Once is Happenstance…

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Sorry I didn’t post yesterday.  I was finishing up the rock moving and yard reshaping phase of this year’s great gardening project. (Which, other than carrying a few buckets of pebbles to a better location will hold until next March or whenever snow stops blowing.)

As usual, when I’m doing these things, I have time to think.  What I thought about specifically was this article I’ve linked at instapundit, and which I can’t find right now, which was on dishwashers.

I don’t know how many of you have realized how ridiculous dishwashers have gotten.  I mean, I have realized how ridiculous washers have gotten.

For years we got expensive front loaders, and yet our clothes kept smelling, there were stains that would not come out, and these things seemed to last only 5 years, on the outside.  And I knew it wasn’t our problem, as such, because at the same time we started noticing we couldn’t get our clothes clean, the detergent isle of the supermarket sprouted an entire section of odor removing things, febreeze got added to detergents, and, in general, people smelled odd…

Then the washer broke while we were also very, very broke (we were paying mortgage and rent in the run up to buying this.  I saw an ad for, I THINK a $300 washer, and we went to look.  What we found, instead, was a $200, not advertised washer.  As we’re looking at it the saleswoman hurries over and tells us we don’t want it. This washer, she says, uses lots of water.  For those who don’t know I suffer from an unusual form of eczema. While it’s triggered mostly by stress with a side of carbs, it can also, out of the blue, take offense at a slight trace of detergent left on the clothes. I’ve found that the eczema got markedly worse the less water the washer used.  And it required me to run the washer three times, once with soap and two without to avoid major outbreaks.  The idea of using lots and lots of water was great, so I was all excited.  Which shocked the poor saleswoman halfway to death.  I will point out, though, though that this washer washes well enough I can get away with only one extra rinse cycle and if I forget it it’s usually survivable. Also, our clothes don’t smell. Unfortunately, we’ve not found that time of washer any of the times we’ve walked through the appliance isle, so I think that choice has been eliminated.

Certainly the choice of dishwashers that use “lots” (i.e. what they used 20 years ago) of water and electricity was never offered to us.  And since we seemed to have really lousy luck with dishwasher, I found every time we replaced one over the last 20 years, they had less space for dishes (more insulation, to allow for less electricity) to the point that I needed to do 3 or even 4 loads for a family of four. I mean, I cook from scratch, but I really don’t use that much stuff.  And it ran slower than before.  Right now our dishwasher actually washes (a bonus) but it takes four hours to run a cycle.  I rarely do more than one wash a day, though, because it’s just Dan and I, and we … well… the kids used a lot more glasses and little plates, and frankly meals get more complicated for four people.

All the same, there was a time there, for like 10 years, where we were running all this “green” approved stuff, and not only was I running the washer and drier more or less continuously, but to make things more “interesting” I was using MORE water and electricity, in the sense that I was running the appliances a ton more.

This of course is what I also found with the “low flush” toilets.  We had them in our previous house, and we found that we spent an inordinate amount of time flushing the toilet.  Also, since it took four or five flushes to do the job or one, the fact we were actually only using half the water per flush didn’t save any water. We spent instead twice to three times the amount of water the “high flush” toilets had spent.

All this, btw, to appease Paul Ehrlich — the prophet of wrong. As in, if he foresees something it will be wrong — and his ridiculous idea we’d run out of potable water in 1978.  Apparently none of these people have noticed that 1978 has come and gone with no problems.  And as for electricity, if they stop their idiocy about nuclear, it’s not even a consideration. (And no, Chernobyl isn’t a caution about nuclear energy. It’s a caution about stupid communist regimes. They can’t run anything — not even a nuclear plant — without destroying it.)

Anyway, having thought of all these unintended consequences, I had two thoughts. (Hey, sometimes I have more than one.  It’s rare, I grant you.)

The first was, isn’t it weird that all these regulations always trend towards making humans smelly, improperly washed, infective?

Sure perhaps it’s just a side effect.  Or perhaps the political side that hates humans — really, really, really hates humans — just wants to torture us while virtue signaling.

Maybe I am paranoid. But it seems like a great part of their regulations and plans, including the Green Nude Heel are designed above all to “make the peasants suffer.”  I mean, it’s not like any of these people ever actually hold themselves subject to the regulations they create for others. After all, rules are for the little people, right? Which means they want to be the only ones who live in relatively pleasant ways while forcing the “peasants” to live in muck.

Again, maybe I’m paranoid, but you know, humans do like these distinctions. And non-introspective, authoritarian personalities will give rein to their basest instincts.

The second thing I thought is that it’s astonishing that for all their virtue signaling, not a single one of their rules and regulations designed supposedly to save the environment have the desired effect.  More, it’s astonishing that all of their virtue signaling has the opposite effect of what they claim to wish.

Low flush toilets use more water. Slow, inefficient dishwashers force more loads, and therefore use both more water and more electricity.  Low water dishwashers don’t wash really well and therefore have to be run over and over again, using more water and electricity.

But wait, there’s more.  Their wind energy generating big gigantic fans are exterminating birds and bringing some species to the brink of extinction. AND it gives, of course, unpredictable energy, though not as unpredictable as solar, which has throughs leading to brown-outs, and to make things shinier, fries wildlife and destroys the ecology in acres and acres of land.

And then there’s all the other stuff: the recycling of paper that’s worse for the environment than just harvesting fast-growing trees grown for the purpose of making paper.  The alcohol in gasoline that both makes food more expensive and destroys engines, which will need to be replaced at a greater cost in ecological damage.

How is it possible? You’d think that at least once, by accident, they’d get regulations right, right?  You’d think at least once, by accident, even if they made our lives more unpleasant, they’d achieve what they claim to want, right?

So why haven’t they?

I don’t know. I can’t explain it other than “once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times it’s enemy action.”

Which means–

Which means if the Green Nude Heels is ever implemented, not only will we all be ruined and dying in the millions, but it will ALSO somehow screw up the Earth and the environment, possibly fatally.

Environmental alarmism and statism? Not even once.

Those who beat their chests and claim to want to save the Earth hate humanity. And aren’t too fond of the rest of the Earth too.

It’s time we tell them “Oh, you want to limit the damage humans do?  You first, buddy.  You first.”

366 responses to “Once is Happenstance…

  1. Front-load clothes washers are terrible, ’tis true. The gasket stays moist and mildew up, which is likely the source of the smell (and possibly your eczema). We have to leave the door open on ours when not in use. When this one conks out, I’ll be getting a top-loader.

    Toilets, yeah. Also low-flow showers.

    But dishwashers, besides being smaller, aren’t really the problem. It’s the *detergent*. Some years ago, thanks to Spokane, WA, manufacturers removed Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) from their formulas and overnight *every* dishwasher got worse.

    • They have low water top load washers too. One of these days I’m going to take the controls on ours and reset the water levels.

      • Professor Badness

        Why does that make me want to laugh maniacally?

        • Because I’m enough of an engineer, electrician, and hacker to do it? And I’m mad, I tell you, absolutely mad!

        • It’s Monday?

          • There’s no magic as to why top loaders don’t stink. It’s because you CAN leave the top door open… without breaking your shins walking by the laundry area, so you do. Leave the door shut on a top loader closed all the time and it’ll stink, too.

            BTW, I’ve been kicked off disqus, if anyone cares. Ask in email(buddhaha (at) protonmail.com) if you want to know how and why. If our host requests, I’ll explain publicly.

            To our host: Thank you for not handing off control of your comment stream to a third-party outfit with their own priorities and agenda.

    • The detergent is PART of the problem (you can buy it on Amazon with old formulation)
      BUT the detergent doesn’t make it take forever or have insulation so thick you can’t fit a meal’s dishes in there.

    • I’ve actually had a lot of success with my LG one–it does get the clothes clean, and odd smell buildups from damp washer, I have noticed, are eliminated by using Oxyclean with the clothes and also vinegar. So…YMMV, I suppose. 🙂

      It also helps, I’m sure, that I live in a land of little-to-no-humidity (aka SE Wyoming), and I leave the washer door open for a day or so after laundry day to dry things out thoroughly.

      I have had to play shenanigans with detergent, because I have extremely sensitive skin…as in, when it acts up, I have to cough up the money for Ivory Snow, sigh. (Thankfully, at the moment, skin has decided it doesn’t hate the currently affordable detergent. I think it’s triggered by whenever the ‘generic’ detergent changes their formulations, personally.)

      • Just ordered a new LG top loader to replace the latest Kenmore one that died (12 years for this set, 12 years for the last set, 17.5 years for the first set … I miss the first set). There are settings for – Low, medium, high, and auto fill (minimum amount of water to wash the load that was loaded) to wash, and first rinse. However, second rinse you can set as a forced high water rinse … which I will do. It requires the “new” HE (high efficient) detergent. Turns out that is what I’ve been using with the old set so luckily no need to change from the Costco brand (pod).

        I, and my son, too, skin can react to detergent (turns out my dad was the same … what in the heck do they put in Tide?). I also can have problems with any lingering scent. I either use the Costco pod brand, or All Free and Clear. I can not use Ivory Snow. I can’t tolerate the scent, I got a migraine almost instantly pulling the cloths from washer (after they’d been rinsed twice). I’m normally only sensitive to scents if I’m wearing them (no perfumes, ever), unless someone else really piles on a scent (or smoker’s, any type, “scent”). Exceptions, obviously, because the lingering scent from Ivory Snow wasn’t that strong.

        • We are currently doing some of our laundry by hand and some at a laundromat. The last time we went to the laundromat, I missed one of my shirts in the washer, and the next person to use the machine found my shirt while I was unloading my dryers, after it had gone through a wash cycle with her laundry. I don’t know what kind of detergent she was using, but the scent was so strong on that shirt that it just about choked me! I use unscented detergent, no particular brand, just whatever is least expensive, usually, and have had no problems with that.

        • I won’t even consider a front-loader washing machine, thanks to all the things that I have read about front-loaders. No. A thousand-times no.
          In the next few years, I will be considering a new dishwasher as part of my kitchen reno – any suggestions from the horde?

          • See my other post with opinions from my back-when appliance repair dude.

            In my experience, both commercial and home unit — front loaders get your clothes cleaner, and don’t tangle them up as bad. We had one when I was a kid, and it was hands-down better than any top loader. Same with laundromats; got to where I’d wait for the front-loaders to free up.

            But my experience is from before the water-saving craze. What they’re like now, I don’t know. I have a top loader because it has the exact feature set I required, and at the time front loaders cost another $500 even at Costco, and that was out of budget. It works really well, so no complaints.

            My work clothes get really dirty (as in pig farmers would be ashamed), so I have a somewhat different metric than the average urban dweller

            .

            • yeah. My experience with front loaders was from before the water saving craze. Which is why we bought one in 98.
              BAD move. BAD BAD move.

            • ” I have a top loader because it has the exact feature set I required ” What brand/model is that please?

              ” My work clothes get really dirty (as in pig farmers would be ashamed) ” <– I don't pig farm yet, but when I do or I garden…

              • Eh. Our yard is cement. A deadly mix of clay and sand. Idiots before us, filled the flower beds like ten inches deep in river rock, which promptly tore the anti-weed paper. I have been planting stuff, by pulling up that crap and the first layer of “cement” so I can replace with soil things grow on.
                The bottom layers were silt with embedded pebbles and anti-weed paper.
                I think those clothes (and gloves) were interesting.
                Oh, also they must have composted before giving up on it, because the natural soil was goopy wet (that was probably the rain, or they fucked up drainage somehow) and smelled like dead things.

                • My inner gardener just ran away screaming. Wanna borrow my veggie garden? it’s 20 years of very old manure… pretty sure the zucchini is trying out for a remake of Little Shop…

                  • DIL has been bringing me horse manure.
                    Younger son refers to what I’m doing as “terraforming” the yard.
                    I have three very healthy rose bushes, and the hydrangea have survived the deer. If it looks like we’re going to stay in CO for the next decade or so (depends on what boys do) I will do more extensive work.

                    • “If it looks like we’ll stay here in Colorado… depending on what the boys do.”

                      Meaning the Gov and legislature? They’ve been drinking California Kool-Aid. I would like to come back, but I’m afraid they’ve twisted it into such a left coast PRofBoulder parody that I’d be far better off in Texas.

                    • No. My boys. The Gov and legislature are ruling via vote-by-fraud. I suspect there will be a big spasm soon enough.

              • It’s a Whirlpool under the Costco label. I can’t see a model number on it and moving it out from the wall ain’t happening.

                But it has:
                — all mechanical controls
                — supersize load (very large tub) and complete control over how much water, from about 3″ deep to full-up
                — temp setting for warm-warm, not just hot-cold, warm-cold, and cold-cold
                — extra rinse
                — notification buzzer (goes off after each rinse)
                — settings from Nuclear (beats the living crap out of the laundry) to Poodle (barely swishes the water around). It calls ’em Regular, Permanent Press, Delicate, and Hand Washable.
                — strong spin cycle (gets some stuff almost dry — and I mean dry enough to put on straight from the washer)

                And apparently has dynamic balancing, because only once have I managed to make it shudder and clank (big heavy thing got wadded up by itself), and even then it didn’t move. Guessing the counterweight might be water, not the usual block of cement. All the knobs are solid-feeling too, no wobbles.

                I got it in … um, 2003, I think. I’d been holding out for warm-warm and extra rinse, and my inherited 1960s Maytag had lost its housebreaking… timing was good.

          • Something old school that doesn’t advertise itself as high efficiency. Look into a refurbished one if you can’t find a new non-efficiency dishwasher.

          • Find yourself a good used appliance store. That’s where I bought my last(re-built) Kenmore washing mach Washer and dryer together cost ~$350. With a two year unlimited warranty.

        • Tide (same as Cheer except for different enzymes; I asked) is actually pretty mild on skin — I’ve been using Tide or Cheer as shampoo since the 1980s, and it beats the crap out of any shampoo I ever tried. I do wonder, tho, if some people have an outright allergic reaction to the enzymes, whose job is to break down proteins (this is why they work so well on bodily-fluid stains).

          I also use it instead of dish soap; notably better for hard water.

          In the laundry, I add Biz; very helpful when you’ve been mud-wrestling with the livestock. 🙂

    • They also bust more easily. The bracket that holds the drum is under constant load perpendicular to its base, and can crack. Once that happens, it’s new washer time.

      Ask me how I know

      • That is what happened to our last washer (about 2 weeks ago …) … happens to top loaders too.

        • Our LG top loader got the squeak from hell after 7 years. Tightening the agitator plate bolt (16mm, I think) helped for a month, but internet research said that the transmission was(is?) prone to wearing out and causing the squeak (Driving the border collie nuts, with us as collateral damage).

          It didn’t clean well with the mineral soup we have for water, so we’re now on an Electrolux front loader. The appliance sales guy sez that Tide is pretty bad; we’re now on Kirkland (Costco) Free and Clear or Oxyclean. Both seem to do a lot better than Tide. $SPOUSE and dogs are happy.

          • When I was working in Veneta, the annual company dinner gave out drink tickets or you could enter into raffles. One of the raffle items were off white/rusty colored towels. Because giving out white towels to those living along Territorial or Hwy 126 (which included Veneta), didn’t stay white because of the iron content in the water that came from the local wells; joke was they just pre-dyed the towels. Yes, most residents and the office did have cooking & drinking water imported in. Didn’t live out there so not sure if filters weren’t adequate or what. This was over 20 years ago. Now Veneta is on or is going to get water from EWEB.

    • So can one go to Homely Despot or some other supply store and get a container of TSP (usually in the paint department) to add (judiciously) to your mix, or would that also be verboten?

  2. Aye. Let them demonstrate with themselves, not experiment on others.

  3. This is so right on! I am frustrated up to HERE with all of these supposedly ‘green’ appliances!

    Low-flush toilets — maybe we could live with these, except that one of youngest daughter’s medical issues is that she’s often constipated, which clogs the blasted low-flush toilet. There have been times when I’ve had to plunge the toilet, and clean up a mess all over the floor, several times a week. Most of the time we have her medical issues under better control now, so it doesn’t happen quite as often (though it did happen just yesterday). You can, if you pay extra, buy a toilet that is almost clog-free (somewhere around $200, and yes, I did finally get one in our last house, and yes, it actually did work pretty well).

    Washer and dryer — I got a new set about four years ago, and earlier this year, whatever it is that supports the tub in the washer broke, and the tub fell off of it. When I replace that, I’ll probably replace the dryer too. And I sure wish I could find a nice, simple old-fashioned set that actually got the clothes clean without taking all day to do it. I’m doing some of our laundry by hand now, and taking some to a laundromat, and will probably continue this way until next year at least.

    Refrigerators! I don’t know if their problems are due to ‘green’ regulations or just shoddy workmanship, but refrigerators are expensive to very expensive, and yet *if you are lucky* a new frig might last as long as seven to ten years! The older frigs would still be running just fine at fifty years old! I’m not going to buy a new refrigerator to replace the defunct old behemoth in my kitchen now — I’m going to convert a small chest freezer into a frig, instead (we are using an ice chest at the moment — I have a small freezer, and it’s not a problem at all to just swap out a couple of gallon jugs of ice every morning). I THINK the small freezer will last longer than a new frig, but it will certainly cost less than one.

    The last dishwasher we had needed to be fixed every time you turned around, so I ended up just using it for storage, and have no intention of ever getting another one. There are only two of us living here, and it doesn’t take long to just wash the dishes by hand. And probably uses less water and electricity, too.

    I’ve always been a little bit of a Luddite, and I think I’m turning more and more into one, LOL! But the sad thing is that if stuff was built right, it would work better and have a decent lifespan, and I’d be happy to have it. It’s just all the aggravation and fixing and repeatedly having to replace stuff that shouldn’t need to be replaced that gets me upset.

    • cold-wash detergents – you don’t have to wash it in warm or hot water!

      (unless you want it to, you know, stop smelling)

    • I converted one of our household toilets to dual-flush: lift the handle for half-flush (suitable for urine) and depress it for full flush. It would be a dream if we had it in a toilet that actually offered full flush! Since most eliminations are liquid the problem is better solved by a dual flush system on a full-powered toilet.

      On that topic: howcome we have tank toilets in homes? Why not those industrial connected to a five-inch pipe* power flushers? Heck, it could even be used with dual or even triple (colonoscopy cleanse) options. Or use a “smart sensor” to determine when detritus is gone. I bet mark Zuckerberg has those in his home! (Unless he simply has underlings to come in and lick him clean.)

      On washing machines … ours is about twenty years and last year we had to have the intake hose replaced as it had blown out one side and was delivering water other than into the tub. We plan on doing whatever it takes to keep that baby running because it is the product of an industry in which “new & improved” does not mean what they think it means.

      Sigh! I am now imagining a commercial from a company manufacturing household appliances according to the standards of the Sixties or Seventies, with minor updates where clear improvements are available (I will accept a lighter aluminum tub, perhaps, or better electric motors, for example. But can we keep mechanical switches, the kind which can be repaired/replaced when they wear out instead of fifty-cent circuit bards which require replacing the whole damned appliance? I do not need to program my washing machine from my phone and, frankly, would prefer NOT to.) Can’t you imagine the pitchman, screaming like a deranged Ron Popeil, touting the amazing things his washer will do? “Here Is A Washer That Will WASH! Clothes Come Clean After A Single Rinse!”

      • Accckkk! Zuckerberg vision! My eyes my eyes!

      • Yes. Preaching to the choir. We still have full flush toilets (old house). My sisters have the ones that if you hold down the handle long enough it continues to flush water. We’ve talked about building. When/if we do, I am replacing the toilets in our house and taking the two we have for the new house.

        Other appliances. Do not want or need smart appliances that can be controlled via my smart phone. Not a technophobe … I wrote software for 35 years.

        We just had to replace our freezer (30 years old). Got at small chest freezer 1/2 the size. Fridge is 13 years old. It replaced a 28 year old one. We had a heck of a time finding one to replace the old one. Do not have water running to fridge. Size, both height and width are an issue (double doors nope). Did not need to be smart. Will admit our electric bill dropped noticeably when each were replaced. Doubt we’ll get as long on either this time.

        • I am replacing the toilets in our house and taking the two we have for the new house.

          Check local building and whatever codes — I believe that in some areas plumbers are not “legally” permitted to install “non-compliant” fixtures. While I’ve little doubt that, for a fee, you can find a plumber willing to swear she installed “proper” fixtures and that the home-owner must have done an after-installation renovation, there are a) problems with toilet installation that are well-avoided by using an experienced installer and b) risks inherent in using a person willing to lie for a price.

          If you know what you are doing or capable of understanding what you do not know and willing to address such lack (thus effectively eliminating most Progressives) you ought be able to safely install fixtures yourself but may nonetheless run into code-compliance issues.

          One hard-learned tip for self-installed plumbing: never re-use washers; always replace with new no matter how good the removed washers appear.

          Do not ask how I learned this.

          • Hell, it’s not that hard to install a toilet yourself.

            • No, toilets are easy to install. I’ve done two by myself now, and several more helping other people. As an older lady, it would be nice to have someone with more muscles and a stronger back to lift the thing into place on top of the wax gasket, but I could still do it by myself if I had to.

              • We’ve replaced the seals already under current ones, between tank and base, and within tank, more than once, over the last 30 years … well to be fair hubby did, and son helped with the last round.

                But yes. Something that couldn’t occur until after occupancy inspection. With available newer versions with high flush options, would likely reconsider.

                Not like we’re building or moving anytime soon. Have a house plan. Can’t decide on a location. Then we’d have to actually, you know, pack, move, and unpack … uh, maybe not.

              • I’ve found that removing the tank makes my back a lot happier when removing and replacing a toilet. It also makes it easier to do it properly.

          • It’s two bolts and a barrel nut; it’s not rocket surgery. Though a classic porcelain throne is probably heavier than most people would expect. (hint: unbolt the tank and move it separately; a new tank gasket and thorough cleaning at the car wash won’t hurt)

            • I was thinking the proper seating on the wax ring is something wanting proper care, but hey, it’s your ass on the thing …

              • They make extra-thick ones for those us who are not plumbing inclined (or have to get the tank _right_ up against the wall for it to fit, which makes seating the ring a bit difficult).

              • They also make foam-rubber-core rings, for when the toilet isn’t in an air-conditioned space.

                I don’t know how they sealed toilets to their flanges before air conditioning; I’ve seen wax run from under the toilet out onto the floor on hot days.

      • “fifty-cent circuit bards”

        What happens to superannuated rappers when they are no longer headliners . . .

    • Look into a plumber snake. Easier and much less messy than a plunger, and not too expensive at Home Depot.

    • Check Freecycle; toilets and fridges are fairly common freebies. Got a very nice working fridge for my tenant a few years back. (Nice enough that eventually, someone stole it.)

  4. You are engaged in wrong thinking and, if the Democrat Communists win in 2020, you and the rest of us will be picked up and sent to reeducation camps to see the light of their glorious delusions.

  5. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    What a “nice” thing to read on Monday! :crazy:

  6. My not much older than Milady’s wash machine is a cheaper, high water user. Will hunt parts to fix it if at all possible.
    My new dish washer is horrible, helped by the city water being not so soft. Works best on the short 1hour cycle done twice, instead of the 4 hour “heavy wash”, and even then, after dried, the flat ware looks horrid.
    If my fridge dies, I will hunt for an older one, and fix the doors (what often dies on the later versions of decent compressor models), and I noted new chest freezers have explosive gas nowadays. Mine lives out on the porch.

    • Our new dishwasher (Whirlpool, to give credit where due) actually does seem to clean better than the one that came with the house (GE, ~18 years old so it had a good run). Its dry function seems more theoretical than actual, but I can live with that if it cleans.

      • I think the dry function does more damage than not. Our dishes are cleaner if we turn off the heat dry and just open the dishwasher to air dry.

        • I believe that is my mother’s approach. Alas, given the kitchen configuration, if we leave the dishwasher open we are probably going to trip on it.

          • If the manufacturer simply included a system to circulate filtered* air through the appliance the problem would be easily addressed without threatening to break shins (or rather, the only shins broken should be those of the designers who fail to consider such factors.)

            *I could do a major rant about “environmentally friendly” washroom air-flow hand dryers which have been demonstrated to blow bacterially rich (bacteria? In a washroom? Inconceivable!) air on your hands, leaving them arguably filthier than before washing. Just how much would it have required to install an air filter at the intake?

  7. The thing is, all environmentalism (barring a tiny minority of kooks, whose proposals differ greatly from Teh Narrative) is about virtue signaling. They arrive at some proposal that SOUNDS just swell, and never look at the numbers because they simply don’t care if it works.

    Oh, I suppose one could build a mildly persuasive argument that Environmentalism was a conspiracy, but it’s much simpler and more believable to posit that those who push it are simply dolts.

    • See “plastic bag ban” in California. Forget your grocery bags and you can buy thicker plastic ones. And if we weren’t working through the backlog of plastic bags, I’m sure dog owners (for instance) would be very annoyed at having to buy new bags to pick up after their dogs instead of recycling the ones they got from the stores…

      • In re the plastic bag ban – guess what? people in places with the plastic bag ban buy more garbage bags etc. Anyone would think maybe those single use plastic bags weren’t quite as single use sa the campaigners claimed

        See http://www.desertsun.co.uk/blog/10045/ for a link to an academic paper on exactly this subject

        • Yes. Both reusing for garbage container liners, doggy yard pickup, and kitty litter disposal. Now I have to buy them instead. Always thought it was a stick by Glad to get people to buy more plastic garbage liners.

        • The entire premise of plastic whatever bans is ridiculous from the get-go.

          1) 90%+ of the plastic in the oceans comes from five rivers in Africa and Asia. Nowhere in the Americas is even on the list.

          2) Most plastic is made from the sludge left over after gasoline is refined, so the assumption that plastic is the worst is questionable. Seems like a step up to me.

          3) The touted replacements for these ‘single use’ plastics are worse in MANY ways. They tend to be vectors for disease (reusable bags), they don’t work as well (straws), they take more energy and cause more pollution to manufacture (straws), and they aren’t recyclable.

          To hell with Mencken. Watching this idiocy, I don’t want to slit throats, I want to grab a mallet and pulp heads.

          • Paper bags seem to have the drawback of being a haven for roaches and their eggs … although it is possible many Proglodytes do not harbor antipathy toward roaches, perceiving them as similar souls.

            Karmic researchers have yet to reach a conclusion as to whether roaches are reincarnated as Progressives of Progressives as roaches, particularly as it is so difficult to calculate their live’s effect on their karmic burdens.

            • I’d never heard that about paper bags being havens for roaches, but modern paper bags aren’t nearly as strong as they used to be, unless my memory is very faulty. The thin plastic grocery bags aren’t very strong, either, but the paper bags are even worse. IMO, a grocery bag that splits and spills my food onto the ground is really not doing the job it was intended to do.

              • Submitted for your consideration:

                Paper Bags: Roach City | American Council on Science and Health
                Entomologists, including Coby Schal of North Carolina State University, have observed that cockroaches prefer paper to plastic. “They really like to live in the creases found in paper bags,” said Schal, the nation’s top expert on cockroaches. Many cockroach species chew into paper bags to lay their eggs — something they don’t do with plastic.

              • The thin plastic bag can carry a lot of weight, provided there are no tears. What they can’t do is withstand anything sharp. For my purposes, the plastic bags are better than paper because to carry the paper bags you really need to reat them on your hips, and I don’t have such. A few stores offer paper bags with handles that aren’t absurdly flimsy (usually at the join with the bag) but not many.

                As for the roach issue, I expect they’re attracted to the glue.

            • I follow the Grrl Power webcomic, and one of the best images yet has been the protagonist‘s reaction when she learns one of her teammates can do ‘hammerspace’. She’s got a nice suite of powers herself, but she’s a comics/manga geek and she flips out.

      • Yeah, nobody in California wants to admit their plastic bag ban is why they have a human poop problem. Turns out, if you remove an easy and extraordinarily cheap to free method of easily containing poop and tossing it in the nearest dumpster, it doesn’t stop the homeless from defecating. It only stops the removal of said defecation.

        And then you get typhus, thyphoid, leprosy… anything than spread by fecal transmission, once you remove easy cleanup of fecal matter, will spread.

        But, you know, people get to feel good and virtuous in their filth-strewn, plague-ridden cities.

    • I’m in favor of the ‘act like a freaking adult’ form of “environmentalism”: namely, don’t litter, re-use stuff where it makes sense (like using washable food containers for leftovers/sandwiches), and not making a mess.

      Everything else is indeed virtue signalling.

    • Word. I come from a conservation-inclined family (g-parents were founding members of the Forest Service), and therefor have a long observation base. I remember distinctly that “out in nature” got clearly more polluted almost exactly when the “modern ecological” movement got started with the celebration of Lenin’s birthday. Cigarette butts and aluminum soda cans trailside, etc. Never saw things like that before. After: increasingly common.

      • One of my favorite mystery series is the Montana Mysteries of Peter Bowen, and a recurring theme is that the greenies want to chase all the ranchers (who have been there for a hundred years or more) out of the West so that the greenies can play in it. And trash it far worse than anything the ranchers do. And pester the Indians, most of whom would rather White Idiots would leave Indian religious practices alone.

        Don’t agree with all of the politics, but the people are great, and the author has a distinctive voice.

    • They don’t care if it works because the environment is not the point; gaining power and control over people is.

  8. Speed Queen still makes classic top load washers, that use plenty of water. After years of fighting with our “new” front loader, we gave up. All the well to do ladies on our neighborhood FB group were switching to the Speed Queen, for all the reasons mentioned by Sarah. It is AWESOME. Works great, cleans clothes, and is FAST. The matching dryer does a great job of quickly drying each load too. HIGHLY recommended.

    WRT low flush toilets, Toto and American Standard both make good high end models that are VERY difficult to clog. Expect to spend ~$300 on the Toto. I can recommend it. (someone elsewhere pointed out that it used to be very rare to find a plunger in the bathroom, and now everyone seems to have one near to hand.)

    Modern residential refrigerators are designed to shave every bit of energy use, to the point that they can’t keep up if the door is opened a lot in the same day. Get around this by buying commercial style units (like SubZero) or actual commercial rated units. There is less cosmetic choice, and fewer optional accessories or features, but a simple commercial white refrigerator/freezer works very well.

    I haven’t found an equivalent dishwasher, but I did discover that the “Normal” setting on my high end washer only uses warm water “to save energy”. Read your manual for an explanation of the settings, and choose the one that is best suited to your needs. In our case, it was “Power Wash”.

    One thing all this has in common is that if you are willing and able to spend the money, there is usually a way to get the performance that everyone used to get. This matches pretty well with Sarah’s observations.

    nick

    • Yeah, when my washer breaks, I have a Speed Queen bookmarked, and I”m so getting it! I fixed the last problem the dryer had for $45 (About twice what it would have cost if I hadn’t dropped a switch, and it bounced so far under the drum it was just easier to go buy a new one.) But when it breaks irrepairably? I know what I’m getting.

      Meanwhile, I have an older dishwasher that came with the house, and I’m keeping that thing. And every set of stained clothes gets some TSP thrown in, right out of the paint supplies aisle.

      As for my latest faucet, well, I never said I took a drill bit to the flow restricting washer, but I never said I didn’t, either, eh?

      • Fah!

        I bought a new bathtub faucet. I knew the new ones all have restrictors built in, so I found the restrictor at the outlet… and then I found it was restricted at the inlets, *and* the tubes were crimped to restrict flow. The whole thing was a restrictor… plus they want 3x price for ones with replaceable washers now; all the low-price ones are “sealed, replace as assembly.”

        The old, leaky faucet is still in place. Mrs. TRX has observed she would be happy with a pair of ball valves mounted on the wall. So she shall have them…

      • I don’t suppose there are any how to guide on improving water pressure anywhere. Since the remodel the shower hasn’t been the same.
        Anyone want to point me in the right direction?

        • Improving water pressure? I am not sure anything short of putting a cistern on the roof can help there. The real limit is the pressure provided at the curb. You could possibly add your own water tower? Although …


          … unless carefully integrated into the neighborhood decor you might have some neighbors complain.

        • Had a small Hitachi On Demand pump on the house in PNG a decade ago, as we had really, really weak line pressure.
          Worked, but was pretty noisy.

        • Is it only the shower? If it isn’t have the PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve) for the house checked. But having the pressure too high could cause other problems,

    • Horray for SpeedQueen! Love mine, specifically got an apartment that had washer/dryer hookup so I could carry mine along with me. You’ll have to go to their website and check who the local dealer is. And hopefully they’ll have a scratch and dent discount on a current model. (Last I checked, SpeedQueen was the last people to have actual metal gears in their drive systems, real metal, not pot metal, and, yes, it matters.)

      As to allergies, I have moved to using about a 1/2 cup or so of Dawn, or a whole cup for tough stains, as I am also allergic to things with smells. Dawn is good enough that my, er, martial arts stuff gets nice and clean after a whole day of slogging through The Ravine and other martial stuffs…

      Test, and verify. Plus, Dawn is gentle enough you can use the grey water to water the lawn. If you live in a place you can repurpose grey water, that is.

    • First thing we did when we moved into our house last year was replace all the toilets with Totos. Turned out to be a good decision, as we managed to buy them right before Colorado outlawed the low-flush toilets and mandated the micro-flush ones. I’m just hoping I die before they outlaw the flush toilet all together and mandate everyone put in an outhouse.

      • Honestly, I’d rather have an outhouse than a micro-flush toilet!

      • Oh, no. They’ll mandate “composting” toilets, where your fecal matter stays right there in the bathroom with you. Because “healthy human feces have little or no odor”. They can actually say that with a straight face. And then some lucky soul gets to muck it out… and then it’s probably hazmat.

    • Anonymous Coward

      I second the recommendation for Toto toilets (Drake model in particular).
      Optimized bowl design and a big flapper (creates strong siphon effect) is
      really all it takes to make a low-flow toilet work. I think we have used a
      plunger maybe 2 times in 5+ years.

      My made-in-USA Maytag top-loader washer & dryer & made-in-US Amana
      refrigerator are all 25 years old and still going strong. I’ve done a few minor
      repairs (< $200) over the years – nothing that required paying a repairman.
      I dread the day I have to replace one of these with a 'new-and-improved,
      forged from Chinesium' appliance.

    • Another thumb’s up for the Speed Queen dryer. Built like a tank, and simple as hell.

      Our first front loader got residue crap on the seals (non-chlorinated water and funky minerals, plus some sketchy plumbing at the then-well), so clothes could come out dirtier than when we came in. The LG no-tower top loader lasted 7 years before wanting a new transmission. We have a year-old Electrolux front loader. It tells us when it wants a clean cycle (and the well and plumbing are better). $SPOUSE is happy with it. (She nixed the Speed Queen–our clothing tends to last a long time without the tower, and SQ doesn’t do home front loaders.)

      I don’t know if the 2014 Frigidaire dishwasher is representative of the current standard, but with an “energy saver” cycle and air dry, it takes 85-95 minutes. It will heat the water internally, so if it’s really cold under the house, it takes longer. We don’t do pots and pans, and preclean everything. (We did that when I was a kid, and have been doing it with the ’70s and ’90s vintage dishwashers I’ve used since.)

      I rather liked how the Trump administration sidestepped the “you can’t change this” for the dishwashers. According to the article (I can’t find it either), somehow the insane regulations were locked in against changes by future administrations (perhaps a law enabled this?). However, there’s now a shiny new standard for “fast-dishwashers” that can use more water and finish in an hour…

      • Obama administration did a lot of decrees and regulations that purport to prevent future administrations from changing them. There is no fundamental legal basis for this actually being the case, but Obama correctly counted on leftist Judges who would continue to enforce his decrees and would manufacture reasons why decrees by Obama cannot be changed by Trump. This is why keeping Democrats from the Presidency and Senate is absolutely crucial.

  9. I get conflicted over this, as I do with a lot of ‘environmental’ issues. I know that, in many areas, water table depletion is a real problem. I just wish that the ‘solutions’ offered actually accomplished something.

    I think this kind of conflicting is a major reason I have come to loathe the Left; they take actual problems and use them to promote their wonderful selves, and don’t address the problem.

    *spit*

    • Water table depletion is serious out west – “Whiskey’s foir drinking, water’s for fighting.” But when “efficiency” forces me to use 1.5X energy in order to get done what only took 1X before, or worse, 4.5X because I’m going to end up hand-washing everything that doesn’t fit in the dishwasher because it takes so long to wash and the dry cycle doesn’t….

      “Green Star” isn’t helping.

      • So, how much energy does it take to distill 5 gallons of water out of the air per person per day

        • Places Dorothy is referring to the humidity levels run in single digits for most of the year.
          Fun fact: humidity in Vegas used to be 6% until all the newcomers started building homes with swimming pools. That raised the humidity level to a whopping 7%.

          • It’s center-pivot irrigation, even the more water efficient versions, that kick up regional humidity and drop the water table, per hard data (water tables) and anecdata (humidity). I do know that swamp coolers stopped being an option up here in a lot of areas when center-pivot irrigation came into use.

            Redquarters has low-flow toilets. The double flush is SOP, and that’s with one of them having a small flow booster built in.

            • It seems to me that I’ve read of Israeli-designed toilets that are effective with little or no water. Anybody here have direct experience to relay?

              • Not direct, but some folks around here use composting toilets, especially if they don’t have a well available. (Non-trivial number of people in the area.)

              • Air assist ones here are pretty good. They’re more expensive, of course. Also, we found out when we tried to get a leak fixed, the one we used for 12 years had a tendency to explode…. (We replaced before moving.)

            • We spent the bigish bucks for the American Standard Champion toilets, and went with the ADA-compliant high-seat models. I noticed that the “flush factor” rating for the high-seat models is significantly higher than the equivalent low-seat version. With [redacted] year old knees, the extra height helps, too.

              Plugged up toilets are now pretty rare; the last time I used the plunger was for a stuck sink, though $SPOUSE had to use it on a toilet a month or two ago.

              One is a 1.6 gallon model, the other 1.28. They are the first decent ones I’ve used since the 3.5 gallon models went away. (I had some awful Depression-era toilets in the previous house. Multiflush was painful, then.)

              With respect to extracting water out of the air, my only point of reference is a large dehumidifier. Picking a 70 pint/day unit from Amazon, that would be running at 745 watts, or merely 17.9 kWhours per day. (Assuming it’s humid enough to get it to run full bore, and no further energy is required to get potable water.) For comparison, when I checked in June, the pumphouse was running about 4kWhours per day to run the entire household (two people, all tapwater needs).

              We’re lucky; we’re near enough to the river to get a good aquifer without going deep; our pump is 80′ down, and the drillers hit water at 25′. OTOH, the well driller (lives a half mile further away from the river) did his well 600′ to be on the safe side. There are some horrible aquifers around; side effect of the local geology.

              • > plugged up

                Good toilets have the throat and trap glazed. Cheap toilets only have the visible bits glazed. Toilet paper can snag on the unglazed area, eventually building up into a lump that keeps “solids” from passing by.

                Areas with hard water can develop “barnacles” in the trap causing the same problem. Our new house, should we ever manage to complete it and move in, has a filter and softener in the pipe going to the toilet, specifically to prevent that problem. And we’ve had to replace several float valves due to crusty hard water buildup; it should help with that too.

          • High altitudes can be funny that way. I wonder, however, what would be involved in a waste water reclamation system? Similar to a septic system, but a closed cycle which cleans water used for washing, perhaps using osmosis or even solar still to drive the process?

            • Professor Badness

              Don’t they have those systems for Car washes?
              They do in California anyway.

              • I believe they do here in NC, too — it is one reason given for permitting commercial car washes to continue operating (and pushed as preferable to using the house’s yard hose) during drought periods (which tend to occur any time we go a few years without tropical cyclones saturating the state.)

                Of course, there is considerable potential gap between what is claimed and what actually is.

              • I remember the recycled water car washes from one of the ’70s droughts in California. The results were not inspiring, and I avoided them as much as possible.

          • Another fun fact: all waste water on the ISS (sweat, urine, bathing liquid) is captured processed into pure potable water and reused.
            For purely esthetic reasons it does not reenter the drinking water supply and as a general rule is reused for washing or broken down into H and O2. The hydrogen gets vented to space and the O2 is released to cabin air to replace what the crew breathes in.
            Side note, it’s not really cost efficient to recover the hydrogen as it’s a small fraction of the yield and has no immediate onboard use. Just in case anyone wondered.
            It’s also how most of the oxygen resupply from the ground is transported, as water.

      • Does anyone know why injecting treated wastewater back down into an aquifer wouldn’t work?

        • For a septic system, that’s what’s happening, and why a well has to be 100’+ from a leach field. OTOH, non-drain uses (crops, lawns and swamp coolers) will dump excess moisture in the air, mostly. We’re a hay-growing area. A lot of green (wettish) hay gets shipped out of the area, along with the water still in it.

          Big cities, the waste water goes into designated rivers; Chicago’s ended up in the Illinois river, on its way to the Mississippi.

          I’ve not seen a water budget for a suburban household. I wonder how much goes down the drains versus how much goes into the lawn.

    • Plus they impose the water-saving solutions in places where there isn’t any chance of a water shortage. The same low flow toilets etc. are what you get in places like Ireland where it rains every day and twice on Sundays.

    • the Left … take actual problems and use them to promote their wonderful selves, and don’t address the problem.

      You obviously fail to grasp what is important here; it is the fact that not enough people care about the problem. Thus the Left demonstrates correct thinking by proving they care about the problem rather than engaging in stereotypical patriach-think and simply fixing the problem.

      Hell, if we fixed all the problems how would anybody be able to show they care?

    • Yebbut. I live in the Ohio River valley, which watercourse practically drains the entire inner Midwest. To be concerned about water conservation when your city’s intake is in a river that flows twenty million gallons per minute is a bit freaking silly.

  10. Tired and low on caffeine when I read this. If “once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times it’s enemy action.” and we have way more than three times, who is the enemy? The thought that came into my head was, if the actions of are consistently inimical to humans, maybe it’s not humans doing it. Are the SJWs controlled by aliens? (big grin – I think)

    • Technically, demons are aliens. Non-corporeal, but still.

      Although sufficient malice and stupidity may be indistinguishable from enemy action.

    • I suspect SWJ’s ARE aliens.

    • See? They’re even messing up my spelling to throw you off the scent…

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Greens are basically goodlife.

      But, if the memetic contagion is not of human origin, what is it?

      Initial vectors seem to have looked on natural, untouched by human hands, vistas with no intent of heavily modifying them to fit human needs.

      Obviously, these were shaped to carry mythos infections by ancient beings that predated and are incompatible with humanity. a) Greens are incompatible with civilization, and fall outside of the bounds within which a society of laws can tolerate people existing in. b) We should never go any place and permit easy travel by ordinary people without ensuring that it is first heavily modified.

      “I see a redwood forest and I want to pave it flat…”

    • You don’t know how hard I fight that suspicion, so often.

    • This isn’t about the SJWs. They are a related phenomenon, and there’s some overlap. This is about the EcoWarriors, and their constant pushing of ‘solutions’ that don’t solve anything, because they completely failed to do any math, or even attempt to understand any engineering issues.

      NO, intermittent energy sources cannot support a grid without non-intermittent backup….and since the EWs are horrified by the very mention of nuclear power, those backups WILL be fossil fueled. And in any case the sheer amount of land that would have to be dedicated to wind or solar would scare the EWs into fits, if they ever did the math.

      NO, electric cars will not reduce CO2 emissions, they will merely export them. Also, absent a breakthrough the likes of which I cannot imagine, the batteries will never charge as fast as filling a tank. And, finally, the batteries are horribly toxic, and will be an absolute ecological nightmare to dispose of.

      The SJWs want to abrogate the laws of human behavior. The EWs want to defy the laws of physics. Both are imbeciles who deserve to get caught in the backlash they will create if allowed to…but WE don’t deserve to have to clean up the wreckage.

  11. My dad ran into the “cheaper is better” problem at work a few years back. The new person doing the ordering for the city ordered the less expensive (about 80% of the cost of what they were using), but also thinner, garbage bags. People complained, ‘but they’re less expensive so I’m saving the city money!’, except he ended up spending about 50% more by the end of the year. Pretty much everything needed to be double bagged, or they ended up spending time cleaning up spills, leaving less time for everything else.

    As for the quality of modern household machinery; it sucks donkey balls. We’ve lived in our house since 2005, and I’ve had to replace the water heater twice, along with the clothes washer three times. The water heaters keep rusting out, even with the water softener for the hard water. The washing machines has had the bearings go out twice and the tub rust out once. This last one we bought has a ‘deep water’ setting that I use quite a bit, but the clothes and towels still smell sometimes. The dryer we bought when we moved in is still going strong.

    We had to replace the garage door opener and the dish washer a couple of month after moving in. Both are still going strong with minor repairs.

    Some of the problems with the clothes and dishes not coming clean is the formula change in the soaps.

    • We replaced the water heater a few years ago when it stopped putting out more than a few gallons of hot water. It was a very old-fashioned-looking gas heater labeled SEARS * GLASS LINED.

      Best as we can tell, the water heater was in the house when my father-in-law bought the house in 1963. No telling how long it had been there already.

      Everything still worked, but the reason the output was low was that the tank was full almost to the top with sediment.

      Well. I guess most water heaters don’t last long enough for that to be an issue…

      • there is a valve at the bottom of them that you can open to let the sediment out. Which reminds me I need to do that again.

        When the plumber came to install the latest water heater he said the new development just south of us was replacing water heaters about every 3 years.

      • If people were more mechanically inclined, “flush your water heater once a year” would be as standard as “change your smoke alarm batteries twice a year.”

        Seriously, if you flush it once a year, then not only do you get more hot water, but the mud doesn’t build up on the heater core, insulate it, and burn it out.

        Let’s not get into how many people who don’t run boats fail to understand that the anode in the water heater is a sacrificial anode, and as such, it needs to be replaced regularly!

        • Alas, I did not know this.

          My plumber says he has rarely seen a water heater the age of this one with no sign of rust, but he says he recommends flushing water heaters from the start and that it tends to cause problems, I forget what they were, if you flush them after several years of buildup. And I don’t know what the flushing practice was before we bought the house.

          • Sadly, I have a new water heater in this house, because the folks before we bought the house didn’t know, either, so when I flushed it? It had at least ten gallons of dirt in there, and most of it was caked down so hard it didn’t move on the first flush. Me, silly me, thought, “Ah! the water’s running almost clear; it must be well-maintained and finished flushing!” and then promptly chalked that up as done for the year. So when it died 8 months later, I was most unhappy… and when it was removed by stronger people than me, the sheer weight explained my mistake.

            • I wish we had had this thread before last Tuesday. My apartment’s water heater had never been flushed, it was full of sediment, and our local.sediment has enough iron, et al, that it can complete a circuit.

              There was an electrical fire. It turns out that my breaker board was original to the apartment from back in the 1970’s, and not in a good way. It did not believe in flipping the breaker off right away.

              Luckily, the apartment manager was on hand and shut off the power to the whole building. Also, good fire alarms on the smoke detectors. Nothing too bad happened.

              But yeah, not fun. Also only a couple weeks after the plumbing flood from my other neighbor.

              OTOH, I just got some Assumption blessed fruit and fed it to most of my coworkers, and the atmosphere at work improved. So I probably should have expected a little blowback from The Baddies.

        • Let’s not get into how many people who don’t run boats fail to understand that the anode in the water heater is a sacrificial anode, and as such, it needs to be replaced regularly!

          And if you leave the water heater turned off (because it’s a holiday home) you get corrosion because of the lack of sacrificial anode

          • Actually, your water heater has a sacrificial anode that can be swapped by a sufficiently motivated person. Ed Nisley* wrote up his experiences at doing so.

            https://softsolder.com/2009/09/24/why-you-need-a-6-point-socket-to-remove-a-water-heater-anode-rod/

            We swapped out our original heater at 16 years, but it was cleverly situated to be as difficult to drain (and check!) as possible. One in another house failed with the glass-lined tank corroded–pinholes have a way of growing…

            I have one of the leak-alert alarms in the current heater’s drain pan (at your friendly Home Desperate’s plumbing department), along with another for when the dishwasher supply fitting breaks again. (Only twice so far. Cost a new kitchen floor and cabinets the first time, caught it right away the second.) The alarms are around $12 the last time I bought.

            (*) Ed does a lot of electronics, 3d printing and other geekery wizardry on softsolder dot com, along with various columns in magazines (I think he still has one in Digital Machinist). Linkylove for anodes (see the bottom of the article for other articles on the subject). He also has the definitive way to deal with bedbugs if you get so inflicted. The site’s searchable.

        • Thank you for reminding me. I just finished.

        • I’d count myself as “mechanically inclined”, and I’ve completely replumbed a house, including digging a trench all the way to the street for a new sewer line. But this was the first I’d ever heard about “sediment”.

          There’s a *drain valve* on the bottom of the tank; that’s what it’s labeled as on every plumbing book I have. None of which mention sediment.

          Normally, you’d use the “drain valve” and a hose to remove any water that hadn’t already flooded the house once the cheesy stainless tank in a modern water heater burned through again…

      • I notice that a number of “environmentally conscious” localities are moving to ban gas appliances. Because stoves that quickly adjust temperatures or water heaters that allow several family members to quickly clean up after a camping trip are so “wasteful” or something.

        It is becoming too obvious that contemporary Proglodytes watch Black Adder and imagine themselves as Edmund and we Deplorables as Baldrick.

        Little do they realize that I have a cunning plan …

        • I suspect it’s more of an emissions thing.

        • It may not be completely a bad idea. (waggles hand) One of the localities is in the SF Bay Area, and Pacific Gas & Electric already blew up one neighborhood with screwed up gas lines. Of course, this was several years after the complaints of gas odors occurred. The gigantic lawsuit is still working it’s way, last I heard.

        • Not only that, but if one loses power for an extended period, one can still boil water and cook with a natural gas stove, which came in very handy after Hurricane Sandy and not having power for over a week,

    • “I can’t afford cheap stuff!”

      • NOTE: There is a HUGE difference between “inexpensive” and “cheap.”

        • YES. There is.

          Will also add sometimes “cheap” isn’t inexpensive either.

          • Aye. I’ve the misfortune of encountering that which was both expensive and cheap. Embittering, that is.

            • As I’d tell my customers at the shoe store, “quality costs, but not everything that costs is quality.”

              Did manage a few shoes sales by pointing out that it’s a lot easier to work the extra hours needed to pay for a proper set of $130 work shoes if your feet aren’t hurting.

              • You don’t always get what you pay for, but you rarely get what you didn’t pay for.

              • Shoes! Yes! I went for years with my feet hurting most of the time, until I got a pair of SAS shoes at Goodwill for $5.00! I wore those for several years, nearly every day, doing chores outside and everything, and they were still comfortable and still holding up. So I got online and looked up the company — I now own four pairs of their shoes bought new (and two pair for my daughter), at $150-$160/pair. But it’s worth it — I shouldn’t have to buy any more shoes (other than summer sandals) for a very long time, and I can wear the SAS shoes (made in America, by the way) all day long without my feet hurting.

                • SAS and Hotter here. I love my Martino dress boots, but they no longer love my calves (too muscular.)

                • Redwings for me, though the SAS shoes I bought in ’03 are still my summer-go-to-town shoes. They don’t have enough tread to deal with snow and ice, but the slightly newer Redwing Irish Setter (Chinese) boots handle deep snow, while an assortment of lesser boots get used for more moderate conditions.

                  I also have a pair of steel toed USA Redwing boots for heavy work. Some of my foot problems are due to not using steel toed footwear. Ouch!

          • The old “fast, cheap, or good, pick two” does mean pick two.

            If you just pick one then you probably won’t even get that.

    • Ah, the joys of a petty bureaucrat who thinks he knows better.

      Some time in the late ‘40s, my late Father was involved in the construction and testing of a cyclotron for GE in upstate New York. This, naturally, involved the use of air-tight valves…and some helpful nitwit changed the order to plumbing valves because they were cheaper. I believe my Father was not allowed to be the one to explain the error of his thinking to this imbecile, because GE didn’t want to have to explain the moron ‘s death.

  12. Christopher M. Chupik

    Well, according to Paul Ehrlich the Earth should already be buried under a mass of humanity expanding infinitely to fill the entire universe by now, so I think we’re not doing so badly.

  13. When I see environmentally friendly or green on any product I mentally translate it to “More expensive and less effective” than the product it is replacing.

  14. When phosphates were removed from dishwasher detergent, the dishwashers weren’t nearly as effective at cleaning dishes.

    American ingenuity to the rescue! On the original box of Cascade, there were instructions for using it to clean deep fryers. (The process is called fryer boil-out. Basically, you put detergent and water in the deep fryer, turn it on, and let it boil slowly.)

    So: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VHD3LGO/

    And my… um… “deep fryer” 🙂 has never cleaned my dishes better. One tablespoon works wonders.

  15. The Green New Deal was carefully crafted by the Green Nude Eels from Ceti Epsilon V as part of their plan to “un-terraform” Earth and remake its ecosystem to suit their eventual colonization of this planet. #Resist

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Green Nude Eels: Coming from SfFy, Summer 2020.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Every one is tired of me trotting out my Alt-Right Federal Highway Act thing, right?

      • If it gets rid of fences around junkyards, I’m all for it. Lady Bird Johnson never stopped window shopping, why did I have to?

      • I think I’ve missed it every time.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Didn’t miss much.

          Alt-Right Federal-Aid Highway Act

          (My apologies to the Alt-Right, I had to take great liberties impugning your sanity and the soundness of alt-right and conservative policies in order to capture parallels with the Green New Deal.)

          Send flamethrower teams to deal with illegals at the border in order to develop new missile defense technologies.

          Cutting off all noses to spite faces, and own the libs.

          Zero taxes, to buy off the establishment RINOs, and obtain their full, complete, and enthusiastic support.

          Complete extermination of non-Jews in Middle East North Africa, because the Israelis are too pussy to do what they ought.

          Henceforth, only land currently (2/10/19) planted with winter wheat will be cultivated. All other farms to be burned, complete with farmers. We will only grow winter wheat. This is the best most efficient way to solve world hunger.

          Eliminating all entitlement spending to cure cancer.

          Mass murder of all homeless, criminals and immigrants to be rolled out with Blokhin Style ‘Gangnam Style’ parody music video.

          Original Nancy Drew to be replaced by horrific bowdlerized version, to stop the madness of third wave intersectional feminism.

          Elimination of public schooling and organized mass schooling, in order to wipe out child molestation during our lifetimes.

          You didn’t see anything stupid here. You are stupid. If you can prove it is stupid, it wasn’t written here, you forger. Liar, liar, pants on fire. I’m rubber, you’re glue, anything you say bounces off me and sticks to you. Poopy head.

          • Original Nancy Drew to be replaced by horrific bowdlerized version, to stop the madness of third wave intersectional feminism.

            I believe that’s already been accomplished.

            • Has she been made into a transgender hardy boy yet? I’m afraid to look cuz too plausible

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                That wasn’t what Suburbanbanshee was objecting to. Which was my inspiration.

                I’m kind of curious if the extensive revisions of later editions mean that the originals are no longer under copyright.

                Suppose that is the case, and someone sells ebooks and hard copy of the original “super racist” Stratemeyer syndicate books.

                Totally for sure we would see the main streaming of white supremacist terrorism, enslavement of women, LGBT getting minimize suffering care, and restoration of the Patria-archy. Or not.

                • the originals are no longer under copyright.

                  Dollars against doughnuts (although, considering the last time I priced doughnuts …) says she’s under trademark, so while you might be able to reprint the originals legally I suspect the owner of the trademark could enjoin publication.

                • It was more idle wondering rather than a response. That chain just made itself apparent in my head

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    One could even earn a doctorate in some humanities subject on the strength of asserting that as all women who wore pants before the 1990s were transsexuals, there are in fact very few actual role models for women and girls. Nancy Drew, Leia Organa, Sakura Kinomoto, all men.

                    I pity the fool who would run up $270,000 in student loans for that crap. Think of the joyless waste it would take to have nothing better to do.

  16. three times it’s enemy action.

    Never assume malice when stupidity supplies an answer. While these people consider themselves the “smart” ones all evidence (outside their carefully controlled testing facilities) indicates they’d be stumped by the challenge of pouring sand out of a boot with instructions written on the sole.

    Maybe it is merely that they don’t consider these side effect to be flaws — after all, how many of these people do you think do their own laundry, their own dishes? (I will concede they do their own toilet, but I suspect they leave the flushing to the next person for enter the stall.)

    They are classic “penny-wise, pound-foolish” thinkers, as demonstrated by their pride in driving “clean” electric cars, charged by burning coal out of sight.

  17. Yes. Dishwashers don’t “dry” dishes anymore, in California, because . . . energy.

    Most of us: zzzzz
    Leftists: LOOK AT THIS PROBLEM!
    Most of us: ???
    Leftists: We have to do THIS!
    Most of us: That doesn’t seem like a good idea. It either costs too much or infringes on rights. Are you sure this a problem government can address?
    Leftists: “For the children!”
    Most of us: Wait. What about . . .
    Leftists: Racist, homophobe, climate denier or any othe name we can call you.
    …………….[it doesn’t work] …………………..
    Most of us: It didn’t work.
    Leftists: The right-wingers screwed it up and you didn’t give us enough money.

  18. General note for washers: If you stick vinegar in the fabric softener tub, it rinses out the detergent very well, and the volatiles (vinegar smells) disappear as it dries or is dried.

    Also look for an “extra water” setting on your clothes washer.

    • Yep, and it help with odors, especially cat related odors. I’ve been doing that for years with top and front loaders.

    • It also works fairly well as a de-facto fabric softener in and of itself. 🙂

      Oxyclean–which is basically powdered peroxide–also works really nicely for funky smells. Can’t vouch for stains–most of the stains on my clothes are on the house-construction clothes, and ain’t NOTHING gonna get those off.

      • SheSellsSeashells

        Yeah, I put a splash of peroxide in with every load and it makes a huge difference where smell is concerned. Which, with two territorial cats and one adolescent child discovering new nuances of Funk, is important.

        • There truly is no smell funkier than Teenager. (And Teenage Boy seems to be particularly Funky, though I’ve known a few girls that could stop a train with the Funk.)

          Poor baby brother used to get so offended when Mom or I would tell him he smelled. Our explanation–that it wasn’t his fault, it was Teenage Funk–finally sank in (particularly after he discovered girls), and he willingly compensated by showering twice a day.

          And now–he’s in his early 20s–he’s finally realizing that we weren’t making it up either when we told him using face moisturizer would help with his acne breakouts. (And also keep him looking younger.)

          It’s so nice not to be dumber than dirt anymore! (As I’m 17 years older than Baby Brother, in many ways it’s more like he has 2 moms, so I got lumped on a lesser scale into the “dumber than dirt” category with the actual parents, lol.)

          • SheSellsSeashells

            Mine’s of the girl persuasion, and usually OK in person. There is just the occasional Incident and then I throw her in the shower. 🙂

    • Mine has NO extra settings at all. And no softener tub.

    • “extra water”

      Would that be “heavily soiled” or “extra rinse” or yes?

  19. I guess I am the odd man out. I inherited a front loading LG from a friend who headed off to Europe with her husband’s company complete with appliance allowance there and on return. It had done already by her, husband (who was a bit of a clothes horse) and three kids (including a teen aged girl and a son who was definitely his father’s son).

    Did right by men and then C and me for several years. We replaced it with another LG front loader.

    Dishwashers, though, are a joke. There are dish rinsers and drying racks.

    Chernobyl isn’t a caution about nuclear energy. It’s a caution about stupid communist regimes

    I was oddly surprised that HBO made the miniseries much more about the failures of the totalitarian state than the dangers of nuclear. I’m even more surprised by the fact, despite the efforts of reviewers to shoehorn it in, the totalitarian state was not indicated to be the Trump Administration but actual Soviet Russia.

    Some complaints about the science and the indulgence on at least one urban legend, I rather enjoyed it. It sparked me enough to look up more recent work on the topic and there is now a good argument that the standard theory of what happened in the reactor is a bit off, and there was a prompt critical event.

    • I loooooove my LG front loader. Less impressed with the dryer–at least if one uses the ‘default’ sensor settings. That sensor sucks, and your clothes will never get dry.

      I get around it by doing the timed dry and changing the temp settings. Bonus is that it also means that, since I generally do it for an hour on medium heat or lower, my clothes are dry about the time the washer’s done. 🙂

      I have not yet tried out my new dishwasher (remodeling old house, ALL the appliances are new). Nor the fridge. We’ll see, I suppose.

    • I am genuinely shocked at how good a reputation LG has, as I recall when hey were Goldstar – and Goldstar was utter garbage.

      • Hmm. I purchased a couple of Goldstein products while stationed in Korea in the mid 80s. Microwave was still going strong a few years later when I gave it to a family that needed one after receiving a newer one as a wedding gift.

    • the totalitarian state was not indicated to be the Trump Administration but actual Soviet Russia.

      This is because it is now undeniable (and by howdy, did they try to deny it) that Soviet Russia was not communism done right. So this allows them to focus on the importance of doing it right (which seems to involve a surprising number of politicians saying, “Hold my beer.” while conservatives stand watching and saying, “Again? But that trick never works!”)

      • Yes, but they have succeeding in making Trump the Iranian Ayatollahs, which is pretty impressive. They have now claimed he has killed more than Hitler or Stalin on CNN with no pushback.

        How hard is it to say the lies at Chernobyl were “just like” Trump.

        I suspect once the awards season is done the writers, directory, and producers of that series will find work hard to get.

    • I love how those creeps totally ignore the whole prion-disease issue regarding cannibalism.

      It’s like there a Universe-installed repellent to the practice. Imagine that…

      • Given those toads probably intend that diet for the peasants not the elite, they may consider that a feature.

      • Yeah, probably.

        I also have a sneaking suspicion that both this yahoo and the other one who suggested it (a journalist, I think) harbor secret serial-killer desires for cannibalism and are trying to out it as “cool virtue signalling” instead of “lock this psycho up, stat”

      • Cross-species prion disease transmission is bad enough. Me, and about a million other GIs, have basically been banned from ever giving blood, tissue donations, or organ donations because we’re suspected mad cow disease carriers just because we were stationed in Europe during various years. Well, and any Europeans from those countries too.

        Eating human body parts is just asking for trouble.

        • “Eating human body parts is just asking for trouble.”

          I am so NOT touching that line.

        • My parents and I are also banned from donating blood, because we all come under the “spent too long in Germany/France/England and might develop Mad Cow” prohibition. The England part is especially silly, because the human cases there include one person who ate no meat or animal products, and another who ate only fish, eggs, and dairy. So it wasn’t entirely the beef/sheep/pork/goat causing it.

          • I’m in that group as well because Dad was in the army and we were in Germany from 89-92.

            • Wife gave blood for years – type AB- – one of two people in a city of 300K(her dad was the other). Then she went to the M.E. with me for five years. Got back and she was no longer eligible to give blood because M.E !!1!!
              Boy, howdy, was she PISSED.

  20. I’m reminded of the only example of wildlife doing better under a communist regime than a capitalist … yes, it really happened.

    See, folks in central Europe have always stocked fish ponds and have always had a problem with river otters. An otter in a pond is like a fox in a henhouse: he’ll kill everything, even if he can’t eat it. (“Humans are the only animals who kill for pleasure” my ass.) Well, in Austria the fish farmers extensively trapped and killed otter, practically eliminating them in the 20th century. Across the border in Hungary, they also had fish ponds, but under communism, only the Party officials were allowed to fish from the ponds. Since the locals weren’t allowed the fish, they didn’t care if the otters stole them, and so the otter population thrived.

    You cannot stop the law of unintended consequences.

    • ONLY party officials? Gee, when the Communo-Democrats take over, we all know exactly where to dump dispose of the methylmercury!

    • You cannot stop the law of unintended consequences.

      But with sufficient control over the Communications networks you can keep them (r their connection to actions taken) sufficiently obscure.

  21. Good news! The four missing sailors from the South Korean vessel that capsized in the channel leaving a Georgia harbor have been located on board the ship.

  22. On a positive note I see that President Trump has rescinded the Obama ban on incandescent light bulbs. And the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the leftard greens is already epic. These days LED bulbs do make economic sense in most applications but of course now instead of simply choosing wattage you have to parse through lumens and Kelvin ratings. And in addition we will for years be left with the aftermath of those toxic waste CFL curly bulbs.
    When I moved into my home almost 20 years ago I had to replace washer, dryer, and fridge. In doing my research my first questions were what brand and model do apartment complexes choose for new construction, and what brand and models of washer dryer do laundromats select. Both of those applications have a vested interest in reliability and economy of repairs.
    I wound up with a basic GE refrigerator and chose not to connect the ice maker. For W/D I went with basic Roper models. All three are still functional 17 years later.

    • We’ve a weirdly wired bathroom that burns out incandescent and LED bulbs almost weekly, so CFLs were* the practical option there … and hue-sensitive family members just had to suck up what the light did to their skin tones. I’ve also employed CFL in the 10′ ceilinged back hall, where nobody lingers but everyone wants to see where they’re placing their feet.

      Otherwise … you can study color temps and lumens all you like, but there’s no telling what the bulb will produce until it is in the fixture.
      ‘Cool” light, “warm” light, “day” light and whatever else they claim, none are so pleasing in the bedroom or den as a good incandescent. I recall reading when they first began pushing those damned replacements that many a wife was distinctly dismayed at the greenish tinge CFLs gave her skin in her boudoir … and were none too subtle about conveying this displeasure to their mates.

      *That is, until I had the clever idea of searching Amazon for “robust” incandescents, which provide a pleasing spectrum and last considerable while.

      • I have a hair clipper that will trip the GFCI on occasion. I’m pretty sure it’s a spike when the coil is turned off. Motors, especially if they have poor switching, can do the same.

        If you are destroying incandescents and LED bulbs, the first thing I’d look for is a motor on the same circuit, that might have a poor connection or is just crapping out. I’m thinking of a relatively large motor; ‘fridge, AC or whole house fan. I’d not rule out a ceiling fan; the one in my shop did some odd things for a while. (I don’t recall what I did to fix; might have had a poor ground. Lots-o’-years.)

        LEDs should (I think!) be immune to arc type faults, while CFs and incandescents should crap out early, so taking a SWAG, I’d think it’s a spike, and thus a motor.

        Might be worthwhile to have somebody with the right equipment (Line voltage monitor/recorder) to do a check. OTOH, I’d have no idea outside of an industrial electrician who’d have access to such. Basic checkouts wouldn’t hurt, though.

        • The only motor on that circuit is the bathroom exhaust fan, and it is not on all that often. The lights in the hall outside the room are also bulb-burners, yet tolerate CFLs (and we can tolerate the CFL tinge there) so I’ve long suspected the whole circuit was badly run. In my dreams I replace the bathroom light fixtures because the glass bulb covers are cone-like, spreading just sufficiently to make it impossible to get a proper grip on a standard light bulb. That can mean that when attempting to unscrew a bulb you actually unscrew the socket, with the attendant troubles that entails.

          Besides that, the fixtures consists of wall plaques with two arms, so if you unscrew one side the whole thing tries to fall caterwumpus.

          Some idiot put a wall mounted ironing board in the hall, next to the laundry room. But they didn’t put a wall plug in the hall, which means ironing is a challenge. Add t that it is a half-board which drops across the hall, blocking all traffic through the hall (or at least, all traffic more than waste high — I am sure a toddler chasing a cat could zip right through) and the whole design is a devil’s invitation for speculation about the sense, experience, judgment, morals and sanity of the designer responsible.

          • Depending on the weirdness of the wiring (the 220/110V shared neutral is a logical offender, but not necessarily the only possibility), a larger motor on *another circuit* could be screwing up the lighting circuit in that area.

            I’ve encountered some very weird wiring; Mom’s house had been partly built by the previous owner, and pulling the lighting circuit fuse(!) still left hot wires in the fixture box. Had to pull the house master fuse to redo the kitchen light for that one. Electrical codes are nice; I wish that some people would actually follow them. (OTOH, that church fiasco was originally wired to code, though other codes probably got ignored to let the boxes get condensation.)

        • weirdly wired bathroom
          “robust” incandescents

          Long service incandescents are designed for 130V, so if you are getting a voltage spike, they’d survive longer than the regular bulbs.

          I did run into an issue with weird wiring at the church we belonged to: it was wired with a 220V breaker, and both sides shared the neutral. If the neutral got screwy (in this case, lots of condensation and corrosion), a heavy load on the “B” phase could drag the neutral, thus causing a higher voltage on the “A” phase. We had a couple of refrigerators, and one neutral wire had burned off all its insulation. Pretty sure we would have lost the entire building if it went off; as it is, we had some really smoky cover plates and receptacles.

          I’ve got the dual-circuit in a few places in the shop; with proper wiring technique it’s safe, but there is a risk. Not sure I’d do it that way again. No, I’m not a licensed electrician, just an EE who’s wired a bunch (and passed inspections!).

          If it’s something bad in the panel, it should affect more places, but still.

          Something’s funky. Please check it out.

        • You might check to see if the GFI(spit) is properly wired back to the matching circuit breaker at the panel. And likewise check to be certain the breaker is correctly wired as well.
          Personally the first thing I do when the GCi stars doing weird is replace it with a standard outlet(how DID we get along without them for a 100 years or so?).
          OTOH the 220V coming into my house is fed(apparently) from two different sources coming off the pole. One leg is a nice 112v and the other leg is 128.8v(which the “local” power company(located three states away) tell me is in spec -120V+-10%. Makes for someinteresting times esp for devices rated at 120v.

  23. To give full credit, Chernobyl wasn’t just a monument to totalitarians running a nuclear pant, but also their ability to design and build one.

    • Chernobyl was pretty much the many-universes world of Hell – EVERY decision was about the worst possible. By sheer random chance, something should have gone right, but nothing did.

      • Eh, at least they managed to drain the pools before the core turned the place into a steam bomb, and they did manage to install the heat exchanger to avoid contaminating the entire Dnieper watershed.

        But yeah … that last episode where they do the play-by-play breakdown of every bad decision should be required viewing for anyone considering any kind of management. Here’s what happens when success is measured by metrics that can be falsified, when employees are nominally empowered but don’t actually have the freedom to object, when people who don’t understand what they’re doing are put in charge, when the people who are supposed to run the place don’t have the information they need. The miniseries did an amazing job of showing that it was a human disaster, not a nuclear one.

    • And their “point deer, make horse” mentality of burying, ignoring, and covering up every potential problem as long as possible.
      Charkhov: Why worry about something that isn’t going to happen?
      Legasov: “Something that isn’t going to happen”? (laughs) That’s perfect. They should put that on our money.

  24. Environmentalism is a religion, copied wholesale from Christianity. They have competing sets of priests, a children’s crusade, mortification of the flesh, and even repent for the end is nigh, complete with oops, nope, wrong date.

  25. I buy nothing but used old washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, and freezers. I looked at freezers and found that after about 4-5 years the boards tend to go out. The circuit boards/installation tend to cost almost as much as a new freezer. They put them in an almost inaccessible place. Old freezers don’t have boards and run almost forever.
    Another nice thing about buying old is that they are simpler. Less bells and whistles. I got one dryer that only had a timer and a heat sensor.

    Buy OLD, they work.

  26. We’ve had good results from our newer commode that I got from Sam’s Club a year or two ago. It’s dual flush, using either one or 1-1/2 gallons (US or about 4 to 6 liters). It’s a little higher than the 1976 model it replaced and the spouse likes that.

    The top-load high efficiency washer we have; well, it beats me. I think we use it in “deep water” mode a lot.

    • toilets: this house has 20 year old ones, and I hope they last forever.

      • If I’d had my wits about me when we cleared my Mom’s house out nearly 20 years ago, I would have loaded her two into the U-Haul. They had been there my entire life (I was 42 when Mom left us) – and still worked perfectly.

        • Good thing we’ve since enacted regulations to counter manufacturers’ sneaky “planned obsolescence” schemes that were ubiquitous in the middle of last century!

      • The toilet in my 93y/o house is the original. The lead drain pipe under the house finally developed a leak(gotta love these old designs, the tub drain was tied into it). $900 later and some really weird PVC piping the plumbers got it working again. Oh, yeah, they had to cut a chunk out of one of the floor joists to get the new things to fit.
        OTH I did end up with about 20 pounds of good lead that molded into some really nice 158gr .357 LSWC projectiles…

    • Anybody else recall those old toilets that had the tank up about ceiling height? That seems such a simple way of addressing the low-flow, low-pressure” problem.


      I suppose there must have been better reasons than plumber convenience for replacing them with modern style fixtures, but having rebuilt a couple toilet tanks in my day I think there are advantages to not sitting the porcelain atop the commode.

      • Easy access to the inflow valve in case of trouble would be my first guess.

      • The house in Silly Valley had toilets similar, but the tank was just above the bowl, without the high mount. They *needed* that high mount to work correctly. A 5 gallon triple flush ain’t fun.

      • I have one. It’s even low-water – at least I assume so because it’s from a company in California. It’s NOT low-flow. Dropping that far builds up quite a bit of pressure. I had two problems with it: the ball-cock valve was a piece of junk (replaced it with some modern plastic thing) and the brass fitting isn’t brass (I can tell because it rusts), but a little wet/dry sandpaper ever couple years keeps the flap sealing nicely. The biggest downside: It cost $1200.
        Standing on the basin, one can see – and reach – into the tank just fine, but I am 6’2″.

  27. Sigh.

    Defunct GE oven (range still works) – to be replaced with a Samsung five burner with a neat feature that the large ones are dual; they can be turned on as small burners. That one gives me a good reason to build a new cupboard / counter for the side, since it’s wider than the GE.

    GE front load washing machine that, honestly, should have hit the curb almost two years ago. To be replaced with the lowest end Speed Queen that they have with the “no-green” settings. Actually, wish I had never allowed it into the house in the first place; durn thing has always lied about how much time is left on the full cycle.

    GE refrigerator that is sounding hinky. Haven’t decided on its replacement yet, but its day is coming…

    There’s a pattern here. The only GE appliance that is not yet acting suicidal is the dryer.

    (The dishwasher isn’t GE, and not suicidal. Better not be, since it’s me. Had a mechanical dishwasher once, many years ago when we lived in an apartment. Never again…)

    • Love my new Samsung glass top stove. Bit of a PIA keeping glass nice and clear. Managing it. Last stove lasted almost 30 years before it died. We have gas coming to the house. Put it in when gas finally came down the street for the furnace. Explored briefly extending for a gas stove and eventually a gas on demand hot water heater. Cringed at the cost. Solar would cost about the same AND we can make money off of that; Federal and State tax rebates and local utilities have to buy back excess power generated (run a credit against when you don’t have solar working). Which is typically net zero power/water/sewer utility bills over the year. At least for now. (About the time we do Solar, the incentives will magically dry up.)

      Most of my appliances have been Kenmore. Can’t get those locally anymore. Probably made by GE. Only the dishwasher left …

      • We realized only after buying this place that the nearest gas line was a bit over a mile away… (The neighbor, who kindly let us take a look at his house to see the potential, has gas appliances. What we didn’t do was look on the north side – where he has a honking big propane tank. Stupid!)

        Glass tops are certainly easier to deal with than digging down into the innards to take care of spills. Although I am going to become very cranky with the new one about appropriately sized pots for what is being cooked, correctly sized burner for that appropriately sized pot, cleaning the top as soon as it is cool and before using it again, and drying the glass after wiping it down with clear water. I think it will be worth the hate for a while…

        • Glass tops are certainly easier to deal with than digging down into the innards to take care of spills.

          Reminds me to mourn that our fancy-schmancy [NAME BRAND]* gas cook top has square burner grills, rendering our wok-stands incompatible. Oh well, aging knees have largely rendered Chinese cooking not optimal.

          *The island required a center exhaust OR extensive work to install overhead exhaust. Center exhaust has unadvertised drawback of reducing cooking temperatures.

          • Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner and Polish does a great job keeping glass cooktops shiny and new. Just a dab (a little goes a *long* way) and a green scrubbie takes care of the whole thing.

            My kitchen requires that I have downdraft exhaust integrated into the stove/oven combo. So, Jenn-Air is…it. And they are not inexpensive, but still less expensive than adding a hood and ducting.

          • I think you really do need flame to do proper woking (wokery? whatever…).

            I cheat with my big cast iron skillet. Not as easy to keep things moving around, but it does work.

            • We share that opinion, which is why we shelled out the money to replace the electric cook-top. Adjustable flame is essential, and where and how it heats the wok is very different from how resting it atop an electric burner functions. I gather that the gas burners for a restaurant wok are several orders of magnitude burnier than home gas stoves, enabling nearly instantaneous shifts from several thousand degrees to scarcely any heat at al.

              • For want of a better term, the restaurant burners have a more “diffuse” flame that hits just about all of the wok with the same heat. Something that an electrical burner just cannot do. (The only even heat – with a good range – is on the very bottom. Which is why my flat bottomed cast iron skillet is almost as good.) A consumer range would fall somewhere in the middle, I think – mostly even heat as the flame spreads along the sides, but not perfectly so.

                I have been to a couple of restaurants where they do it the traditional way – bury the wok almost rim deep in a bed of charcoal. Not much adjustment possible there, but the heat that actually gets into the food and how fast is then the business of the cooks and how quickly they move.

            • SheSellsSeashells

              The word you are looking for is “wokkery”. “Wokery” involves demonstrating your goodthink bona fides to our wannabe overlords, while “Wakkory” is more of an art form involving belching to properly timed classical music.

              Would I lie to you?

        • Mine gets dry wiped down two or three times a day, to clear off dust, etc.; plus before being used. Then cleaned immediately after (sometimes before with hot water cloth) cooling down. Hardest is grease splatters from bacon (even with covers) … granted hubby does not exactly prevent drips and spills. Bacon grease cleanup hasn’t happened immediately, no matter what I’ve done (over a few clean ups, yes. Immediately, no.) Got a new sponge just for glass tops, we’ll see how it works out. Had it just about 3 years … so far it is still clean & clear …

          • granted hubby does not exactly prevent drips and spills.

            You probably aren’t placing him properly.

          • I’ve found that the “safe for non-stick” sponges work just as well as the special ones. Grease – unless it also has “bits” in it – I just wipe with a paper towel, then sponge (dishwashing soap if truly all over the top).

            But clear water to get it completely cleaned, and then drying it to not let water minerals collect. The GE top is in pretty good shape for several years of use and abuse – the only unclearable spots being where people burned stuff onto it. (PLASTIC a couple of times!)

      • Keep in mind that currently the best solar cells typically are good for ~15 years – regardless of what you are told by the salesman. And if they are installed directly on the roof you replace the roof when they come off.

    • Back in the 1970s, my parents had a state-of-the-art, voice-activated dishwasher system with dish sorting-and-storing features:

      They told me and my siblings to do the dishes.

      • Alas, unless you have quite a few replacement components handy, that has a strictly limited lifespan. When my two older sisters hit dating age, and, worse, went off to college…

        Not that I complained. Bending over a dishpan was much easier than bending over the superheated sink of water in the school cafeteria kitchen. Although I wasn’t earning seventy cents an hour at home, either, come to think of it.

        • We had an electric dishwasher at home in the ’60s, and MacDonalds paid $1.35 an hour for me to do fries and the fry/burger prep dishwashing. The long handled brush kept it from being extremely painful.

    • General Electric sold the GE appliance line (and the name) to some Chinese company 2 or 3 years ago. SIL and BIL used to work for GE, and the lead free solder (to keep babies from getting sick by eating the circuit boards, of course) used in the early Oughts was a huge pain in the ass; lots of failures for their appliances (GM instrument clusters had this problem; there are places that repair them…) (High tin solder does lots of interesting things, it can work properly, but there’s a hell of a learning curve.)

  28. The glasstop is nice and all, and I have no issue with an electric *oven*, but damn I wish the gas lines were set up, and the house positioned right for venting so I could have a gas rangetop. As it is.. well it amuses me that the stove is a Frigidaire and the fridge is an Amana (not a Radarrange….)

  29. I remember the first time I house-sat for my parents. As it turns out, none of the apartments I’ve lived in since moving out have had a dishwasher. So after dinner, I put the dirty dishes into the washer, and started it up.

    And then a while later, I came back into the kichen to unload the dishwasher. But to my surprise, the dishwasher was still running. And it ran for quite a bit longer before finally finishing.

    I puzzled over this, but finally decided that my memories of mych shorter dish washing cycles must have been wrong. It wasn’t until later that I learned the truth.

  30. George Eliot, 1866:

    “Fancy what a game of chess would be if all the chessman had passions and intellects, more or less small and cunning; if you were not only uncertain about your adversary’s men, but a little uncertain also about your own . . . You would be especially likely to be beaten if you depneded arrogantly on your mathematical imagination, and regarded your passionate pieces with contempt. Yet this imaginary chess is easy compared with a game man has to play against his fellow-men with other fellow-men for instruments.”

    “Progressives” tend not to understand this point, and don’t grasp that their “chessmen” can actually make decisions and optimize for themselves, and hence will react to poor dishwater performance by running it twice, etc.

    • The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it.

      He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.
      ― Adam Smith

  31. As soon as I can find one, I am replacing the florescent bulb in the porch light with an incandescent. Cold winter evenings = no light when desired. The geneii who rave over florescent bulbs must all live in tropical climates.

    • I recall an article the first winter after LED Traffic Lights were widely deployed. Apparently the slight amount of heat emitted by the old-fashioned incandescent bulb traffic lights kept ice from forming on them. Those nice new efficient LED traffic lights quickly became covered by ice in more Northern climes, which tended to reduce their efficiency at their designed duties.


      Snow accumulates … who knew?

    • Some of the LED bulbs are OK with enclosures and are fine at cold temps. Beyond that, either Phillips or Sylvania market halogen incandescent bulbs. Might still have them at Home Depot. I use them for heating, either on a pipe-freeze thermostat cube, or on a 110V thermostat.

      • Incandescent bulbs are a very energy-efficient method when what you really wanted was the waste heat. 100w is just enough to keep a pump house from freezing or to keep condensation out of the basement. Beats hell out of the alternatives — a space heater at 500W and up, or a tangle of heat tape that does nothing to keep the pump itself from freezing up.

        Some LED bulbs run very hot, but having taken a dead one apart to examine… I wonder if a hot LED is a fire hazard. And since that waste heat has to come from somewhere, how much energy do the hot ones really use?

        • I’ve had several LED lamps die smoky death. That’s why the foam ceiling tiles in a couple of rooms are partly melted.

          Forensic examination of the remains shows the tiny power supplies were running hot enough to melt the plastic shells, and the tiny wires running to the LED strips were probably glowing brightly anyway.

          They didn’t pull *quite* enough current to trip the breaker, but the aftermath of their demise was still exciting.

          • I’ve noticed that the LED bulbs go all over the map as far as power supplies and heat dissipation is concerned. We started getting them early on (Pacific Power was subsidizing LED bulbs through our Costco), and I’ve seen the designs change (and improve) fairly quickly. Some of the early bulbs had massive power supplies with fancy integrated heat sinks, while others had tiny ones and could replace an incandescent. *However*, several of these had small notifications that said they were not to be used in enclosed fixtures. Those ended in floor lamps and the hanging fixtures in the kitchen and dining room. No surprise, of the 3 bulbs (out of maybe 24 LEDs we have in use), all were early units.

            (Some of the early LED spot lights used a high frequency supply. The hand-held radio that I programmed for the NOAA weather frequencies cannot work near those lights. OTOH, those bulbs seem to be off the market.)

            I bought several LED shop lights, and conversion tubes for the sketchy fluorescent lights in the shop. Those have had ballasts fail (pretty much at the same rate as the tubes failed), so the tubes I bought are designed to work without the ballast. (The ones I’ve seen at Depot work with the ballast; easier swap, but you need reliable ballasts. The ones I have aren’t.) Mild pain to get the fixture down and back up, but the conversion only takes a few minutes to do.

          • Oy. Methinks henceforth I shall hand-test ’em for overheat. If I can’t touch ’em, back they go.

        • And there’s this wonderful visible indicator…

    • There are some places an incandescent is ideal, but LED might work there too. Fluorescent is terrible in low and/or swinging temperatures. I went to LED in the garage because the FL bulbs didn’t last as long as incandescent and took a while to warm up. The LED seems to work better, but I’m still taking data on life. LED doesn’t burn the covers like incandescent did, so that’s a plus.

    • What size would you like, TX. I have 60’s, 75’s, and 100’s. Lemme know what size you want and where to send them and I’ll shoot you a four pack.
      I bought several case when they were being phased out and Big Orange had to dump them. I think they cost me about $0.25 each in the four pack.

  32. Back some years I had a really good appliance repair dude. He told me a few things…

    1) Go mechanical. Avoid electronic controls. The inevitable condensation destroys ’em, and they are costly to replace.

    2) There’s Whirlpool, and there’s everything else, with such a quality drop-off that he did not recommend repairing the ‘other’ brands, even tho repair was his business. (Honest guy.)

    So when my ancient 3rd-hand washer went tits-up… I hied myself to Costco and got a fairly high end Whirlpool (under Costco label) for about half retail.

    It is now about 15 years old and still like brand new. All mechanical, oversize load, extra rinse, warm-warm (not just cold rinse). Settings from “Nuclear” to “Poodle”. Does not waltz across the floor when unbalanced. (I think it must do dynamic balancing, as it usually doesn’t even vibrate.)

    So hats off to my long-ago repair dude, without whom this customer satisfaction may not have happened.

    [And the Whirlpool/Costco fridge is a couple years older, and still 100%, plus it gets really cold which some do not.)

    • New dishwasher is Whirlpool, albeit electronicky. Racks aren’t quite as nice as the GE but the reliability ratings were… well, as you say. Will have to remember the Costco possibility when the time comes for another replacement, although for laundry I may also remember Speed Queen.

    • I had a “Wide by Side” Refrigerator and it was awful, and my Whirlpool dishwasher was not much better. I got 3 years out of it. My french door Samsung has lasted far longer.

    • Our previous deep freeze was Whirlpool. We bought it in ’12 and got rid of it in ’16.

      The initial problem was a bad seal at the lower free corner. Turns out the door panel had a warp in manufacturing, and if tweaked, would stay closed. However, if it saw heat (say, from the hot air register nearby), it would warp again and leak heat.

      This led to the next problem. Air would get in the door innards (vented at the bottom), and somehow, the automagic defrost cycle never got the air in those innards warm enough to drive the moisture off.

      We discovered this when we had to temporarily put the freezer in the living room to redo the back room floor, and it started to drip on the wood floor. When the dripping continued, I dismantled the door and found several pounds of ice entwined with the insulation. As best as I could tell, it would happen again, so we got a new freezer (Frigidaire) when the floor was done.

      OTOH, the Whirlpool dryer that came with the house (circa 1999) served well until the drum felt wore out. We replaced that with a Speed Queen.

      $SPOUSE didn’t care for the layout for Whirlpool dishwashers; the flatware basket was small for our purposes, and strangely placed. Frigidaire (2014) again; so far, pretty good.

      • I’d guess Whirlpool was experimenting with rebadged units. Or with Made Somewhere Else. That’s usually the case when what’s been a reliably good manufacturer suddenly has a spate of Crap.

        Speaking of rebadges… that 7cu’ chest freezer they sell at Home Despot etc. for about $250, branded as GE and I forget what else … you can get the identical freezer, under its own Chinese brand name, at Costco for $140. And there if it goes tits-up prematurely, they’re good about taking it back, even if it’s slipped past warranty. (Also, IIRC at Costco it has 3yr warranty; as a GE, one year.)

        • Problem with Costco’s is it is 7 cu. We needed 9 cu (dropped from 20 cu (died after 34 years), which dropped from 30 cu (sold VS move), both uprights). Costco chest freezer availability jumps from 7 cu to 15 cu. More is not better if you are not using full capacity.

          FWIW, the 7 cu can be that $140, but generally runs $250 too. But the other is 100% true. Which is why we bought our new GE washer/dryer set through Costco. A whole 2 cents more than Home Depot, and an extra 2 days. Just can’t finance it at any interest rate, let alone 0% for 6 months to a year; which yes, we tend to do, because we can.

    • Our washer is all mechanical.
      The guy told me the brand that actually made our little one off. (I don’t remember. For all I know it could be Whirlpool OR Speed Queen. I know it was a GOOD brand) And he said “this will last you twenty years.” I hope so, but…

  33. I suspect that there are several goals of all this hardware that is inadequate to do the jobs they’re supposed to do-

    1)If it takes more time, you have less time to do other things. If the process of living takes more time, the less time you have to watch what the people that are running other things in your life are doing.
    2)If it breaks down faster or more often, you have less money to spend on other things. Either because you have to bank money for the eventual replacement or spend money you don’t have to replace something in an emergency, that means less capital in your hands to do things.
    3)I suspect that a lot of these products, especially CFLs and their ilk, are being subsidized by the government in the form of tax breaks to the companies making them. If we had to pay the “true” price for these things, we’d be demanding incandescent bulbs and Freon-ladened fridges in an instant.
    4)Guilt. Always guilt. If you don’t have the low-flow showerhead, the front-loading washer, the low-flush toilet, you’re doing Horrible Things To The World and it’s all For The Children and such. Despite the fact that if you were to do a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis, all that “old” hardware is probably better for the environment than the new stuff.
    (I remember that SF had a lot of issues with low-flow toilets in that the amount of water wasn’t getting the crap(literally!) down the pipes all the way because they didn’t have enough head pressure. This meant that pipes were getting jammed, the smell was noticeable, etc, etc, etc…)

    I don’t think it’s planned, in the sense of smoke-filled rooms full of conspirators stroking white or black cats But, I think there’s a…collusion of ideas? How about that, collusion?

  34. Government solutions are like the old woman who swallowed a fly. I think we’re almost at swallowed a horse.

  35. I am late to the Party, but—
    I have my late Grandmother’s **1970** Maytag top-loading clothes-washer . . .
    Had to repair the timer a few months ago, when the tiny nylon gear which coupled the clock motor to its output gears broke.
    Found a guy in Pennsylvania who makes Brass replacement gears and has instructions of how to replace them inside the Kingston Model 60!
    Simple.
    If nothing else breaks, this beast should last another 50 years.
    And, with a little *real* TSP, things actually do get clean!
    No dryer; I just hang things up, and a day later (Denver, CO, natch!), they are dry…

  36. Pingback: We’ve noticed this too… « Quotulatiousness

  37. Re: LED bulbs. The newest generation of LED light bulbs by GE cover almost any size/shape/base/wattage-equivalent/color-spectrum you could want. In fact, the choices can be bewildering compared to the old incandescent selections.

    Lowes carries the whole line, I think, and the prices are very reasonable. For example, the GE Basic comes in 8-packs and 16-packs, in soft white and daylight white, for a bit over a dollar a bulb. They are the same size and base as a standard 60W incandescent, except the housing is plastic instead of a glass bulb. I think they use like 4 watts. I have put the soft whites in two lamps so far, including one on a 3-way-switch headboard. (It only has low-high-high but that works fine for me.)

    I bought an 8-pack of the Basic 60W Daylight bulbs and put 5 in my shop to replace the old CFL bulbs. The difference was literally like night to day. I can SEE to run the bandsaw and the lathe, and I get near-true color when I finish the wood. I also replaced a 300W halogen torchiere bulb with an equivalent UFO LED bulb (not GE) that uses 40 watts and bounces off the ceiling to light up the whole garage space. The walls now look white instead of yellow. 😉

    I had 3 Cree 40W-equiv. LED candelabra bulbs for a few months, but two of them began flickering badly, and eventually one of the two “filaments” stopped working. Apparently they were very sensitive to minor fluctuations in voltage in the circuit. I replaced them with three GE LED 40W bulbs, which look very similar in size and shape to the incandescent version, and they seem to be working perfectly after 2 months, up to 8 hours a day. The GE bulbs were 3 for $11.

    The biggest problem if you go to the Lowe’s display is FINDING THE BULB YOU NEED! They have literally dozens of choices that take up one entire side of an aisle. I think LEDs have come of age and given the bulb life expectancy, they are now at a reasonable price for nearly every application. And when they finally burn out, you can just throw them in the trash.

    Re: Dishes. I much prefer to wash dishes by hand. For me it is a comfort chore, and I know they are clean enough to eat off of. 😉

  38. Some thoughts:
    High speed dishwashers: these are not regulated the same as “dishwashers” so they work.

    Cheap fix to “low flush” toilets: 2.5 gallon bucket. Crude, but it is a quick solution to “won’t flush”.

  39. Yeah, low flow anything basically sucks. Makes me feel like I’m living in East Germany. Also explains why our overly complicated dishwasher doesn’t work the way it should–broken now. Some damn digital thing failed. At least we still have a top loading washer. I will guard it with my life.

  40. Lost in this is water temp. If you haven’t kicked your water heater up above the “green” temp ain’t nothin’ gonna get clean. 140 F is a bare minimum for dishes (even by hand), clothes… I worked for an outfit who sold appliances in the early ‘80s. The Whirlpools had pre-heaters for the water that would kick up whatever you had to 180 F, and a food grinder for the filter that could chew up an old cow. Those washers could strip paint.

  41. You’re in my head, Sarah. We have the same washer/dryer/dishwasher issues you do. I get even by burning a tire on Earth Day. Sometimes I burn two.

    “As O’Brien passed the dryer a thought seemed to strike him. He stopped, turned aside and pressed a switch on the wall. There was a sharp snap. The dryer rumbled fiercely.

    Julia uttered a tiny sound, a sort of squeak of surprise. Even in the midst of his panic, Winston was too much taken aback to be able to hold his tongue.

    ‘You can turn it to High Heat!’ he said.

    ‘Yes,’ said O’Brien, ‘we can turn it higher. We have that privilege.’

  42. And don’t get me started on the water “pressure” in my shower. Might as well bathe under a garden bucket spout.

  43. “Some damn digital thing failed.”

    And that’s another thing. (spits tobacco on lizard’s head). Everything today is made with 26 points of failure. Bulb goes out and the entire Thing shuts down. Why, back in my day….

    (drifts back to sleep, rocking away on the front porch)

    (lizard hisses)

  44. The dishwasher saga. Ugh. It was over five years ago, now, and I’m still washing dishes by hand because of the trauma. The super-short version: Our new Kenmore dishwasher, which we hated (slow, left spots, required pre-washing the dishes), would die every now and again. After the third or fourth repair, the repairman told us to run the water in the sink to get it hot first because if the in-dishwasher heater ran too long, it fried some chip on the controller. I looked up the lemon-law: Three repairs within three months. I shoveled snow into it and ran it until it broke, got it repaired, repeat three times. Within a month we had a gift certificate for a new one. Then it got worse. I will never buy another Sears product again; three generations of brand loyalty killed in six months.

    Much more amusingly, our dryer has an “optimum dry” setting (along with several others). We’ve never used any other setting – why would you if that’s optimum?

  45. Can't remember my name. New England Yankee?

    I’ve used European front-load washers for years (Miele). They wash much more thoroughly than the American machines my friends and relatives use. You need to use the right detergent. Amazon was my source for Persil detergent for years, but you can now buy Persil in stores. I’ve bought it at BJs, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target around here.

    My daughter complained to me that the top-loading machines in her apartment building in The Big City “don’t wash the clothes! They just move them around.” A package of Persil pods helped her get her clothes clean.

    Could some of the problem be the clean water laws that required manufacturers to remove phosphate from their formulas? And it’s taken some time to figure out better formulas?

    You do need to leave the front door ajar between loads. Every month or so you must run a cycle on the “sanitize” setting, without clothes, to keep mold from creeping in. The average cycle is 1 hour 5 minutes, but the sanitize cycle runs almost 2 hours. There is an Express cycle which runs about 35 minutes.

    You can program the machine to add in an extra rinse cycle. When you use the “maximum spin” cycle, the clothes are spun almost dry in the washer.

    Just had to jump in to defend front loaders. They can be superb machines, but the detergent makes a huge difference.

    • I used the European ones too. They are TINY.
      The extra rinse was programmed in. SO not enough.

      • New England Yankee

        Yes, they are much smaller, but there is no agitator cone in the center. I really jam stuff in, so I can fit in a full American laundry basket of clothes into one load. Once the clothes are wet, they take up less volume. A different downside is that king fitted sheets tend to eat the rest of the load, producing a kind of dumpling clump of cloth, dryish on the outside from the spinning, but wet and not very well rinsed on the inside.

        In a current Miele model, you can program in an extra rinse (called “maximum rinse.”) I would put a link in, but you can search for it if you’re interested. The default setting is not to do maximum rinse.

        Our water is much softer than in Germany, so I use much less detergent, except for one child’s laundry loads. For some reason, his laundry needs more detergent to come clean. (Germany has such hard water, the machines have built in water softener. I don’t use it for our stuff, as again, the water is very soft in our area of the USA, compared to the German water.)

        I am allergic to dust mites and pollen, so I appreciate the hot water cycles on the German machines. You really can do “Kochwasche.” I also use the “woolens” and “silk” cycle often, as I’m too lazy to hand wash woolen sweaters, and too cheap to do dry cleaning.

        Having said all that, a strange thing is that the most recent models of many washing machines want to be “internet ready.” I just don’t see the advantage of hooking an appliance you must load and unload to the internet, let alone paying more for the supposed convenience. This is true, for me, for: refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, washing machines, clothes dryers. What the heck do I need to hook them up to the IOT? I do use programmable cycles to start the dishwasher or clothes washer before I get out of bed, so as to not run machines while sleeping, but I just can’t see opening a security hole in our home network for an appliance.

        • No. They’re smaller than front loaders here. My mom’s takes about 1/4th what my front loaders took.
          Yes, I think they’re also made differently. Regulations are different in Europe. And I think they use WAY more water, just from watching mom’s work. BUT…

          • New England Yankee

            Many European makers market American sized front loaders here. My cousin owns one. I don’t know how well the large models wash, which explains the different opinions about the efficacy of front loaders.

            You can buy the European-sized machines here, which is the model we chose. It’s the same size as the machines in our European relatives’ homes in Europe. I wash whites and colored loads separately, which is much easier with the smaller load. That lets me wash dark colors in cold, whites in warm or hot, which also helps with the results. The machine uses less water, but it changes that water more frequently than the American machines, that is, there are more water cycles in each wash load.

            As to showers, changing the shower heads can make a big difference in the shower experience. States have different laws about shower head flow.

            The energy saving setting that drives me up the wall is the restriction on kitchen sink faucets’ flow rate. It’s just taking me twice or three times as long to fill the pots to cook, or the sink to wash dishes by hand. There’s no reduction of water use, at all.

            • I’m going to ASSUME that your washer washes clothes in under an hour. Our last front loader didn’t, which is why with two boys, I did wash ALL DAY.
              Um…. my kitchen sink is fine.
              No, changing shower heads doesn’t make diddly difference unless you drill out the flow limiter.

              • New England Yankee

                The standard cycle is 1 hour, 5 minutes. I used the timer on my phone to return to the washer at the proper time. It’s most efficient when washer and dryer cycles match.

                I like the Grohe Bokuma head. There is one setting that allows all the water to arrive on my head, rather than arriving as a circle on the edges of my head. (I’m average height for a woman.) It really annoys me to be standing in a shower, with the top of my head dry. California and Colorado have more stringent water restrictions than the feds.

                Bigger picture, though, is that for all these water saving directives, there are expensive options which minimize the discomfort of the mandates.

                In the last 20 years or so, we’ve faced federal dictates that have mandated consumption. They’ve mandated the purchase of new items, when existing items worked perfectly well. TVs. Cash for Clunkers. The lead in toys and books scare, which effectively removed used items from the marketplace. The banning of incandescent light bulbs. (which has been overturned??) The Europeans seem to be signalling that they want to transition to electric cars, which would be one more case of required consumption. As the Chinese have effectively stopped taking recyclables, the whole mandated recycling effort has…problems.

                It’s a system of modern sumptuary laws. Think about it.

                • you’re seriously griping over the transition to HD?

                  o.o

                  you know, your old analog TV still works perfectly well, and you could get a free downconverter… ten years ago when the transition happened.

        • I don’t get having appliances on the internet either. Don’t now. But have used timers on appliances, especially dishwasher at a couple of homes. Pipe’s weren’t originally designed with dishwasher installed, so running at the same time with the possibility water draining from both at the same time was a problem (HUGE problem). But current home. Not a problem. I do run them at night. Both are far enough away from bedrooms, that not a problem.

  46. Back in 2012, we went on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and OMG, the showers were HEAVENLY. What a blast of water! I was in and out of the shower in about 5 to 10 minutes, hair included, and felt SO clean.

    The toilets were the same way. Whoosh!

    All good things end, however, and we had to come home. In memory of our cruise, we installed a wider showerhead, but alas. Since it is low flow, it is not the same. So I am back to my 15 to 20 minute showers of trickle water.

    We got rid of our side-loading washer a few years ago and also use a water-hogging top loader. A big improvement. But you are right about the 4 hour dishwasher cycle. Seems so counterintuitive.

  47. You forgot how quickly these new high efficiency machines give out. We had a top loader without an agitator. In addition to not getting clothes clean and the smell, it tore things up. And broke. And broke. In 18 months or so, the water pump went out, the computer board went out, they replaced the lid in hopes that that would somehow help…and every time the machine went out, it locked my clothes in for at least 48 hours until something inside reset and the latch would open.

    So we have machines that don’t work as well, that have to be replaced far more often, and that cost a lot more.

    The replacement for our brand new machine was a $35 1970s machine from Craigslist that gave me a couple of years of clean clothes before finally giving out.

  48. New England Yankee

    I’ve had our washer/dryer set for about 15 years, subject to daily use for most of that time. Never needed a service call. I have had to call the info line to troubleshoot error codes. (Miele washers have the highest reliability and customer satisfaction ratings in the most recent Consumer Reports buying guide.)

    Now, I would not buy the current model, that has dedicated laundry detergent built in, with internet connectivity. I see no need to consent to buying detergent from the washing machine company.

    • You know, you can’t be Chlamydia, because he can’t work in sentences this long, but there’s something off about your answers that sent me looking at your IP.
      It’s weird that it pings as a bad IP from which attacks and spam originate, innit?

      • New England Yankee

        Very peculiar. My husband who acts as my IT department asks, “what service did you use to look it up?” And “which IP address did it identify?” He worries that our address might have ended up on a list.

        I assume Chlamydia is a blog pest?

        The “offness” is likely entirely my own, built through years of foreign language study and undisciplined reading habits.

  49. I’m late to the game, as usual, but an acquaintance of mine bought a Speed Queen (laundromat version but without the coin slots) because her washer couldn’t handle the heavy overalls that her hubby needed to have REALLY clean, REALLY fast. She said she saw a regular version that’s advertised as a “fast washing machine” and presented as an innovation.

    I have an old ugly white dishwasher in my updated kitchen because it works. In a similar vein, I had a convenience store Amana microwave delivered to my workplace (the store wouldn’t deliver to a private home) so I could get a simple knob-operated microwave that doesn’t break or set itself on fire after two years.

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