Here begins an item which will endeavor to trap the very brief collected wisdom of an amateur plumber in Costa Rica. Let's start with the understanding that the very last thing on the planet that I want to know about is plumbing.
But whether you like it or not, usually late on a Friday evening the god of plumbing will take control of your weekend.
First a few actual quotes or situations to get the gist of the issue.
As my wife noted today, "the reason the houses in Costa Rica are all 1 story, is that it doesn't matter if something leaks."
A couple of years back we observed the following . . . it is better to have a pump man than a plumber! "30 minutes later it is pitch dark. Jose Andres shows up with a man who might be a plumber. I ask almost calmly, "Is this the plumber?". Jose Andres, without a hint of irony or sarcasm or any of those 1st world ways of dealing with weirdness replies, "No. He is my cousin. He knows about pumps."
Plumbing Lore Learned Last Week: before smashing a hole in the wall/floor/ceiling (or in the case of what happened last week all 3) . . . do try and discover which appliance is the source of the leak INSTEAD of listening to the guy with the hammer.
On any given day as you meander around the potholes on the way up to the hotel you will likely see one or two small fountain like events where a steady stream of water spouts into the air from the side of the road. On closer inspection, if you are not in a hurry, you might meander over to observe the event. You will notice that the 2 inch metal mains water pipe has sprung a leak. The usual solution in our neighborhood is to find a rock and lay it on the pipe so you no longer get sprayed as you go by.
One day, perhaps it was the first day of a new municipal water engineer (nobody knows who did it or nobody is talking) decided to fix the problem. Someone once observed that, maybe 1/2 the municipal water in Costa Rica is lost to such leaks. Of course nobody really knows that either, speculation and gossip are the order of the day in the local 'hood, never data.
Anyway, the local "engineer" started fixing the Big Pipe over a few days . . . shutting off the mains water periodically as they worked on a section. Apparently as more and more of the pipe got fixed the pressure in the neighborhood increased and one by one leaks started appearing in many houses squirting out of odd places. Complaints started pouring in and the work soon stopped.
Which is why to this day, if you walk outside the Pura Vida Hotel, you'll see a big rock sitting on top of a large metal pipe and a constant flow of water which drops into our drainage ditch at the side of the road, that runs under the fence down by the Katydid Casita, that fills up a small dam with perfect water and is pumped into the garden during the dry season for irrigation. And yet another reason why you don't really need plumbers in Costa Rica. In process entry . . .