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Do hot and cold water really SOUND different?

Have you ever been waiting for your shower to warm up and noticed that the pitch of the water changes when the water is warm? The hosts of my local radio station were talking about that very thing on my way to work a few days ago. The female host said that she knows her shower is ready because the water sounds different. I agree with her. The male host thought that people like us (who think the shower sounds different) are nuts. Do hot and cold water really sound different? The girls and I decided to try an experiment…

Do hot and cold water really sound different? Why do they sound different? Let’s explain…

Water changes it’s viscosity, or stickiness, when it’s temperature changes. Cold water molecules move slower than hot water molecules. Therefore, cold water is more viscous or sticky than hot water. Because cold water is more viscous, it pours in a more steady stream, splashes less, and bubbles less than hot water. This makes the pitch of cold water a lower sound than the pitch of hot water. Interesting huh?

hot and cold water really sound different

If you didn’t catch it the first time, watch the video again and turn up your sound. Judge for yourself if hot and cold water really sound different.

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