Thread Number: 34859
Why do Euro washers have heaters?
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Post# 522159   6/3/2011 at 01:12 (4,565 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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No US washer I know of has a heater but it seems EVERY Euro washer does. Why is that? Surely Euros don't bathe in their washing machines or in cold water so why is it necessary for the washer to heat its own water?

In US, every plumbing outlet except outdoors (for gardening) has both hot and cold. 'Hot' is typically 120F. I see Euro washer temps much higher, 65C/150F or more. Is that necessary for your detergent formulas and hard water? That much heat for laundry seems very wasteful by US standards where cold-water detergents are common. Even considering US energy costs tend to be lower.

Our dishwashers all have heaters but our clothes washers never do. I wash clothes in "warm" which is about body temperature, should be sufficient to melt body soil so that detergent can get at it. I get laundry VERY dirty--yellow--but it always comes out fine. And our water is not 'soft', it's 1 PPT dissolved solids.

Post# 522165 , Reply# 1   6/3/2011 at 01:45 (4,565 days old) by MIELEFOREVER (SOUTH AFRICA)        

Well, most European washer being front loaders have a heating option, thus cleaning much more efficient than any toploader I have seen. Frontloaders tend to use much much less water so regardless of the fact that they use heaters to increase the water temp, it will still be more energy efficient than a Toploader due to the fact that American Toploaders uses much more water per wash. I had had a toploader Whirlpool at it, but that machine lasted about 2 months and I sold it, those things kept themselves busy by filling with water and spinning which was such a let down, because most of the water was still left in the clothes. Clothes are finished within 3o minutes, the clothes was still dirty and the detergent still cling to the clothes, especially the dark garments. It was such a travesty so I decided to sell it and bought myself a Miele, best choice I ever made, but even if you dont go the Miele route there are a myriad of frontloaders that will do a much better job than toploaders.

So yeah most frontloaders have heaters installed because they wash cleaner and uses much less energey.


Post# 522167 , Reply# 2   6/3/2011 at 01:53 (4,565 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        

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It could have something to do with the majority of machines nowadays are cold fill only! My machine uses so little water that by the time the hot water had even begun to reach the machine the valve would close hence no need for a hot supply as for why this is always been the case I have no clue but it is nice to be able to decide what temperature to use. Its also usefull to be able to thermally disenfect things at 60c to kill bacteria and bugs without using chemicals. I know in my home and in a lot of others we no longer have tanks of hot water I have a Combi Boiler that heats what I draw off and my shower is instant too I save a lot of money not having to heat water I am not using for instance in my kitchen if I turn the hot tap on I have to waste 7 litres of water before it gets hot but my dishwasher only uses 8 litres to do the whole cycle...

This post was last edited 06/03/2011 at 04:26
Post# 522168 , Reply# 3   6/3/2011 at 01:56 (4,565 days old) by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Hi Arbi,

The difference between a TL US Machine and FL Euro machine, is the amount of water.

If you fill a TL machine with 100L of hot water at 50degC, the chances are that by the time it's heated the wash bowl and all the washing machine parts, the water will still be 45-50degC.

If you put 10-15L of 50degC water into a Euro FL machine, by the time you heat up the drum and washer parts, you'd be lucky if the water is tepid.

That is why most euro machines are cold fill and heat the water, because unless you have cheap mains hotwater (IE Solar, or Heatpump) the heatloss in the hot water line makes it more efficient to fill with cold and heat to the required temp.

I have a Euro Miele that is hot and cold fill and I have solar hotwater. If I put a full load of towels in, set the machine to 50degC and have it fill, by the time it bleeds off the cold water and starts filling with the 55degC water it has almost finished filling. The water is then that cool by the time the machine has tumbled a few times, that I can comfortably put my hand in there and not get scalded. Thus the heater kicks in and brings the temp back to 50degC.

If you dont have thermal mass on your side, you need to make up for the heat losses somehow.

Post# 522171 , Reply# 4   6/3/2011 at 03:22 (4,565 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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I think there are so many answers to this question. One of them is the tradition of boiling whites. Constructa, the manufacturer that brought the first European frontloader on the market, devellopped machines that could do a real boil wash. Detergents weren't as good as nowadays so to compensate that whites were boiled. Here's a video of a real boil wash machine.

Post# 522179 , Reply# 5   6/3/2011 at 04:15 (4,565 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
So Many Reasons

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Lack of large central hot water heaters, and the rather dear costs for electric make it much more economical for the washing machine to heat water to the proper temperature.

Unlike her American sisters, European and British housewives did not totally abandon the "old ways" of doing laundry when automatic washers took over. Starting with hot water will set stains and soils. Far better to do the wash as it has been done for ages, with a cool or cold water soak, then warm, very warm, hot or boiling wash. The difference is the new frontloaders could take cold water and heat it to hot or boiling thus in most circumstances eliminating the need for a pre-wash/soak first. However that may have been many EU/UK front loaders used a pre-wash as part of their "normal" cycles until rather recently.

Even with semi automatic washing machines were introduced by Miele and Hoover, there was a way to heat water so a "boil wash" was possible. Miele units had a firebox that one could build a fire in to do the job.

In the United States boiling as a routine part of laundry day went out by and large when automatics came in. When wringer washers were norm, many housewives did still stick to a cold water pre-wash or soak, but as automatics took over they just bunged the wash into the machine and set it for hot. Use of chlorine bleach by the gallon meant stains would be removed (or at least lightened) so starting from warm or hot water wasn't a huge issue.

Laundry day in the United States was something many wanted to get over with soon as possible. Adding a pre-wash or soak unless absolutely required made more work and or tied up the washing machine.

Post# 522182 , Reply# 6   6/3/2011 at 05:42 (4,565 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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There are numerous U.S. washers with onboard water heaters, but they're for supplemental heat, not primary heating from a cold fill.


- "old-style" Neptune frontloaders MAH6500 and MAH7500


- Neptune TL FAV9800 (although they're rare)


- most any HE toploader/frontloader with a Sanitary cycle has a heater ... Samsung models, LG models, Whirlpool Duet and Cabrio, Kenmore HEt and Oasis, Maytag Bravos, KitchenAid Ensemble, etc.

Post# 522214 , Reply# 7   6/3/2011 at 10:50 (4,565 days old) by amyswasher ()        
Would have loved to have a washer with built in electric hea

When I was a kid, I lived in Spain. We had to take our butono bottle (sorry if I spelled it wrong) to the filling place for refill. We had a Kenmore portable washer and took a lot of hot water. It would have been great to have a front loader washer with heaters like all our neighbors. All the sinks had hot water faucets, but it sucked when taking a bath and the butane tank ran out, and can't get it refilled until the place opened in the morning. Grown up, Natural Gas that comes in piped from the street is a luxury to me(seriously).

Post# 522220 , Reply# 8   6/3/2011 at 11:30 (4,565 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Speaking from watching (AKA being underfoot) while two grandmothers and several aunts did laundry in wringer washers, any soaking in cool water was done in the set tub or a sink before the wash was started and the wringer washer was filled with the hottest water available, boiling, in the case of my father's mother, where the boiler sat over three burners on a kerosene stove next to the washer. She did not have a water heater as we know them. I was told that when automatics came along, British and continental homes usually did not have the large central hot water supplies that American homes were beginning to consider a standard part of household equipment so hot water for large needs was heated separately for each task, much as my grandmother did for laundry. Actually, when the Bendix Automatic Home Laundry came on the market, there was some question as to whether many homes would have sufficient hot water for the machine's demands with the radical idea of filling up with fresh water for each stage of the wash and three rinse cycle. Before my mother's parents moved into a house in Milwaukee, they heated water for everything on the cook stove in the kitchen which also had a reservoir on the side where water was heated, but it did not hold enough for laundry for a family with 9 children. Panthera has wonderfully detailed postings on how the coal-fired water heater worked in German bathrooms along with little tumbler washers without suspension systems that lived in the bathrooms and would jump and dance all over the place when they spun.

Post# 522221 , Reply# 9   6/3/2011 at 11:37 (4,565 days old) by donprohel (I live in Munich - Germany, but I am Italian)        
Just wonder...

Why don't US washers have heaters? :)

Post# 522244 , Reply# 10   6/3/2011 at 13:33 (4,565 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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because i think that for the us and canada for so many years during the end of the 70 to 2000 most us or canadian household had toploading washers because for most the sale of front load washers in the us and canada started around 2004 when whirlpool introduce the generation 1 duet front load washer and thats the pretty basic model without the heater the heater model was introduce the following year in 2005 with the ht duet model the pic i am incuding is the set i have that will be repalce when they break by a toploading washer with agitator are the generation 1 duet fl washer with matching dryer

Post# 522280 , Reply# 11   6/3/2011 at 14:50 (4,565 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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Thanks to all respondents. Explains much of it. Also shows I haven't kept up with the features in US washers, that some DO have (aux) heaters. I should have said I have used a FL last 13yr as well as growing up with one. I have some evidence that TLs scrub better but they rinse and spin worse and use at least twice the water.

In US, washers often sit aside the water tank so the delay getting hot water is low. My tank is above the dryer. Instant/demand/tankless water heaters are beginning to show up but not yet widely adopted. Also, natural gas is available in many homes so a tank heater is not anywhere near as expensive to run as a mains heater. Our mains rate is around 12c US but fees and services raises it closer to 15c. Well under 20c UK.

In grandma's day our detergents weren't very good either so she may have had to cold soak/hot wash. By the time I was watching her and the Easy Spindrier she just used one hot wash from the tank.

Post# 522282 , Reply# 12   6/3/2011 at 14:57 (4,565 days old) by Spankomatic (Ukiah,CA)        

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Here is a photo of my Maytag Neptune which has a built in heater.

Post# 522297 , Reply# 13   6/3/2011 at 15:43 (4,565 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
120F As "Hot" Water

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Is rather a recent invention!

Until safety and energy concerns caused household water heaters to be mainly set at 120F, hot was 140F and even 180F (settings available on many vintage water heaters such as Rudd), to make sure a housewife had enough hot water for laundry, dishwashing (both hand and later early dishwashers), and so forth.

If one examines instructions printed on American top loaders inside lids and or owner's manuals, "hot" water is given as at least 130F, with 120F being "very warm". Warm was "110F" not the 100F to 105F we have now.

Post# 522311 , Reply# 14   6/3/2011 at 16:55 (4,565 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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Well until about 15 years ago, many front load machines in the UK were both hot and cold connect as well as having a heater in them. This, in conjunction with high water levels, allowed relatively quick wash cycles.


Many homes in the UK do have storage tanks connected to the central heating boiler, but the run to the kitchen is often long and water, as explained above, is often tepid by the time it reaches the machine if pipes are not primed first. Additionally, the thermal mass of 15 or so litres is not sufficient to keep 'hot' compared to the much greater mass in a top load machine.


Now, we also need to take into consideration that detergents have come a long way since the 1960's too. Many have enzyme cocktails in them that require different temperature 'bands' to work properly...though many are no formulated to work well in cool/cold water, most detergents will work best at starting with a cold intake, you effectively get a short component of the wash cycle in cold water - which is good for stains that hot will set. The heater then takes the water, often in stages, to the desired temperature.


Another factor that Europe, Asia and Australia have in their (our) favour is 220-250 volt standard domestic supply. It's in every room in every power point. It is much faster to heat water with 220-250v than it is with 110v.


Post# 522345 , Reply# 15   6/3/2011 at 21:56 (4,564 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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US has 240V for large appliances. Stove, dryer, mains heater, central cooling. 120V plugins are limited to 1.5kW, you can imagine how long it would take to heat water like that. Although my dryer is 120V 1.5kW. 1984 Lady Kenmore with wheels. Or hair dryer with a drum. I'm never in that big a rush for laundry and even still my 'average' load only takes 40min after 800r spin.

And yes, standard water temp was more like 140F and dishwashers almost require that unless you prerinse pretty well AND run the faucet at every fill so ALL the water is hot. Until the 'safety' folks said 120F was preferable. Have to admit, 120F is safer, can't really injure you. Also cheaper to keep a tank at 120F than 140F. Mine is set to 115F. But I'm on a mains heater and they are very expensive even with 'cheap' electric.

Again thanks for the contributions and if you have more please feel free.

Post# 522369 , Reply# 16   6/3/2011 at 23:14 (4,564 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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We have a newer, on demand hot water system that I can dial the temperature up to a maximum of 55c/ 140f in the kitchen...and 50c/130f in the bathroom...


However, my parents have an older storage unit that will do 70c/ that is rather warm...for tap water....


On the other hand, my grandmother had a wood stove in her kitchen that had a 'back boiler' for the hot water service...I've had that literally boiling when I was 10yrs old....

Post# 522394 , Reply# 17   6/4/2011 at 02:32 (4,564 days old) by mielabor ()        
Hot water safety

Here 120 F is considered unsafe for a hot water system. The temperature should be at least 140 F (60 C) to prevent Legionella growth.

Post# 522413 , Reply# 18   6/4/2011 at 08:28 (4,564 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Very good point, Theo!

In my growing up years, the water heater was always set to the "very hot" position which in those days gave 160F water. As not spectacularly smart kids, we were told that hot water could scald you so be very careful. Can you believe it, we had no accidents attributed to hot water, nor did I hear of any in my school and news like that travels fast. Washing machine and dishwasher instruction books said "HOT' should be between 140F and 160F for best results. Our washer was very near the water heater. One parent or the other ran the bath water or turned on the shower and adjusted the water temperature for us until we were old enough to do it for ourselves safely. We were in a motel the first time I shut off the shower water by myself. I was the last one to shower and when I was through, my parents were already dressed and did not want to stick an arm in to reach the valves so I was told to shut off the hot first and then the cold. That was almost a right of passage. I was 10 or younger.

My water heater is a fan-forced vent gas type so I can put it on a timer. It operates from 4PM to 8PM. It heats water to about 145F and on workdays that is when I am likely to do a load of laundry or run the dishsmasher. By 4PM, the water has usually cooled to 120F with cooling from my morning getting off to work routine and standby loss and I guess, after 20 hours and some draw down that's not bad. I did buy a heavy insulation blanket for the tank. I had to buy it online because the ones in the stores were only one inch thick and I think mine is double that. One thing I really like about the tank is that is uses a thermister system to regulate the water temperature. Almost as soon as any hot water is used, especially in the winter, the burner cycles on.

I remember magazine ads for gas water heaters that had the thermostat mounted at eye level as a sliding lever so that it was easily set to 180F for "washday" so there was a time when Americans were washing in temperatures that approached the high temperatures of machines with 220/240 volt heaters and with the amount of water they used, it was plenty to warm up the tub and hold a high temperature during the wash. There were other gas water heaters that contained a tempering valve so that there was an outlet connection point for water for the laundry and, possibly, the kitchen at the maximum temperature and another outlet connection point for lower temperature water for the rest of the household faucets.

Post# 522419 , Reply# 19   6/4/2011 at 09:19 (4,564 days old) by jerrod6 (Southeastern Pennsylvania)        
Agree with Tom

Growing up our domestic hot water was heated by our boiler which heated it by running it through a series of coil tubes that were submerged in the water that was circulating throughout the house. In a sense it was kind of like a tank less heater in that when we ran the water at a faucet the cold water would enter the coils run through them and absorb the heat from the surrounding water in the boiler then be directed to faucets. In the winter the boiler kept the water between 160F and 180F and during a heat cycle it was between 170F and 180F, and our water from the faucets would between these temps. In the summer the water stayed at 140F.
The water was hot but no one EVER got a burn from it.

Post# 522432 , Reply# 20   6/4/2011 at 11:22 (4,564 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

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Me i would say that for a water heater 120f is a perfect temp for hot water and i would not be superise that in a few years from now hot water thanks will be set at 110F because of water saving as i am one that rarely wash in hot water i mostly wash in warm water and cold water

Post# 522456 , Reply# 21   6/4/2011 at 14:59 (4,564 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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I have no use for water hotter than 120F. DW works fine as it is, long as I run the faucet. Hardly use it anyway, waste for just a pan, fork, plate. No compulsion to 'sterilize' clothes. Not a surgeon. Besides, if they were infected when I was wearing them, wouldn't I already be sick? LOL

Post# 522491 , Reply# 22   6/4/2011 at 17:44 (4,564 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that high washing temps were to sanitize clothes. You don't sterilize at these temps. The high temps were used to bleach whites without using bleaching agents. It is very effective.

Post# 522502 , Reply# 23   6/4/2011 at 18:34 (4,564 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        

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High temperature washing also helps remove body oils....


Whilst you'd think anything over body temperature would do the trick, especially now, washing in the past did partly rely on higher temperatures to shift the soiling due to the 'not quite as effective' detergents..


Post# 522504 , Reply# 24   6/4/2011 at 18:36 (4,564 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
A Test Was Conducted Circa 1930's

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By a well respected lab and it was then proved that laundering textiles at 160F for ten minutes rendered the items "germ free" enough to be considered sanitary. It is from that study that we have the common commercial laundry practice or standard required by law that is mandated in many areas when dealing with public and or hospital laundry.

However being as all that may, further subsequent studies and tests proved there are other ways of obtaining the same results. Wash programs, liquid chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach, peracetic chemicals and so forth when done properly all will reduce germ count on textiles to the same levels as boiling.

Commercial laundries in particular were seeking ways to reduce their costs, especially heating all that water. There is also no denying that boil washes are harsh on textiles. It reduces their life span and causes shrinkage (amoung other problems), things that tended to tick customers off.

In Germany (a country known for almost having a thing about things being clean), the standard for hospital and similar types of wash is 180F! You haven't seen white uniforms and linens until you've been to a German hospital. The ratty scrubs worn by most staff here the states would never pass muster there.

Post# 522508 , Reply# 25   6/4/2011 at 18:41 (4,564 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        
You haven't seen white uniforms and linens until you'

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How true it that Launderess!

Post# 522534 , Reply# 26   6/4/2011 at 21:53 (4,563 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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the standard for hospital and similar types of wash is 180F!

Holy smokes! Meat only has to be 165F (throughout) to be considered sterile. But I'll give hospitals the 15* if it means I won't get an infection I didn't bring with me.

Post# 522576 , Reply# 27   6/5/2011 at 05:54 (4,563 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Arbilab, you keep confusing sterile and sanitary. Sterilizing is done in an autoclave with steam under pressure. Surgical instruments and surgical linens are autoclaved (or were), but you are right that garments worn by hospital medical staff should be washed in hot water to reduce germ transmission. I wonder about all of these brightly colored scrubs that nurses wear at work. It has been found that one of the most efficient transmitters of "germs" is a doctor's necktie and forget about him plunking his filthy ass down on a patient's bed after he has sat in chairs and on benches in public places, sat in his car seat, etc. I would put his blazer or suit coat up there too; none of which is cleaned after each wearing. He transfers all of that to the bedding of a sick or recovering person. UGH! "He is such a caring doctor; he goes to all of his patients' funerals."

I wonder if germ transmission would go down if all medical personnel had to change into hospital-laundered uniforms before hitting the floors and leave their street clothes in a locker.

Post# 522624 , Reply# 28   6/5/2011 at 11:24 (4,563 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Hospitals Doing Their Own Laundry

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Very much depends on where in the world they are located amoung other things.

Whilst once common that most hospitals did have in-house laundry facilites, such service along with quite a few others have been out-sourced over the years. The main push for this is hospitals/healthcare settings seeking to concentrate on their core mission. Thus things which are not seen as essential to that mission, and indeed are a non-revenue producing expense are mananged in such a way as to keep costs down.

Commercial laundries are heavily regulated today, right down to the workers and for good reason. The equipment can not only be dangerous to those whom operate it, but the builing it is housed in and surrounding area as well. As modern "steam laundries" took over from hand washing and or hiring in persons to do the wash it was even then recommended to have such facilites away from the main hospital building or at least far away from patient care as possible. All that heat, water, moisture, smells, etc aren't something you'd want wafting into the wards especially before modern air conditioning was invented.

The first hospital I ever worked in, the laundry was located apart from the main building. A great big gothic thing it was, and considered it a "treat" to be sent by the head nurse to fetch clean linens when the floors were out.

At one time hospitals had few other choices but to do their own wash. Commercial laundries would probably loved to have the business, but their other customers out of concerns about the spread of germs would probably avoid sending their wash. Before modern germ theory and antibiotics came into being a housewife was considered nearly a slattern if she didn't do everything in her power to prevent illness from entering her home. Even priviate washer women could loose business if word got out they took washing from a home where scarlet fever, diptheria and or any of the other once common infectious diseases broke out.

Commercial laundry equipment is very expensive and in today's economy it makes sense to keep it in full production. Also don't forget the workers have to be paid regardless of there being 50lbs of linen or 500lbs per day. Far easier to send it out.

Today all over the world there are major laundry services that do nothing but hospital/healthcare linens. The best are outfitted with equipment some hospitals can only dream about (barrier washers for instance). Quality control issues can be solved by simply putting the proper person in charge. This usually falls to someone in the nursing service, and or infection control. If laundry comes back from the wash failing to meet certain standards you can bet a phone call will be made.

Many hospitals today also have taken a page from restaurants and hotels by not even owning their own linen. It is rented with a contract service that also provides the laundering as well.

At one time most all hospital's either laundered staff uniforms/clothing (mainly doctors and nurses), but as the cost of the service grew and domestic washing machines (and later dryers) became more common (or the laundromat), gradually the service was withdrawn. As female nursing uniforms moved from long sleeved starched whites to easy care cotton, cotton/synthetic blends or all synthetic textiles, the need for "commercial" laundering was decreased if not eliminated. Indeed the near boil wash temps used by such places actually will harm anything but pure cotton fabrics.

Now that most everyone and their mother wears scrubs on duty, there is little need in some minds to offer laundry service. Mind you in the days when doctors and only certian nurses got to wear scrubs they were laundered by the hospital. That is still true today for those working in certain areas. However in some parts of the world (such as Germany) doctors and nurses do not by and large travel to and from work in uniform (scrubs)as they do here in the states. Changing rooms are provided and the soiled things are sent to the hospital's wash and one picks up a fresh set upon arriving for duty.

Post# 522673 , Reply# 29   6/5/2011 at 14:56 (4,563 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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Well we know that hospitals are the #1 place to get an infection if you didn't already have one, so obviously SOMEthing isn't exactly working and what should be the experts in disease transmission don't know EVERYthing or alternately don't practice it faithfully.

I wash hands when coming in from the outside world but figure I'm immune to anything that's already in my house, including my own clothes. Haven't been sick at all* in 6 years so whatever I'm doing apparently works for me. (*Nose might run for 24 hours couple times a year, assume that's a passing rhinovirus.)

Post# 522761 , Reply# 30   6/5/2011 at 21:47 (4,562 days old) by amyswasher ()        
On the same lines

Had a health inspector tell me once " It's important to build immunity at home, but in a restaurant you don't know if the next person walking though the door just had a heart transplant, so sanitation is important to the public."

Post# 522955 , Reply# 31   6/6/2011 at 18:56 (4,562 days old) by mrx ()        
230Volts may also play a part.

Older machines in Europe, certainly older ones in Britain and Ireland always had hot and cold fill. However, these older machines also used a lot more water than modern ones.

The fill time factor is a huge issue as a typical machine won't run the water long enough to bleed pipes and get actual hot water as has been mentioned above.

However, the other factor is that US power outlets are traditionally 110V 15amp safely giving you about 1500W absolute max.

European outlets on the other hand, are 230V and machines can be designed to have loads up to 3000W. That makes a huge difference when you are heating water. A typical European washer will pull 2300-2500W when it's heating.

I think perhaps for US designers it was easier to just use a hot water valve than require special wiring like a US electric dryer or stove has.

Also, heating a very large volume of water like that used in a traditional US top loader would take a considerable amount of time even with a 2000W heater where as with a front loader, you're really only heating a fraction of that volume of water. So, from a time and simplicity point of view, it would make more sense to fill a top loader with hot water.

Most European washing is done at 40ºC not 60ºC or boiling temperatures, but the machines all have the option of doing that if you want to *really* clean bed linen or towels for example.

Using disinfectants / anti-bacterials in the wash is not comparable to actually heating the fabric to near boiling point when it comes to killing bacteria and viruses.

Remember, those chemical agents typically kill 99.999% of bugs, it's the fact that they might leave the 0.001% really nasty bugs that is a little worrying.

I won't use them in my kitchen either for that reason. I prefer old-fashioned cleaning and if you do need to sterlise something, mild chlorine bleach solution is the only really safe way. But, for normal day-to-day cleaning it should be unnecessary.

Post# 522998 , Reply# 32   6/6/2011 at 21:22 (4,561 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Chemcial disenfection when properly done is streets ahead of thermal methods. I'd take my chances with the remaining 0.001% of "germs",versus the much larger colonies that remain after using most methods of heat.

For one thing as with other living things various germs/moulds/bacteria, and so forth are killed by various levels of heat. E coli mostly is done in at temps of 160F for ten minutes, but there are yeasts which would require >180F for twice that long and even then may not totally kill everything.

There is also the slow heating of water in all but the most high powered commercial washers leaves "germs" plenty of time to develop defences.Yes many will die but others that remain to live another day emerge to find the field cleared.

What most persons using chemical disinfectants fail to do is read and follow the directions properly. There are two parts to the system; cleaning, then disenfecting. This applies for thermal methods as well.

Every bottle of registered disenfectant will direct one to clean the surface first, then with a fresh solution (at proper dilution), apply and allow the surface to remain wet for a period of time.Simply wiping things down isn't the same.

Chlorine bleach is such powerful chemical that it is the standard for disenfection. Because it is so inexpensive the stuff is widely used for that purpose.

Post# 523066 , Reply# 33   6/7/2011 at 06:32 (4,561 days old) by sudsman ()        
No Longer any accepted standard temperature for hospital wor

CDC no longer uses 160 for a standard washing temp. They have guidelines for temps as low as 120 depending upon the chemicals used. Most hospital Laundry Managers as myself still use 140 as a min, temp. that coupled with alkali and use of a good sour alone will kill most bacteria. Not to mention chlorine bleach. To save time and water I start most loads right out with 140 hot break wash for 12 min. then follow with a hot rinse and a Suds bleach for 12 mins. I have found that increasing the time from 8 mins to 12 mins allows us to save almost 30% on supplies. When we talk supplies at over 10,000 a month that adds up very quickly.For some of the hospitals that do use the 120 wash the linen does not last as long as the extra bleach needed to insure sanitation effects the life of the linen greatly. Unless a anti chlor is used and most hospital laundries cannot afford the extra cost of the supply. We are all plagued by the same thing
administrators that can only speak three words cut, cut, cut. Linen Replcement cost that run in excess of a million dollars a year. And supply cost that seem to rise almost every mo. This is some of the reasons a large number of hospitals are closing the laundry and outsourceing housekeeping maint. And any other depts that they can . Even Dietary services are now handle by outside contract services at some hospitals now.

Post# 523070 , Reply# 34   6/7/2011 at 07:25 (4,561 days old) by mrx ()        

A boil wash in a European washing machine will hold the clothes at 95ºC i.e. about 200ºF for over an hour.

NOTHING survives it, sometimes not even the clothes lol.

In general it's only used for linen and very sturdy cottons.

Basically the high temperature cottons wash on a typical European machine is a bit like this and takes over two hours!

1) Fill - cold tap water + detergent.
2) Heat and tumble for about 20 minutes to bring the temperature up. This is when the enzymes breakdown stains.
3) Continue heating towards boiling point - activates oxygen bleaching to the maximum level and increases performance of the surfactants while destroying anything biological.
4) Towards the end of the washing phase, most machines will top up with cold water to reduce the temperature to avoid pouring boiling water down the drain to avoid temperature shocks.
5) Spin to remove wash solution.
6) Rinse - cold water.
7) Spin
8) Rinse - cold water
9) Spin
10) Rinse - cold water + fabric softener
11) Final high speed long spin.

Post# 523071 , Reply# 35   6/7/2011 at 07:29 (4,561 days old) by mrx ()        
Oh I forgot!

Most machines also have an option of a pre-wash too.

So, before the wash starts, the washing machine fills with detergent + cold water and does a short, usually 40ºC (104ºF) cycle followed by a spin before it starts the cottons cycle described above.

Also, some machines may do more than just those 3 rinses. It depends on what the programmes is and also on what the machine's control system is like. Some can detect suds and will add extra rinses until the water's clear.

Post# 523081 , Reply# 36   6/7/2011 at 08:20 (4,561 days old) by ronhic (Canberra, Australia)        
Well it is...

ronhic's profile picture

...the longest cycle on my machine...


The 95c quick wash - wash, 2 rinses with intermittant spins is 1:46


...the full cycle is 2:25 with 3 rinses...


Should I add a pre-wash at 30c and super rinse, I get....30c, 20 minute pre-wash, long wash at 95c and 5 rinses....3:10....


Items best be very clean after that....

Post# 523089 , Reply# 37   6/7/2011 at 08:59 (4,561 days old) by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

mrboilwash's profile picture
Launderess you are so right about Germans having a thing about things being clean.
Sometimes I am really amazed about the greyish sheets and towels provided in some not so cheap hotels in the States. Same is often true for some fastfood chains in the States. One is spick and span and a few hundred yards down the street the next one of the same brand is often found in a condition that would never pass public health inspection over here.

As to sanitation of clothes I think to recall a European study which was posted here some time ago. The one comparing Greek, Spanish and other countrys` laundry habits.
I think there was a conclusion that even when using a powder with activated oxygen bleach there is not much difference in germ reduction in cold and warm water. Things were a little bit better at 60°C but still far away from perfect.

I agree that in most cases there is no need to sanitize clothes for health aspects. But I find it very handy to be able to "boil" clothes in the washer just because things stay fresh for much longer when sanitized. No need to change sheets every other day.

Post# 523097 , Reply# 38   6/7/2011 at 09:31 (4,561 days old) by mrx ()        

Well, in general the aim of cleaning is to reduce the number of bugs to a managable level.

Sterilising items that are going to be used in a normal environment is usually totally unnecessary.

I have some light cotton duvets that can be boil washed and I use them as mattress protectors. They are the only items that I regularly wash at 90ºC

In general, the boil wash option is nice to have, but it's rarely used.

I still prefer the idea of being able to heat-clean something than relying on chemical agents which will typically remain in the clothes, and be worse for the environment.

The vast majority of laundry in this country however is done on a 40ºC cotton cycle. That's generally what most people use for everything and it's more than sufficient and produces great results.

Greying whites is caused by dye transfer, not dirt. Nobody is THAT filthy!
So, to keep your whites white, just wash them separately.
it's amazing how many people just stuff everything into the washing machine, select 40ºC possibly throw in a "colour catcher" and hope for the best :D

Post# 523098 , Reply# 39   6/7/2011 at 09:44 (4,561 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

"Launderess you are so right about Germans having a thing about things being clean."

In my first year German course at university, we learned the verbs "sauber machen" and "reinigen", literally "to make clean" and "to purify". One of the questions asked was, "what is the difference between "sauber machen" and "reinigen", when should you use each of these terms?"

The teacher's answer: if you have ever been in a German house during spring cleaning, you would know the difference. ;) Basically, Americans "machen sauber", and Germans "reinigen" (purify). For years, stats have shown that Germany households consume the most soap and cleaning products of any country in the world (pre-unification, the disparity with the rest of the world was even more pronounced). I remember seeing a table of stats in the 1980s showing that Germany consumed per capita twice as much soap and detergent as neighboring Holland. No wonder Henkel and P&G (Ariel/Klementine) have done so well!!

"Germany: where cleaning is a hobby for some."

I have friends in Germany who still wash towels, linens, and undergarments at 90 C----just like Mutti.

ps I saw my first Ariel ad with Klementine as an exchange student in Holland in 1973. We lived close enough to the border (about 12 km) that we received one German tv channel (plus NL1 and NL2). No cable yet!! I immediately recognize Klementine as a rip-off of the "Josephine the Lady Plumber" ads, for Comet kitchen cleanser, in the USA since the early 1960s. Klementine's overalls and cap, with her name embroidered on them, matched Josephine's outfit exactly. At that time, I thought, "what a blatant rip off of the Josephine concept." Many years later, I discovered that both Ariel and Comet are Proctor & Gamble products, and that P&G was free to rip off their own concept. They figured---correctly---that very few if any German viewers had ever seen a Josephine The Plumber ad in the USA.

Here is a vintage Comet ad:

(the ads on YouTube are probably late 60s or 1970s because they are in color, but I remember seeing black-and-white ads with Josephine from the early 1960s. She appeared years before Klementine. The concept was the same: Josephine is in the home to perform a repair, and while she is there she also demonstrates the cleaning power of Comet.


Post# 523100 , Reply# 40   6/7/2011 at 09:45 (4,561 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
Josephine The Plumber

Josephine The Plumber

Post# 523103 , Reply# 41   6/7/2011 at 10:10 (4,561 days old) by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
wrong about color protection

pierreandreply4's profile picture
i am sorry but for me the best way to protect color is to wash them in cold water as all cleaning label state that colors are best protected when wash in cold water so i would say that what is mention in this post "select warm possibly throw in a colour catcher is totaly false as washing colors in warm water cause the colors to fade with time" and also washing in cold water is the best way to protect any kind of fabrics so i would not see the point in having a heater in a washer or to have a sanitize cycle. Thats just my point of view and i am sorry in advance if i offended anyone

Post# 523104 , Reply# 42   6/7/2011 at 10:16 (4,561 days old) by mrx ()        

There's an early 80s Ariel Automatic advert featuring a very plummy sounding English early 80s housewife and an equally plummy-sounding sounding Irish Voice Over.


Post# 523105 , Reply# 43   6/7/2011 at 10:20 (4,561 days old) by mrx ()        

The strangest 1980s Ariel advert ever -

Aimed at UK/IRL market.

All about washing at low temperatures.


Post# 523129 , Reply# 44   6/7/2011 at 12:20 (4,561 days old) by hoovermatic (UK)        

There's an early 80s Ariel Automatic advert featuring a very plummy sounding English early 80s housewife and an equally plummy-sounding sounding Irish Voice Over.

That's Jimmy Young, stalwart of Radio 2 for about 347 years!

Post# 523135 , Reply# 45   6/7/2011 at 12:50 (4,561 days old) by Toggleswitch (New York City, NY)        

toggleswitch's profile picture
One needs these components to wash clothing /fabrics well:

Mechanical action.

Lack of sufficient water and mechanical actions as well as tree-hugging chemicals means that one needs lots more time and heat to get good results.

(Efficiency means getting the job done with fewer resources; not using fewer resources and NOT getting the job done).

With a top-loader one arguably didn't NEED to heat the water to such an extent. We got used to not having heaters.

As previously stated- using 240v one can push through double the wattage of what one can using 120v, using the same gauge (thickness) of wire. An ordinary 120v outlet on a 20a line is limited to 2,400 watts, and one normally only uses 80% of that, being 1,920 watts. Cant really use a major heater (high wattage) with a motor load as well.

Still one cant argue that boil-washing my whites leaves iced-tea and coffee colored water... (yes without any skid marks present at commencement). LOL

This post was last edited 06/07/2011 at 14:06
Post# 523145 , Reply# 46   6/7/2011 at 13:43 (4,561 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

arbilab's profile picture
Most machines also have an option of a pre-wash too...

Zackly what my Frigi does. Clockwork timer so if you want PW and MW at different temps you need to stand there and flip the temp knob. Seldom use it. My stuff goes in dirty (skin oil) but not filthy (car grease), comes out fine in half hour, single 95F wash.

Spot hard to festoon how one reconciles astronomical mains rates and 2-hour heated washes. But laundry can tend toward obsessive. Look how many lively folk we have right here talking about it every day. :))

Post# 523250 , Reply# 47   6/8/2011 at 00:48 (4,560 days old) by nclh77 ()        

Most European laundry hook-ups only have cold water. There is no hot water hook-up.

Post# 523277 , Reply# 48   6/8/2011 at 06:54 (4,560 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

nclh77 has a point, at least with older machines. Miele literature from the 80s showed only export models with hot and cold fill.

I didn't realize that bacteria would form the heat resistant spores in rapidly heating water. I thought it was more a defensive process that would happen if the cells were faced with drying. They would "encyst" in a spore case that was almost invulnerable to dry heat, but moisture would cause it to open and make the spore vulnerable to germicical agents. My Mieles limit the hot wash fill to 130F and add a bit of cold to my hot water, if necessary, to achieve that then heat to any higher temperature I have selected during the wash. The W1986 washes for 25 minutes at 140F in the Cottons cycle and the time remaining when the cycle is started is 1:04 = 64 minutes. That is the same time shown if it is set for a 190F wash, but there is a 17 minute hold where the time remaining does not change as the wash time is increased to give the hotter water a chance to do its thing. The W1918 shows a time of 1:47 when started at 180 or 190F and the wash period is 45 minutes, close to the 42 minutes in the 1986 at the higher temperature.

Post# 523332 , Reply# 49   6/8/2011 at 10:48 (4,560 days old) by mrx ()        

Most laundry hook-ups here have hot and cold water. Also, most laundry hook-ups on the continent would have easy access to hot water, as there's usually a sink near by.

Since the mid 1990s however, hot fill machines became rarer and rarer.

The main reason for the heater is pretty simple though - available power (circa 3000W) + fill time. So, it just makes more sense to heat a small volume of water in the machine, than relying on the household plumbing to deliver the correct temperature in time.

I remember with the hot fill machines we had, they would generally only use hot water if they were set for more than 60ºC and then heat if necessary to bring the temperature up higher than the fill water.

The other problem here was that domestic hot water systems, particularly older ones (installed before modern regulations about max temperatures) would often deliver water at closer to 80ºC or even hotter! So, there was always a risk of wrecking your clothes if the machine was expecting 60C and got closer to 90C fill water.

As I say, very few people actually use boil washing on a regular basis.

The vast majority of washing is done in warm (body temperature) 40ºC or even 30ºC (below body temperature) water which is ideal for enzyme activity so removes the vast majority of food stains / dirt very effectively.

I like to boil wash my white towels once in a while with a good dose of oxygen-bleach added to Persil or Ariel and it really does have a very big impact.

The typical day-to-day wash in my house is about 47 minutes, including rinses and spins and is done at 40ºC. It's more than enough to clean pretty much anything.

Post# 523345 , Reply# 50   6/8/2011 at 12:30 (4,560 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
Central hot water was not as prevalent in Europe in the old

I lived in Holland as an exchange student in 1973----38 years ago. The family who hosted me were somewhat above middle class. They lived in a semi-detached home with front yard and garden in back. The attic had been converted into two bedrooms for the youngest two of their five children, and each child had his or her own bedroom. Even I had my own room: a small office or storage room on the first (ground) floor had been converted to a guest room. For 1973, this wasn't a wealthy family but they lived better than perhaps typical middle class Holland of that era.


The house was built early or mid 1960s. There was no central hot water. Instead, there was a point of use, gas-fired water heater at each point where hot water was needed: kitchen and bathrooms (two bathrooms). The point is that an above-middle class family living in a home under ten years old had only point of use heaters, and that is how things were then. The laundry area was in the attached garage, not the kitchen, and there was no water heater at that location, so the machine (a top loading horizontal axis washer) had to have an internal heater. Had the machine been dual-fill, a point of use heater would have been required, thus raising the effective cost of the machine above the actual purchase price.


Central hot water is more common now in Holland than in the 1970s. I have a friend in a newly built townhouse and she has a gas fired storage tank (not tankless) heater on the top of her three floors, and central hot water at each point of use. Her 1960s townhome, which she sold to buy the new one, had point of use heaters at each required location.


Even in the homes of European friends with modern central tankless hot water systems, the laundry room is plumbed only with cold water, necessitating a cold water fill with integrated heater.


In the US, basic FL machines lack an onboard heater and cannot wash above hot water line temperature. I have a Frig 2140 with no heater, but it sits adjacent to the 40 gallon/160 litre gas storage tank heater, so hot water is not an issue unless two people are taking showers elsewhere in the house at the same time. The 2140 lacks even auto temp control, thought its next up the ladder sister model 2940 does have this feature. I rarely wash on hot, anyway, as warm takes care of most of my needs. Middle of the road and upscale models do have heaters, which activate only when wash temp above hot water line temperature is elected.  Heating is slow because of 120V current, and I've heard of "santise" cycles taking two hours or more,  due to heating time plus extended wash time.

Post# 523383 , Reply# 51   6/8/2011 at 15:30 (4,560 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

arbilab's profile picture
Makes fine sense to have a heater in the washer in markets which are either electric heat anyway (costs no more) or have only one laundry tap. Single-tap laundry is unheard of in US in my lifetime. But not everyone gets natural gas service-- none of the apartments in this town have gas and electric is costly for heat.

Post# 523491 , Reply# 52   6/9/2011 at 04:01 (4,559 days old) by Mrx ()        

Perhaps Ireland was a bit different then. The vast majority of houses have central hot water. It's been quite common since the early 1900s. The early systems were heated by a boiler in the fireplace in the kitchen or by a range (big aga style solid fuel cooker). There was a copper cylinder upstairs and the system worked by convection and gravity, there were no pumps.

Some systems also heated radiators.

As time went on, those systems evolved, an electric immersion heater element was added to the copper cylinder. Then in homes that had radiator based hydronic central heating, a copper coil great exchanger is in the hot water cylinder. The heating system pumps hot water through this circuit, as if it were a radiator. This indirectly heats the water.

systems like these are the norm in most Irish homes.

Typically, they are heated by natural gas, pressure jet kerosine / gasoil, LPG and sometimes also solid fuel too.

Wood pellet, solar and other renewables have also been added to the fuel mix in recent years.

Point of use heaters exist, but they aren't the norm here

Post# 523493 , Reply# 53   6/9/2011 at 04:10 (4,559 days old) by Mrx ()        

A little more info:

Gas-fired point of use heaters were popular in urban areas that had gas in the 1920s/30s but they were rarely the only source of hot water in most houses.

Also, in recent decades, electrically heated (usually 9kW+) instantaneous showers are quite popular, but again, they're usually supplemental rather than the only source of hot water.

The attraction is that during summer months, when heating systems are switched off, the immersion heater (central hot water) only heats enough water for sinks etc normally and it is cheaper and more efficient to just use an instantaneous shower.

Electric showers in the UK and Ireland look something like this :

Some people also opt to use 'combi-boilers' which are central heating (radiator) boilers, usually gas-fired, which also can heat instantaneous water for showers / taps etc.

Again, this is considered a little more efficient than heating central water tanks and holding them hot.

The other factor is that newer tanks are very efficient and have excellent insulation, so it's really no advantage to use instantaneous heaters anymore.

Older models here were almost uninsulated!

Post# 523530 , Reply# 54   6/9/2011 at 11:19 (4,559 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
I grew up in a house that was built in the early sixties. Above the boiler of the central heating system there was a huge water heater that could be heated by the boiler. The system could be turned off and the water was then rerouted through an on demand gas water heater. The big water heater was in the laundry room, but there was only a cold water connection for the washer.

Post# 523533 , Reply# 55   6/9/2011 at 11:41 (4,559 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Louis, quite possibly my host family's house might have had a similar system. All of my visits there (initially for three months; later visits while in university and thereafter) were May-September, when they weren't heating the house. I was never there during winter or late fall. If there was a central system, it must have been turned off during the warm months, since I distinctly recall having cold water initially come out of the hot water bathroom tap until the flame lit and then hot water miraculously appeared.

The other thing I remember was everyone having a MINIMUM of two middle names, and some with THREE middle names. Maris was often one of those names, even for boys. ;)  (e.g. Klaus Maria Brandauer, though he's Austrian; the same concept existed in Catholic areas of Germany and Netherlands). Although we lived in a "mixed"  area (neither Catholics nor Protestants predominated), there was a sort of de facto segregation, in that even nominally Catholic families sent their kids to Catholic schools, and Protestant families sent their kids to Protestant schools. The result was that I never met a Protestant during the entire summer. They weren't prejudiced, they were very liberal, it's just that in those days, there was only limited "mixing". See section IV below:

Post# 523536 , Reply# 56   6/9/2011 at 11:59 (4,559 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
As far as I remember from my youth, there were quite a few systems for water heating. Many people had a gas tankless water heater over the kitchen sink that was also used to heat the water for the shower. Some other households had a gas tank water heater. My grandmother on my father's side had an electric tank heater. IIRC that was about the second popular way of heating water after the gas tankless heaters. The system we had wasn't very common I think.

I also remember a huge gas tankless water heater in the laundryroom of our neighbours. It didn't serve only a large house but also the sinks in the dental practice of our neighbour. I remember the big "whoop" sound when somewhere in the house a hot water tap was opened. This water heater btw, was having above the Constructa boil washing machine, but no hot water from the water heater was used by that machine.

Post# 523568 , Reply# 57   6/9/2011 at 14:21 (4,559 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

arbilab's profile picture
Fascinating. Who knew there were so many ways to produce hot water?

Grandma's house was built circa 1920. The original boiler (for radiators) was coal, later converted to natgas. Not sure I got to see the original water heater. By 1950 it was a gas burner with an open coil over it. Water in the coil convected to an adjacent tank for storage and service. Never saw anything like it before or since.

Point-of-use water heat is resurging here, I think because the waste of running the spigot until the hot appears. Even though you may only 'use' a quart of hot water, you drain 2 gallons from the tank heating the pipes. However, I have never heard of a gas P-O-U heater here. And the waste of a central gas system is probably less than the cost of electric POU. For the same amount of heat at US rates I estimate electric twice as expensive as gas.

Post# 523599 , Reply# 58   6/9/2011 at 16:20 (4,559 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

One limiting factor in the USA re: POU gas heaters is that lack of gas pipes to most bathrooms. In general, gas lines run to the laundry area, the kitchen, the water heater and furnace, and that's it. It might work for new construction, but retrofitting existing homes could be expensive. Also, proper venting could be an issue. I do have friends with a large, rambling, single story home who installed a gas tankless heater on each end of the house, so they in effect have two large POU gas heaters.

Post# 523608 , Reply# 59   6/9/2011 at 17:05 (4,559 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
I suddenly remembered something else. At home at a friend of mine they had a very big gas tank water heater. The house was rather big and some taps were rather far away from the water heater. They had a circulation pump installed. The hot water pipes were installed like a ring system and the pipes were insulated. If you opened a tap far away from the water heater you still had hot water instantly.

Post# 523630 , Reply# 60   6/9/2011 at 19:32 (4,559 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Circulation Pumps

launderess's profile picture
Are rather common today especially for uses where taps are far from the water heater.

Laundries, laundromats, apartment buildings/multi-family housing, very large homes,and so forth all have them installed. For one thing it actually saves water as persons do not have to run hot water taps for periods of time to purge the cooled water.

Post# 523663 , Reply# 61   6/9/2011 at 23:46 (4,558 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

arbilab's profile picture
And recirc systems are always insulated where non-recirc seldom are.

Post# 523756 , Reply# 62   6/10/2011 at 12:57 (4,558 days old) by mieleforever (SOUTH AFRICA)        

To answer your question Passatdoc, here in South Africa there is no gas/butane/lp gas lines running to any homes, you just dont get it here. Untill about 3/4 years ago a gas stove was considered rather low class and nothing really works with around here. We have however started with the instalation with gas stoves, but you buy a gas cannister, ranging from 3 kilograms up to I think 20 kgs. So it is rather a mission to get up, go out, say at night when your gas runs out and get a refill. Most stoves are electric and electricity is relatively cheap getting more expensive nowadays, and most homes use electric tank water heaters, (geysers), but you get in some houses gas water heaters, but gas is actually expensive here and like stated above just a hassle. Everybody is raving about gas stoves but I dont like them, I have a Halogen stovetop and my sister has an induction, they are actually 40% more fast than gas stoves.

So there just my five cents worth. cheers

Post# 523778 , Reply# 63   6/10/2011 at 15:05 (4,558 days old) by limey ()        
Kerosene Refrigerator

To mieleforever
I know it is a little bit off topic but about 40 years ago I saw a parrafin/kerosene refrigerator in South Africa it is the only one I have ever seen. Do you know if they are still available or anything else about them.

Post# 523792 , Reply# 64   6/10/2011 at 16:25 (4,558 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

@mieleforever: sounds like those SA customers with gas appliances are using propane. It exists in USA in rural areas without pipe natural gas. Most natural gas appliances here can be adapted to (or are also sold as separate models that use) propane. In rural areas, many homes have huge propane tanks above ground. However, propane is quite expensive and must be trucked in. Natural gas is much less expensive, and where the pipes are available, it's widely used. The high-end professional steel ranges are generally always gas (at least the cooktop; sometimes the oven is electric in so-called "dual fuel" ranges).

I believe propane flames are hotter but I have no experience cooking with it, other than on a propane gas barbecue. Even my outdoor bbq grill is adapted to natural gas, both to save money and to avoid having to refill tanks. My house was built with an outdoor gas pipe protruding from the house for possible future grill use. My earlier grills were propane, but I adapted my second grill in the late 1990s to natural gas and my current (third) grill was sold with an optional natural gas adapter kit, which I purchased and used.

Post# 523809 , Reply# 65   6/10/2011 at 19:05 (4,558 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        

Kerosene refrigerators are available by special order at Lehman's Hardware. They also sell natural gas/propane refrigerators, which are usually in stock.

Link to the store's homepage. They also have parts for Maytag wringer washers!



Post# 523887 , Reply# 66   6/11/2011 at 09:01 (4,557 days old) by mieleforever (SOUTH AFRICA)        

Yes to that Limey, we actually had a parrafin fridze and freezer many many moons ago, I grew up on a farm and there was no electricity for quite a few years. Eventualy my father saved enough money and we could also have electricity.


Post# 523986 , Reply# 67   6/11/2011 at 17:23 (4,557 days old) by whirlpolf ()        
Jim (PassatDoc) your teacher was wrong.

I do agree that we have some very over-the-top old ladies taking it a bit too far with cleaning, but language-wise, your teacher is plainly wrong. I can only account this to her/him having a certain predjudice thus making the diffrence between "sauber machen" and "reinigen".

Here is my stance (plainly along the lines of language, not about soap consumption): "sauber machen" and "reinigen" are identical.
Of course, once you take it to a more supernatural or esoteric point, then "sauber machen" would not appeal (imagine a vampire movie about "cleansing" your soul, then "reinigen" would be the appropriate term, same thing in literature).
But in normal day-to-day life, both verbs are used in an identical way (hence your teacher is wrong).

Here are ALL the verbs:
"sauber machen" (to make clean = to clean (used in a generic way, no matter what the method is)
"reinigen" (=to clean, to clense, generic as well)
"läutern" (=to clean a soul, make it a better person) - a spiritual term
"desinfizieren" (= to disinfect)
"spülen" = to rinse, also (with china and silverware = to do some washing up / to do the dishes)
"putzen" = to wipe with a wet rag = to sweep floors, to polish things, to clean objects
"waschen" = to wash, to launder (usually meaning using major amouts of water / being different from "putzen" where you only use moderate amounts of water but add more elbow grease to the rubbing action)
"bohnern, blockern" = to polish floors, to wax them and after this, to make them shine ("blockern" is derived from the "Block/er", this heavy metal brush block broom to mechanically buff the floors)
"aufmotzen, aufbrezeln" = to pimp up (your appearance), to use cosmetics and all means of beauty business to get ready to go out (motzen meaning to be infamous, to be fresh or mean or loud-spoken while brezeln meaning to shape in a brezel way = making a gift wrapper out of yourself, think red ribbon around a surprise package here).
"schleifen" = to sand / to scour (using harsh abrasive power to take off material thus gaining a smooth surface)
"scheuern" = to scour (like with scouring powder) or to scrub (with a scotch pad scouring sponge)
"wienern" = to polish to a high shine (boots, chrome, stainless steel) - derived from ""Wiener Kalk" (chalk of Vienna, a very finely ground abrasive polishing powder, now in several polishing pastes such as Amway's chrome polish and similar products)
"wichsen" = to wax, to polish and shine (formerly common, now not really appreciated) = coming from "Schuhwichse" (shoe shine) = to rapidly move along a surface to make it shine - but today only associated with "to wank / j.o." (excuse this, I am only throwing some light on vocabulary).

Please forward this to your teacher. Thx.

Post# 523989 , Reply# 68   6/11/2011 at 17:47 (4,557 days old) by whirlpolf ()        
sorry, I forgot some:

"löschen" = to erase, to clear (coming from harbour business, "eine Ladung löschen" = to clear a load (from the ship to the store house) now used in computers = to erase. Also used in children's text books = to wipe and overwrite.
"polieren" = to polish
"wischen" = to wipe (also "auswischen" = to wipe out)
"einweichen" = to soak (literally: to weaken in / to soften, once you dip something in a liquid, the dirt is "weakened" while the suds are "in"vading the material)
"abziehen" = to pull off (like paint or varnish or any other covering material = to pull off, to strip)
"auflösen" = to dilute, to disintegrate, to dissolve (lösen = to loose, therefore to "loose up")
"Staub wischen, Staub reinigen, Staub putzen, abstauben" = to dust off = to clean from loose dust, to wipe or vac. (hello Swiffer!)
Note: "abstauben" can also mean "to pick up something" in a swift way, meaning: If you "dust off" something nice on a garage sale, you snapped something nice off the commonly boring mass of stuff = you found a goody.

Post# 523992 , Reply# 69   6/11/2011 at 19:19 (4,557 days old) by limey ()        
Parrafin/Kerosene fridges

To Maytagbear and mieleforever
Thank you. I was not aware they were available in North America and as I said the only one I have ever seen was in S. Africa.

Post# 524012 , Reply# 70   6/11/2011 at 22:00 (4,556 days old) by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Sind einweichen und aufmotzen trennbar oder nicht trennbar?


Ach, richtige deutsche Grammatik ist nicht von Amis zu erwarten.... Foot in mouth

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