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2020-21 Winter weather; bring it on


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Yeah, something screwy is going on.  ERCOT is showing a decent amount of capacity now.  But, the number without power in the state has climbed from 2.7MM to 2.9MM.
 
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Likely due to ice storm damage not the grid at this point. Just another kick in the nuts.
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Power back on. 109 hours. I almost want to cry a little 

I’m exhausted.  I haven’t been on here in a while.  My volunteer fire department has run well over 40 calls the last few days to include several working structure fires.  Not having water is getting w

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58 minutes ago, Skipper said:

I haven't unwrapped my outdoor since this shit started.  I've been team no drip outside.  Any downside to checking them out while relatively warm this afternoon?   Haven't decided yet if I want to actually try and thaw if frozen or let that happen naturally.  I know there has been some debate on here.   I read somewhere a plumber suggested letting the heat warm them up naturally.

We have remained committed to Team No Drip outside thus far and have no plans to unwrap and turn on the outdoor spigots until the temps are warm and some of the plumbing emergencies around town are resolved. As long as we don’t have any noticeable issues, we’re sticking with that plan. At this point, trying to get a plumber in our neck of the woods would be in vain, all the supply houses are empty, and it’s still a little cold for us to work up enthusiasm to deal with it unless we notice leakage, etc. 

That’s our plan anyway. 

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2 minutes ago, The Dog said:


Likely due to ice storm damage not the grid at this point. Just another kick in the nuts.

The ice this morning was legit. The temps climbing helped, but I saw downed limbs in the neighborhood; I expect it’s worse in more heavily wooded areas. We just have the usual burb house and two developer trees in most yards. 

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Team drip/flow still holding the line here. No freezes on outdoor bibs and no issues inside with pressure or locked up faucets. 
 

I owe my success to good, clean, Christian living and all those blood sacrifices of Mayan children I keep on hand for emergencies such as this. 

 

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15 minutes ago, fuggled said:

Yeah, something screwy is going on.  ERCOT is showing a decent amount of capacity now.  But, the number without power in the state has climbed from 2.7MM to 2.9MM.

I keep seeing this 2mm+ ppl without power, there is no way that is right. Just Houston alone, half of the people dont have power.

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13 minutes ago, Mrs Whiggins said:

We have remained committed to Team No Drip outside thus far and have no plans to unwrap and turn on the outdoor spigots until the temps are warm and some of the plumbing emergencies around town are resolved. As long as we don’t have any noticeable issues, we’re sticking with that plan. At this point, trying to get a plumber in our neck of the woods would be in vain, all the supply houses are empty, and it’s still a little cold for us to work up enthusiasm to deal with it unless we notice leakage, etc. 

That’s our plan anyway. 

I unwrapped and looks like 2 of the 3 are frozen and then I figured not even worth checking the 3rd.  Just rewrapped and not going to try to thaw.  Keeping water flowing through faucets, etc. and hoping for the best once they thaw out.

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9 minutes ago, BigBenBamboozle said:

78749, now on a boil notice with no water coming out of any faucets after a a slow decline of pressure the last couple hours.

Question: with no water coming through the pipes, should I take this opportunity to turn off the main cutoff outside? TIA

That's what several of us on our block in 78745 just did after our water went out a couple of hours ago. We've got three more nights of a hard freeze and can obviously no longer stream or drip, so it seems like the prudent move.

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16 minutes ago, Mrs Whiggins said:

We have remained committed to Team No Drip outside thus far and have no plans to unwrap and turn on the outdoor spigots until the temps are warm and some of the plumbing emergencies around town are resolved. As long as we don’t have any noticeable issues, we’re sticking with that plan. At this point, trying to get a plumber in our neck of the woods would be in vain, all the supply houses are empty, and it’s still a little cold for us to work up enthusiasm to deal with it unless we notice leakage, etc. 

That’s our plan anyway. 

Team No Drip here too. Pool noodle wrapped in towel wrapped in trash bag, secured with duct tape and bungee cords topped with cooler.

we’ll see what pain, if any, I’m in circa Friday...

 

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1 hour ago, Not that Bob said:

I have a sink and toilet on northeast wall that stopped running at 4AM Monday in spite of slow dripping and flushing every 2-3 hours. Just now started working with no water in cabinet or on floor. Is it possible for pipes to freeze “just a little bit” and then start working again with no return of heat in the house and no apparent leaking? I’m perplexed but happy, unless the leak reveals later. 

If the pressure is low, the ice can sometime expand inside of the pipe instead of through the side of it. Unusual, but can happen. The problem with burst pipes usually comes from pressure on both sides of the ice and it has nowhere to go but through the wall of the pipe. Could be a blessing in that case when your water utility pressure goes down. 

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4 minutes ago, bolverk said:

That's what several of us on our block in 78745 just did after our water went out a couple of hours ago. We've got three more nights of a hard freeze and can obviously no longer stream or drip, so it seems like the prudent move.

I turned mine off from the start just in case. Wife thought I was crazy. Then when we went to turn it back on on Monday, there was nothing and we were afraid we had screwed something up and had frozen up anyway. Turns out our water company had lost pressure. This morning they turned their pumps back on and we had water just fine. I was very gruntled. 

However, I did manage to burn up my pool equipment when the power came on. I forgot to switch than breaker off when we lost power, then we were gone when it came back this morning and pumps decided to try to run all frozen up. Lots of smoke and steam coming out of those pumps. Now it's my insurance company's problem. 

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17 minutes ago, Chapo said:

I keep seeing this 2mm+ ppl without power, there is no way that is right. Just Houston alone, half of the people dont have power.

IIRC, each residential 'customer' averages almost 3 persons.  Not sure if apartment units are counted separately or the complex is considered a single customer.  Perhaps depends on the billing setup.

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We just got power back sinve monday at 2am. Have water turned off to house. We will leave it off till Saturday to allow everything to warm up and stay warm. We are staying at inlaws till then. Im a live in at work anyways

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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5 minutes ago, clapclapclap said:

IIRC, each residential 'customer' averages almost 3 persons.  Not sure if apartment units are counted separately or the complex is considered a single customer.  Perhaps depends on the billing setup.

I think almost all apartment complexes have you set up your own electricity. At least, I've never lived at one where electric was included. So each unit would count as a customer. 

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No power or water since 5am Monday morning here in Round Rock. This is all so crazy, down to the last of my firewood, first time I have truly felt cold is now. The lack of Sunshine really is making my house an icebox. Stay safe peeps. 

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6 hours ago, CleverNickname said:

I'm not sure if this fucked up situation means all those EMP survivalist thrillers I've read are silly because the truth is sadly far more mundane, or more terrifying than ever. 

I read those in the late 80s/early 90s, the ones about the nuke wars with the Russians either invading, or the US falling apart.  Mainly for the sex stuff, but also for Jerry Ahern's knowledge of guns at the time.  

They seem very silly now, since many in society are a lot closer to breaking down and losing their shit than we would have thought.

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17 minutes ago, Pimphand said:

It's usually not the ice that busts the pipes in most cases but the pressure buildup behind the freeze that ruptures. Hence the drip your faucet drill.

This is true, but I've also come to find out (from just reading at this point, fortunately) that sometimes the water can actually pop the pipe at the side of the freeze if it's weak enough.

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2 hours ago, Message Board User said:

I wonder if other states are looking at us with sympathy, bewilderment, or are they just laughing at us.

#1 and #2 to our faces, probably #3 behind our backs.

I've had a ton of family/friends in other states checking in with "so, you guys okay down there?  What the hell happened?  Don't you all have your own power grid separate from everybody else?  It's a few days of snow and freezing temps, what's going on?"

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16 minutes ago, clapclapclap said:

IIRC, each residential 'customer' averages almost 3 persons.  Not sure if apartment units are counted separately or the complex is considered a single customer.  Perhaps depends on the billing setup.

Even if I go 6 million ppl without power, that's way too low based on anecdotal evidence (also Centerpoint said more than half of customers don't have power).

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4 hours ago, Somnio said:

How long is a tank lasting you?

Didn’t see this answered so I will try. 
iirc the operating instructions claim that the little Coleman camp bottles will last 2 hours on high and 8 hours on low. Not sure how much more volume is in the larger 12# tanks but I’d hope it would last a full day or two. 

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Just now, Deej said:

So much for Team Drip. Water is out. Glad Austin steals from the utilities to fund shit like embedded photographers instead of reinvesting into utility infrastructure.

Uh, hey asshole, do you know how many people in Austin died in the 1990s and 2000s because there weren't adequate bike lanes? Probably not a lot - but I bet it was more than zero!

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7 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

#1 and #2 to our faces, probably #3 behind our backs.

I've had a ton of family/friends in other states checking in with "so, you guys okay down there?  What the hell happened?  Don't you all have your own power grid separate from everybody else?  It's a few days of snow and freezing temps, what's going on?"

Yea my gf is from Alaska and she was wondering how this happened and her family has been nonstop texting questions and shit about how awesome everyone thought Texas was but how can we not handle a week of cold and snow. The roads they understood but losing power for 3 1/2 days is fucked and I agree with them

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2 hours ago, Not that Bob said:

I have a sink and toilet on northeast wall that stopped running at 4AM Monday in spite of slow dripping and flushing every 2-3 hours. Just now started working with no water in cabinet or on floor. Is it possible for pipes to freeze “just a little bit” and then start working again with no return of heat in the house and no apparent leaking? I’m perplexed but happy, unless the leak reveals later. 

Yes that is possible if enough expansion room in your pipe system.

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I'm pretty aghast at the outages in the Austin area.

For one thing, quite a lot of the gigawatts of capacity are away from Austin/centex.

I also wonder about electric infrastructure.  I have seen some statements that indicate that it's not realistically possible to cycle some areas on and off frequently without damaging the local grid.  Which makes me wonder if Austin's famously NIMBY city politics have somehow shorted that infrastructure.

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49 minutes ago, Chapo said:

I keep seeing this 2mm+ ppl without power, there is no way that is right. Just Houston alone, half of the people dont have power.

If you're into conspiracy theories, lot of people are claiming the numbers are being deliberately fudged to cover up how bad it is.  

Occam's Razor for me - good old fashioned incompetence and/or left hand not talking to the right hand.

It's pointless though - they can't hide it from the people who are actually without power or water or both.

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Well I cleaned everything up in the garage and got the water off without further damage.  No plumber to be had , even the ones where I had a previous relationship.  
 

Booked a hotel room for next week just in case but we have power and food, plus filled tubs and lots of bottled water.  Honestly still feeling blessed having seen the crazy shit others are dealing with.

 

Cherry on top of the afternoon was a text from the water district that they have a pump station down and will not be able to maintain pressure.  So all my neighbors are out of water now too.

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1 hour ago, Biff Tannen said:

So are we thinking that people who just got power back after two days are just hitting the showers and dishwashers and laundry?  Cause I’m not gonna stop dripping faucets.

I haven’t showered since Sunday and I had power and hot water until this morning. Been rocking 1-3 lightbulbs and recharging computers and phones, but that was all my electrical consumption besides heater. Was trying to give the grid a chance. 

Yep.  A shitload of people have the mindset of "HEY I GOT POWER AND/OR WATER BACK, LET 'ER RIP!"

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2 hours ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

I started shoveling snow into a bucket and dumping in the tank.  

It's amazing how many people haven't thought of this.  If you have power/heat, don't fill your tub with water from the city on the off chance it goes down, find a corner of your yard that's far enough from the house not to be affected by radiant/leaking heat, preferably shaded, and just start shoveling snow into it.  Fill up some buckets with it.

If you want to fill a tub, and you don't need to drip that faucet, fill that sucker up with snow and keep it full.

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16 minutes ago, hayden_horn said:

i'm still confused by the water conservation edict from the city. are the dripping faucets really the thing to target? how many gallons are going to be wasted when my pipes burst? i don't get it.

I don't understand either because we aren't going to run out of water. I am not without water because the city ran out. I am without water because there is no pressure because the power grid is fucked and pump stations and water treatment plants are having issues staying online. We have gotten - what - a foot of precip in the past 5 days? And we were nowhere near drought conditions to begin with. 

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15 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

#teamwateroff@mainline since Monday.  At this point doesn't fucking matter since there is no water in the hood anyways.  Total shitshow. 

Having grown up in West Texas and getting my undergrad while living in super cheap and crappily built apartments in Lubbock up on the High Plains (regularly gets very cold there at night during winter), I wasn't too concerned about bursting pipes so long as I kept the indoor faucets at a decent low stream. Now, with zero water, I'm definitely on #teamwateroff@mainline.

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