Hot or cold water from pot filler?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by bethy41, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. bethy41

    bethy41

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    My recent kitchen renovation included a pot filler over the stove. Although I specified cold water, the contractor mistakenly connected it to hot water. Correcting to cold water now requires removing tile, opening the wall, running new pipes, etc. The contractor says it doesn't matter and that traditional advice about cooking with cold water reflects old restaurant boilers that may have been rusty. Obviously he doesn't want to fix the problem, but frankly I'm dreading the intrusion as well. How important is it to start with cold water in cooking?
     
  2. suzanne

    suzanne

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    It's not so much a question of potentially rusty water; it really depends on what you're cooking. If it's pasta it doesn't make all that much difference; you won't be adding the food to the water until the water has reached a boil. If it's potatoes, and you prefer to start them in cold water, it could make a difference. (There are different schools of thought about the right water temp. for starting potatoes.) And if you're making stock, the water temperature matters a lot. You never want to cover your bones with hot water; starting them in cold allows the loose proteins and impurities to rise to the top gently and be removed easily, while starting them in hot can make the loose proteins much more likely to glom up and cloud your stock. So take all that into consideration to help you decide whether or not to have the contractor fix what he messed up.

    (I have to deal with contractors for my apartment building, and I would never, ever let them just walk away from a mistake like that. They messed it up, they should fix it as fast as possible -- ALL of the necessary work.)
     
  3. scott123

    scott123

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    Rust has nothing to do with it. The safety issue is that hot water leaches more lead/contaminants from the pipes and the solder used to weld the pipes together. By law, new houses (built post 1986) can't have lead in the pipes/solder, but they may have other nasty stuff. I would cook with cold water.

    From the Minnesota Department of Health Website:

    Use cold tap water and heat it on the stove if you need hot water for food preparation. Hot tap water absorbs more lead from pipes and pipe solder. Let tap water run for at least two minutes if the water has been standing in the pipes for 6 hours or more. This flushes out the water that might have absorbed lead from the pipes or the solder that joins the pipes together.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/h.../npa/lead.html
     
  4. panini

    panini

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    I'm not a plumber by any means. I thinking that there is a location somewhere where those two line are close and accessable where the hot can be capped and the cold can be tapped.
     
  5. scott123

    scott123

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    I was thinking the same thing. Moving the tile?!
     
  6. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    It doesn't matter what the contractor told you about cooking with hot water. It's not what you wanted, have him fix it.

    The cold water is nice to have because you can knock down a boiling over pot real quick. You could do it with hot too I guess since it's not boiling. But it's quicker with cold.

    But the thing about the stock... yeah, you never wanna start your stock with hot water.

    But nevermind all of that. Just tell the contractor to fix it. Plain and simple.
     
  7. geebs

    geebs

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    Hi Everyone. This is my first post here so be gentle :)

    If the contractor did not do what you requested then you should make his do what he promised to do. It sounds to me like he is just trying to get out of doing work.

    Personally I would prefer the hot water. It is true that you do not always want to start with hot (potatoes and stock are two good ones as others have already mentioned), but for me I find that more often then not, I start with hot.
     
  8. panini

    panini

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    OK, I'm grabbing my tool belt. I carry everything I need, a small hammer for the little problems and a large one for the bigger problems,with my special little string holder for my duck tape, Tell me where to go :D

    You really need cold, right? what about boiled eggs and thing like that.
    I'm editing myself because it's not really funny for you. I'm really sure if you look hard enough there is some way to get cold water to that installed pipe without ripping out tile. If you have to do major thigs then ,oh well. He or she will just have3 to do it
     
  9. tuboe

    tuboe

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    Having cold water out weights the hot water for cooking in the long run. I would force the contractor to do the job right. I'm in a new home, myself and I'm after them to fix the small things that they missed, they finally painted my atrium door after 5 months. Keep on them.
     
  10. scott123

    scott123

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    Welcome to the forum Geebs. That's some impressive photography you have on your web page.
     
  11. geebs

    geebs

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    Thanks for the welcome Scott123 and thank you also for checking out my photos!
     
  12. headless chicken

    headless chicken

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    Dispite the fact that cold water is better to use then hot, the contractor still made a big booboo and should be held accountable. Bethy41, if you've got a written contract that clearly states that hot water was requested and that the contractor refuses to fix or reinburse you for their mistakes, you've got legal grounds. Nasty idea but they made a mistake and aren't willing to fix it, I wouldn't stand for it even if it was for a greater good.

    You ask for oranges and get apples, I'd be complaining!
     
  13. benjasmin

    benjasmin

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    I know the original post on this was quite some time ago so I hope someone is reading this and can help. My question may seem dumb, but my wife and I are in the process of remodeling our kitchen and want to make sure we don't make any mistakes. So here it is: when putting in the pot filler the contractor asked us if we wanted hot or cold. We did not know the difference so we said hot. Come to find out hot pot fillers in the style and price range we want are few and far between. We dabble in cooking every now and then nothing big. Would putting in the cold pot filler on the hot water outlet have any adverse effects?

    Thanks in Advance
     
  14. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Cold. Definitely cold.
     
  15. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    Hot water brought to boil doesn't taste as fresh as cold water brought to boil. This might not matter as much in some things, but for others it would.

    I'm thinking that the reasons for the taste differences are 1) leached substances due to temperature 2) leached substances due to longer time sitting in the pipes and 3) much lower dissolved oxygen in the hot water. I don't have a reference for my suggestions, but I definitely notice a difference in taste.
     
  16. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    You can make cold water hot faster than you can make hot water cold, and when you need cold water in the kitchen, it's normally NOW!
     
  17. deltadoc

    deltadoc

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    I would never ever use hot water from the hot water heater for cooking. Besides the obvious ability to dissolve stuff in your pipes, you don't know what's growing in the hot water heater. Even if you have it set at 140 F the hot water heater has a sensor that waits until the water temperature falls a certain amount before it turns on and heats the water again. If they can find living organisms in hot water geysers at the bottom of the ocean (and elsewhere) you really don't know what might be in that hot water.

    I wouldn't take the chance. And as others have pointed out, cold water heated up will be better tasting.

    Anyway, how far from your pot filler is the hot water heater? It certainly isn't going to be hot water coming out that filler immediately anyway. Just like it takes awhile for the hot water to show up on my tub or sink hot water faucet.

    doc
     
  18. ashley

    ashley

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    We all know it is much quicker and more convenient in your busy schedule to throw some water in a pot and boil it for your instant coffee, instant cereal, top-ramen, spaghetti, etc. But there are reasons you should never use water from the hot side of the kitchen faucet, even though it saves you about 5-7 minutes.

    Here comes the science:

    The insides of a hot water heater contain metals that can, and do corrode. Some of the pipes in your home that are not made of PVC may have lead soldering. Hot water will dissolve metals, especially lead, much quicker than cold water will. Not to mention that over the years of daily use of drawing gallons throughout the day in cycles causes the water from the local utility, with all of it's impurities to collect and precipitate in the bottom of the hot water heater. This is a prime breeding ground for bacteria. Perhaps they cannot survive in an environment where the water is around 140°, but as soon as the water cools down enough due to a power outage or extended leave (if you turn off your water heater), all the necessary nutrients are there in an 80 gallon soup.

    I personally saw a demonstration by a company that was in the business of manufacturing and selling water distillers for the consumer market. They had 2 five gallon glass jugs filled with water. One of the jugs was filled with with the water that been taken from an 80 gallon water heater that had been in use for a few years, and boiled down from 80 to 5 gallons. The other was filled with distilled water. While the distilled water was crystal clear, the other had a 3 inch layer of precipitate containing heavy metals, impurities, and bacteria. Truly a revolting sight. Also, ask any gas or electric utility worker or plumber who does work and repairs on water heaters and they will confirm this and probably offer a few horror stories of their own.

    If you plan to cook with tap water, run the cold water for a minute or so and use that cold water for your cooking. You may want to save the 'non-potable' water that you flushed from the pipes as you can use it for cleaning and such. And by all means, NEVER draw warm water for infant formula. Since infants are developing at a rapid rate, they are much more vulnerable to the concentrations of impurities and lead and could potentially get lead poisoning from warm tap water.

    Lead toxicity and water treatment information taken from the following pamphlet
    Cooperative Extension Service
    University of the Virgin Islands
    #2 John Brewers Bay
    St. Thomas, VI 00802-9990
    (340) 693-1080
     
  19. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    .........a demonstration by a company that was in the business of manufacturing and selling water distillers for the consumer market.

    that should tell you everything you need to know.
     
  20. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Have you ever tasted water out of a hot water heater? Do a side by side taste comparison. Should be an easy decision after that. Not to mention Kuan's spot on comment about the needing cold water NOW.