It has been a while, so maybe I am entitled to a rant. As I mentioned, Lilliam is up to her neck in a major remodeling project. Luckily, it is starting to wind down and yet there is still two and a half items on the list left to do.
I had my electrician out for the last three days installing a 30,000 BTU AC in the living/dining area. I will mention that I found my best deal at RefriCenter on the InterAmerican highway. It did take some special consulting with their staff to get it wired correctly. I must have bought the first 30,000 unit of this model that they had sold of their Viking brand. I thought a 30,000 BTU AC for close to $700 was a pretty good buy.
It is all installed and works great. We rarely use AC, but there are times if you have a lot of family in that you need a little cool down and with all the other construction going on, now was the time to do it.
Back to my rant. If there is one thing that I have disliked about Panama builders, it is the electrical wiring. They never plan for enough plugs on the walls, enough plugs in bathrooms for razors or other items, etc. Of course the person that built this house was tight as a tick and if he should have spent $10 to do something right, he figured out how to get by for $4. Between his cheapness and the sorry electrician he used, the entire wiring of the house needs to be redone in my opinion.
Some day if I have more money than sense, I may bring my electrician and rewire everything.
Okay, let me describe what started my rant. The problem hinges around product and installation. The house has fans in all bed rooms and three in the living/dining room area. That is a good thing and they get plenty of use. However, the tight builder decided to only run the line from the fan to the wall switch and it is on or off. You can’t even control the fan speed from the switch. A smart person would have wired the light and the fan to two switches as I did in a previous room addition we did.
Here is a photo of the original switches installed by the builder. In this photo you will see the ability to install 9 switches. Of the 9, he put 2 in a box capable of 3 and 1 in a box capable of holding 6. He also chose to use cheap switches from Electrica (a primary electricity parts store in David). The switches, while decorative, are made in Mexico and extremely poor quality in my opinion.
The house is a little over 3 years old and I have had two switches fail and a couple more on the way. Can you ever remember a wall switch failure in the US? I know houses on farms in Oklahoma whose switches are over 70 years old and still work.
I was happy to find the switches the builder used, in Electrica, and bought two. I can replace switches, so I thought it was no big deal. Then when I went to pop the switches into the support structure, I realized that the manufacture had changed and the new switches required an entire new fixture.
Ok, I bought the new fixture and an entire set of switches. I changed out the unit and then realize that the electrician had done a crappy job installing the electric box in the wall and the new device would not go into the wall. With concrete walls, this is not a simple problem. While my electrician was here installing the AC, I asks him to consult on the wall problem. He said to do it right would require a concrete saw to correctly install and recess the electric box.
No time or money to do that, so he improvised for the time being and this is the resulting installation. Looks crappy to me, but I can’t fault my electrician. He did all he could do with what he was given.
You can see that there is a difference in the new switch of the original and the one now in Electrica.
Here is a photo of a typical wall plug receptacle in this house. The idiot builder, or electrician, installed all switches and wall plugs horizontal instead of vertical. Most appliance’s electrical plugs are now designed assuming that wall plates are vertical. The grounding hole should always be on the bottom.
Here is how the builder brought in the cables for TV and Internet. He did allow for the coax cable to be run for other rooms, for which I am grateful. I am going to build a box to cover this mess. It has been on my “to-do” list for some time and I intend to get it done mañana as they say here.
Deep breath. Rant over. I plan on enjoying the rest of the day.