Story time at da fuzz plantation....
I have a pool!
It came with an awesome home with almost an acre; I got a great deal on it, I'm still waiting for Tallahassee PD to come arrest me thinking I stole it!
I moved to North Florida, not knowing many people, other than a close relative who needed me. Back where I'm from, I seemed to know someone who either knew it all or knew those who did, I was networked to the hilt. Here? No. Ugh. Anywhoo,
The pool was beautiful blue and clear when I acquired the home, a few years ago. The pool company the previous owner used put a Loop Loc cover on it, and assured me it would be fine. Ahem. I had lots of things to sort out, and didn't move into the home for a year and a half or so. The prior owner, who shall be referred to as Dr. Something, was in his 80's when he moved out. He swam year round in the nude, or so the neighbors said, and ran the pool heater year round as well. The Natural Gas history on the home shows this. Every morning, every evening, rain, shine, cold. He and his wife, Mrs. Doc, were very fond of the sticky vines and overgrowth for privacy, large hedges, several pet graveyards, walking paths long grown over, and trees. Lots of trees! Story goes that the Missus didn't care for the college kids in the hood, and put all sorts of trip hazards, barb wire loops, critter holes hidden like punji spikes in random locations all over. It is like an archaeological dig 'round here.
The pool had been kept up by a local company for 30+ years, and "was" on a very wooded lot. It was so wooded that the pool company owner basically told me he didn't want to deal with it any longer. Dude was a real tool. So I figured someone would want my business, I hadn't ever had to care for a pool before, and had always believed most everyone used a pool boy in a speedo or girl in string bikini. I myself was hoping for a pool girl in a string bikini, the missus mentioned "pool boy", this is a college town I live in now after-all, but I digress....
I now have a hole in the ground!
So out of sight, out of mind. I had a yard guy caring for the outside for a year or so. I asked him to look in the pool for me. He said it was gross, and that there was water and leaves in the cover, and that he'd already drained it off some. I asked him to drain the cover and get rid of the leaves for me again. fast forward A few months later, I visit and see that the pool is about half full, with leaves in it, the cover pulled back at three corners, with the liner collapsing in on itself. I can't get a straight answer from my yard guy, but I'm thinking he drained the pool, natch. (turns out he didn't, more on that later)
Fast forward again about 6 months, I pull the trigger and moved here from Central Florida, land of the Mouse House. I'd lived in the same county my whole life, 40+ years, where there were two weather patterns. Hot or Cold, where anything below 60 was freezing. And at about 3:45pm each day during the summer, you knew it was going to rain. After that, it got to where you could cut the humidity with a knife. North Florida is nothing like down South. And the trees.....wow. I hadn't had a fireplace or a pool. Now I have both. Up here the weather is rather schizophrenic. Seriously. It's whacked out.
I called 8 pool companies shortly after I moved in, about February 2012. 4 came out (including previous jackwagon who didn't want my business) to look at the pool in order to quote me a liner replacement. 2 quoted over the phone (how?) and 2 didn't show. None would re-stretch the old liner, especially with the suspicious water draining. I got busy, didn't want to spend the money, got busier, spent my pool budget on other things, and decided after all that wrangling that I was going to need to work on the property and landscape before entertaining fixing the pool. So it sat. And wept. And cried out literally with unceasing frogs....saying FIX ME FIX ME. Every night! And a small fortune in mosquito dunks that donut work.
Fast forward about a year from the last fast forward. 40 trees taken down, 3 large dangerous water oaks, a hickory tree, a sweet gum, most of the rest invasive weedish trees or unchecked hedges that were roughly 40' tall. Some of them the popcorn style hedges I read a thread about somewhere -------> way in the bowels of the forums... (Anyone have a log splitter I can borrow near Leon County?) I also have a huge Live Oak tree overhanging the pool, it got a haircut and some <3 too. Hired some pro's with climbing skills to drop the big stuff, made fast friends with a guy who owns a BBQ Shack who traded BBQ sammitches for some nice fresh hickory and oak, and by the time I was near done, the pool got sun for most of the day, with a reasonably clear field of fire to repel the evil bulk of leaves. While toting limbs to the street, drenched, I looked at the pool longing for crystal clear refreshing goodness that is a well cared for swimming pool. More toting limbs, more sweating, more dreaming. I couldn't take it any longer. Shower, then hit the internetz.
I started over again with the pool renovator search, with this time seeking out someone that would put in concrete steps under the liner. Settled on a guy who was by far the most confident in what I desired, who had the time and skill to do what needed to be done. It wasn't his sales pitch, of which I heard a few, but this guy was talking confident, yet not cocky like others. It really does make a difference. I turned him on to TFP, he's going to do the borates thing, hi Glynn!
Fast forward 5 weeks. The old Hayward pump is dead. What do I know? There was another pump that worked just fine. Except, it was for a Polaris 280 that needed a new hose, bearings, and I could get a close replacement for the same money it would take to rebuild. So I buy a Pentair Intelliflo VS and utilized the double rebate. I'm filling a pool and re-plumbing. It took a total of 38 hours off and on. The bags of pool salt to keep the liner in place around the steps while filling have dissipated into the pool. I'm thinking this is less salt I'm going to have to add later for when I get a SWG. The liner that was chosen is starting to look bluish green, gorgeous! Life is good. Until I realized I have to spend even more money on chemicals.
During the renovation, it was discovered that the plug that seals the bottom hole in the main drain had a crack in it. This is why it was leaking. I had found a vinyl repair kit in the utility room. Some meathead, apparently the pool service, had stuck one of those expanding rubber thingies in the drain pipe rendering the drain useless, which I could understand, what couldn't be understood was the copious amounts of silicone like substance under the drain cover that was dislodged, it was just floating there. Dolts. The Pentair pool light was also holding water, so I'll have to get a new one of those with a pretty light show.
So, I start researching, and found TFP right away. I'm ADHD to the max, with a touch of OCD at times, so I started in the deep end of pool research. Read and re-read Pool School, did many topic searches, and made some decisions. Decided for sure I wanted SWG, and that I was going to do the borates, was going to have a robot, and and and.....well. I ordered my TF100 (XL) with Salt and Borate Strips as the pool had just gotten full. Took pool water to the various pool stores in my area. (Yea, I'll make a Sam's trip because it's near the PaPenny on that side of town, I'll go to Ace Hardware, it's near the other PaPenny etc.) I scolded my builder inappropriately (Hi Glynn!) because my CYA was too low along with my CH and my TA was too high, and when was my SWG gonna get here because no one seems to stock the 60k gallon system I need....well. Turns out I should have just waited till the initial fill and chemical additions took root in the system, as my CYA is now borderline high sorta and my CH is definitely high, so patience is required. Mayhap all you gurus here should sticky a "have patience" thread for many things, excepting FC level? I digress, yet again.
As an aside, now that I'm better versed with testing and the like, I count the drops at the Pool Store, saves my reagent particularly the TA test
SO, after thoroughly chastising myself by flogging and withholding meals, I've chilled out on some things. Except for testing, I've resolved to make sure that the pool stays balanced. At no point since fill has the water been less than clear. I built a couple aeration devices to assist me with my TA journey, which are quite fun to play with. I'm thinking that I'll be exceedingly sad once I add borates and the PH drift isn't as bad. I've had to get my TA down from 200 to below 70ish for Borates. MA, aerate, test, when PH is up again, MA, rinse repeat. I still don't have my SWG, it is on backorder. I've been running to the pool store, paying $4.75 for 2 gallons of 12% Chlorine. I'm too stubborn to buy more than one yellow container, hoping I won't ever need it. Ahem. Oh, I forgot to add. remember that polaris pump? It makes a WONDERFUL aerator. City Water has plenty of TA, I tested. They don't care, either. Salt acquired at a bargain, poolcalculator.com was spot on, adding on top of the salt from the install brought me just under 3000ppm as planned.
I bought a robot, it's a wall climber, and he's my buddy now. Correction, she. SHE does one heckuva job on the oak pollen squiggly thingies that coat everything outdoors up to 2" for a few weeks. Figured out she has two settings, one that is a green light speedy clean, where she does wheelies when full and lasts an hour, and a red setting where she shuts off after 3 hours. Not scrutinizing directions at first, as I'm a guy, I figured green was GO and red was STOP. All is right in the world, now. Set her on red when she needs it, voila. She comes out after use, and I'm amazed and the crud she gets out of the pool. And it stinks. Yech.
I suppose you guys want pool pr0n in the form of pictures. I'll need to organize some and post em up. I'm still not quite done with the privacy fencing, which is sort of necessary, as I've laid waste to much of the shielding vegetation.
But for now, after all the self-created, situational, histrionic, vegetative tree drama, here's my numbers. 110lbs of Boric Acid will be here day after tomorrow. Yea, I know I only need 75lbs or so. I'm not a hoarder, really!
- PH: 7.5
I'm sure there is more to follow.