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What does a coastal Texan in arctic weather do?


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2 hours ago, Shelydon said:

My Texas friends are experiencing days of no electricity, not just rolling outages.  Two friends now have homes with inside temps in the 20s.  They will lose all their pipes inside. Pools are completely destroyed.  Damages estimated at $100K or more

 

Wow.  I am just so sorry for everyone experiencing this.  I am sending so many prayers and hoping people are ok and make it through this.  My heart just goes out to everyone because having to go through something like this on top of Covid just seems so hard, I can't imagine the stress.  Praying the power comes on.  20s.  I just can't even imagine it. 

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Ok. I know this is a pretty boring topic to the rest of the world, but I saw this and laughed out loud!  

I made it back to post for a minute. Cellular has been dark for around 30 hours. No power for 34 hours. Just cam back on but subject to rolling blackouts. Had gas but once power came on lost gas. No w

After 6 days, we finally have water! I’ve never been so excited to flush a toilet. 🤣

 

7 hours ago, aggie96 said:

I made it back to post for a minute. Cellular has been dark for around 30 hours. No power for 34 hours. Just cam back on but subject to rolling blackouts. Had gas but once power came on lost gas. No water for 34 hours. Still no wAter, gas, cellular. Have internet because power on. 
 

Pool is toast. Drained equipment after lost power. Had to wait for daylight so that was about 2.5 hours. Ice in pumps and lines at that point. Spa is completely iced over. Pool has floating sheets of ice.

im sure all vegetation will be dead. Obviously heat sources were not on. 
 

Several large pane windows cracked. 
 

Our water not on but in the few sections it returned, 1 out of 2 houses have burst pipes in walls and many, many at main on outside of house. Everything that was accessible was wrapped.

Because gas is gone, HVAC won’t heat and fireplace gone (ours cant use wood). Fireplace wasn’t doing much but it was at least a heat source. Space heaters on now but if electric goes out again, no heat source.

We have tried to minimize storing food outside and bailing water from pool for toilets because it lets out too much precious heat. Lost food is the least of my worries. Refilling toilets sucks but is manageable. 
 

Our water company is private and sent a notice that they’ll send repair crews when roads clear tomorrow. Ground surface roads are tricky but drivable. Gasoline in short supply. Either pumps down due to no power, or stores inexplicably rationing (sheriff was called out in a couple of places). No one has reported running out of gasoline yet at stores. 
 

right now, we have about $20k in damages. Water not on yet for pipes. Praying no damage.

hardest part has been no water and blackout communication. We couldn’t go anywhere or get any information or even make a call. Lots of areas like this. One house burned down last night in neighboring subdivision.

it could always be worse, but it sure has sucked. I and many others would have prepared differently had we know ALL utilities would be gone. Especially the water. We were prepared for power. 
 

Just to add to conversation, we keep our thermostat at 71 degrees year round. On especially hot days 69-70 and especially cold days (50’s) 72. 😬

 

6 hours ago, aggie96 said:

We can always use pool for some water. It’s just not fun. Our house has come up from 54 to 59. I can feel warm air from hvac now do maybe gas back? I’ll check other appliances. My parents house was 42 but they had hot water so we showered there. It was chilly getting out of the tub!!!

people should have skipped the meat and gone for water. Lol! In all seriousness, I’m glad that we didn’t extra stock fridge because we would have been shuttling it outside losing what little heat we had. Again, it was meant as a funny observation. In the end, all our fridge food is pretty much ruined but there wasn’t much. Pantry items are aplenty. 

I did NOT see cracked windows coming.  That's horrible.  If you hang quilts or plastic over your doorways you can minimize the amount of cold air that comes in when you go in and out of the house.  Also, if you have any containers or freezer bags you can collect ice from outside and use it to keep your fridge cold.

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yes, it's a nightmare mess all around! hello hive! power back for next couple of hours. gas low, but WATER IS BACK! No lines burst this round. Please, oh please, oh please let the water stay on! it's crazy cold in house still, but blankets and layers will suffice. Just.need.water.to.stay.on.

DD dance teacher, near and dear to our heart and many homeschoolers in area, lost every room and all ceilings to water damage. She is due to give birth in 2 weeks. They have a place to stay (I offered ours too-even with sketchy utilities). We will most definitely be helping do something for them as soon as the ice clears by this weekend. Just 2 more days until clean up can begin in earnest.

Good grief! This has been Harvey catastrophic. Houses burning down. Loss of life due to carbon-monoxide poisoning. At least water destroyed houses won't be molding at warp speed? It's been a bad one for sure. I think everyone knew it was going to be tough. Weather is is usually extreme. But non one expected no utilities for millions of people at once. The governor is calling for someone's head on a stick.

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Crap! Now a boil water notice! Grrrrrrrrr!

The weather worst of it was today. Tomorrow will see rain but above freezing. Roads will be rough overnight. Pipes will be rough as things thaw. Thank you for the tips from everyone!!!!! I didn't expect windows to crack either. They are double pane, and the outside panes cracked. That's a new one to me.

Honestly, my personal biggest financial lost was the pool and landscaping. Of course trees can be replanted, but the pool especially hurts. Plus almost every pool is damaged, so there will be a significant backlog. Great time to be in pool business in Texas! Business opportunity there!

I am so incredibly thankful no pipes have burst. A former neighbor that is still in our subdivision lost every room also to burst pipes. They are everywhere. My parents might be facing the same. The test is tomorrow.

I can take care of college kiddos in College Station and have awesome friends in DFW area that I can call on to help if you've got kiddos stuck at college!

Good night everyone! I'm crawling in bed with faucets dripping, blankets piled high, and hope that we have water and power stay on until in the morning!

PS. I saw a meme that showed the Houston highways under snow/ice and the same highways under Harvey water. It was captioned something like "Texas--where weather is an extreme sport." No doubt. No doubt.

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2 hours ago, aggie96 said:

I didn't expect windows to crack either. They are double pane, and the outside panes cracked. That's a new one to me.

That shocked me, as well!  I'm so sorry about all the damage you have experienced!

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6 hours ago, MissLemon said:

There are wind turbines in Antarctica and they don't freeze. It's not the turbines that are causing this. 

Do you imagine that wind turbines designed for scientific installations in Antarctica are the same as the giant wind turbines designed for large-scale power production in western Texas?  I can assure you they are extremely different.

I suspect the truth lies somewhere between "All of the wind turbines in Texas have frozen" and "None of the wind turbines have frozen".

But you are certainly correct that blaming this disaster solely on wind generation is clearly wrong.  Many, many other generators have failed due to improper winterizing and solar production has eliminated by a blanket of snow.

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2 minutes ago, RegGuheert said:

Do you imagine that wind turbines designed for scientific installations in Antarctica are the same as the giant wind turbines designed for large-scale power production in western Texas?  I can assure you they are extremely different.

I suspect the truth lies somewhere between "All of the wind turbines in Texas have frozen" and "None of the wind turbines have frozen".

But you are certainly correct that blaming this disaster solely on wind generation is clearly wrong.  Many, many other generators have failed due to improper winterizing and solar production has eliminated by a blanket of snow.

What I know is that most of the ire for the current situation is being directed at "unreliable, socialist green energy".  The energy losses from the doomed frozen turbines only account for about 13% of the energy deficit.  The rest of the deficit is from failures in other energy sources and ignoring the advice to to winterize the equipment. Most of the problem seems to be with natural gas. The gas wells froze because...surprise! No insulation for the well pipes!   

No, frozen wind turbines aren't to blame for Texas' power outages | The Texas Tribune

Are frozen wind turbines to blame for Texas power outages? (msn.com)

Frozen turbines are also an excellent scapegoat to help bolster support for the governor's threat to sue the Biden administration for it's "hostile attack" against oil and natural gas.

Texas Gov. Abbott threatens to sue Biden for 'hostile' energy agenda (msn.com) 

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25 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

What I know is that most of the ire for the current situation is being directed at "unreliable, socialist green energy".

Most? I don't see it.  On this forum, I have seen two or three posts which made the claim that all of the wind turbines had frozen.  I saw no mention here about "unreliable socialist green energy".

I started an entire separate thread to discuss why Texas cannot keep the lights on.  I think there was one post there which indicated that all of the wind generators had frozen.  You have claimed here that wind turbines are not to blame because they have them in Antarctica.  IMO, your claim is greenwashing and the other claim is anti-green.  To me, both are a bit hyperbolic.

All that said, wind energy and solar energy *are* partially to blame for this outage since they are not dispatchable energy sources.  You cannot request electricity from solar panels at night or when they are covered with snow and you cannot request electricity from wind turbines when the wind is not blowing or when they have frozen due to the thick lubricant used to combat the Texas heat freezes up.

Unfortunately, in Texas the other forms of electricity generation which are supposed to be dispatchable *also* were not because they were not properly winterized.

Anyone who wants to see my views on renewable energy in Texas and elsewhere can read them in the other thread.

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57 minutes ago, RegGuheert said:

Most? I don't see it.  On this forum, I have seen two or three posts which made the claim that all of the wind turbines had frozen.  I saw no mention here about "unreliable socialist green energy".

I started an entire separate thread to discuss why Texas cannot keep the lights on.  I think there was one post there which indicated that all of the wind generators had frozen.  You have claimed here that wind turbines are not to blame because they have them in Antarctica.  IMO, your claim is greenwashing and the other claim is anti-green.  To me, both are a bit hyperbolic.

All that said, wind energy and solar energy *are* partially to blame for this outage since they are not dispatchable energy sources.  You cannot request electricity from solar panels at night or when they are covered with snow and you cannot request electricity from wind turbines when the wind is not blowing or when they have frozen due to the thick lubricant used to combat the Texas heat freezes up.

Unfortunately, in Texas the other forms of electricity generation which are supposed to be dispatchable *also* were not because they were not properly winterized.

Anyone who wants to see my views on renewable energy in Texas and elsewhere can read them in the other thread.

I was speaking of what I see from other Texans in my life and the comments from Texas congressmen and officials.  The Texas agriculture commissioner refers to wind turbines as "unproductive, energy robbing, Obama Monuments", (the quote is in the article from the Texas tribune I posted). 

I prefer not to get into a hair splitting discussion over the differences between various types of turbines because it's a distraction.  My point is that what I am seeing here, in Texas, among a certain political stripe that has ties to natural gas and oil, is the argument that wind turbines don't work in cold weather and are thus completely unreliable and should not be built in Texas again.  If wind turbines can work in Antarctica, then they can absolutely work here, in a climate that is not near as cold. 

And as I said before, the turbines are only responsible for 13% of the total deficit. The other 87% is from all the other sources of energy that failed. But the blame is being shuffled off to the turbines.  It's not green-washing to point out what elected and appointed state officials are saying about the matter and how they have also spoken out against green energy policies.      

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8 hours ago, aggie96 said:

Crap! Now a boil water notice! Grrrrrrrrr!

 

Do you have bleach? You may already know this from past hurricanes, but you can use bleach to sanitize water - that's how I wash dishes post hurricanes. Just a few drops in the rinse water. We had enough stored clean water for drinking, but you CAN totally drink it if you use this method. 1/8 tsp to 1 gallon water. https://foodsafety.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/CDC-What-to-Do-During-a-Boil-Water-Advisory-3.pdf?fwd=no

Doesn't solve your misery, but if you have the bleach on hand already it is way easier than trying to get outside to a grill to boil water if power goes out. 

Also, if you have power right now, I'd start boiling up as much water as you can, to store in containers, in case the power goes out again. That will give you drinking water and then use bleach for washing dishes, etc. 

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Just thinking of everyone in the south still.  I am hoping the governments get the cash flowing to help everyone there. 

Can anyone explain to me why the windows there cracked?  Are the windows down south made of different materials or just not made to whether the same temps? 

And the pools, did the pipes in the pools break and that is how they are ruined? Or did all the water in the pool crack the actual pool? 

Aggie96, my  heart goes out to your friend who is pregnant.  I can't imagine that stress at that time in her life.  I hope that she has a huge support system that can help her now. 

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3 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

And the pools, did the pipes in the pools break and that is how they are ruined? Or did all the water in the pool crack the actual pool?

I cannot answer the window question but I can answer this one.  All the pipes, the filter, and the pump are designed to not leak any air (or water) so that the water does not drain back into the pool when the pump shuts off.  This is so that the pump is always primed and can start up quickly and easily.  As a result, when the pump is off, the water is just sitting, motionless, in the pipes, the filter, and the pump exposed to the cold air.  The pipes will freeze and crack first, then the pump, and finally the filter (because of mass differences).

In colder climates, you pay a pool installer each Fall to pump high pressure air through all of the lines to ensure there is no water in them.  While the air is blowing they put plugs in all of the jets so that water cannot reenter the pipes.

The other thing that can break is the skimmers.  typically those hold water during the winter, but a flexible air bladder such as a sealed soda bottle is placed in there to protect them.  I doubt that the pools in Texas had cold for long enough for the skimmers to break, but I wouldn't count it out.

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8 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Just thinking of everyone in the south still.  I am hoping the governments get the cash flowing to help everyone there. 

Can anyone explain to me why the windows there cracked?  Are the windows down south made of different materials or just not made to whether the same temps? 

And the pools, did the pipes in the pools break and that is how they are ruined? Or did all the water in the pool crack the actual pool? 

Aggie96, my  heart goes out to your friend who is pregnant.  I can't imagine that stress at that time in her life.  I hope that she has a huge support system that can help her now. 

I am betting that the seal for the double pane was compromised. You can’t see it as it is usually microscopic.  The severe weather brought it to light and temps/fluctuations caused it to crack.    This happened in a house we rented for a few months.  The one pane of the door shattered with the extreme temp fluctuations and it was a seal has been compromised.

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Sending big hugs to everyone who is dealing with this. I live in an area that gets a lot of snow (11” new overnight), but can’t imagine how hard it would be to deal with the cold without power or water. Hang in there friends. 

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We were without power for 37 straight hours. It finally came back on yesterday for most of the day. Last night, I guess we started with the actual rolling blackouts because at 1:00am the power went off. Since then, it’s been going off for 20 minutes, then on for 40 minutes. I’ll take that over 37 straight hours. 

We still have no water...none for the past 48 hours. We filled a bathtub to use for toilets, which sucks and is getting really old. There’s also a boil water notice in place for whenever we do get water back. It would be really nice for the water to come on today. 🙏🏻

This is incredibly frustrating. There are people in much worse shape than we are, so I’m trying to stay positive. Praying for my fellow Texans.

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On 2/16/2021 at 1:37 AM, RegGuheert said:

I Duck Duck Go'ed the Texas power outages just now and one of the things I found was recommendations from the power utility in Texas (called the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT) on how to save electricity during this emergency.  The first item on the list was this:

Really?!  Around here, we would have to turn the thermostat UP to get to 68 degrees.

It seems that there must be some (many?) Texans who run their houses cooler in summertime than they do in the wintertime!

If ERCOT really wants to save electricity, why aren't they recommending setting thermostats to 58 degrees instead of 68?

/rant

Yes. We normally air condition to 78 and heat to 70.

At the recommendation, we moved it down to 68.

When we lost power for 28 hours, we were lucky to be living in a well insulated house -- our house only got down to 52. But we were miserable. Multiple layers of clothing. Multiple blankets, etc. Luckily it came on last night at 9p and has only been on and off since then and the heat was able to catch up.

 

ETA: No water for over 24 hours. From what I understand there is no water service in the city. We were streaming water until it went and noticed water pressure dropping, so got a lot of containers filled with water before we lost it entirely and we're trying to conserve what we have since we don't know when water will be back or if we'll be able to use it (Frozen pipes, etc)

 

I have been trying not to complain and to realize that our friends in Honduras deal with temperatures down into the 50s on occasion without electricity, heaters, blankets, or maybe even  proper clothing.  So we have nothing to complain about and it could be much worse.

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Whew! Made it through the night with all utilities. Have friends and family over now washing clothes, showering, etc. We have enough bottled water and Dr. Pepper on hand to get around boiling water, but that was a great bleach tip on how to deal with that! Folks that didn't lose utilities much are now dealing with longer-term outages. Obviously, we know the pain. Seriously, losing all utilities at once just super sucked. Then not being able to communicate with anyone was frightening. The roads are quite drive-able today. It rained quite a bit and melted the ice and snow away. Overnight roads will freeze again. I was able to get online to run payroll for the company I manage and report/pay taxes that are due Friday. A little thing, but I hope it was something that kept employees from worrying over. My WTMA kiddo was able to attend class today (which she was so stressed about despite my reassurances). I am so very thankful for the WTMA approach to education. This was one very big stress that I never had to carry.

FB pages are filled today with cries for help dealing with busted pipes. Many homes are completely destroyed from the ceiling down. Has this been explained? The normal location for hot water heaters is in the attic here. So the main water supply enters the house and heads to the attic. The pipe distribution system can be quite busy in the attic. So if a pipe bursts, it rains indoors.

Now, as expected, Lowes and Home Depot have sold out of repair supplies, lines are stretched around the building. Some plumbers (that are neighbors to the customers) are charging $550 diagnostic/trip fee plus repairs. Some are even quoting $1000/hr for repairs. I'm just stunned. We have run our own service-based business for 15 years and cannot fathom the price-gouging. It makes my heart hurt. I would think having a windfall of business volume would be fortunate enough to charge normal prices (around $150-175 diagnostic/trip fee + $80-100/hr). I imagine there will be very sore feelings within the community for a long while.

I still have no idea about the cracked window. I, too, figured it was a cracked seal. Not uncommon but never had a freeze like this to know what it could do. But I do have several other windows that have the seal compromised before this. Those windows are fine. This house sits on a clay bed that is particularly bad. We had noticed it in how the vegetation is growing (or rather stunted). So it could have been the house shifting. I heard so many pops last night like a rock hitting a car windshield. I was up and down all night scanning windows for more damage or burst pipes or the fireplace going wrong, etc etc. It was a wakeful night, but I never discovered anything else wrong. The popping most definitely could have been settling. We will need to address this problem this spring for sure by moving water away from the house better an amending the soil on a large scale.

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5 minutes ago, aggie96 said:

Whew! Made it through the night with all utilities. Have friends and family over now washing clothes, showering, etc. We have enough bottled water and Dr. Pepper on hand to get around boiling water, but that was a great bleach tip on how to deal with that! Folks that didn't lose utilities much are now dealing with longer-term outages. Obviously, we know the pain. Seriously, losing all utilities at once just super sucked. Then not being able to communicate with anyone was frightening. The roads are quite drive-able today. It rained quite a bit and melted the ice and snow away. Overnight roads will freeze again. I was able to get online to run payroll for the company I manage and report/pay taxes that are due Friday. A little thing, but I hope it was something that kept employees from worrying over. My WTMA kiddo was able to attend class today (which she was so stressed about despite my reassurances). I am so very thankful for the WTMA approach to education. This was one very big stress that I never had to carry.

FB pages are filled today with cries for help dealing with busted pipes. Many homes are completely destroyed from the ceiling down. Has this been explained? The normal location for hot water heaters is in the attic here. So the main water supply enters the house and heads to the attic. The pipe distribution system can be quite busy in the attic. So if a pipe bursts, it rains indoors.

Now, as expected, Lowes and Home Depot have sold out of repair supplies, lines are stretched around the building. Some plumbers (that are neighbors to the customers) are charging $550 diagnostic/trip fee plus repairs. Some are even quoting $1000/hr for repairs. I'm just stunned. We have run our own service-based business for 15 years and cannot fathom the price-gouging. It makes my heart hurt. I would think having a windfall of business volume would be fortunate enough to charge normal prices (around $150-175 diagnostic/trip fee + $80-100/hr). I imagine there will be very sore feelings within the community for a long while.

I still have no idea about the cracked window. I, too, figured it was a cracked seal. Not uncommon but never had a freeze like this to know what it could do. But I do have several other windows that have the seal compromised before this. Those windows are fine. This house sits on a clay bed that is particularly bad. We had noticed it in how the vegetation is growing (or rather stunted). So it could have been the house shifting. I heard so many pops last night like a rock hitting a car windshield. I was up and down all night scanning windows for more damage or burst pipes or the fireplace going wrong, etc etc. It was a wakeful night, but I never discovered anything else wrong. The popping most definitely could have been settling. We will need to address this problem this spring for sure by moving water away from the house better an amending the soil on a large scale.

That is not something I have ever heard.  Learn something new everyday.  I wonder why they would put a hot water heater in the attic?   Seems like a bad idea from the start. Is it something to do with the heat?    Do you have basements in Texas?  

 

Yeah the price gouging seems mean. 

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sort of late now, but for that feeling of total isolation, a battery operated FM radio can be amazingly helpful. When we've had no cell service, no power, no way to leave due to the hurricane itself, something about having that voice in the (literal) dark speaking, be it the news reporter or DJ or whatever, was so comforting. Just knowing you are not alone, when you FEEL all alone. And of course, it is also a way to find out about updates, etc. So many of us get used to checking our phones for that that a radio can be forgotten about. We keep one specifically for hurricanes - it also gets national weather service alerts and can charge a cell phone! 

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No basements. Clay soil, High water tables. Converting at attic to livable space is called a "Texas Basement". I don't know the specific reason why the heaters are in the attic. I suspect it's partly because heat rises, and it is hot to extremely hot in Texas the vast majority of the year. I would think the heater would not have to work as hard in the attic, and any heat it puts out would escape. But who knows if that could be part of the reason.

 

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In Florida we have them in the garage usually, if the home has one, or a utility closet. No basements in Florida - water table is too high. I think Texas is similar in that regard. (I've not had one in an attic, although I think that is where the smaller newer ones are placed nowadays maybe? )

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My last house was the only house that ever had one in the garage instead of attic. We have a tankless in attic now. First tankless for us.

I DO need to get a little radio. That would have helped.

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8 minutes ago, aggie96 said:

I don't know the specific reason why the heaters are in the attic. I suspect it's partly because heat rises, and it is hot to extremely hot in Texas the vast majority of the year.

The problem is they also put the air handlers in the attic.  They probably do that so they can sell more air handlers! 🙃 (Actually, it is so they can duct air to the various rooms.)

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We did a remodel a few years ago and there were number of restrictions of where water heaters could not be placed (for example it couldn't be under a staircase) because of fire/safety issues.  And most places in Texas do not have basements.  

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Some of the water damage I am hearing about in Texas has to do with water sprinklers.  DD has a friend whose apartment is flooded due to sprinkler system going off when neighbor had fireplace going to keep warm. (I have heard conflicting stories about whether it was just the sprinkler system going off to stop a fire or if it was a sprinkler system in one apartment going off and a pipe issue that flooded the other apartments).

I just got information from my employer that we had a sprinkler pipe burst, and our building is flooded.  We had been in a temporary trailer for 2 1/2 years during a construction project.  We were literally moving into the new facility when COVID hit.  So, many of our collaborative teaching spaces haven't even been used yet, and now this 😞 

 

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I come from a third world country where the purity of the water entering the house is always a bit iffy even if you know the source.So we always boiled water for cooking and drinking regularly. I usually start cooking by boiling water in an electric kettle even now because grandma taught me so.

Well, thankfully my paranoid water boiling self discovered these. 

https://www.amazon.com/LifeStraw-Personal-Water-Filter-Piece/dp/B072BC51LT/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2Q63I7WF660TN&dchild=1&keywords=water+filter+straw+survival+lifestraw&qid=1613599109&sprefix=water+filter+str%2Caps%2C198&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzNFdBUEdVNEdNM1NJJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTgxMTQ4Mk40NDgxNlE2OTMxMCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDg0MzAwUEs0MlNWUThESUYxJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

We have a supply on hand always though we do not camp or hike but we travel.

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Yes. My brother's apartment building has damage one building over due to sprinklers (not sure what set them off). I *think* the school system said there were 12 schools with significant water damage. School is canceled completely this week.

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Some people are speculating that the water damage from this might be as bad or worse than Harvey because every home was hit with this (not just those in flood areas-which was a ton)?

 

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I have a water question--we have been lucky to have power maintained at my house and have not been notified of any water boil mandate (although nearby areas have been).

I just filled a glass of water and it is cloudy (not normal for here).  Is the from pressure in the pipes?  An indication of some freezing somewhere in the system?  Something else?  

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11 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

I have a water question--we have been lucky to have power maintained at my house and have not been notified of any water boil mandate (although nearby areas have been).

I just filled a glass of water and it is cloudy (not normal for here).  Is the from pressure in the pipes?  An indication of some freezing somewhere in the system?  Something else?  

If in question, boil it.

Source: Growing up in a third world country experience and wisdom of grandmother.

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We have three city utility water wells within 1/2 mile of our house(one at our farm around the corner, on at our pasture next door, and one down at the end of our road) and the treatment facility to cool it all down is just a bit further down the road).   My aunt has had power at our farm since yesterday after workers were tinkering with the generator.  We just broke our consistent 2:1 power cycle after 45 minutes.   I’m concerned that after reports of burst mains and system wide pressure collapse warnings all day long they have now become critical to maintain pressure and have to have full power to pump full blast to maintain pressure.

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We had our power back for 6 hours yesterday and then it went out intermittently during the night.  It has been on all day today.  It is nice to feel normal.  We lost water early this morning, but it is back now.  I was so concerned with the low water pressure at first thinking we had a burst pipe in the attic that I went up there and crawled around on all fours checking the water tank in the attic and all visible pipes.  We have a small guest room hot water tank in the attic.  The main house one is in the garage. Fortunately, it was the city running out of water and not a burst pipe.  Our temps are slowing increasing into the 20s so we are feeling better.   Internet has been hit or miss.  DD has used her mobile hot spot for classes and that has been working.  I empathize with everyone still going through this.

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1 hour ago, Bootsie said:

I have a water question--we have been lucky to have power maintained at my house and have not been notified of any water boil mandate (although nearby areas have been).

I just filled a glass of water and it is cloudy (not normal for here).  Is the from pressure in the pipes?  An indication of some freezing somewhere in the system?  Something else?  

I wouldn't drink it. Boil it. Then I would run the lines for a bit to see if it was just due to an interruption at the source or something in the water. Goodness knows information seems to be trickling out of authorities. 

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59 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

Hey guys, carports around here are collapsing. Over 10 pics on Facebook including police that had 7 cars damaged.  If you are like us and still getting snow and/or ice, move your car.

MY dh moved my car this afternoon. We have a box bay window with a little slanty roof that comes off right where my car is parked. There's a solid sheet of ice there and he;s concerned that if it slides off, it'd smash into my car. So that's another thing to consider...

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44 minutes ago, aggie96 said:

I wouldn't drink it. Boil it. Then I would run the lines for a bit to see if it was just due to an interruption at the source or something in the water. Goodness knows information seems to be trickling out of authorities. 

Based on our experience, I would also boil.  We actually got a reverse osmosis unit for our Texas house after an incident after a winter storm.  

The cloudiness could just be air bubbles and a higher number of total dissolved solids in the water.....but in our experience the air bubbles came from pipes that had broken along the way. We didn't get notice that our water wasn't potable until a day later. 

 

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27 minutes ago, Amy in NH said:

No description available.

We did this after an ice storm in Ohio and spent a week without power. We put the camping tent in the living room and then nailed sheets to the ceiling to surround it. We also nailed blankets over the doors. Dh resisted the nailing the first two night but then gave in. We did have friends that would have let us visit but I had influenza. None of the kids or dh caught it from me, even with the tent. Viruses are weird.

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2 hours ago, Bootsie said:

 

I just filled a glass of water and it is cloudy (not normal for here).  Is the from pressure in the pipes?  An indication of some freezing somewhere in the system?  Something else?  

Let it stand. If it clear up, boil it. If it doesn’t clear up than discard. When I am from, we always had to let the taps run in the morning when we wake up or the first cup/glass would be cloudy water. The water would already look cloudy coming from the tap. I am used to filtering and boiling my water. 

https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/emergency-disinfection-drinking-water

“Boil water, if you do not have bottled water. Boiling is sufficient to kill pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa (WHO, 2015).

  • If water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paperboiling water towel, or coffee filter.”
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4 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

I come from a third world country where the purity of the water entering the house is always a bit iffy even if you know the source.So we always boiled water for cooking and drinking regularly. I usually start cooking by boiling water in an electric kettle even now because grandma taught me so.

Well, thankfully my paranoid water boiling self discovered these. 

https://www.amazon.com/LifeStraw-Personal-Water-Filter-Piece/dp/B072BC51LT/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2Q63I7WF660TN&dchild=1&keywords=water+filter+straw+survival+lifestraw&qid=1613599109&sprefix=water+filter+str%2Caps%2C198&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzNFdBUEdVNEdNM1NJJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTgxMTQ4Mk40NDgxNlE2OTMxMCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDg0MzAwUEs0MlNWUThESUYxJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

We have a supply on hand always though we do not camp or hike but we travel.

There are gravity-powered family-sized ones, too: This is the one we have.

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58 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Let it stand. If it clear up, boil it. If it doesn’t clear up than discard. When I am from, we always had to let the taps run in the morning when we wake up or the first cup/glass would be cloudy water. The water would already look cloudy coming from the tap. I am used to filtering and boiling my water. 

https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/emergency-disinfection-drinking-water

“Boil water, if you do not have bottled water. Boiling is sufficient to kill pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa (WHO, 2015).

  • If water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paperboiling water towel, or coffee filter.”

U

 

3 hours ago, Bootsie said:

I have a water question--we have been lucky to have power maintained at my house and have not been notified of any water boil mandate (although nearby areas have been).

I just filled a glass of water and it is cloudy (not normal for here).  Is the from pressure in the pipes?  An indication of some freezing somewhere in the system?  Something else?  

Sometimes with our rainwater when the pump plays up it will look cloudy but it’s just very fine air bubbles.  If there’s air getting into the system that could be an issue.  Can you see if it’s bubbles or sediment?  Either way I think I’d be using other water if it’s available or at least boiling/filtering for a couple of days. 

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I’ve been reading more on the attic water heaters. I just can’t understand why. We don’t have a basement either but I wouldn’t want it above me. the chance of a leak is so high. We have been able to have repairs that would have been more serious if we hadn’t seen a small drip. A corner of our family room has a closet for water heater, hvac, w &d.

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5 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

That is not something I have ever heard.  Learn something new everyday.  I wonder why they would put a hot water heater in the attic?   Seems like a bad idea from the start. Is it something to do with the heat?    Do you have basements in Texas?  

 

Yeah the price gouging seems mean. 

our hot water service is in the roof cavity. We have solar/combustion stove combination hot water. It is very very common in Australia to have the hot water in the roof cavity especially in older houses, so I am guessing  there they might have solar hot water as well??

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4 minutes ago, Acorn said:

I’ve been reading more on the attic water heaters. I just can’t understand why. We don’t have a basement either but I wouldn’t want it above me. the chance of a leak is so high. We have been able to have repairs that would have been more serious if we hadn’t seen a small drip. A corner of our family room has a closet for water heater, hvac, w &d.

our hot water tank sits in a tray so if there is ever a leak then it drains into the tray then outside. I have never had a leak or heard of someone having a leak in a roof cavity hot water system. on the ones that sit on the ground outside the house however , they rust and leak 

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