Sans hot water

Our hot water heater went on strike this weekend. Can a family of three live without a hot water heater? Let’s see.

Do you need hot water to wash dishes? No, I think my dishwasher heats water to wash dishes.

Do you need hot water to wash clothes? No, I wash clothes in cold water.

Do you need a hot water heater to shower? Ideally yes, but in a pinch there are showers at gyms, swimming pools, or the workplace. There are also cold showers which have many health benefits, such as increased circulation and a nice boost of energy (better than caffeine). And finally there’s the sponge bath.  

Wikepedia sayz: Sponge baths may be practiced for hygiene or as a recreational activity. Recreational activity?

Sure, it’s novel to fill a tiny tub with water. It’s like camping, but in the comfort of your own home. Tonight we filled our largest pot with water and heated it on the stove. Then my daughter took a sponge bath, followed by an exhilarating cold shower rinse.

The process was quick (no need to linger), during which time I heard my daughter say “it’s not that bad.” 

Afterwards, I heard an enthusiastic “I did it!”

Followed shortly by “can I change my Facebook status”?

There you have it. Hot water is optional. At least for a few days.

What do you think? Can you live without hot water?


12 thoughts on “Sans hot water

  1. We survived! Last October I went downstairs to start a load of laundry (cold water) and found a large puddle where the hot water heater is. I thought our oil-fired heater went (would cost about 2 grand to replace) but thankfully, it was just the spigot on the side ($80). We went 4 days without hot water. I heated water on the stove for dishes (totally forgot the dishwasher heats the water) and for baths. It was more work but, it reminded me of my winter days at the camp when we would drill a hole in the ice with the auger and scoop water out to boil for dishes, toilet flushing etc. So it was very calming to me. (but not hubby or son!) Would I live like that permanently…no way!

  2. Hmmmmm… I do have a dishwasher and it does heat the water, but I don’t often use it, usually washing by hand. As far as heating on the stove and taking a sponge bath goes, all would be well until time for a shampoo. My hair is below my hips. THAT would be really hard. Besides, no way would my husband even consider it. He would be on the phone to get a new hot water heater in a flash.

  3. And here I was feeling like a pioneer because I sold my microwave today. :)

    What I love most about this story is your “non-freaking-out-ness” about the situation.

    I used to transcribe articles for a medical doctor years ago and remember the one on healthy skin – he said to not use soap daily except on areas likes armpits and groin. Soap on skin every day is too harsh for most people and contributes to dry skin and premature aging. He recommended sponge-bathing as needed with showers only several times a week. And that was 20 years ago!

  4. I love the part about your daughter screaming out, “I did it!” Just another reminder that making things easy for your kids or taking away the challenges is not necessarily the best thing for them.

  5. I’ll be honest and say that ‘no’, I could not live without hot water. Well, we live in a 3 story walk up & we’ve had our water turned off for a couple days while repairs were being done, but it was on at night, and when it went on, let me tell you, the sink was filled with HOT water for dishes, and there was a line-up outside the bathroom door for HOT showers. lol!!

  6. If you are heating of water on the stove and your dishwasher is heating the cold water up to make it hot, you are still using hot water!
    Am I not understanding something? I mean, yes, you are not using the hot water that gets heated in your hot water tank, but you are not living without hot water. You are heating up water on the stove so you are using energy and the dishwasher also uses energy to heat the water. Please explain.

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