Thursday, July 5, 2012

Owning a Home in St Thomas, USVI - Home Repairs - Pool Update

In my last update with the pool, we had left off with the pool being painted. After a successful week without rain, we let the new pool paint to dry and cure. Next step was to get the spaceship skimmer up and running. Apparently with the former owner, there was a line break in the original pool plumbing and in order to find that break, my guess is the entire deck would have to come up and the bottom of the pool jackhammered. So to avoid those costs the just cut and capped off the old plumbing and ran PVC to the old skimmer with 1.5 inch for the filter intake and two 3/4 inch return lines. The new skimmer is this floating spaceship skimmer which is attached to the 1.5 inch PVC with a hose. Unfortunately after an extensive Internet search there is no real replacement for this contraption.

So we found the correct adaptor for the hose at Budget Marine. Ok, now to install it, simply just screw on the adapter, right? Well yes, but the hose that was on there was so old in just snapped and cracked! We were supposed to be filling the pool that morning as the painters were to begin on repairing, cleaning and re-coating our cistern the next day (another blog post in of itself!). Off to Home Depot, they have hose but not another adaptor, so off to the other side of the island to Budget Marine! We got back around 3 PM and sorted the hose. Now time to start filling the pool!

As I mentioned before, this pool had been empty for 2+ years with a sump pump at the bottom. Well the pump will always leave about 3 inches of water in the bottom. This water became a tadpole sanctuary, which we didn't mind as they ate the mosquito larvae. As luck would have it the frogs returned as soon as we had water in the pool. The first night we counted 16 Cuban Tree Frogs in the pool having an orgy!

Come to find out these frogs are not native and an invasive species and if you can catch them you should kill them. After their first night return for their orgy, we went down to the pool in the morning and found the entire top of the water surface filled with eggs!

The next night we went on a hunt and caught seven of them and put them in a plastic ziplock. The most humane way to kill these frogs is to put them in your freezer. Yes the next morning we had frozen frogs in our freezer, anyone have a recipe for frog legs? Just kidding....after doing that one time, we decided that we are not good at that. We found if you just pour salt on them, they seem to go away, plus the chlorine in the pool seems to deter them.

Now after a day and a half of filling the pool from the cistern, it was time to take our first EVER swim in this pool that we have looked at all these years!

Ahhh! A nice 82 degree temperature to escape the heat of the day! A few more adjustments to the spaceship, string seems to be working. Chemicals, the water was low in alkalinity, so I raised that to acceptable standards, but the PH also went up. I took my time, by adding a little bit a day for the alkalinity and eventually the PH came down on its own. So far, so good! What a welcome addition to the house!

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