The high today in Doha was 14C. And guess what, our concrete apartment building has no heat! And neither does the water for our showers….
The reason is because every home, apartment, villa and complex uses the heat of the sun to warm water that’s stored in huge tanks on rooftops, and for houses, in back yards. As the temperature outside goes up and down, so does the temperature of the water that runs through our water lines.
Occasionally, these rooftop tanks develop pinhole size leaks and or get critters in them…
So, the first thing I learned was not to take a shower in the middle of the afternoon in the hot months. No matter how hard you try, you cannot get cold water out of the shower. It’s either very hot, super hot or scalding hot! There isn’t a drop of cold water to be found. And, no matter how sweaty you are because its 50C outside, it’s just not worth getting a 3rd degree burn in your own shower.
And now it’s winter. How do we cope?
Well – in the bathrooms we have this ‘lovely’ water heating tanks that are wall mounted.
In the fall, I would turn on the electricity to the tank about half an hour before I wanted to shower. And now, and since the beginning of December, the electricity to the water heater has been on 24 hours a day.
The funny thing is, you still can’t really regulate the temperature. The heater only heats the water so much….. You have to test the water every time before you dip your toes into that shower. What the setting was yesterday morning for a nice warm shower is not the same as this morning.
These water heater tanks are not all wonder and light though. Many leak and you have a cascading flood of scalding hot water. Some tanks have even fallen of the wall and crashed through the floor! My electrical light indicating the power is turned on or off seems to glow inconsistently. Is the bulb starting to burn out, or am I going to have a ‘maintenance and repair’ event?????