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How to Install ATV Graphics Kits

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How to Install ATV Graphics Kits

Serious off-road enthusiasts know that dirt and mud take their toll on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Because ATVs are covered in plastic, the particles get kicked up and scratch the surface, making it look old and dull. Installing a graphics kit is one of the best ways to keep the plastic on ATVs looking its best. Plus, the graphics look cool.

The best part of graphics kits is that there’s no need for most riders to have them professionally installed. Just make sure, when shopping for ATV graphics kits, to choose one that can be easily applied at home, then follow the steps below.

Step One: Clean Up

Once riders have their graphics kits in hand, the next step is to clean the ATV. Be sure to wash off 100% of the mud, dirt, and dust because the decals won’t stick well to materials that aren’t completely clean.

Step Two: Test Fit the Parts

Next, get out all of the different parts of the graphics kit to make sure everything is there and that every piece corresponds to the right plastic surface on the ATV. Pay attention to the die lines and to where the new graphics will be going. Those areas will need some extra prepping.

Step Three: Remove Old Graphics

If the ATV already had graphics installed but they’re no longer looking their best, now is the time to remove them. This is actually one of the hardest parts of installing a new graphics kit, and it can take some finesse. Start by peeling the decal up from the corner, then pull it away slowly and smoothly at a steep angle.

Riders who get this process just right will be rewarded with an adhesive-free surface to work with. Unfortunately, that result is rare. More often than not, old graphics leave some adhesive behind, which should be removed immediately. 

To get rid of it, soak a shop rag in a solvent and use it to thoroughly wet the glue. It’s fine to get creative and try some DIY hacks if there’s no contact cleaner available, but be careful not to use anything that could damage or fade the plastic. At the end of this process, the glue should rub off easily.

Step Four: Degrease the Plastic

Use clean, white paper towels, not shop cloths, to complete this step, as the latter can leave behind an unwanted residue that compromises the new adhesive. Be sure to clean and degrease every inch of the plastic that will come into contact with the new decals.

Step Five: Apply the New Graphics

The easiest way to place the new graphics correctly is to peel back a small amount of one corner and stick it down first before removing the rest of the backing. Smooth the material down a little at a time and be sure that it’s completely flat against the surface of the ATV to avoid air bubbles. This step is generally easier to get right in warmer weather, and some people even use hair dryers or heat guns to help with difficult curves.

Enjoy the Ride

If applied correctly, high-quality modern graphics kits will look their best for longer than the factory original plastic. Once they’re installed, riders can head out on the trails with confidence knowing their ATVs are protected.

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What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters That Exist Today?

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What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters That Exist Today?

Did you know that water heating accounts for as much as 20% of your household energy use? And that figure grows the longer you stay in that nice hot shower!

Of course, the types of water heaters you choose can also increase (or reduce) your that figure. Once upon a time, people just had a simple hot water tank heated by a fuel of some kind. Today, there’s a surprisingly extensive range of water heaters to choose from, and knowing which is best for your home can be daunting.

If you’re upgrading your current heater or choosing appliances for a new build, diving into the pros and cons of each machine is essential. Below, we explore it all. So read on!

What Is a Water Heater?

Before you can find the best water heater for your home, you need to understand what a water heater is and does!

Believe it or not, but the is right there in the name: a water heater is an appliance that heats the water in your home, which you then use to wash dishes, clean your body, and wash your clothes–among other activities.

Before the 1890s or so, Americans had to heat their water in an enormous metal bucket atop their wood-burning stoves. Then, they’d carry it over, bucket by bucket, to fill a bathtub in the kitchen.

Today, we’re far luckier–we have water heaters and indoor plumbing to do the job for us.

How a Water Heater Works

Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s explore how a residential water heater does what it does. While there are many types of water heaters (more on those later), they all work in similar ways.

First, water is fed into a tank or runs through a pipe. Then, the water is heated slowly (in the case of the tank) or rapidly (in the case of the pipe) until it reaches a pre-determined temperature. Then, when you turn on the hot tap anywhere in your home, the water leaves the tank or runs through the pipes, arriving in the sink or shower hot.

Water heaters mostly used to function on electricity, but now you can run water heaters on gas, solar, and even the hot air from your attic!

If you need a water heater replacement, that’s usually a plumber’s job. But, unfortunately, it’s also typically a significant expense!

Types of Water Heaters: Explained

Let’s say your current water heater has broken down, and you’re in the market for a new one. If you’re a smart homeowner, you’ll look into all the standard options available today rather than just buying a replica of what you already had.

Conventional

Almost every homeowner will be familiar with a conventional or tank-style water heater when it comes to homeownership. If you didn’t have one in the house you bought, you almost certainly grew up with one in the house.

This water heater has a tank that fills with water. The tank has two valves:

  • A temperature control valve, which releases at 120 F
  • A pressure control valve, which releases at 150 PSI

The water in the tank is constantly re-heated to stay at the desired temperature. Then, the hot water is piped all over the house as needed.

Tank water heaters come in various capacities depending on your budget, how it’s powered, and the size of your home (namely, how many places in your house need hot water).

Tankless

Some homes (especially new homes) have a tankless water heater installed.

As soon as you turn on the hot tap, the coils in the water heater are filled with water. Next, an element heats the coils, which heats the water. It’s the instantaneous result that people love about these water heaters.

In most cases, this type of heater is powered by gas. If they’re run on electricity, they might not be as efficient and may raise your utility bills more than you’d like.

Tankless water heaters are great for homes using a small amount of hot water, like condos or apartments. However, larger homes requiring larger volumes of water might get tepid rather than hot water coming out of the tap.

They also require a certain level of water pressure to function effectively.

Hybrid or Heat Pump

If you’re looking for ways to lower your utility bills (and who isn’t these days), consider a hybrid water heater.

This type of heater uses the heat from the ground and the air to heat water. It only uses electricity to transfer the heat to the water, rather than using it to heat the water itself, saving energy.

This type of water heater is typically quite significant because it features a pump on the top of the appliance. This means you need a decent amount of ceiling clearance to install it in your home.

And while it’s relatively inexpensive to run and easy to maintain, it has a higher upfront cost than most other types of water heaters.

Solar

A water heater option to emerge in the past decade or so is the solar-power water heater. This option is excellent for those considering adding solar panels to their home and perfect for anyone who already has them!

You need to connect your water tank to solar panels installed on your roof to get hot water. The energy from the sun is transferred to the tank via a closed-loop system made of heat-conductive material. It’s this that heats the water in the tank.

Just remember that while solar is beneficial (and cost-saving) in most parts of America, areas with low sunlight hours might not get the return on investment they were expecting.

Get the Steamy Bathroom of Your Dreams

Whether you’re happy to stay on the grid or excited to embrace the eco-friendly age, there are types of water heaters to suit.

Environmentalists can choose between solar-powered water heaters and heat-pump or hybrid options. Traditionalists or those in areas with low sunlight hours can stick with a conventional water heater or go for a tankless model. What’s essential is that you do your research on how each option meets your needs and shop around for the best prices.

For more advice on everything household related, browse the other articles on our website.

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