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Water, Water, Everywhere, and Now, Not a Drop to Drink

The line is from an early Caedmon’s Call song, but reflects the results of the arctic cold here this week. My kitchen, master bath and one of my outdoor faucets are all on the very exposed north wall of my house, and in spite of my efforts, four pipes froze (the two outdoor faucet pipes, kitchen sink hot water and upstairs master toilet supply).

I discovered it late last night (about midnight) and was able to quickly get the sink flowing freely again with no apparent damage. Wal-Mart didn’t have anything to help warm the other pipes, so I went back to campus and raided my lab’s surplus supplies and got some heating tape (think high temperature electric blanket, but in a strip you can wrap around something), and wrapped the three remaining pipes between the wall and the faucet/valve. I got to bed about 3:30 and up by nine—no success. None of the local hardware stores had anything better, so got ready and left for campus about 11.

When I got home about 11 tonight, JOY! Both outdoor faucets were flowing free and the toilet was working again. Hallelujah! I had opened the north faucet a bit much and my back yard was a slushy marsh, so it must have thawed fairly early in the day. I use so little water this is probably 10 times my normal monthly usage in one day. Sigh.

I prepared the faucets to stay warm and dry with the snow approaching and went inside. About a half hour later, I went into the kitchen and discovered a minor flood flowing from the pantry (opposite the north faucet) and into the carpeted dining room and living room and all the cabinets in between.

Off went the main cutoff and praising God for the shop vac, cleaned up most of the water. The carpet penetration wasn’t great so I could salvage most of the padding. Here it is, two hours later and I’ve done most of what I can do tonight, so off to bed and hunt for a plumber in the morning and hope there isn’t too much damage in the wall.

I’m sure there’s a profound spiritual message here somewhere. I’m too tired to hunt for it, so ask the Holy Spirit and I’m sure he’ll oblige you. It will be better than what I’d come up with anyway.

Good night.


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