Monday, February 20, 2006

frozen & socked in

we only ventured out yesterday for breakfast. after waking to frozen pipes and no water to make coffee--i was ruined. being completely unable to function without caffeine, nancy (abuela) had to bring down coffee from their house so the deductive part of my brain would wake. back when we worked on the house--we completely reconstructed the foundation. i did some plumbing to the bathroom (toilet, sink and shower). this was easily done while all the floors were ripped up. i heavily and meticulously insulated all the pipes. i also did the same for the new supply for the refrigerator (ice and cold water). under the little add-on shed where i installed a new water heater is the main water supply. i tapped into that location for the new water heater and also heavily insulated before closing. they obviously had a leak in that location in the past. i stuffed the area with insulation and closed it up. i checked the faucet that i installed just out the back of the shed and deduced, thanks to the coffee, that the freeze was just under the water heater and at the main supply. i had to get out the new circular saw and cut out the recently installed plywood. i unstuffed the area and ripped the insulation off the pipes. i found my heat gun (an industrial blow hair drier) and proceeded to heat up the pipes. a few minutes later the water started flowing again and we were in business. by this time it was too late to go to church and breakfast was long overdue. as luck would have it mike and nancy invited us to breakfast. the snow started to fall again and we were going to visit grandpa and grandma-nancy (abuelo and abuela). i put a heating pad around the pipes and restuffed the area with insulation.

i have decided that the little area needs a heat source to prevent this in the future. some heat tape with automatic freeze protection switch turning it on at dangerous temperatures should do the trick. there is no point just re-insulating the area as before because without exposure to heat from the crawl space it'll just freeze again(being an add-on shed).

i'll get some heat tape from the hardware store and install it once the roads clear and snow melts.
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