How Hot Is Your Hottest Tap Water?

How hot is your hottest tap water? Or have you never wondered?

Sherlock Holmes: “(…) you have frequently seen the steps, which lead up from the hall to this room.”

Watson: “Frequently.”

“How often?”

“Well, some hundreds of times.”

“Then how many are there?”

“How many? I don’t know.”

“Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. (…) Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed.”

From “A Scandal in Bohemia” by Arthur Conan Doyle

Not sure yet how knowing the number of steps leading to my apartment could help me.* But the temperature of my hottest tap water – that’s a key data point.

“If you have a sink, and your hottest tap water is between 50 and 54 C, you’re in business.”

Tim Ferriss in 4-Hour Chef, explaining how to cook salmon without a pot, in a ziploc plastic bag.

I open one of my kitchen drawers that hides my recently acquired thermo-probe (following Tim’s advice on making steaks). I turn the tap all the way to the left, put the tip of the probe under the flowing stream of water and watch the digits climb. Thirty degrees Celsius. Forty. Forty-eight. Fifty. Fifty-three. Fifty five! We’re in business, Watson!


Why lament about limits to Trans-Atlantic travel, when there’s so much to be discovered within the walls of my home! (Another question calling for an experiment comes to mind: Do wet cats really dry faster in a microwave?)

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

There’s a lot to be learned about familiar places. Starting with our kitchens.

Sink-cooked salmon, anyone?


*If you really want to know, there are 138 steps leading to my apartment from the ground floor. I live on the 6th floor and there are 23 steps between each floor, ground floor counting as “floor zero”. 6×23=138. What’s interesting is that there are only 18 steps between my floor and the 7th, the last one under the roof. That means, my ceiling is “5 stairs lower” than all my neighbors’ on the lower floors. Ouch!


Photo by Filip Baotić on Unsplash.

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