Thursday, January 19, 2012

So You Want to Live in the Country.........

So, I woke up at 3:15am, bathroom call.  Oh geezz, better check the water faucets.

Yep.  Frozen.  Only have cold water in the kitchen; the bathroom pipes and kitchen hot water are frozen.  Get out the hair dryer.

There is a specific spot in the pipeline, an elbow to be exact, that goes from the main line to the hot water tank.  This is where it freezes.

So I worked on it for 45 minutes.  Got a bit of a trickle from tub and sink.  And then the sink stopped trickling.  15 minutes more; nothing.  Time to wake BH.  See, this is not my field of expertise.  I've only defrosted water pipes once before.  But it's not working this time.

BH gets up and takes over.  Tries for another 45 minutes.  Nope.  He's gonna have to get into the closet - to get to the other closet - where the water heater is.  I have to clean out the first closet.  Boxes, bags, totes, ironing board, telescope -- oh yeah, a real production.  After another 1/2 hour, success!  Running water!  Now to keep it running throughout the day.  This will be a challenge. 

It is -17 with a windchill of -35.  Not to get much better today.  Zero degrees for a high, -14 tonight.  Through my studies over these 20 years we've been here, I have found that the magic number is -12.  At -12 air temp, the pipes will freeze.  Not -10; nor -11.  But -12.

We were going to stay up all night last night.  Or at least take shifts.  But by 12:30, neither of us could keep our eyes open any longer.  Threw caution to the wind and went to bed.  That won't happen tonight.  We'll have to take numerous naps today to prepare.

There is another stickler.  Because we have no snow on the ground for insulation, there's a good chance the septic pipe is frozen.  This is found out while taking a shower.  And the bath tub starts filling up with water.  Yeah.  Frozen septic.  We do have the pipeline covered with hay.  As a matter of fact, BH really loaded the hay on this year, more than ever.  Hopefully that will prolong the freezing effect.  We'll see.

Thankfully this blast of arctic air is only supposed to last another day.  Then it will be single digits above zero at night.  We'll be safe.  And pray there won't be any more nights like this.  But there will be.  We still have February.  The first 2 weeks have always been frigid.

I remember one year we had 2 weeks straight that it never got above 0 degrees for a daytime high.  2 weeks straight!  I don't know how we did it because we didn't have all the new fangled heaters like we do now.

Speaking of which, I suggested to BH that we put the smaller "SunTwin" quartz heater in the closet to keep the pipes warm. It's one of those heaters that cost an arm and a leg, that you can let your child sit on top of because it doesn't get hot; no heating element, just a quartz something or other that warms the air in the room and blows it back out; know what I mean?  There's plenty of air circulation, the closet is open, the water heater closet is open.  So that's what I did.  We'll see how that works.

I'm on the second pot of coffee; BH is napping in the recliner.  I might spin or knit for a while.  But I don't know, my eyes are getting very heavy.

I pray we have an early Spring.

1 comment:

Judy said...

At those I don't want to live in the country! Thankfully we don't get that low often. Hope it doesn't last long for you. We are to be in the upper 40's on Monday so todays snow will turn the place in to mud.