Living in Mexico

Ask Allan: In Hot Water!

Allan offers some advice on getting the most out of your water heater

By Allan Lockhart, Owner of North American Standards Property Management and active member of the Seaside Rotary Club in Playa del Carmen

Hi Allan, I have been a full-time resident of Playa del Carmen for more than four years. Do you have any insight as to why my water heater has become less effective as time goes by? There is less hot water and the water is not as hot as before. I have the temperature setting as high as it will go. Thanks, George

Hola George, thanks for your question. I have a few ideas as to why your water heater might not be performing as well as it should.

The water here in Playa del Carmen can be very high in calcium. Most condo complexes that have been built in the last 10 years are all electric. If you have an electric water heater there is a very strong possibility that your electric heating element is coated with calcium which renders it less effective. There is also a possibility that the water heater has many inches of calcium sediment on the bottom. You or your property manager should be performing annual inspections which include cleaning of the element, draining your hot water tank and cleaning it. If you’re doing it yourself, turn off the heater and water supply, unplug it, drain the water from the tank with the drain on the bottom of the heater. You will probably find a few inches of sediment on the bottom of the heater. Flush out this sediment by adding water and keeping the valve open on the bottom until there is no more sediment coming out the bottom. Cleaning can be done by soaking the elements in white vinegar, being careful not to damage the element. If this does not work, you should probably replace the element. If you have a gas heater, I would have someone check the flame and make sure it is sufficient to heat the water in the tank. To clean your tank, you should follow the above procedure.

Hopefully, this will solve your problem and you will be having warmer showers in the future. Thanks again for your question and have a very happy 2017. Allan 

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