How To: Automatic purified water for your ice maker posted by on August 31, 2009

Here in Cancun, we do not enjoy the luxury of purified drinking water from the taps in our homes. We all buy bottles of purified water and either lug it home or have it delivered on a regular basis. Purified ice is another whole thing. Ice makers are available in refrigerator/freezers sold here, however, they require tapping into the household water supply as a source of pressurized water to make the ice.

This presents two problems:

1: Many homes here do not have sufficient household water pressure to properly supply an ice maker.

2:  It is not wise to use ice made from un-purified tap water in your drinks.

Most of us buy ice by the bag, at a local store like Oxxo. This time of year that bag of ice is  usually partially melted. We would bring it home and dump the wet cubes into our freezer. In a couple of hours we would have a solid brick when the wet ice would re-freeze. Every time we wanted ice we would have to chop away at it with an ice pick to get pieces small enough to fit in a drinking glass. This was a pain in the ass that I put up with for a year and a half. It was time to make this inconvenience  go away. The question was how to get the bottled purified water at sufficient pressure to the the connection on the back of our freezer, in order to supply the ice maker.

This is our “homemade“solution to the problem. The system is located in our pantry which is on the other side of the wall from where our refrigerator is located. This system is completely automatic and all we have to do is change the water bottle when it’s empty.  The pump is from an recreational vehicle and has a pressure sensing head built into it. When the ice maker valve opens to demand water there is a drop in pressure which starts the pump in order for it to restore the pressure to a set limit.

Complete system

The pressure accumulator prevents rapid cycling of the pump by storing a reservoir of pressurized water for the ice maker when a demand is made. That way the pump only runs for about 2-3 seconds to replenish the system.

I cut off the open/ close lever to attach the hose.

Despenser modification

The three-way hose coupler. One comes from the pump outlet, one goes to the accumulator, and the small white tube  goes to the freezer ice maker.

3 way hose coupler

Closeup of the Shurflo motor spec plate:

Shurflo Pump

PVC pipe and cap make up the accumulator with a threaded adapter on the bottom for the hose fitting:


The accumulator and threaded adaptor hose fitting connection:

Accumulator fitting

Ice maker inside the freezer crankin’ out large frozen ice cubes and dumping them into the ice bin……………. SUCCESS !!!

View of the ice maker in the freezer

View of the ice maker in the freezer

Plenty of ice cubes to keep our drinks cold everyday…………….and made from purified water!

Ice made with purified water in freezer bin

Ice made with purified water in freezer bin


Kitchen and Bath Renovation Project Conclusion posted by on August 31, 2009

The kitchen and bath remodeling projects were started in early August 2008 and completed in September 2008. They are now one year old. I re-ran these postings because they were extremely popular on the site I originally published them on, and were viewed over 8000 times. I thought that many of my more recent viewers may not have ever seen them. In this last episode I’ve added a few new pictures since the project is now truly finished. Both rooms have met all our expectations and we have no regrets. I hope you have enjoyed looking at these photos and explanations. Please feel free to comment on them if you wish.

The last two cabinets arrived and the carpenters installed them. They are beautiful. The butlers pantry was the piece that I was most excited about and I’m really happy to have a place for all our glass-wares and liquor.

Finished Butlers Pantry

We recently added a under cabinet light, which really completed this piece.

Lighting Butlers pantry

The corner curio cabinet:


Crown molding and upper shelves of corner unit:

Lower doors and shelves in corner cabinet:

The 1st floor project encompassed the removal of about 600 sq. ft. of ceramic tile and replacing it with tile that matched the rest of the flooring throughout the casa. The kitchen was gutted which included the removal of a L shaped concrete re-bar reinforced counter and sink. The wall tiles were chopped out and the new electrical chipped into the walls and ceilings. The ceiling was dropped over the new cabinets, and the ceiling fans replaced with new units. New lighting was installed complete with under cabinet mood lights. All new custom made solid wood counters and cabinets were built at a local carpentry shop. We installed granite counter-tops and back-splashes. The kitchen now features an under-mount dual sink, w/ garbage disposal, new dishwasher, and an over-the stove stainless steel microwave. The cabinets and counters have built in organizers and pull out racks. We also replaced two central a/c units that cooled the second floor with 4 new mini splits to cool 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms on that floor.

We  installed wood handrails on the refurbished wrought iron railings which had been laying against a outside wall for years.


Then there was the ceiling fan in the 1st floor bathroom and the new toilet and sink in the maids bathroom on the roof.  We also had a whole house water softener system designed and installed. This also included an on-demand pressure pump.  The kitchen and bath took 6 weeks exactly from when we signed the contact. It came in on time, on budget, and to our complete satisfaction.

Kitchen & Bath Remodel, part 6 (re-run from a year ago) posted by on August 29, 2009

The granite was delivered and installed the same day, in a marathon session that had the workers here to almost 7pm. The under-mount sink and faucets were installed the next day. Then the day after that, the garbage disposal and the dish washer were hooked up and tested. The upper cabinets were delivered and installed along with the under-cabinet lights.  We are waiting for the final two cabinets to be delivered and installed. One is the corner cabinet and the other the butler’s pantry upper cabinet. That is the one I’m really looking forward to. It will have glass panels in the doors and we are going to store our booze in it.





Reverse angle:

Finished Kitchen reverse view

Breakfast dropped area of the center island:


Susie’s desk and library:


Some details of the built-ins:



Crown moldings:


Pots & Pans go here:


Just the butler’s pantry to finish it up. See the conclusion in the next posting.