Friday, February 20, 2015

A Girly Guide to Surviving Frozen Pipes

If you own a home with pipes in an area that gets below freezing, there is a chance that at some point your pipes will freeze.  If you live on fifteen acres that have six outdoor spigots put in by misguided DIYers, then there is a chance you pipes will freeze more than once a year.  And they will burst and make you miserable.

I've dealt with burst pipes four times now in two years and consider myself something of an expert.  So without further ado, here is a girly guide to surviving frozen pipes.

1. Own a Carhartt jumpsuit.

If you spend any amount of time outside in the winter beyond going to and from your car, you will never regret this purchase. Since in general it makes me look like a giant baked potato, I suggest pairing it with some statement earrings and a Burberry scarf.

The pug likes it too.

2. Have a great playlist.

My favorite choice for long, tedious tasks is musicals.  When you are cold and wet, Les Miserables is always appropriate.

3. Use your hair dryer.

Not on your hair, silly!  Your hair will be dry because you can't shower.  But a hair dryer is a woman's best weapon against frozen pipes.  You'll be in it for the long haul, though, so refer back to number 1.

4. Learn some plumbing terms.

When you get to your home improvement store of choice, it will help if you know a little bit about plumbing parts.  Otherwise labels such as "male outdoor" or "female closet" and "coupling" can be a little shocking.  And you'll know what you're looking for when your neighbor tells you to bring home "two elbows."

Also, remember that these stores are designed by men (quite possibly an accountant).  Everything is organized by numbers - not shape.  The caps are not all in one place.  If you find the 2" caps but need a 1" cap, do not despair as I did. Simply locate all the boxes that say 1" and I promise you the right sized cap is grouped in there.

5. Get a good dry shampoo.

You'll need it.

6. Do not under any circumstances wear your favorite blue ballet flats.

If your yard was recently flooded, do not wear your favorite shoes in an effort to cheer yourself up (unless your favorite shoes are Wellies).  You will inevitably forget that the yard flooded, froze, and then thawed out.  And do not try to improve the situation by rubbing the mud off in the dry grass.

Instead of being the confidence boost you were going for, your feet will merely look tarred and feathered.

Not a good look.

Don't do it.
A hacksaw, primer and epoxy are never a bad thing to have on hand either.

Anyone else have any cold weather tips to pass on?  I hope everyone is staying warm, dry and clean!


  1. Too funny...after the fact, I know. I've been there with the frozen pipes in my house way too many times, but I do say, you've put a new twist on the not-so-funny episode. And yes, if anyone could dress up Carhartts--it's you.

    1. I don't know if our pipes just never froze when I was growing up, or if my parents sheltered me from it. I'm making up for it now, I guess. Love the Carhartt for warmth. It needs help in the style department, however.

  2. Okay I had to laugh out loud at this post! I grew up in the country so I know where of you speak. We had a catastrophic pipe breakage one Christmas Eve in our home in Louisville Ky so now when it gets cold, I text all my children and tell them to DRIP THEIR FAUCETS! It has become a family joke...

    1. At least NOW it's a joke! That sounds terrible. We've never had anything break inside (knock on wood), so I have to be grateful for that.

  3. Elizabeth, oh gosh. I hope the weather warms up so you don't have to deal with frozen pipes much longer! your pug is adorable!!!

    1. Thanks! I take entirely too many pictures of him. We're not supposed to dip down into the single digits again for the rest of the season. Yay! Next we'll trade frozen pipes for fire ants. Hard to know which one I like least.


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