Friday, March 16, 2018

Our 127 Hours were a little Different

Our journey to a sparkling clean pool began on Thursday March 8, 2018 at approximately 6 in the evening. As I type this sentence, our journey comes to a close, on Wednesday March 14, 2018 at approximately 3 in the afternoon.

Six days at twenty-four hours a day is 144 hours.

Back out the three hours today (shy of twenty-four), six random hours (turned off for showers and laundry), eight hours last night (turned off to avoid overflow), and eight hours on Saturday night.

That one was due to fear. But I’ll get back to that in a minute (in the pictures).

We paused on suck and/or flow for a total of twenty-five hours. Meaning, this watery experience lasted us just under five full days of commitment to liquid. Or, 119 hours.

And, may I just say, I’m glad we only have to do this activity every five or so years.

It all started on the day we moved into the house, just shy of six years ago. Our house was a short sale and, sadly, the gal who owned it before we got here wasn’t in the best financial shape. So the pool was an interesting shade of greenish from day one.

We cleaned it up, shocked the water, got all the chemicals balanced, brushed religiously, replaced the burned out pump, changed the filter sand, did all the things a person needs to do to keep their pool in proper working order.

Why, many of you might be asking, would we want to deal with all of that maintenance?

Uh, have you seen the temperatures in Phoenix? We try to swim as much as possible from April to October. It’s the one thing neither of us would compromise on when buying a house. And we sacrifice on other things to make sure we can afford to have that place of respite.

That is, until a couple years ago. No matter what we seemed to add, subtract, or do to the pool, Matt just couldn’t get the chemical balance to maintain.

Ph too high. Too low. Chlorine off the charts. Something green this way grows.

It sucked, but we had other priorities for projects to complete inside anyway. So, we did the best we could to keep it not green, but swimming wasn’t as high a priority.

Matt started tossing out the phrase “our water has gone bad.” Then everyone seemed to agree, “bad water” is in fact a thing.

That, here in the desert, we have to “change” our water every few years. Chemicals don’t do the job anymore. You know, because of the dissolved solids.

Dissolved solids? That’s a freaking oxymoron.

Needless to say, I was skeptical.

I argued, if water evaporates and we then refill the pool a few inches at a time won’t the new water eventually entirely replace the “bad water” that floated off into the ether?

In short, yes. But it still doesn’t matter. Because of those dissolved solids.

See, we have extraordinarily hard water here in Arizona. That water, even filtered contains a whole bunch of crap like calcium, magnesium, salt, and other stuff that sort of dissolves. The thing about those solids though, they never evaporate.

They’re heavier than water so they stick around after the water is gone.

So, for example, after a snowstorm, rock salt might be used to melt the remaining snow and ice after shoveling or plowing. That stuff will leave a ring of salt once the water dries up. Now, picture that ring in a 23,000 gallon pool with water that has probably evaporated and been replaced for at least ten years. Likely more.

All that sediment attaches to the pebble walls and even the best vacuum in the world won’t make a difference. The filter only traps so much. And those particles are nano.


Dissolved solids.

Oxy. Moron.

Me, I’m the moron. In case that wasn’t clear.

Because, Matt had been trying to tell me why we needed to drain, clean, and refill the pool with fresh water for about three years.

But I’m cheap and didn’t want to spend the money to drain and refill.

But he’s not a magician and was pretty sick of trying to keep unbalanceable pool chemicals balanced.

Hence, the 119 hours.

Now, I feel like the pictures tell the whole story better than I really can, but I need to preface that portion with a disclaimer. No. This did not happen in one day despite the fact Matt is wearing the same clothes in every picture. Which I mentioned on the final day and chuckled.

His exact response was, “It’s a work outfit.”

And work he did.

The only part I didn’t capture on film was trying to replace the underwater light (which still doesn’t work unfortunately) because that took both of our strength. Mine, physical and with two hands. Matt’s, physical as well as the last shred of his mental concentration for this project.

Light got installed and the filling began.

Here’s my photos. Enjoy. Because we will not do this again anytime soon. If we can help it.

This all started back in January with the rebuilding of the equipment surround.

Matt hard at work leveling the new post.

Last board goes up.

Posts cut to length. I designed, we shopped, Matt installed. Go team!

It begins...6:15PM Thursday

Friday morning around 8AM. Keep in mind how little it drained overnight.

Noon...light almost exposed.

Friday around 6PM...24 hours in and the light is finally free. Also, note how little drained in 10 hours.

Right before bed and we can finally stand in the empty shallow end. Yea!
Hmm, seeing as how little drained we should turn it off overnight, right?
It'll DEFINITELY finish in a few hours tomorrow morning. Right?

Saturday around 3PM. Oh Phoenix, you and your rain. You thought you'd kill our spirit. Ha!

Saturday around 11PM...finally done.
About 16 hours after we turned the pump back on in the morning.
Gee, good thing we turned it off overnight.
All joking aside, timing worked out perfectly for cleaning Sunday.

Sunday just before lunch...first time my feet have ever touched the bottom of the deep end!

Getting going on power washing after lunch.

Final step. (Sadly, it popped the breaker after refilling so we shut it off to figure out another time.)

Sunday 6PM...Shons, start your refill!

First dissolved-solid-lite water!

8AM Mon...overnight success!

Noon Monday...Look at that water color! So Psyched!

Tuesday around 9PM...Shutting down for the night.

Wednesday about 3:05...done!

I mean, look at that WATER COLOR!
All we need now are fruity drinks and about 20 degrees warmer water.
Matt was right all along. And I'm woman enough to admit that.

Come back in a couple weeks to see what I worked on inside while Matt took our pool game to a whole new level.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.


JudisJems said...

Looks beautiful! Great job!
Hugs and kisses, Mum

Sue FitzPatrick said...

Looking forward to my next visit to see it in person!

John said...

You both are pretty amazing at what you do and can do. I can’t wait to see this in person.