The Saga of the Frozen Dishwasher

Newsflash: It’s been cold in Maine. I know–it’s been cold everywhere right now. But not everyone is living in a farmhouse built in 1841. We’ve added insulation all over the place, but it still gets plenty of . . . ventilation. Yeah. We’ll call it that.

The worst spot is our kitchen wall. The wind blows constantly on it, and it can get quite frigid. This usually isn’t a problem, since the kitchen is where we have our wood stove, and the wood stove smashes that cold to smithereens.


There are pipes that run along the inside of that outside wall. Just two: the dishwasher pipes, one for the water, one for the drain. If anything’s going to freeze these days in our house, it’s those pipes. Two nights ago, Denisa tried to run the dishwasher at 11:00. No go. An hour later, I had the pipes thawed and all was well.

Until I got home from work the next day, and not only had the input pipe froze, but the drain pipe had iced over, too.

I had had enough, so I decided to do what I could to prevent the problem from happening again. This involved moving out the stove, insulating the pipes, moving them up away from the floor, spraying in some foam insulation, adding some board insulation, moving out the dishwasher . . . and re-thawing those lousy pipes again. It took three hours, but I’m happy to report that things didn’t freeze last night. Of course, the temperature didn’t get quite as cold, either–so I guess we won’t know if I really fixed the problem until it gets to subzero temperatures again.

I’m thinking a kitchen renovation is looking more and more likely in our future.

Step one is saving up money to be able to afford it . . .

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