26' Intex - Planning, Install, Upgrades, and Landscaping Thread

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
The rechargeable ones have come a long way if you dont have extensive needs for it in the rest of the yard.
Yeah I know. I'm already invested in the Ryobi 40 V system for lawn tools. I have the 20" lawn mower, straight shave trimmer with attachment capability, pole saw attachment for trimmer power head, and a 14" chainsaw, along with three batteries. All work very well. I had been considering the blower attachment for the trimmer head just to do minor things like clean off sidewalks after mowing/trimming or get some leaves out of the rocks around my house, but hadn't decided yet.

If I want something for the pool, I should probably spend the money to get the standalone blower instead of the trimmer blower attachment, as it would be a lot more powerful. Actually...yeah, I totally should just get the standalone blower. Without a battery the standalone blower is $99, and the trimmer blower attachment is $75, and I have to swap it out with the trimmer head every time I need it.

I have an older 40 volt Kolbalt blower and weed wacker (same battery). But I like them a lot. The new ones look different. Use them because of a rotator cuff tear. That's what happens when your blower & trimmer won't start and you get mad and just pull away.
Ouch. But yeah, I do really like my electric lawn tools. I think the Kobalt 40 V stuff is fairly equivilent to the Ryobi 40 V stuff.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
I totally should just get the standalone blower. Without a battery the standalone blower is $99, and the trimmer blower attachment is $75, and I have to swap it out with the trimmer head every time I need it.
You are not some random idiot. But evenso, Hanging over the side of the pool holding an electric blower at a weird angle trying to push the leaves on the far side of the pool.......... yeah.
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
Oh yeah, forgot to mention my pool pump was off this morning. The circuit it was plugged into had no power. Breaker was fine, but not getting power or the GFCI is tripped and not resetting. The second circuit was fine, moved my pump over to that one. I texted the owner of the company and he's coming out this afternoon to see what went wrong.

Seems odd something is wrong, I kinda suspect a defective GFCI outlet.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
Cheap overseas parts for sure. Or it could be a loose connection too. Also cheap oversees parts. I haven’t been happy with any outlets I’ve put in for years. They seem tight with 1/8 turn when they have 4 more turns to go.
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
Well that was unsatisfying. He tried resetting it, then checked the main panel, verified breakers were sending power, then checked the junction box where the wires were connected before they enter the trench, had power. Then he got back to the outlets and reset it again and it reset and had power. So he guessed maybe there was a loose connection in the junction box, or that flipping the breakers off and on allowed it to reset? The latter seems like a stretch, and I thought I flipped them myself, so it seems maybe a loose connection in the junction box is the most logical answer.

He did say that he's seen faulty GFCI outlets right out of the box. He said to shoot him a text if I loose power again. Guess that's all we can do, unsatisfying of an answer as it was. Unless it keeps loosing power, then more likely a faulty GFCI.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
Are you as handy with electric as you are with everything else ? For a $13 GFCI I’d rather just do it myself and know its right instead of waiting around for the guy to come back with a new GFCI from the same batch. I get wanting the work warrantied and all but a simple fix is the lesser of 2 evils IMHO.
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
Are you as handy with electric as you are with everything else ? For a $13 GFCI I’d rather just do it myself and know its right instead of waiting around for the guy to come back with a new GFCI from the same batch. I get wanting the work warrantied and all but a simple fix is the lesser of 2 evils IMHO.
I work with 208, 400, and 480 volt 3-phase AC at work (plus 120 and 230 V single phase, the phase-neutral voltages of 208 and 400, respectively). The biggest hazard with those voltages is not that it can kill you, after all 120 volts can do that just fine, but arc flash. Due to the voltage levels and the amount of available current at those voltage levels, if you short conductors you will get an arc flash. This is so much fun on so many levels. There's UV light that will damage your eyes from the arc. It's loud, which can damage your ears. And then of course the molten and vaporized copper from the wires can damage those things and everything else. It's essentially a mini explosion (there is gear that will protect you, if you wear it, at least up to certain levels). Oh yeah, and then various parts of our machines run that up to 320 kV DC. At least there's no risk of arc flash from this. So anyway, to answer your question...yes?

It's not that I can't do the work myself. It's that I specifically went with an electrician cause I had to, you know, get the pool area leveled, install the pool, install the fence, and then repair all the landscaping that got messed up. Plus while the city I live in allows homeowners to pull their own electrical permits and do their own work, you do have to take an (open book) test over the portion of the NEC that relates to the work you are doing before they will issue the permit. So I decided I'd pass on doing the electric myself to keep my plate from overflowing. My wife was getting really antsy about getting this pool up, cause this is the third time I've tried to set up a pool. The first two times dragged on and then we moved before the pool got up. She said that this summer the pool was getting up, and I could get it up or she'd hire someone to get it up.

So, mostly it's that because I've already paid them a significant amount of money (significant from the POV of a DIY guy), I expect the work to be done right and the devices to be functional. So on the principal of it I'm gonna call him if something he does doesn't work.

All that said, for future work where I'm not pressed for time and just need something like a circuit or two installed for X or Y, I will likely do it myself and save myself some money.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
So, mostly it's that because I've already paid them a significant amount of money
Fair enough, And I get it. It’s your hard earned money. If you did it all yourself you may have missed a infrequently mentioned code and failed the inspection. Same as me. I could have but chose not to. But after the fact of there was an easy fix I would just do it instead of aggravating myself even more scheduling and waiting for it.

As a good internet friend I will drink a glass of virtual lemonade with you while you stand over them watching them swap the outlet out of thats how you want to roll. :)
 
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jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
Well, I can't say how good it feels to be finally putting the yard back together instead of ripping it apart (or looking at the torn up parts ruefully as I do something else instead of fix them). I present, grass seeding!







There's a hump over the trench, because as expected the dirt did not compact down to the previous level. I left it as a hump with the expectation, or at least hope, that it would, given time, slowly compact down further. I didn't want to make it flush and have a depression later, though I suppose on second thought you can easily build up slowly, but taking it down later if it doesn't compress back all the way means re-seeding...

Ah well. It's done now. Nothing left to do but water regularly and wait for the grass to start popping up.

Next up: Start landscaping around the pool!
 
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jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
Forgot to mention I wanted to make sure our dog didn't get it in his head to start digging in the straw. So when I let him out, I held the hose to hit him if he didn't listen when said no. He didn't listen, of course, and kept walking right on after I said no. I opened the hose, but I didn't think it through fully.

You see, I've tried to spray him when he has grass or dirt clods he's trying to eat and not listening when I tell him to drop them. So he knows what it means if he's not listening and he hears the hiss of the water. So as soon as I cracked it open he launches himself forward to run away...leaving two nice gouges in my evenly spread dirt/straw as his hind legs shove backwards into a leap. :rolleyes:

However I did realize from the gouges that I haven't watered enough as only the top layer of soil was wet, so I spent more time watering and he kept his distance from the stray as I did so. We'll see how he does going forward.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
I've never seen hay used as seed protection, which is odd because its genius and we have alot of farms locally with plenty of access to hay. Does it break down in time or do you have to remove it at some point ?
 

kimkats

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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,627
Tallahassee, FL
That is really looking good! I bet it DID feel good to get done!

:roll: on the dog launch..............LOVE the use of the spray hose.........around here all we have to do is make the sound of a squirt bottle pssstt and dogs and cats stop what they are doing!
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
I've never seen hay used as seed protection, which is odd because its genius and we have alot of farms locally with plenty of access to hay. Does it break down in time or do you have to remove it at some point ?
Really? Well, specifically this is straw, not hay, though hay works as well (it's just heavier so it can choke the grass seedlings if you're not careful). Around here straw is about all that's used. It can be applied loose, like I've done here, or in a pre-made mat that you roll out. The latter is more common for large projects, especially on hills such as when they re-build highways and interstates.

Often the seed is applied and the straw thrown on top, but I've see seeders for larger areas that have a feeder that takes entire straw bales, chops them up into small pieces and blows them out a shoot while mixing in grass seed.

And as Kimkats has already said, it breaks down just like grass does if you mulch, no need to remove. You just start mowing when the grass is tall enough.

Mostly it keeps the soil moist so the grass grows, but also assists in stabilizing soil from running in rains for grass seed on slopes (which is why they often use pre-made mats on steep hills, it's more regular and doesn't move as easy).

What do they use for covering grass seed up near you? Gotta be something, grass seed in bare dirt doesn't work very well cause it dries out too fast.

:roll: on the dog launch..............LOVE the use of the spray hose.........around here all we have to do is make the sound of a squirt b
I got the idea from you, you mentioned a super soaker a while back, but I didn't have that so I just used the hose.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,472
NY
What do they use for covering grass seed up near you? Gotta be something, grass seed in bare dirt doesn't work very well cause it dries out too fast.
We don't. Or at least I haven't seen any variation and I drive around seeing customers all day so I see a lot of things. The large commercial projects or roadwork crews use the green spray foam stuff that takes a few weeks to break down. Everybody else just rakes the seeds into fresh topsoil. I'll be using straw from now on. Sorry I called it hay. We have lots of farms but I don't know the first thing about farming, its all hay to me. But I knew exactly what you were doing with it.
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
We don't. Or at least I haven't seen any variation and I drive around seeing customers all day so I see a lot of things. The large commercial projects or roadwork crews use the green spray foam stuff that takes a few weeks to break down. Everybody else just rakes the seeds into fresh topsoil. I'll be using straw from now on. Sorry I called it hay. We have lots of farms but I don't know the first thing about farming, its all hay to me. But I knew exactly what you were doing with it.
Interesting. I think I've seen the foam stuff before, but it's a minority around here. Usually it's always straw.

I suppose raking into the dirt will work, but you just have to be super regular about watering, so it doesn't dry out. Straw gets you flexibility. In the past I've done morning and evening waterings (gone for work during the day) wih straw and gotten really good growth out of the grass.

Also wasn't trying to criticize, sorry if I came off that way. Just pointing out the differences. Hay is mostly grass, 3-4' high grass but grass nonetheless. It's usually used as feed for animals that, well, normally graze on grass, when it's not possible to let them graze. 😁 I think I have used it for growing grass but it's not as easy to spread as it's long, stringy and tends to bunch up. Also, since it's cut from pastures thar almost certainly have weeds, there's often some amount of weeds, which may come with weed seeds.

Straw is the stalk of a few different types of grain plants, such as wheat and barley. It's very lightweight and generally more even, so it spreads well and doesn't block the seedlings from growing, and usually won't have weeds.

This particular straw was relatively expensive, at $10 for a "bale", which wasn't a true bale but a plastic wrapped hunk of shredded straw I bought at Menard's. The shredding helps it spread easier. My brother has used a lawn mower to shread straw and hay, he uses both (especially hay, as he has a pasture that he has cut) to spread very thickly around plants in their garden, to suppress weeds and keep the soil moist with much less watering than bare dirt.
 
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jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
957
South-Central WI
So my recent order from TFtestkits (chlorine and pH refills) I ordered a whale wall brush, leaf net, and then the pressure gauges caught my eye. The intex one is tiny, and it's oriented sideways. I ordered one that I can orient upwards, so I don't need to bend down to view it. I was very excited when I got the one from TF today. Just look at this!


Unfortunately, the threads on it are too big. I will have to look for an adapter.
 
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