Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Just Chillin'

Another week, another winter storm, and I'm parked again. The storm was just moving in when I drove to Garden, and this was taken on my way home. Just in case you can't see - it's not snowing heavily, but it is coming down sideways. That's probably due to the forty mph gusts. Since I've gotten home, we've gotten quite a bit more in the powdered frozen water department - six to eight inches?

I'm not even sure if I'll be venturing out tomorrow. Regardless of the weather - The Poor Farm has a frozen hot water pipe that feeds the bathroom. Soooo, I've already got a quartz heater running in the ol' cellar, plus the cabinet doors in the bathroom open and an electric heater going full blast. What it really needs is less forty mph gusts blowing through the rather porous concrete block foundation. If it doesn't free up, I'll have to crawl into the rather narrow space with a blowtorch and heat up the ol' pipes. Picture a dirt floor, mice, the occasional raccoon, and various snake skins with a layer of dusty cobwebs. This won't be the first time I've ridden in that particular rodeo. I can't leave the pipes frozen - if a line lets go, I don't want to be on a two day trip and come home to a totally flooded dirt cellar. I'm just hoping that the wind lets up and the heat has a chance to take over somewhat.

Oh, and I had the faucets dripping a pretty good stream, too. Everything was freed up when I got home, but after a nap (yeah, life is tough, I know), my keen senses noticed the lack of dripping from the tub and sink.

So, I'm parked, but at least this time there is some moisture for the ol' prairie. It's drier than a popcorn fart here, and beggars can't be choosers.


drjim said...

Man, I HATE frozen pipes! I grew up in Northern Illinois, and after the first time I helped my Dad thaw one out, we put heat tape on all of them down in the basement.
Never had a frozen pipe again!
And I know what you mean about rooting around in the crawlspace. I've got a big spool of new RG-6QS coaxial cable, and an equally big box of Cat5e cable, along with all the connectors and tools, just waiting for me to get off my butt, and pull all new cable under the house.
The coax that's there is about 20 years old, poor quality, and needs to be replaced. As long as I _have_ to dive under the house, I'm going to pull Ethernet cable to all the rooms, too.

Jeffro said...

I've gotten lazy with the heat tape - there used to be a pretty good stretch of pipe covered down there, but it quit working and the replacement I put in didn't last. It had to be torn out to replace the line it was "protecting." Kinda pissed me off and I've never put in any since.

drjim said...

Yeah, I'm sure the stuff you get at the home improvement stores isn't very good. My Dad had a plumber buddy that sold us the "real" stuff, and being the "Electrical Genius" in the family, I got tasked with installing it.
I even had a thermostatic switch that turned it on when the temperature of the pipe dropped down to 35*.
We (I) put it on around 1965, and when I moved out here to Kaliforniastan in 1980, it was still working just fine!