I feel brilliant!

Faithful readers may recall the saga of the ice build-up in the bottom of our cellar freezer.  On spring break in March, Josiah spent a long, messy time getting the ice out.  It was a painful process, involving much boiling of water and many trips up and down the cellar steps.

By May, the ice was back, and he did a repeat performance.  We also had a repairman fix the freezer door that wouldn’t close all the way.  See, when the ice in the bottom builds up, it eventually gets deep enough that it prevents the door, first from sealing properly, and eventually from closing at all.

Well, it’s July now, and guess what?  The ice is back.  It seems that no matter what, it’s going to have to be boiled out every two months.  Sigh.  I figured I could force Jo to do it one more time, but after that, it will be the responsibility of Walnut Shade Mom alone, or possibly with the Lemur’s assistance.  I don’t even know how the Llama does it, so today I made a request:  Would he please get the ice out once again and this time show me step-by-step how to do it?

Josiah started explaining the process to me.  First, you boil water.  A LOT of water.  Like six or seven big kettles of water.  Ugh.  That would take a LONG time.  Then you use a small pot to scoop the water out of the big kettle and pour it over the ice till most of it is melted.  Next, you have to target more boiling water along the little “ditch” across the back.  Once the ditch is ice-free, you work on the actual round drain in the center of the ditch.  When the center drain is open as far down as you can reach with your finger – and be it noted that his fingers are surely longer than mine – you begin to vigorously attack the drain with an untwisted metal coat hanger.  Persist until water runs freely through the drain.  Sheesh.  Isn’t this why we keep men around?

I then asked him how long – assuming I already had a huge supply of boiling water prepared – would it take to do the actual de-icing of the freezer.  An hour?  Thirty minutes?  He said maybe 15 minutes; that the big time-consuming part was just getting all that water boiling and hauling it down there while it was still hot.  Hmmm. . .

I thought to myself, “There’s got to be a better way.” 

And then it hit me.  Ten feet from the freezer is our. . . water heater!  It holds 30 or 40 gallons of water that, while not boiling, is quite hot; maybe hot enough to do the trick.  If we had a short hose  – one that was NOT 50 or 100 feet long and that we DIDN’T have to haul in (and later back out to) either the garden or the well house – maybe we could run it from the water heater to the bottom of the freezer and use the hot water that’s already in the cellar. 

And that is exactly what we did!

Although Jessica had already gone to Wal-Mart once today and had picked up a few things I needed, I got back in the Durango and went again.  I bought a 15-foot hose for $6.97 plus tax – and Scott’s shampoo, my lotion, and a bunch of cilantro. . . to make the trip seem more worthwhile, you know – and brought that puppy home. 

We then faced our challenge.  Josiah carried down the hose and a flat-head screwdriver (“To scrape out the glacier?”  “No.  you’ll see.”).  With my brute strength, I carried the coat hanger and joined him.  He screwed the hose onto the drain.  I held the hose in the freezer while he used the screwdriver to turn the drain valve.  Lo and behold, out came a most lovely stream of very hot water!  In less than five minutes, all the ice was gone and the drain even popped open on its own; no coat hanger required.  WOW!

I closed the valve, disconnected the hose, drained it, and hung it up over some PVC pipe in the cellar ceiling.  I left the coat hanger down there, just in case, and now Andrew and will be able – with the greatest of ease – to de-ice the freezer whenever we please.

Beavers truly are brilliant mammals.

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2 Responses to “I feel brilliant!”


  1. 1 Katie July 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Wow! I am quite impressed. I do feel that this burst of brilliance deserves a point (or two, or three!).


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