Eco-Friendly Tips for Washing Dishes

March 10, 2005

Use the same cup or glass throughout the day to save on running the dishwasher more often.

By Davey


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3 Questions

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Does anyone know if there is any harm caused by turning off water heater when I am not home? Since I am not home all day, I am considering turning off water heater at circuit breaker when I leave. Can this cause any problems to the heater?

By Susan Mickelson


June 29, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

It shouldn't cause any problem. Just have to wait for water to warm up after you turn the unit back on. You could also investigate having an electrician install a timer on the heater so it would turn an hour or so before you get home. Then you would have hot water when you get home. Only problem would be possible pipe freezing in winter.

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June 29, 20111 found this helpful
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You won't save much if anything on a daily basis. It just takes longer to bring it up to temp on your return. Although when I am gone for days as on a trip I do turn it off, both to save and for safety. I also turn off the laundry water in case of hose bursting. It would not hurt the water heater but may wear out to breaker. They are not intended to be a switch.

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June 30, 20111 found this helpful
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It should not cause any problem to turn it off, but it will need more power to heat the water from the start, so I do not think it will be a great saving. Instead, during warmer days, you might lower the thermostat, you do not need very hot water in summer time. If you need a small amount of very hot water, just put the kettle on.

Anyhow, never turn off the water heater in winter, as the water might freeze in the pipes and the heater, and the water would leak on the electrical system (which in France) is under the heater. Imagine what it can do.

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July 4, 20116 found this helpful
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We have been doing this every day for years with our electric water heater, summer and winter. The water will still be warm 24 hours later. It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes for it to get back up to full hot water. It also has never damaged either the heater or the breaker. There are timers made just for this problem tho. Our electric bill fell to 1/2 of what it had been. Nobody believed us until they saw our bill compared to theirs! LOL, Kathy, Ms.

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June 11, 2005

Tips for conserving energy while you wash dishes. Post your ideas.


June 11, 20050 found this helpful
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If you want to conserve water and electricity - don't use a dishwasher. A dishwasher uses 9-16 gallons of water per load and even the newest ones use about 7 at best.

We have a small two-sink unit. We put about 2 inches of soapy water on one side, wash the dishes, and rinse in the other side.

The best way to conserve is to use the "3 sink method". This is required by health departments in food establishments and this is what we used when we lived in Alaska and hauled our water from the well. We had three small dish tubs and put a small amount of soapy water in the first. Then we put some clear, cool water in the next two (if the dishes are clean, you don't need hot water to rinse). Wash in the first and rinse by running through each of the rinse tubs. When you have to carry 2 six gallon jugs into the house every three or four days, you learn to use only what's necessary to do household things.

Even here in the Arizona desert, we've learned to use about 3 - 5 gallons of water per person per day. (not including drinking water) Even with a water-saving toilet, one person uses 3 gallons in two flushes!

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September 3, 20050 found this helpful
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Something I do is when my dishes are done washing, I open the dishwasher and pull out the racks and let them air dry.

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