So after my post yesterday morning, the water guys from the City said everything was OK on their end so it was up to us to figure out why we had no water. They said to try getting the pipes warm right where they come into the house and that should fix things. I borrowed a space heater and got that pipe very warm for a couple of hours. No change.
Jared called some plumbers and explained the problem. They didn't know what to do. Jared and I spent a lot of time researching on the internet and asking friends and neighbors. Jared tried pumping warm water into the pipe and tried heating the ground by the pipe outside with various methods. No dice.
Last night was Jared's first night without hours and hours of Bishop duties and we were looking forward to a date together. But as it turned out, Jared hung out in the freezing basement trying to figure out what to do for most of the evening with me helping here and there and carting buckets of water over from the neighbor's house so we could have something to drink, flush toilets, wash our hands, that sort of thing. We finally gave up for a while and grabbed a quick dinner close by, both of us all grungy from the basement and from the lack of showers, both of us grumpy and stressed. We'll have to do a better date one of these days . . .
By late last night, we figured out that we needed a special device that some plumbers have that would send electrical currents down the pipe to heat it. After lots of calls today, Jared found a plumber with a device like that who'd charge an arm and a leg and wouldn't guarantee it would work. But we were starting to feel a bit desperate. We had the plumber come. We had to saw out one of our new basement windows to get the plumbers equipment into the basement (super sad since we just got that window installed and now it'll need to be re-installed and re-caulked and it's just one thing after another). After lots of digging and installing and working, they got the electrical currents going. But there must be some sections of our pipe that aren't good conductors because it didn't work.
We were feeling pretty sad at this point. And I wasn't exactly being super kind when the kids were asking me for things and Jared and I were trying to figure out next steps.
The plumber said he could install an above ground temporary line to connect the house to the city water line. What other choice did we have? We went for it. And a couple more hours later, there was joyous yelling and toilet flushing and faucet gushing going on around this house. WE HAVE WATER.
Jared wrapped the new pipe with heat tape stuff and we covered it with snow to try to insulate it as best we could. We'll keep a tap running slightly at all times and keep our fingers crossed and our prayers said that the water will keep flowing through this temporary pile until the real pipes can thaw (who knows when...). And once Jared fixes the heating element that burned out in the water heater as part of this whole process of trying to heat the pipes, we'll even have hot water around here.
We'll never take running water for granted again!