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(Austinist)   Leaving your faucet running at a drip is a better solution for frozen pipes than setting your house on fire. Even if it's not as cool   (austinist.com) divider line 56
    More: Dumbass, faucets  
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2935 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Jan 2014 at 2:02 PM (14 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-07 01:49:05 PM
Texas is crap at winter.
 
2014-01-07 01:53:15 PM
Set his own home on fire?

He really is...

(•_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■)

... an Austinist.
 
2014-01-07 01:57:16 PM
as is said in every single one of these instances: "success".
 
2014-01-07 02:06:15 PM

BKITU: Set his own home on fire?

He really is...

(•_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■)

... an Austinist.


Ugh
 
2014-01-07 02:07:43 PM

James!: Texas is crap at winter.


Heh, still fondly recall when the Metroplex went through an ice storm the week or two leading up to Super Bowl XLV and how they freaked out about it.

New Yorkers would've called that Tuesday,  Great Lakers would've simply raised an eyebrow and kept walking.
 
2014-01-07 02:08:26 PM
Bubba Ray, Look whut you done!

You only need to heat the pipes to just above the freezing point, not to several hundred degrees. Not only that, copper pipes will conduct enough heat to ignite flammable things like wood even if the fire does not touch them. You might think this would be common sense, but every day people prove that sense just isn't a common thing at all.
 
2014-01-07 02:08:35 PM
My pipes froze overnight, so I'm not getting a kick...

/but they just defrosted, so I'm getting a kick...
 
2014-01-07 02:09:57 PM

BKITU: Set his own home on fire?

He really is...

(•_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■)

... an Austinist.


Foul! Word play does not work! 20 comment penalty! Repeat the headline....
 
2014-01-07 02:13:43 PM

James!: Texas is crap at winter.


I'm all set to play a round of night disc golf after work.
Flannel shirt, a toque, and a down vest are all I need, so whatevas, poor freezing peeps.
AND, my beer gets colder by the back nine.
 
2014-01-07 02:15:05 PM

Rwa2play: James!: Texas is crap at winter.

Heh, still fondly recall when the Metroplex went through an ice storm the week or two leading up to Super Bowl XLV and how they freaked out about it.

New Yorkers would've called that Tuesday,   Great Lakers would've simply raised an eyebrow and kept walking.


True that.

My boyfriend biked to work  yesterday.  4 miles.  And he works nights.  The lowest windchill of the night was -41, two hours after he left to start his shift.

/I still told him he was a dumbass but he wanted to see if he could
//he got icicles on the only exposed part of his face
///my boss's partner walked 2 miles to a bar, because damn if he was going to change his Monday routine
////good times
 
2014-01-07 02:15:43 PM

Maud Dib: James!: Texas is crap at winter.

I'm all set to play a round of night disc golf after work.
Flannel shirt, a toque, and a down vest are all I need, so whatevas, poor freezing peeps.
AND, my beer gets colder by the back nine.


Don't be a fark headline, wear a scarf.
 
2014-01-07 02:17:02 PM
Sound like it was a maintenance worker.  I guess he's fired now...

That said, it amazes me how the plumbing in even new homes in TX aren't built for moderate winter.  Every couple of years it gets below 25.  They're not rare once in a lifetime occurences.  And yet even with cabinets open and faucets dripping plumbing still freezes.

/tired of replacing broken valves
 
2014-01-07 02:18:52 PM

gweilo8888: My pipes froze overnight, so I'm not getting a kick...

/but they just defrosted, so I'm getting a kick...


Are they made of a thin metal that heats up and cools down quickly?
 
2014-01-07 02:22:28 PM

James!: Maud Dib: James!: Texas is crap at winter.

I'm all set to play a round of night disc golf after work.
Flannel shirt, a toque, and a down vest are all I need, so whatevas, poor freezing peeps.
AND, my beer gets colder by the back nine.

Don't be a fark headline, wear a scarf.


You can get away without a scarf.  Don't be a fark headline, wear damn good gloves and socks.
.
.
.

Wait, you're in Austin?  Where WUnderground has a high of + 46 and 38 at midnight?  HA!!!

Yeah, screw it, you'll be fine.  I wear a skirt and tights at those temps.  Hell, I wore a skirt yesterday and a dress today, I just put some microfiber layers over the tights.

But I did almost frostbite my fingers up when both the goddamn deadbolt locks on my house froze.  Had to try 5 times, running between the car to heat up each time, before the damn thing opened.  I guess I knew it was a possibility but on "things I worried about yesterday", "not being able to open the door to my house" was not on that list.  Had blankets in the car and lots of gas since "car engine dying or dumbass forcing me off the road" were distinct possibilities.

Spent 4 total hours on the road Sunday.  Good times.
 
2014-01-07 02:23:20 PM
I dunno. Burning your house down really is the ultimate solution to any home repair.
 
2014-01-07 02:23:55 PM

Rwa2play: James!: Texas is crap at winter.

Heh, still fondly recall when the Metroplex went through an ice storm the week or two leading up to Super Bowl XLV and how they freaked out about it.

New Yorkers would've called that Tuesday,  Great Lakers would've simply raised an eyebrow and kept walking.


Yes, people go crazy in Texas during cold weather.  After living in the mountains most of my life I moved to Texas.  We had snow all the time there and it was normal.  The difference between there and here is it's up being freezing rain/ice skating rink combined with the lack of equipment to clear and/or treat the roads.  I too stay off them even though I used to drive in regular snow/cold.
 
2014-01-07 02:24:50 PM
How do you know you twisted it right?
 
2014-01-07 02:26:20 PM

Tyrosine: gweilo8888: My pipes froze overnight, so I'm not getting a kick...

/but they just defrosted, so I'm getting a kick...

Are they made of a thin metal that heats up and cools down quickly?


Let's hope they're not cast iron.
 
2014-01-07 02:32:40 PM
Leaving water faucets dripping? Pipes freezing?!?  ...what kind of witchcraft is that?


\65 degrees in Phoenix right now
\\suck it Climate Change victims
\\JK - keep warm everybody
 
2014-01-07 02:36:25 PM

James!: Texas is crap at winter.


The rest of the country isn't so great at it either.  I see people go off the road unintentionally all the time where I live.  I even lost traction the other day.

The thing is most of Texas hardly ever gets snow.  In Houston it's about once every 5-10 years and when it does snow it's about a quarter inch.  And people act like idiots.  I once passed an RX7 on 610 in the snow  The guy had it floored and he was going backwards trying to get up a freeway hill.  Half the people didn't even show up for work that day.  There was about a quarter inch of snow on the ground.
 
2014-01-07 02:53:31 PM

gfid: James!: Texas is crap at winter.

The rest of the country isn't so great at it either.  I see people go off the road unintentionally all the time where I live.  I even lost traction the other day.

The thing is most of Texas hardly ever gets snow.  In Houston it's about once every 5-10 years and when it does snow it's about a quarter inch.  And people act like idiots.  I once passed an RX7 on 610 in the snow  The guy had it floored and he was going backwards trying to get up a freeway hill.  Half the people didn't even show up for work that day.  There was about a quarter inch of snow on the ground.


Man, I was pissed at some other Michiganders Sunday.  I had a shovel, kitty littler, and the weight of a spare tire *and* a donut (was gonna take one of them out but figured what the hell, weight) and I averaged 30 mph.

Got passed by 90% of people, and I'm usually a damn quick driver.  But only when it's safe, and when slipping out of the tracks the cars in front of me made = me momentarily losing control => f--k that sh-t.  Yeah, you in the truck with decent tires and 4 wheel drive, you can probably eke out 50 safely.  You in the Jetta?  WTF are you doing?


Lots and lots of schadenfreude as I passed at least 8 of those cars on the side of the road, though... and a bit of guilt, but it was always 2 cars and I couldn't safely pull over without getting stuck in a snowbank myself anyhow.  Probably 2 because people were also following too goddamn close and if one person slides and the other tried slamming on their brakes, well...
 
2014-01-07 03:14:01 PM

gfid: James!: Texas is crap at winter.

The rest of the country isn't so great at it either.  I see people go off the road unintentionally all the time where I live.  I even lost traction the other day.

The thing is most of Texas hardly ever gets snow.  In Houston it's about once every 5-10 years and when it does snow it's about a quarter inch.  And people act like idiots.  I once passed an RX7 on 610 in the snow  The guy had it floored and he was going backwards trying to get up a freeway hill.  Half the people didn't even show up for work that day.  There was about a quarter inch of snow on the ground.



Snow is rare, but ICE and freezing rain is fairly common.  The highways turn into ice rinks.  Driving on that is folly, no matter where you live.
 
2014-01-07 03:18:23 PM
Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.
 
2014-01-07 03:27:56 PM

menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.


Up north, they don't have homes with crawlspaces that have uninsulated or poorly insulated pipes.
 
2014-01-07 03:31:31 PM

menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.


Usually depends on the construction of the house. Most houses built today in cold climates don't run pipes in the outside walls, and even if they do they are likely 2'x6' rather than 2'x4' and have more insulation, building wrap, etc. Plus many older homes don't have insulated basements / crawl spaces.
 
2014-01-07 03:37:13 PM

TheDirtyNacho: Snow is rare, but ICE and freezing rain is fairly common.  The highways turn into ice rinks.  Driving on that is folly, no matter where you live.


Ice rinks?  Really?  Ice and freezing rain are not unheard of, but not exactly "fairly common".  Definitely not in Houston and rarely in Dallas where I spent some time.  Slick streets from water are fairly common in both of those cities, but it's usually not frozen.

I just checked the weather in Houston.  50 degrees.  Situation normal.  People are wearing jackets and stocking up on firewood and saying "Oh Jesus, it's so farking cold".
 
2014-01-07 03:39:36 PM

Tyrosine: Are they made of a thin metal that heats up and cools down quickly?

[iseewhatyoudidthere.jpg]

Fisto Roboto: Let's hope they're not cast iron.


2/10 lacked subtlety
 
2014-01-07 03:41:41 PM

menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.


It depends on how cold it is, how long it's been that cold, what kind of house you have. .

If you have a crawlspace,  you need to be very aware of non-insulated pipes that may pass through it. If you have a basement, your only worries are the outside hose spigots
 
2014-01-07 03:46:41 PM

menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.


No basements, it's all rock, or radon is a problem.
 
2014-01-07 03:49:22 PM

menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.


I've never seen it happen or known anyone it's happened to, but when it turns negative temps here I do turn on the taps.  I don't know if I have to, but better safe than sorry.  And besides, the more water I use, the less Arizona and California get so fark you guys, I'm gonna turn the tap on when it gets cold.
 
2014-01-07 03:57:00 PM

Ctrl-Alt-Del: menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.

It depends on how cold it is, how long it's been that cold, what kind of house you have. .

If you have a crawlspace,  you need to be very aware of non-insulated pipes that may pass through it. If you have a basement, your only worries are the outside hose spigots


Or if the previous owner of your home installed a custom shower and didn't bother with any of that silly insulation stuff where the plumbing runs on the outside wall and the temp drops to below 10 for several hours.  Lucky for me a) there was a wee bit of flow and b) it's PEX tubing, no worries about it rupturing.  It took 3 hours for it to thaw.
 
2014-01-07 04:05:23 PM

Maud Dib: menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.

No basements, it's all rock, or radon is a problem.


I thought it was mostly clay and I never heard much about radon when I lived in Texas.

www.fix-your-radon.com

I don't claim to be an expert or anything, but I thought it had more to do with the water table, kind of like how they have above ground cemeteries in New Orleans because people kept floating up to the surface.

Also pools are fairly common so I don't think digging 10 feet into ground is what's keeping basements out of Texas homes.

Texas floods are notorious and land is cheap.  Who needs a basement anyway?  I've got one now in that purple area on the map for high radon and it's just a good place to throw shiat that I don't want to deal with.  It's where I keep the furnace and the hot water heater and a bunch of boxes.
 
2014-01-07 04:17:24 PM

Ctrl-Alt-Del: If you have a crawlspace,  you need to be very aware of non-insulated pipes that may pass through it. If you have a basement, your only worries are the outside hose spigots


Not necessarily. I have a basement, and our kitchen sink taps froze in ~0F ambient because the pipe runs along an outside wall enroute to the kitchen. They thawed again as soon as the sun hit that side of the house.
 
2014-01-07 04:17:56 PM

gfid: Maud Dib: menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.

No basements, it's all rock, or radon is a problem.

I thought it was mostly clay and I never heard much about radon when I lived in Texas.

[www.fix-your-radon.com image 760x586]

I don't claim to be an expert or anything, but I thought it had more to do with the water table, kind of like how they have above ground cemeteries in New Orleans because people kept floating up to the surface.

Also pools are fairly common so I don't think digging 10 feet into ground is what's keeping basements out of Texas homes.

Texas floods are notorious and land is cheap.  Who needs a basement anyway?  I've got one now in that purple area on the map for high radon and it's just a good place to throw shiat that I don't want to deal with.  It's where I keep the furnace and the hot water heater and a bunch of boxes.


Basements are expensive so if you don't need them you can significantly reduce the cost of building a home. In cold areas you need to dig down past the frost line to put in your footings, and the basement makes it easier to keep the rest of the house warm.

High water tables is a common reason cited, but we have these in the north as well. You get around it with weeping tile, sump pumps, and grading to move water off your land.
 
2014-01-07 04:24:12 PM

StreetlightInTheGhetto: Rwa2play: James!: Texas is crap at winter.

Heh, still fondly recall when the Metroplex went through an ice storm the week or two leading up to Super Bowl XLV and how they freaked out about it.

New Yorkers would've called that Tuesday,   Great Lakers would've simply raised an eyebrow and kept walking.

True that.

My boyfriend biked to work  yesterday.  4 miles.  And he works nights.  The lowest windchill of the night was -41, two hours after he left to start his shift.

/I still told him he was a dumbass but he wanted to see if he could
//he got icicles on the only exposed part of his face
///my boss's partner walked 2 miles to a bar, because damn if he was going to change his Monday routine
////good times


Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit, I was like "brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" when the wind chill was at -22 this AM.  I can imagine what -41 must feel like.
 
2014-01-07 04:24:44 PM

Tyrosine: gfid: Maud Dib: menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.

No basements, it's all rock, or radon is a problem.

I thought it was mostly clay and I never heard much about radon when I lived in Texas.

[www.fix-your-radon.com image 760x586]

I don't claim to be an expert or anything, but I thought it had more to do with the water table, kind of like how they have above ground cemeteries in New Orleans because people kept floating up to the surface.

Also pools are fairly common so I don't think digging 10 feet into ground is what's keeping basements out of Texas homes.

Texas floods are notorious and land is cheap.  Who needs a basement anyway?  I've got one now in that purple area on the map for high radon and it's just a good place to throw shiat that I don't want to deal with.  It's where I keep the furnace and the hot water heater and a bunch of boxes.

Basements are expensive so if you don't need them you can significantly reduce the cost of building a home. In cold areas you need to dig down past the frost line to put in your footings, and the basement makes it easier to keep the rest of the house warm.

High water tables is a common reason cited, but we have these in the north as well. You get around it with weeping tile, sump pumps, and grading to move water off your land.


You're an expert and I appreciate the explanation farther up about pipes freezing . Also, thanks for this bonus explanation of why basements are more common in da Nort. I'd wondered about that for a long time.
 
2014-01-07 04:26:09 PM

gweilo8888: Ctrl-Alt-Del: If you have a crawlspace,  you need to be very aware of non-insulated pipes that may pass through it. If you have a basement, your only worries are the outside hose spigots

Not necessarily. I have a basement, and our kitchen sink taps froze in ~0F ambient because the pipe runs along an outside wall enroute to the kitchen. They thawed again as soon as the sun hit that side of the house.


Try and re-route your pipes to the kitchen. Many builders would run them in the wall than out into the cabinet. If you simply bring them up through the floor directly into the undersink cabinet your days of frozen pipes should be over unless you have an issue with you building envelope and get some vicious drafts.
 
2014-01-07 04:32:05 PM

Tyrosine: Try and re-route your pipes to the kitchen. Many builders would run them in the wall than out into the cabinet. If you simply bring them up through the floor directly into the undersink cabinet your days of frozen pipes should be over unless you have an issue with you building envelope and get some vicious drafts.


Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately, rerouting would mean disturbing the roof to the finished basement. Fortunately, this should be a rare problem as it's been decades since we last had temps this low. (And for next time, we know to leave the taps dripping.)
 
2014-01-07 04:33:42 PM
Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit, I was like "brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" when the wind chill was at -22 this AM.  I can imagine what -41 must feel like.

Honestly, it feels pretty much the same. The biggest difference once you get past a certain point is how fast you feel the pain.
 
2014-01-07 04:34:37 PM

Zombieman: Honestly, it feels pretty much the same. The biggest difference once you get past a certain point is how fast you feel the pain.


...and how long it takes for pieces to start falling off.
 
2014-01-07 04:45:26 PM

gfid: Maud Dib: menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.

No basements, it's all rock, or radon is a problem.

I thought it was mostly clay and I never heard much about radon when I lived in Texas.

[www.fix-your-radon.com image 760x586]

I don't claim to be an expert or anything, but I thought it had more to do with the water table, kind of like how they have above ground cemeteries in New Orleans because people kept floating up to the surface.

Also pools are fairly common so I don't think digging 10 feet into ground is what's keeping basements out of Texas homes.

Texas floods are notorious and land is cheap.  Who needs a basement anyway?  I've got one now in that purple area on the map for high radon and it's just a good place to throw shiat that I don't want to deal with.  It's where I keep the furnace and the hot water heater and a bunch of boxes.


So it's like an attic but below the house?
 
2014-01-07 04:52:07 PM

gfid: TheDirtyNacho: Snow is rare, but ICE and freezing rain is fairly common.  The highways turn into ice rinks.  Driving on that is folly, no matter where you live.

Ice rinks?  Really?  Ice and freezing rain are not unheard of, but not exactly "fairly common".  Definitely not in Houston and rarely in Dallas where I spent some time.  Slick streets from water are fairly common in both of those cities, but it's usually not frozen.

I just checked the weather in Houston.  50 degrees.  Situation normal.  People are wearing jackets and stocking up on firewood and saying "Oh Jesus, it's so farking cold".



I grew up in Houston.  Freezing rain of significance happens about every other year or so.  Freeway overpasses and flyovers ice over easily as the air flows around them.  I consider that a 'fairly common' event.  It usually thaws within a couple of days though.  Most people should just stay home as the city isn't really equipped to deal with it much... a few dump trucks with sand and that's about it.
 
2014-01-07 04:53:54 PM

gweilo8888: Tyrosine: Try and re-route your pipes to the kitchen. Many builders would run them in the wall than out into the cabinet. If you simply bring them up through the floor directly into the undersink cabinet your days of frozen pipes should be over unless you have an issue with you building envelope and get some vicious drafts.

Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately, rerouting would mean disturbing the roof to the finished basement. Fortunately, this should be a rare problem as it's been decades since we last had temps this low. (And for next time, we know to leave the taps dripping.)


Being in Tennessee freezing pipes are probably a rare event, so I can see your point. My house had the same problem when I bought it and it was an easy fix, but access wasn't an issue in my case.

One last piece of (unsolicited) advice: If you ever need to pull the basement ceiling down, replace it with a drop ceiling. This will give you unfettered access, and there is a lot of stuff in most basement ceilings that you may need to access (particularly junction boxes). Drop ceilings have a reputation of being somewhat "institutional", but they make a lot of different tiles these days that look really good. Plus if you get a pipe leak, repairing the ceiling is as simple as replacing a tile and you don't need to worry about skim-coating or retexturing.
 
2014-01-07 05:11:42 PM

TheDirtyNacho: gfid: TheDirtyNacho: Snow is rare, but ICE and freezing rain is fairly common.  The highways turn into ice rinks.  Driving on that is folly, no matter where you live.

Ice rinks?  Really?  Ice and freezing rain are not unheard of, but not exactly "fairly common".  Definitely not in Houston and rarely in Dallas where I spent some time.  Slick streets from water are fairly common in both of those cities, but it's usually not frozen.

I just checked the weather in Houston.  50 degrees.  Situation normal.  People are wearing jackets and stocking up on firewood and saying "Oh Jesus, it's so farking cold".


I grew up in Houston.  Freezing rain of significance happens about every other year or so.  Freeway overpasses and flyovers ice over easily as the air flows around them.  I consider that a 'fairly common' event.  It usually thaws within a couple of days though.  Most people should just stay home as the city isn't really equipped to deal with it much... a few dump trucks with sand and that's about it.


Okay, maybe we have different definitions of "fairly common."  I don't think something that only happens every year or two is :"fairly common"  I actually consider such things unusual.  It hardly ever freezes in Houston and for freeway overpasses to be frozen you have to have moisture and freezing.  Sorry, dude - it's a rare event.

I've never actually seen a road covered in ice in Houston.
 
2014-01-07 05:18:09 PM
Has anyone mentioned yet that leaving your faucet at a drip is a terrible idea?  It's an excellent way for your water feed not to freeze, and an excellent way for your drain pipes to freeze.  Which is lots of fun if you want an indoor pool.
 
2014-01-07 05:25:34 PM

Tyrosine: One last piece of (unsolicited) advice: If you ever need to pull the basement ceiling down, replace it with a drop ceiling. This will give you unfettered access, and there is a lot of stuff in most basement ceilings that you may need to access (particularly junction boxes). Drop ceilings have a reputation of being somewhat "institutional", but they make a lot of different tiles these days that look really good. Plus if you get a pipe leak, repairing the ceiling is as simple as replacing a tile and you don't need to worry about skim-coating or retexturing.


I probably will do exactly that, thanks for the tip. The basement is used as my home office (where tile is perfectly appropriate) and a den that will likely eventually be a pool room (and so again, tile is fine). Only thing I'd need to research is fire safety, because we also have a wood log fireplace down there.
 
2014-01-07 05:45:52 PM

gfid: Maud Dib: menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.

No basements, it's all rock, or radon is a problem.

I thought it was mostly clay and I never heard much about radon when I lived in Texas.


Limestone out southwest of Austin. I have 4 inches of topsoil, then it's frikkin' caliche.
 
2014-01-07 05:50:36 PM

Ker_Thwap: Has anyone mentioned yet that leaving your faucet at a drip is a terrible idea?  It's an excellent way for your water feed not to freeze, and an excellent way for your drain pipes to freeze.  Which is lots of fun if you want an indoor pool.



Drain pipes are larger, they don't freeze as easily.
 
2014-01-07 06:09:15 PM

gweilo8888: Tyrosine: One last piece of (unsolicited) advice: If you ever need to pull the basement ceiling down, replace it with a drop ceiling. This will give you unfettered access, and there is a lot of stuff in most basement ceilings that you may need to access (particularly junction boxes). Drop ceilings have a reputation of being somewhat "institutional", but they make a lot of different tiles these days that look really good. Plus if you get a pipe leak, repairing the ceiling is as simple as replacing a tile and you don't need to worry about skim-coating or retexturing.

I probably will do exactly that, thanks for the tip. The basement is used as my home office (where tile is perfectly appropriate) and a den that will likely eventually be a pool room (and so again, tile is fine). Only thing I'd need to research is fire safety, because we also have a wood log fireplace down there.


Insulate the joist pockets with Roxul (or another brand of stone wool insulation): It slows the spread of fire and dampens sound. I have the same issue with a wood burning fireplace, so I'm doing my family room this summer. I've got wood paneling (yech!), so I'll pull it down and add Roxul to the walls as well just in case of fire.
 
2014-01-07 06:14:51 PM

Maud Dib: gfid: Maud Dib: menschenfresser: Pipes freeze if you don't leave the tap dripping? That's funny; my thermometer read 25 below zero yesterday and none of my pipes froze. I guess it's how they do it down there or something.

No basements, it's all rock, or radon is a problem.

I thought it was mostly clay and I never heard much about radon when I lived in Texas.

Limestone out southwest of Austin. I have 4 inches of topsoil, then it's frikkin' caliche.


Who the hell lives southwest of Austin?  Not people in Austin.  Not people in Dallas or Houston.  Not even people in San Antonio - they're just south, but not west of Austin.  So that's about 90% of the Texas population right there.

It's pretty much a wasteland out there.
 
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