Photo from pointsoflight.blogspot.com
Ah! Things are back to normal!
At 4:55 PM, just after I updated the last post with more whining, the water started to trickle out of the open taps! A bit later, we really had water flowing and hot water too. Visions of a hot shower danced trough my head!
Well, now we know where the weak spot in the system is, and it only took all day to find it! But we did it all by ourselves.
In the end, it required an oscillating heater under the house, aimed at the area where the water main comes up for underground. Then we realized that the porch flooring had open spaces that allowed the heat to float away (and the frickin' cold to get to the pipes in the first place!) So we laid thick moving blankets on the porch floor and ran the heater for about 5 hours. That did the trick.
And if it doesn't start raining this morning (as predicted) I will be back under the house wrapping pipes in said handy moving blankets and draping plastic tarp over everything!