surge protector. In fact, there’s a chance you have one without quite realizing it. That’s because the immediately obvious use for a surge protector is that you can plug multiple components into one power outlet. Most frequently, this type of surge protector is found near home computer systems or home theater systems, where your monitors/tv screens, speakers, receivers and computers are all plugged in. But the most important function of a surge protector is that is keeps your electronics safe from power surges. Naturally, the first question to ask is “what is a power surge”?

What is a Surge?

In simple terms, a power surge is an excess of voltage. Surges are caused when the flow of electricity is interrupted and then started again, or when something sends too much electricity into the system.

In North America, most outlets are equipped to produce 120 volts of power. When a power surge occurs, the change in volts can cause major damage to your electronics. Surges can either wear out the components over time, or, in a large enough surge, can immediately damage them. Think of this like a water hose. Too much pressure on the hose causes it to burst. While the electrical wires won’t actually “burst,” they heat up like the filaments in a lightbulb and burn. As cables degrade, they are able to handle less and less power in the future. It’s a problem that can snowball over time. In the case of TVs and computers, this kind of damage can be costly.

What are the Types?

There are a few different kinds of surge protectors, but each does essentially the same thing. Surge protectors divert or suppress extra voltage away from the components that send electricity to your electronics. Most do this using a parallel circuit design. Extra voltage is diverted away from the normal circuit and onto a seperate one. Surge suppressors operate slightly differently, in that they store the extra voltage and release it slowly. This is called a series circuit. The most common, however, is the parallel circuit design. In the case of household items, the components of the circuit are the wires in your outlet that run to the top two prongs. The bottom prong, called the ground, creates the parallel circuit. It is where extra voltage is diverted to in the case of a surge.

Basic Household Models

There are three main wires inside a basic surge protector. The neutral and hot wires (which create the voltage), and the ground wire. When a surge occurs, the surge protector passes the extra voltage to the ground wire, creating a parallel circuit. But how does the voltage travel from the hot wire to the ground wire? In most cases, surge protectors contain components called metal oxide varistors (MOVS). The MOVs connect the hot wire (which carries the current) and the ground wire. Since they are good conductors, they can carry electric currents from one component to another.

MOVs are composed of 1 piece of metal oxide and two semiconductors. The semiconductors join the metal oxide to the power and grounding line. The MOVs work by producing a variable resistance that changes depending on voltage. When the voltage is at the right level, the MOVs do nothing, and electricity passes through the circuit as usual. When the voltage is too low, the flow of electrons in the semiconductor creates a high resistance to increase the voltage. If the voltage gets too high, the flow of electrons changes to create low resistance and lower the voltage. In the case of a surge, MOVs create a lot of current in order to redirect the excess voltage. This way, your electronics are not exposed to the extra voltage.

Whole Home Surge Protectors

Although they are very similar in nature to the basic household models, the whole-home options are a little more complex. If you want to know more about them, check out our guide to the best whole-home surge protectors on the market.

Why do I need to know this?

if you have your household devices properly protected, you don’t need to know a ton about how they work and what they do. But not all surge protectors act the same, and not all of them protect you from every single source of surges. If you understand why they are used, you’ll be able to find the products that protect you and control the future of your electronics.

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Why should you invest in a surge protector? https://shedheads.net/whole-house-surge-protectors/why-invest/ Tue, 06 Nov 2018 00:34:02 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3800 Why You Should Invest in a Surge Protector   It’s pretty clear that surge protectors are a worthy investment, and an easy way to protect your electronics. Generally speaking, most people by now have at least one surge protector in their house. The main downside to household surge protectors is that they can only protect […]

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Why You Should Invest in a Surge Protector

 

It’s pretty clear that surge protectors are a worthy investment, and an easy way to protect your electronics. Generally speaking, most people by now have at least one surge protector in their house. The main downside to household surge protectors is that they can only protect a select few devices at a time. As mentioned, they are also at risk of being damaged themselves if an especially large surge occurs. These are a few of the reasons that we’re personal advocates for whole house surge protectors. Before we dive in to the advantages, let’s consider the causes of a power surge.

What can Cause Surges?

A power surge can be caused by a number of different things. Some might be surprised to learn that most power surges actually stem from inside your home. The most common cause of a power surge is when outlets or circuits are overloaded. For example, having too many high powered electronics plugged into one outlet and running all at once can cause a power surge. Household surge protectors are designed to handle multiple devices on one protector, but having a bunch of high powered electronics running from one protector does present a risk.

Damaged wiring can also cause power surges because it creates an abnormal flow of electricity. And as we know, your most valuable electronics are especially vulnerable to this kind of abnormal flow. Even if it doesn’t cause immediate harm, it puts strain on the components and wears them down.

Your most high powered electronics – such as your fridge or dryer – are also common causes of power surges, simply because they require so much electricity to run.

In simple terms, anything that could potentially disrupt the normal flow of electricity is at potential risk of causing a power surge.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Clearly, there are a number of ways in which a power surge can occur. They are variable and unpredictable. One of the best things about a surge protector is that once it’s installed, you don’t really have to think about it. You can go for the simple power strips, or if you move your devices around a lot you can get a whole-home surge protector. if you want to know more, you can check the shedheads guide to whole house surge protectors.

It’s the easiest way to have all of your electronics protected without having to plug it in to a specific surge protector. They are also more powerful and designed to withstand stronger surges. This alone makes them the better option in our opinion. It’s a hard pill to swallow if you go to the lengths of getting a surge protector and hooking up your most beloved electronics, only to lose them to a strong power surge.

Whole house surge protectors are of course more expensive than household surge protectors, not least because they require a professional to install them. While you can theoretically save a bit of money installing one yourself, we strongly advise against this unless you have knowledge and experience in the field. You can do more harm than good, not only to your electronics but to yourself, if you don’t install it properly. That being said, they’re not overly expensive for what they provide. And once you have it, it will likely outlast any household surge protector.

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Things to look for when buying a used vehicle https://shedheads.net/things-to-look-for-when-buying-a-used-vehicle/ Mon, 05 Nov 2018 23:59:37 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3798 Buying a vehicle can be a long and tedious process, with lots of research and inspecting going into it. This is especially true with used vehicles. We can’t all afford a brand new vehicle fresh off the lot, and even those of us who can will often opt for a used vehicle. They’re cheaper, they […]

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Buying a vehicle can be a long and tedious process, with lots of research and inspecting going into it. This is especially true with used vehicles. We can’t all afford a brand new vehicle fresh off the lot, and even those of us who can will often opt for a used vehicle. They’re cheaper, they can be sold privately, and if you know what to look for they can turn out to be a great deal. The problem many people run into is that they don’t know what to look for in a used vehicle, and end up buying a dud. Sometimes you get scammed, other times even the seller isn’t savvy enough to realise what kind of issues their vehicle is having. A vehicle is an important purchase, and it’s crucial you go in with some basic knowledge before committing to any used vehicle purchase. Here are some the the most important steps you can take when buying a used vehicle.

Basic stats

First, you want to learn a bit about the age and use of the vehicle. What year was it made? How much mileage has been put into it? These questions are the no-brainers. The older the vehicle, the more problems it’s likely to have. There’s also the issue of whether or not certain parts are still available for the vehicle’s make and model in that year. Sometimes even basic repairs can be a huge cost on a particularly old vehicle. The mileage is equally as important. It goes without saying that an older vehicle probably has more mileage on it. Generally speaking, vehicles with over 25,000 km on them are on the brink of needing some major repairs. Unless the owner has put some serious work in, vehicles approaching 30,000 km on the odometer are a red flag.

How well was it maintained

In rare cases, an old car with lots of mileage might still be a worthy investment. Buying a used vehicle from someone who puts a lot of work into general maintenance can make an immeasurable difference. For example, I’ve been driving a 1992 Toyota Corolla for over 25 years, and because of proper maintenance, it’s in better running condition than my neighbour’s 2006 Toyota Matrix. Some of this has to do with the quality of the brand, but a lot has to do with maintenance.

There are some important boxes you can check when investigating the maintenance of a vehicle. The number one box is regarding oil changes. How regularly were they done? When was the last oil change? If the answer is years, that could be a problem.

You also want to get some information about engine maintenance. Depending on the age and mileage, you’ll want to know if there’s ever been an engine change. How many parts have been replaced, if any? Timing belts, spark plugs and fuel injectors are a good place to start. Most people will turn and run at the sound of a bad engine. There’s nothing more off-putting than a choppy, grinding idle and a rough ride. But this doesn’t necessarily mean the engine is in bad shape. It’s usually worth running some good PEA fuel injector cleaner through the engine to see if the problem is simply a buildup of carboxyl deposits. This is one of the first moves for people intentionally buying non-running, fixer-uppers, but it’s a great idea for anyone buying an old, used car in any situation. For a relatively low cost, fresh oil and fuel injector cleaner can make a world of difference to an old used vehicle.

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Top 5 products to keep in your trunk https://shedheads.net/top-5-products-to-keep-in-your-trunk/ Mon, 05 Nov 2018 23:50:56 +0000 https://shedheads.net/?p=3791 5 Things to Keep in Your Trunk Having a happy relationship with your vehicle is about more than basic maintenance – it’s also about what you’ve got in your trunk! There are certain measures you can take to make vehicle maintenance easy, and to avoid some of the most common disasters vehicle owners face. Keeping […]

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5 Things to Keep in Your Trunk

Having a happy relationship with your vehicle is about more than basic maintenance – it’s also about what you’ve got in your trunk! There are certain measures you can take to make vehicle maintenance easy, and to avoid some of the most common disasters vehicle owners face. Keeping a few basic items in your trunk at all times can save you a lot of trouble, and it’s dead easy. A lot of common vehicle troubles can be easily solved with certain products that you can simply store in your trunk “just in case.” There’s nothing worse than easily avoidable vehicle trouble disrupting a road trip or commute to an important meeting. So whether you’re a first time car owner or trying to learn from past mistakes, let’s break down the top 5 items to always keep in your trunk.

Oil

The all important oil change! Most of us know that a vehicle won’t last long if it’s oil supply isn’t properly maintained. It’s difficult to downplay how serious it can be to continue driving your vehicle when it has run out of oil. In simple terms, your engine could literally explode. Oil is an absolutely crucial component to a safely, properly running vehicle. It’s not only ideal for maintenance, but it is also detrimental to having your vehicle physically running. We get it – sometimes you forget to check the oil. Sometimes you check and either don’t have any oil convenient, and simply forget to fill it later. You’re driving down the highway in the middle of nowhere and suddenly the oil light goes on. Depending on what you have in your trunk, this could spell disaster, or it could be a simple 3 minute stop. Keeping a container of oil in your car is always a great idea that can save you (or a friend) a lot of hassle.

Coolant

Coolant is another great product to keep in your vehicle. It’s another one of these things that can cause major damage if you happen to run out, but is dead to easy to keep topped up if you prepare for it. Like oil, you can grab coolant anywhere for fairly cheap. It’s easy to store and easy to fill up when needed, making a no-brainer addition to your trunk space. Especially if you’re on those long summer road trips, running out of coolant and having your car overheat can cast a pretty big shadow over the trip. So throw some coolant in the trunk and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Fuel injector cleaner

Fuel injector cleaner is great to have on hand because it’s easy to overlook. It’s not something you need to use frequently, so having a supply in your trunk can let you put it out of your mind. In certain situations, it’s also a quick fix to some common engine problems. If you’re driving across the country and notice your idle start to act up, simply running some fuel injector cleaner can get you back to driving smoothly. Of course, you’ve got to get the right type. so check out our guide if you want to know more.

Jump starters

We’ve all been there before. Whether you forgot to turn a light off, or sat too long listening to the radio, everyone has killed their car battery more than once. It renders your car useless, which is obviously a huge problem if you’ve got somewhere to be. The bright side is that it’s easy fix if you have jump starters and can wave down another vehicle. You can also save someone else’s day by carrying around jump starters. Jump starters are definitely one the most useful trunk tools you can have.

Spare tire

It goes without saying, a spare tire goes a long way. Of course, most vehicles come with a spare tire under the trunk bed. But it’s always a good idea to check, and especially important to make sure it has air in it. If it’s ever happened to you, you won’t forget the feeling of blowing a tire, feeling relieved that you are a responsible driver who knows how to put a spare on, and finding the spare tire is completely flat. It happens! So fill up that spare tire and give yourself some peace of mind. As a side note, it’s also smart make sure you have a good hoist that fits your car, and isn’t too rusty.

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