Did You Know These Even Existed?

Did You Know These Even Existed?

Sep 3, 2007 |  by  |  Green Products  |  Share

livingwithed Did You Know These Even Existed?I was watching Living with Ed on HGTV last night and saw two products I never knew existed – first was the water powered garbage disposal. Invented by a NASA engineer and produced by Hydromaid, this disposal acts like a food processor, grinding all types of food into small bits. It consists of “five stainless steel blades, driven by a water-powered piston, [that] oscillate back and forth, mincing the food waste.” This baby will butcher nuts, bones, and practically all other food items that are usually tossed in the trash instead. What I find truly amazing is that this thing has been around since 1998 and it still seems to be barely known.

Makers of the Hydromaid disposal claim that the product is 20 decibals quieter than other disposals and that it uses about the same amount of water. Not surprisingly, back in 1998, after this product got a lot of attention at the National Housewares Show, In Sink erator, the disposal company goliath, claimed that “It uses an enormous amount of water…and takes five times as long as an electric disposer to grind the same amount of food.

For $300 it’s one of those things I’d really love to see in action before I would consider purchasing it. They definitely need a youtube video – something like this.

The second product I saw was the Vertex 90% efficient storage tank water heater. This just blows my whole tank vs. tankless water heater debate out of the water. I believe most tankless water heaters top out at 80-85% efficiency, so I’ve gotta talk to my neighborly engineer about this. He has some serious explaining to do.

Did I mention that Jay Leno owns one of these? God, now I really have to get one.

Thanks Ed, you made my day.


Useful links:

HGTV’s step-by-step guide to installing the water-powered disposal



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1 Comment


  1. Neighborly Engineer

    I checked out the specifications on the Vertex 90% efficient storage tank water heater.

    Let me clear up a concept before I comment on this specific product: The combustion efficiency of a gas fired water heater is not dependant on if it has a storage tank or not. The combustion efficiency is a function of the heat transfer technology employed.

    The exceptional combustion efficiency of the Vertex is common among water heaters using the “condensing” type of heat transfer technology. Standard efficiency water heaters either tank type or tankless tend to have an efficiency y of 78 to 86%. Without using the “condensing” technology greater combustion efficiency are impossible! Condensing combustion technology, in a nut shell and without any math or equations, can achieve efficiencies of 87 to 98% (depending on the entering water temperature) by using the heat contained in the flue gasses before releasing them in to the powered exhaust system. An easy way to tell if a water heater is a condensing type is to check to see if it has a power vent or power exhaust.

    So far we have been talking about combustion efficiency. But to properly compare tank and tankless water heaters you need to look at the overall efficiency which include both combustion efficiency and thermal efficiency. Thermal efficiency would be described as how well a tank type heater insulates the stored water in the tank. Of course a tankless heater has virtually no storage and therefore its thermal efficiency is not a good indicator of its overall efficiency. Note: some manufactures use the term thermal efficiency to mean overall efficiency.

    As you have heard me say before a tankless water heater has a higher overall efficiency as compared to a tank type heater because it does not have the “stand-by “ heat loss associated with a storage tank. In light of the above discussion, I must now add that the preceding statement is only true if you compare apples to apples. By that I mean condensing tankless to condensing tank type OR non-condensing tankless to non-condensing tank type. Clear as mud?

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