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Along the Lakeshore: frozen pipes; pesky swans

It appears that I hit a live button with my comments on frozen pipes in Syracuse.

I have my personal water supply system which entails a pipe in the lake and a pump chamber in the ground part way to the house, plus a pipe storage tank in my basement about 120 gallons. I feel much more secure in a freeze up with a good layer of snow to insulate the ground pump chamber and beach. If the Lake is full the beach is underwater and the pipe protected. The first winter I put a thermometer in the pump chamber and when I checked the temperatures was usually higher than the setting of the heater which I have at 35 to 40 degrees. The chamber is 24 inches deep with 2-inch foam on the outside walls and 2-inch foam under the lid. I guess the heat of running the pump, plus ground heat of 57 degrees lets chamber takes care of itself. Nevertheless I’m pleased to have a good snow cover when the outside air temperature hits 12 degrees.

One of my readers on the out-of-town list offered this suggestion. Mayor Miner, If you’re digging up the street for pipes make sure electric wires are put underground at the same time. He lives in a condo project with a woodsy name like “Arboretum” and you can’t see the gardens or the trees for all the poles, phone wires and TV cables. He says that the name and the wires bug him all of time.

When I first moved to this area full-time around 1960 I noticed that lots of the city streets in Syracuse had square patches on the pavement about a standard length of pipe apart. Someone explained the natural gas was much drier than the producer gas which was made in each community from: steam. These all pipes were joined with caulked oakum which leaked when the caulk dried out. Natural gas escaped and which was no matter if it just went up in the air, however, it sometimes gets trapped and blew up. If it were to follow a gas pipe into your home and accumulate in your cellar sooner or later your house would blow up.

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