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RE: List of stuff in kitchens? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: buehl on 07.18.2008 at 12:13 am in Kitchens Forum

To indirectly answer your question, here's the storage planning "guide" I came up should help you figure out what you want to store in the kitchen and where.

Once you've finalized your basic design, it's time to analyze your storage needs in each zone. The results of that analysis will drive the size/configuration of your cabinets and drawers. (The following is a general write-up I've come up with...)

  1. First, make a list of everything you plan to store in your new kitchen, regardless of where it's stored, basement, dining room, etc.

  2. Next, take the list and group the items according to function. Will they be used during prep? cooking? baking? cleanup? Some items, like pot holders, may belong in two different zones (in this case, cooking & baking). You can either find storage between the two zones or have duplicates and store one in each zone.

  3. Now, determine where each of your zones will be (prep, cleanup, cooking, baking, storage, etc.)

  4. The next step depends on the stage you are in the design/order process...

  5. If you've already ordered your cabinets, then you will have to work with what you have. So...

    • Identify the storage potential in each zone and list them on a piece of paper with a section for each cabinet (base & upper) and one line per drawer or shelf in that cabinet. This includes your pantry for your "storage" zone.

    • Take the two lists and, while imagining yourself working in each zone, put the dishes, tools, etc. that you will be using in cabinets in that zone. Fill in the lines in the cabinet list with these items.

    If you are still in the design phase, you will have the opportunity to plan your storage to meet your needs in each zone.

    • Take your list and imagine yourself working in each zone.

    • Go through the motions to determine the best locations for each item that will be used and stored in that zone (don't forget that you will probably have both upper and lower cabinets).

    • Now that you know where to put the items, determine what the best way is to store those items (drawer, shelf, etc.) and what size (e.g., pots & pans work best in 30" or 36" drawers)

    • Lastly, transfer what you've done to your design & tweak as necessary.

You should now have a well-thought out and highly functional kitchen!

This not only helps you to "see" how things will fit, but it also will help when you move back into the won't have to think about it, you'll be able to just put things away. It will also be a handy "map" for everyone to help find things the first few weeks w/o having to open every drawer or door!

Oh, and don't forget the Junk Drawer! Most people end up with one, so you may as well plan for it so you at least have control over where it's located!

Common Zones, Appliances In That Zone, and Suggestions For What To Store There:

  • Storage--pantry & refrigerator--tupperware, food, wraps & plastic bags

  • Preparation--sink & trash--utensils, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls, colander, jello molds, cutting boards, knives, cook books, paper towels

  • Cooking--cooktop/range & MW--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, serving dishes (platters, bowls, etc.), paper towels

  • Baking--ovens/range--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, casserole dishes, roasting rack, cooling racks, cookie sheets, foils, rolling pin, cookie cutters, pizza stone, muffin tins, paper towels

  • Cleanup--sink & DW & trash--detergents, linens, dishes & glasses, flatware

  • Eating--island/peninsula/table/nook/DR--table linens, placemats, napkins, dishes & glasses, flatware

  • Utility--broom, dustpan, swifter, mop, cleaning supplies, cloths, flashlights, batteries, extension cords

  • Message Center--phones, charging station, directories/phone books, calendar, desk supplies, dry erase board or chalkboard

Less Common Zones:

  • Tea/Coffee Bar--coffeemaker--mugs, teas/coffees, sugar, teapot

  • Pet Zone--feeding area--food, snacks

Commonly Used Items: pots & pans, utensils, small appliances, linens, pot holders, trivets, dish detergents, "Tupperware", knives, pitchers, water bottles, vases, picnic supplies, cook books, etc.

Foods: Spices, Breads, Flours/Sugars, Teas/Coffees, Potatoes, Onions, Canned Goods, Dry Goods (rice, pasta, etc.), Cereals, Snacks

Small Appliances: Toaster, Stand and/or Hand Mixer, Blender, Breadmaker, Toaster Oven, Food Processor, Crockpot, Waffle Iron, Electric Skillet, Coffeemaker, Coffee Grinder, Ricer, Steamer

NOTE: If your ceiling or one or more of your walls is coming down, consider wiring for speakers, TV, Computer, etc.


clipped on: 01.27.2013 at 03:13 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2013 at 03:15 pm

RE: Whole House Surge Protector (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: westom on 11.07.2010 at 02:04 pm in Heating & Air Conditioning Forum

> I'm having new HVAC installed and interested in having a whole-house surge
> protector installed at breaker panel to protect equipment from
> spikes, sags caused by typical line current and lightning.

Too many accurate and other bogus replies to praise or correct. Some will be addressed here.

'Whole house' protection is the only solution for protecting all household appliances - especially electronics. But a protector does not do protection. You earthing must be upgraded to both meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical code. All electricians understand how to meet code. Only a few understand what is necessary to make the same earthing system sufficient for surge protection.

Your earth ground must be upgraded so that the connection from breaker box to earth, via the protector, is short (ie 'less than 10 feet'). For example a bare quarter inch copper wire leaves the breaker box to earth ground. You follow that wire. If it goes up over the foundation and down to an earth ground rod, then it is too long and has too many sharp bends. Protection subverted. That wire must go through the foundation and down to earth ground. Many feet shorter. No sharp wire bends. Ground wire separated from all other electrical wires.

Again, concepts that so many electricians do not understand. And also why plug-in protectors do not even claim to provide effective protection.

If the only ground wire is to cold water pipes, your earthing is so insufficient as to essentially not exist (for surge protection). To not even meet human safety codes.

The most critical component in every surge protection system is not a protector. A protector is nothing more than a connecting device. Your protection is earth ground. Only a few electricians have sufficient electrical knowledge to understand what that means. Why, for example, sharp wire bends going over the foundation subverts surge protection. Or why the ground connection must be single digit feet long - as short as possible.

Same applies to any other wire entering the building. For example the cable TV wire must also connect just as short to the same earth ground before entering.

Any wire that enters without being first earthed puts your HVAC (and all other household electronics) at risk.

How to make better protection? Any money wasted on plug-in protectors is better spend upgrading the earthing. How to make the same ‘whole house’ protector even more effective? Upgrade and expand the earthing. A protector is only as effective as its earth gorund. Which is why adjacent protectors do not claim to do protection. And sometimes can make electronics damage easier.

Distance between protector and appliance increases appliance protection. Shorter distance from protector to earth also increases all appliance protection. Just another reason why a 'whole house' protector is so effective for HVAC.

A minimally sized protector starts at 50,000 amps. Only those educated by retail myths will define a protector as a one shot device. If any protector fails during a surge, the protector was probably a scam. 50,000 amps because an effective protector connects even direct lightning strikes (ie 20,000 amps) to earth. And remain functional. And does same for all smaller surges. Hard honest answers come with numbers. One that is important. A ‘whole house’ protector starts at 50,000 amps to make even lightning irrelevant.

About 50,000 amps or higher. Another critical number - less than 10 foot connection to single point ground.

Lightning strikes utility wires down the street. That is a direct lightning strike to all household appliances if the ‘whole house’ solution is not implemented. Not every appliance is destroyed. A surge will choose which to damage by chosing a path to earth. However, if the surge is earthed before entering, then no energy is inside hunting destructively via appliances. The most common surge is a lightning strike to incoming wires.

Sometimes (much less often), lightning may seek earth via a chimney or via the attic light. So we also earth a lightning rod. But one should consider the risk. A destructive surge (lightning and other sources) occurs maybe once every seven years. Lightning averted by a lightning rod is even less frequent. One must learn from numbers such as neighborhood history to determine if a lightning rod is also necessary. TV roof antennas properly earthed as required by code also act as lightning rods.

A 'whole house' protector will also avert house fires and other problems created by power strip protectors. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. If that energy is inside the house (ie via a cable TV wire), then nothing stops a hunt for earth destructively via appliances (ie computer). Either a surge connects short to earth before entering. Or all appliances (electronic and motorized) are at risk. A ‘whole house’ protector is also necessary to protect power strip protectors that are often so grossly undersized as to be one-shot protectors.

All appliances contain massive protection. Anything a plug-in protector might do is already accomplished inside every appliance (including the HVAC). Your concern is a rare and destructive surge that can overwhelm protection already inside appliances - including HVAC. That surge is only averted by earth ground. Either a protector connects destructive energy to earth outside the building. Or that protector is best called a scam.

Utilities can rent or install a 'whole house' protector behind the meter. But utilities do not install earth ground. Only the homeowner is responsible for providing and maintaining the only thing that provides surge protection - single point earth ground.

Wires underground do not provide surge protection. Every wire (overhead or underground) inside every cable must connect short to single point ground. No exceptions. If not - if a buried wire interconnects two buildings. Then a surge to one building can act like a lightning rod connected to appliances in the second building. Even underground wires that enter each facility must connect short to single point ground.

Sags are not averted by protectors. Even incandescent bulbs dimmed to 50% intensity means ideal power to all electronics. But that can cause havoc to motorized appliances (ie HVAC). Therefore an HVAC controller must make sags irrelevant. If voltage drops too low, the controller must stop motors. And if power is restored too quickly, then the controller must wait long enough for a restart to cause no damage. Sags are addressed by properly designed electronic controllers. Surges can only be averted where wires enter the building - via earth ground.

A ‘whole house’ protector is required by everyone reading this. Only effective protection for every household electronics including bathroom GFCIs, smoker detectors, dishwasher, computers, and HVAC. One 50,000 amp ‘whole house’ protector connected as short as possible (ie ‘less than 10 feet’) to single point earth ground. And an expanded earthing system.


clipped on: 01.07.2012 at 05:09 pm    last updated on: 01.07.2012 at 05:11 pm