The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Re-insulating the inlet

Waterline freeze protection

We've had such a mild autumn that we're still burning last year's firewood. In fact, we haven't even split any firewood yet --- we're still working through the stockpiled bounty we stacked on the back porch while cleaning out the shed last spring.

But the weather abruptly shifted at the beginning of this week. A low of 16 means frozen ground, a skim of ice on pools in the creek...and waking up to a waterline frozen where it enters the house.

In large part, I think the problem is that I didn't ever get around to unhooking the outside hose and closing that access hatch. But Mark went ahead and added more insulation to our inlet anyway. Luckily, our freezes don't tend to burst the line, they just mean we have to wait until the sun hits before we enjoy running water once again. A small price to pay for our isolation out here far from any city water system.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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When we lived at our country house, many of our neighbours used the nearby freshwater lakes as their water supply. They used heat cables to prevent the lines from freezing during the winter, with temperatures frequently falling below -30C.

Comment by Maggie Turner Wed Nov 23 09:23:42 2016
I second the comment on heat tape. Unless Mark enjoys thawing pipes the self regulating version uses no juice unless its freezing. My cousin even drilled a hole in a sewer plug and threaded it down a sewer pipe until it went underground.
Comment by Anonymous Wed Nov 23 11:21:11 2016

Thanks for the suggestions but we have been using heat tape on those pipes when they come out of the ground into the trailer for a few years now.

We also went through a round of using that heat tape to make a heated chicken waterer before I evolved to the modified heated horse water bucket.

Comment by mark Wed Nov 23 15:25:06 2016

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