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Hard Freeze Warning for Morongo Basin

By   /   December 7, 2013  /   1 Comment

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Measure 10 times, and pray

Measure 10 times, and pray

The original post by Branson Hunter was published on December 21, 2011, with the title:”The Big Freeze-Morongo Basin.” The information and advice is very valuable because the Morongo Basin is experiencing extremely cold temperatures and a “Hard Freeze Warning” has been issued until next week.  In general, “Hard Freeze” is used to imply temperatures that are sufficiently cold, for a long enough period, to seriously damage or kill seasonal vegetation, livestock and cause pipes to burst. This usually means temperatures falling into the upper 20s or lower for at least two to three hours. Simply Google the term for further information.


Temperatures will dip to 25 degrees tonight and Sunday for Yucca Valley which is situated at 3,500 feet  altitude.  Other surrounding areas such as Pioneertown, situated at 5,000 feet will see colder temperatures.


This Hard Freeze Warning or hard freeze advisories are often reserved when the growing season has not yet ended or has already began in areas that experience frequent below freezing temperatures in the winter. In parts of California, the citrus growers are trying to protect their crops. This intense cold snap warning is to remind people to protect the pipes from freezing in the homes.


Here is Branson’s post and great advice: The Big Freeze-Morongo Basin  posted December 21, 2011:

We’re having a nice little cold snap in the Morongo Basin. Thursday is the big freeze, be prepared. It’s the coldest night of the year! Yucca Valley will dip below freezing to a very cold 28 degrees. Twentynine Palms will plummet to 29 degrees. Water freezes at 32° Fahrenheit (F).   The cold snap may be with us during the better part of winter, say experts. The downside — broken or froze PVC water pipes.


I have dug up and repaired six broken PVC pipes already. It’s particularly challenging when you lack skills in plumbing and don’t know exactly what you’re your doing.


Angie, my very wonderful neighbor has very helpful the past few years. Yes I rely on a woman to advise and even show me how to repair PVC pipes.  Angie is the Forewoman Landscaper on Base; she is the expert. I really respect this wonderful human being.  Best neighbor around.   She has help me repair many pipes.


Now, however, this is the season for  *tough love* and I’m learning to do it all by myself, the old fashion way. The way the Key’s pioneer family did things, themselves. I tell myself, do the best you can do that day. Don’t expect more. Yesterday I dug out 25‘ feet of buried pipes and made a repairs. This morning I’ll send some water through it and see it’s a good repair.

Good luck measuring when replacing these T couplers. . .

It’s challenging when you need to replace a  “T” coupled (or haven’t a slider to slip into place (below Photo). Consequently, when using a short  coupler, the old saying should comes into play:  “Measure twice, cut once, measure once cut twice.”   Well, that isn’t working so well for me. It’s more like measure 10 times and pray. Often your cuts on  short couples need to be 1/16 right on the money — or it ain’t gonna fit.   If I have learned anything, it’s to use a PVC slider or telescope coupler (left photo) as opposed to using the 4″ coupler (right photo). That’s my unprofessional observation of what works best for me.


I was so tired last evening I could hardly more. My mantra was, just do the best you can. Tomorrow is another day. I turned up the electric blanket, fell asleep and forgot all about my troubles.


In preparing this story, I Googled: How to Keep PVC Pipes From Freezing & Trapping. It has some nice little tips, but in a pinch any sort of dry insulation wrap and covering will work. How to Thaw Out PVC Pipes? “Although PVC pipes are very strong, the water in them can freeze in colder climates. If the water in your PVC pipes has frozen, you will need to take steps to thaw them as soon as possible to keep them from splitting.”


1. Turn on all faucets in the house. If the pipes are not completely frozen, the trinkle of water may help thaw the ice.


2.  Plug in a hair dryer and use it on the area of your water pipes where you think the freeze has occurred. You may need to us some deductive reasoning to determine where the freeze is. For example, if there is no water coming out of a faucet, the freeze is in a pipe leading to that faucet. Move the hair dryer over the entire pipe in order to warm it up evenly.


3.  Place a heating pad over the pipe through which water comes into your home. Apply the heat directly to the pipe to warm up any water coming into the house. Make sure the heating pad is set on low.


4.  Place a space heater in any room that might have frozen plumbing (like a bathroom or laundry room). Point it toward the wall with the plumbing. This will heat all of the plumbing evenly at once. Try to heat the pipe evenly. A pipe may explode if one section is warmed up too quickly.


Stay warm, prevent breaking or freezing PVC pipes as best as you can and don’t forget to leave Santa some hot chocolate and See’s Candy.

-  30 -

  Original Post>LINK


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  • Published: 4 months ago on December 7, 2013
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  • Last Modified: December 8, 2013 @ 6:40 am
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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

1 Comment

  1. desertrider desertrider says:

    Another trick that has worked for our house for years is two 40 watt incandescent bulbs (until the government completely bans them) wired in series placed in strategic locations near exposed pipes/valves/pumps/etc., keeps the area/room from freezing and since the bulbs are in series they last along time.
    I have one set mounted in a project box where the water pipe enters and one set located on top of the water heater.
    Turn them off during the warm months, they last even longer.

    Disclaimer: this should only be undertaken if you have a comfortable working knowledge of electricity or by a competent electrician.


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