Reflections on a Snow Storm

The first snow fall of the winter season recently blanketed, or should I say dumped on the mid-Atlantic area. Many were without power, which leads to cranky children, rotting food and frozen or burst pipes.

I remember visiting our friend’s vacation cabin in Forksville, PA a few winters ago. They were driving in a snow storm from outside Philadelphia and we were driving from the Baltimore/DC area…also in a snow storm. We were going to arrive before them, so my friend Dennis told us to be sure and turn the heat up when we got inside.

When we pulled up to the front of the house, that hadn’t been shoveled, my feet quickly became ice cubes as we trod through the 2 feet of snow sans snow boots. Finally inside, we turned the heat on, and then I did what most people do that have been in the car for 3 ½ hours. I had to take a leak (you see where this is going?).

Here’s where the adventure started. I tried to flush. Nothing.  I tried to flush again. Nothing.

I got on the phone to Dennis, the homeowner, and told him it didn’t appear that the house was heating up. And, by the way, I can’t get the toilet to flush.

His response was…well it wouldn’t be professional to post it on our blog! It wasn’t a good response. Let’s leave it at that.

Turns out my buddy Dennis didn’t quite manage the oil for the heat very well. There was no heat. This, of course, was why the house wasn’t heating up. And I’ll bet you can guess the rest. The toilets weren’t flushing because the pipes had frozen and burst.

The rest of this sad story is that the house was a mess. – For a long time. The time and cost to repair the damage from the burst pipes was significant, not to mention inconvenient.

The take away from the story is simple. Wear snow boots when heading to the mountains in a snow storm. Don’t let your oil heat run out in winter. And, with a smart home automation for plumbing solution like BrainPipes installed, this disaster would have been prevented.