Dangerous Energy Saving Measures

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Worried Guy
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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 9/10/2011 9:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I just attended a party for some relatives. The event was held at one of the new lodges at the town park. It is a nice place with seating for 200 people, new furniture. full kitchen - very efficient setup. To be "green" the town has fitted it with the latest and greatest energy saving devices: energy star appliances, motion sensing lights, CFL bulbs, low flush toilets, etc.

After drinking a full can of Sprite, I needed to use the bathroom. As most of you know, I have a sling and it takes me 2.5-3 minutes to pee and empty my plumbing. Rather than do it in front of a urinal where others can see, I usually go into a stall, and drop my pants so I don't dribble on my front. The privacy of a stall also makes it easy for me to take all the time I need without feeling self conscious.

I walked intot he bathroom about 8:30 PM and the lights automatically turned on the instant I opened the door. I went into the stall, closed the door behind me, and began to take care of the business at hand.

about half way through, the lights suddenly turned off, leaving me in total darkness, facing the toilet with my pants around my ankles, dribbling pee into an unseen toilet. Not a photon was available for sighting purposes. I couldn't open the stall door to turn the light on. I couldn't move enough to activate the sensor. I just finished up and hoped I didn't deposit anything in my pants. (I did fine by the way.)

Now let's figure out how much did those two minutes of lost lighting saved? 6 CFL bulbs, 6 x 16 watts x 12 cents/kWhr x 2 minutes/ 60 minute/hr = 0.04 cents!
So, if they leave 25 guys standing in the dark for 2 minutes every day of the year, the town saves a total of $3.65 per year. How much did that motion sensing switch cost with installation? $60? $100? What a waste!

In the words of Kermit the Frog: "It's Not Easy Being Green" .

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6846
   Posted 9/10/2011 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Plus the bills for laundry and dry cleaning of drip-o-lated pants and socks that should rightfully be paid by the city as it maltreats the handicapped. Speaking of, does the HC stall have a sensor? I see a disabilities act problem here!

Worried Guy
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3730
   Posted 9/10/2011 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are sitting on the seat and facing forward, you can open the door and I assume that will turn the light on. If you are facing the toilet and peeing, you are committed, and must 'enjoy' your pee in total darkness.

By the way, the temperature outside is in the mid 50's. Any energy saved by using those CFL bulbs and timers is negated by requiring added heat from the furnace. I figure the actual saving is less than 50 cents per year.

I'll bet someone got a nice bonus for suggesting this "cost saving" measure.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2691
   Posted 9/10/2011 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
If you Eat more beans, the noxious clouds that arise from the stall as you attempt to coax the pee out may activate the sensor, or maybe the fire detector. Either way, you would have light sooner or later.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/11/2011 12:33 AM (GMT -6)   
We must create a market for the glow in the dark toilet.
Davinci Prostatectomy August15, 2011 RALP
Preliminary results clean
Family history of prostate cancer

Worried Guy
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3730
   Posted 9/11/2011 2:46 AM (GMT -6)   

May they can add a counter and thermal imager to the sensor.

Hey Sparkit.

I like the idea of a glow in the dark toilet. It also affords the user the additional benefit of light Adjuvant Radio Therapy or, to use the correct technical term, "Nuking One's 'Nads".

So do you install those control units? I can see where they might make sense in a climate that needs air conditioning. But up here we have heating degree days 11 months out of the year and the price of electricity is similar to the price of heating oil.

Jeff (Peeing in the dark in NY)

Post Edited (Worried Guy) : 9/11/2011 2:49:17 AM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 9/11/2011 4:47 AM (GMT -6)   

sorry Jeff - it's already been done -

I have been stuck in a stockroom in one of the stores I have worked in with the auto light switch at the entry door ... it's worse if you are down an aisle when it goes out .. and have to navigate shelving and glass bottles to get back to the door 20 feet away .... oops!

holographic hugs,

Post Edited (tatt2man) : 9/11/2011 4:50:10 AM (GMT-6)

Water Guy
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 2405
   Posted 9/11/2011 6:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Green technology the future of US job growth? I think not!
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