Tuesday, July 7, 2015

DIY In-Ground Pool Repair: Part I–Safety

I mentioned not too long ago that we we have been working away on our pool area. I am so happy to report that it is finally done! We started the actual pool work in May and finished just days ago, so it’s been quite a haul. But a necessary odyssey to keep the pool in working order, so it was well worth the effort (Herculean) and the cost (not so much because we did it all ourselves). I am going to post a series about what exactly we did, in case anyone out there finds themselves in a similar situation (read: you have a pool, limited funds, and the time to repair it yourself).

First up (just like it should be) is safety. Pool safety. Michigan pool law requires a) a safety cover, b) a 4’+ high approved pool fence separating the pool from the house, and/or c) alarms on every house door opening into the pool area. The safety cover that came with our pool was probably wonderful when it worked, but the material cover was breaking down and it would often jam while deploying or retracting last year (our first year here). The price tag for a replacement safety cover would have been in the vicinity of $8000, so we chose a different option.

Here are some pictures of the deck as the cover retracts (and my kids, eagerly wanting to swim in their “new” pool for the first time last year):

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((You can see how obtrusive the box is, and how little room there is at the step end of the pool. Looking at these pictures makes me so happy we changed that.))

I did some research and learned that the most likely drowning victim is male, age 2-4 years, who lives in the residence with the pool. Since I have a person of that exact description in my care, I wanted to be darn sure he’s safe. Alarms were out… I don’t know how that would allow me to keep my sanity while policing the comings and goings of 4 kids who like the backyard.

So, last Fall, Tim planned, bought, and installed a section of pool fence with 2 gates to separate the pool from the house. He planned it so that we have to option to extend the fence around to replace the existing wooden fence  as needed. Having someone else install the fence would have doubled its cost, and he made it look easy.

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Then this Spring he painstakingly removed the safety cover and its deck box to prepare for the rest of the repairs. This really opened up the far end of the pool, improving flow and the look of the place. We now use a clear bubble cover for heat retention, and it is so much easier and less stressful than a breaking down automatic cover. And inexpensive. And unobtrusive (comparably).

Other upcoming pool repair posts can be found here (links to be added when all posts are up):

  • Replacing fallen tiles
  • Repairing crumbling concrete
  • Replacing old cracked caulk on a pool deck
  • Staining a pool deck

1 comment:

jowdjbrown said...

The price tag for a replacement safety cover would have been in the vicinity of $8000, so we chose a different option.John