Why are Manhole Covers Round?

A manhole cover, for those who don't know, is a removable plate which is used to cover the manhole with the primary intention of ensuring that no one falls into it, and perhaps the secondary intention of keeping out those who are not authorized to enter it. Basically, manholes, which serve as the entry point for those who clean underground sewerage pipes, are located at every major junction of sewer http://all4webs.com/damborgdamborg4/home.htm lines. With so many manholes around, the chances of a person falling into them cannot be ruled out; and hence they have to be neatly covered. But why do we always get to see round manhole covers, especially when there are other shapes which are lot appealing?

Why are Manhole Covers Round, and Not Square or Triangular in Shape?

One of the most obvious reasons for the manhole covers to be round - as anybody would guess it, is to facilitate easy transportation of these covers from one place to another as they can be easily rolled by one person - something which is not possible with square manhole covers. While that may sound http://www.blackplanet.com/your_page/blog/view_posting.html?pid=4383830&profile_id=65989429&profile_name=BaggeBuchanan4&user_id=65989429&username=BaggeBuchanan4 convincing, there exists yet another important reason for the round shape of manhole covers, and that is because this round shape ensures that they don't fall in through the circular opening. (If the manhole cover shape is square, it can fall inside when inserted diagonally.) This can be attributed to the fact that the lip which is designed to hold the cover reduces the diameter of the hole by an inch or so, and allows the cover to settle.

Again, round manhole covers do not have to be aligned when putting them in place; they will fit in easily irrespective of how you place them. The same rule applies for septic tank covers as well. At the same time, the shape of the hole has to be taken into consideration as well. The manhole is given a round shape as this shape makes it hold on against the compression of the earth from all sides. At the same time, one should also make a note of the fact that digging a round hole is much more easy as compared to digging a square hole. At the end of the day, when a hole is round, the cover - which is used to cover it, will naturally be round.

What about the Reuleaux Triangle?

One may argue that a Reuleaux triangle - wherein all diameters are of the same length, would also serve the purpose. But then manufacturing round manhole covers is easier than manufacturing Reuleaux triangular - or any other shaped, manhole covers, as pouring hot metal in a circular mold and allowing it to settle is easier than doing the same in a mold of some other shape. Initially, it was believed that equilateral triangles are also ideal for manhole covers, but the same was eventually proved wrong by researchers. (Interestingly, the city of Nashua in New Hampshire happens to be the only http://www.tmz.com/member/forbesdamborg3 city in the United States to have triangular manhole covers, all of which point towards the direction towards which the sewage is flowing.)

All these logical reasons hint at the fact that this question about the round shape of manhole covers is not some why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road question, but is in fact an aptitude based question which you might face the next time you go for an interview. So, the next time someone asks you what's logic behind opting for circular manhole covers over square or triangular manhole covers, you know what you have to say.



Huge bills await Colorado residents lacking flood insurance

DENVER Jessica Klauzer-Zimmerman and her children havebeen sleeping on friends' couches since floodwaters sloshed intoher Boulder townhouse - which wasn't covered by flood insurance.

"We were told we didn't need it because we didn't live on theflood plain," said Klauzer-Zimmerman, a single mom with threekids.

Now she and thousands of other Coloradans who didn't buy floodpolicies for their homes, businesses or farms could face staggeringcosts to clean up or rebuild after last week's deadly anddevastating floods in the mountains, foothills and eastern plains.

And they might be dismayed to learn that aid from the governmentis limited and focused primarily on getting them temporary helpwith renting a new place or paying for relatively minor repairs ontheir homes.

For those who lack flood insurance to cover bigger, longer-termcosts, their only option might be a low-interest government loan orcommunity-based relief groups.

"It's really a heartbreaking situation for these people," saidEric Weedin, an insurance agent in Larimer County whose agency hasseen a spike in calls from frantic homeowners. "A lot of peopledon't have the assets or the savings to repair their house."

More than 7,200 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyedin Larimer and Boulder counties, the hardest-hit areas of Colorado,according to county officials. But fewer than 6,000 home andbusiness owners in those two counties had flood insurance,according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It wasn't known how many of the insured homes and businessessuffered flood damage. Boulder and Larimer counties have a total of606,000 residents and 261,000 housing units.

Statewide, only about 22,000 homeowners have flood insurancepolicies, FEMA spokesman Jerry DeFelice said. With 2.2 millionhousing units in Colorado, according to Census figures, that meansabout 1 percent of the state's residences have flood coverage.

Some people don't realize that standard homeowners insurancedoesn't cover floods. Others gamble that they won't need floodinsurance and decide not to pay for it. In Colorado, adding floodcoverage to a homeowners policy costs an average of about $650 ayear.

"I think there's the all-too-human impulse to think it won'thappen to you," DeFelice said. "I think we're like that."

State officials have released no estimates of the costs of thefloods, which killed at least six people and left two othersmissing and presumed dead. But the damage is expected to be in thehundreds of millions but of dollars.

Klauzer-Zimmerman is still waiting to hear whether herhomeowners insurance includes sewage backups. Even if it does, thecoverage is limited to $10,000. She knows she'll need a lot morethan that.

The knee-deep water left her townhouse uninhabitable.

"I've got three kids sleeping on a couch, but we're safe," shesaid.

Josh Landwehr of Boulder said he is in the insurance businessbut has no flood policy because his home is just outside a floodplain.

salina, colorado, flood

A home is destroyed in Salina on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, in the Fourmile Canyon area of Boulder County Colorado.

Jeremy Papasso,AP Photo/Daily Camera

Water and sewage got into his basement. But Landwehr said floodinsurance wouldn't have helped because it "only covers water thatcomes through the front door," not up from the ground.

Deyn Johnson, owner of Whispering Pines Cottages in the touristtown of Estes Park, has flood insurance but couldn't afford apolicy that would cover all of her losses.

Only three of her 11 cottages are usable, her water well andseptic system were damaged, and floodwaters carved a 7-foot ravineinto the property.

"Flood insurance does not cover any loss of incomewhatsoever," Johnson said. She doubts it will cover debrisremoval, let alone rebuilding the cabins or restoring utilities.

Some of the flooding in Larimer and Boulder counties wasworsened by runoff from wildfires scars that had not fully healedand could not absorb as much rain as a healthy forest. Homeownersin those areas had been urged to buy flood insurance, DeFelicesaid, but it wasn't immediately clear how many did so.

Homeowners aren't required to get flood insurance unless theyhave a federally backed mortgage and live in a 100-year flood plain- defined as an area that could be inundated by a flood so largethere is only a 1 percent chance of it occurring in any given year,DeFelice said.

Individual lenders also can require the insurance if they'reworried about flood risk in other areas.

All homeowners should at least consider getting flood insurance,no matter where they live, DeFelice said. And he warned that a100-year-flood plain is more of a concept than a definablegeographic area.

"Mother Nature isn't going to observe that line," he said.

DeFelice predicts more Coloradans will sign up for floodinsurance, but others' experience suggests they might not keep thepolicies.

The 1997 Red River flood in North Dakota and Minnesota have causednearly $2 billion in damage just in Grand Forks, N.D., but fewerthan 750 Grand Forks homeowners had flood coverage a decade later.

Weedin said his insurance agency is getting five or six calls aday from people asking about flood insurance, up from two or threea month before last week's catastrophe.

"At this point, it's mostly people who are scared, not peoplewho have had the loss," he said.

2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




An easy fix for split boots at plumbing vent flashings - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Check out the photo below. Do you see the problem?

32x Zoom

The white pipe sticking up out of the roof is a plumbing vent. The rubber boot at the base of the plumbing vent is part of the flashing kit for this vent, and the boot has dried out and split. Here's another photo of a split rubber boot, taken from the same roof at a different location.

Split boot at plumbing vent flashing

In preparation for this blog post, I hopped up on my own roof and took a look at the flashing on my own plumbing vents. I bet you can guess what I found.

Split boot

I ought to inspect my own roof more often. This is what happens to those cheap rubber boots over time. They seem to last about 10-15 years here in Minnesota. Here's water damage at a bathroom ceiling (not mine), which resulted from this defect.

Water damaged ceiling

I've always recommended replacing the plumbing vent flashing when I find this defect, but I recently came across a plumbing vent flashing repair device that looked like a cross between a two-piece plumbing vent cap and Darth Vader's helmet. It's called a Perma-Boot.


It's a simple product that can be easily installed in minutes, and comes with a lifetime warranty.Home Depot sells them for $18.84, which is more than twice the price of the traditional flashing pictured at the beginning of this post, but I think it'sworth the price. They come in 1--, 2-, 3- and 4-inch sizes, but for the record, the smallest vent that you're supposed to have sticking up through your roof is 2 inches. The concern with smaller vents is that they could get blocked with frost too easily.

The only potential installation issues that I can foresee with this product are with plumbing vents that are too short or too tall. Plumbing vents should ideally stick up out of the roof about one foot, and this is what is required by code here in Minnesota (see 4715.2530). The taller the vent, the greater potential to get blocked with frost. The shorter the vent, the greater the potential to get blocked by snow. If you have a plumbing ventthat's too tall for a Perma-Boot, simply cut it down. If you have a plumbing vent that's too short, make it taller.

I think this is a great product, and I'm going to start recommending them when I find split boots. Author:Reuben Saltzman,Structure Tech Home Inspections

p.s. - I think "Darth Vader helmet" is a better name than "Perma-Boot".

More from The Home Inspector


OC Baseball alumni game set for Sept. 26 - Ohio County Monitor

The Ohio County High School Baseball Boosters are sponsoring their annual Alumni Players Game on Saturday, Sept. 26, at OCHS Leach Field. All former Eagle playersfrom 1966 through 2015are eligible to play. Last years turnout was so large that three games were played, with players playing against others near their age.

A $10 fee will be charged to those participating, who are guaranteed playing time and at least two at-bats. All proceeds go to benefit the OCHS baseball program. Everyone is invited to come watch the fun and get to see old friends and teammates.

Players wishing to participate should contact Booster president Jason Bullock at [emailprotected] or by calling 270-256-5506 or leave a message. Players will be asked to include their name, the year they graduated, and a phone number where they can be reached.

Those signing up to play need to contact Bullock by Sept. 21 in order for game arrangements to be finalized.


Adrian's brick arch sewer project work scheduled - The Daily Telegram

The city of Adrian Utilities Department contracted with Michigan Paving and Materials and Concord Excavating of Jackson to complete construction work associated with the brick arch sewer improvement project. In general, this work will consist of replacing sanitary sewer along North Main Street between Front and Washburn streets and along Toledo Street between North Main and Locust streets, according to city officials. This construction project will require temporary road closures. Below is a tentative schedule of construction activities: North Main Street: mobilize and set up detour signage Sept. 89, excavate and place sewer Sept. 1016 and concrete work Sept. 1719. Toledo Street (Main to Broad streets): excavate and place sewer Sept. 21Oct. 2, Locust storm sewer Sept. 21Oct. 2 and concrete work Oct. 38. Toledo Street (Broad to Locust streets): excavate and place sewer Oct. 920 and concrete work Oct. 2126. Locust Street: concrete work Oct. 510, milling Oct. 27, place asphalt Oct. 28Nov. 3, and clean up and de-mobilize Nov. 46. City officials said they want the public to keep in mind this schedule is tentative and may change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, the public should use posted detours, as necessary. All local businesses will remain open during construction. Drivers are asked to use caution where construction workers are present. For additional information, contact the citys utilities department at 264-4825.


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