Every winter, when the temperatures drop into the teens (Fahrenheit), we run into the same problem. The drain pipe for our washing machine freezes. We found this out the hard way years ago. I remember it vividly. It was our first or second winter in the new house, and it was a cold one. I think the temperature was around sixteen degrees that night. I threw in a load of laundry like many times before. A few minutes later I was sitting on the couch and began to hear a strange noise. It was a loud hissing sound. I quickly ran to the laundry room to find water spraying out of the pipe that the washer drains into. I stopped the washer, but not before the floor was flooded. It was a horrendous mess that took most of the day to clean up.
We learned from this very unpleasant experience. Every time the temperature plummets below twenty F. we check the drain before using the washer. It’s a simple test. We use a funnel to pour two or three pictures of hot water down the drain. If it flows through without resistance then we are good to go. If not then we have to wait for the water to melt the ice.
This is all due to a lack of insulation on the pipe, something that we should have fixed a long time ago. This is yet another example of how you always pay more in the end for procrastination.
Anyway, yesterday it was cold, very cold. I believe the temperature got down into the single digits overnight. When I woke up I decided that I would do some laundry. I tested the drain, and to my surprise, it had not frozen over. So, I tossed in a load of laundry and hit the couch. I had an hour or so before Denice was going to wake up and I decided to use the time to watch an episode of Black Mirror. (Holy shit… the new season of Black Mirror is awesome!) A few minutes into the show I hear that same dreaded sound. I quickly tossed the laptop to the side, leaped off of the couch, and ran to the laundry room. Water was rushing across the floor. I slapped the stop button on the washer and stood there in amazement. That’s when I noticed that I had forgotten to put the drain hose back in the pipe! I felt like such a moron.
I’m really glad I didn’t decide to start a load and leave the house. We would have had a real disaster to deal with. I was able to stop the washer before the flooding went biblical. Even still, the mess was huge, and it took so long to clean up that it made us late for a funeral.
The moral of this story is don’t be a lazy turd. If something around the house needs fixing, fix it!