Just finished my outdoor lights and I saw the guy next door standing on the
metal ladder with lights all around him connecting strings of lights
together. Made me think about how many guys have been hurt --shocked or by
falling from a ladder while doing a"Family Christmas" thing.
I guess I have more respect of electricity than is needed, in fact
I cover all connections with plastic wrap and try to seal them water tight.
Just a thought for a Merry and safe Christmas.
You wanna hear about ladder safety? I took yesterday off to clean my
gutters since the weather is supposed to turn colder and windier with
freezing rain and snow all the way through the weekend and beyond.
Yesterday's temperatures were in the mid-30's when I began the job.
The leaves were frozen in the gutters so I hooked my hose up to the
hot water spigot and let the water melt the ice and keep my hands
warm. After about an hour of trips up and down the 28' ladder, I
realized that the ladder was getting slick from the water freezing on
the rungs. I began to use the hot water to hose down the rungs before
I went up or down, which gave me enough time to clean each arms-length
of gutter before the rungs got slick again.
Even with the "warmed up" rungs, I was extra, extra careful with my
footwork as I used the ladder.
The lesson? Just like bridges, ladder rungs freeze before other
On Nov 29, 6:01 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
-- The lesson? Do it when it's above freezing :)
According to all my thermometers, the air temp never drop below
freezing while I was working. The water did not freeze on the house,
bushes, railings, deck, etc. Only the ladders (aluminum extension and
aluminum step ladder) got a thin coating of ice on them.
On Nov 29, 7:48 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Who said anything about having common sense? ;-)
Based on the expected weather over the next week or so, my work and
travel schedule and the need to get the gutters cleaned and the ice
melt wires rarranged before winter really hit, I had a very small
window in which to complete the project.
Considering that I was pretty close to being done when the ice started
to form, and considering that I had the solution to the ice problem in
my hand - a hose hooked up to hot water spigot - I wasn't really in
Heat up the rungs before going up and again before going down and my
footing was fine.
It wasn't like icicles were hanging off every rung - it was nothing
more than a thin glaze, easily rectified by a few splashes of the hot
water. Since I hose out my gutters as part of the cleaning process,
the hose with a spray gun handle was always with me anyway.
re: Plus, hot water freezes faster than cold water.
This not a universal fact and was probably not the reason my ladder
rungs got slippery.
Hot water freezing faster than cold water, known as the Mpemba effect,
has indeed been known to occur under controlled experimental
conditions. Luke warm dripping off my gutters, the mist/splashing from
the hose and house, the mud and leaves from my boots, etc. was far
from a controlled experiment.
I seriously doubt that the Mpemba effect was in play here.
I know what you are referring to but that is normally NOT the case. Just
set a cup of cold water and also a cup of hot water outside when it is
below freezing and you will find that the cold water will freeze first.
Heck, you can even try it in the freezer of your refrigerator.
re: Heck, you can even try it in the freezer of your refrigerator
Be careful with that one - you might inadvertently prove his point.
Part of the theory as to why the Mpemba effect occurs in some cases is
that the container of hot water will melt the layer of frost that it
sits on faster than the container of cold water, and thus have better
contact with the cold surface of the freezer, accelerating the cooling
Of course, technically you are correct, it could happen but I really
doubt it unless the hot water container was set on a layer of frost
which in turn melted and they refroze and created a MUCH better
connection to the surface of the freezer.
Although the Mpemba effect probably does not lend itself to
alt.home.repairs, it is an interesting subject that has been around for
hundreds, if not thousands, of years and still has not been fully explained.
Should this occur, I would also suspect the hot water setting up a
convection current that quickly cools the hot water heavily by
evaporative cooling, and causes some of it to evaporate so that there is
less of it to freeze.
Normally, the cold water freezes first.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is actually not a good thing.
Unless the connectors are literally encapsulated with proper material,
moisture will easily and quickly penetrate the wrapping and RETAIN moisture.
After ensuring the plug ends are firmly and completely together, it is better
to leave them UNwrapped and exposed. This allows any moisture to drain away
or evaporate. They can lay on the ground, UNDER snow, with no problem.
Wrapping outdoor holiday light connections in plastic wrap is no more than a
"feel good" activity. Save your efforts for more decorating.
I usually wrap some with electrical tape. But that is mostly for
ease of removal. Especially the higher sets on my big (30 foot) tree.
Nothing worse than trying to get them down and having one separate so I
have to drag out the ladders and poles to continue my work (g).
More good advice.
However, in my experience, a LOT of 120VAC lamps AND exposed connectors can
wreck havoc with a GFCI-protected circuit, particularly in wet weather. The
only solution here is to keep everything off the ground and in a good position
to "drain" or dry out as much as possible.
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