Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Now is the winter of our discount tent.

With apologies to Red Green.

I haven't been keeping up on my writing very well. I was very proud of myself for writing a couple little poems in my Pizza John notebook but I let that go to my head, so back to the grindstone.

A couple weeks ago my neighbor Bill's water froze up. Sadly for him it froze up in the street. He badgered the town and they finally sent somebody to free it up. He had water for a couple days and the dammed thing froze up again. Whats happening is that since the town plows the street theres no insulating snow over that area so the cold goes really deep into the ground. In both cases the freezeup is starting somewhere right around where Bill's branch line comes off the main pipe. The only real way to prevent this problem is to use more water, moving water is much harder to freeze than stuff that sits still. We've been lucky that I've been home a lot and Angie and I stagger our day pretty well anyway so our water gets used during the day. Also out water pipe into the house is much lower than Bill's is which hopefully (for us) means that our hookup is lower too. After the first freeze up bill left his water on a trickle but apparently it wasn't enough. The guy from the town said it had to be "a pencil width".

This time the town said no-way no-how they aren't fixing it. They contend that Bill's responsibility starts at the joint where his pipe comes off the main line. I think this is complete BS, every other water district I can find information for says the resident's responsibility starts at the shutoff which is also called the "curb stop". Since Bill's line was frozen beyond the curb stop it should be the town's responsibility.

Anyway yesterday Bill hired John, a local plumber, to come and check it out. John got some thin hose and pumped water into the hose so he could shoot it at the ice in the pipe:

The water of course drains back out of the pipe, in this case it falls into the red tub where John has his pump which shoots it back into the pipe.

Every minute or so John pushes the hose a little farther into the pipe. This worked but was slow, eventually the pump got moved into a metal pot on a propane burner to keep the water hot. That worked well enough and eventually John got the hose some 40 feet from Bill's cellar into the street. At that point he could go no farther and quit for the night.

Today he got the guy from the town to loan him the pump they use and their special, even smaller hose and within a couple minutes finally had things flowing. I wish I'd been around for the success because the water must have come shooting out of the pipe into the basement. We'd set up a plastic table to divert the water since Bill's furnace is right in line with the pipe.

Anyway its good to see our neighbor with water again. I'd told him that if John couldn't get the water going we'd help him out. We could run a garden hose from our house to his but it would have been a mega PITA to keep it going, we'd have had to cut a trench in the snow and insulated the hose to keep it from freezing. Even so we'd have had to bring it in most of the time since its been so cold. Today was actually above freezing but they're saying we'll see -3 before the week is out...

No comments: