September 30, 2012

In praise of little suckers... and physics

Um, yeah (giggle)... now that I have your attention. I'd like to talk about the work involved in draining a pool. Quoting a funny, albeit fictional, physicist... Bazinga. Bet you didn't see that one coming. Get you mind out of the gutter.

It is the end of the season and it is time to put the pool away.  I like getting the pool out and putting it up for the season but putting it away is nice too.

Typically running the heater anytime past the end of August is like throwing money out the window. We kept the heater on until September 9th this year and did well to use it most days through the summer.

Finn and Grandpa Bob in the pool
on the last day of heat.
Pool temp 28C.
 I think we turned off the heater right after they got out of the pool and not even two days later the temperature had dropped to:

Yowzers! How's that for heat loss?!
 Now, in years past we have drained the pool, with jet pump and hose, through our fence into one of the many empty adjacent lots. But now all the lots are filled. I am sure that although our new neighbours are trying to water all of their new sod that they would not appreciate 40,000L of chemical-ed water being drained into their yard.

Scott pulled out our trusty jet pump and tried to use that to drain the pool. He bought 100ft of hose to drain the water to the front street. But after several hours of pumping the level in the pool had not moved by more than a 1/2".  I think we actually may have lost more to evaporation than by the pump.
Before AND After picture using the jet pump.
Scott couldn't get the pump apart to see if there was an abnormally large bug or small pool toy stuck in the impeller. Consultation with our pump expert, Dave, netted only the advice to take it apart. Pry it apart with a screwdriver, he advised. Although that was sound advice and, was tried, we thought we'd stop before Scott ended up bleeding. (Isn't that how all these stories end?) So we moved quickly to Plan B.

Plan B: New submersible pump!
Don't judge me on the cleanliness of my pool.
This little sucker worked like a dream. We had water flowing down the driveway in seconds and didn't have to freeze our arms to the elbow fussing with the hose under the very cold water.

We turned off the pump at bedtime, after having only run for a few hours, not wanting it to run through the night but we had enough suction going that it continued to drain because the water level of the pool was higher than the drain hose. Hydraulic head rocks! So we woke the next morning to an essentially empty pool.

That left all the hard work and heavy lifting for today. It went smoothly. After 4 or 5 years of putting this same $500 Costco pool I say we are getting pretty good at it. We'll see if this puppy can last one more summer. However, both Scott and I came inside afterwards and had a nap. My arms currently feel like they are made of lead.

What pool?! Can't prove we have a pool.
We had a great summer and we are looking forward to seeing what fall brings!

1 comment:

  1. Jen, We have a submersable pump you could have borrowed. Glad it went well.