Homeownership: The Plumbing Volume

Things I have learned that you never say, because you are simply tempting fate, Volume LIII:

Oh, I’m not worried about our pipes.  The one pipe in our house that COULD freeze was replaced when it froze years ago.

Saturday morning we woke up to a glubbing sound.

Glub-glub is not a sound you want to hear in your house, I assure you. 

Husband went downstairs.  He went outside.  And then he went into the utility room.

And there was a frozen, split pipe.

That’s not supposed to happen.

At first, we blamed the cats – they had moved the curtain that covers the back door to keep the drafts out, and the pipe had split just after  the insulation ended.

Plumbers don’t answer the phone on Saturday in our area.

So we looked for parts, we looked for tools, and Sunday morning I drove to Lowe’s and bought some pipe, some connectors, some flux, and some sand cloth.

We cut off the offending part and replaced it.

Done, right?


Because it had seemed a little weird to start with, that the pipe to the boiler had frozen when the boiler was running.  I mean, hot running water is a little harder to freeze, yeah?

And then … the boiler was going.  The water was moving.  But it wasn’t moving enough.

We played with valves.

Our house was owned – and plumbed – by a member of the steamfitter’s union.  There’s a lot of “wtf” going on in this house, but there are always enough valves.  Always.

(Also, that’s another reason it was surprising the pipe had frozen.  The other time, it was because of a cheap retrofit made after the plumber had left the house but before we had moved in, as far as we can tell.)

It still didn’t go.

We tried some other things.

Still didn’t go.

In the end, it turns out plumbers do answer the phone on Tuesday.

We got a plumber in, and after he praised husband (“Good man!”) for doing his own pipe patch, he got down to figuring out what was wrong.

Which turned out to be what I’d said when I’d called the plumbers – broken/dying circulation pump – as well as

dun dun dun

another frozen pipe.

Not a broken pipe.

Just a clog in a pipe somewhere on the other end of the house.

(guess who’s looking for mouse holes into the basement this weekend?)

(Sure, we’ll let Oli help.  He likes that side of the house.)

Circ pump replaced.

Freeze nudged out.

Furnace working.

JUST as the temps started to drop again.

If there is a deity of homeowners, I’d say they were smiling on us.

And laughing, of course.

’cause I was fool enough to say I wasn’t worried.

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