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Old 2018-11-12, 16:33   #1
irowiki
 
Sep 2018

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Default Laptop in washer!

I thought someone might find this amusing.

Backstory: I have an uninsulated garage and a washer machine that doesn't like freezing temps, so I would normally put a heat lamp (60 watts) on a freeze plug (turns on below 35F).

So I was thinking, why not a laptop running mprime? It uses 60 watts going flat out as well. So I picked my least favorite, the one I'll replace soon anyway (i5-2xxx), stuck it in there overnight and I think it does a better job than the heat lamp did because of the fan circulation.

Even has wifi in there.
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Old 2018-11-12, 19:53   #2
Mark Rose
 
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That's clever. I'm surprised the wifi works.
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Old 2018-11-12, 20:07   #3
kriesel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irowiki View Post
I thought someone might find this amusing.

Backstory: I have an uninsulated garage and a washer machine that doesn't like freezing temps, so I would normally put a heat lamp (60 watts) on a freeze plug (turns on below 35F).

So I was thinking, why not a laptop running mprime? It uses 60 watts going flat out as well. So I picked my least favorite, the one I'll replace soon anyway (i5-2xxx), stuck it in there overnight and I think it does a better job than the heat lamp did because of the fan circulation.

Even has wifi in there.
That's all well and good until someone tosses in some clothes and detergent and starts the washer. It could get both exciting and dangerous; the charger cord will not fare well in the spin cycle. My landlady in college reported once finding herself unable to let go of a washer because of some leakage current.

Is the lid plastic, or do you leave it open? Otherwise how does the wifi have a chance to reach the laptop?
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Old 2018-11-13, 03:03   #4
Mark Rose
 
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One solution would be to put the laptop underneath the washing machine. They're usually hollow underneath.
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Old 2018-11-13, 15:44   #5
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Fascinating, especially (as already noted) the part about the wifi still working.

Hopefully, the cord trailing out would prompt anyone to remove the electronic device (be it laptop or heat lamp) before doing the wash.

But what about the plumbing? Most washing machines use hoses hooked up to the water pipes. In an uninsulated garage, I'd be worried about the pipes (or hoses) freezing, especially if the garage is unheated -- which I imagine it would be, since it's not insulated.

But then, I don't know the layout. If your garage is attached to the house, and the pipes are in a shared wall, they'd probably be OK. Apparently, heating up the machine keeps the hoses warm enough that they don't get plugged up with ice.
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Old 2018-11-13, 18:10   #6
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I think I'd put the laptop on top of the washer, and trust the metal of the machine to conduct the heat around the outside. If you take off the rubber feet on the bottom of the laptop, the washer should make a rather nice heatsink.
If garage temps got below 28F or so, I'd put a lamp between the hoses entering the machine overnight. I imagine the garage stays 8-10F above outdoor temps, the washer is against the house wall (not an exterior wall), etc....
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Old 2018-11-13, 22:31   #7
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Creative and clever...you are onto something!

Last fiddled with by jwaltos on 2018-11-13 at 22:32 Reason: Used smiley instead of light bulb emoji..removed.
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Old 2018-11-16, 01:31   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
That's all well and good until someone tosses in some clothes and detergent and starts the washer. It could get both exciting and dangerous; the charger cord will not fare well in the spin cycle. My landlady in college reported once finding herself unable to let go of a washer because of some leakage current.

Is the lid plastic, or do you leave it open? Otherwise how does the wifi have a chance to reach the laptop?

The whole shindig is plugged into a GCFI outlet, she did wash my battery operated thermometer last year though. She said as long as the laptop is on the side she can see it shouldn't be an issue...

The lid is metal! It might help the WiFi situation that I'm using a cloud mesh repeater located a few yards away.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rose View Post
One solution would be to put the laptop underneath the washing machine. They're usually hollow underneath.
Hmm, I'll have to see if I can get to the bottom.

I was thinking too of a bank of laptops/desktops with the fans pointed directly at the side of the washer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VBCurtis View Post
I think I'd put the laptop on top of the washer, and trust the metal of the machine to conduct the heat around the outside. If you take off the rubber feet on the bottom of the laptop, the washer should make a rather nice heatsink.
This is a good idea too. Since the laptop is practically junk I don't mind sacrificing the feet, if it even has them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by VBCurtis View Post
If garage temps got below 28F or so, I'd put a lamp between the hoses entering the machine overnight.
I imagine the garage stays 8-10F above outdoor temps, the washer is against the house wall (not an exterior wall), etc....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
But what about the plumbing? Most washing machines use hoses hooked up to the water pipes. In an uninsulated garage, I'd be worried about the pipes (or hoses) freezing, especially if the garage is unheated -- which I imagine it would be, since it's not insulated.

Most of the exposed plumbing related to the washer has heat tape on it from the prior owner. The rest of it I just let a faucet in my far bathroom drip and it handles it. The irony is when I bought the house almost everything leaked, I fixed everything and almost froze the plumbing!

I used to run a heat lamp on the hoses but when we got the new washer, they warned me against any sort of freezing would kill it.

So last year I started doing the heat lamp inside, and in my testing, it seemed to leak enough heat out the back to keep the hoses safe. If it got super cold I'd probably do both.

This year I have 8-10 computers running prime out there (with more on the way maybe), so I'm curious how that helps the temp overall.

Last fiddled with by irowiki on 2018-11-16 at 01:31
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