Kristian Lyngstøl's Blog

The Magic Power Elfs

Posted on 2009-08-25

They are magnificent.

I've got a 10amp circuit breaker dedicated to my kitchen, and both my dish washer and water heater can use up to 10amp each. Still, neither has to run 24/7 to operate, so the question became how to make sure that the two never run at the same time?

Luckily for me, the magic power elfs came to the rescue.

What you're looking at is a power switch with a timer. When pushed, it switches off my water heater and switches on my dish washer. After two hours - or until I press it again - it turns the dish washer off and the water heater back on. I've never been this ecstatic about a simple button. It cost me roughly 1400NOK with all parts included, but it's worth it.

The simplicity is wonderful. It's technically impossible to do something wrong. There are no dials and only ONE button. Without pushing it, it's not possible to start the dish washer. In other words; the dish washer and water heater are mutually exclusive.

The downside? It turns out the default "eco" program for my dish washertakes 140 minutes. Luckily, all the other ones are well within the 2 hour limit. (The timer can be set to a number of different times by removing the cover and using a screwdriver, but the next jump from 2 hours is 8 hours, which is too long)

I realize this might sound a bit lame to people expecting cool varnish hacks or wm-stuff. I know this isn't cool. Quite the opposite. In fact it ensures a lack of coolness during my showers when I get home from work.