Monday, 8 March 2010

Winter Has Taken Its Toll

Saturday, 28th February
With Starcross having been left near Nantwich since last weekend, I took the train from Hereford and, changing at Shrewsbury onto the "stopper", arrived there just after eleven. Nantwich is in Cheshire, so I celebrated being back up North* by buying a tin of Uncle Joe's

"Uncle Joe's Mint Balls, Keep you all Aglow
Feed them to your granny, aye
And watch the b*gger, go!"

*Cheshire is definitely in the north - It may be the south of the north, but its certainly not the north of the south. Some people say its the south-east of the north-west, and its not in the Midlands either! Anyway, where was I?

Hil would be joining me later and my tasks were to do some food shopping, accomplished in an excellent farmers' market and general market in the town centre (no "Tossco" deliverlies for Starcross) and to move the boat up to Henhull BW moorings, where there is a handy car park, refilling the water tank on the way. I wasn't looking forward to this as the water system had supposedly been drained for the winter, but I knew from last year that its very difficult to get all the water out of the pipes. Last year's damage had been a burst in a bathroom pipe and a terminally damaged Paloma water heater!

After putting about ten minutes' worth of water in the tank it was time for the moment of truth. Making sure all the taps were tightly closed I switched on the pump. If it ran for more than a few seconds I knew I was in trouble. Not only did it run and run, but the sound of running water filled my ears!  A frantic search uncovered the burst pipe under the sink - thankfully a reasonably accessible location - and I rushed to switch the pump off again before investigating further. This is what I found:
Nantwich Canal Centre has a good reputation for service, but perhaps I caught them on an off-day. They couldn't help and certainly wouldn't recommend anyone else who might be able to. They "might" be able to do the job on Monday, but that would have disrupted our plans too much. Eventually, they persuaded me that the repair was an easy job I could do myself with a couple of Hep2o connectors and a length of plastic pipe, so I bought them; although I decided not to attempt it without Hilary's help as she is generally much better at such things than me.
Having moved up to Henhull, Hil arrived with the car about eight o'clock and we endured another evening without running water before attempting the repair: after all, the working boatmen never saw running water from one year to the next, so we could certainly manage a night!


Captain Ahab said...

Do you think it happened in the recent frosts or is it damage sustained in the Jan / Feb freeze which has only just come to light?

Starcross said...

Almost certainly it happened in January, when the temperatures were much lower for much longer than more recently. I reckon it needs a sustained period of below-zero temperature to do that sort of damage. At least the water heater survived unscathed.

Captain Ahab said...

Too true - a few feet of pipe costs a few pounds, whereas the heater would be hundreds.
Not too bad considering the weather we have had.