July 04, 2022
Holy smokes! My swimming pool set up was nothing short of an ordeal this year; however, I am feeling particularly accomplished and proud of myself for learning some new skills. As I mentioned previously the vinyl liner spent the fall, winter and spring in a heap covered in a rotating arraying of construction materials including nails, screws, scaffolding, metal cut offs, wood etc. so I was definitely expecting it to have holes. Thank goodness I moved all the tubing inside to the basement, so it was safe from the elements.
To change things up this year I purchased two solarpro curve solar pool heaters, so I had to figure out how to set them up not only with my pool pump, but also in tandem with each other. Firstly, the instructions were horrible . . . ok maybe not horrible, but I have never been good at following instruction manuals – this is where YouTube came in and saved the day. Secondly, the bypass system that you are supposed to need to hook them up in tandem was definitely unnecessary with a low HP pump. Thirdly, they do not give you nearly enough length to your hoses to have the panels the recommended 10ft away. I had to use some watering system bits to jury-rig long enough hoses.
Other than not being able to follow instructions I had to learn how to use metal hose clamps. I did not know that you are not necessarily supposed to unscrew them fully so they pop open. Could I get them back together? Nope! I had to resort to a YouTube tutorial again. At the same time my Dad showed up and stated that it was easy, just keep twisting right. How do men always know things like this?
Excellent – Hose clamps were on securely, the bypass system was hooked up, there was blood covering my metal clamps. Blood? Yes! I managed to slice my fingers on those horrid little things, but they were sharp enough I didn’t even notice initially. Now I waited and waited for hours until the pool was filled up high enough to start filtering. I actually had to fill it over two days because I was the single parent this weekend while my husband was off at a bachelor party.
Moment of truth. I turned the pump on, dun dun dun….. and watched the water promptly leak out of most of the tube connections. Fantastic. To make things more interesting I had temporarily misplaced my filter stoppers so I couldn’t stem the flow of water while I made repairs. I started by re-reading the instructions and saw that step 1 stated “wrap threaded connections with teflon tape” – great! where is it? I searched around and found it in a little hole near where I was working, it had rolled away when I was taking all the bits and bobs out.
Now the fun part, taking apart connections and seeing how fast I can wrap threads while water is pouring out all over me. If I held the tubing up high enough the water stayed put, but eventually two hands are required for wrapping. At this point I was getting tired of being soaked and decided that the bypass system (with four additional connections I would have to fix) was not needed. I googled it and if you have a low HP pump you can skip it. Thank goodness.
Ok! Connections are all redone – It has to be fixed now. No! One of the connections was determined to leak, but it was coming out before the threads. I got mad and went and got the glue I use on the watering system and glued the works together – problem solved. It may never come apart again, but that’s ok it doesn’t need to come apart for storage. This took more hours than I care to admit.
Now it was time to take a close look at the pool, sure enough I see water starting to seep out from under the liner. Sigh. Three days of searching later I found and patched 6 tiny papercut sized holes. Today, the third day, I had to resort to getting into the pool. I knew the general area the last leak must be in based on the wetness patterns (all the other leaks were close enough to the edges I could repair by leaning over the edge). As a side note, the water was very pleasant! Those solar heaters were working great already. I probably spent 15 minutes with my goggles working in a gridwork pattern underwater looking for the hole. At last I found it and patched that little sucker! To my great happiness, the wetness on the ground started to dry up over the day.
Lastly, yes you can patch vinyl pools without draining them. Don’t use the patches that you can buy, use a real pool liner with vinyl glue. It creates a chemical reaction that welds the bits of vinyl together and works just as well under water as above water.
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