How to Fix a Broken Flush Cistern in 3 Simple Steps

Jan 16

A broken toilet is one that leaks water, which not only causes your water bill to rise, but even cause structural damage to your bathroom and drip below your flat or condo unit if the leak is left unattended. But there is good news – you don’t have to call a plumber right away if the problem is minor. In fact, you can probably fix it yourself.

Here’s how you can fix a broken flush cistern and get your toilet to work normally again:

1.  Check your toilet for any leaks

Start by removing the cistern lid and adding a small amount of food coloring into the cistern. This is because leaks can often go unnoticed, you need to use something to serve as an indicator, and this is where the coloring comes in.

If you see the food coloring in the water, it means you have a leak, and you need to proceed to the next step.

2.  Lower the arm

One reason why your cistern keeps filling into the bowl is because the valve is open, in which case your next step is to lower the float arm to make sure the bowl sits lower in the cistern.

While this isn’t the case with newer cisterns, older cisterns have a brass arm that you can bend down for this situation.

You should also watch out for any clogs in your bowl, especially in your inlet valve, since this can affect the water flow in your cistern.

3.  Adjust your float

Turn the adjusting screw on top of both the float arm as well as the ball, and raise and lower the arm to the right position that will shut off the water valve. The correct water level is usually marked in most toilets, so all you need to do is to look for it and adjust the float correctly.

After this, try adding coloring again to your cistern. If it stops leaking, it means your adjustment has worked. However, you may need to call a plumber if you still see dye in your toilet bowl.

Calling a Plumber

Water is a crucial aspect of everyday life, so it’s always a good idea to call a plumber if you have a serious problem with leaking toilets, faucets, and especially with your pipes. You should call one especially since some signs of serious plumbing damage aren’t always obvious.

Some of these less obvious signs of damage to your plumbing include the following:

  • You have short showers
  • The water drains slowly
  • You don’t often have water in your home
  • You hear knocking in your pipes
  • The water comes out colored instead of clear.
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4 Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Home Cleaner for Longer

Jan 16

Keeping your HDB flat or condo in Singapore clean doesn’t have to be a huge task that needs a whole weekend just to do. Doing this can not only make the cleaning feel more stressful, but it can also take longer to actually get done.

Instead, try doing the cleaning, dusting, and even de-cluttering piecemeal. This way, sections of your home are not only easier to clean, but you also make it much less stressful for yourself. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep your home cleaner for a longer:

1.  Make cleaning a habit

Big cleaning weekends can be stressful, but you can keep the next cleaning session stress-free by starting with the simple things. These can be vacuuming, putting things away when you don’t need them, or even wiping down a dusty surface every now and then.

While there’s no need to really be a neat freak, it does help when you assign places for your cleaning tools in various areas in your home, which makes cleaning faster and more convenient.

2.  Hide your clutter in plain sight

“Clutter” in your home isn’t always clutter – it’s usually the things in your home that you use frequently, but don’t have the right space or home for them.

This is where you can put a little creativity. For instance, finding the right crevices and corners and adding shelves to them are an easy way to keep things from being clutter, and sometimes even turn them into décor.

3.  Do a load of laundry often

One reason why laundry days can be such a hassle is because there’s a lot of clothes that you need to clean, which sometimes takes up hours if not the whole day.

The good news is there’s a fix for that: you can keep your dirty clothes from piling up by making it a habit to clean a few shirts every few days. This way, when you finally have to do your weekly laundry, it won’t be as big or as time-consuming as you expect.

4.  Sweep at least once a day

Just like clutter, dust can accumulate in your home – but only if you let it.

The simplest way to start keeping your home clean is to sweep every area at least once a day, especially when it gets dusty easily, you live with many people who pass through different areas, or simply when you have plenty of things.

When sweeping the floor, don’t just focus on the high-traffic areas: you should also be on the lookout for tight corners and spaces beneath furniture, since these are areas most likely to accumulate dust.

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Easy Ways to Negotiate Your Salary with Your Boss

Nov 25

For some reason, most of us only talk about money when we need to borrow it. Perhaps that’s the reason why we don’t know how to discuss the subject even when we need to – such as when we feel that we’re undercompensated at work. So whether you’re currently applying for a new job or is trying to earn more at your present work, here are some helpful tips that could help you get through the tension and awkwardness of negotiating your salary with your superior.

Know the Value of Your Position

For starters, perform a little research and figure out how much someone in your position should be earning. This can be a little tricky for fresh graduates though, since you don’t have much experience yet to demand for a higher pay. Still, it won’t hurt to ask a mentor or a friend for what you should expect and what you should certainly pass on. While they might not be able to give you an exact number, knowing the salary range for your position can already be helpful.

Aim for the Top

After knowing the salary range of your position, you can now assume that you’re entitled to have the top pay. Even if your current employer might think otherwise, at least you’ll have enough room to wiggle down.

Consider Your Work Experiences

Spend time to look over your résumé. How long have you been working for the company? How much responsibility does your job require? Do you have enough prior experience that’ll convince them that you can help in improving their company? If you’re thinking of asking for a promotion, simply ask yourself “Have I exceeded or met their expectations?” or “Am I indispensable to them?”

Be Firm With Your Decision

Another way to do it is to be firm with your decision when negotiating your salary. Say something like, “I’m excited to work here and I know that I can really help your company grow. I also appreciate your offer, but I was hoping that you give me this [indicate amount] range instead.”

Learn to Walk Away When Necessary

Prior to negotiating your salary, learn to establish a “walk away” and commit to it. Sure, it’s true that you need to start somewhere, but it’s also important that you know if you’re being taken advantage of. If their offer doesn’t feel fair for you, then don’t hesitate to reject it and just trust that you’ll find a better offer somewhere else.

Negotiating your salary isn’t as difficult as you think. All you’ve got to do is discuss the matter with your boss in a respectful way, and we’re sure that he or she would be willing to look into your request.

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Learning How to Express Yourself By Singing

Nov 25

Music has been around for centuries and one particular use of music is actually for serenading. There have been so many ballads and songs written for the sole purpose of expressing affection.

We’re Born to Express Through Music

A lot of people use songs as a way to express their affection for someone else. Why shouldn’t you? Music is a part of everyone whether or not they are a fan of music. Music is such a big mass that it definitely fills the big empty holes of the music lovers. A lot of dreams have been made around music.

A lot of careers have been built around music. Music is someone everyone should appreciate. After all, there are so many different kinds of music to choose from. You can definitely decide which music you prefer. After all, who says you have to like the same music as other people do?

Singing as a Form of Communication

Now what about singing a song to the one you love? Why not? Doing this would be super romantic. Whether it be a lullaby to sleep or maybe even a full on performance when you propose, singing to them is a great way to get them to feel how much you love them. Besides, it’s a great way for you to showcase that hidden star power.

You don’t need to have an amazing angelic voice to sing. All you need to do is sing from the heart. Finding the perfect song may be hard. Well, there’s always that option of asking them what their favorite songs are but then again, there are always amazing songs that could be their next favorite song.

The Many Wonders of Singing

Look around and you might just find a hidden gem that magically describes how you feel about that person you love. Don’t give up, you can even ask others who are really into music to help you out finding a good song for you to sing to the one you love. When you’ve picked your song, the next step would be to perform it.

Now you could go from a simply entering the room while playing the song all the way to an extravagant singing on a stage. Whatever you do, plan it a little more. Make that moment magical. Music is magic after all and to be able to play music for the one you love is basically you performing magic.

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The Basics of Charcoal Drawing

Oct 02

If you have been drawing with pencils and pens for most of your life, you will find the dramatic strokes of charcoal a bit more challenging.

Here are some essential things you need to know about charcoal drawing before trying the new medium.

Basic Charcoal Drawing Materials

To practice drawing with charcoal, you will need the following materials:

  1. Charcoal
  2. White chalk
  3. Kneaded eraser
  4. Tortillon or blending stump
  5. Chamois
  6. Drawing paper
  7. Drawing pencils and sharpener
  8. Sanding block or sandpaper (for compressed charcoal)
  9. Fixative

Charcoal can be in any form; such as charcoal sticks or vines also known as carbonized wood, charcoal pencils or compressed, conte crayons or charcoal mixed with gum binder or wax or clay, charcoal powder or ground charcoal, and willow charcoal that came from burnt willow vine.

You can experiment with any of these materials to determine which can achieve the desired affects you have in mind. When you purchase a set of charcoal materials, some labels will have a hardness rating similar to graphite pencils, such as H, HB, and 2B. Some labels, however, vary among manufacturers, so be sure to try the product on a piece of paper before purchasing.

The chamois and tortillon are used for blending, while the white chalk can be used to create the lighter portions of the drawing. As for the drawing surface, use heavyweight paper that is at least 70 pounds so it can hold the charcoal.

Basic Charcoal Drawing Techniques

Before doing any sketches, you should try creating lines and shapes using the different types of charcoal you have purchased. That way, you will get a feel of how to properly hold each material and how hard you need to press to achieve the desired effect. The pencil, for example, should be held differently than the stick and vine charcoal.

Most of the drawing techniques you have learned with graphite pencils and pens can be used with charcoal, but you should master techniques for shading and hatching to make the most out of the dramatic and expressive lines of the medium.

When you have selected a subject, start by drawing lines to create an outline. Refine the lines and curves of the sketch until it resembles the subject matter. Then, using a chamois or blending stump, rub on some areas to create a contrast of darks and greys. To create highlights, use the kneaded eraser and gently wipe a small piece on some areas to lift the charcoal. After that, it’s time to create values by repeating the same steps until the drawing is finished.

Fixative for Charcoal Drawing

Charcoal drawings can smudge easily, that is why you will need a fixative to keep the material on paper. There are different types of fixatives in art shops in Singapore, so find the product that is non-yellowing, doesn’t have a strong odor, is quick-drying, and is designed for charcoal and pencil (some fixatives cannot be used on pastels).

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