So cold it hurts

hagerstown_cold_2014We awoke this morning to discover the outside temperature a ridiculously low of minus one. This is a normal winter temperature in upstate New York or Nebraska, but this is Maryland, south of the Mason-Dixon line, and because of this distinction, technically the south.

Supposedly it hasn’t been this cold here in Hagerstown for at least 20 years. I moved here in 1994, and I can attest that the temperature has never been below zero since I’ve lived here. At least I don’t remember it ever being this cold here.

Things got even worse when we discovered that the cold water pipe to one of the sinks in the master bedroom was frozen. I had to take an emergency personal day from work and Google what to do when your pipes freeze. I had to go up into the attic and warm the pipe up with a hair dryer. Once the pipe was flowing again and I made sure there weren’t any leaks, I put in extra insulation I picked up at Home Depot.

As much as I’d like to blame Al Gore and global warming, I think I was the one that caused this problem. The pipe that froze was the same pipe that I repaired almost a year ago. I must not have packed enough installation back around the pipe when I was done fixing it. It looked like it had more than enough installation, but the fact that it was the only pipe that froze, seems more than a coincidence.

I’ve since learned a bit about pipes and extreme cold. For instance, I read that when the temperature takes an extreme dive, it’s a good idea to turn the cold water on slightly and let it run at a trickle. The water moving, even slightly, can stop the pipe from freezing.

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