Frabjous Times

No water

Today is the second morning we have woken up with no water in the kitchen. Somewhere in the crawlspace beneath the portion of the kitchen under the sink the hot and cold water pipes have developed frozen emboli because of the cold snap we're in. We'd left the water running before all this, based on past years' experience, and we'd even paid to have someone put extra batts of fiberglass insulation around the pipes in the crawlspace, but neither of these did the trick for us. It turned out that wrapping electric heating elements around the pipe was not workable either, owing to the impenetrability of the building's original foundation. I cleared some of the stuff out from the cabinet where the pipes penetrate and have a small electric heater going there, but so far it hasn't forced enough warmth down to do any good, and I don't think that putting it out in the crawl directly is likely to help much either since it hasn't in the past. We just have to wait for the relief from the cold forecast to come in the next couple of days.
We'd lost the ability to use our expensive dishwasher before Christmastime when its timer mechanism started to become erratic again. I'd found it running one morning on the same cycle it was on the previous night. The appliance repair people have been out twice to replace the timer, and they're due to come back again once they get another one to try swapping in. In any case, for all I know the feed lines to the dishwasher are frozen too so this might not even matter.
We cook less and avoid dirtying more dishes and cookware than necessary. Unfortunately the economic strictures are such that eating out continually is not an option (plus it's really too cold to be popping in and out all the time anyway). We have a little plastic basin to wash our dishes, which we fill from the powder room off of the kitchen which still has a working faucet — fill with soapy water, bring over to the kitchen sink, wash, empty, refill with plain hot water, bring it back over, rinse. It's almost like camping, without the campfire.
Originally published: 2004/01/11 11:04:49