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Feb
08
2012

Hot And Cold Running Water…. Not!

Woke up this morning, ready for the usual work morning routine only to find that fate had other ideas. There was I poised to brush my teeth, and as I turned the cold tap on… no running water. So then I tried the hot tap… nothing either, no free flowing water at all. It took a second or two to realise that we wouldn’t have hot water since we no longer have any tanks because of the combi boiler installation. That’s when I realised there was only one possible explanation.

Exposed pipe

It had been a few days since the builder was here last, as they had poured the concrete for the foundation and were leaving it to set properly. This was taking quite a few days since after pouring the concrete, there had been much rain followed by snow and days and nights still around freezing. Obviously, our main water pipe was still exposed as a result, and even though it had some lagging applied, the temperature last night was so low that the pipe had obviously frozen solid. Not to worry I thought, I would just get my blowlamp from the garage and gently warm the pipes to get the water flowing again, since there’s not much else you can do at that time in the morning.

Good plan, poor execution, since I can’t remember the last time I actually needed to use the blowlamp, which was probably when we changed a couple of radiators a few years ago, and I never got around to replacing the gas canister. So there was I crouched in the foundation trench attempting to warm the pipe through with what can only be described as a very weak flame. I may as well have tried to use matches or a lighter really, for all the good it did. Next plan was to hang a bucket of embers from the fire underneath the pipes, but as luck would have it the fire had burnt out during the night. I decided to declare defeat and just get a wash and brush up at work instead, leaving Lin to call the builder at a reasonable time.

Foundation fillers en route

As it happens, when Lin spoke to the builder, they were actually on their way to site as they had planned on getting the foundation up to ground level today anyways, and they were there within twenty minutes of having spoken to her. Not messing around, they quickly got the water flowing again…. as a builder is not much good in a morning without a cup of tea in his hand now is he ;) But that meant Lin was then able to continue about her morning activities unhindered, a fact she made me fully aware of when she texted me saying she had just had an extra long hot shower, just to rub my nose in it. She left them to get on with the rest of their work as she traveled up to her father’s as she does every day.

When we arrived home we found that indeed the foundation was now fully laid upto ground level and a little more clearance work had been done ready for the slab to be poured inside and around the skirt of the building for paths. Just as important in this current cold snap, the water pipe had been buried again protecting it from the sub zero temperatures overnight. Now the foundation is done though, it’s easy to see the size of the new part of the building, and although it isn’t a ‘new wing’ it still adds ample space for our needs, and more importantly, the needs of Lin’s Dad :)

Summary: On the level

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