Tuesday, January 7, 2014
My quiet morning waiting for things to warm up so I could begin digging us out and thawing which I posted about this morning was quickly and completely shattered.
Shattered that is in the form of busted PVC pipe everywhere.
It was my own stupid fault in two ways. One, I should have checked out my salamander heater back in November. And Two, I should have fixed that damned door to the basement that won't close properly years ago.
Those two over sights let that sub zero wind blow right in the crack of the door and turn the basement into a huge freezer. I have just never had to deal with wind that cold from that particular direction before.
So right after I posted this morning and went down to put the Ford on the charger my Mother comes screaming into the house complaining that she doesn't have any water for her horses and they must have water right damned now.
See this is the difference between my Mother and myself. I don't let things get to the point of an emergency but it was too cold for her to bother to fill the tanks the last few days because they always had enough.... Until they didn't. Then of course it was an emergency and everyone on earth better stop what they are doing and figure her problem out.
Well fine I guess I can always use another salamander so I went and bought one. It only took traveling to two towns and six stores before I found a place that wasn't sold out I might add. Three hundred dollars later I put together my new 75K BTU salamander and got to work thawing out the basement.
I mean I haven't had a shower in three days so I was kinda looking forward to having working plumbing again and all that jazz.
Now running a salamander in a wooden house is not something you just let go without on the spot supervision. Or at least I won't. The basement is concrete of course but the house above is all wood and I am not going to take the risk of a fire starting so I start the thing up and then begin cleaning and other busy work. Well the pipes unfroze alright which was when I was reminded that when they replaced the line leading to the barn they did it with PVC pipe. The rest of the house is copper which is all I will use.
As the frozen pipe thawed water spewed everywhere as that PVC pipe had cracked in about 20 places. Did I say cracked? Shattered would be a better word. Luckily who ever put that line in had the foresight to put a shut off on the copper part of the line so I shut it off and then started brainstorming what to do.
The second lucky break I had was that the line stopped being cracked a good inch or two before it went out through the wall and underground heading towards the barn. Had it cracked on the other side of the foundation wall we would be in deep trouble.
The section that busted comes down from the rafters off an elbow and drops about four feet before going through the foundation wall. The adapter bringing it from copper to PVC was also in good shape so I just cut the whole section out and sent my mother to the hardware store telling her to get one of each part on the section (2 elbows and a connector) and some pipe the same size with a coupler.
While waiting for her to make the trip I got the Ford out and bladed the drive and then cut a path to each feed lot so we wouldn't be pushing through waist high drifts. I also got the wife's car dug out and ready for her to start using once again and called my Dad who agreeably played taxi service and retrieved said wife from her workplace.
By 7:30 I had the house up above 75 degrees once again, the plumbing fixed and all frozen pipes thawed, even the kitchen sink was draining once again. All the stock tanks refilled and the drive with access points bladed, the wood stove cleaned and did a temporary fix on the damned door to boot. I then went so far as to dig the wife's car out from the drift that was too close to risk removing with the tractor, got her keys and drove said car in and out three times just to be sure it was all bladed down far enough so she could make it.
Her car sits low to the ground but she loves her convertibles.
Put all my tools away, remarked how much I love my solar motion detector LED light on my shop and threw so more wood in the furnace.
After all that the only thing I could think of was getting out of the long underwear/carhart attire I been wearing and take my first shower in almost three days then relax in warm comfort satisfied that all damages and emergencies were fixed and dealt with. I come inside, remove my muddy boots, take off my insulated overalls and hear water running in the shower.
Sigh, she beat me to it.....
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!