Thursday, February 25, 2021

And the Water Flows


Everything is all back together and working properly once again. I had to chip out a 4x3x2 inch notch in the concrete foundation wall to get far enough below the cracks of the incoming water line to cut and splice in the new section of pipe. Otherwise the isolate, shut off and drain tactic I used a few years back worked to save all the other pipes in the house except the small section under the kitchen that I did not shut off soon enough. The end result was all the replacement parts came in under 20 bucks total. It could very well have been much worse. 

Honestly this was a much needed wake up call for us. I should have listened to my prior experience and shut the North lines down as soon as negative temps were predicted. I did shut off the barn line but I should have also shut off the kitchen line too. Had I done that everything would have been fine I think. The last few years of milder cold fronts made me lazy and gave me a false sense of security. Going back over fixes I made almost a decade ago also confirmed that I should not have stretched things as far as I have. We should have been out of this old farm house five years ago but family issues and switching my main focus on fences, pastures and hay storage/production took my attention away from the house. 

The foundation has obviously continued to shift as many of the cracks I fixed years ago have widened. By the looks of things it isn't going to last too many more years. I think the time has come to knock this old Frankenstein farm house down but that means dealing with government red tape and I am not fond of that at all. Around here there is only one form of county building regulation but it is so oppressive that it has stopped a number of potential home construction in it's tracks. That is septic regulations.

I have heard rumors that the over restrictive regulations I looked into almost 8 years ago have been reduced somewhat but I don't know that for a fact. I guess the first step is to get all that figured out once again. The second, and possibly most time consuming step, will be getting the Mrs. to agree and get moving. She is notoriously more stubborn and ill tempered about moving on things sometimes than an old donkey and the older I get the less I want to deal with that. Probably why I focus so much on the barn, pastures and out buildings as the only opinion that matters out there are mine LMAO. If she disagrees I simply hand her whatever tools I am using and tell her she can do it as she likes. That almost always works :)

Having said all that we are still not 100% finished with unloading all the stuff left behind from my Mother. I ahve an entire out building full of her old furniture and other assorted junk to deal with. 

It never ends.

Still we more than managed to survive without piped in water for almost a week. The largest problem was of course keeping the livestock watered which we did by hauling snow as long as that lasted and then using the cistern water storage I got working almost a decade ago for just such an emergency. It wasn't ideal of course but it worked. Of course the snow hauling was cheating a bit since it relied on the water heaters to melt it once I put it in the troughs and we did take showers at my Dad's place. 

Lots a decisions and directions yet to make. It never ends.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


  1. Glad things worked out better than expected Preppy - $20.00 is not bad.

    Any chance you can get grandfathered in due to the age of the home?

  2. You should find out how much of your house needs to be original for a rebuild to be considered a "renovation." In California, you can knock everything down except the studs of one wall, build an entirely new house around it, and call it a "renovation." That way, everything, including the septic, is grandfathered. So are your property taxes...
    'Just thinkin'...

  3. What Pete said!! Sometimes I pays to have a friendly word with the local building code team. A lot are more helpful than you'd think.

  4. PP, wWhen we had 'snowmaggedon' a lot of structures collapsed or lost their roofs. People got creative - kept the skin of the old structure and re-built from the inside so it was technically the older building but was new framing and support... and new rooftops, with old tax rates. Wonder if you could jack up the house and re-do your foundation? Or like what Peteforester said. When we lived in CA that did indeed happen, a lot.

    But I'm glad you are back amongst the civilized with indoor running water!

    1. TB, Pete, Ro and Karen - The county I live in has only one building code and county inspector. The County Health which handles the septic systems regulations and they run a total non-compromised setup. Locals have been complaining about it for years. Anyone who attempts to build a new house either does it clandestinely by declaring they are adding on or gives up. The inspectors never approve anything but massive lagoon systems which means if you are building anything smaller than a new subdivision it is almost impossible to do. There are some state programs for historical locations etc. but not for remodeling kind of thing. It's been a few years since I looked into it though so the landscape may have changed some.

  5. You really should consider electrical heat tracing and insulating you pipes, PP. A good genny wouldn’t be a bad investment either...

    1. Oh I got a ginny. Two actually. all set up to run if the power goes out. Most of the pipes are insulated too but when that wind blows and it gets below zero there just isn't enough heat generation on earth to stop the pipes on the north wall from freezing.

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