Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pool Trivia

The standard pool brush, which I mentioned & illustrated in a previous post, does not quite clean into the edges & corners of the pool.
So you get a nice blue pool with less-nice dark lines in all the corners.
I haven't seen any devices on sale to handle this problem, except some brushes have bristles which wrap round more or less at the ends.
Mostly less than the one I use.

In the early days, we tried a hand-held sponge to clean the corners of the steps & even, by diving, some of the bottom corners.
This was more amusing than practical.
Next, we found a (new) loo brush was more convenient than the sponge, but still not ideal for the deeper bits.
It was fairly logical to see that the loo brush, attached to the telescopic pole used for the other brush & net etc, would be a good answer.
Some, but not all, loo brushes will insert into the pole OK, but will of course drop out if not retained.
All sorts of solutions can be imagined for retaining, including screws, clips, wedges, string, tape, velcro etc.
My junk box yielded a couple of bits of rubber, which allow the brush to be inserted & removed easily but provide enough resistance to stop it dropping out.
It's not terribly elegant, but it works very well.

The pool was supplied with a floating thermometer.
Which could usually be found under the cover when you wanted to know whether the pool was warm enough to take the cover off or not.
Or floating insolently in the middle of the pool so you needed to fish it out with the net to see the temperature.
Or getting in the way when swimming.
I tried attaching it with a cord, which was better, but it still got in the way.
The best solution so far has been to attach the thermometer to the skimmer surround with adhesive-backed Velcro.
Using a decent-sized patch of Velcro, the thermometer is not dislodged by normal pool agitation.
You always know where it is & it is easy to remove & replace, from in or out of the pool, cover on or off.
You have to know to peel the velcro open – if you pull the thermometer horizontally, you can unclip the skimmer surround (not a big problem – it clips back on OK).
The Velcro needs replacing every 2 or 3 years.

In parallel, I use an old digital thermometer to read the temperature of the water where it comes into the house to be filtered & pumped.
I actually used the inlet from the bottom drain rather than the skimmers, so it is usable summer & winter.
I didn't want to create a potential leak by drilling into the plastic pipes, and in any case the sensor is a thick disc shape which would need a big hole, so I just stuck the sensor to the outside of the pipe, then wrapped a lot of insulation all round it & several inches up & down the pipe.
That way, I think I am near enough to reading the temperature of the water inside the pipe.
OK, it's not the "exact" pool temperature (whatever that is – top? bottom? sunny? shady?) but it is very stable, reaches its stabilized reading (to 1/10 degree) within about 5 minutes after turning the pump on, and is generally 1-2°C cooler than the floating thermometer, presumably showing the true temperature at the bottom of the pool.
This device is extremely convenient for surveying pool temperature all year round & in all weathers, even when the winter cover & lowered water level make the floating thermometer inaccessible.

Parting thot: "The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us." – Paul Valery

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