Dear 100 Hour Board,
I've noticed that wherever there's two water fountains next to each other on campus, the shorter one always has colder water. Why is this? Is this true for every drinking fountain on campus?
-Tally M., inspired by Haleakala
Concealocanth and I decided to investigate your question in depth, because science. We divided drinking fountain water sources into four categories: high fountains, low fountains, high-volume water bottle fillers (henceforth known as "fwooshie things"), and low-volume water bottle fillers ("proto fwooshie things"). We also kept tabs on whether the fwooshie thing was on the higher or lower fountain, but it proved inconsequential.
This is a fairly standard high-low setup.
This is a high-low with a fwooshie thing attached to the low fountain.
This is a high fountain with a proto fwooshie thing.
We sampled 12 fountain sets in six buildings. Here is the table of results (all temperatures are in degrees Celsius, because science):
|Fountain ID||Low temp||High temp||Fwooshie setup||Fwooshie temp|
|Benson 1||10||10||regular high||16|
|JSB 1||9||9||regular low||20|
|JFSB 2||11||11||regular low||20|
|Wilk 1||10||7||proto high||10|
|Wilk 2||n/a||6||proto high||19|
|Wilk 3||12||n/a||regular low||13|
|Wilk 4||8||8||proto high||9|
And here is the mean, median, and standard deviation temperature for each type:
Finally, here are my conclusions:
- There is very little difference between the high and low fountains.
- However, the high fountains do tend to be ever so slightly colder.
- The fwooshie things and proto fwooshie things, especially the regular fwooshie things, give extremely warm water.
- Don't use fwooshie things to fill your water bottle.
- Seriously, don't.
-yayfulness and Concealocanth
Dear Sensitive Teeth,
Okay, I need to explain what Tally M. is saying. When your question first came into the inbox, I skimmed it and thought it asked "why is one water fountain shorter than the other?" I was pretty sure that had something to do with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is sometimes abbreviated ADA. I put a short placeholder answer in explaining this, and Tally M. was kind enough to point out that the ADA does not have any requirements for the temperature from either water fountain.
If it wasn't for the other writers, I would make so many mistakes like that. Thanks everyone!
I've always assumed that the shorter drinking fountain has colder water because it gets used less. If enough people drink from a drinking fountain fast enough, it won't have time to chill the water in its reservoir before it gets used. On the other hand, if a drinking fountain gets used less often, it's more likely that it can chill the water inside.