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Old 04-01-2023, 02:51 AM
mccutter's Avatar
mccutter mccutter is offline
Do I have a life?
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 11,416
Smile Positive Pool Pumping Proceedure Producing Pest Prevention

We have a 16'x32'x8'/4' pool that unfortunately is like a boat but opposite--instead of a big hole in the water you throw money into, it is a big hole in the ground filled with water you throw money into! It is around 15,000-20,000 gallons.

Back when the kids were young, they swam all the time and the pool was definitely worth it to produce strong swimmers not likely to drown when unsupervised. I taught them lifesaving techniques and even had them bring a cinder block from the bottom up to the deck as practice should one of their friends end up at the bottom which fortunately never happened. Now the only swimmer is me and that is less than once a week when the water temps are tolerable (60F-85F).

One of the few "jobs" the wife has is to maintain the pool. Pools require at least weekly cleaning of the filter and daily checking of the chemical balance. Muriatic acid and/or liquid chlorine is added to keep the balance "in range". Sometimes other more expensive chemicals are needed such as stabilized chlorine tablets which are put into a chlorinator downstream from the filter. Since Bidet stole the office, tablet price has quadrupled. For a 1-2 month supply of tablets the price has gone from about $40 on sale to over $160! As the pool was not being used over the winter, the wife "let it go" and did not maintain it as she should have.

Flash forward to last week. Busy as I am with dozens of house projects yet to be done, I had not been paying attention to the pool. What got my attention was swarms of "no-see-ums" (gnats) swarming in the driveway which is not anywhere near the pool. Going over to the pool, the swarms intensified and I noted thousands if not millions of insect larvae (including mosquitoes) wriggling and going up and down in the pool! Note that the larvae are amphibious until they sprout wings and need to come up for air to live. I mixed some car wash soap with water in a spray bottle and proceeded to spray the surface of the pool to provide a barrier to suffocate the little bastards! Against the wife's wishes I made the executive decision to drain the pool for the safety of all... I also put a bowl out with some wine vinegar with a layer of soap which attracted hundreds of the flyers to their death.

Draining a pool is not something that can be done for every pool. In our case, we are "high and dry" so we can. If the water table is high, draining the pool can turn it into a "boat" and it will actually float on ground water and "pop" up out of the ground, potentially ruining it requiring great expense to repair.

When we bought the house, it was a "fixer-upper" and one of the things that was fixed was the pool. We had it resurfaced with a substance called "Diamondbrite" (I think). We also had a new pump, filter, chlorinator and piping put in at that time. The cost was about $10,000 at the time but well worth it from the use the kids gave it. I scavenged the old pump which still worked, converted it to 120v (from 240v) and used it to partially pump the pool on occasion such as when vacuuming the bottom.

The last time I used the pump to vacuum algae (the last time the wife "let it go" ), I put it in the shed. In her disinfinite wisdom and unbeknownst to me, she put it outside behind the shed where it collected leaves and cockroaches inside the motor. Using it to pump the pool this time first it blew a breaker on an outside GFCI outlet. So I hooked it to a better outlet at which point it let the magic smoke out!

Still needing to pump the pool, I looked on FBM and there was a local guy with a sump pump for $30. New cheapies from HF were around $80 and up. Just the MOTOR for the pool pump is $150+ last time I bought one. We are on #3 since the pool was resurfaced. Once at the pump seller's place, he had a above-ground pool pump for $20 so I figured I'd give that a try since it would be easier to adapt my piping. That pump just didn't have the suction to bring the water up 2' and onto the lawn. So the next day I gave him back the pool pump and picked up the sump pump which retails for over $200!

The pool pump takes 1-1/2 piping and the sump pump takes 1-1/4 so off to ACE Hardware to pick up 20' of 1-1/4 pipe and adapters so I can use my existing 1-1/2 pipe. My dot helped me lower the sump pump to the bottom of the pool using a rope on either side. Once in place it was plugged in and worked like a charm! As the level went down, we brushed and cleaned the inside of the pool pushing debris into the deep end.

It took about 5 hours to pump the pool out. Once it started sucking air, I disconnected the pump and we bailed about another 20-30 gallons out and I used the wet-vac to suck silt and grit out the main drain after I removed the screen.

It took a good 24-36 hours to refill the pool plus going on 25 gallons of liquid chlorine and 3/4 gal of acid had to be added. There is still more chemicals needed but it looks a lot better now and can be swam in. Maybe I'll take a dip later on today... The pump dried in the sun then I shrink-wrapped it until next time which hopefully is not anytime soon...
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Old 04-01-2023, 11:21 AM
Whitetrash's Avatar
Whitetrash Whitetrash is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Estes Park, CO [Around 8000 Ft. Elv.]
Posts: 4,621

That brings back some memories. When I was a kid draining, cleaning, painting, Etc. was a Spring ritual every year. Our pool was pretty close to the same size I think around 28,000 gals.
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
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Old 04-01-2023, 05:30 PM
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Shade Tree Welder Shade Tree Welder is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kankakee County, IL
Posts: 23,095

Wives are expensive.

"Prepare to defend yourselves."
-- Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley, Ia Drang Valley
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draining, pool, pump, sump, swimming

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