Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sometimes we’re just lucky!


This is the time of year when we would normally be many mile north of Florida. This year we found the need to spend more time in Florida to enhance our chances of spending another winter in Mexico.

Helen awoke one morning to find water on the floor in the hall and seeping in the carpeting in one bedroom. I quickly got out me wet vac and sucked up the water. The problem is that the condensate drain from one of our air conditioning units had clogged and the condensate backed up into the house.

IMG_2311 (Small)

In this picture you can see the condensate pipe as it runs down an around the A/C unit. As it goes by the side, there is a fitting that goes into the “pan” in which the A/C unit sits. Water was running over the top of the pan.


The real cause of the problem was the torrential rains we had a few days ago. A river of water was diverted around the side of the house where we have the below ground A/C connections, valves, and condensate drain. The great flow of water flooded the housing with mud that completely clogged the drain. Again, I put my wet vac in service and sucked all the water and dirt from the drain from outside the house. Then I added some pipe and fittins to bring the drain above the mud line, but still low enough to drain from the house.

IMG_2314 (Small)

I made a major change to the system which can be easily seen in this picture. The condensate pipe runs down to the tee fitting. To the left of the fitting is a brand new “condensate high water shut-off switch”. In the unlikely event that water should again back up, the switch will open and the A/C unit will not operate. Of course, this is only a summer problem as there is no condensation when the unit is set for heat in winter.


On another note, there has been a thread on RV.NET about refrigerators, comparing residential with RV types. I realize that my large home refrigerator/freezer may run at a higher amperage than my RV refer, but it does so intermittently, while the electric heating unit in the camper runs something like 300 watts constantly. I have a device called the Kill-A-Watt which is used to determine the electric use of an appliance. You plug it into an outlet then plug your appliance into the device and set it. First you set the electric rate, which I got off my most recent electric bill. Then you select cost over a period you select, I chose a month. After a couple of days, the device seemed to level off at $8.25 per month.

Next, I turned on the RV refer and allowed it to get fully cold, then I attached the device. Since our house refer has the door opened from time to time, I did the same in the motorhome. The last time I checked, it was showing a monthly rate of almost $40.00!

Putting this into some perspective, in Mexico where we pay about 3 pesos per KWH, it would cost us about $96.00 per month in US dollars. On our first winter in Mexico we quickly ran up a sizable electric bill until more knowledgeable people advised us to run on LP gas, which is relatively cheap in Mexico.

I’m now in the process of changing out incandescent and fluorescent lights to LEDs. The LEDs are very white, use a SMALL fraction of the electricity, and give off very little heat. I haven’t completed a lot yet, but what I’ve seen is impressive. I may post pictures later.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is a big difference
    didnt know elec wasnt included at your site in mexico