– Here’s a little insight about a typical dinner at the Rocca home. If I’m not making one of my grandmother’s ravioli dishes, I’m hitting buttons on my phone to maybe summon clam chowder to my door. This usually leaves me with between one and three dishes and a couple glasses. Then I take those dishes, put them into my dishwasher, where they sit patiently until it fills up or I run out of dishes.
Well now, you can clean up your chowder with a box on your counter. Here’s Albert Lawrence to explain. – How’s this for a crazy idea? Imagine a dishwasher small enough to place on counters with zero plumbing, heats water instantly and can be used anywhere in the world where there’s a power outlet. Meet Jerry Callahan, the man who turned that crazy idea into reality. – So Tetra is a very unique product.
It’s a self-contained dishwasher that’s super energy efficient and super water efficient, does a full two-place cycle in 15 minutes with a gallon of water. – I headed to Mt.
Pleasant, South Carolina, to visit Jerry’s company Heatworks, where I learned his dishwasher actually sprung from technology he developed for an innovative water heater called the MODEL 3. – It all starts with this. This is a resistance heating element.
The world has been using electric resistance heating elements basically since 1851.
What happens is, is this thing gets really hot, like 600 or 700 degrees Fahrenheit, and then transfers the heat to the water.
What that does is the minerals in the water get fused or scaled or calcified onto that, which almost immediately reduces the efficiency, really shortens the life.
All this scaling ends up falling off and getting in the bottom of your tank. – Oh gosh. That might have four or six inches of sediment on the bottom. – So what did you do about it? – So what happens when you have minerals in water? Well, it means that you can conduct electricity through the water. So I thought, well why not use the water as a resistor? So the only way to do that was advanced electronics and graphite electrodes, which transfer the electrical current into the water.
What that does is it increases the kinetic energy of the water molecules. They move faster when they collide with each other. They give it that additional kinetic energy in the form of heat instantly at the speed of light. – Jerry patented his water-heating technology and applied it to his countertop dishwasher. – So how does that translate into this beauty that we have? – Well, the first thing we have, of course, is our technology, and this a prototype for the thermal engine that goes inside of that.
It’s controlled by a circuit board much like this one.
Underneath here is a reservoir. You pour a gallon of water in, and it automatically separates into three different categories. One is for the first wash cycle, and there’s two rinse cycles.
And then there’s a pump in there that circulates.
We really love design and we thought, well, why not make it look fun? So for example, these are all modular racks, so you can pull this one out; this one is for glasses. This is for silverware, this obviously is for dishes and then we have a separate rack for if you wanna use baby bottles. – I wanna ask you about the design of this top right here because these nice waves, they’re visually appealing.
I’m wondering, is there any additional function to them? – Because the spinner, water comes up from the bottom, we actually decided we’d put some curves in here, which would help dissipate the water as it shoots up ’cause if it was flat, if a jet came up, it would go straight back down. – So can I now start the engines? Can we start the jets? – There you go. – Okay. Three, two, fun. (whirring) (Albert laughing) – Now we don’t have to just wash our dishes. We can watch our dishes, too. – It’s a dish watcher. – A dish watcher! (both laughing)