Bob Fyfe: “Why Stephen Gilbert’s negative response to the Ladybug showerhead? If you do multitask while waiting for the shower to heat up, the Ladybug will allow you not to worry about wasting hot water. If you don’t multitask because you are afraid of wasting hot water, then this will allow you to. It seems like a winner either way. . . . Myself, I first turn on the hot water in the sink to wet and then later rinse my toothbrush. The water is still cold at this point but I figure I’m using the cold water that is in the hot water pipes, water that would be wasted when I was waiting for the shower to heat up. Then after shaving, I turn on the shower, do some push-ups, weigh myself and by then the water is almost hot enough to go straight in. If I were to install a Ladybug, perhaps I could do more push-ups without worrying about wasting hot water.”

Karen Tiede:Insulate the hot water pipes, if you have access to them. For me, that cut the ‘heat up’ time to a fraction of what it had been, and the insulation keeps the water hotter, too. I barely have time to do anything else while I wait. But in the meantime, I collect the cold water in a bucket and use it to flush the toilet. In the kitchen, the ‘heat up’ water gets collected in a pitcher and goes to the dog water bowl (ditto for ice cubes that freeze in a big lump). How about marking the taps so that you turn them to where they need to be to be the right temperature? I finally thought to do that in the drought two years ago and it saved a ton of adjusting.”

Sandy Birnholtz:I installed this in my bathroom ten years ago. (I have no financial interest). Doesn’t waste any water. Just circulates it, with a timer.”

☞ It’s a noiseless 33-watt pump you install under the sink furthest from your hot water heater that keeps the water in the entire hot water pipe warm all the time.

I get why this would save water that would otherwise go down the drain while you waited for it to heat up. (They estimate that the average family of four will use 17,000 fewer gallons of water a year, paying $3.37 per 100 cubic feet in water and sewer charges. That comes to about $76 a year, on the off chance I’ve done the math right.) An environmental plus.

And I certainly get why you’d save the time of waiting for the water to heat up. (Poor Bob won’t get to do any pushups.) A lifestyle plus.

It’s less obvious to me why you’d save on the water heating cost. (The brochure includes a chart to show how all this works and how much you might save.) In the first place, you have the small cost of running the pump – maybe $10 a year. But you also have the water in a long pipe that is presumably at least somewhat less well insulated than your water heater.

Can one of the engineers in the crowd baby-talk me through this?

And speaking of engineers . . .


Steve Rodriguez: “The Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) detractors are on the wrong track. Perhaps they want to avoid the fate of the scientists who put their careers on the line with the 1989 announcement. Cowardice and backbiting operate in the scientific community as in many other sectors of society and politics. The fact remains that a net gain in energy has been measured repeatedly. Measurement error is the possible explanation that critics have offered. And measurement error is most improbable. It is only the difference in MAGNITUDE of the net energy gain from independent replications of the experiment that prevents wider acceptance of the phenomena. For those who can appreciate the improbability of measurement error, the LENR factor is an interesting alternative explanation, though it defies conventional quantum mechanics. It may well be that LENR is not occurring. But something IMPORTANT is going on.”


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