Wednesday, April 15, 2015
in hot water
My new house is not only modern Mexican contemporary. In general, it is about as modern as a place can be.
So modern that it is green.
Well, part of it is green. The part that sends hot water coursing through the house's veins.
The green label, as you have already figured out, is appropriate because my hot water tank uses the power of the sun, as opposed to propane, to heat my water. (And, yes, I know. The solar cells contain toxic metals -- mostly from oppressive African nations -- and the whole shebang is probably made in Red China.)
About that little aside. "Probably made in Red China?" Most of the solar tubes in Mexico come from its former trade enemy. So, I assume mine do, as well.
I could answer that question by placing a ladder against the structure housing the water tank, and then reading the labels. The problem is: I have no ladder that tall. And for security reasons, I have put off purchasing one until I get back from the Orient.
Maybe I can then get a better idea how to control some of the idiosyncrasies of the heating system.
As you would expect, when the sun is out all day long, I have an adequate supply of warmish to hot water. But when the clouds block out the sun, as they did during our recent rainstorms, I have merely a hint of warmth in the water. "Tepid" is the word.
When I buy a ladder and look over the mechanism, I hope to have a better idea if something can be adjusted. Increasing the water temperature overall would not be a bad idea. I recall when I first walked through the house with the realtor, the hot water was almost scalding.
I know there are others out there with solar water heaters. Felipe, for instance. For a couple of days, I thought Felipe and I shared the same brand of heater. But mine is manufactured under a different. Mine is "Sunnergy;" his is "Solemex." Probably the same equipment with a different decal.
Whoever put mine together, I rather like its look -- a look you can see from almost every vantage in the courtyard or on the terraces. It fits right in with the lines of the house and adds its own bit of modern accessorizing. Sleek. Shiny. And a bit retro in a Jules Verne locomotive sort of way.
You can also see why a tinaco would not be a good roommate. A fat, squat tank would have The Odd Couple written all over it.
For now, I will let the hot water situation stand unmonitored. The irony of solar heat is that it works best when you least need it.
We will undoubtedly visit this topic again. Perhaps in a month or so.
And in a week I will be on my way to visit the solar system's maternity ward.