February Freeze Out

So, I woke up to a slow flushing toilet yesterday morning. I then had to determine whether it was plugged, the septic was full or worse… frozen! I began by running water in various places and determined it wasn’t just the toilet, so full or frozen.

I was able to locate the clean-outs outside, and realizing there was no snow cover over them, I was leaning towards frozen. But, just to make sure, I ran the sewer machine down through the first one as for as it would go, about half way to the second clean-out and all seemed clear. Upon running it down the second clean-out, I immediately hit an obstruction. For those who have never run a sewer machine, it is quite easy to feel the difference between blockage and a wall of ice. I quickly determined the latter.

Finding and clearing frozen sewer line

My next chore was to figure a way to melt through said wall of ice. Having recently passed a house where they were doing just that, using high pressure hot water or steam, I knew what I had to do.

I grabbed a hose, hooked it to my hot water spigot and shoved it down the pipe. Of course, the line quickly backed up, so I hooked up the pump you hear in the video and discharged it directly into the top of the septic tank, which I had opened previously to see if it was full.

project journal frozen sewer

It was very slow going, but I persevered and after a couple warm up breaks, and letting the water heater catch up, the ice wall gave way. Happy to say, all seems to be in good working order.

Come on Spring!

Day I Don’t Know: Effing February

Dave closed down water to all the motel rooms before winter set in. We have the conditioned space shrunk down to the manager’s quarters, which is just over 1,000 sq ft.

There isn’t much insulation in the attic, so we’ve been keeping the thermostat low and bundling up to stay warm. Mid-fifties are great for cooking, working, and sleeping, but not so much for getting work done on the computer. Not even with my fingerless gloves on.

Since it turned bitterly cold earlier this month, we’ve been spending a lot of time in one of the rooms with an electric wall heater. We have our love, plus Abbie and Number Two, to keep us warm.

winter at the motel possible
It was 28 below this morning. Here’s Dave, fresh in from brushing off the car.

shining winter

No, really. We’re fine.