Friday, July 20, 2007

Our quest for heat

Excuse No. 1: Why I haven't been blogging

Husband and I have been working on something for the last several weeks. This project (another of my brilliant ideas that was a "I want vs. I need" project) began as a small investment and has subsequently turned into a money pit.

The project I'm speaking of is the purchase and installation of a solar heater for our pool.

Prior to actually purchasing this relatively inexpensive device, we pondered about whether we wanted it, what the benefits would be, and where we would put it. You have to have a southern exposure with direct sunlight for at least six hours a day for it to be useful. Our southern exposure is shaded by a very large tree. So, we had to come up with an alternative location.

We finally decided that the most effective way for it to work would be to build a 4 foot by 20 foot platform that was at least as high as the pool. This ensured that the solar panels would receive the most amount of sunlight all day. After deciding how we wanted to build this platform, we made a basic list of the lumber and supplies we needed. Then we measured, re-measured, placed stakes for corners, and made sure everything was square and level. It was hot, sweaty, hard work.

Then I called the "call before you dig" number at the telephone company because our telephone line is allegedly buried in our yard and apparently lies directly under our platform. Meanwhile, we rented a one-man auger -- the back breaker -- to dig the eight holes for the posts. We only had one day so we had to get this portion of the project completed and return the horrible machine. Boy, were we glad to get that baby back to the rental store. That done, the "call before you dig" lady showed up on Monday. To our complete surprise, our telephone line was actually buried under our pool and under our deck steps. Ugh!!!

Husband finally got everything connected per the instructions. The next problem resulted when he actually turned the pump on again. One hose completely blew and all the other connections leaked. Back to the plumbing stores to get new connectors and valves.

To make a long story very short, the project is now complete. My hunky pool man worked like a dog and this is the result of all his hard work.

This has turned into a "Rube Goldberg" project. The end result definitely DOES NOT look like the picture on the box or online when we originally researched this.

Our pool pump now looks like this.

We have PVC hoses and valves snaking everywhere. It should be really interesting when we try to use the weedeater in this corner.

Here is husband making one final adjustment.

Phase 2 of this project involves building a shelf the length of the platform and enclosing the entire thing. This will be used for storage of our pool and gardening supplies. We will get this done when our money train rolls into the station after the first of the month.

I've procrastinated enough today so I guess I will get off the computer and do something useful. Time to go swimming.

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At July 20, 2007 4:15 PM, Blogger jellyhead said...

Congratulations on getting the job done (you and your beloved pool man!). Although it sounds like it was a lot of hard work, it will have been well worth it as the weather gets a little cooler, and you can still pop in your pool for a dip!

Hope you have a delightful weekend :)

At July 20, 2007 4:22 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Your hunky pool guy has done a great job. Sounds like any remodeling or renovating project. They are like a snowball going down hill and take on a life of their own!
I've had much the same experience inside this week. Wish I could write with your touch of humor!!
Now... How do I get that money train to make a stop here???

At July 20, 2007 11:07 PM, Blogger TUFFENUF said...

Will this allow you to swim year round? It looks complex and costly! It is good though that you can use the platform for storage. Your pool man works like a dog for you! You are lucky to have him!!!

At July 21, 2007 3:48 AM, Blogger catsmum said...

hi Motherkitty
another visitor from Val's blog here :]
[ waving from Central Victoria ]
btw I have the Sweitzer quote as a cross stitch - of a cat on a keyboard - on my kitchen wall.

At July 22, 2007 7:01 AM, Blogger Val said...

re comment in the cartoon:"have a little look at the internet" - yeah right! That's why I'm still sitting here one hour longer than intended.

I'm impressed with your pool project, curious about the "inexpensive" solar heating. Send some over here please.

Had to laugh about your pump's convoluted pipes and hoses. You should see the looks on the pool guys' faces when they see hubby's overdesigned cover for the filter. I'll be doing a pool post one of these days as our pool is getting its 40 year old surface renovated.

Hope you enjoyed your dip in the pool, Motherkitty!

At July 22, 2007 12:55 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

I know you will really appreciate the extra swim time you will get from that pool heater. It will be worth all the effort when you are swimming one warm day in October while everyone else's pool is covered for the year!

At July 22, 2007 9:29 PM, Blogger Alipurr said...

wow can't wait to be there

At July 23, 2007 6:54 AM, Blogger susan said...

I believe this goes into the file 'joys of home ownership'...

I hope it works as well as advertised! We used to have a pool, filled it with water from the mountain stream, and it never did get warm all summer!

Enjoy your new heated pool!


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