A friend of mine (Western, NY) had the electric shut off, on
Thursday March 01. The power company will turn it back on, after
the Welfare worker gets around to faxxing over a voucher. Which
could be Monday, and it could be days later than that.
In the meantime, an old drafty house sits with no furnace. It
will be in the twenties tonight, and below Zero on Monday night
the 5th going into the 6th.
The hot water heater (yeah, I know, you don't have to heat hot
water) is natural gas. The stove is electric. The neighbors won't
let him run an extension cord over, to power the furnace. He
doesn't have a generator.
The only two heat sources in the house at present are a camp
stove, probably 2,500 BTU / hr or so. And some candles.
Any ideas how to keep the house warm enough not to freeze pipes?
They are at a motel, tonight.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
Aside from renting a generator, not much you can do. There are some heaters
that can be used indoors, but they are $100 and up. Kerosene heater, but
most are not rated for indoor. If he can't pay the electric, I doubt they
have the money for a rental deposit.
Why was the electric shut off?
Who owns the house?
How much does that motel room cost?
Who's paying for that?
How'd they get there?
Nice neighbors too...
Better drain all the plumbing & traps before bug-out.
Or... as long as I'm paying the electric bill(as a New York Tax Payer)
for your friend, & I'll assume I'm picking up the tab for the natural
gas & water bills too, I'll tell you how to fritter away some more of my
Instead of an extension cord, borrow as much garden hose as he can, run
it throughout the house in the areas most susceptible to freezing in one
continuous loop, terminating in a sink or drain. Let the hose fill/run
slowly connected to the hot water tap furthest from the heater.
For even better heat retention, fill the bathtub with the loose/drain
end of the hose and let the cooled water go out the overflow(adjust the
flow rate accordingly).
This last one sounds to me like a terrible idea. Many, most or all
overflows barely drain at all. I don't know why -- they look big --
but I have tested and barely anything flows out.
If one wanted to fill the tub, he could do it from the tub's own
faucet, and when it gets close to the top, turn off the water and make
sure it's not dripping. If it is dripping even some, being away from
the house for 12 hours or mroe could easily lead to lots of overflow.
Then let the water from the sink faucets run into the sinks
themselves. Again don't count on the overflow accepting more than a
few drops, although that's probably enough to keep the pipe from
But there is a furhter problem. most of my faucets when left running
slowly gradually run more slowly until they don't run at all. To make
sure they don't stop running, they would have to be left on more than
the overflow could handle. And if they can progressively run more
slowly, I would think some would gradually run more quickly, so if a
faucet were set to run no faster than the overflow can handle, it
might start running faster later.
And none of this takes care of the toilets. The water supply to the
tanks could be turned off, and the tanks emptied by flushing, but the
built-in trap could still freeze and break the toilet. how does one
drain a trap? Better to put some sort of antifreeze in it. They may
not have ethylene glycol handy, but as I posted about before, anything
that dissolves will have some effect. I didn't want to use salt in my
car, and others thought sugar was bad (though no one gave a reason)
but they will both work in a toilet. A mixture of both is probably
even more effective. That is, a cup of salt and a cup of sugar would
be iiuc much more effective than two cups of either one of them. And
add some rubbing alcohol. It won't evaporate when cold, unlike in the
car's radiator (although I think alcohol would have lasted for a few
weeks there too.)
But it's 4:45 in the morning, and anything that would happen has
happened already, or will before dawn.
If they rent, they should have notified the landlord, so that he can
protect his property, even if it is their duty to do so.
I wish I could have provided real help. I'm sure there are reasons and
that it is a sad case.
I suggest that your friend IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY the utility company and
the NY State Public Service Commisssion (PSC) of the law in New York
regarding "Your Rights as a Residential Gas, Electric or Steam Customer
Under the Home Energy Fair Practices Act" :
"Reconnection of Service
"If your service has been shut off for non-payment, the utility has to
turn service back on within 24 hours, where possible, in the following
** where the utility is notified that serious harm to health or safety is
likely to result if service is not reconnected (see Special Protections
* or when directed by the PSC."
"Special protections are available for consumers with medical
emergencies; or who are elderly, blind or disabled; and TO ALL CONSUMERS
DURING THE COLD WEATHER PERIOD BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1 AND APRIL 15."
That's not going to keep your pipes from freezing but try getting in
touch with these folks; it sounds like they have experience and could
offer help and/or advice:
Public Utility Law Project
194 Washington Avenue, Suite 420
Albany, NY 12210
On Sun, 4 Mar 2007 19:20:36 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"
I find that working keeps me warm. Maybe going out and getting stuff
to winterize it, will help. It will make the welfare money( every one
say "You're Welcome") go further, and get one bill (heat) a little
more undercontrol. So good old hard work, winterining the property
Just a guess....
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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