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Bathroom Burner

On conflicting needs, between odor and insulation
(+1, -1)
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Most bathrooms have a fan or a window. At various times a bathroom can become unacceptably odiferous, in which case the window is opened, or the fan is used, to get the odor outside the bathroom (and outside the house, also).

However, In the summertime a house may have an air conditioning system running. Cool air from the house is allowed to exit along with the bathroom odor. Naturally, other air--warm air!-- must enter the house to take its place, and the air conditioning system is likely to turn on, to cool that air down to a more comfortable temperature.

And in the wintertime the problem is much the same, involving the heating system and not the air conditioning system. Warm house air goes outside with the bathroom odor, which gets replaced by cold air that must be warmed up.

What good is it, having a highly insulated house to reduce one's electricity bill, if there is a glaring hole in that insulation, to deal with bathroom odor?

So, we need a more energy-efficient way to deal with bathroom odor. Thus this Idea....

A common type of wire that is used to convert electricity into heat is made mostly of nickel and chromium, and is known as "nichrome" wire. It is available in thin and thick forms (electric oven "burner" coils are often nichrome).

We want a short length of thin nichrome wire, say 1cm. We mount it inside a protective cage on the bathroom ceiling, and we connect it and a relatively ordinary small fan to the bathroom light circuit (if it doesn't already have a fan circuit to use instead). We keep the bathroom window closed, and if the bathroom has one, we also close down the ceiling-fan vent.

When activated, the nichrome wire heats up and glows red, and the small fan blows air across the hot wire. Odors will be destroyed as the heat encourages various stinky molecules to combine with oxygen. Since the wire is short and thin, a relatively small amount of electricity will be used, perhaps 25 watts.

When the air is cleansed, we shut the fan/wire off, until the next time it is needed. Only a small amount of heat will be added to an air-conditioned house in the summertime, and in the winter, the extra heat will be welcome.

Vernon, Feb 06 2012

Nichrome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichrome
For anyone interested in that alloy. [Vernon, Feb 06 2012]

English(?) usage http://www.jabberwo...er/jabberwocky.html
[mouseposture, Feb 06 2012]

English(!) usage http://www.poetrylo...llow/excelsior.html
[mouseposture, Feb 06 2012]

Airline water quality http://www.mindfull...er-Safety1nov02.htm
I wouldn't exactly panic about this but it bears thinking about. [AusCan531, Feb 09 2012]


       That sounds like quite a lot of energy, blowing the entire volume of air in the bathroom across a tiny hot wire. Also I'm not sure how this won't raise the temperature of all this air to the temperature of the wire, if the wire is actually supposed to be burning airborne particles. So, lots of energy use, and a nasty burning smell.
hippo, Feb 06 2012

       google "heat exchanger".
pocmloc, Feb 06 2012

       [21] Nichrome works just fine in your toaster in an oxygen atmosphere.   

       I have to agree that this will, by definition, have to heat the air to the ignition point if you want to burn the odor causing molecules.
MechE, Feb 06 2012

       21Q, Many modern stove vents simply have filters and vent back into the kitchen these days. I had to go that route when we rearranged our kitchen.
RayfordSteele, Feb 06 2012

       Toilet odour is mainly due to methane; Some people burn a candle in the toilet for few minutes, which burns out methane in the air, making toilet odourfree.
VJW, Feb 06 2012

       // but by american light-bulb manufacturing unions// Any links ?
VJW, Feb 06 2012

       //Toilet odour is mainly due to methane//   

       No it isn't. Methane is odourless.   

       As to the idea, you are planning to heat all of the air in the room (bit by bit) to several hundred degrees? Wow.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 06 2012

       Aww, shucks.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 06 2012

       <aside> [Bigs], do you realize that the page in your link uses both "beware" and "obsolete" as transitive verbs?<\a>
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 06 2012


       "I will not have my annotational brilliance reduced"
normzone, Feb 06 2012

       Beware can be transitive <link>
mouseposture, Feb 06 2012

       //Beware can be transitive <link>//   

       But "Beware" isn't a verb, it's an exhortation or command. It's synonymous with (and may be a contraction of) "Be wary [of]" or "Be aware [of]".   

       You can't therefore have a documentary which "bewares 'planned obsolescence'".
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 06 2012

       The OED calls it a verb, and says it can take a simple object. It's paywalled, but here's one of the sources they cite <link>
mouseposture, Feb 06 2012

       Well, OED would say that, wouldn't it?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 07 2012

       Okay, I didn't think bewares existed, and I still think it's, at best, an extremely dated usage, but...   

       Bewares is the third person singular of beware. As such, the phrase "it bewares" would, in fact, indicate it warns or alerts. Thus the usage is correct, just weird.
MechE, Feb 07 2012

       I agree that "bewares 'planned obsolescence'" is at least unidiomatic and ugly. "Beware the Jabberwock, my son" expands gracefully (to "Be wary (of) the Jabberwock..."), but "His father bewares the Jabberwock" does not, and does not even have a clear meaning. Is the article urging wariness of, or wary of, 'planned obsolescence'? Beware me not your 'bewares'!   

       [Edit] [MechE]'s simulpost does make a point, though.
spidermother, Feb 07 2012

       Agreed, inflected forms "bewaring of" and "beware to," might pass, but "bewares" is either a mistake, or an erudite joke.   

       "I stirred them a little together, bewaring ... that I drew not in breath neare the pernicious fumes" -- I. Newton, 1672
mouseposture, Feb 07 2012

       'Planned obsolescence' can be explained by simple price competition given 30 seconds of thought. All products have a limited life. Usually, there is one or two components that are the weak link which due to the physics of wear cannot be designed to last much longer beyond their typical life, at least cost-effectively. If the product is not repairable, then the money thrown at increasing the rest of the components in the product beyond the weak link are simply wasted money. These life cycles are largely predictable with proper testing and analysis. And wa-la, we have planned obsolescence without a huge conspiracy.
RayfordSteele, Feb 07 2012

       Two words: UV-C LED
reensure, Feb 07 2012

       //And wa-la, we have planned obsolescence without a huge conspiracy.// Where's the fun in that? Humans seem to have a deep-seated need to feel as if somebody is against them. Quote from... someone smarter than I: "The only real conspiracy is that there never has been any conspiracy. "They" are not out to get you. "They" do not care whether you live or die. There now, don't you feel better?" :-P
Psalm_97, Feb 07 2012

       re: bathroom odor and heating/cooling. Elimination of the bathroom=elimination of elimination odor/odour. Under "O" see "outhouse".
cudgel, Feb 07 2012

       Ever have to go in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter, in Wisconsin? *shudder* There's a good reason they switched from outhouses.   

       My aunt used to strike a match to cover the odor, but I never found that particularly effective. Just added another odor. Now we just spray some Febreze (tm).
Psalm_97, Feb 07 2012

       [Psalm_97] That's terrifying. The part about Them, I mean, not the part about your aunt.
mouseposture, Feb 08 2012

       Folks, in general the stinky gases in a bathroom rise toward the ceiling. So it should be enough to blow ceiling air across the hot filiment; you shouldn't need to circulate ALL the bathroom air across it. But "circulation" is an important concept; you want to arrange things so that it is easy for all the air near the ceiling to flow across the filament. Perhaps by adding some flow-vanes, sticking down from the ceiling.
Vernon, Feb 08 2012

       I don't smell anything that's already at the ceiling. Its only the air that actually gets in my nose that "gets up my nose."
AusCan531, Feb 08 2012

       If possible, do it in one breath and comeout. I use this technique in long distance flights.
VJW, Feb 08 2012

       [VJW] I think your approach makes sense: free-diving training for public toilet users would be a better approach. Some of the top free-divers can hold their breath for 10 minutes.
hippo, Feb 08 2012

       Don't you need cold water on your face to do that (diving reflex)?   

       Still a basin of chilled water's simpler than a bathroom burner, and probably safer for airplanes as well.
mouseposture, Feb 09 2012

       Not necessarily safer [mouseposture] See Link
AusCan531, Feb 09 2012

       //Safer for airplanes// Not necessarily safer for passengers.
mouseposture, Feb 09 2012


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