Easy Solutions to Some Common Challenges of Having a Home in Yucatan

A recent post by a foreigner here reported that they were *shocked* to find that their tinaco was secretly overflowing into their pool’s disposal well – wasting 1,000’s of gallons of treated water … and she commented:

“…how were we to know? “

In the domain of pinned posts, here’s another suggestion for a post of some things essential to good living in Mexico. 😉

Living in Mexico is different from the USA or Canada. There are a number of pretty essential tasks that sharp homeowners do here, that never cross the mind of a Canadian or USA-nian homeowner.

Check your tincaco at least 4 times a year (or 6 times a year) to make sure :

~ The lid is on securely.

~ There are no frogs, or roots, or crud growing inside your tinaco.

~ That there are no leaks.

~ That there are no dead birds in the tank.

~ Consider treating the water in your tinaco with ¼ cup of bleach 4 times a year … to disinfect your home’s plumbing.

The last big study found that 25% of Merida homes had bacteriological (fecal coliformes) contamination inside their home”s plumbing … meanwhile 97% of Merida homes tested HAD CLEAN WATER AT THE METER.

= = = =

While you are up on the roof checking the tinaco:

~ Make sure there are no puddles of standing water on your roof.

~ Briefly examine the condition of the impermibilizante – that it is not lifting away from the roof, with leaks, or with water trapped underneath it (slowly wrecking the concrete underneath the impermbilizante).

~ Do a simple examination of the electrical connections to look for junction boxes missing their covers, or exposed electrical connections with their tape baking in the sun.

~ Also take a look at your solar panels(?) and air conditioners to see if they need maintenance or cleaning

~ BE SURE there are no accumulations of leaves or other debris that’s holding water, esp in the corners of the roof.

= = = =

It’s a decent idea to take a peek at your water meter about once a month, to see if you have any hidden leaks … running toilets (leaking at the flush valve in the bottom of the tank – or toilets with bad float valves overflowing water inside the toilet tank) … or for leaks under floors, or inside walls…. If no water is turned on in your home, the meter’s wheel should not be spinning. 😉

= = = =

Every 2 months, review your CFE kWh of electrical usage to see if it makes sense (esp looking at the back of the bill).

Do the calculations to determine if the kWh used makes sense with your daily-weekly use of air conditioners, water purifiers (UV lamp energy pigs) … (pointlessly?) running wasteful ceiling fans 24-7 … pool pumps running more than 1 – 2 hrs a day … irrigation or well pumps running …

If you don’t know how to do those energy kWh usage, then hire a professional home energy auditor to do the job…

= = = =

and also, check your property outside for anything that holds 1 tbsp of water for 7 days … to eliminate standing water that breeds the Dengue-Chikungunya mosquitoes that love clean standing water … treat fountains, flower pot bases, etc with anti-larval pellets.

= = = =

Run a botttle of a good fuel system cleaner (like Chevron Techron) every 4 – 5 tankfuls of gasoline, because the gasoline across Mexico is such poor quality – and your fuel tank, fuel pump, and injectors get so crapped up by poor quality Mexican gasoline.

= = = =

Here’s an Editor’s Addition (after the fact):

Check electronics, and electrical devices, and digital circuit boards, and electrical wiring, and electrical contacts on the pressure sensor switches for hidropneumaticos for … ants.

One species of ants LOVES the toasty warmth of a circuit board that’s always ON, like the control board on an airconditioner … except THIS species of little ants include some nasty blackish-brown goo in their nest constructions – and when they make enough of the black gooy gunk across components on the board, it conducts electricity between components and fries them.

Yet a DIFFERENT species of ants here love the taste of the plastic covering on electric wires, turning the protective covering on electric wires into Swiss cheese, inside our homes electrical outlets and electrical conduit-tubes (which they use as super-highways) … and once they have turned the protective coating on our electrical wires to Swiss cheese, the wires corrode & short out if a homeowner or electrician pull out an outlet – causing wires to touch…

and Yet a THIRD species of ants here LOVES SPARKS … as this variety of Yucatecan ants is attracted to metal electrical contact points that open & close (to turn on & off a pump) … so this species of ants strangely is attracted to the sparking that happens with every opening and closing of the metal points (aka contacts) – and the little bugger climb between the points – and get FRIED … burning their little bodies into charred black goo in the sparks & 10A currents … coating the points with burnt black goo charred offering to their God … ???

In all 3 cases, the organic pesticide H24 white powder BANISHES THEM … as you liberally sprinkle insecticide powder onto the wires & onto all entrance-exit points-paths … aka Better Living Through Chemistry. … and yes, the organic ant powder lasts for years … and NO… DO NOT USE BORIC ACID for this (esp as a conductor of electricity) … Dr. Fry * Chemistry Professor …

= = = =

For Comparison:
Centro Architects posted this helpful chart on FaceBook for public use, of their version



Cheers!


Happy Trails

Read On … MacDuff !

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5 Responses to Easy Solutions to Some Common Challenges of Having a Home in Yucatan

  1. luigilu says:

    Why not use boric acid for ants? Does H24 also repel or kill cockroaches? I ordered H24 for ants already! My garden is full of ants, and most sprays just make them dance.

    • yucalandia says:

      Read the context … NO BORIC ACID on electrical wires, circuit boards, electric pump controllers, and other electrical-electronic devices.

      ALL ACIDS CONDUCT ELECTRICITY … so just like you would not pour salty brine all over your electrical components & electronics, you never want to apply acids, whether powdered-or-liquid onto electrical devices.

      Also notice that I recommend H24 POWDER for stopping ants from attacking-missing-up your electrical & electronic devices.

      Hope that makes sense,
      Dr. Steve

  2. As always Steven, a wealth of very helpful info.
    Keep up the good work.
    Debi

  3. Many thanks Steve!
    Some years ago our neighbor complained that somebody had stolen the lid to his tinaco. Later I found his lid on my rooftop. Apparently it had blown off in high wind. So I took a lesson from his pain by tethering my lid with a cable, after returning his lid.

    Neighbors on the other side were doing some construction on their roof, and their albañiles opened my tinaco, helping themselves to my water, and leaving telltale cementy handprints all over my lid. I complained loudly to the architect, and put blue tape on the lid as a seal, to detect further unauthorized entry.

    Yes, ants are a perpetual problem here. I have found that GOO GONE (on hand at Home Depot) is an excellent safe insecticide, besides being great at removing sticky stuff, yielding instant death when spritzed from the handy spray bottle. (But don’t spray it on circuit boards!) It is made with citrus peel extract, but it’s wise to use a mask to avoid inhaling droplets.

    Also, clove oil is an excellent ant deterrent. When we first moved here we were being bitten at night by tiny ants climbing into our bed. I put yarn around the legs of the bed, soaked with clove oil. (NB: it’s also important to keep the bed from touching wall.) Problem solved. Available at SuperNaturalista on c.56 x61y63, east side of street; and maybe at farmacias. Let’s remember that ants are trying to be helpful, cleaning our house for us of crumbs and dead skin-flakes. Keeping dried food in tin drums is wise. I put clove oil around the lip of the tins as some ants are so tiny they find their way in.

    Air-cooled jet pumps often burn out in the hotest part of the year. When we were snowbirds we would often learn that a pump had died in May. So I switched to a submersible pump which we put inside the sump to lift water to the tinaco. Because it is now water-cooled it has lasted for years. And I can hear it cycle on in the laudry room. (Being mindful of mechanical noises around the home is wise, and helps prevent constant spilling of water down the drain.)

  4. glgoggin says:

    Thank you for the useful tips. Where can I buy the organic H24 powder for ants, please?   Thanks,Carmen

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