Well! That was a VERY long vacation, but I’m finally home! I need to make a note to myself that 4 months is just a tad crazy, even if one of those months is in my house in Seattle.
I’m assuming that the snowbirds who own their own place have encountered the same issues I am about to describe from having an extended absence – but for those of you reading this who are just starting your journey, let me expound …
Light bulbs. They’ll pop after sitting so long. Sometimes even the LED fixtures will as well. I have a couple of bulbs to replace, and my main light in the bathroom fried so I have a trip to home depot in my future.
Refrigerator. Mine has issues with the drip tube freezing up, and then water collecting inside the fridge, and eventually to my floor. If you have a frost free freezer chances are that there’s a tube that goes from the freezer to the underside of the unit where there’s an evaporative drip pan. The solution is pretty easy – unplug the fridge for a day and when everything is thawed, run something down the tube to make sure it’s clear. That means the fridge and freezer have to be empty – not always easy! But until I do it I have to put up with dripping in my refrigerator.
Air conditioner. My remote for my bedroom mini split decided not to work, and there is only a ‘reset’ button on the unit itself. Thankfully, the reset button turns it on and off – so I can sleep comfortably! A few days and the remote decided it would allow me to turn the air on and off, and set the temp – but I ordered a replacement from Amazon anyway. In the future I’ll try to remember to remove batteries before going on vacation!
Tinaco part 1. Sitting for four months without water movement doesn’t do good things for my tinaco. I’d just started my vacation when my neighbor WhatsApped me telling me that my tinaco was overflowing. At my apartment, overflowing means on the roof to the drain which drains to my apartment level (piso 2), then across the walkway to the other drain which drains to piso 1 where it goes to the middle of the courtyard and down an actual drain. My vecina (neighbor) on piso 1 hates water in the courtyard, even though that’s where rain goes. This was something that I needed to get my property manager to fix asap – thankfully she was able to work wonders and get it done. I do need to stop at the plumbing store and get a replacement float valve though – it’s on my list for when the heat wave breaks!
Tinaco part 2. The tinaco needs to be cleaned after sitting all that time. The water doesn’t even smell good. This is a ‘has to happen soon’ thing. Had I been on top of it, I’d have let my property manager know before I got home … but it slipped my mind. A quick trip to OXXO and I have a garrafón of water for drinking, and only have to deal with stinky water for a couple of days because my property manager squeezes me in! It’s also a good idea to change the water filters at this time – I have one on the roof at the tinaco, and another one in a little unit at the kitchen sink that I use for drinking water.
Little things. I was gone during rainy season. I had my roof sealed last year – I think with a 7 year sealant. Things were good in that department. The issue I had was the day it rained HARD for 8 hours. Water was blown into my apartment from the gaps (that have foam rubber gaskets) around my in-the-wall air conditioner. It got my entertainment center wet and then a puddle on the floor that dried and left an outline. Just means I have to take a black marker to the entertainment center and darken anything that was made light, and scrub the floor. The rain may have fried one of my security cameras – it’s offline and I haven’t looked to find out why yet. I have a backup I can use so I’m good.
I think that’s about it. When I travel I usually turn the water supply to the tinaco off (this time I was trying an automatic timer to water my plants – so I didn’t shut the water off), as well as the gas. Then I unplug everything except for the security cameras & internet connection. Ceiling fans stay on low just to circulate a little air. I pop down to the Jumapam offices and pre-pay my water bill. For the TelMex, Telcel, and CFE bills I have one US credit card that sometimes works, and I put some $$$ in my BBVA Bancomer account for the times it doesn’t. I have México Amazon Prime, and that’s hooked to my OXXO ‘Spin’ account, so I have to make sure that has enough $$$ as well.
I will admit that even in 90 f. heat with high humidity – I’m glad to be home. Sweaty in Mazatlán is not as bad as it may seem.[the next post will have photos of my adventures]