Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ice Tower

Last winter we noticed 'ice trees' growing between our house and our neighbours house. We realized that they formed because of the condensation dripping from the exhaust pipes from ours and our neighbour's garage heaters. This year when we built a fence we did what we could with the little bit of space that we have available, but our exhaust pipe drips directly on top of the fence. The neighbours drips just beside it on the sidewalk. We noticed an ice buildup on the fence but assumed that since there is almost always hot air blowing out of the pipe that it would never freeze right to the pipe. On Sunday when I was out shovelling I noticed that it had indeed frozen right to the pipe. It was one solid mass of ice. I chipped away at it for a while with a shovel then followed Jason's smart advice to try a hammer. That worked much quicker and I was able to break off a chunk of ice about three times as big as the one in the picture. However, there was still a plug of ice right in the pipe that I couldn't chip off. My first thought was to try a hairdrier. We don't have a heat gun or torch with which to melt it. The blow drier was all but useless because they suck in the outside air and warm it a few degrees which was still below freezing and not able to melt the ice. Jason finally suggested trying to pour hot water down the pipe to melt the snow. I felt rather silly getting up on a ladder with a kettle full of hot water to pour down there but it worked. I was finally able to chip the ice out of the pipe. Now we know that we have to keep an eye on it. The picture above was taken today, Wednesday, only three days after I got rid of the last chunk of ice. I hope these cold temperatures take a hike! I am glad to hear that the forecast is calling for -2C in Swift Current on Saturday. That will be our southern destination holiday for this winter. In the mean time I will take out my aggressions on the ice tower next to our house every couple of days :)

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