Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Call of Fall Part 2--Heat Tape

I left off the first installment of "Call of Fall" kind of abruptly.  That's how my brain operates--it buzzes from one subject to another and then another, like a bee going from one flower to another all day long. 

Something came to mind as a Facebook friend was showing snow on her vehicle (eeeek!!!), and that was freezing temperatures early.  I personally am not a fan of the extreme cold or extreme heat.  Just give me 75 year round with 50's for lows, and that's perfect. 

But, with those freezing temps comes frozen water pipes.  It happens every year to someone.  It stinks.  It can get costly.  It's a royal pain in the hiney. 

Something I learned the hard way after some pipes breaking, was heat tape.  If you've never heard of heat tape, it's a nice little invention that can save you lots of money, time, water, hassle, headaches, curse words, etc. 

When I learned about this, I had already had a broken water pipe on my little bitty trailer.  At the time I was a single mom with a special needs toddler, and I worked nights.  I was on my own, really didn't have a lot of technical know how for the under carriage of a mobile home.  I learned quickly after the first pipe break that maybe I should do something.  So, a trip to Lowe's and I came home with this foil looking roll of "tape".  It was kinda expensive for a working single mom, but I followed the directions and applied it onto the pipes.  I plugged it in, and lo and behold, no more frozen pipes. 

Fast forward a few years, a marriage, and a couple more kids, and we're using the tape again.  We now live in an older (turn of the century) prairie style home that has the stone foundation and so on.  We installed the tape on the pipes here, and it's been very helpful.  The pipes run under the house into a near crawlspace style basement, and it gets very cold there.  It has a lot of ventilation from little gaps and holes that have accumulated over time, which comes with old houses.  It has been bitter at times these past years, well below zero plus the wind chill, enough to freeze pipes for days.  All the pipes tended to with the electric heat tape have held up.  During the coldest of the cold, we drip faucets, and intense cold gets a stream..the drips have frozen up once or twice when it was absolutely bone chilling well below zero, but the little stream doesn't. 

Overall this helped and helps keep costly pipe bursts from happening.  This may be an idea for you to look into for your winterizing. 

~~~Mrs. A

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