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This is what you call a “No Blow” fuse. This is exactly the condition my fuse box was in when I bought my apartment in Cancun.

One of these things will be found outside the house exposed to the weather. An electrical meter will be on the other side of the cement wall.

There’s more! Inside the house there were pink, green, orange wires... whatever colour they seemed to have at the time. And everything is taped together. This seems normal. Most apartments have the same kind of stories to tell. A wiring mess and would be outlawed in G8 countries.

I had to gut the place and rewire it all. Home Depot has U.S. plug-ins with a proper ground. I noticed in the last couple of years that other stores are starting to get the 3 prong plugs. Most apartments still have 2 prong so many of your 3 prong Canadian and U.S. appliances won’t work until you change the plugs or buy a 3 prong to 2 prong adaptor.

By the way, it is 110V 60Hz here so don’t bring your European appliances.

How much will your electric bill be?

My friends in Cancun pay anywhere from USD $20 a month to $200 a month depending particularly on how much they use their air conditioners. So.. the REAL answer is more technical...

In 2006 electricity was selling for 2 pesos per kWh (kilowatt hour). That is about 18 cents U.S. So... here is how to calculate things: a coffee pot for example is marked 1,000 W on the sticker or 1kW. That means if you left it on for exactly 1 hour it would eat up 1,000 Watts and would cost 18 cents to operate.

A window air conditioner running constantly on Hi/Cool probably uses 1,700 W. Now we know that it will cycle on and off once the room becomes cool, so let's say it will use an average of 1,200 W which is 1.2kW. Running it for 8 hours will cost 1.2 x .18 cents x 8 hours = $1.73

A further example... a window fan uses 80W. That works out to 0.08kW (move the decimal place to the left 3 times). So running it for 8 hours costs 0.08 x .18 cents x 8 hours = $0.12 or 12 cents.

One of the those new spiral type light bulbs uses 15W. Leaving it on for 12 hours would cost... 0.015 x .18 cents x 12 hours = less than 3 cents.

For those REALLY on a budget, if you keep your electric bill under 800kWh in an 8 month period you will get a major reduced rate on the first 330kWh or so. That's why your Mexican neighbor is paying 20 bucks electric for 2 months and you are paying $300.

Bottom line? Take it easy on things that eat up electricity like coffee pots, air conditioners, and God forbid... an electric clothes dryer.

 
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