HOT WATER

Richard McIntyre: “I have one of those hot water circulation pumps you wrote about yesterday. How much money they save depends on your water and energy costs, your water usage pattern, and how often and how long you set the thing to run. Pros: saves water, convenience. Cons: uses more energy to heat water (some heat is lost during circulation). If you have a set schedule and set the timer properly, I’m sure it will save some money. If you run it too much and use hot water at random times, it will save water but probably not money. There is one more advantage for some of us: it can prevent water lines from freezing. If you live in a cold climate and have any pipes that are prone to freezing, this is a major benefit.”

☞ But oops . . .

Marissa Hendrickson: “As a pediatrician, I feel the need to rain on the watersavers’ parade just a little bit. People who live in old houses should probably avoid drinking or cooking with the water that has been sitting in the pipes all night, because it is more likely to contain lead leached from the pipes. Adults are less likely to be affected, but water used to mix baby formula or given to young children should be taken from the tap only after it runs all the way cold. And we should avoid the temptation to drink or cook with hot tap water, because hot water can leach more contaminants than cold. The Times addressed the cooking issue a while back.”

☞ So how about this . . .

Doug Lindal:I installed a Metlund Hot Water D’Mand system years ago in a rambling 3,100 square foot home and it works great without the need to endlessly circulate hot water (thus cooling it) through the water supply lines. It sends the hot water surging through the line only when you press a button. It still takes 30 seconds or so to get to the farthest faucet, but is 4-5 times quicker than standard plumbing systems.”

☞ And another, similar alternative. . .

Bruce and Mimi:Here is less expensive system. We are considering purchasing one after we extend our bedroom electrical line to, and install an outlet under, the sink. Reportedly, the earlier pumps had high noise levels but the current model is relatively quiet.”

Dieter: “Looks like you were right with your gut feeling about the energy savings of recirculating pumps. They just keep heating the water over and over, while the energy loss happens in those 100 feet from the heater to the shower head.”

☞ So the big savings must come in the savings on water and sewer charges.

Suzanne Foster: “If your readers want to save on their hot water, they should live in Baton Rouge in the summer. I shower with 100% cold water and it is still too hot.”

COLD FUSION

Dana Dlott (on Steve’s comment yesterday): “Apparently I never get invited to those meetings where we ‘establishment’ scientists get together to disrespect cold fusion. All I can say is that the moment two different labs do two experiments each and all four get the same result of excess energy, we will believe excess energy exists. Then the moment these researchers detect the correct number of neutrons, we will believe cold fusion exists. No amount of complaining or name calling (‘cowards’ and ‘backbiters’) will change our minds ever, but reproducible results will in a New York minute. The so-called ‘net gain of energy’ always results from measurements where you put something like 100 watts of energy into the apparatus and then sometimes get back 100.1. Imagine you have a miracle gasoline additive. You fill up your car with 20 gallons of gas and drive 400 miles. Then you fill it up again but with a one quarter ounce thimbleful of additive. Your next tank gets 399 miles so you say, ‘this experiment was a failure we don’t count it.’ Your next tank gets 401 miles and you say, ‘Miracle gas additive! One-quarter ounce gave us 1 mile extra, there’s 128 ounces in a gallon so that’s 512 mpg! We won’t need foreign oil ever again! This defies the known laws of chemistry and physics so the establishment is all wrong, and they are a bunch of cowards and backbiters!’ Well I need to see you put a gallon of this stuff in the tank and drive 512 miles. Andy, I know you live in a world where companies can produce nothing and have no sales or profits while their stock prices climb through the roof. But it doesn’t work that way in physics. No neutrons, no fusion. So sorry.”

☞ Well, what do I know? But the “60 Minutes” piece makes me think some interesting group of scientists think there’s something here worth pursuing. Wish them luck.

MARRIAGE COUNSELING

Jef: “Screen actor Michael Caine was interviewed. Asked about the ‘secret’ of his rare 36-year Hollywood marriage, Caine answered, ‘two bathrooms.’”

LISTENING TOUR

Rushshshshshhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . This is worth the 67 seconds to watch.

 

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