1. Reminds me of an observation I read over the weekend: in movies and television, people turn on the shower and step right in, while in real life you always wait for the water to hit the proper temperature.

  2. That’s gotta be it.
    Or maybe it *turned* cold with Dad already showering, when the kid exhausted the hot from elsewhere in the house.

  3. Ah, Dad jumping is probably it. I was trying to figure what or who had dropped down from the floor above, and why.

  4. I voice all kinds of praying phrases when the water goes too cold in our tight ~1940s’ in-the-wall shower. It still has separate hot and cold valves and the space is so small that one has to go slow when looking for them with eyes closed, or risk smacking an elbow into the tiled wall.

  5. Hotels often have circulating pumps that keep the hot water moving in the pipes, so you can turn on the shower and jump right in.

    In movies and on TV a man coming out of the shower always puts a towel around his waist even if there is no possibility that anyone else is in the hotel room with him. Does anyone do that in real life?

  6. But in a hotel shower, don’t you wait until you’re sure you’ve adjusted the temperature properly, since you have no idea how the settings work?

  7. Mark, there’s a reason for that on tv and movies, of course.

    The same reason men and woman sleep under a z-shaped blanket that comes up to the man’s waist and the woman’s neck.

  8. I wrap the towel around even at home, because I need to finish drying out of the shower and that’s a convenient way to keep the towel from dragging in the floor while drying my lower body.

  9. B.A.: I like that description. It’s so bizarre.
    Brian: I prefer to dry off in the shower area, where it’s warm.
    Mark: My wife does the towel thing, although there’s no one here but me. She doesn’t dry off in the shower area. Different strokes, eh?

  10. As to Bill’s observation: my German war child father made the exact opposite observation: he always bitched about those damn wasteful Americans depicted in film and TV who turn on the precious water resource from outside the shower, and then walk off to do other things, leaving it running, all because they’re too precious to deal with a little bit of cold water! He would also turn off the water while soaping up.

  11. @ larK – These days Germans have it much better: the circulation pump that MiB mentioned is fairly standard in newer homes. When I turn on the shower in our house, it only takes a second or two to get warm water.

  12. @ Brian – For the pump to work, the hot water line has to be planned and installed as a loop. You can’t just add the pump to an existing system, unless it was designed for one.

  13. One of the things covered in the Car Talk newsletter is reprints of the puzzlers feature from the old radio show. Just a few weeks ago they had the one about how can they provide nearly-instant hot water on even the upper floors of a hotel, without a satellite boiler or anything like that? And I remembered it from years ago on the radio, when it was something I couldn’t figure and was surprised and pleased to learn.

  14. For the pump to work, the hot water line has to be planned and installed as a loop. You can’t just add the pump to an existing system, unless it was designed for one.

    There are two types of systems. One uses a dedicated return line. The other used the cold water pipe as a return. This is suitable for existing plumbing not originally designed for recirculation.

  15. @ Brian – Obviously you’ve researched the options, but it seems to me that the latter solution would result in lukewarm water in the cold water line. If I had to choose, I’d prefer to wait for hot water, rather than for fresh cold water.

  16. Life changer for me:
    In my college dorm, where I didn’t have a great place to dry my towel in my room, I noticed a guy in the gang shower did a preliminary drying by using his washcloth on hair and body. From then on, I’ve had a towel that dried in an hour or so instead of half a day or more.

  17. I have not used one of the systems, but the online information indicates that the cold water is of course warmer. So it would be up the user which was preferable. I would suppose that the main reason for cold water would be drinking, so one could do something else in that regard.

  18. Cold water to drink goes thru a filter in the refrigerator; we never drink tap water in FL, where we now have to have a water softener.

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