Getting Ready for Summer

This summer will be a staycation due to the Covid-19 virus. So to get ready I want to set up a 4′ x 18′ round pool that I acquired a few years ago but never utilized. I was able to get it for free for helping to remove it. The home had renters and the owners were going to sell so they had to move. They were glad to get it off their hands.

It is an Intex soft side pool so it consists of just metal poles and legs that the vinyl liner hangs from.

Intex Pool
Intex Pool

The liner suffered a few mouse holes from being stored outside. But I bought a patch kit and have patched the holes I found.

Vinyl Repair Kit
Vinyl Repair Kit

I was excited that the pool came with a salt water treatment system and a sand filter. It is an all in one unit from Intex.

Intex sand filter with salt water system
Intex sand filter with salt water system

This system is sized to work with an even larger pool so it is quite a good addition to the setup. I had to do a thorough cleaning including soaking the titanium plates in vinegar to get the system ready for hook up. I will also put clean sand in the tank. I plugged it in and it came on although I didn’t prime the system so it didn’t pump water.

To get the worst of the dirt off the pool liner I sprayed it with my new replacement pressure sprayer. I had purchased one last May and by September some internal part had broken and I had to have it replaced. Fortunately Amazon replaced it even though it was a Warehouse model and had no warranty. But then I am a very good customer of theirs!

I was worried about the new one because the connector that came with it leaked pretty badly. I ended up just replacing it with a connector that I had on hand from an old unit. I also had to change the hose because it would not tighten enough. But once I got a leak free connection I was able to spray the worst dirt off the pool liner and frame.

Leaking hose connector
Leaking hose connector

The pool was so heavy that I used the riding lawnmower and wagon to carry it to the tarp on the lawn. There is already a trampoline set up there and a pool will be a great addition.

Trampoline
Trampoline

My son and I set up the pool on a lovely calm Sunday. I read that if the ground slopes and it’s too difficult to even it that instead the top rim of the pool can be leveled.

Leveling the pool rim
Leveling the pool rim

We used some of the rubber tiles to lift the legs on the low end. Once the pool was in place I took a large sponge and a white 3M scrubby and thoroughly cleaned the sides and bottom of the pool with Simple Green in warm water. But just as I finished the wind began to pick up gusting over 20 mph. The pool was at risk for being blown over and twisting or breaking the metal posts. I decided to stake the poles like a tent in a strong wind.

Poles on rubber tiles and staked
Poles on rubber tiles and staked

I had to run around looking for tent stakes and cord which for some reason was hard to find despite the fact that I have several tents. Every few minutes I needed to go back and straighten the poles so they would not blow in. After staking the tops of the poles the bottoms were sliding underneath the liner so I staked the bottoms too. I had to use old cloth lanyards to stake them as I could not find more cord.

I started running water into the pool using a hose attached to the freeze proof well pump. Unfortunately I found that the spigot was leaking badly so much of the water ended up at the well pipe. What did begin to fill the pool led me to discover there was a leak causing a puddle of water outside the low side of the pool. I finally turned the water off over night.

So the wind didn’t destroy the pool. The next morning I smoothed out the bottom of the pool where the water was holding the vinyl down. Eventually I found a hole on the floor of the pool and patched it with the vinyl patch that luckily works underwater.

Pool wrinkles
Pool wrinkles

I turned on the hose to fill the high side of the pool and the water was not flowing from the spigot. It was leaking pretty badly by this time so I tried to add a gasket and a pipe clamp over the leak. Unfortunately that stopped the leak but when I checked later the water was still running very slowly. I realized the vacuum breaker was probably broken. I had another one but it took me awhile to find it. By evening I went back out and removed the broken one and installed the new one and the hose started running again with no leaks at the spigot. So I left the hose on even though it was getting late.

Fortunately when I checked the puddles outside the pool they were drying up and it did not look like the pool was still leaking.

Leak fixed
Leak fixed

I ordered water for the pool and the spa and it should be here tomorrow. It looks like the pool is going to be fun this summer.

Pool set up
Pool set up
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