Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The Frozen Turd Tube Fiasco
Y'all will please excuse my recent absence, I was kinda busy.
My last post mentioned the cold weather that has descended on the area and has refused to let up, well it bit me finally.
I knew it was going to freeze around here so being the real fart smeller I am, I turned the water on to run in the bathroom so my pipes wouldn't freeze. All well and good says I.
I woke up to a half inch of standing water all over the whole trailer, basically from one end to the other, again.
I went through this little scenario a while back. So my first thoughts are that the damn pipe I fixed must have let go but I don't hear water running.
I stick my head in the bathroom and there is still a slow drip coming out of the faucet but the other thing I see is a whole bunch of standing water in the tub.
Then it dawns on me, oh fuck, the sewer hose is frozen.
I rush outside to turn off the water and sure as shit the flexible sewer line is frozen solid.
Fuck me, that ain't good.
I go back into my soggy lair, I had a bunch of shit sitting on the floor, including a big pile of dirty clothes I had been sorting out to wash, everything was soaked.
I drug out the multiple laundry baskets I had stacked up in the corner and started filling them up. Then every towel I own and a couple of blankets got tossed on the floor to start soaking up all the water.
I opened up a cabinet and got out a bottle of water from my emergency stash, (SEE! I keep telling you!) and made a pot of coffee while I figured out just what the hell I was going to do here.
I called work and told them I wasn't coming and started in.
I drug the Propane Heater From Hell outside and fired it up, then I scrounged a sheet of plywood from the neighbor and leaned it up against the side of The Rat Hole and then some other miscellaneous boards and shit and made a little lean to so the heat wouldn't just go straight up into the air.
Then I went inside and started boiling pots of water.
Many trips back and forth later, I finally got one end of the hose undone from where it goes into the ground.
Many more trips and I got the valve thawed out for the black water tank to close. The sewer hose had a couple of holes in it and water was just pouring on the ground until this point.
One thing I was SO grateful for, I had recently dumped the holding tank and flushed it out several times so there were no human waste products involved in this whole fiasco. I was afraid of the damn thing freezing and splitting wide open, I have seen the results of that, not good. This could have been a real disaster otherwise, like throw everything away and find a place to live while decontaminating everything. All the water everywhere was Fresh water, Thank God!
Long story short, I spent all day getting the situation straightend out.
Three trips to the Hardware store, it never, ever takes less than three trips, ever.
I finally replaced the Turd Tube, mounted it up on a board and wrapped heat tape around it and plugged it in.
All set, right?
While I was dicking around with that, the fucking water line going into the trailer froze because I had shut it off.
It broke a plastic 'T' I had on it so I could hook up a garden hose too.
Off that came, took the hose inside and thawed it out, boiled more water and thawed out the pipe where it comes out of the ground and reinstalled the hose going to the trailer.
This time, I was ahead of the game because I had bought insulation to cover all this stuff up,on the last trip to the Hardware store.
I worked on that mess until three thirty in the afternoon. Lucky for me it was a beautiful day. Cold but no wind and not a cloud in the sky.
I took all the wet clothes and threw them in the bathtub and went and had SEVERAL cocktails.
I still have a mess to clean but the big project is fixing where all that water came from in the first place, the seal under the fucking toilet must be shot, that is where it all came from.
The first order of business is doing all that laundry.
Then I am going to mop the floor with bleach, then I am going to tackle the toilet.
No fun job that, it isn't your typical porcelain model with the nice handle on the tank. Oh no, this is a RV model with the foot controls and is plastic and very expensive and a real bitch to access the bolts holding it down because it is literally boxed in between the linen closet and the sink cabinet.
No rest for the wicked.
I am going to very busy for a couple of days.
Oh, by the way, I was not the only one this happened to, I saw several familiar faces in the plumbing section at the Hardware store, all with the same problem, frozen turd tubes.
The joys of living in a trailer. The learning curve continues.
Snow and freezing rain being predicted off and on for the next couple of days, things are going to get ugly around here.