Monday, December 15, 2008

The F-bomb

The F stands for "frozen pipes."
The Sergeant shook me awake at an ungodly hour. "Honey, the water's not running."

Crap. Our low was below zero last night. The pipes were frozen.

Luckily most of them were not very frozen. Application of hair dryer to pipes got the water running everywhere again except the downstairs toilet.

Which is fed from a pipe that can only be reached from the crawlspace. Which I fit into more easily than the Sergeant, so in I crawled.

A misplaced piece of insulation was partly to blame. I pulled that away and ran the hairdryer over the pipe. Whoosh. The blockage melted and the pipe did not burst.

Good thing I'm not claustrophobic.


  1. freaky little space to crawl into. :o|

  2. Oh yikes yikes yikes yikes yikes!!!! I am claustrophobic and I am so very, very impressed!

  3. I would have been hyperventilating! Hope it doesn't happen again, but a couple of helpful tips: open cabinets under sinks to allow the heat to get in on really cold nights, and leaving the water barely trickling from the tap can help too.

  4. Before I even read the text...that first picture had me laughing. I would have been FREAKING out.

  5. We're chipping away at tightening our housing envelope. It all takes time of course, but the improvements pay for themselves. The frozen pipes will be a thing of the past, and the house will be so much more comfortable. Cold drafts drive me crazy because they are uncomfortable, and I feel the dollars slipping out the cracks.

    Rick in VT

  6. Thanks, Jenny!

    Ari, yes, freaky indeed.

    Alecto, I didn't have a choice, alas. When I went back in later to work on it, I had a moment of panic and had to scramble out, but once I got going on all the fiddly little taping crap, it wasn't so bad.

    Thanks, Betts. We had cabinets open and the heat turned up, but we should've done the water trickle, too. Did that last night, just in case. It never got this cold last year, so I'd never encountered the problem in this house before.

    Michelle Anne, I was freaking out, especially coming out of a sound sleep and with no coffee. But reason prevailed eventually.

    That's what I said, Miss T!

    Rick, I'm getting there, too. I'd really like to get some more insulation under the house, but the crawlspace is divided and it gives me the heeby-jeebies thinking about what it would take to get under the far corners of the house.