So, I woke up this morning and turned on the cold water..... and I turned on the cold water again...
Turned on the hot water.... turned on the cold water again... nothing is coming out of the cold!
Um... so at this point I was having the "uh oh thoughts" and let James know that maybe there was a slight malfunction. We knew we were keeping the rats warm, and I guess I just assumed that the pipes would be cozy as well. Not so.
I checked my e-mail to see if I would need to ship anything that was not already packed up and made a note in my account that there will be no special shipping due to plumbing. Sorry all, but if you waited this long here is the lesson for next year. I guess I am mean that way anyway, but we will blame the weather.We are in the middle of a project anyway, and capable of doing what we need to do to repair plumbing. The hard part is doing so with "stock on hand", seeing as how driving in the ice and snow is not an option for us hill dwellers.
Step one was turning on all the cold water outlets in the house to see what was frozen, and what was not. Luckily, it was just the bathroom cold water pipe. I grabbed the hairdryer that I never use (because I dry my hair with the forced air heating, is that odd) and put it under the sink where the valve is. It was rather insane to think it would make enough difference, and it didn't.
Step two involved destruction, which we are perfectly capable of. "Get the hammer, I'm makin a hole in the house!" Trust me people, a hole in the house is nothing compared to broken pipes and water in freezing temperatures. We actually made 2 holes and I stuck the hairdryer in there and we warmed the pipe, but there was still no water.
At this point I started feeling a little rushed... I try to avoid "freaking out" and generally do a good job. Stress gives me a stomach ache.
I had to put a note out to the mailman to pick up some packages that I bundled in record speed. Eat, we had not eaten yet. Find a way to pay some bills online that are due on Christmas Day (Merry Christmas to you too Visa, thanks) because mailing them on Monday would cost me, I am sure. Keep the cats out of the hole, and keep the rats from coming in... I hear them, but I don't know where they are... (we have a plan, not to worry). Answer the door a couple times for gifties of mail and neighborly goodies.It's not a lot of activity for some, but I feel really disorganized, and I hate that. You see, I am the one the family calls "Martha". I'm in no way, shape or form Martha. It seems that whomever in each family is even remotely domestic and knows how to bake and make things is that families "Martha". I haven't even done my Christmas cards or neighborly goodies myself yet! I don't even have stamps!!!! I can mail a package to Australia no problem, but I cannot seem to get a nice stamp to mail a simple Christmas card. Cards which are quickly becoming New Year cards.
Alas, I have gone astray. We put on our grungies (which I am still wearing, ug) and prepared for a plumbing intervention. This involves getting up close and personal with the underside of the house. It's not fun, not that I know from experience, but James really doesn't like it.
The plan was to take the torch down there (wood house, hot fire, no biggie) and warm the pipe. Heck, the ice problem would be solved if the house caught fire.
What was discovered is a totally exposed copper pipe running down the exterior wall right next to a ventilation opening. Who builds these things! (I say this all the time, can we do a little quality construction please...) So, James put some insulation between the vent hole and the pipe and crawled back out from under the house. The water started slowly dripping... and 5 minutes later it was free flowing and threatening to overflow the sink.
We didn't have to burn down the house today. Good news!