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Paul, I can understand wanting hot water to shave with. However, using hot water to rinse your dishes because they dry faster? :blink: I've never heard of this - but I haven't used hot water to wash dishes for a long time, so maybe I'm not up on all the dishwashing technology. I'm not sure I understand why it is important for your dishes to dry quickly?

 

I think you were lucky with your in-line heater. The small ones I have seen are in the 60,000 - 80,000 range.

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I also like the hot water from the tap to cook with, Eleanor, since it is already halfway heated partway up and that can help speed up a recipe.

 

The only problem with the little water heater I bought from my friend was the connector tube. It was made of pliable white plastic and finally came loose after it had gotten hot enough times. Luckily I was there when it happened and was able to close to stopcock under the sink right away and avoid a major flood.

 

My handyman went to the ferretería and bought a connector tube reinforced with nylon that was made for hot water and it's given me hot water ever since w/o any more problems.

 

No rocket science here Eleanor, but as to rinsing dishes with hot water, it's not unlike having a few drops of water left in the bottom of an emptied saucepan set back on the stove with the burner still hot from the residual heat of the cooking and that heat evaporates the water, leaving the bottom of the pan dry. Likewise, water evaporates faster off a heated china plate which I find helpful with the drying process in the humid CR tropics. Oh! And hot water also helps with washing greasy cooking utensils, pots, pans and things. It softens the grease and lets it mix more quickly with the dish soap.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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As I said, Paul, I've had no problems living in a house with only hot water for the shower. My clothes are clean and my dishes are easy to wash. The dish soaps found in Costa Rica are formulated to work in cold water as are the laundry soaps so I have never had a problem with getting greasy dishes clean - or any dishes. As for the drying part -- I'm sure there is some physics involved (not my best subject) but once I put my dishes in the drainer, I don't care if they dry in 15 minutes or 30 minutes. If there's something I need, I just whip out my trusty dish towel and dry it off.

 

Really, whole-house hot water is not a necessity in the tropics, just kind of a "luxury" really and many people feel it is necessary simply because it is something that North Americans (and Europeans) are used to. If someone's aim is "the simple life," it becomes just another complication.

 

But - what works for me doesn't work for everyone, and vice versa.

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As I said, Paul, I've had no problems living in a house with only hot water for the shower. My clothes are clean and my dishes are easy to wash. The dish soaps found in Costa Rica are formulated to work in cold water as are the laundry soaps so I have never had a problem with getting greasy dishes clean - or any dishes. As for the drying part -- I'm sure there is some physics involved (not my best subject) but once I put my dishes in the drainer, I don't care if they dry in 15 minutes or 30 minutes. If there's something I need, I just whip out my trusty dish towel and dry it off.

 

Really, whole-house hot water is not a necessity in the tropics, just kind of a "luxury" really and many people feel it is necessary simply because it is something that North Americans (and Europeans) are used to. If someone's aim is "the simple life," it becomes just another complication.

 

But - what works for me doesn't work for everyone, and vice versa.

 

True Eleanor, hot water isn't a requirement for everyone. And in the lowland tropics a hot shower may even be overkill and unpleasant. In that instance a tepid or cool shower becomes more refreshing.

 

As to washing dishes I use the solid soap that comes in tubs made for dishwashing and really like it. It does work well for greasy dishes and utensils but rinsing that soap off sometimes requires some extra sluicing under the tap. With the hot water (since I have it at the sink for shaving, primarily) I find that it does rinse the soap off more quickly -and then of course the dishes and utensils dry more rapidly and a towel of course speeds that process up when the dishes are warm, which is important for me with such a tiny kitchen, allowing me to put away the washed dishes sooner and then have that same space free.

 

As to the shaving with cold water, I have tried it and a blade lasts about four shaves that way before the blade is dull, so hot water became a must have since shaving under the shower in water that really got only fairly warm was not hacking it (no pun intended).

 

But again, to each his (or her) own . . .

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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Sorry, Paul, but all your answers seem to lead to one place: "I use hot water because I like it!" ;)

 

And if your shower isn't hot enough, you need to make some adjustments because I never have that problem, even when it is in the cool, rainy time of year. New shower head? Adjust the water flow properly? Expectation of very strong flow and very hot water at the same time?

 

I'm glad we had this discussion -- I think it might be helpful to some people who had not thought about the hot water/no hot water thing.

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I'm glad we had this discussion -- I think it might be helpful to some people who had not thought about the hot water/no hot water thing.

 

Well Eleanor, we're on the same page with this! And I also think such discussions provide a lot of information to others on the list and hopefully spark further discussion.

 

BTW, I wouldn't so much say that I like hot water per se; rather that I require hot water for shaving properly. The other reasons I cited are actually tangential to that making it only a convenience. Forsaking those which I can do without I would still want it for shaving.

 

Nonetheless, it is still to each his own, ¿que sí?

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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One of my heroes these days is a guy who lives in the UK -- on NO money. Yes, NO money. He lives in a caravan (camper) and just uses whatever he can find for his needs. My real problem with this is his food: he gets his food from discards from restaurants and by "dumpster diving." Not something I could do -- but interesting how he makes it all work.

 

Reading about how he lives makes my writing "simple life" to describe how I live seem very complicated!

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We are builing right now. $80.00 per square foot. $40.00 per square for the decks.

 

Gary

 

FWIW, we just completed construction of our 1700 sq foot home and moved in this past week. In addition to the house, there is about 1500 sq. feet in walkways, carport and terraza all under roof. We started construction on Nov. 28th, 2011 and our cost came in at $49.26 per sq. ft, only 1.6% over budget. I think the amount over budget is a direct result of some price increases we encountered back in February on steel, electrical cable and some other stuff.

 

Granted, we saved lots of money by managing the budget ourselves and we were on-site all day, everyday. We negotiated discounts on materials at 3 different suppliers and setup accounts for electronic payments. We handled all the building permits & construction workers insurance. We also arranged for the utilities ourselves. We relied on our civil engineer to draw up the plans to code, based on our detailed design. He was also responsible for inspecting the job site on a regular basis. We saved money doing it this way, but it is not to be taken on lightly. Fluency in Spanish is a must, along with knowing where to buy materials and how to select a building contractor. It was a very stressful project, and we had many sleepless nights working out some of the details. You know the kind of sleepless nights I mean, where the brain just won't stop thinking and let you go to sleep.

 

We are so glad it is all behind us now. We just have a short list of items that need to be installed. As soon as these are done we can unpack all the stuff we've had in storage since last year.

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TxTita -- sounds like you did a great job all the way around! Congratulations! Really good advice.......

 

Thanks Eleanor... In spite of the stress, it was fun to do and now we can take pride in our semi-Tico style house, with lots of "unseen" Gringo amenities.

 

We have a serious problem with water pressure in our little Tico neighborhood, so we fixed it with a 2500 liter water storage tank connect to a 60 liter pressurized water pump. Now AyA can cut us off when ever they want, we got a backup system. We also installed a 12 liter LP gas on-demand water heater. We converted both the dryer and stove we brought with us to use propane and this should cut down on our electric bill. Granted, the dryer only gets used when we go several days without sun.

 

We insisted our builder put all water lines and electrical conduit in the attic so there will be no broken lines when the ground shifts (I had that happen to me after an earthquake in Alajuela years ago. We had to rip up the living room tile to find the leak and the patch job never did match the rest of the floor.) Our builder was so impressed with this building technique, he says that's the way he plans to do it from now on.

 

We spent the extra money to put on a clay barrel tile roof and now we can actually hear each other when we have our afternoon downpours. I am amazed at how much cooler it is inside too. The tile is the perfect radiant barrier.

 

My husband is busy building shelves for the pantry and cuarto de pilas this week and it's going to be nice to unpack and finally have a place to put stuff. We've been living in our 30 sq. meter casita for the past year. It was so jammed packed, we barely had elbow room.

 

All in all, we are really pleased with how well everything turned out with the new Casa. I'm glad I can say this home is now our forever home.

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You could heat it in a pot for shaving if you don't have hot water. Or grow a beard. lol

 

Well Shea, in case you don't recall I do have a beard, but it must be trimmed and shaped. And non-beard areas still need to be shaved.

 

The problem with the hot water in a pot is that it cools off. Water from the tap can be adjusted to the desired temperature and will maintain that.

 

It seems fairly obvious that you don't shave. Mmmm.........or do you? (Sorry! Couldn't help myself.)

 

Cheers!

 

Paul M.

==

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