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Only an obtuse person would conclude that ANY more frequent / smaller load pattern saves water over less frequent but full loads.

Only a person with a reading problem would think I said that. I compared partial dishwasher loads to hand washing. I did not compare partial dishwasher loads to full dishwasher loads.

But that's still further along the graph towards "uses more water per dish" than the "uses less water per dish" point of waiting for a full load.

Somewhere along a graph of water use per dish, hand washing would use less than partial loads. I'm suggesting that is not at 50% partial load point on the graph. I would suggest that would occur at a lower partial loading. Graphs would be different based on brand of dishwasher since each one probably has different specifications. Where hand washing uses less water than partial loads would be dependent on person washing the dishes which may include size of sink, depth of water in sink, amount of water used for rinsing and method of rinsing. Since there isn't a universal answer, you would have to use rough guidelines. When Consumer Reports mentioned water usages several years ago when evaluating dishwashers, it mentioned on average a dishwasher used 5 gallons and hand washing used 20 gallons. Therefore, roughly one could guess 50% loaded dishwasher still uses 5 gallons but a hand washer uses 10 gallons if one assumes a 50% reduction in water due to a 50% reduction in number of dishes.

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