1.04.2018

I have 99 problems and frozen pipes are about half of them

Well, it happened.

I've been living in fear of frozen pipes. Frozen anything, really. I've already told you this about 76 times. My parents have had nightmares with a frozen pipe over the past few weeks, and the person who tried to thaw it wound up setting the house on fire. It was a small fire and quickly extinguished, but it was enough of a horror story to make me extra vigilant. The faucets have been dripping, the cabinet doors left open, and we've prayed. I've done everything but rebuke the spirit of frozen water in the name of Jesus.

Thankfully we haven't had any issues. But as I was unloading groceries this morning, I figured it wouldn't hurt to walk around the house and check the faucets. I know about winterizing, but we've had so much chaos going on that things fell through the cracks. DO NOT JUDGE ME. I'm just a girl trying to do her best. Everything looked fine until I found the one out front. The sellers left the hose screwed into the faucet, which is bad in the winter. I made a mental note when we were in contract to take care of it, but then we moved in, had 207 other issues to deal with, and since the faucet is behind a bush, I didn't see it and completely forgot.

The hose was encased in ice. James is of course working much later than usual and couldn't talk when I called him. Gracie had cried for no reason from 2-5am so we were both cranky zombies, and I was starving. But I couldn't rest until I knew how bad this was. I called my dad and told him what happened. We didn't have any of the tools needed to wrench the frozen hose off, so I did the unthinkable. I walked across the street and knocked on the neighbor's door. It's the only neighbor I've met--they're an older couple who have only ever seen me in crisis mode. It's the same man who came across the street when he heard me scream because I knocked things over trying to take care of the laundry room flood. That man is guaranteed to think that I'm anything but a capable adult, and honestly he's half right. He's also only ever seen me in sweats with bedhead. I have some things to work on.

My dad told me to ask for something called channel locks. All I could picture are those massive water locks in rivers and whatnot, but I went and asked anyway, and a minute later I had them in my hand. I was mortified when I explained why I needed them, and he had that "you poor ignorant youth" look on his face even though he was very kind. It didn't help that when I turned to walk back to my house, I realized the back of my pants were soaking wet. My butt was numb from sitting in the snow so I hadn't even noticed. I hooked the blow dryer up to an extension cord to help thaw the faucet, and once it seemed a little less frozen, I used the wrench and it worked like a charm. The hose came right off. I could feel ice still in the faucet which is no bueno, so if you drove past my house around 1:15, you would've seen me sitting in a pile of snow holding a blow dryer up the faucet, desperately trying to melt the ice. You also would've seen me crying. There was a lot of crying.

I kind of feel like I earned a badge for all of that. According to my dad, there's a chance there's ice further back in the pipe, but it's basically impossible to know and hard to thaw, so hopefully all is well, but it's also possible it's not. And don't lecture me on winterizing and turning water off, because our house is strange and has a well that's used purely for the outdoor faucets and there's no shut off and I KNOW NOTHING BUT I'M TRYING HERE. James did not grow up in a cold climate, so this is new for him. This is one house area where I'm a little more experienced, but only barely. So that's what my dad is for, but since he lives so far away, that's what Facetime is for. And I'm just really thankful I happened to discover that before anything worse happened and it flooded Gracie's room. I CANNOT HANDLE ANOTHER FLOOD.

I came inside and tried to thaw myself out. A FedEx truck pulled up. 10 minutes later, a man walked up to the door with two packages. I was frazzled and freezing and just wanted a hot shower, but I opened the door and smiled and greeted him.

"I couldn't find your house. And then I couldn't find your packages."

I apologized, grabbed the boxes, and thanked him. I was just closing the door when he said something about the belt on his truck breaking, having to do something by hand and staying at work till 10pm last night, he can't find packages in the truck, had over 200 deliveries to make etc. He was CLEARLY upset. I don't know why he dumped all that on me. He seemed both like he needed to get it off his chest and also like he was blaming me for being part of the problem. He was yelling about it so loudly he woke Gracie from her nap. I felt bad for him but also wanted to yell GUESS WHAT I JUST DID ISN'T LIFE SO HARD SOMETIMES? But I didn't, and he left.

Come to think of it, that's probably how my neighbor across the street feels every time he sees me.

7 comments:

  1. Oh no! I literally know nothing about winterizing, and especially if the faucet was hidden by a bush, I would have missed it entirely. Good job handling the situation!

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  2. You pesevered- that was the important part! I know absolutely nothing about winterizing a home. I would never be able to survive on my own 😬🤕

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    1. I only knew what I had seen my dad doing growing up. But that’s it! My ignorance is off the charts with all this homeownership stuff.

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  3. K just realized this morning at we didn't turn the water off to the spigot in the back. We're been in OH all our lives so major fail here. (In the last house I turned ON the spigot in subfreezing temps and broke the entire thing. Whoops.)
    We just had a meeting this morning with a coworker and he had to rush home because their pipes froze and they could hear dripping in the walls.
    Also, spigot is a weird word.

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  4. we had a pipe burst from being frozen. I know nothing about pipes. Husband replaced it. there was water everywhere!

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  5. Sounds to me like you did a pretty awesome job of accomplishing what needed to be done! I'm a strange mixture of handy/clueless, coming from my mixed background of that 19th century Michigan farmhouse and...living in apartments in Asia half my life. Angel is extremely good with car fixes, like he can do everything that needs doing, but he's not good at house stuff either because he grew up in apartments, too. I called my uncle a number of times while we were living in that farmhouse to come over and advise on something. If you're not handy, having handy family members is the next best thing. That's what they're there for, right?

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