One of our first winters in Alaska, our water system froze up solid. Not only the "in" but also the "out". First about the "in" part. We have a 250g. cistern in a well house about 20 feet behind the cabin. The lines were not buried deep by the previous occupants and the heat tape that WAS wrapped around was non-functional. After about 2 weeks of spit baths and putting off washing our hair, my youngest daughter and I decided it was time. We spent the day gathering snow and melting it on the oil stove. We took all the icicles we could reach, because there is much more water per cubic inch in that, than snow and every drop counts when hair washing is going to happen Soon we had maybe 5 gals going and warm. We pulled an empty (clean) plastic garbage can into the kitchen, told the men to stay out, and had the most delightful shower you can imagine. Well....there ARE better showers but none more appreciated than this one was because we worked so hard for it. She and I still talk about it fondly....not that we want to repeat it.