# Coffee pot argument

You are confused between heat and temperature.
Yes, a heat element generates a fixed amount of heat. But the temperature it is at is also dependent on on how good a heat sink the load is. If the heat sink removes less heat, the temperature goes up. If the heat sink removes more heat, the temperature goes down. Yet, the heat production is still the same.

Of course it does. Because what is on the platform _is_ part of the heat sink. A pot of water on the platform is a better heat sink than an empty platform. The platform (and hence the heating element via heat conduction) will have a higher temperature if there's nothing on it. It will have a lower temperature if something is on it.

Of course the heat output doesn't change. But that says _nothing_ about the temperature of the platform.
As a much more obvious example, this is why water heater elements burn out when the tank is empty. When the tank is full, the elements _cannot_ have a higher temperature than the water. When the tank is empty, there's no heat sink, and the temperature rises very fast, well above the boiling point of water.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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On 30 Nov 2003 07:20:27 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

No, I'm not.

We're not talkin' about the platform, Chris. We're talkin' about the heating element...and whether it will burn out without a pot on the platform.
It won't.

We're talkin' about the heating element, Chris.

Really bad analogy....and not entirely true, either.
Stove elements don't burn out if you don't have a pan on the burner. Hot plate burners don't burn out if you don't have a pan on the burner.
And coffee pots don't burn out of you don't have a pot on the plate. Actually, an empty coffee pot might even be a poorer heat sink than just an empty platform.
Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving season...
Trent
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On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 14:16:53 GMT, Java Man (Espressopithecus)

But the OP wasn't talking about a boiled-dry situation, which is obviously what many of us have experienced. Just a small amount of liquid left, "scalding hot." (Of course in this situation, one *assumes* the pot goes dry frequently, but that wasn't the question.} If there's *some* liquid left in the part of the pot that remains in contact with the warmer plate, doesn't seem as if there'd be a great deal of difference between a full pot and a half-inch. AFAIK, warmer plates aren't particularly sophisticated in the way of generating more heat for a full pot and less for a near-empty one. They just sit there at a constant temperature. The plate being essentially 'cooled' by the radiation/evaporation of a full pot *might* be happier than one that stays at the basic 'warmer' temperature, but what's it there for in the first place? I stick with my recommendation of twin pots for varied tastes, and never mind which wears out first.
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On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 14:16:53 GMT, Java Man (Espressopithecus)

Your logic is unique, Rick! lol
Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving season...
Trent
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wrote:

You are definitely right. Coffee sitting on a burner for hours would taste like \$hit.
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wrote:

No.
Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving season...
Trent