News Reflections

When it rains, it pours

This post is for those people who are considering owning an inn, a bed & breakfast, or a boutique hotel. As you might imagine, there will be nothing glamorous that I’m going to share.

First, our well pump died. That means once the water is used up from our two water tanks, we are dry. Not ideal for the guests, and since my wife and I live here too, altogether terrible. Fortunately our fixit guy Jojo was available within 40 minutes and he assessed the scene instantly.

Jojo and one of his sons

Within another 45 minutes or so he was back with the necessary parts. First we had to pull the pipe and pump out of the ground:

I was able to take a photo of the pipe (the one furthest to the right) while holding it in my other hand. The photo at the top of the page shows me holding the same pipe as we continued to pull it out of the ground and across the roof. Altogether about 23 meters or 70 feet or so.

Then Jojo had to replace the pump while I waited, holding the pipe, on top of the roof.

Within 4 hours of the pump dying we had fresh water once again.

Then, the next evening, this happened:

Notice the tail?

A mouse or more likely a rat made its way into one of the two main electrical panels and shorted out the entire system. Of course I didn’t know it until the following morning.

The previous evening, between 11pm – 2am was an off-again / on-again situation as I’d turn off a section of the building and the electricity would come back on. But within minutes, or maybe an hour, everything went black again. Repeatedly.

I didn’t want to trouble Jojo at such a late hour and was increasingly exhausted, until I finally gave up on the trial and error process of targeting the electrical short at 2 or 3am.

Unfortunately the lack of oxygen in our koi pond (due to a lack of electricity to run an aeration pump) caused all of our large koi fish to die (about 9 of them).

The next day Jojo set to work and isolated all of the problems that arose from the rat in the electrical panel. A line to a sub-panel burned out and we had to re-route it. Bulbs all over the place had to be replaced.

It took two days to sort everything out but in the end we got Ohana back to its former self.

The moral of the story? Don’t expect smooth sailing each and every day when you own a bunch of rooms, air conditioners, a well, a pool, etc, etc. And secondly, find the very best fixit person you can!

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