Monday, June 6, 2011

Solar Sizzled

Here's a little household adventure thought I'd share:

Last weekend, all four of us were out in the backyard, moving wheelbarrows of dirt (read heavy, red clay), weeding, moving stones, and just working hard. By the end of the 92 degree day, we we covered in grime and all needed showers badly. Especially the boys.

OLDEST: Streaks out of the shower in under two minutes.
ME: Hmm...What's with that?
YOUNGEST: Goes in for his turn. Point two seconds later: "THE WATER IS FREEZING, MOM!!!!!"
ME: "DH, Did you have any hot water?"
DH:"No. I thought you used it all up with the dishwasher and washing machine."
ME: What century do you live in? "Did you check the water heater?"

Apparently, one of the boys had knocked the hot water heater knob down to ridiculous, so I had to wait for another hour while it heated up something for me. And the conversation about freezing water (and what century DH lives in) turned to solar hot water heaters. Specifically the gravity fed hot water heater, aka güneş enerjisi, of our summer condo in Turkey.

ME: "Let me tell you a little story kids."

Almost every rooftop in Baba's hometown sports an ugly (usually orange) water tank connected to a solar panel. The system heats water very well and thankfully, the villagers don't have to chop down the forest to get warm water anymore. At the summer condo, we had an old-fashioned, gravity fed version. Mersin is steamy in the summer, so hot showers aren't appealing. Why spend the extra money on a pressure regulator?


In comes Mommy (the American bride) and HELLO! I practically lose the top layer of my skin the first time I shower.

You see, we lived up on the tenth floor and the gravity thing works a little too well when you're closer to the tank. Cold water from the municipality has more pressure, so I turned it down to let the hot water mix in, and then the hot water took over! I turned the hot way down and then the cold was too strong again. Ever try to adjust a knob after it's been in the same position for nine months? I inched it up and down, up and down, get the idea. The water was nice for a minute and as soon as I got under it, it would change. I think there was a malicious djinn living in that tap!

So for the rest of the summer, I stood outside the shower trying to adjust between scalding and freezing. And since there's no winning that game, I just got used to taking cold showers.

OLDEST: Looks at his dad. "You fixed that, right?"

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Sarah said...

This made me laugh out loud (sorry!), but I love the line "we lived up on the tenth floor and the gravity thing works a little too well"--I can picture it! Ouch.

Old Kitty said...

I have absolutely no idea about plumbing. I just expect the red tap to give me hot water and the blue tap to give me cold water and the spout in the middle to give me whatever temperature I like my water to be in! LOL!!!

But yay for solar heated water though!!!

Take care

Matthew MacNish said...

That sounds really annoying.

Jules said...

LOL, I had the opposite experience with my heater, housemate had it set to "Torch skin off." But I do love solar powered anything :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

PT Dilloway said...

I lived in one apartment where if you turned the hot/cold knob even the slightest bit it would go from ice cold to scalding hot or vice versa. Needless to say that made showers very interesting.

Colene Murphy said...

Ugh! That sounds terrible!! Man I love "normal" plumbing ;)

Carolyn V said...

LOL. Cute kids. Our water jumps between cold and hot too. I've learned to take them hot (they are very fast when it's too hot). said...

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