Monday, April 1, 2013

Swimming InSanity

Yup, we took the plunge -- so to speak -- and bought a pool. If you've been following our blog, you might remember back in October I posted a preliminary drawing for an above-the-ground cement pool, which we were considering to go under our small palapa.

Well after giving it more thought, we decided to hold off on that for the time being. For starters, the location was all wrong. There would be no way for the water to warm up to a reasonable temperature, if it's living under a thatch roof, plus the schmutz from the thatch would fall into the pool. Then we weren't sure exactly where a semi-inground pool should go, not to mention how often we would use it. And then there's the whole challenge of finding a reputable pool builder here in Corozal.

So we decided that an above-ground, soft-sided pool was a good alternative. This baby is 16' round and 48" deep. It's way big enough to bob around in -- with or without a floaty toy -- even with friends sharing the water.

We purchased the pool at a local store, A & R, and they were kind enough to deliver the box to our house. Considering said box weighed over 200 pounds, we were happy we didn't have to try and lug it in and then out of our car by ourselves. The reason it was so heavy is that in addition to all the metal support posts and liner, there's a ground cover sheet, the ladder, filter, floating skimmer, small vacuum, skimming net, plus a pool cover. Not a bad deal.

Once the pool arrived at our house -- same day of purchase -- we got to work mapping out our plan of attack. The first step was to figure out where we wanted it. We opted for the backyard, so David measured off the circumference.

If you look closely near the foreground you will see the orange cord that got laid out. The next day, it was time to clear out all the rocks and anything else that could potentially pierce the liner. That was my job. I know, the glamour of it all.

Anyway, with rocks out of the way, we laid down the ground cover sheet, then placed the liner on top of it.

From there, we slipped all the support bars through the top sleeves of the liner, then snapped the vertical support posts into place all around the circumference.

The instructions lead you to believe that this whole process should take two people about one hour. Of course, the diagrams in the user manual also show two sweet young things in bikinis doing the assembly. The reality was that it took us close to two hours, and no sweet young things in bikinis appeared, much to David's dismay.

Be that as it may, with the pool put altogether, we could start filling it with our garden hose. This took a couple of days, but we wanted to take the slower approach, versus having some group like the fire department fill it up, to ensure we had no leaks. Everything was looking good by the time Thursday morning rolled around. The pool was full with 5,200 gallons of water and all was right with the world. Until late Thursday afternoon.

I had been out with a group of friends, and upon my return, David said he noticed that two pinholes appeared and we were leaking water in a spot just under that strap you see running around the pool. Now it wasn't a deluge, mind you, but it wasn't going to get any better if we didn't do something about it.

The patch kit that came with the pool presumes you will be using the patch in the pool when there's no water in it. The prospect of dumping 5,200 gallons of water didn't really appeal to us, if you know what I mean. And it's not like we have a plethora of pool supply stores in the area. And on top of that, it was the Easter holiday, so even if there was a store that might carry some kind of underwater patch kit, they would be closed.

So we paced, we scratched our heads, we paced some more, and brainstormed. We finally hit on the idea of using plumber's putty. Granted not the most elegant solution, but we figured we didn't have anything to lose, except water. I jumped in the pool and applied a goodly portion to the holes from the inside, while David slapped a decent sized piece of putty on the exterior. Lo and behold, it seems to be working!

But just to be on the safe side, we got in touch with our friends, Colleen and Bruce, who are visiting family in California. They generously agreed to pick up a couple of underwater patch kits and toss them in their luggage. Hopefully, we'll have those to work with later this week. David also called the manufacturer and they instructed him to contact their distributor for Central America, which happens to be in Puerto Rico. We'll give them a call tomorrow in the hopes they will ship us a new liner. This way, we'll have a back-up, should more leaks crop up.

In the meantime, we had another important upgrade to do. It seems that while we thought the ground was fairly level where we placed the pool, it turns out that when it got filled with water, the frame started to sink into the ground on one side. So yesterday morning we got out our jacks and raised three of the support posts causing the problem and inserted a shim under each one. Water level is now even and goodness ensues.

So for the foreseeable future, whenever we can't stand the heat and humidity for one more second, it's a quick couple of steps out the back door and into a pool of sanity. YEAH!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Good morning Elizabeth and Dave, it sounds like you all have it under control and with the heat here at the present a dip in a pool is something that is appreciated.

    Another product that should do the trick is a product by 3M called 5200 Marine Adhesive Sealant. This product is designed to set up either in or out of water. You do not have to drain the pool and this product does not become hard or brittle, it stays pliable. If you are interested please call me at 443-3002 or 651-8982.