Friday, January 02, 2009

Hoping 2009 will begin better than 2008 ended! A long tale of plumbing woes.

I know that with my last post, I promised to blog more often. I had NO idea what the last few weeks of December would have in store for me. Lets just say that I am GLAD that the last few weeks are finshed and I hope that things calm down a bit now!

On December 10th I went to Vermont with Thing One and Thing Two, planning to spend a nice relaxing weekend before coming home to finish Christmas preparations. But it was not to be. No.... Vermont, along with parts of upstate NY, and all of NH, ME and lots of MA was his with a very severe ice storm. Our power at our Vermont house went out at 1:00 Am on Friday, because there was so much ice. We lost numerous trees on our property, the tops of dozens snapped off due to the weight of the heavy ice coating. Our power was not restored until the following Tuesday afternoon. It was a bad scene... thank goodness we had installed a LP burning fireplace that does not re1quire electricity a couple of years ago. That was our only heat source for those 5 days. No electricity means no heat source beyond the gas fireplace, it also means no cooking, and worst of all no running water. One the power was back on, I figured that we'd have clear sailing until the holidays. I was wrong.

On the 20/21 we had another snowstorm that made things pretty dicey for a while. It wasn't THAT bad though. We took the kids to our normal Breakfast with Santa at the Elks Club. The next day it was bitterly cold, so I went back to Vermont to check on things again. Sigh. The power had been out again, but not for too long. However the Rinnai heater in the bedrroom didnt' come back on when the power was restored. I went in the bathroom and found ICE in the toilet. Lovely. By the time I got heat going and things were thawed out, there was water pouring out of the light fixture in the bathroom ceiling. Thankfully I had the sense to turn off the well pump. So we had burst pipes and no water. On December 23rd. Two days before Christmas. And we were having company on Christmas Day. Now between the looming holiday and the huge ice storm less than two weeks earlier, what were my chances of finding a plumber? That night, I was the only one there and I spent WAY more time climbing around the crawl space looking for water shut off valves than I even want to think about (BTW, there is only ONE main water shut off valve for the whole house).

So my brother-in-law came on Christmas Eve to get our water running again. I cancelled the company for Christmas Day and told them that we would reschedule a couple days later. DH, BIL and I were up Christmas Eve until 4 am Christmas Day fixing the pipes. Three breaks in one line and one break in another line. And we got some shutoff valves installed so that we can at least turn off the water in the master bath (which is more susceptible to freezing).

Christmas Day came and all was well. (Separate post later about Christmas!), and then the company came on Friday instead of Christmas Day. Friday night after they left, we discovered a leak in one of the newly-repaired pipes. Apparently someone didn't solder the joint as much as they should have. So again, no hot water to the shower in that bathroom. Sigh. Dh capped that line so that the rest of the water works. We'll fix it later in the week. Fine, I'll shower in the kids bathroom.

Fast forward to New Years Day. Again, it is COLD. Five below again. We have ice in the toilet again. Thankfully DH was on top of things and got heat into the right place to melt things before we had more pipes bursting. We spent all day yesterday and half of last night wrapping pipes and adding extra insulation into vulnerable areas. I'm still waiting for that hot water line to be fixed.

The next time the temperature is going to be below zero, for sure you'll find me in Vermont babysitting the pipes in the master bath. Hopefully the new insulation and pipe wraps will help.


Carol E. said...

Yikes! What a nightmare!!! I wondered what had kept you from blogging. I bet you will celebrate when spring comes along. (Seems like a long time ahead right now, doesn't it?)

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

ugh. no fun at all. Here's hoping for a much better, wonderful, less freezing 2009!