The Journey to Casa Madera – The Leak

June 4, 2012 – Summer has hit at Casa Madera Bed and Breakfast in Nuevo Vallarta.  The weather is warm, the sun is out and the humidity is building.  Our first potential tropical storm of the year came and went without so much as a cool breeze let alone 50 mile per winds as the weather people kept saying we would see.  In other words, things are progressing as per normal or as normal as things get around our house.

Heather and I were taking Alexa for morning walk one day last week when we noticed that there was water on the ground around our water meter. Our water meter is located outside of the property on the main sidewalk.  The water line comes up from below, the water meter is installed, and the line goes back down underground.  On the left hand side of the meter at ground level there was water.

This is a problem.  The water is not coming from the part of the line above the ground but below.  Part of the line belongs to us, part of the line belongs to Fibba.  Whose problem is this?

And a problem it would be.  It was under the concrete.  Who wants to break concrete to find a water leak?  I know I certainly don’t, especially when it is 35 degrees outside.

So with that in mind on Saturday morning we showed the problem to a FIBBA employee who said the problem was on our side of the line.  It was then when my eagle-eyed wife spotted some used teflon plumbing tape on the ground just a little bit away from where they were standing.  Heather told him that we had done nothing to the line so why would there be plumbing tape here?  FIBBA must have done something so it is your problem!  It was worth a shot though we really did not believe it would work.

All we wanted to know was whose responsibility was it to repair.  He still said ours, which we kind of figured.  Ok, so we have to fix the line.  We can get a plumber, no problem.  What is a problem was we don’t know exactly what was going on underneath the concrete so Heather decided that we should speak to the people in charge.  We wanted the line inspected and if we needed to fix it ourselves we wanted a FIBBA employee on site when the ground was opened so they could not blame anything else on us.

So on a beautiful Saturday morning at 9:05 Heather made the call to the office and spoke to the person that we were told to speak to.  She explained what the problem was and we would like someone to inspect it.  The woman on the phone said that she would send someone right out.

After 90 minutes of nobody coming to the house we decided we should call one more time.

Heather attempted to stay calm, cool and collected on the phone.  That lasted about 45 seconds.  A runaround, is a runaround and she called them on it.  She was very forceful going back and forth between spanish and english which I believe caused them some concern.  Finally she asked in english, “Is anybody coming out to look as this today?”

No, came the response and she hung up.  Heather was absolutely seething.  Unfortunately there is not much you can do about this.  Putting people off is a national sport here and it is not just us that get it, they do it to the Mexicans too but they are better equipped to deal with it as their spanish is flawless and they give as good as they get.

So we went shopping and resigned ourselves to the fact that we would have to phone Jose on Monday to get him to come out and find out what is shaking with this leak.  If it is after the meter it is costing us money so it needs to be repaired.

Sunday morning we were coming back from our morning walk and I caught something out of the corner of my eye.  A curled up piece of plumber’s sandpaper was lying on the sidewalk.  I looked over it and saw that the concrete around our water line had been chipped out and new solder had been installed.  No more leak….WTF!

And therein lies the great mystery of this country.  Just when you are ready to go over to the office and throttle six or seven people your problem gets dealt with and they don’t tell you.



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