Tuesday, January 3, 2012

At 7.5 Degrees

The insulated plumbing box with the added heat tape was not up to the task. Three out of five of the cold water lines froze. The hot water lines were fine thank goodness. I lost the toilet, cold half of the shower and the cold to the washing machine. I was not pleased.

After contemplating the situation I wandered next door to see what I might find to add a little heat to the insulated plumbing box with the added heat tape that was not up to the task. I saw two options, wrap the outside of the box with an electric blanket or blow hot air into the box from the inside using the extra water line hole through the sub floor that I ended up with. My preferred choice was to blow hot air in from the inside where it was a wee bit more comfy than the conditions outdoors. Would there be a blow dryer over there?

I walked slowly to see what I might see on the way over. There was no rush. I wasn't going anywhere and the blizzard was subsiding. The new big rock with snow looks nice.

The contorted spruce has been sending up a new vertical limb. It's nice to see it wanting to grow taller. It replaced a normal blue spruce someone borrowed for their Christmas tree many years ago. Let's hope no one with odd tastes ever needs an odd Christmas tree.

The snow plow has been MIA all day. That usually means it is snowing all over and not just up top. When it only snows up top the snow plow comes by round and round all night and all day. The mail didn't even get up here today. So much for sleet and snow and appointed rounds and all that rot.

I had left the furnace next door set to about 45 degrees since I have not drained the dishwasher lines over there yet and didn't want it to freeze. The furnace drain line froze though and the furnace was drowning in its own fluids that it could not get rid of. So I disconnected that drain line so the water exhaust could drip into a bucket inside and the furnace could breath again. Lord help me.

It dawned on me while I was searching through cabinets and closets for some way to add heat to the insulated plumbing box with the added heat tape that was not up to the task that I could use my shop vac as a blower by reversing the hose. What I needed was a funnel to reduce my blower out put down to the size of my extra water line hole in the sub floor. So I got one funnel out of the kitchen drawer and went back home.

I dug the fire caulking out of the extra water line hole in the sub floor, reversed the shop vac to a blower, taped on the funnel, jammed it in the hole and in just a couple minutes I had the toilet and cold water shower line unfroze and working. That was easy. I moved the funnel over to the washing machine line because it was on the other side of a floor joist and started blowing. I blew all afternoon and could not get the washing machine cold water line unfroze.

This was toying with my sanity. The insulated plumbing box isn't that big. I blew and blew and blew and it wouldn't unfreeze. It's insulated. The warm air I was adding was supposed to stay in there. Aargh!! It's a day when you feel like pulling your hair out.

Well the good news is the well head didn't freeze. The stock tank cover and heat tape wrap worked there. The main water line coming out of the ground and entering the house didn't freeze. The insulation wrap and heat tape worked there. The other good news is that once the toilet and shower were unfroze there were no leaks. Those two pipes did not crack praise be. I'll find out about the washing machine line later when it should feel warm enough to cooperate. It's 12 degrees now. That may be a while and I am tired of listening to the shop vac blow.

I guess I also now know I can add heat through the extra water line hole in the sub floor. I just need to start adding it before it reaches 7.5 degrees. A tiny little fan, a funnel and some tubing might be all I need. Add tiny quiet fan to get list.

There was a time when people did not have to worry about their pipes freezing. That was before indoor plumbing was the norm. That is worth thinking about.


thistleandthorn said...

Tonight, drip your water.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I lived in a house once that I had to let the water drip when it was to get so darned cold. It works. Good luck with the thaw. Maybe one of your heat tapes wasn't any good??

Christopher C. NC said...

Doh! Smacks head. How can I be so dense and forget the drip? In my defense it was only supposed to get down to 14 degrees.

Lola said...

ROFLOL, slapping head. You are so funny.
Seriously, sorry for the inconvenience, as it can be a brain teaser.
I left water dripping in bathtub but think tonight is supposed to be colder.
Love the last pic.
Stay warm.

Cheryl K. said...

I have to think about the alternatives to running water, which included either running out in the cold to the outhouse or using a chamber pot. I'm thinking it will be worth setting up a quieter than shop-vac solution! Hope the next-door furnace was not too badly drowned and will continue to function.