My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
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A Tale of Bitter Cold
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Today was cold and wet, and the forecast for this evening is colder and wetter. It was your basic yucky day, and the only times I stirred out of the house for were the paper and mail. Oh yeah--and feeding the dogs, but that's done close to the house.

The TV weather people are saying protect pipes, pets, and plants. They are also adding special warnings for those with FEMA trailers, suggesting they either insulate their water hoses or keep a trickle running during the night.

And that reminded me of the winter in Cheyenne when it hit 47 below. We had a mobile home then and, like all mobile home owners, had our water pipe wrapped in electric heat tape, and then insulation on top of that. On really cold nights (below zero) we would use the trickle of water thing. Sometimes all that would be to no avail and we would have to call the guy who (I think) sent an electric current down those copper pipes to melt the ice.

The night it went to 47 below a couple of our friends ran into a major problem with the trickle of water trick. They had a relatively small mobile (I think it was only 35 feet) and it had a VERY long run of sewer pipe. They had left the water trickling all night, and it had gone down the very shallow slope of the sewer pipe very slowly--and frozen along the way. By morning their sewer pipe was frozen solid. They could run the water, but it couldn't go anywhere. And, since the sewer pipe was PVC, the old electrical jolt method wouldn't work.

As I recall, it took the better part of the day to get the thing unfrozen. I think the guys used used propane torches VERY CAREFULLY.

Many of the FMEA trailers decocrating nieghborhood driveways have sewer pipes with almost no slope to them, and I sure hope we don't get a really hard freeze.

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