Ken came home from errands a couple of weeks ago to find me on the floor of the half bath with a hammer and cat claw, tearing out a panel of the beadboard under the sink. But why, you ask?
This winter, we've had the cold water pipe freeze a few times. We haven't had real trouble because the pipe is PEX and because we can thaw it from the basement using my hairdryer. Problem #1 - the thawing procedure meant doing a very uncomfortable yoga pose perched on top of the dryer for about 20 minutes, trying to guide hot air through a teeny access crack. Problem #2 - my hairdryer got so tired it quit and we had to buy a new one. Grr.
The pipe only freezes when the outdoor temperature goes below -10 degrees (that's negative 10) - which has happened enough this year to make the frozen pipe a real nuisance. And yes, you can leave it dripping and it usually won't freeze, but one of us typically forgets, washes our hands, and shuts it off.
On the wall-ripping day, I had accidentally turned the water off (stupid compulsive hand-washer that I am) and it froze in about an hour flat. About 15 minutes into the uncomfortable basment yoga pose and many cuss words later, I decided enough was enough and broke into the wall. I was able to extricate half a panel right at a seam - using only a utility knife and prybar. Ken came home just when I needed more leverage, so he finished the last snap.
Last weekend, I finally got around to making a cute little frame and painting the new mini-access door. Oh, and repainting all the areas I totally wrecked in the process of yanking the panel. Ken rearranged the insulation inside the hole so it's less likely to freeze, and if it does, we can pop the door to warm the pipe. Since I tore the hole in the wall, it hasn't frozen again - knock on wood.