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High and dry again

I was in the middle of doing my first load of laundry when the water stopped again.  At first I thought there was something wrong with the washing machine because it just sat there, making a funny noise.  Fortunately the water ran out just before it would have normally switched off, so I was able to trick the machine into continuing with the rinse cycle.  I have a bad habit of waiting until I'm out of clean clothes before doing the laundry.  If I hadn't done the whites first, or if the water had run out earlier, I'd be going commando tomorrow.

My roommate bought an extension cord and a incandescent shop light, which we lowered into the well.  We then sealed the manhole and I covered the manhole and top of the well with a sheet of R.5 insulating foam.  That should heat up the pipes and stuff quite nicely.

I sure wish this well had one of those old-fashioned hand pumps, then we could at least have water for flushing the toilets and doing dishes.


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Jan. 22nd, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
The deep ground will naturally be warm all winter. It's just a matter of keeping the nasty cold air away from the pipes. I have a similar situation with the crawl space under my house. Lots of pipes. I normally like to let some fresh air circulate under there, but when it gets cold, I close it up. I got a cheap remote radio digital thermometer ($10) so I can watch the temperature underneath. Overall, insulation is your best friend. R-5 is a bit light. Stack it for R-15 or more.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
The basement here is heated and when I went down there, it was about 55°F. The only pipes that aren't heated is about 10 feet of pipe about 5 feet underground (which I believe are insulated), and the pipes inside the well box, which is a concrete bunker extending down about 10 feet below the surface. We hung a 100 Watt light bulb down there to warm it up in case icing was the problem. The insulation was just to help the box heat up faster and to minimize heat lost through the steel manhole cover.
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