Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pool Saga 2011: Part Four

When I left off with part three the pool was good to go except I could not get the lid off of the filter basket. My wonderful neighbor came over at lunch on Tuesday and loosened it for me, as well as removing the squashed (dead) frog from the basket. I really couldn't ask for a better neighbor.

Monday night I had shocked it and put in stablizer, after which you are supposed to wait 48 hours to backwash, so I could vacuum, but was going to wait until Wednesday night so I could backwash the filter after I vacuumed. Well as they say, the best laid plans...

Tuesday night we had a microburst, or I guess that's what they decided to call it. It was a really bad storm and you can read all about it here. The pool ended up looking like this:

I knew there would be A LOT of work to be done and I was right. I came home after work Wednesday and started to it. Well, let's back up, Tuesday night, after the storm passed I used the leaf rake to remove all the debris from the top of the water. I worked on it until it got too dark to work on it anymore, or I would have kept going. So Wednesday after work I started in some more. I spent about four hours working on it that night and was determined to have it totally clean by the time I went back inside, because there is no way I was letting my perfect pool turn green this year.

I scooped and I scooped and I scooped. Finally I thought I had scooped enough. I then filled the hose and got the vacuum ready. I had apparently left way too many leaves in the pool and should have scooped some more. I got a clog in the valve just before the pump basket, so I took it apart and removed the leaves. (Sidebar: fresh, crisp leaves are much easier to scoop than wet, algaed leaves) I kept up the vacuuming and did pretty well and had the pool looking pretty good. I did have a few minor mishaps of the hose coming off the vacuum to which I said a few four letter words about how you shouldn't have a pool by yourself, it is a two person job, but moved on.

I got almost done and the vacuum stopped sucking. Uh oh. I realized that I had another clog. I looked everywhere: in the vacuum (because that had happened once or twice already), in the skimmer, in the pump basket, in both valves by the pump basket, nothing. To say I was frustrated might be the understatement of the year. I said a few more choice words, burst out crying and ultimately had a full on panic attack. In the process of this little meltdown I did what I had been taught to do: shock the pool, just in case, and add more chlorine sticks to the skimmer, even though I didn't think water was getting through. I had also backwashed the pool hoping that it might do the trick, which it didn't, but I put in Eco-clean in the skimmer because that's what you're supposed to do. When I had the water flowing from the main drain and the skimmer I had really good water flow, though I knew it was from the drain and not from the skimmer, but I knew that the shock would work its way through the filter. I went in and to bed thinking very bad things about the pool, cursing it, thinking we should have never replaced the liner, and wondering how much it would cost to fill it in.

Thursday I was a little more calm when I got home from work and went to check on the pool. First of all, in Oklahoma we have a lot of wind, so all the leaves that fell from the trees two days before and the ones I had removed from the pool the night before were now in my pool, again...great. I went through my best troubleshooting on the pool to figure out the exact problem before heading to Thompson's. I opened up the pump basket and all my Eco-clean from the night before had gotten trapped. This was a good sign! Something was getting through the skimmer, even if it was just a little bit. This explained why the pool was looking good, even if it had leaves it in, the chemicals were still circulating. I threw it on recirculate, since the Eco-clean had not made it to the filter, and headed to Thompson's.

I had posted pictures Wednesday night and Mike commented on them, so he knew the situation we were facing. Clearly I was not the only one in this situation, he said they had about 80 calls on Wednesday with storm problems. I explained what all I had checked and that I had narrowed it down to the skimmer. He put in a work order to have the line blown clear. Then he told me to shock it and put in some extra chlorine: done and done! I was very proud of myself for having done exactly what I was supposed to without being told! The have taught me well at Thompson Pool and Patio! If you have a pool you really should go to them, they are the best, and are totally understanding and heck, they can keep me from having a nervous breakdown about the pool, that is saying a lot! We discussed the Eco-clean situation and he told me to mix it with water and then pour it through so it would have a better shot of getting to the filter.

I wasn't expecting the lines to be clear until early next week, but again, Thompson's is the best! I came home Friday night and was clearing out the skimmer basket and noticed I had great water flow. Woo hoo! I used the leaf rake to remove all the leaves I possibly could before I started vacuuming (a lesson I will not soon forget). I got it all vacuumed and clean and perfect again.

Today I enjoyed four hours of laying out and floating and reading. I decided that I'm glad I didn't fill that silly little hole in and I guess I do pretty much love it. Crazy as it is, when it is not trying to kill me and my anxiety level, I love working on the pool. I really do. I wouldn't pay someone to do it for me (okay if I had enough money I might). It is really relaxing and gives me such a feeling of accomplishment when I can get it back to perfect.

As I was floating around I looked at my yard and my pool and had to think, how on earth is this my life? I don't know how I got this lucky, but I sure wouldn't change it for anything!

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