I’m sure that I’ll want to keep some kind of record of the past week. That being said…
Sunday last, it was freezing cold. Almost record cold. We made it out to the store and got our regular supply of groceries. On the way into the store I made the comment that it wasn’t really skiing weather. It was too cold even for that. We shopped for nothing special. When we got back home, Thea checked the coverings on the outside taps. All three had their winter coats on. Late in the afternoon the city had a water main break. Also, the Draper Lake water treatment plant had a problem. Much of the city, which included us, was left with very low water pressure. We left the cold water taps dripping in the kitchen and my bath as we were taught to do.
Monday’s aftermath. We forgot to leave the hot water dripping. It was below 20° in the attic where the hot water feeds into the back of the house and the PEX plumbing was frozen. I know it was below 20° because I took an instant-read inferred thermometer up there. I decided that I had to try something to get the pipes unfrozen. We own one space heater. It’s portable, electric, and sealed-oil. I put it on an attic walkway and set it on full. I also left our outdoor weather station remote up next to it. Try as it might, the weather station only reported that it was in the lower forties within eight inches of the heater. I suspected that it would be ‘single candle against the vastness of space’ sort of odds of thawing the pipes that way. But I tried. I researched and reached out to find out more about PEX and freezing. The consensus was that we should be fine. But temperatures weren’t supposed to be above freezing for the rest of the week. So we had cold water at very low pressure but no hot water in the back of the house. But we did have hot water in the kitchen side of the house. So no showers but we were able to stay hygienic. I was in WFH-mode. So, I spent much of the day making some chicken noodle soup in our big crock pot to keep myself occupied when there wasn’t any work to do. I wasn’t impressed with the soup. The flavor was there but the noodles were limp and gummy. Before bed, we filled pitchers and pots with water in case the city water system shut down overnight. Oh, and we’re warned that there could be rolling blackouts.
Tuesday the weather was no better. The water pressure from the city was still low. We experienced no blackouts. I was still WFH. And we still had no showers. I baked some bread. I also got on Amazon and ordered eighty feet of pipe heater. It’ll be here in March. I turned off the space heater in the afternoon since it was not doing anything more than running up our electric bill. At that point it was too hot to handle. So I had left it and the weather station remote in place.
Wednesday we got a surprise. The weather was the same as the day before. I was still WFH. Late in the day, Thea heard water running in the back of the house. I had left the hot water tap to her shower open. And it was now running hot water. The weather station reported that it was 48° in the attic while it was still below 20° outside. But now there was a blanket of snow on the roof, very little wind, and I had left the lights on up in the attic. There are only three incandescent bulbs hanging in the rafters but apparently with the three factors working in our favor, it was enough to thaw the pipes. Though the water pressure was still low, we took advantage of the opportunity and each showered.
Thursday was much the same weather-wise outside. I was still WFH. The city called off the rolling blackouts without them ever including us. We were still experiencing low water pressure. We still had hot water everywhere. All things considered, we were doing okay. I made some butternut chili for dinner.
Friday, I had to go in to work. There was a client server that needed hands-on care. Predictably, driving to work, it was messy getting out of the immediate neighborhood. But, once I got to the main roads, it was otherwise uneventful. Coming back home, it took two tries to get up the driveway. I had tried to simply curl in as usual. But once I had three wheels on the slope of the driveway, the one in the street couldn’t find purchase. I backed out and got aligned for a straight run up the drive. No problem.
Saturday everything thawed out. We still had low water pressure from the city. Late in the afternoon our internet was down for two hours. We were in a state of amazement that it went down at all since it hadn’t gone down during the week. I mean what with all the other loads that were being put on it from everyone working from home. We had just assumed that it had become reliable. Oh well. We’re okay with a little down time.