Tag: repairs

Hot water restored to the barbacoa we don’t use!

I sometimes wonder why I don’t do more homeowner projects, and today witnessed with awe the efficiency with which a highly-recommended plumber (not this one) repaired one of the results of my hanging some plastic gutter (a gift) and downspout to restrict growth of wet stuff on a wall near the barbacoa. (Note how well it worked: not.)


In drilling holes for the “Tacos Fischer,” the local name for plastic wall anchors, I managed to discover the hot water pipe for the barbacoa (which was a parillera before we enclosed it). To clarify: 1) a parillera (open) or barbacoa (closed) is where you gather with family on Sundays to eat meat meat meat, slowly slowly cooked over coals. Unless you don’t have family here, in which case you make it into a sort-of workshop; 2) discovering a hot water pipe does not constitute a happy result of trying to anchor screws in walls.

The plumber worked with surprising efficiency. Instead of tink-tink-tink with a hammer and chisel, he brought a mini-jackhammer that pulverized the wall in seconds to expose …


… not just the plastic water pipes (you can see the hole), but — see that orange a few centimeters above? That’s the electrical feed to the barbacoa. 220 volts. Ouch.

OK, I maybe be clumsy. But I’m lucky.

The whole repair — plumber and his son, and equal amount of time spent inside cleaning and rebuilding a valve that fed this line — cost UYP 600, or a bit over USD 25.

And, so typical here, they’re gentle and pleasant people, concluding the transaction with a handshake.

Refrigerator redux

magnet-covered refrigerator, Uruguay

In addition to the powerful magnet that came out of a broken chargeable flashlight (upper left), our refrigerator is festooned with magnets handed out by local businesses. The little blue half-garafa (propane tank) I actually found in the street but thought pretty cool. Outside of paper ads, held in place by other merchants’ magnets, there is only one non-magnet on here. Can you guess?

The guys who fix refrigerators. They put on a sticker.

Motorcycle repair

The plastic zip ties that held the battery in place on my son’s friend Mauro’s motorcycle were failing. He asked me if I had some he could use, and I sort of did, sort of didn’t, but in any case he clearly had no idea how to rig them as the previous person had. Nor did I.

I noted a mount for an obviously-missing bracket, from the back of the car grabbed some wood I had just salvaged from a friend’s remodeling project, cut a chunk, drilled a hole, put in a screw, and voilá!

My motorcycle repair, Uruguay

The wood appeared to be made to order. Mauro laughed delightedly – imagine that, a gringo showing an Uruguayan how to fix things with nothing!