The temperature last night was twenty-three degrees below zero (Farenheit). Is that even a real temperature? Adding in the wind chill factor brought the temperature down to thirty-five below.

I’ve been warm. Although part of the county lost power last night, this area didn’t. What I did lose was the cold water in my kitchen. It was amazing how quickly the pipe froze. I made myself a cup of tea, using the cold water from the faucet, and then, an hour later, I decided to leave the spigot open slightly to keep the pipe from freezing, and there was no cold water. Almost an instant freeze!

I knew from the previous owner that the cold-water pipe in the kitchen had a tendency to freeze, but an insulation cap on the outside faucet was supposed to take care of the problem. And I thought the had solved the problem because the pipe hadn’t been an issue until last night. I just figured it was the immensely cold temperatures (more than forty degrees below average for this area). I put a space heater down in the basement near that particular pipe, but it didn’t help.

So I called my contractor. That’s not the sort of job they normally do, but he’d invited me to call him whenever there is a problem with the house. A little later he showed up with a couple of his workers. One shoveled the sidewalk from the house to the garage (a lovely surprise!) while the other located the frozen water pipe. No wonder the space heater didn’t solve the problem — it was a different pipe than I thought it was, so the insulation cap was doing its job. The frozen pipe ran along the inside wall by one of the cracks in the foundation (cracks that were being fixed before all the storms hit). So, the men unfroze the pipe and insulated it.

No damage was done, which sort of surprised me because the pipes, although not more than a decade old, are brittle and need to be replaced. That job is on the contractor’s to-do list, but it hasn’t been a priority, and I didn’t want to make it a priority until some of the started jobs are finished. So, whew! I don’t have to worry about replacing the pipes for now.

The town has been talking about trying to get more retirees to the area, thinking it’s an ideal location for older people since houses are relatively cheap (though the prices are going up a bit), and it’s touted as a mild four-season climate. I wonder how these temperatures will affect those plans? Not that I care except as a matter of curiosity.

What I do care about is staying warm and keeping my pipes from freezing. Luckily, we’re in a heat wave — it’s up to zero degrees right now, and the low tonight will be only minus four.

I know one thing — until it warms up to a decent temperature and all danger of pipes freezing is past, I’m just going to let the kitchen faucet drip.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

3 Responses to “Freeze!”

  1. Estragon Says:

    Pipes, less than a decade old, need to be replaced? What kind of pipes get so brittle in such a short time? Some sort of plastic exposed to UV, chemical, or some other environmental degradation?

    Leaving the tap running a bit seems wise. I’ve seen underground supply service lines freeze in extreme conditions, which can be a problem without special equipment. Of course, the waste lines also need to be able to handle the flow without freezing 😉

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      PVC pipes. I suppose it’s possible the pipes are two decades old — that’s how old the water heater is. The rest of the house — electricity, windows, and air conditioning — were upgraded about twelve years ago, so it’s hard to know for sure. They’re going to put in a different kind of pipe, so that’s good.

      This is a very hot and dry area, so that might be part of the problem.

  2. Judy Galyon Says:

    Smart thinking Pat!! Glad you are ok & warm.

Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: