I woke today to find water coming out from under my garage door. We have had a week of freezing temperatures and I feared for the water pipes to the sink and washing machine in there. I had added some extra insulation, but it was too little too late. The garage was awash and a fountain of water was escaping from a pipe in the cupboard. I failed to turn the stiff valve, it was cramped in there and I endured a soaking.
Back into the house to turn off the main valve to stem the flow but leaving me without water or heating. Back into the garage cupboard with a head torch I could see a split in the pipe. What chance of getting a plumber on a Sunday when they will all be busy with burst pipes. I didn’t even try. Self-help first aid was needed. A rubber patch held on with Gaffer Tape and Jubilee clips might be the answer for a temporary repair. But access was difficult with all the other pipes under there. Most of these were dismantled to give me a better working space. Now I was able to squirt some WD40 onto that stuck valve.
A coffee and a warm-up back in the house, and I was ready to try again. Now using an adjustable gripper I could cautiously try and tighten that valve. Much to my relief it moved a little. Back inside to turn the main valve back on only to see water still escaping. Another turn, wary of breaking the thing all together, and it looked as though the flow was stopped. The emergency is over, I had water and heat in the house, and I can sort a plumber out tomorrow.
All this is a prelude to why an hour later I was parked on the fell road hoping to de-stress and blow the cobwebs away with a brisk walk. The above view from my car windscreen says it all. Freezing rain and no visibility. I didn’t even get out of the car.