So the weather warmed up, and the frozen pipe in the bunny room thawed. Good news? No.
I was greeted Wednesday morning by two inches of water on the floor of the room. Fortunately, I'd moved the two caged rabbits to their new high-rise quarters the night before.
The smart loose bunny, Crystal, had jumped to safety on top of the tub. (I should explain that the rabbits live in what used to be the boys' bathroom, still complete with clawfoot tub, 5-foot-long trough urinal, sink, and toilet. None of that stuff works except the sink, but the tub, with boards on top, is a handy spot for them to hang out.) The loose dumb bunny, Fondu, was on the floor with his luxurious peach butt-fuzz wafting in the current. I could see water pouring out of the wall, above the baseboard. Shit.
I called for reinforcements. C. turned off the breaker for the pump house and carried Fondu off to dry in a cage in our bathroom. She helped me move the big heavy bunny condo away from the wall, started up the wet-vac, and I set to acting like a plumber. Basically, I started destroying things. (Ever hire a plumber? Then you know what I'm talking about.) I took a utility knife and cut a big square in the sheetrock over the leaky baseboard, then smashed it out with a hammer. I found wet yellow insulation but no pipe. Extended the hole a foot upward, and hit a split plastic pipe. I needed healthy pipe, though, so made another hole on the other side of the stud. Bingo – good solid pipe (and three holes in the wall).
I found the right CPVC cap in our stockpile of plumbing stuff, but all the pipe cement was dried up or frozen, and no good. So we buzzed up to Miller's to buy more. It took three tries to cowboy the Subaru through the snow berm at the top of the road. (Yahoo! As a bad-ass pioneer, I love that shit. Except when we get stuck.)
Home again, I cut the pipe and glued on the cap. I stole the electric heater out of our bathroom to help the cement cure quickly.
I'm feeling pretty pioneer-cool, as if I had killed a rabid bear with a slingshot, saving my plump little hens. (“Oh, Su!” they purr. “Bock bock brave bock! We only have eggs for you.”
C. turns on the pump, and viola! water comes gushing out of the broken side of the pipe.
I'd capped the wrong side. And it doesn't turn off for a really long time.*
*We pause our story to cry a little, and have a drink. Maybe two.*