Living in Ecuador Day 308- Propane tank etiquette

Tuesday, Nov 15, 2016

A strange thing happened mid-morning. I’m at my desk and I can hear our calefon (gas hot water heater) making a rapid clicking sound…clickclickclickclick when someone turned the hot water on. This means that either the battery is dead for the igniter of the gas flame, or there is no gas coming into the calefon.

I just changed the battery a couple of weeks ago so I knew that wasn’t the problem. We have two propane tanks hooked up in the underground parking area of this house. I knew we were getting close to one tank being emptied, so I headed downstairs to open the lever to the second tank.

Wasn’t I surprised when I went around the corner and saw one of my tanks gone and just the hose and regulator dangling from the wall. My second tank was there and full, but the levers were in the off position which is how they are supposed to be until I switch over.

In addition to me and the landlord, there is a new tenant in this large house renting a separate two bedroom flat. I lifted the propane tank of the landlord and it was almost full. I lifted the tank of the new renter and the tank was less than 1/4 full which is about the level my missing tank should have been at.

My hypothesis is this. The guy ran out of gas. He did not have a spare tank so he took one of my two tanks and hooked it up to his apartment. By the way, my unit is the only one where two tanks can be connected at the same time. Everyone else only has one gas hose. He didn’t have a spare tank and he probably figured since I had two, I wouldn’t miss one. 😉

The problem is when he disconnected my tank I had no gas coming into our place. If I would have been in the shower, it would have been an issue. If Heidi would have been cooking something in the oven we would have had no idea the gas was off and the food would have been spoiling.

I called the propane company and had them come over and replace each apartment’s empty tanks for full ones. I even put a full tank on the new renters unit. So now no one is going to run out of propane.

The new renter only speaks Spanish and I haven’t seen him enough to say more than a few “Hola” and “Buenas tardes” greetings. I reached out to the son of our landlord who speaks English, as well as Spanish, to be my interpreter so I can have a conversation with the new guy about “propane tank etiquette”. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Our friend Michelle

Our friend Michelle

All of us went into El Centro to show Michelle around. It is a beautiful day in Ecuador, in fact it is hot. I’m loving it. After walking around for a bit, we all were very thirsty so we stopped at Inca’s to grab a cold beer. The soccer match is on, Ecuador vs Venezuela, and the place is hopping.

I’m such a light weight. I had one beer, the IPA, and now I need a nap. I hope I can keep my eyes open on the bus ride home.

Chau.

 

 

 

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