Watering the Plants

The Puzzler

RAY: My brother figured this out.

TOM: Well, I actually did, but you had to give me a hint. Because I said "condensation" and you said, "What do you mean? You have condensation on your toilet and you don't have three plus gallons of water on your floor."

RAY: That's when you were stymied.

TOM: No, no, you had to point that out to me and then I said, "Ah ha! Cold water!"

RAY: When the handle is stuck like that, you have a constantly renewed supply of cold water coming into the tank, which serves as a fresh vessel, so to speak (no pun intended) for condensation. Because it was summer and the air in the house was hot, and moisture from the room would continually condense.

TOM: Whereas if you had just filled up the tank and it doesn't keep getting refreshed...

RAY: It would reach equilibrium with the room. And there would be no more condensation, and the few drops of water that had been on it would have fallen on the floor and dried up and disappeared. They would have joined the moisture in the rest of the room. But with the thing stuck and the water going "shurshhhhh"--that tank was icy cold, baby!

TOM: Wow!

RAY: Pretty good, huh?

TOM: Excellent.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel