Leslie vs. The House

Call me crazy, but I truly believe that my house has it in for me.

Murphy's Law states "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". That's exactly how I feel about my house. I refer to it as "The Battle of the Decade", because I feel as if I've been fighting a losing battle with my house for the last six years

Round 1: The Kitchen Sink
How often must one replace the kitchen faucet? Really, I'd like to know! In the last 5 years in our rental, we have had to replace the faucet atleast every six months. (I kid you not!) I don't speak maintenance, so bear with me as I try to explain.

The knobs on the faucet were busted and the faucet would leak. Changed it.

3 month later, the same thing happened. Changed it.

The pipe thingamajig where the water from the sink drains to, fell off. We have had two plumbers look at it. They applied some type of smelly glue to hold it in it's place. Didn't work. My hubby had a brilliant idea. He cut a piece of cardboard tube (that he uses to store his tapestry material) to stick under the pipe, holding the thing in place. It still works!

Faucet starts leaking again. Cold water knob not working. Bought and installed a new one.

Hot water knob not working and faucet leaks. Hubby fed up with having replaced it 5 or 6 times, decides to leave it as is.

I don't like it. Every time I need to turn on the faucet, I have to bend down and turn on the water under the sink. The cold water pipe is busted. Thankfully, the "hot" water is usually warm to cool. It only gets hot when we turn on the boiler.

My optimistic take on this is that neither I nor the kids will be wasting water. There's no way the faucet is going to leak if the water is usually shut off! Plus, the bending over is a great stretch, so it keeps me limber.

Today, the hot water pipe broke! Now I can't wash dishes at all!

Round 2: The Washing Machine
My house has 2 tinacos (water storage units) on the roof. The main tinaco (Tinaco "A") is located in the back part of the house and the other (Tinaco "B") is located in the front. When I turn on the water pump, water goes from my well to Tinaco "A". Tinaco "A's" water is mostly used for my lavadero (wash sink) and washing machine.

On a good day, I can run a large load of laundry in 55 minutes from start to finish. But then the house turns against me.

When I turn on the water, instead of a beautiful cascade of water, I get a slow, thin and barely visible ribbon of water. At this rate it would take 3 hours to do a load of laundry. My genius hubby usually removes the water pipes from the back of the washing machine and cleans the filters. After everything is re-installed, he watches as the cascade of water falls into the machine filling as it should.

But then as soon as hubby leaves the room, the water pressure disappears, leaving me with the something that resembles a leaky faucet. Hubby returns to jiggle things here and there and the water pressure miraculously returns. But when it's time for the rinse cycle to start, it starts all over again. It is really a vicious cycle!

After the mouse in the washing machine incident, the water pressure died. I couldn't get water to come out of the washing machine or the lavadero. A handyman came and cleaned out Tinaco "A", removed all of the pipes that run around the house and made sure that all was unclogged. Life was good. But it didn't last long.

Happened again at the beginning of September. It's nearly impossible to get anything fixed during Las Fiestas. So, to do a load of laundry, I had to fill buckets of water at the kitchen sink and carry them to the washing machine. Did you know that it takes 14 buckets of water to do a complete load of laundry?

I try to look on the bright side. My arms are getting a great workout!

Round 3: The Lightning Round
This electrifying round confirms my suspicions that my house has it in for me!

It started about 2 months ago. I went to use my microwave and when I pressed the button to open the door, I felt a little shock. Hubby's practical explanation was that it happened because my hands were still wet from washing dishes. I stopped using the microwave for a few days.

After observing my hubby and kiddies use the microwave with out any problem, I worked up the nerve to use it again. I bravely opened and closed the door, pushed buttons, including "Start". Feeling confident, I pressed the button to open the door and was met with another shock. Hubby explained that it happened due to my lack of shoes. This made no sense to me, because I never wear shoes indoors from Spring to Fall!

Again, I refused to use the microwave for a few days. Hubby and kiddies continued to use it with no problem.

My third (and final) attempt happened during a family movie night. My hubby and kiddies wanted popcorn. Without the slightest thought to my previous mishaps, I went to prepare the popcorn. As soon as I touched the microwave, I received an electrical charge that burnt 3 fingers and ran all the way up to my shoulder. It hurt like hell! Adios microwave. I made hubby remove it and store it in the back patio. There is no way that I was going to put my children at risk.

This cloud also has a silver lining...we are learning patience in heating things the old-fashioned way.

Final Round: TKO!
Today was the straw that broke the camel's back. It happened while my hubby and I were taking a shower. We were both lathered up in soap and shampoo when we ran out of water. But that couldn't be, because I filled the tinacos early this morning. We sent the older kids to turn on the water pump, and they confirmed what I already knew, the tinacos were full!

Our eldest son brought a handful of tools to my hubby. He removed everything in the shower and bathroom sink. No water at all. (Remember, we're still covered in soap!)

Hubby has concluded that the pipe that runs from Tinaco "A" to Tinaco "B" is also clogged. That means no water for the kitchen or bathroom!

After working with his tools for a few minutes, Hubby is able to get a little ribbon of water from the bathroom sink. We take turns, slowly filling a plastic cup with water so we can rinse off. What was supposed to be a quick shower turned into an hour long ordeal.

But Hubby and I are good sports. We couldn't help but laugh at our predicament. We are just happy that this happened while the weather is still warm. Had it been January, we might have frozen to death or at the very least caught a bad case of pneumonia.

Hubby and I have declared war on the house. We are determined to have everything repaired tomorrow. I pity the handyman that says no!

With Love,
Leslie Limon


  1. Limon's check your grounds and be sure you have one working on that microwave as well polarity (hot and neutral ac lines reversed?

    Trouble with water faucets is people tend to crank down on them too hard - solution - turm to off and no more.

    Reads as if you need some in line filter in your water system - minimize the clogging with filters going into your tanks.

    Keep showering together - you'll be fine! ;-)

  2. I have felt this way about things in our house - it seems things just break down more here in Mexico, without any apparent logic. I would definitely try to filter the water going into the tanks. I don't know about you but our water is very hard and needs softened/filtered or else my skin itches and it seems to rust everything quickly.

  3. Great post. Have had all the same problems at my houses from time to time, but, girl, you do seem to have a inordinate amount of them all at the same time! Suerte.
    What a nice hubby.

  4. So funny. I have some of these issues and more in my apartment in Honduras. I never like it when the water turn off when you are soaped up. My water is very very hot, which is a blessing in a way as the hot water scalds the germs. And it's fun to hear my guests shriek in the shower. Have fun!

  5. Sounds like the main problem is the hard water. Finding a water softner in town is probably out of the question. Look on-line to see if you can add anything in the tinacos that soften the water. Might be easier to rig up a filtering system. I would have thrown out the microwave after the first shock.

  6. Sorry to say it, but your husband sounds like a real goober... Prop up a waterpipe with a piece of cardboard? Leave the water main off to prevent leaking? Getting shocked because your hands are wet or you're not wearing shoes? Get serious. You could have been killed and it sounds like he could care less.

  7. CALYPSO: Thanks for the advice. After reading your last post, I mentioned it to my hubby. He has asked an electrician (not CFE) to come check things out. He will be here next week!

    Hubby replaced faucet, hoses and pipes in the kitchen this morning. I'm hoping that it lasts longer than a few months.

    As for the in line filters, we will be looking in to those!

    And I agree, things will always be fine if we continue to shower together!

    LEAH: We too have hard water. And yes, it seems that things break down faster in Mexico. And all at once.

    MEXICAN TRAILRUNNER: One tinaco gets clogged and the rest of my house falls apart. Somewhat like the domino effect! And thank you, I do have a nice hubby!

    LAURIE: Having hot, hot water would be welcome, especially during the cold winter months!

    CHRISSY: I'm going to take your advice and look online for some kind of water softener. I too, would have thrown out the microwave, but it has sentimental value. It is the last thing my grandpa gave me before passing away!

    ANONYMOUS: I'm so very sorry for giving the wrong impression about my husband. I assure you, he is not a goober! He is a wonderful man whose only concern is my well-being and that of our children!

    The kitchen sink has been a pain in our backside since moving into our rental. It has always needed constant repair. Since the owners of the house refused to pay for any repairs, my hubby grew tired of having to do it over and over! But he fixed everything this morning!

  8. Leslie, I must say I love reading your posts. First off, as Im sure you will, ignore the comment by Anonymous they most likely don't live in Mexico. When you said that stuff about your husband saying it was your wet hands or no shoes I laughed because I could see Issac saying the same thing until it was him getting shocked. The thing that stinks is the point in renting I always thought was for the free maintenance. I'm finding that is just not so here. I do know we have had a lot of sink issues and I think its because of what one person said about turning them off to tight. My hubby is bad about that. And the fact that the materials are cheaper here and there fore just don't last as long. I hope that you all are able to get things fixed and retry that shower. lol

  9. Find a better rental....
    If you are constantly having a problem with stuff clogging your pipes, get a new tank fitting, and install it about 1 ft above the bottom of the tank. Now the output fitting is about 2 inches from the bottom, and sediment and stuff gets into the pipes. If you put a new outlet higher, that should take care of the problem and do not use the water while the pump is putting new water in the tank. The action of the dropping water will stur up the sediment and clog the pipes again. Use the old output to drain the tank of the sediment every couple of months.
    Plumbing fittings before about 5 years ago in Mexico were notorious for cheap louzy quality. Especially in a rental the owner would put cheap stuff in instead of something that would last longer. Good Luck!

  10. Yikes Leslie, I'm so sorry you've been having so many issues. But you're handling them like a great sport. (I think I would have cried three times by now, and cursed the tinacos, and the pipes.)

    Good luck resolving this stuff. I'm rooting for you!

  11. AMANDA: Rental laws are very different in Mexico than in the U.S. I should know. I worked for a property management company and had to attend several classes on all the new laws, regulations, etc. every 2 months.

    I'm guilty of turning the faucet off too tight! But, I'm doing my best to avoid it. As for the shower, well, let's just say, it something we practice daily! ;D

    CONSTANTINO: You may have just uncovered the reason for the tinaco pipes clogging. I'm also guilty of using the water while the tank is filling with new water. I thought I was killing 2 birds with one stone, but I'm just clogging pipes! Thanks for the heads up! :D And I will mention your ideas to our handyman. Muchas gracias!

    LESLEY: I have been close to tears over this, but I've been doing much more cursing, in English and Spanish!

  12. Hi, I have been lurking for a long time and have to say that I really enjoy your blog.
    I hope that you are beginning to win against the house. Plumbing issues are always ongoing it seems here.
    Totally off the point; but I am curious as to where in Sonora your grandmother was from?

  13. BRENDA: Thank you for stopping by! We are halfway through the battle with our house at the moment. Still waiting for the handyman to finish making repairs on the tinacos.

    To answer your question...my grandmother was born in Arizona, but was raised since birth in San Luis, Rio Colorado, Sonora. This was way back in 1917! My great-grandparents did a lot of moving around the state of Sonora prior to my grandmother's birth. Most of my grandmother's siblings were born in different pueblos throughout Sonora. One of my favorite Great-Aunts was born in Guaymas! Sonora will always hold a special place in my heart.

  14. so funny, and such a pain! i too have electrical storms in my kitchen. we knock it up to gremlins in the ceilings eating all the wires. good luck getting it all fixed, otherwise maybe you should find another place? xo

  15. Great post! Seems like you had a really hard time keeping your kitchen from leaking! From time to time we'll have the similar problem, but it's definitely not as frequent like you! Good Luck!