Sunday, February 8, 2009

The great snow experiment

We've been on a kick here to lower our utility use (and doing reasonably well .. not that this translates into lower bills).

Anyway, we have a big pile of snow outside, and I got to wondering: Could I melt enough snow to use for household things? (OK, I'll be honest here .. I'm talking about using it in the toilet tank)

I ran it past my friends over at the Dollar Stretcher forum ... they assured me I wasn't crazy, but also warned that I wasn't going to get any great amounts of water out of this.

So, I gave it a try. I filled a 12qt bucket with snow and put it in the bathroom to melt. After a couple of hours, the snow volume was down, but I didn't see any water. But after another 8 or 9 hours, I got water all right -- about 3 pints.

Not much, I decide, but I was willing to try again. So I filled the bucket again with 4-day-old snow and waited.

This time I really got water .. a little over a gallon. I'm sure there's some scientific reason. Or maybe I just packed the bucket more tightly.

It was an interesting experiment .. and hey, I got roughly 1.5 gallons of free water. But frankly, it is a bit of work. Besides hauling the snow in, the resulting water has to be strained (what is that stuff?). So I'm glad I don't have to do this on a regular basis!

1 comment:

Dr. Mom said...

I bet it would be great for plants, especially unstrained!

We have a lady who cleans our house every two weeks and she is deaf. One day she left my hot water running in the kitchen sink (she couldn't hear it), full blast on hot. She probably left around 11 am and I did not get home until after 6 pm. It raised our water bill by $40 and our gas bill by $20. I was very surprised that it wasn't more. I tested to see how long it took to fill a gallon at the speed that the water was going out...11 seconds.