So lesson learnt I headed off to Percy a week ago today to light the fire and sit tight during the worst of the bad weather. I think -6.5c was the lowest temp I recorded and Percy stoically saw out the 'beast from the east'.
I'll detail my mad travelling at the end of this post as I doubt I'll do it again anytime soon - hopefully but suffice to say I arrived back at our Staffordshire cottage 10.30 pm Sunday night. The postie is good in he leaves any parcels in the outside loo so I went and checked and as I approached the workshop - yes I could hear the dreaded post freeze sound of running water.
This was the scene ...
The bits of carpet I leave down had absorbed much of the water
You can see the central heating pushfit has been pushed off by the ice bottom right.... this is close by the door and was lagged as you can see so I have to assume there was wind chill involved. This was the same with Waterlily as the burst there was below an open window we left for ventilation - we do not do that now !!
The ice stalactite was quite impressive
What was more impressive - if I was impressed at all, was the ice stalagmite when the ice had blown off the radiator valve and lifted the radiator off its bracket. (the reason the rad tail is lower than the copper feed is the rad is tipped off the bracket)
The running water was coming from the non feed side of this isolator where I presume it had pushed the compressed olive out of its seal.
I was able to turn off the stop cock that we have in the workshop - for the workshop and headed to a long sleep.
The following morning I was able to re fit the push fitting and re attache the rad valve then isolate the leak and re test the mains water - all nice and leak free (I then turned off the mains water until I can fully repair the non feed side of the isolation valve. )
I re-pressured the central heating and slowly by turning on the Rayburn that heats the workshop got the workshop central heating up to temp - no leaks.
I was lucky.... There was not a great deal of water in the workshop as I think I arrived just after the thaw had allowed the water to start leaking and it was not a full open pipe just a bypass of the compressed olive - I'll know fully when I have my tools back to effect the repair fully.
Yes the last thing I said to my son in London was - "I'll leave the plumbing tools with you as I'll not need them for a while !!"
The week that needs recording was as follows...
- Tuesday 27th February - Chichester to The Boat (fire lit) Fradley to Derby to see my oldest son who birthday it was on the 28th, then back to Fradley 220 miles
- Friday 2nd March Fradley junction to Chichester through the snow in Oxford, a very slow but traffic free journey 178 miles
- Saturday 3rd March Chichester to London and ending up tiling sons bathroom to midnight !! 101 miles
- Sunday 4th March leave London at 6pm to Derby to drop Rachel off so she can stay with her ailing mum then me on to our Staffordshire moorland cottage - 180 miles
- Monday Back to Derby from the cottage to see my mum and my other son then back to Chichester - 224 miles
So the total for the week was ....903 miles !
My two other big days were New Years day when I drove from Staffs to Chichester and back to pick up the cat as we were needed to look after Rachels mum when we thought we would be south - 440 miles in a day.
Then one trip out from London to pick up Rachel in Derby check on the cottage and back to Chichester - 405 miles
In my distant future, if I have one, I will look back on these journeys and marvel at my commitment !!
They told me retirement could be boring!