Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brrr - Baby, It's Cold Outside

The cold front came through our part of the country Thursday night. I saw the temperature dip to 17 degrees, but add the wind to that and I do not know just how cold it really was. Come Friday morning I had no water. In all my 28 years of living in this part of Texas, I did not drip the faucets nor did I put lights on the water pipes. I have paid dearly for that oversight in that no water from either the well or the rainwater collection entered the house.

I broke the ice in this tank three times Friday so the cattle could get water. A lone goldfish lives here -- maybe, it is lived here. It is good to keep some fish around in standing water to eat mosquito larva. :D

This is an after-Katy-close-the-barn-door-effort to unfreeze the pipes. Ultimately, I had two lights, two heaters, and a black heater tape. Unfortunately, the electric breaker kept cutting off. There were at least 35 trips to the rainwater collection area Friday and about 10 trips to the well house. Yesterday with the aid of the sun, a heater on the other side of this wall, the use of a hair dryer at the well house, 100+ feet of heavy extension cords, and about 25 trips to and fro, water could be heard moving through the pipes, but no water into the house. Why? The one pipe (maybe it's two pipes) transporting water from either the well or the rainwater broke just before going underground. It is complicated with a two source system so one can switch between the sources. In fact, we'll discover just how complicated when the plumber arrives today. :D

The good news is that I had on hand 5 1-gallon milk cartons filled with potable water. The well water broke free early yesterday, and I was able to refill from a direct well faucet connection the milk cartons and the water tank for the cattle. :D I discovered I had a carton of 12 1-liter bottles of water in the hobby room in the barn. Aha, that meant we could have coffee, hot tea, wash face, and brush teeth! More good news: the front was dry - no standing ice or snow on the ground. I got more walking exercise than usual going back and forth from the house, rainwater room (actually the feed room in the barn), and the well. I worked up an appetite -- the bad news.

This is Little Bit. She is about 2 weeks old and quickly learns a harsh lesson of cold, cold weather. She looks to be handling it well, don't ya think?

Lessons to be learned: sometimes you just do stupid things; always, always, always drip faucets; keep at least 5 1-gallon milk cartons filled with water; and at least two cartons of 1-liter bottled water on hand.

Until next time, God bless.

PS: Pray that we have water into the house by noon today. :D


wenn said...

ya, water is so much needed!

Donna said...

Hard lessons learned! I am praying that you get the water running again quickly!

DJan said...

Yo seem to be coping with the no water situation with your usual tenacity. That is some story about trying so hard to get water flowing. You can't be blamed for not running the water, who knew it could get that cold so quickly?? I saw this morning that Miami is colder than Seattle, by 20 degrees!

Rae said...

That is a horrible situation. One I have been any several times. It makes me wonder how pioneer women survived. I can't imagine living like the for very long. It really makes you appreciate plumbing and running water in a whole new way.

Lily Robinson said...

Up here in Ohio, our pipes are used to the cold. LOL Everything is freeze-proof to start with. There are heaters in the horses and goats water troughs. The chickens and even the cats have heated waterers. They only thing I have to do when the temp dips to single digits is put a litter box in the garage for Little Bear. She doesn't like being in the barn with the boys.

I do hope your problem is resolved by now without too big a bill. My dad's house in Florida doesn't even have a furnace. It's been rough on the south.

Lynn said...

Lily, I was wondering how you handled the water pipes/cattle troughs, etc., during the winter. The main pipe into the house broke. It is fixed...yippee.

This was an unusual cold snap and the plumber told me he was running 4 trucks into the night starting Friday morning.

SquirrelQueen said...

Oh Lynn, what an ordeal. This winter has been really rough on areas that don't normally have to deal with such low temps. I'm glad you had some water in reserve. I hope the plumbing bill isn't too horribly high.

Cold is a way of life here in the winter. Our pipes are well insulated and we are on city water. I grew up in the country however and I remember having to fill the bathtub with water before it turned too cold just in case the pipes froze. Every clean jug we could find would be filled as well.

I hope it warms up soon for you.