20100105

I wonder if anybody thinks twice before using an eye drop called "Eye Itch."

But that's not what this article is about.

This week has been eventful enough to warrant comment.

When I leave Show Low on Friday afternoons I typically turn off the water to my trailer, drain the water lines, set the inside electric heater to a moderate (chilly) setting and head out.

Over this last Solstice break I did a little more. I also turned off the inside heater and unplugged the heat tape.

Now I should give you a little background on that heat tape. It is one of those self-contained (non-extendable) types. One day I noticed that water was dripping from the pressure regulator. Clearly it needed to be tightened. I took my pocket knife and carefully cut away the thermal wrap from the pressure regulator. My intent was to gain access to the regulator, tighten it and tape the insulation back into place. Well, when I cut away the insulation I also cut the heat tape apart. I tried to hand-wrap the wires back into place; but this particular heat tape has heating elements in it. Those wires don't "wrap" very well.

When I got back to the trailer on Sunday evening I found the water line frozen. In the past I have been able to get the water running by waiting till the warmth of the afternoon and try it then. This time, that line was frozen like permafrost. Yesterday, I got a spare hose and tried running water to the trailer with it. That worked but the hose didn't make a decent seal with the trailer and it dripped. Also, that hose isn't prescribed for potable water.

My "spare" hose also had frozen water in it; but upon putting pressure to it and wiggling it some the un-frozen water pushed out the frozen chunks and it was clear. That gave me an idea. I would apply water pressure to the potable water hose, wiggle it and maybe blow out the ice chunks. So I turned on the water, wiggled the hose and it busted clean in half like an icesicle!

I ran down to the local Home Depot and bought another hose, some new insulation and some hardware for reparing the heat tape.

I spent the rest of the evening carefully cutting out the remnants of my severed heat tape from the old busted hose. I repared the heat tape with butt splices and insulated it to the hose. I went out hooked it all up. It seemed to be in good shape. The temp detector is just hanging there. It's supposed to be against the pipe. I don't know why. Nevertheless, the water that comes out the cold spiggot is pretty hot for a few seconds before it goes to blue-fingered cold.