Ok - it all started last year when my wife said "why don't we get a pool"!! We purchased a $250 Summer Escape from Wallyworld and it exploded from there. So, everybody knows a little about me here is what the wife says. "You can never leave well enough alone" "You always have to try and improve everything" "It's fine the way it is" - Well I like to tinker and improve anything that I can.
So here is my pool story and some pictures to go with it.
So, last year after the purchase I cleared the grass and leveled the area the best I could and up went the pool!!! The kids loved it!! We were very fortunate that a friend of my wife gave us a very small sand filter and pump. I hooked everything up and it was great. My wife complained constantly about having to add this product, add that product, just to keep the level perfect. The street we live on has 9 boys from the age 6 - 10 so every day there was about 7-9 kids in the pool. After a great summer we decided to take the pool down and store it for the winter.
So, during the winter months I scoured this forum up down left to right looking for every improvement that anyone could think of. I spent countless hours deciding what I was going to do, how was I going to make this better? I started from the ground up.
This is what I have done:
Leveled and reveled just to make sure it is perfect. Then the tarp, then the ˝” extruded polystyrene which is held together with 3” gorilla tape. On top of that is a Gorilla Pad, so the ground area is AWESOME!!!! Since the pictures below I have VERY VERY carefully cut the (Gorilla Pad, insulation, and tarp) to fit the pool perfectly so you can’t even see it.
I searched Craigslist for someone selling pool stuff and found a Haywood 200lb Sand filter and eBay for a 2hp Haywood Pump. I decided to hard pipe everything with 1˝” PVC. I do have 1” PVC going to the heaters (oh I forgot to mention that)!! I built 4 500ft solar panels (a total of 2000ft of black ˝” poly pipe) they are mounted on the roof of the house. I decided to use the skimmer that came with the pool, I just had to cut and sand the bottom to fit a Haywood return fitting so the PVC could connect. I wanted to make sure the pool had great circulation so I added a (kind of) bottom drain. It is another Haywood 1˝” return fitting. Then I added another Haywood 1˝” return for the actual return with a 1” eye. Also, since the picture I have added a fountain to the return line. You can see I had already planned that.
I decided to go with salt water so the wife wouldn’t complain about the chemicals. I went with a Pentair IC15 SWG. It is perfect for a pool this size; we run it only a 40% and it maintains 3 FC.
I decided to enclose everything inside a box for protection and noise. I built the box out of pallet word. It has a bottom and is fully enclosed. Inside the box is where everything happens. I have two check valves in the system. One is on the main return from the filter. The other is on the water feed from the house. I didn’t want to have to pull a hose out every time the pool needed water so I piped an irrigation valve in line with the feed from the house to the pool return. I have it on a switch to turn on and off. So if the pool needs water, just hit the switch and it starts to fill once it has enough flip the switch off. If you notice everything has unions so if the pump needs replacing or the sand filter needs any work everything can be disconnected very simply. All of this and NOT one leak!!!
After 2 weeks of having the pool up I wanted something more!!! We already have speakers outside from the living room for music – WHY NOT VIDEO??? So I went back to craigslist and found a projector for $50. It needed a new bulb and the person selling it wasn’t comfortable about replacing it. I found a bulb on Amazon for $75, so for $125 my kids became the envy even more. I built a shelf out of pallet wood and buried HDMI and outdoor romex to the tree. We do take the projector in the house after we finish watching.
I think I have mentioned everything here. I do have to say this is the best place to learn about anything with a pool!!!!!