Return from Guatemala, part 4

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(posted by Sid)

Back to the electrical codes…  This is the hotel shower.  The only place you had to rest the soap was on top of the breaker box.  The breaker box fed the electric water heater in the showerhead.  This showerhead was rated at 50 amps.  This head and a few others were all on a single 40-amp breaker.  If you took a shower for more than 5 minutes, it would trip the breaker, and the water went cold.  If 2 showers were working at the same time, it would immediately trip the breaker.  Once during the week, there were enough showers going that the main line going into the hotel caught on fire and fell down into the street.  The local electrician came by, and twisted the wire back onto the main power line.

If you look closely, you can see a tiny green wire coming out of the top of the showerhead.  That’s the ground wire, which is supposed to be a safety feature to keep you from electrocution.  It has been cut off.  You couldn’t touch the showerhead without being tingled.  There’s a tube that connects to the showerhead.  More than once, the tube came disconnected during the shower.  The only way to reconnect… turn off the breaker, reconnect the tube, and then flip the breaker back on.  I’m not sure hot water was worth it.

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Sidney and another from our group on the hotel balcony.  The hotel really stood out as one of the nicest buildings in Chajul.

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