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Being very cold
8 January 2018, 12:14,
#11
RE: Being very cold
(8 January 2018, 10:12)Mortblanc Wrote: In my area the building codes require all utilities be buried 4 feet below surface. 48 inches seems excessive but after this experience it actually makes sense. Lord only knows how far down the ground is frozen after 2 weeks at -20c.

It is the pipes under houses or leaving or entering the ground that are getting frozen here.

I believe that crawl spaces are actually colder these days with the added insulation required underfloor by the codes. In the old days pipes got some heat from the house and if the crawl space was sealed up well they seldom froze.

It appears that I am going to need to insulate the individual pipes as well as apply heat tape after this season.

In fact, that deed will probably be done within the next couple of days.

I don’t know the current UK regs regarding the depth utilities should be MB but our house is a 1960 self build property, so maybe the builders were a little lazy when digging the trench. Take care and try and keep warm.
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8 January 2018, 21:09,
#12
RE: Being very cold
Warmth is now accessible!

The system broke yesterday and it is now sitting at +3c.

Feels like a heat wave and I have all the heat in the house turned down to practically nothing.

Getting back to about freezing level has allowed the heat tape I had already installed to do its job and the drains are gurgling happily. They still need attention which they will get in a day or two.

I have already washed everything that was messed up through this incident and things are back to "normal".
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8 January 2018, 23:30,
#13
RE: Being very cold
MB thanks for the update on you local conditions.

Here we find that once the temperature is below -5C or so, its a lot easier to live with. Like Charles wrote, its the claggy damp near to freezing weather that chills to the bone and gets us down. This year we've had a lot of the latter, and the necessity of having to regularly walk the dog and tend to outside chores has forced me to experiment with layered clothing. Casting fashion consciousness to the wind, I've found that German Ex-Mil under layers to be good solutions. In particular a full long-john type furry-bear suit worn under overalls (This was designed for tank crews), and a winter lining for the standard battle dress jacket ( albeit worn under a Brit ex-Mil jacket) I still don't enjoy this weather, but these solutions make it a little more tolerable.

I agree about cold plus wind-chill searching out weaknesses in building preparations. You may recall that my place is long and thin and kind of built into the hillside with the roof gutter pretty much at ground level on the long western exposure. This creates an interesting phenomenon when its cold and windy from the West, namely that the roof acts like an aerofoil the positive pressure on the windward side being matched by an equal and opposite negative pressure on the leeward side. I swear at times it actually sucks the draught excluding out of the frames! Add snow to the mix and the aerofoil effect creates brilliant (not) snowdrifts on the leeward side:-(

All water and drain pipes to and from houses around here tend to be at a depth of at least 3ft. This seems to be a sensible precaution so the incidence of getting completely iced up is rare.
72 de

Lightspeed
26-SUKer-17

26-TM-580


STATUS: Bugged-In at the Bug-Out
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9 January 2018, 17:59,
#14
RE: Being very cold
One thing about our regular dips into the subfreezing zone is that we accumulate winter clothing, and wear the same, at a rate that is only speculation in other climate zones.

Got the thermal layer for next to the skin. New advances in this area are great but I still prefer the silk.

Next comes the flannel lined canvas trousers. You need good braces to hold them up, they are heavy.

Wool pullover sweater on the upper body.

Usually a quilted vest. Sometimes down, sometimes poly.

Over this goes a parka. Usually down. If it is raining I use a waterproof shell over it.

Wool watch-cap on the head, but also use the parka hood.

On the feet I use whatever heavy wool socks are around but I have used thick and fluffy cotton effectively when I had good boots.

Right now I am using "canoe boots" with thick felt liners inside. At my age I am not going to be out and about enough to justify the expense of "bunny boots" or even the fine winter boots rated down to -30 which are now available.

For the past two weeks I have found the under-layers and sweater and lined trousers to be very comfortable inside the house! I did not resort to wearing the parka indoors but I did get the good sleeping bag down from the shelf in case the power went out at night.

To insure that the power would not go out I had all the propane heaters and lamps at the ready. If the cold bastards know you are ready for them they will avoid coming. The power never flickered a single time through this incident, so the plan worked.
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10 January 2018, 10:47,
#15
RE: Being very cold
We've not been as long as you at this serious cold weather living MB, but already we are accumulating quite a lot of cold weather gear.

We find that a good base layer, long wool socks. Jumpers, wind/ waterproof over-layers, gloves and appropriate head gear cope with most eventualities. When temperature goes really south we wear ski-type bibbed over trousers.

Boots are another revelation: Prior to moving from the Home Counties to our home in the hills, I owned a pair of walking boots and a pair of wellies. Now I have work boots, climbing boots, snow boots, dirty work boots, hillwalking boots as well as more respectable boots. FWIW the best value best performance boots I've found are Karrimor Orkney Vs which have done 5 to 10 miles a day for the last 4 years and still look as good as new...their Vibram soles showing minimal wear. Snow boots get used but a handful of times each year, but are indispensable on those occasions.

Hats, like boots, I can never have enough of them. Snow, wind, rain and shine, I have solutions to keep my follicly challenged dome comfy:-)
72 de

Lightspeed
26-SUKer-17

26-TM-580


STATUS: Bugged-In at the Bug-Out
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10 January 2018, 17:52,
#16
RE: Being very cold
The weak points in almost any system will be the feet and hands.

The extremities are naturally going to get cold when the body core does not. One can wrap in almost anything and keep the trunk, arms and legs comfortable but the exposure to the hands and feet directly to the snow/ice ad bitter temps when they do not get adequate blood flow while sitting in a cool room makes them the most difficult spots to keep warm.

I finally found a solution for the hands when I discovered snowmobile gloves. They are thick, well insulated and made to buck wind chill. With a pair of thin cotton gloves under them I have never had cold hands. As with any other effective hand covering, they must be removed to do any detail work so that is always an issue. It only requires one to touch a piece of metal at -30 to achieve almost instant frostbite. Be carefull out there.

Protection of the feet I have found requires spending some money. Very few cheap alternatives truly work when dealing with footwear. My latest choices, over-sized canoe boots with 3/4" felt liners, thick wool socks over thing cotton socks have worked well for what I have used them for, which is just chores around the house. I have not walked in them for miles, waded frozen swamps while duck hunting or stood stationary for hours in deep snow while deer hunting.

Neither have they been used in the very deep snows common to this area. They have only 8" tops and we often get snows deeper than that. I have knee high Wellingtons I keep for that use but lately my coping method has been to look out the widow and mumbles something about "not today!".

There was a time when I looked out, got dressed and shoveled whatever amount of snow covered the driveway to the street so the vehicles could get out. Both the wife and I had those jobs there we were required to be present, no excuses. Snow meant a couple of hours work so you could get to the job, which meant one was in the cold and could not leave that situation.

I still remember one morning standing with the snow shovel in hand and pressing the button on the garage door opener. As the door rolled up I saw snow, then more snow, then more snow! A drift was piled against the garage that was 5 feet deep and the even ground cover was 2 1/2 feet.

My wife immediately stole my Jeep for her run to the hospital and left me to dig out the little Ford Escort estate wagon.

I was late to work that day. I also got a bit cold too.
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16 January 2018, 19:07,
#17
RE: Being very cold
We have settled into a very boring routine here. Snow every two or three days with clear high pressure centers between the snows that allow the temps to go wild.

Last week the temp was 25c on Friday and snow fell and the high was 0 in Saturday. There is snow cover on the north side of my house that has been unmelted since New years.

The sun is shining down on two inches of fresh stuff that fell on the 2-3 inches we already had. Temp is -15c at noon.

It appears that I have worked all the kinks out of my cold weather preps and things are doing well. The house is warm with no drafts, the water flows both in and out as it should.

Fortunately I have work to do inside. I am reloading shells for the spring. It appears that I had shot up almost all of several calibers and did not realize they needed replacement. That situation is being remedied and gives me something to do other than watch TV game shows.

Also doing research on various arctic irregular military units, being inspired by this cold weather: Canadian Rangers, Dutch Sled Patrols, Alaskan Militia. Really good reading. They volunteer to do what we would only endure if the whole world crashed down on us. I would not last 24 hours at my age and in y condition!

I am mostly studying their equipment, as well as their unique histories.
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16 January 2018, 20:56,
#18
RE: Being very cold
I've been reading about the 10th Mountain Div. in Italy during WW2, pouring over maps of the places I visited there in 2012.


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73 de KE4SKY
In
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
USA
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11 hours ago,
#19
RE: Being very cold
All being said and done we have attained a temperature of +8c today and the "great browning" is in progress. Huge patches of snow have melted into the earth and revealing brown dead grass to return us to the drab world of winter.

For a few days it will be "mud season" where the top layer of grass and dirt slip easily out from under foot and set you @$$ over elbows down any hill in sight.

I will also go to the village and see if I made tracks across the garden I had to invade with the 4WD to avoid that moron that tried to kill me with his Camray last week. I never slowed or spun the tires, and the ground was well frozen, so I might have done no damage at all.
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