Pool opening

With the unseasonably warm weather this week, perhaps it time to start thinking about routine Spring maintenance. It never hurts to start early so those inevitable surprises cannot delay planned pool opening.

My initial checks include:

  • inspect pool tiles, surroundings and gutters for signs of ice or freeze damage;
  • check pump room for pipe leaks or leaky valves;
  • open sand filters and check sand quality and level;
  • open DE filters and check integrity of the grids;
  • open cartridge filters and check cartridges for damage or wear;
  • check/ run pool pump to ensure well-lubricated bearings and silent operation;
  • check transformers and power supplies for water damage or corroded terminals;
  • inspect fuse box and ensure operability of trip switches and earth leakage units;
  • make preliminary inspection of pool lights and determine lamps that need replacing;
  • ensure the pool water is still in pristine condition with no trace of algae.

Any major problems discovered now can be comfortably dealt with well in advance of the swimming season, when pool service is both hard to get and rushed.

Brittle PVC pipe fixtures

Once again we had a battle with a Baker Hydro sand filter leaking from the threaded adaptor at the bulkhead. We get called out for the same filter problem several times a year despite the relative rarity of Baker Hydro filters.

The walls of the adapter are made paper thin to accomodate a sunken o-ring and tend to perish and disintegrate after a few years. Unscrewing the bulkhead collar once or twice is even enough to cause the adapter to start breaking.Old sand filter

Parts are not easily accessible and we tend to get the odd parts custom turned in stainless steel, which will never let us down. We figure the original only lasts a few years anyway so get it repaired once and it’s fixed for good (or at least until the filter dies). The pair of collars we had made for this filter cost us around $30, which is not much more than we would have paid if we had bought original PVC parts and added in the shipping.

We can even recycle the stainless steel parts after the sand filter is laid to rest – a good buffing and they’re ready for the next repair job. The end result? The filter will keep going for a few more years and when the bulkhead adapter breaks, it’s into the filter graveyard and time to replace it with a filter that is more tolerant of generic parts.

We are certainly not fans of Baker Hydro sand filters.