Archive for January, 2010

Cold Snap

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

            I went to Winkley’s Hardware and Feed store Saturday morning.  The parking lot was nearly full of pick-up trucks, cars, and SUV’s.  Something BIG must be happening I thought.  I pulled in, found a parking place, and soon found what the celebration was   about.  It wasn’t a celebration at all.  They were there for the same reason I was there; plumbing supplies.  

            With all this talk in the papers, magazines, and the Internet about global warming you wouldn’t think we could still have a cold snap that would send us scrambling for plumbing supplies.  But it happened.  It happened Saturday morning about 4:PM.  Saturday morning the temperature dropped, around our place, to 13 degrees.   Of course no one knew it had happened until it began to thaw.  With the sun warming things the first cracks in the frozen pipes began to trickle water that quickly turned into a full-blown stream of water.  That was when the scramble really started in earnest.  Where is the water cut-off?  What wrenches will I need?  How can I find the leak and what will I need to  repair the break?  That sort of demand really gets some of us old men out of our rockers and going.  Hey, we can still move!

             All I needed was a few PVC elbows, PVC glue, and some insulation.  But that store was full of folks getting all sorts of supplies.  One fellow had a box of copper connections and solder to weld the joints together.  He said he had all the equipment needed to take care of copper plumbing problems.  I felt lucky to only have PVC problems.  I was also lucky that my frozen pipe was easy to get to.  Some folks were having to dig water lines up to repair them.  One neighbor had a frozen water pipe in his attic.  You can imagine his problem with water dripping down the sheetrock walls and running out of light fixtures.   The worst problem may be having to crawl under the house to repair frozen pipes.  Mud and broken pipes just naturally go together.

            I remember when Dale Monroe had a hardware store here and his famous axiom about repairing plumbing.  Dale said, “You can never get all the supplies to repair a plumbing problem in one trip.  You always have to come back the second time.  And sometimes the third time.”  Well I thought I had found the time that disproved Dale’s axiom.  I got home with my sack of stuff and went to work repairing the damage the cold had brought and quickly found I needed one more thing.  A hacksaw blade to cut away the old broken pipe.  So it was back to Winkley’s again for more supplies.  Dale was so right.

            So much for “Global Warming.”  It hasn’t arrived here in Liberty Hill as of now.  If you find it hanging around the pool hall, let me know.  I am not sure ‘Global Warming’ might not be better that repairing frozen water pipes.