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ken69

Free hot water

I am looking to boil a large kettle of water each day for such things as washing up etc, and having just found a large bag of charcoal in the shed, (free or cheap as far as I can remember)did wonder how this could be done.
Do you think if I started a small fire in an old saucepan or any container with some sort of controlled draught, using wood shavings, then with some charcoal. Then place the kettle on, do you think it would boil.Initially start the fire outside then move into a shed. A sort of small controlled barbeque. I can experiment but wondered if anyone had tried to do this .
Am gas central heating in the house with electric, and have no need of a continual fire, just enough to heat , say, a large kettle of water.
Bugs

I have seen some really neat stoves made from large (3kg) tin cans. No idea about efficiency etc, however. I think possibly someone on here did one, but I know there are several designs on the bushcraft UK forums.
dougal

An electric kettle costs a mere penny or two to boil. (Depends on how much water is in it...)

Save the charcoal for barbeques next year.
And thereby save yourself freezing outdoors, making a mess, or risking carbon monoxide poisoning (or even setting fire to the house) by bringing a charcoal stove indoors.
A mains gas central heating boiler is likely the cheapest means of heating water for your washing. It should be much cheaper than an electric kettle.
But to minimise heat wastage, lag the hot tank well - even piling it up with old clothes - and insulate the pipes.
In winter, the losses from the pipes and tank aren't *really* losses - because they are contributing to the house heating...

Maybe you could have a bit of fun building yourself something to take advantage of solar energy for heating?
Did you see this article?
http://www.downsizer.net/Projects/A_sustainable_world/Fun_solar_-_solar_water_heating/
High Green Farm

Or alternatively buy one of these!

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stage1v8/OverlandStormKettle.htm
Nanny

when we bought this house 6 years ago we had no hot water really for 3 months and i tried boiling water on the barbecue and on the wood burner but it really takes too long and even if you started with boiling water from a kettle, it went off the boil very easily because you can't guarantee a constant temperature

k don't think it's worth the effort if you don't have to
ken69

free hot water

Thank you for the replies. The Kelly kettle, is what I was thinking off, tho at 40 might have a go at something myself.
I do the clothes washing presently at temperature 40 degrees or lower, and have read that in America they use cold water clothes washing, and something on this site about it.
My present gas and electric is thru Power Gen Age concern one bill (250 p.a. in total) tho Uswitch say can shave off 30 with Equigas.I have an electric usage monitor and will test an electric kettle for cost You are probably right Dougal, not woith it.
Ever ready to cut costs without cutting back and find this site brilliant.
Lozzie

I think if you have free fuel avaialble then HGF's suggestion of a storm/volcano/kelly kettle might be the best (and safest!) thing. They say you can burn almost anything in the base of these things - twigs, twists of scrap paper ... and then, as Dougal says, save the precious charcoal for something more fun next summer Smile
dougal

Re: free hot water

ken69 wrote:
... I have an electric usage monitor and will test an electric kettle for cost...

Simpler than that, just time it.
A 3kw kettle would use 3 "units" of electricity in an hour... 1 unit in 20 minutes... 1/20 unit in each minute...
So check the kw rating on the kettle (3kw is max for a 13amp socket), time it, calculate the units used and multiply by your cost per unit.
No need any kit for that.

Where such a meter does come into its own though, is when a load is only on for a fraction of the time. Such as a fridge or freezer.
ken69

free hot water

Don't actually use the hot water cylinder other than for clothes washing once or twice a week (usually once).Still looking for information on cold water clothes washing and if that works out won't even do that. Possible savings 20-30 pa
A kettle in the morning does a large pot of tea plus personal washing, then a quick electric shower.Then minimum in the kettle during the day for cups of tea and coffee.
No real point in heating up a big cylinder just for one, altho there is a residue of warmth for two days after clothes washing.
Cylinder is standard foam insulated.Do you think Dougal that if I super duper insulated the cylinder it would pay to use it.
If cold water washing works out, possibly can switch off pilot light of gas system during the summer, savings perhaps 10-15 a year.
Have learnt a lot from this site. Double curtains is the latest project and insulating a fridge freezer inside a wardrobe.Was given 5 sheets of 2" polystyrene slabs 8'x4' so some will be left over for when doing the solar panel. Cheers for now.
Lozzie

Hi there Ken - I don't see why cold water washing wouldn't work. I remember learning that soap works equally well in cold water as cold, certainly when washing your hair or body! Warm and hot water is just more comfortable to the skin, obvioulsy. Why would cold water not work with fabrics?

I found this, on an American website:

" Next laundry day, try washing white clothes in warm water. Afterwards, spend a few minutes inspecting the results. If satisfied, try washing the whites in cold water next time. Settle on the coldest setting that satisfies you. You may find that hot water is needed to wash white clothes only once every few weeks, or few months, or not at all."

Do come back and let us know how you get on, won't you?
ken69

free hot water

Will do that Lozzie....have been setting it to 'refresh wash' lately, after hearingan expert on tv ( a large lady on a bike) saying that was the way to go. Tea towels look a bit grubby tho, so perhaps will soak 'em first.
Lozzie

Re: free hot water

ken69 wrote:
Will do that Lozzie....have been setting it to 'refresh wash' lately, after hearingan expert on tv ( a large lady on a bike) saying that was the way to go. Tea towels look a bit grubby tho, so perhaps will soak 'em first.


We know that "large lady on a bike". She's cooooool Cool

ken69

free hot water

Getting there, Lozzie, getting there.
Still lots to do.
giraffe

We've found that doing a "quick" wash at low temperature with a tiny amount of detergent (maybe a couple of tablespoons of powder) works fine for all our clothes.

You don't need to bother with fabric softener - you can get little nobbly plastic balls which soften the clothes as they are banged against them in the machine. They cost about 10 but last for ever.

Every few weeks we'll be really bad and do a "proper" wash to get any lingering stains out of whites and put in tea towels, towels oven gloves etc.

We recently got a brilliant new washing machine which is very eco friendly (AAA rated) and washes really well. It's certainly the fanciest model I've ever had - it's got little lights on the dial and beeps to let you know the cycle has finished, as well as a display which tells you how long the clothes have left! The only downside is a "proper" wash cycle takes three hours!
ken69

free hot water

Yes Giraffe, just done a 'refresh wash', but see there is an even lower setting 'gentle refresh.'
Am fortunate that this machine , a Hoover Ecologic, is still going, got it free plus 10 to take it away some ten years ago. Like the idea of 3 A's and plastic balls.
As ever will wait until after Xmas, with lots of heavy hints.
When I get this solar panel working, next summer, hope to feed it with super filtered rainwater and use an old twin tub, which still keep appearing and sell for nothing in the local auctions.Cheers for now
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