We finally got our hot water back around 5:30 yesterday evening. Did you know that hot water (and hot water pipes) freeze easier than cold water? Yep. Just like diet pop freezes quicker than regular.
Anyway, our hot water line was frozen somewhere under the house - after it came out of the water heater. So originally it was frozen there and ALSO at the water tank - which is in the unheated garage.
In the morning when all the water was frozen I put the kerosene heater by the water tank in the garage, and I also used the hair dryer to blow hot air on the lines coming out of the water tank. It unfroze after an hour or so. I couldn't understand, then, why we still didn't have hot water. But it finally dawned on me that our water heater sits right on the west wall of the house, and the pipes go down into the floor from it right where the dryer vent makes its way outside. So it probably didn't help having cold air piping in through the dryer vent.
Around noon I blew a fan from the kerosene heater into the crawl space towards the under-house pipes, and also got the bright idea to do some laundry (the dryer vent uses the same crawl space). After about the third load of heating clothes in the dryer... kaboom... the ice was broken and we had a nice warm relationship with our water heater again.
I also built a temporary little enclosure around the water tank. I keep a heat lamp shining on the fittings coming out the bottom (2 when it's really cold), and I replaced the 60 watt bulbs with 150 watt flood lamps. Then I built a 36x36x70 frame and covered it with a tarp to keep the heat from the lamps around the tank. That should help a bundle. I've been going to do that for as long as it's been there. Once it gets a little warmer I'll make it a little sturdier (yeah, right). Maybe even make something permanent. I wasn't real sure the car was still going to fit in the garage, but it did. And boy was it cold out in the back shed cutting boards. My arms are sore something fierce too. Not just from the sawing, but from being cold, then sweating, then being cold again. I am not the world's greatest handyman either, but sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do.
Interestingly enough, the hot water came on while I was in the midst of working up a sweat making the enclosure. I was really glad to be able to take a nice warm shower afterwards.
I also think it's interesting that the Foreigner song 'Cold As Ice' originally appeared on the back side of the 'Feels Like The First Time' 45. That seems about right. You know, just when you think you know someone, or just when you're feeling all good about something... BAM... you realize you're an idiot. At least sometimes it seems like that. But the problem with stuff like this is... sometimes they're just stupid songs too. Not that they're stupid. I mean, I was never a big Foreigner fan, but it was my "era." They were trying to make a living just like everybody else. Those songs sell to teenagers. Or at least they used to. Sometimes we forget that people do things like that just to make a living too. It doesn't always have to mean something. But, then, sometimes we can find great meaning in doing those things that make up the average ordinary day. Heck, Sienfeld made a killing out of it. So, 'Cold As Ice' is the b side of 'Feels Like the First Time' (from a male perspective, of course)... and I really have no idea what I'm trying to say.
Aaaanyway... it is Tuesday. It's the day before the day before Christmas. Yesterday I spaced out and wore my slippers to the office. This morning I'm taking Carrie's car to the mechanic for an oil change and tranny fluid flush. It's still cold, but supposed to warm up a bit. And now it's snowing again.
Peace out; and in.