Thursday, January 30, 2014

Freezing water

I ended up with a frozen water pipe last evening.  A combination of factors all came together at the same time.  The first was that I wasn’t paying attention to the wind direction yesterday.  The wind was from the WSW and was sometimes as high was 20 mph.  There’s something about that wind direction that has caused me problems for years. I guess that wind hits the back edge of the cabin where the water comes into the house just so.  Instead of paying attention to the wind, I was happy to see the temperature rising again, though it still hasn’t gotten above 20 degrees.

The second thing that happened to cause the problem was that my heat tape quit working, which I hadn’t realized. I hadn’t been into the utility basement since the temperature took its nosedive.  I did check it before the nosedive, but not since.  I’m going to have to get that taken care of.

I do let the faucets drip during the coldest weather, but I’d forgotten to turn one of them to drip, and at least one of the others wasn’t dripping very much.

So there I was just after dark last evening with my hair dryer in hand, running the dryer over the pipe where it’s been known to freeze in the past. In my case, the problematic spot is around bends in the pipe, down near the floor of the basement.  I was lucky this time.  It only took about 10 minutes of work to unfreeze the pipes, so they can’t have been frozen for too long.

Today, all faucets are dripping again.  The best news of all is that tomorrow the temperature will finally rise above freezing for the first time in almost two weeks.  That will make the chickens happy and me too.


Scott said...

Two Firdays ago, we came to our office and had a nasty surprise. A water pipe supplying an outdoor spigot had frozen just inside the building--and had burst--flooding the basement of our office with about an inch of water. The location of the spigot was the key--it is underneath a wooden deck (that was added after the spigot was installed), and the deck, in turn, is surrounded by shrubbery. So, long and short, we had all forgotten that there was even a spigot there, let alone any of us giving it a thought about tuning it off inside the building. You were lucky your pipe didn't burst.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: Yes, I am lucky. That pipe has frozen before and in that same spot. I don't think it was frozen very long. It opened up again so quickly that there can't have been much or solid ice.

Sharkbytes said...

Glad your water problem was so easily fixed. Sometimes the country life can be a pain in the patootie.

Anne Higgins said...

So sorry for your frozen pipe and subsequent complications! I had one in the house where I lived in Baltimore back in the 1990's during one of these very cold episodes. Really a mess.

I keep thinking about all the people in Georgia and Alabama who must be dealing with frozen pipes after this week. Their homes aren't built for this kind of cold weather.