My area east of Dallas, Texas is supposed to hit 10 degrees tonight. Just shy of a record low for the day. Should be below 20 degrees for a good 8 or 9 hours. I’m wondering just how much damage my unprotected fig trees are going to have after tonight’s cold. Wind is suppose to be pretty low 5-10 mph. We’re up around 40-50% humidity, so not bone dry. Young pomegranates and figs are covered with cardboard boxes and plastic pots. No idea if it will help much, but better than nothing. 3 year old figs and pomegranates are just going to have to endure. Hitting the bottom of that 8a zone label I guess. Big difference from last year’s extremely warm winter.
Last winter (that was generally warm) went down to ~14 a couple of times here. I have a very large 16 year old fig that got some freeze damage which did away with my brebas and reduced the main crop but the tree resumed growth. This year is even tougher on it. ??? It’s not going to kill my tree but I’m not sure what damage it will do. Some said if it gets cold and stays cold (more like this year and less like last year where it was relatively warm until those cold spells) it is less likely to be damaged. We’re projected for 11 degrees tonight. I’m about 70 miles SE of you.
I really appreciate that information, Jason! I’ve just been so upset by this! Such a stupid thing and I knew it at the time but you know how it is…you get busy, think you’ll take care of it later, etc. But its just so dumb. Anyway, I’ll look up freeze plugs and try to learn a little more…I need some hope to cling to! But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have a drop of antifreeze in it, so freeze plugs may be my only hope…and I’d say it is a thin one.
Kevin, If you have a cast steel or iron block, the freeze plugs just will pop out and can easily be replaced, buy new ones. Get your tractor somewhere it can be warmed up, DO NOT run it, and check for damage. Maybe you know some one with access to a heated city barn over a weekend. Freeze plugs are cheap but can be a little tricky to install. I put a little silicone sealant on the edges and seat them with a wood block and a ball peen hammer. I’ll even bet there is a guy there who has the title of mechanic who just might respond well to a friendly please and thank you and show you how he does it.
Man, looking at Houston weather, those folks are getting blasted with some very bitter cold (for them). Predicting low teens. Say goodbye to tropicals, and citrus if that materializes.
Kevin, if you haven’t yet, might be good to open the coolant drains on it, so that it can drain out some when it does melt again. Won’t help as far as what damage has been done, but might prevent further.
Water is kind of odd as it solidifies, it shrinks in volume from 32F to ~20F (from memory, so approx), then it starts expanding (which is where the damage comes from), then at some colder temp starts shrinking again.
On a positive note, if you just had a boil over and then refilled, there is a decent chance that quite a bit of the original anti-freeze mixture was still in there. So even though you refilled with water you might be at 25% or more glycol. It hopefully was enough to prevent freeze damage.
When you go to restart it, be sure that the block and radiator are fully “defrosted” and the coolant is all liquid. Even worse things can happen if you try to run an engine which has ice in the waterpump, radiator or somewhere else…
Temperatures in Siberian village sink to -88F.
Yes…we are 9 degrees this morning in East Texas. Colder than places in Alaska for instance. Our zone levels are being pushed!
I’ve not seen a tractor engine without freeze plugs, so that’s some built-in defense. As Chickn mentioned, freeze plugs aren’t hard to replace. Just look the engine over carefully to see if any have blown out. Sometimes there are some freeze plugs you can’t see because they are encased in the housing which bolts the transmission to the engine. Also Chickn probably took it for granted that you know, how to remove a partially blown out freeze plug. But, in case you don’t know, if you see a freeze plug which is partially blown out or leaking, you may be tempted to drive a screwdriver in between the freeze plug and the hole to pry it out. DON’T DO IT. The round hole the freeze plug fits into is a sealing surface and must remain pristinely smooth. You don’t want any gouges in it. If you have to remove a freeze plug, take a self-tapping screw (the kind with a hex head used to screw into metal - It will have a little drill bit head on the end of the screw) and use a screw gun to drill that into the middle of the freeze plug. Then you can get something like a hammer or nail puller on the end of that screw head and pull the freeze plug out.
It’s not useful to you now, but for future reference you may not be aware antifreeze not only prevents freeze-up but also helps with cooling the engine. Anti-freeze lowers the boiling point of the water so that the coolant doesn’t boil off as easily.
Antifreeze also serves as a rust/corrosion inhibitor. That may not sound like a big deal (after all, who ever heard of an engine block rusting out?) but internal engine corrosion is hard on water pumps and freeze plugs can rust through. Also proper anti-freeze can prevent cavitation in the water pump and cavitation around the cylinder walls of diesel engines. (Am I making you feel worse, yet?)
Seriously though, Derby, Chickn and Steve333 are right. All may not be lost. Freezing doesn’t always break things. Iron or copper pipes can sometimes freeze without breaking. I even freeze stuff in mason jars in my deep freeze sometimes.
Just make sure you get some anti-freeze in the tractor and let it warm up so it circulates everywhere as soon as is practical. Just because freezing doesn’t break things the first time or second time, doesn’t mean it won’t eventually break something from freezing/thawing repeatedly.
Lastly, just a reminder to anyone who hasn’t thought about it, that it’s a good idea to put some anti-freeze in any spray equipment you store outside. I’ve seen spray pumps broken because they froze. I’ve even lost a spray gun because of freezing, even though I thought I had removed all the water from the sprayer. Now I just put a little anti-freeze in the sprayer and run it through, in the fall. It only takes a little bit of anti-freeze.
My gosh Derby, is that thermometer right? That’s got to be some kind of daily record at least?
I love your dog, he reminds me of mine (in attitude, not appearance.).
Us humans dealing with this cold down South are like, “Oh goodness, look at the temperature! It’s so cold! Brrrr…Stay inside!”
And your dog (and mine) is just totally nonchalant about the whole thing like, “Wazzup? How ‘bout throwing my ball?”
Then again, it may be easier to be nonchalant about the cold when you’re wearing a fur coat.
Yes, you’re right… but my dachshund does NOT have the same attitude!! Bruce loves it though. He will just lie out on the deck and wish for the snow more often.
thats insane! coldest we got actual air temp record was 10yrs ago. -50f at the customs building on the big black river. that winter was brutal! jan and feb never got above 0f during the day. with winds there were days of -70f windshield factor! water mains 20ft underground were bursting. i can relate to these people but we usually aren’t that cold for long periods like they are.
Ice , ice, baby!
I have block heaters in all of my cars. I plug the wife’s car and mine in whenever the temp is 0F ish or lower. Makes a HUGE difference. The car starts easily and it warms up—as in the vents will actually throw out heat in short amount of time. I set mine to run 2 to 3 hours before i’m ready to go so it isn’t on all night. I installed them and they are easy outside of the coolant that comes gushing out when you remove the freeze plug. Mine were both located in the back of the engine (front wheel drive 4 cyl cars). I just teflon taped the block heater threads and no leaks were detected. You do have to run the engine and make sure you get all the bubbles out of the coolant system.
New GFS has NO snow for us here…everything is Minneapolis and north. Still shows OVER an inch of rain …which is crazy for this time of the year.
I think one of the biggest draws to electric vehicles (say a Nissan Leaf/Tesla model S/X) are the ability of those cars to preheat…even when not plugged in. Obviously you are eating away at range when you do that unplugged, but getting into a preheated 70F car on a cold winter morning would be nice. Like fossil cars, electrics take a winter hit too…but nothing you can do about that. I watch my mileage and my little car drops from about 30mpg in warm months to around 24mpg this time of year (if not lower)… All that thick cold grease/oil/tires losing pressure—spinning tires (snow)… really eats into the mpgs…
I would say so , my brother six miles west of me had -12 and another friend of mine showed-14 on his truck. Here in town they had -8. I live on a hill but it is only 150 feet above the valley and there are miles of flat land north of me that are actually at a higher elevation than I am. I think that sometimes there cold air settles down hill and fills the valley up below me to the point it overtops my little hill
19F along the Gulf of Mexico…that is some brutal stuff… look back to the north and Canada is out of cold… everything got dumped south… full warmth ahead.