Taking things for granted – Getting in hot water

Do you know what this is?

Heater wand                                                                                                    It is an electric water heater.

Coming from a country where you turn on the faucet and hot water comes out anytime day or night, you probably have never had reason to use one (unless perhaps on a farm to keep the water trough from freezing or a similar device to warm bird “baths” in winter.)

Recently I read,  “You have to be  flexible to live abroad. Utilities seem to run on their own schedules…  If you get up in the morning and you have water, it is a good day. If you get up and you have hot water it is a great day.”

Thus has been the case, here in Taxco this winter. For some reason the water utility  has seen fit to deliver water in drips and drops, but not enough to keep the cistern full and unless the cistern is full, the water does not fill the tank on the roof that is my water supply. Without water in the tank, no water in the water heater, thus to bathe, I can either heat water on the stove and carry it up three flights of stairs (one being a wrought iron, circular stair that is dangerous enough without anything in my hands, let alone scalding hot water) OR use this device. How?

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First you fill a bucket of water, then, making sure the plastic cap on the end of the metal is submerged, you plug the cord into the nearest electrical outlet and you wait. After 10 minutes or so, your water will be hot.

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While you are waiting, you assemble the rest of your bathing needs, including a large bowl of cold water and a cup or small bowl to serve as your pouring container.

Be sure to heat the water hotter than is comfortable so that you can custom mix with the cold water and pour this over your head, suds up, and pour again to rinse.

This method is so efficient that you can wash your hair, body, and your underwear all at the same time, and perhaps even have enough left over to flush the toilet.

The whole process may take 10 minutes and uses, at most, a gallon and a half of water. Compare that to the average American shower that uses 7 gallons of water per minute (even a low flow uses 2.5).

So if you want to save water, you might want to try the bucket method. Luckily for those of you back home, the water is already hot and you can adjust the temperature perfectly, so all you need is a bucket.

Try it, you might like it? And just imagine the savings on your next water bill.

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