It was cold, we couldn't wait to get back to the farm and get cozy - our fuel is running out as the oil firm are overwhelmed with orders so we had to make our last few drops count - but it is definitely better than being out here. We only got stuck once on the way up the hill - big cheer for the car.
Once at home the weekends proceeding started with a trip to the loo. Farm Guy reports that it doesn't flush, the cistern is empty. A check of the taps soon reveals that there is no water in the house. A phone call to farm Dad - what do we do? Farm Dad explains how the pipes work, that our water doesn't come to the house underground, it comes to the edge of the barns underground then passes along the ceiling of the barns until it reaches the house - go check.
We went "check"!
Frozen, in one place the pipe had burst we had a pipe shaped piece of ice between one joint and the rest of the pipe. Good thing it was frozen as the break was hanging over the furniture and unopened boxes being stored since the move. A trip down the yard to the stopcock left us uninspired, it was impossible to tell if we had turned the water off or not. Back inside to warm up and a call back to Farm Dad - he said he'd be there on Friday! A trip to Asda secured us some bottled water for drinking and washing. The toilet proved a quandary until we came up with the following instructions for all those attempting to flush the loo:
- Fill all possible buckets with snow.
- Put snow in all available pans.
- Melt on oven.
- Use to flush loo.
- Toilet flushing time - 25 minutes!!!
A very wet Farm Dad stood in the Living Room doorway. Farm Guy had headed to the Hardware Store for extra pipes leaving Farm dad behind. Apparently whilst up his ladder Farm Dad had heard a noise that he thought to be the Farm Dog, he looked down to be meant by a fountain of water. The pipe he had been heating had finally defrosted right through and was now apparently working fine. He then had to battle through the spray to attach the new Stopcock to the end of the pipe and turn it off. He said he felt he was in one of those old war films when the Submarine gets a leak and they are trying to plug it up.
We sat him by the fire and got some tea on to try and defrost him!
By the end of Saturday all known bursts were fixed and the pipe was ready for flowing water. Sunday became the day of the hot water. Hot water and towels went into the barn, empty buckets and (I kid not) frozen stiff towels came out! More water was collected by the water acquisition team and the toilet was flushed as needed!
At 1.40pm a small trickle of water began in the kitchen! There was pandemonium, it was like the first time people had every thought of putting water into houses through pipes! Congratulations all round. By 2.15pm we could fill the kettle from the tap! Such luxury. By 5pm all taps were working properly and we had hot running water for the first time in four days. the pipes were all snuggle lagged and more tea was had. The only tap that didn't work was the hot tap in the kitchen. We couldn't work it out. Farm Dad sprayed the hallway as he disconnected a pipe to see 'if the water had made it this far'. Strange, but water in most places is better than nothing so we considered it a victory.
Farm Mum and Dad left and we went back to our lives.
Until 10pm. I discovered that the water pressure in the cold tap had dropped. Informing Farm Guy that I thought the pipes may be freezing back up he headed back out to the shed - he had another theory - he was right! One of the pipes in the shed, that just went to another tap in the byre, had been started on in the defrosting process and then abandoned as non-essential. It had now finished defrosting itself and was spraying all over the place. It too had been 'popped out' by the expanding ice inside and once it defrosted...
Off went the water again, at our nice new stopcock, and up the ladder went Farm Guy. It was simpler than we thought to fix but I wouldn't touch it people! Back on went the water and we trooped in to see if the pressure had returned. It had and we returned to a kitchen full of steam! The Hot Tap, which had been left on to catch the first signs of water was now working full flow and filling the room with steam and Hot Water spray! Hurray, working water and our own steam room.
Its been a couple of days now and things are warming up here, although they are threatening more freezing next week, but for now we are back to normal!