One item I would never have expected in a Woot-Off is a water heater, fercryingoutloud, but there it was, a little twenty-pound box that hangs on the wall and promises to keep you warm in the shower.
I wasn’t in the market — I’d replaced the water heater here last year — but I did pay attention to this little blurb in larger-than-fine print:
Not recommended in climates where average ground water temperature is less than 60°F. This unit draws 80 amps, please check your service panel for compatibility.
My gas water tank, of course, draws no amps. I concluded that this thing could melt down my 100-amp wiring in no time if I persist in such antisocial activities as turning on the lights. And what about that ground-water temperature? This document [link goes to PDF file] from the Office of Scientific & Technical Information had a tidy little map of such things, used for heat-pump analysis, and it appears the southern half of Oklahoma has a ground-water temperature averaging 62°F; the 57°F line more or less bisects Kansas. Florida and south Texas get into the 70s, while much of the Rust Belt is in the upper 40s and low 50s. Obviously this gizmo isn’t for everyone, though they did sell fifty of them in about twelve minutes. Inexplicably, there were buyers in Nebraska and South Dakota, way out of the 60-degree range; perhaps they’re buying them as backup systems.