El Duraznito Part 2

Looking south in the morning

The escrituras for the land were ready so I made trip two to the finca today. The plan was to try to fix a few things and figure out what was broken I had missed before. My first generic comment is “the electrical is a mess”. That mess includes:

  • The electrical is split between an old FPE panel and a new GE panel
  • The new outlets in the kitchen are all wired incorrectly
  • There is “zip cord” run around to lights and such
  • Most of the house seems be be powered by a dual 15A breaker. Dual? WTF?
  • It is not clear how the power gets to the bodega and caretaker’s house. Or, more accurately, it does not but it is not clear how it used to.

No real surprises here — it is pretty typical of old houses in Guatemala. I will sort it out.

The first project was to determine why the water heater didn’t work. It was “hard connected” rather than with unions or flexible pipe. I started by removing the hard connection and lots of couplings, elbows and such on the inlet side. Unfortunately, the flexible pipe I brought was not long enough. So, that required a trip to San Lucas. (No biggie, I had to go pick up the escrituras from the lawyer.) In hardware store #3 I found what I needed.

The answer to this issue is two low water flow to turn on the heater. There is a mesh screen on the input and while I scraped the crud out if it, it needs to be replaced. Sometimes, the water comes on but it will be fine when I put in the new screen.

This is what one of the lemon trees looked like — after I picked about 50 lemons.

Other plumbing issues to deal with:

  • Leaking valve stem on what appears to be the main shutoff valve for inside the house. I brought packing but the packing nut is missing. This is going to be an interesting one to deal with as the valve in in a concrete column.
  • The bath tub has strange metal things on the sides (four of them, I think) maybe six inches up from the bottom. WTF?
  • There is no water in the caretaker’s house. It is pretty near the water tank so I think new pipe was run to the house and the caretaker’s house was just ignored.

I pruned lots of water sprouts (the branches that grow straight up) off various fruit trees. I had bought a cordless reciprocating saw and it worked great for the bigger ones. I also cut a big branch off a pine tree that was covering the entrance to the garage. So, we now have sort of a Christmas tree.

Looking toward the fruit trees from near the house.

That’s about it for today. Mainly I wanted to get some more photos up here. I want to get stuff done there and plant a garden but I am still working on one of our commercial rental units here in Guatemala City and the master suite on the house we currently live in. No one told me this is how retirement works.