The greatest virtue of man is perhaps curiosity ~Anatole France~


Question: How a farmhouse from 1911 survives the cold


Cheney, Washington hit a record low last week of -26. Now if you have ever felt cold like that you know that your nose freezes together with every breath and you wish you had another August weekend to winterize your home but all you have is the worry of 'what is freezing that shouldn't be'.

The Trees Company Club House (TCCH), also known as my home, was built in 1911.  This gives me reason to believe that (1) it has stood the test of time for almost 100 years (2) something is ready to give up the ghost at any moment.  As I scrambled around the house checking the heat, insulating the wells with straw, opening cabinets to let the heat in to the walls and pipes, I neglected to simply turn on the hot and cold water to ensure it was not frozen.  Thirty minutes before I am going to be picked up for a drive to Walla Walla for Thanksgiving I turn on the cold water to find it sputtering and spitting.  As the faucet threw-up ice cold water I wondered how many more hours would it have taken the pipes to freeze completely; maybe one, maybe never but needless to say the pipes never froze and that was thanks to the following: (1) Straw bales around the outside of the house were there are external walled pipes, over any crawl spaces, around well heads and housings, and over septic tank lids. (2) A well heater.  Set a well heater in the well house with it set to anti-freeze.  Be sure it is not around anything combustible and set it on a platform just in case there is a water leak. (3) Drip all faucets, right between heavy stream and drip (4) Open all cabinets that have pipes (5) Keep home heated (6) Pray

I am now certain that the house can survive -26 and it is only November.