7 F in Unit 7 and probably even colder tonight

Last night it got down to 7 F in our hoophouse, which is probably the exact same temperature as outside.  Our lower garden was likely below 5 F as that’s where our tomatoes froze first.

On 1/3/13 it got down to the mid teens and the plastic on one of our garden faucets broke even though it was insulated with the foam pipe stuff — obviously that didn’t do the trick.  We also lost a nickel shutoff valve that was already in bad shape at the house:

1-2-13--freeze

I replaced it with an old brass faucet and that promptly broke a couple of days ago, so we’re leaving the water shut off.   The little greenhouse doesn’t need a lot of water and I just fill the watering can in the house.  I wonder how my seedlings are doing.

Today we’re having bigger problems. 

This morning the pump wasn’t running.  The pressure gauge was at 70 lbs while it shuts off at 45 lbs.  This is the first time the pipes by the pump froze since I moved in as we have two 2,500 gallon tanks on either side of the pump, keeping the temperature above freezing.  That’s a really good setup, but for it to work, you need water in the tanks and we’re pretty low right now.

Mr. Heater on a propane bottle got the pump going again — we’re luckier than many other residents.  Next we found that the cold water in the bathroom was frozen.   That’s unusual because the hot water pipe has a smaller diameter and I suppose running hot water before I went to bed helped.

Just a few minutes ago, it’s noon now, the cold water came back and apparently no pipes broke.

The final problem is the pump to unload water.  It doesn’t move and it’s in front of the stove now.  Time will show whether we’ll need to replace it.

If you didn’t have any problems last night, beware of the effect of EXTENDED freezes.

  • The longer it’s cold, the colder the pump house, the ground and the water.

In previous years I’ve had PVC break AFTER it warmed up a little and I thought I was going to be fine.

According to weather.com, the Meadview and Kingman lows were 15 F last night and the forecast is for 14 F tonight. 

If you’re higher than Meadview, as we are, it’ll be a lot colder.   I think I’ll just leave the pump off tonight and then run the water until we’re out.

Of course you can also leave faucets dripping, but it better be a strong drip or the pipes will freeze anyway.

If Jose wasn’t working today and the pump to unload worked, I’d get a few loads of warm well water and that would take care of the problem with our setup.

Stay warm!

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