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Thread: 120F not hot enough?

  1. #16
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Just a bump for this video by Property Inspector LLC, 425-885-3289


  2. #17
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Growing up in a dry cleaning plant and a laundry business and tailors shop, we were pretty savvy about washing machines.

    Nobody with a brain would allow a front loading washer be foisted upon them. Inherently unbalanced, and unbalanceable, dangerous due to water leakage, foolish due to loading and unloading at a terrible angle, and mechanically too complicated to depend on. Only a top loader serves the consumer, front loaders are just a NEW ding-dong to get the consumers attention.

    They stink. They break, they leak eventually, the dc motors or the ac reversing drives fail like chinese flashlights.

    The best washers were Speed Queens with a seperate extractor [top load of course] they could run 40 years easy [still made in south america]. My whirlpool top loader is going on 30 years with a few belts.

    Save 25$ in water per 3 years and spend $600 in repairs and 2 weeks downtime for a frontloader?..... Frontloaders only frontload the profit for the manufacturers that know what a joke they are.

    Europe? The savvy consumer use top loaders that operate like frontloaders without all the gasket and stink issues.

    Dryers need a FOLD DOWN DOOR! You flop the wet clothes on the door and then shove them in. A round hinged door is anti-human. GRAVITY is what one must think of when you shop.

    And many new top loaders meet tier 2 and 3 energy levels without all the disasters of front loading jokes.

    Leave the door open...buy cleaner tablets.... water at 500' to kill legionarres disease... wipe the gasket each load...buy special detergent.... put it on rubber pads.... cement floors only.

    How stupid can the consumer get, when the 25 year, NO REPAIR toploaders sell for $346? [Made in USA] and less. And you can open the door, add stuff, re-run cycles, and not be owned BY THE MACHINE.

    Since the wonderful revelation that our showerheads are now going to kill us, might as well enjoy our short life with a Whirpool TOP LOADER with 2 mechanical dials, and a nice 300 bucks worth of front loading DRYER with a fold down door.

    That mold on the gasket of your Japanese, Chinese, or German Washer can stop your heart right in its tracks! Class action!
    Last edited by ballvalve; 01-28-2011 at 09:00 PM.

  3. #18
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    The only sure way to tackle the bacteria problem is to run the heater at 160 + and install ASSE 1070 tempering valves at the point of use or as close as you can get to the outlet.

    Last edited by Terry; 08-06-2011 at 01:11 PM.

  4. #19
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    How did we all manage to live so long?

    Last edited by Terry; 08-06-2011 at 01:12 PM.

  5. #20
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    I put my AO smith heater at the lowest setting and all is fine. Too hot for me but vacation mode is too cold. My Whirpool Duet clothes (best out there) has a heater and same with the freakin crazy Bosch Dishwasher (SHX68E15UC)....They have their own heaters if needed and no stick here. My guess is you are not cleaning the washers as per the label.

  6. #21
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I have always raised the temp above the factory setting. It provides more hot water that way since more cold water is blended in to temper it. Also, by mixing hot and cold 50/50, I get more volume for a more invigorating shower and the wife's tub fills quicker. The dish washer does a much better job too despite having its own heater. Our dish washer's heater works on a time cycle and does not sense temperature.

    Because one stupid woman scalded herself between her legs with hot coffee while driving, the coffee I pick up at the drive through is just luke warm by the time I get to my office. I wonder if the water temperature police are going to break down my door and arrest me?

  7. #22
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I am not sure how you figure running a water heater at a lower temperature "saves money". If it is "warm" you use a lot of hot water and a little, if any, cold. IF it is "hot" you use a little hot water and a lot of cold water for the same volume. You ONLY pay to heat the water you use. Standby heat loss is slightly greater at higher temperatures, but with the newer insulations it borders on insignificant. If there are no young children or "fragile" older folks in the house, the users should be cognizent enough to be able to regulate the water temperature regardless of whether it is 120 or 140, in fact, my wife complains if the dial is bumped and the temperature drops into the 115-120 degree range.

    The heater in the Legionaires Disease video is interesting. I hope that it NOT the T&P valve at the end of the 3/4" off the hot water line. I have never seen an air vent installed in what might be the T&P valve opening in the center of the heater. Not sure what that thing is at the rear of the heater. They did not show enough of the heater to tell if there is a T&P installed in the side of it.
    Last edited by hj; 06-11-2011 at 08:41 AM.

  8. #23
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Standby heat loss is slightly greater at higher temperatures, but with the newer insulations it borders on insignificant...
    True with electric since the heat transfer element is entirely within the insulation envelope. Even this standby loss is only lost if/when there is surplus heat in the room, otherwise you're just heating the room that would otherwise be heated from another source.

    On gas water heaters the heat transfer element is connected to the flue and as such is a hole in the insulation envelope. During heating to higher water temps, flue temps will also be higher. Heat loss up the flue is lost forever.

    I understand that with children, elderly, or otherwise cognitively challenged people, the risk of scalding may need to be mitigated.

  9. #24
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A tempering valve helps moderate the output while providing many of the same benefits. If things like the DW and WM can be plumbed before the tempering valve, you get the best of both worlds. BW has a pre-configured tempering valve setup option that does just that.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #25
    DIY Member WorthFlorida's Avatar
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    What is your water supply? Municipal supply or a well? Have you actually check the temperature of the water right out of the water heater. Is it really 140*. Don't trust the thermostat dial. Have you returned the water heater back down to 120 and did the order return? At 140 you'll really notice it at the tap or shower since you can get burned in a few seconds.
    I have a front loader and I always keep the door open after each wash and it only takes maybe 30 minutes or less to dry out. My water heater is set to 120* and never have had a odor issue. In part I think it is the condition and age of the water heater, the anode rod could be gone and the minerals in the water. If your tank is more than 10 years old you're on borrowed time and if you are suspecting bacteria in the tank I would change it out.
    Last edited by WorthFlorida; 06-13-2011 at 05:14 AM.

  11. #26
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Default Legionella is a legit concern, but 140 is overkill for gas

    I've read a bit on this a year or two ago and this is what I've gathered:
    1. Legionella lives but does not propagate at ~120+ F
    2. Temps significantly below this do pose a serious problem, starting at around 115 F.
    3. Gas water heaters in the study I read didn't show a problem in any of the samples.
    4. Electric water heaters did have a problem...even at 140 F because the bottom of the tank can remain much colder (as in below 105 F).
    5. Water heater timers to let the tank run cool/without recovering for part of the day are a really bad idea! Could put the whole tank right in the danger zone below 115 F.
    6. Turning down the water heater while on vacation is a bad idea -- see #4 plus long stagnant period.
    7. Electric water heaters are a bad idea with respect to legionella and should probably be set up to circulate (perhaps while thermostat is calling for heat.)

    Being that I have a gas water heater, I bumped mine up to 125 F as a safety margin (and yes, I've confirmed temps.)

    140 F is quite a bit of overkill and I won't do it without a tempering valve--which I don't have and don't see the need to install. So for me the scald potential alone eliminates it. Considering the cost of having such stuff done and how poorly valves (like PRV's) seem to hold up, I'll stick to a lower temp in the water heater instead.

    140 F in a typical gas water heater will increase the tank losses compared to 120 F (or 125 F in my case.) The ambient around my water heater is about 72 F, so the losses would increase by about (1-(140-72)/(125-72))*100% = 28% (vs. 42% at 120 F.) That's not huge, only about 6 therms a year without an insulating blanket, 3 therms with (both use burner efficiency for the calc.)

    Without a tempering valve, there would also be some additonal losses due to hotter water sitting in the piping between uses--dead volume that is lost. For us this would likely be around the same magnitude as the increase in the direct tank loss. Again, a few therms a year.

  12. #27
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Default Laughing at the misplaced hatred of front loaders

    We've had our front loader for 2 1/2 years now with no problems. Works great, uses a small fraction of the water as before, reducing sewer, nat. gas, and electric (the latter is drying savings because it spins the clothes so much drier!) Compared to our old top loader this one is returning about $150/year in savings. It's already paid the difference between itself and the cheapest top loader. Plus it doesn't beat up the clothes the way the old washer did...so our clothes seem to be lasting longer.

    While the old Whirlpool top loader worked decently much of its life in its final years I had begun to hate it. I had to replace several parts on it over its life. The transmission on it failed under warranty around the first year. The water solenoids failed twice, once every 7-8 years. The lid switch failed and was a bit tricky to diagnose. (The nice thing was that I could replace all but the transmission myself.) It was having some intermittent spray nozzle dribble issues when I sold it. Over the years it would periodically become unbalanced an try to beat itself to death before I could get to it. Oh, and did I mention that it got an awful stink that was tough to get rid of (mildewcide, disassembling and scrubbing the wash tub, hot water...still took many months to purge it)--but I blame that stink on a less than satisfactory utility space in the Deep South that created the problem in the first place. And it really didn't like large loads, the agitator couldn't really circulate them.

    The new front loader will sense out of balance and shut down. Had a few out of balance episodes early on while learning how to best load it--think I've seen the code three or maybe four times in 2 1/2 years. We did do a tub wash cycle about a year ago...probably should do one again just to be sefe.

    Only time will tell on reliability and maintenance. It will have paid for itself and the 5 year replacement warranty I got on it at the end of its 4th year (only 18 months from now.) Hard to see how I can lose on this one. My primary concern would be a control board failure or drive failure.

    My in-laws have had a front loader for at least 5 years now, no problems and they haven't taken half the precautions we have until recently (such as leaving the door and detergent trays open, using HE detergent.)

  13. #28
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The only frontloader dryer with a swinging side door I ever had was about 6' in diameter and you rolled a cloth cart up to it to unload it.

    Front loader washers are just a new gimmick to give the wives something to show off. Stack it on top of the hinged DOWN dryer, and now your getting a bit closer - except a spin dry cycle turned on its edge breaks every rule in the design book.

    The best are european top loaders, with a top lid, and SS drum and hinged door on one end, they are totally quiet - how they manage to deal with the absolute absurdity of standing a centrifuge on its side is beyond me. They still let the neighbors know when its spinning often.

    You can buy several standard top loaders [NOW] that meet all energy standards and more because they can run the spin speed up double that of the silly side spinners. And because so many people moved their front loader to the scrap yard after the 1200$ repair quote.

    Your not going to be doing ANY repairs to your frontloaders. Well maybe you can change the door gasket when your load ends up on the floor. But next month the $800 Chinese control board with 400 transistors on it will smoke out.

    My 350$ Kenmore is going on 15 years with one drive flex ring repair [no more belts] And no warranty, and never needed one. And you can sort clothes on the adjacent table and slide the pile right into the hole. Try that on front bomber.

    Lately I have been dissasembling old top loaders with my excavator for all the women that needed to keep up with the joneses, and gave them away. cutting out the wires and motors, and saving a few for parts.

    A pallet of flat washers brought in about 600$ They pay about 1$ pound for insulated wire now too. theres my next GE or whirlpool! as long as they still dont say hecho in mehico.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 07-21-2011 at 11:42 AM.

  14. #29
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Default Meanwhile, back in the real world...

    Front loaders aren't some "new gimmick", they've been 90% of the market in Europe. (Of course backwardness in the U.S. market has done wonders for our manufacturing base and competitiveness...not! Being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century relying on less efficient tech has resulted in us not building much of what the world/we need.)

    Can't say that the front door bothers me at all. It's a straighter shot from there into the drier than I had with the old top loader. But I can see why some prefer pedestals and such.

    You can buy several standard top loaders [NOW] that meet all energy standards and more because they can run the spin speed up double that of the silly side spinners.
    I want to see the one that spins at 2100 - 2600 rpm for that "double" claim you made. Not sure where you get your spin rate info from, but it appears to be backwards. The front loaders spin faster than even the HE top loaders as best I can tell. Being as drying energy use reduction is the biggest money saver for this washer (and ironically not shown in the Energy Star ratings) I'll stick with the front loader. I did find some large 1100 rpm top loaders that cost about $250 more than what my front loader did, and use about two and a half times as much water... More typical values appear to be in the 800 rpm range for HE top loaders. My front loader has 1050 rpm spin, some others range from 1100 to 1300.

    As far as I could see in the current energy star listing the best of the top loaders come in at about 50% more water use than my front loader. That of course still beats the old traditional top loaders handily.

    A problem I see that you have overlooked is that to get an HE top loader, it looks like you have to get away from the simplicity of the older models...removing that advantage. Otherwise you have ones like a GE I was reading about a few minutes ago that had no out of balance sensor and nearly tore the utility room apart. I've had plenty of experience with walking top loaders...and with rpm increases the issue becomes more acute.

  15. #30
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The europeans went with front loaders because they wash about 1/4 of clothes as americans, they look like dishwashers and fit usually, under the kitchen counter. Their average kitchen is smaller than our laundry rooms.

    And they use those condensing dry cycles that just do not work. When they get here, they wonder how they ever survived.

    Besides being a new sales pitch, we are seeing front loaders because the Europeans bought most of our appliance makers.

    http://www.homeeverything.com/web/si...08&ref=c****** [one of many]

    Consumers reports gives about 7 top load whirlpools and kenmores the energy star and same water efficiency as the Front loaders. Which means they extract about the same amount of water on spin, no matter the speed.

    2100 rpm? sounds like a woodworking router.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 07-22-2011 at 11:26 AM.

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