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How much Juice does an Energy Star Washer draw?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Gooserider, Mar 28, 2008.

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  1. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Well, I had a bit of minor excitement today... I was doing laundry getting ready for a trip that will take me off line for a few weeks, and figured I'd try doing the meter read to see if I could figure out what kind of gas consumption I was getting from the dryer. What I've found is that there are two dials on the meter, one that measures 0.2cf per revolution, and one that measures 2.0cf per revolution, (each of these has 10 divisions per revolution, so you can measure either .2 or .02 cf per div) then an old fashioned odometer style readout for 100cf units, nothing in between... With the dryer running, the two dials both move along at a pretty good clip, and the 2cf dial went around at least once, probably more... So unless you want to sit there and count the dial turns while the dryer is running, the meter read trick won't work.

    The excitement came because I noticed a pretty fair bit of gas stink around the meter while I was looking at it. This didn't seem good to me, so I called the gas co, and they sent a tech out, who found that we have a very small leak on the gas co side of the connection. It was barely enough to register on his "sniff-o-meter", and he said it was definitely not anything that would be a safety hazard, but after he was unable to tighten up the connection, said he would send a pipefitting crew out to take care of it.

    I told him what I was trying to do, and he said that the best way to measure it was to time the rotation speed of the analog dials, and that they used to have (but he didn't have a copy with him) a chart that would say what the consumption was based on how many divisions per minute got registered... Don't have time to deal with it now, but I guess I'm going to want to try and track that down when I get back.

    Gooserider

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  2. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Here's your chart:

    http://www.bacharach-training.com/referpage/clocking_gas_meter.htm

    This method measures steady state consumption and is used to verify the burner's adjustment. It won't give you actual consumption as the burner cycles many times during operation, particularly near the end of the cycle. If you wanted a "noninvasive" way to measure burn time, you could set up a camcorder with the clock display on to watch the burner during a cycle and replay it to add up the run time. You can get to the burner by pulling off the kick panel in the front of the machine (well, not totally noninvasive).

    Wanna see somebody move fast? Just call your gas company and tell them you smell gas. Free call, too!

    Chris
  3. Telco

    Telco New Member

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    I'm VERY sensitive to the smell of spoiled clothing, and towels being used as they are usually find their way into the hamper while damp. Damp cloth that dries slowly goes bad. If I smell that spoiled clothing smell on a towel I can't use it, and I'll smell it on something that nobody else will. Washing once with detergent and bleach in hot water, then again with hot water, detergent and fabric softener, and the towels come out clean smelling. Drove my wife up a wall when she'd do the laundry, then find her clean towels in the dirty clothes again, so we started double washing and it solved the problem. What's bad is every now and again one of my shirts will be against a damp towel, and will absorb the smell too, but they can't get washed in hot. I've had to toss (well, take to the Goodwill) brand new shirts because of the shirt will absorb the smell and it'll get baked in by the dryer, and multiple washings won't quite eliminate it.
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Wow, that is pretty sensitive. I too have a nose for spoiled or sour laundry. To the point where I won't wash clothes if I can't put them in the dryer before going to bed. I don't want them to sit in their juices overnight. For me it is my denim jeans that have gotten the sour smell and when my body heat warms them up I can get a whiff of sour clothes and it jus tbugs the heck out of me.

    You never want to be the stinky kid.
  5. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Thanks for the chart pointer - I guess it won't give me all the info I want if the burner is cycling, but it will at least give me an idea (I hope...)

    Gooserider
  6. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Yay, Goose is back!
  7. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Washing machine,huh? Well, how much wood can a wood chuck-chuck? Before he simply starts to use only the cold wash cycle? :coolhmm:
  8. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    In the last six months wife and I have gotten more serious about not wasting electricity. Checked last year to this year usage: 2007 ranged between 550-900 kwh/month, highest during summer when the basement dehumidifier was operating. Last couple of months have been between 390-480 kwh/month. I'm guestimating that we will achieve, even with dehumidifier use, about 20-25% reduction.

    We did: 1) much more serious about turning off unneeded lights; 2) turn off computers and shut down power strips to computers and other electronics when not being used; 3) shut off ceiling fan that didn't really seem to help distribute stove heat very much (fan was running 24-7); 4) plus a number of smaller things.
  9. MacKay

    MacKay Member

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    We just replaced our old Kenmore units with the LG Front Loaders. The old units were on their last leg and needed replaced. It is too early to comment on energy consumption (haven't see a bill yet). But they use a fraction of the water the old unit used and the dryer takes much less time. On the largest, heaviest soiled settings we only use 1/2 the water. On a normal setting we use 1/4 of the water. The dryer is much more efficient also but I think it is due in large part to the speed that the washer spins (twice as fast as the old unit).
  10. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    You've got it DMM, the savings is ALL about using less HOT water. If you wash in cold water you save the most, in fact water is still cheap enough in most US locations that cold water means saving water isn't saving $$$. I try to wash everything in cold water on out top loading. Still, if the new washer/front-load spins dryer/faster,l then that saves if you use a dryer. I try to dry on a good old fashioned cloths line, outside if possible. Thus the spin matters little and the air is free, the electric dryer isn't.
  11. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

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    One thing you have to think about and it was mentioned earlier. Is spending twice the money for a new appliance because "it will save you money" really going to save money. It's just like people running out a replacing there windows because someone told them it will save you money. The part that they don't tell you is it will take 20 years for the windows to pay for themselfs. By then they will probably be worn out or you'll be moved out. So really spending more to save money isn't worth it unless your a penny pincher and think that spending $1000 to save a dollar a month is worth it.
  12. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    There's more to having energy efficiency that just saving money. For example, 18 years ago we spent LOTS of money on windows, which indeed save energy, but will never recover the cost. However, the comfort in freedom from drafts, elimination of condensation, quiet when they are closed, and absolute 0 maintenance was worth everything we spent. Intangible factors are valuable, and each of us makes our own decision as to this value in terms of $'s spent.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There's a bit more to the equation than that. If energy cost's were flat and there was no inflation, then maybe the savings would take like 20 years. But energy costs are rising rapidly and so is inflation.

    As for savings. We bought a Frigidaire front load washer the year after we moved into our house. It's actually made by Electrolux of Sweden. The drop in hot water usage was immediate. And as far as repairs, we haven't put a cent in it going on 13 years now and that is for a family of four. We use less detergent, the clothes definitely are spun drier which means less time in the dryer or on the clothesline. And there is a lot less wear and tear due to washing on the clothes. It was a $300 premium over a standard washer back in 1995, but worth every penny of it.

    Another example, we put a heat pump system in 2 seasons ago, strictly for heating (AC isn't really needed here). This was a premium system and costly. And we insulated wherever possible. Worth it? Well, I haven't done the numbers by current value of propane but our total heating bill went from about $3000 in 2004, down to $500, much better than I had hoped for. If I add a value for the free wood I was burning it would still be only $900 to heat this old farmhouse. And as Jim pointed out, our comfort is much higher. Sometimes you have to spend money to save money. Do it wisely and it will pay back for years.
  14. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Jim, in Northern MN I'd bet on you're saving enough money to pay for the window improvement, gets rather cold there, right? And as for savings $300 due to a reduction in hot water needs for cloths washing, that would be easy here in NJ, electric rates are at least twice what it cost in the Puget Sound area, I'd guess. I don't have the rates now, but when I graduated from the U of W in Seattle in 1966, we were paying something like 7/10 of a cent per KWH. When I arrived in NJ it was about 3 cents per KWH, over three times as much. Then it was due to the low cost of hydroelectric power in the NW, that may have changed. Today I pay about 15 cents per KWH in NJ, what's it cost in Seattle, 5 cents?
  15. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    "The dryer is much more efficient also but I think it is due in large part to the speed that the washer spins (twice as fast as the old unit)."

    Dryers are not much, if any, more efficient now than ever. The difference is that you are loading in mostly dry clothes so the dryer's elements are not running as long. Also not sucking as much of your heated house air out the vent.

    "Today I pay about 15 cents per KWH in NJ, what’s it cost in Seattle, 5 cents?"

    8-10 cents per KWH after all the BS.

    Yahoo had one of their news articles a week or so back that showed how you might as well keep your 15 mpg SUV vs. buying a 30 mpg vehicle as far as actual costs. There are a lot of people spending a lot of money to save a little money without doing the math. Some do the math and then add value to other aspects like conservation to make them feel better about a purchase.
  16. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Although current conditions may have altered the math some, this is an area where I think you can have your cake and it eat it too. 1986 is the year we bought our last new car. All since have been used. We are very partial towards Toyota Camrys, not that there are not other good cars, but we have had long term, consistent performance of the highest quality with Camrys; bought these used with up to 85000 miles on them, have run them well into the 200,000's, and have never had a serious problem, almost only normal maintenance, and have gotten a consistent 32-35 mpg.

    My 1989 Camry bought for $6000 at 80,000 miles, sold it for $2000 years later with 230,000 miles - $.027/mile purchase cost. The 1992 Camry bought used for $6500 at 30,000, sold it for $1900 years later with 238,000 miles - $.031/mile purchase cost. I am still driving my 1999 Camry at 195,000 miles, and expect to run this well into the 200's. Two weeks ago we just took it for 1200 miles to and from Chicago; just put new tires on it; no rust; only oil changes plus normal maintenance (scheduled at every 60,000 which we put off to about every 75,000 miles).

    Buy a quality used car, do the math, and run them for a long time. Public Radio had a show years ago that claimed if you always bought a used car (2-3 years old) and ran it for its practical life, the money you saved would allow you to retire 5 years later. I believe that firmly.

    Our neighbor bought a new American brand SUV, and when it reached 60,000 miles said it was time to trade as expected maintenance cost did not make it worth keeping. I'm not saying he was correct, but as far as I am concerned a good car is barely broken in at 60,000 miles.

    Take a new SUV at say $25,000 (don't know the price because would never buy one) and run it for 230,00 miles (if you can), purchase cost is $.11/mile - about 4 times the price of buying used. Why?

    My wife and I live a mile down a gravel road in northern MN, lots of snow, and in 18 years have only "needed" 4 wheel drive twice, that is, on two occasions were snowed in for 12-24 hours before the road was plowed. I suppose one of us could have died in that time, but we all die anyway, so why the concern?

    I can't ever imagine buying a new car. Let someone else pay the steep early depreciation, and I will take it to the bank as I enjoy my early retirement.
  17. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    I have a similar car buy/operate place except:
    1) I always buy new
    2) keep for 10-15 years
    2) never put more than 200,000

    I can't help but wonder about reports of over 200.000 miles with only routine maintenance. The only car I ran to 190,000+ was a 1986 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon. It was a very good car and had exceptional resuts in terms of the engine/drive-train, still had it original clutch (manual transmission). But it was clear this car was at the end-of-life when I "donated" it. It had lots of break problems, and the exhaust wasn't real great either. Major strut and some other repairs also came along the way. My 1990 Galant Mitsubushi was near death at 150,000, had gone through 3 clutches, well was on the thrid which was beginning to slip, but the stainless steel exhaust was still original... can't say enough about the benefit/value of SS exhaust (noted it was on the 2008 Chevy Impala on the show room floor when I was in getting my 2005 Chevy Colorado serviced - warranty repair). The Japanese cars clearly out performed my previous GM/Ford/Plymouth experience, but I returned to US made in 2005.

    With these examples I figure I got my vehicle cost down to a bit over 10 cents per mile, were I took both what I paid (fully depreciated) plus repairs. So hearing/reading someone gets to under 5 cents per mile leaves me in wonderment.
  18. KeithO

    KeithO Minister of Fire

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    Gooserider:

    This may or may not factor into your equation relating to a new washer, but I would think the first thing one would ask is "How well does it wash". The second should be "How dry does it spin ? The third should be 'Does it damage my expensive clothes ?"

    I can assure you that if you are acustomed to top loaders, getting a real good side loader will be an eye opener in these 3 departments. I bought a new Bosch washer and dryer just after I met my wife and we argued tooth and nail over the washer, since she and her mother had worked with top loaders all their lives. The side loading was percieved to be less comfortable and the top loader percieved to be more reliable.

    I stuck to my guns and my wife was really surprised how good the washer actually was. It has the soap/softener/bleach dosing drawer, is super quiet (other than on max spin) is very gentle on clothes (really uses gravity for agitation) and it dries the clothes so well with the 1200rpm spin cycle that drying time is about half the washing time (in winter, when we don't use the clothes line).

    So take it from me: If my Chicargoan wife can become a convert, so can you.... I did have various maytag top loaders shred my towels and stain white clothes from rust residue from unprotected steel parts during my apartment days....

    Keith
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