Arctic Blast has such a great ring to it. It sounds like something refreshing and fun that might even taste a little minty in your mouth but it’s not quite as nice as it sounds.
What is an Arctic Blast? “The word arctic describes frigid and inhospitable weather.”1 We do get extreme low temperatures in Maine from time to time during the winter and our cold snaps can be intense. We started the new year with a record setting January 1st when temperatures dropped to 17 degrees below zero beating the previous record of minus 12 which was set in 1957.2
When temperatures get that low, you need to be prepared. Pipes can freeze. Before we renovated our house, our basement wasn’t well insulated and there was one pipe close to an exterior wall in the far back corner that would freeze semi-regularly. I spent many hours moving a blow dryer set on high back and forth across the frozen pipe coaxing it back from the brink.
We were only up on weekends in those days and would set the heat lower during the week while we were away which further aggravated the issue. We insulated the pipe as much as possible but continued to have intermittent problems although thankfully it never resulted in a burst pipe.
My Dad also rigged a thermostat for us that would turn on a light bulb to heat the pipe when the temperatures dropped below a certain point. It was something that would have made McGuyver proud although I was convinced the jerry-rigged contraption was a fire hazard. My Dad assured me that it was not and the pipe did freeze far less often.
I wouldn’t recommend this temperature controlled light bulb method as the best solution to anyone struggling with frozen pipes. The other thing that we tried was leaving a faucet running. It only has to be a light trickle or even a drip. Moving water is less likely to freeze and it reduces pressure in the pipes. We left many a drippy faucet when we were having freezing issues and it did seem to help along with Dad’s unique heated bulb solution.
Winter in Maine is cold although every now and then there will be that random day or two where the temperatures inch up and it can even feel balmy. Those days are a welcome surprise and help re-energize you before the next arctic blast.
Arctic blasts don’t bother me. It just mean a little less time spent outside and more time snuggling by the fireplace, at least as long as our pipes aren’t freezing.
Since it’s hard to get a picture that visually shows an arctic blast, I’ve including winter beach scenes instead. Even when the temperatures drop below zero, the winter views are still beautiful.
How cold does it get where you live?
1Arctic – Dictionary Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2018, from https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/arctic
2Yes, it’s getting warmer; but a nor’easter and another arctic blast are coming. (2018, January 03). Retrieved March 24, 2018, from http://www.sunjournal.com/sure-its-getting-warmer-but-a-snowstorm-and-another-arctic-blast-are-coming/
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2018. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Winters in Maine. To read more of my A to Z posts, click HERE.