Today Beth dug a little snow cave for herself in the pile I made when I shovelled enough of the driveway to get my car out so it wouldn’t be trapping the snowblower.

Beth's snow cave

Beth's snow cave

The roof was a little bit on the thin side. I suggested that she throw some more snow on it to beef it up, but that turned out to be an error. It caved in.

This happened while I was at the hardware store buying fittings for the water filter. I bought about $100 of copper (ouch!) plus some other things (solder, flux, emory cloth, a plastic fitting, and some hose clamps). When I got home I heard all about the snow cave. So I decided we should build a quinzee.

I guess technically, Beth’s cave already was a quinzee. A quinzee is made by making a big pile of snow, letting it sinter for a couple of hours, and then hollowing it out. Beth’s snow pile wasn’t really big enough, which is why the roof was so thin. Making a quinzee can be exhausting, so I decided to cheat a little bit. I went to the garage, grabbed all the recycling bags (soda cans & milk jugs), and tossed them into the remains of her cave (which I had shovelled out). I also threw one of the large empty garbage cans in there. Then we buried them. The pile was about five feet high and probably 8′ in diameter. It took about 20 minutes to bury.

Then Va took the kids to see the new Narnia movie. I stayed home, because today is recycling day, and I’m off work – so I wanted to get those bags out from under the snow pile and recycle them before they closed. I had two hours to let them sinter though, so I went to the basement with my plumbing fittings.

My filter consists of two parts – a chemical feeder which injects diluted bleach into the line when the pump kicks on, and a filter tank which takes out the iron (and bleach). I got the chem feeder plumbed in, which was a bit scary. I shut off the well pump, and then drained the pressure tank. Then I sawed the line feeding the pressure tank in half. Risky! I inserted a plastic tee in there and connected the chem feeder to it. It wasn’t that bad!

Usually a plumbing job takes three or four trips to the hardware store. I think I did it in two, but I’m not quite done yet, so there’s still time. While I was there the first time, I realized I needed some tubing so the filter can drain itself when it backwashes. I had not measured how much tubing I needed, so I didn’t buy any on the first trip. So I didn’t forget it while I was there, I forgot it before I left.

Once I had the chem feeder in place though, the quinzee was done sintering. I went outside and dug out the recycling (thus completing the quinzee). Then I headed to the recycling center, got rid of that, and went to the hardware store to get the tubing (and some brackets to mount the tubing to the joists.

Va and the kids got home shortly after that. I stayed in the basement and soldered some fittings together. It was my first time soldering plumbing, and it didn’t go half bad. The first joint had way too much solder on it, but the ones after that did OK. I ended up throwing out the first joint anyway when I thought of a better way to run the lines (less tubing, and one less ell).

I’ve now got the filter to the point where I’m ready to turn off the pump again, drain the system, cut the main copper line, and insert the filter inline. That’s scary to me. But I think if I get the water drained out of the pipes, it ought to go smoothly enough. But just in case, I’m making sure we’re caught up on laundry before I do that. I’m also waiting until daytime in case I need to call a friend over to help bail out the basement.