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How Did Everyone Survive the Great Freeze?

Discussion in 'Texas' started by jimpo1, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 30, 2001
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    Jim E
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  3. SAFE4NOW

    SAFE4NOW F1 Rookie
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    Aug 25, 2004
    4,021
    Dallas Texas
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    Steve F
    We consider ourselves lucky, we were able to help both of our families out, who had bigger issues than we did.
    Only had one fire sprinkler rupture just inside the front door way.
    We did get the Ferrari out for photos at the onset of snow, but left it inside from then on out.

    Guys in the shop varied from no issues to having to drive several hours away to be with family, SMH... I hope its at least another 20 years before this happens again.

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  4. ralfabco

    ralfabco Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 1, 2002
    22,956
    banana republic of america
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    Israel Beiteinu
    Sunday night at about 1800 the power was cut. Power did not re-appear until Thursday evening - late. I think we lost power the next day for a few hours. A gas fireplace was quite helpful to have. My older daughter stayed at her B.F.'s parents home in the Heights. The home in the Heights never lost power. The inside thermostat Monday or Tuesday morning displayed 53 degrees F. We could barely send simple text messages on the phone. At home I gave my younger daughter a surplus extreme cold weather sleeping bag to use. After a few days I used baby-wipes to cleanse my body.

    I have two Honda generators in good condition. No point in driving around to 14 different stores looking for 4 stroke motor oil. No doubt I will service the two generators and be ready for the next hurricane/tropical storm/polar ice storm. Neighbors across the street had generators and seemed to have a good time with small outdoor driveway fires and booze. My friend shrugged it all off and said it was just like camping.

    Lots of people played magical chairs and shuttled to family and or friends in search of heat.
     
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  5. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Sep 5, 2001
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    Oops, I spoke too soon. I got the water back on after being shut off with the rest of the neighborhood. I only issue is the kitchen sink faucet has little to no pressure, also found some leaks around the storm windows but that can be resealed.
     
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  6. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2014
    634
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    MikeS
    We were without power in NW Hills in Austin for 3.5 days, but fortunately had a fireplace and hot water the entire time to keep warm. It was a bit chilly in the house (down to 45ish) and it looks like we've lost most of our landscape plants, but overall it wasn't too bad. We didn't have any burst pipes or tree damage (especially to our 100 plus year old Live Oaks). We were much more fortunate than many households. The Saturday before, we prepped pipes, stocked up on food, and filled propane tanks just in case. Plus, we had a great group of neighbors looking out for one another and the few elderly neighbors that are on our street.

    2cam
     
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  8. LightGuy

    LightGuy Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 4, 2004
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    3 broken pipes which I repaired with Sharkbites and PEX tubing myself.
    Caught it VERY early as they broke.
    Thank God I was home.
    Drained the pool equipment at the end of swimming season.
    No more stupid electric bills for running pool all winter or chance of calamities like this.
    Takes about a week to prep pool in spring.
    I'll take that trade all day.

    Power stayed on all crisis.
    Only thing I can think of is a water treatment plant is about a mile away.
     
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  9. jtkeller

    jtkeller Karting

    Dec 6, 2009
    81
    Fort Worth, TX
    Guilty


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  10. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave F1 World Champ
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    Jul 26, 2004
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    IgnoranteWest
  11. willrace

    willrace Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 21, 2006
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    Kurt
    So, you guys just said "Awww.... Puck it!" and played. I'm curious how thick that ice was. Pretty cool (NPI) experience to play outdoors on natural ice, IN TEXAS.
    I didn't set foot outside for 3 days.
     
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  13. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Nov 26, 2001
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    Chris P. Bakon
    We ended up having to bail out of the house after no power and no water (neighborhood wells require pumps). We were out of power from Sunday to Thurday. Grabbed the dogs and headed to a motel for several days.

    Damage here includes pool equipment and a cold-water pipe under a sink. And a busted-out rear window in the pickup. Annoying stuff and will be money but nothing so bad as the neighbors have reported.
     
  14. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Dec 6, 2002
    74,228
    Houston, Texas
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    Bubba
    It was "not fun" ....but we had supplies..

    I snow ski, so no big deal, but I hate that people died "waiting on the government".......:/

    Our hurricane training is:
    "they are not coming!!"

    and plan accordingly!
     
  15. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
    20,236
    socal
    I'm from cali and for our mountain house that was SOP so pipes don't freeze. I'm surprised at all the busted pipes. This is the internet age and the info is out there. Why do you think the word didn't get out on how to deal with pipes and freezing temps?
     
  16. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave F1 World Champ
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    Jul 26, 2004
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    About 4” thick, based on a hole some fishermen cut nearby
     
  17. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,972
    Because in previous cold weather events, water dripping was fine....and was SOP for over 30 years here.

    This time the temperatures were colder for a longer duration AND the power outages decreased the ability for heating to keep piping from freezing.
     
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  18. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Very cold weather that stuck for a long time, and no power means no heat to help. Quite a few places lost water pressure as well, so there wasn't any dripping. The other factor is that the houses around here are built to withstand freezing temps, but not 2-20 degrees for days on end.
     
  19. EastMemphis

    EastMemphis Formula Junior
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    May 25, 2019
    853
    Memphis, TN
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    John
    I'm really surprised that people with generators didn't have heat. Was the gas out? A gas furnace requires less than 10 amps to run. It's a standard 110v plug. We were ready with our generator in case the power failed. We would have been cozy.
     
  20. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,972
    I’m sure people with generators had heat, but that is a very small % around here.
     
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  21. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 30, 2001
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    Jim E
    People don't have generators. Even if they do, it's not like you can unplug your furnace and run an extension cord to the generator. They're hardwired.

    The thing people from "outside" don't understand is that Texas isn't built for this. We had 140+ straight hours of below freezing temperatures. We had no electricity because the power plants weren't equipped for this level of cold either. Their pipes froze too. Many of us had no water for a large variety of reasons. We don't have wrapped pipes here because up until a week ago, we've never needed them. I had 3 pipes burst. Two were inside my house. They burst because we had no heat.
     
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  22. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Are plumbers from all over the country headed to Texas to make a quick buck?
     
  23. EastMemphis

    EastMemphis Formula Junior
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    #45 EastMemphis, Feb 25, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
    Have you looked at your furnace? It simply plugs into an outlet. I personally have never seen a modern gas furnace hardwired. I suggest looking at your furnace again. It plugs into an outlet within 6' of your main air handler. If it was hardwired, HVAC companies would have to bring a licensed electrician and get a permit for electrical work every time they replaced a furnace.

    I suggest people take this as a warning. Get a generator. Keep 10-15 gallons of gas on hand. That's what we've done for decades. I use the gas to fill my cars so we don't have to go to the gas station as often. The local Kroger has a deal where we can get up to a $1 off a fill up of up to 35 gallons. Since our biggest tank is only 26, that leaves money on the table. We use the gas cans to get our full 35 gallons. We saved hundreds of dollars this way.

    I lived in Florida for nearly 30 years. I must have used my generator a dozen times there. I lived in Mississippi for a decade and used the generator several times there. I live in the middle of the city of Memphis for the last 10 years and have used my generator a number of times here. Power goes out at the worst possible time. Be prepared or suffer.

    A generator is cheap insurance.
     
  24. 2cam

    2cam Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2014
    634
    Austin, Texas
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    MikeS
    Haha! Plumbing supplies are in as short supply as the actual labor...

    As others have noted, many Texans don't have generators. Unless you're near the coast and subject to potential hurricane-related outages, there's really very little need for one for typical residences. One of our neighbors DOES have one and attempted to hook his furnace up to it to run. However, the issue was in the controller itself. The guy is an award-winning physics professor (and ex-farmer) and wasn't able to figure out a way to make it work until AFTER our power was turned back on. ;)

    2cam
     
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  25. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
    20,236
    socal
    Well if you guys need copper pipe and solder I can ship you some from cali. Sweating pipe with a propane torch is no big deal
     
  26. TexasF355F1

    TexasF355F1 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Feb 2, 2004
    48,650
    Houston
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    Jason
    With all the freezes and cold weather yall have had over the years up north, I'm really surprised something hasn't happened before.

    It would seem as though there would have been some small issues at least. Maybe they were just continuing to put band aids on things as well? Creating an even more fragile system.
     
  27. mikeswplt

    mikeswplt Rookie
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    Jul 28, 2007
    15
    Lago Vista, TX
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    Michael
    Fortunately we had a Kohler 20 kw generator installed when we built our house 5 years ago, so power was not a problem
    during the multiple power outages we experienced. Although our heat pumps were not on the sub panel supported by the
    generator we didn’t have hardly any temp change inside because of the foam insulation. Unfortunately the pool pumps were
    also not supported and ended up with a couple of frozen pipes that drained the pool after they thawed out.
     
  28. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 30, 2001
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    Jim E
    And tonight......HAIL!! Golf ball sized North of us a few miles.....
     

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