You’d think we’d know Murphy better by now. But we don’t. Even when we factor in that it will take at least twice as long to do something as it should, that factor is absorbed by Murphy and we then take four times longer. Death, taxes and Murphy’s laws….inevitable.
I bought a long heat tape for the stretch of water line that was freezing up. One hundred feet. Then I bought 16 insulating foamy wraps each 6 feet long (96′). Then I opened the package…’NOT TO BE USED ON WATER PIPES’.
Seems I had purchased ice-dam, gutter protector wire that uses electrical heat to melt ice just before the gutter so that you don’t lose your gutters to excess ice build up. The item was billed as heat tape. Part of the problem when shopping Amazon – you can’t always read the fine print first.
Sal: “Well, how bad can it be?”
So, I unraveled it and fired it up and it got warm. Then it got a bit warmer. Just as I was wondering how hot it might get, it stopped and cooled and stayed cold. “Of course! It is thermostatically controlled and, right now, during this test, it is NOT cold enough so it turned itself off. Of course!”
“So, do we put it on when it says NOT to? Do we wait til it is so cold that the pipes freeze and then put it on? How hot is too hot? And how hot will it get? Will it melt our pipe? What exactly are you planning here, big boy?”
“We put it on. The temperature is dropping again and it will take a few hours to do the work and we don’t want to be out here that long so let’s get on it.”
And, so we did. Two hours later, we could not feel out fingers and we had only put the tape on, and insulated 24 feet. Each foamy insulator needed taping up so it did not come off. Hard to put on duct tape with frozen hands. We went in.
Next day it was colder but we put on another thirty feet before wussing out.
Today I got the last of it on and with no time to lose. Everything was frozen again. Last night was simply too cold for the water in the pipes. It all went hard. So, after the last of the pipe was done, I fired up the genset and we turned the NOT-TO-BE-USED tape on. I monitored the pipe every 15 minutes to see if it was melting or the tape was not working or something else was happening that should NOT.
But it worked. We celebrated with showers.
What is the point, Dave?
Not much. No point, really. It’s just that nothing is simple. Murphy always interferes. Cold is a big factor when duct taping. What looked like a simple, easy fix turned out to be a three day chore fraught with anxiety because of the words, ‘DO NOT USE IT AS YOU WANT TO, YOU FOOL!’
Just another minor chapter in disobeying the rules, doing what you were warned not to do and being persistent in so doing. Another example of ‘making do’ and ‘surviving’ as best you can with what you have.
Or: what a man and woman will do for a warm shower.
I dunno…..just another day in the life?