Sunday, January 11, 2015

That one time I turned my heater off......

With this being our first home we've owned or even had to pay utilities. I've been super paranoid / OCD about our electric bill. We do our best to conserve water and electric when we can. So much that I turn my heater off when I'm gone to work during the day. Why am I gonna have the heater running all day when I'm gone for 10+ hours most day's. Ok yes the dogs are home and they might get a bit chilly from time to time but I refuse to pay a outrageous electric bill. I knew this past week the temps. were going to be in the single digits but didn't think anything about it. I turn my upstairs heater on when I get home from work to warm up my bedroom for a couple hours before I go to bed. Leaving the downstairs one off. Yes its chilly, but that's when a good blanket comes in handy. So Tuesday night I turned it on when I got home at about 7:45pm and then off around 10:30pm when I went to bed.
Wednesday I got up went to work till 6pm got home around 6:30pm that night and went to start dinner when I had NO WATER. I panicked and ran around opening all the cabinets under the facets. Because of course that was gonna help right then. The current temp. at the time outside was 3 degree's and the "feels like temp" was -6 degrees. I kept thinking that, this was not happening. I have to cook dinner, take a shower, give the pups water. I called our friends C & R to ask them what I should do, and after much deliberation C was on his way over to crawl under the house through the crawl space to see what he could do and to make sure the pipes hadn't busted. In the mean time I continued cooking dinner and wen to my neighbors to ask him if he could help me turn the water off from the main supply at the street. He so kindly agreed and told me to go wait inside that he'd be right over. A couple minutes later he came over fully suited up head lamp and all. He explain that this same thing happened to him last winter and that he used a extension cord and a electric heater and set it up under his house to defrost his pipes.
I explained to him what I'd been doing during the day w/ leaving the heater off and he of course laughed and shook his head. He asked me to go get my hair dryer and he went home for a extension cord. I explain to him that C was on his way and would be here in just a few minutes but he went ahead and said he didn't mind. The poor guy crawled under my house and proper the blow dryer up on the frozen pipes on high to defrost them. Then he continued around the house closing all the outside vents that led under the house. Who knew you could close those things, I sure as heck didn't know.
Just shortly later C arrived and the two of them chatted it up in my kitchen while I finished cooking my dinner, praying my pipes didn't bust and that this was going to work. About 15-20 minutes later the water started running at the kitchen sink. (I had turned the facet on so we knew when the pipes had defrosted) E let if go for a bit longer to fully defrost them before turning off the blow dryer. They both gave me the speech / lesson about how I need to at least leave the downstairs heater on when its freezing out especially during the below freezing temps. and that it takes more out of the heater to go from 40 or 50 up to 68 when I turn it on at night.
Lesson Learned for sure and my heater is on. Not gonna lie though that minute it starts to warm up the slightest some I'll be turning it off. I also left the sink in the kitchen slowly dripping while I was at work the next day (another thing they told me to do, which I also remembered after the fact). I did put a large bowl in the sink to catch the water. I was not going to let it run all day and waste it. Heck No!! I poured that right in the dog water bowl. Go ahead and call me crazy I look back now and almost shake my head about it and well maybe laugh a little, but in all honesty somethings aren't though of till it happens. This being one of those things. The last thing I want to do is have to pay to repair or replace a busted piper and / or have it flooded under my house.
When I told the hubbs what had happened his response was "ya, I was worried about that happening". Dude I'd been telling you the outside temps. all week, why hadn't you said anything or mentioned being concerned. Men I tell ya......gotta love them.
I'm so thankful for our two fabulous friends that jumped with out hesitation to come over and help me.


Jamie said...

So... I was doing this too (turning heater off at night and the. Turning back on in the am so it would be warm while we're here and awake. Our bill is crazy high. I finally had the county electricity saving guy out and he said not to do that because it uses more electricity to have to re-heat the house everyday after letting the temps drop. Who knows.

Jenny @ Creatively Blooming said...

What great friends you have! That's so nice of them to come help you out! I grew up in an old uninsulated farm house while my parents were saving up to build a house. And while it didn't get below freezing very often in South Texas, I remember having to leave the water dripping so the pipes wouldn't freeze.

Kate @ Daffodils said...

SO nice you have people nearby to help!