Cold weather woes

So it’s been kind of chilly lately. Most mornings have been -10 F.

This morning the house was chilly too. 55 F.

Hmm. Didn’t bode well for the furnace.

We placed a call to Central Plumbing and Heating and got on their wait list. Fortunately they were able to see us same day. Unfortunately they couldn’t give us a specific time. We’d had the furnace and baseboard heating system serviced by Central last September. At the time they didn’t believe the system needed to be bled. We speculated (before Central arrived) that the problem was an airlock preventing water flow in the baseboard heat.

The nice man from Central arrived in the afternoon. He did a great job explaining what and why he was testing for each component, educated us a little more about our system (disturbingly – ‘they don’t make that widget anymore, when it breaks we’ll have to reconfigure the system’). We soaked up as much as we could.

Regrettably the diagnosis was frozen pipes in the crawlspace. John was kind enough to slip into the crawlspace and help us identify several likely spots to check for frozen pipes. Some time ago we’d blocked a 3″ diameter hole. Our plug had worked loose giving our frigid weather almost direct access to the baseboard pipe. Could be a problem, you think?

John discussed our options with us. Central doesn’t do frozen pipes. They referred us to Libby Thawing.

We hauled space heaters down into the crawl space, pointed them at the likely spots, and crossed our fingers that we don’t have busted pipes.

We called Libby Thawing and got on their wait list. Libby’s list is very long, they were unable to give us a time estimate for when it would be our turn.

We do like living in Alaska very much. This is a hassle, but that’s all. We are able to keep the living space at a reasonable temperature. If pipes are busted we’ll deal. Grand scheme of things this is minor.

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