The arrival of spring means I must become more proactive about maintaining the pool. In the winter months when the water is cold, the water temperature drops into the 40’s F, I
pretty much ignore it completely adopt the off-season maintenance schedule. As winter turns to spring I need to start paying attention to water chemistry, filter schedules, and the like. A few weeks ago I got into the pool to do some cleaning and came out with a good dose of hypothermia for my trouble.
Valuable Lesson #1: When the water temp is in the 50’s F one should not stay in the pool too long.
As I have learned since becoming a pool owner, a pool does not have one filter but several. One is for the skimmer which is very easy to empty and clean. One barely needs get wet hands. One is the leaf catcher attached to the vacuum. Emptying the leaf catcher is a little more active task and it accomplished most easily while in the pool. (See Valuable Lesson #1.) The third filter is attached to the pump and is the last checkpoint for debris before the water circulates through a fourth (sand) filter and is pumped back into the pool. The third filter can be emptied and cleaned without turning blue but, because it is pressurized, taking it apart for maintenance is (only) slightly more onerous. One must take the top off the pressurized canister to retrieve the basket inside. With the basket out, one cleans out any flotsam & jetsam that has made it past the basket and might be trying to infiltrate the sand filter tank. Once completed, one reassembles the canister, re-primes the pump and bleeds the captured air from the system. The top of the pressurized canister is held on by a long bolt which one tightens until the seal is air tight. This leads me to …
Valuable Lesson #2: Long bolts should not find their way into the garbage disposal.
For some reason known only to the sprites of spring, when I brought the basket into the kitchen to clean it I brought the bolt in as well, rather than leaving it on the ground near the pump where it belongs at such moments. Turning on the garbage disposal in an effort to clean the pool refuse out of the sink caused this bolt to lodge tightly into the teeth of the disposal.
It was relatively easy to retrieve the bolt…once I crawled under the sink and removed the garbage disposal completely. Luckily I had installed it so I had a rough idea how to go about that. Once detached, it was easy enough to extract the bolt using only the wits the good Lord gave me, a pair of pliers, a small hammer, two screw drivers and every curse word I’ve learned in this life. After a few minutes I was ready to reinstall the garbage disposal.
Valuable Lesson #3: When installing a garbage disposal it is important not to disturb the plumbing connection between the two sinks.
This was easily repaired as well requiring only a wrench, Teflon tape, a 30 minute trip to Home Depot for $3 worth of replacement parts and 24 hours spent draining and refilling the reverse osmosis system.
In the end as was well again. The garbage disposal is working properly. The kitchen sinks do not appear to be leaking. The bolt was not even damaged so I was able to put the pool filter back together in short order.
Of course the water temp is still only in the mid-60’s. See Valuable Lesson #1.