Saturday, December 20, 2008

Inner Peace and Frozen Pipes

If inner peace is found by facing life squarely then I should be very peaceful at this point. Life doesn't get much "squarer" than frozen pipes and toilet valves.

We have had a cold spell which would do Alberta proud. It was -24 C this morning. We are wearing so many layers it is hard to bend our knees, and we are not the only ones who have needed extra "clothing" the past ten days.

A few days ago we found that our water pipe had frozen during the night. This necessitated a trip to town for a third heat tape, and a very cold hour of wrapping the "vulnerable" spot with heat tape, wrapping it with insulation and taping and tying it all together so the wind couldn't make off with our work.

This morning we found that our black water tank valve was frozen shut, hence no dumping. I probably need not remind you that one does need the little "necessity room", or to be more precise, the toilet. When the tank be full and cannot be emptied this poses a problem.

Thankfully we have a second "trouble" light, which we dragged out of storage and rigged up directly under the frozen valve. Two hours later and some struggling with the valve and Hoo-ray! it thawed enough to open and the dumping of the tank could proceed. A hot water chaser down the tank ensured that the thawing was complete and the valve could be completely closed again. Add some tank antifreeze and we're good for three days.

Weather is one of those things which must be faced, wherever you live. I have lived in less challenging climates, and I didn't fully appreciate them at the time. The weather service is predicting -8 C for tomorrow's high. After a week of highs of -16 to -20 the -8 would seem like springtime in the Azores. I'm just hoping it happens. I would really appreciate a slightly rounder day. I have achieved all the inner peace this cold spell has to offer.

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