The Day My House Tried To Kill Me

March 9th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

It was a very cold morning, following an even colder night. I got up at my usual time, went about my usual morning routine until it came time for my shower. I reached in and turned the faucet to “warm”.

Nothing warm happened. Something happened. It wasn’t warm. It was cold. Very, very cold.

It seems the hot water pipe for the second floor froze sometime during the night. I’ve been in the house for three winters and this is the first time the pipes froze.

So my morning was off to a bad start and then I made it worse. I overreacted. Here’s a picture:


After opening up the wall I realized that it wasn’t cold enough in that cavity to freeze a pipe. It turns out that there was a stiff breeze coming in through the basement, and that’s what froze the pipe.

And to make sure I felt like a proper idiot, it only took about 15 minutes with a hair dryer to thaw the frozen section of pipe in the basement.

Oh well. On the bright side, I got to use my new Sawzall, and I now know what the inside of the pipe-chase in the kitchen looks like. Here are some more picture for good measure.

Looking down…

Looking up (that big branch in the pipe is where the toilet is)…

That was my day to about 9:30 a.m. I spent the next 5 hours repairing the hole in the wall.

For some unknown reason the house had tried to drown me (pipes freeze, burst, flood the house, drown Woody) but I had foiled her plans. If I’ve learned anything about women in my life, it’s that they are always going to get their way. It may not be quick, or direct, but they always get their way. There’s a corollary that goes along with this: The less quick and direct the route to a woman getting what she wants, the more painful it is going to be on the man who gets in her way.

As I’ve noted before, my house is female. And this unlucky day I decided to stand in her way and not let her burst a pipe. After working like a lunatic all day, I decided that about 3 p.m. I could use a break. I turned up the thermostat (because I like to be warm when I relax) and sat on the couch (because I also like to be comfortable when I relax) to enjoy a few minutes peace.

Again, nothing warm happened. In fact, nothing happened at all. There was no familiar hum as the furnace burner kicks on. There was no familiar groan a few minutes later as the furnace fan kicked on. Now she was trying to freeze me!

After some amateur furnace diagnostics and some language, the furnace repairman got a call.

To make a long story short, I was without heat for three days in the middle of a cold snap. It cost me $500 and I got to pretend like I was “camping” in my own house. When the heat finally did come on , the temperature was about 5 degrees (celsius).

On the last morning of my “camping” trip I opened the fridge door to find a bunch of penguins in the fridge trying to keep warm.

Where am I?

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