Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Official Proclamation from the Office of the King

I, King BTExpress, hereby declare the leak in the royal pool officially repaired! I further declare Me to be the bestest swimming pool fixer in all the land.

I found the reason the water was leaking out of the pool on Monday. The Sherlock Holmes in me told me the most likely place for the leak would be one, or both of the skimmers. That meant digging. I got the shovels and a small trowel and started work.

Here is a photograph, I think, that summarizes all the trials and tribulations I was subjected to in repairing the leak. For all of the gory details, keep reading.

Now for all of the gory details.

…But didn’t find the leak.

…And found very wet soil. This meant a leak around here somewhere. So I dug a little deeper and when I cleared the soil from under the skimmer. The soil was very wet and getting wetter.

I went inside and got the digital camera and took some pictures of under the skimmer. This is what I saw.

The leak couldn’t have been in a worse place. It was in the elbow directly under the bottom of the skimmer. Thank goodness for the digital camera. I could have never seen the leak without it. Well, I guess I could have hung upside down in the hole, but the camera was a whole lot easier.

As it was, I still had to dig quite a bit to make room for me down in the whole so I could fix the leak. So, the digging commenced and here’s the whole I wound up with.

I was curious how many cubic feet of dirt I had to remove form the hole so I did some calculations. First I measured the dimentions of the hole.

Then I multiplied the length by the width by the depth and then divided by 1,728. This gave me the result, which was 18.75 cubic feet. (And who said learning math in school was a waste of time?)

Anyway, back to the project at hand.

The hole was rapidly filling with water, so I sprang into action. (I really more like walked into action, but sprang sounds more “Super Hero” like) I drained as much water as I could by opening the cover of the filter pump, so in a minute or two, almost all the water had drained away stopping the leak. Then used a wet/dry shop vacuum to vacuum out the rest of the water from the bottom of the skimmers and the plumbing. I also put a pump in the pool to lower the water completely below the front of the skimmers.

I then got my digital camera and took some more pictures to get a clearer look at the problem. Here what I saw. (I even took a video, but don’t know how to post it here. If any of you could tell me how, I’d be much obliged.)

At first, I thought I could just patch the hole, but upon closer inspection, I saw that the seam had split approximately 250 degrees around the elbow.

Then I began talking to myself. “NO!!!! IT COULDN’T NEED JUST A PATCH, NOW COULD IT?!!!!! [Insert many curse words and tantruming here.] IT HAS TO BE A MAJOR REPAIR, DOESN’T IT?!!!!!!! [Insert more cursing and tantruming here.] NOW I HAVE TO [Insert the f-word expletive here] CUT THE [Insert the f-word expletive here] PIPE, WHICH IS A BIG [Insert the f-word expletive here] DEAL!!!!!”

Once I accepted the inevitable, I stopped talking to myself and took inventory of the parts and materials I’d require attempting the repair. Then it was off to the pool supply store. (I’ve been in there so many times in the last couple of weeks, that place is starting to feel like a second home) While I was out, I decided I’d go to the super market and to satisfy my craving for shrimp salad. You see, last week Lori told me she had a shrimp salad sandwich for lunch at work one day. Ever since then, I’ve had this craving for the shrimp salad. I figured since I had a lot of work a head of me, I need to built up my strength and besides, I deserved to treat myself to shrimp salad.

First I went to the pool supply store and spent more [Insert the f-word expletive here] money on this [Insert the f-word expletive here] pool. Then I stopped at the super market. The deli in the local Stop & Shop I went to has an excellent deli section. I bought ¾ pound of shrimp salad. Then I walked over to get a fresh roll and passed the seafood counter where I spied the stuffed salmon. It looked good, so I bought a piece for dinner. Now I needed to find something to go with the stuffed salmon so I went over to the frozen food section and found a package of green bean casserole and a package of twice baked potatoes. Then I went over to the bakery section where I got a fresh sesame seed roll. This store bakes everything fresh daily.

Next I was off to home to have lunch. [Insert the f-word expletive here] the work for now, I was hungry!

I made my sandwich and found a nice ice cold Corona beer tucked in the back of the refrigerator then sat down with a bag of chips and watched a movie. Don’t ask me what it was, because I don’t remember.

Once lunch was over, I gathered up the parts and materials I just bought and the tools I thought I would need and went outside. I climbed down into the hole to begin. This is the lower half of me standing in the hole.

Once I was in the hole, I commenced with the repair and did things in the following order (or about this order):
1. Cut pipe with hack saw as close to the cracked elbow as I could.
2. I tried like a mother [Insert the f-word expletive here] to get the elbow out but the mother [Insert the f-word expletive here] would only turn a quarter of a turn. [Insert many curse words and tantruming here.]
3. I tried lots, and lots of different wrenches to get that mother [Insert the f-word expletive here] elbow out until the elbow broke into numerous mother [Insert the f-word expletive here] pieces. [Insert many curse words and tantruming here too].
4. I went inside and got Lori’s blow dryer (Please don’t tell her I used it for this. I got it quite dirty. I cleaned it the best I could, so if none of you tell her, she might not notice.) (Thanks in advance for covering for an old friend)
5. After many tries and I have no idea how much [Insert the f-word expletive here] time, I finally got what was left of the elbow out of the skimmer.

Here’s what I spent all that time trying to do.

By now it was 5:15 PM and I had enough for one day, so I decided to call it quits and continue in the morning.

So, I got my ass out of that hole and went inside. I had a gin & tonic or eleven, took a shower, ate my stuffed salmon dinner, chatted on line with my love Lori and then went to bed. I was too tired to even masturbate if you can believe that.

The next day after I had my coffee, I went outside and made an inventory of what else I needed and picked it up at the pool supply store. (More money into the hole in my back yard.)

When I get back from the store, I had lunch before getting to work. I had the rest of the shrimp salad I bought yesterday on Arnold Oat-Nut toast, some potato chips and a nice ice-cold Corona beer. YUMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!

Time to get to work so back outside and back down into the hole I went. (Here’s where I tell you how to put this back together so pay attention in case you ever have to do this, okay?

1. Get the elbow and Permatex #2.

2. Smear a mess of Permatex all over the threads of the coupling. Make sure you go completely around and don’t be stingy with the Permatex.

3. Now look down into the skimmer and reach under the skimmer with the elbow and try to screw it into the threaded hole. If your like me, it’s going to take a few minutes to get the threads lined up, so be patient.

4. Screw it in snuggly, but hand tight only. Your going to need to reposition the elbow to align the new pipe, the coupling and the old pipe.

5. It should look something like this.

6. Next get the new piece of 1-1/2 inch pipe, the clear silicon RTV………

……..and six hose clamps.

7. Smear a generous quantity of RTV on the grovved area of the elbow. Make sure you go completely around. Don’t be stingy with this stuff either.

8. Slid the new piece of pipe over the elbow and then slide the six hose clamps over the pipe. Slide the hose clamps all the way up to get them out of the way for the next step.

9. Now take a hacksaw and cut each piece of pipe so the ends are even with each other. IMPORTANT: Cut as far away from the skimmer as possible.

They should look like this when you are done.

10. Next get the coupling and the RTV.

11. Smear a generous quantity of RTV all around one end of the coupling. Like I said twice already, make sure you go completely around and don’t be stingy.

12. Now shove the end of the coupling with the RTV on it into the end of the old pipe. If this is difficult to do, take the scrap piece of old pipe you cut off and beat the coupling into place.

13. Now smear RTV all around the end of the coupling sticking out of the pipe. You know the routine so I should have to say anymore.

14. Now the fun part. Put the end of the coupling into the short piece of pipe attached to the skimmer. (This part was a bitch-and-a-half to say the least)

15. Slide four of the hose clamps into position on each side of the coupling, two on each side. Tighten the hose clamps securely. Then smear a shit load of RTV in the gap between the pipes just because. My theory is the more the better.

16. Next tighten position the two remaining hose clamps over the end of the pipe on the elbow under the skimmer and tighten them.

Here’s what it looks like when your done.

Now the moment of truth! Does this repair leak?

17. Put the hose in the pool, turn on the water (Note: This step is critical) and fill the pool to it’s normal level.

18. Then just sit back and wait until the pool fills up with water. Well, not completely full. Just up to the normal level.

19. When the water begins filling the skimmers, look into the holes and see if the leak any water is leaking in.

20. Upon seeing no obvious leak, turn on the filter and let it run over night. Note: I figure that’s the worse case the repair will see, so if it’s going to leak, this should show it. Also note: Monitor pool level regularly until you don’t feel like it anymore or you pass out drunk from celebrating that, hopefully, your done working on this bloody pool.

Your almost done.

21. Now pack up all your shit, uh, tools and such. Note: Optional to do what I did. I went inside and drank numerous gin & tonics as my way of celebrating a job well done, showered, ate dinner and chatted with my love on line. Note: I was too tired to masturbate last night too. That’s two days in a row I didn’t masturbate and I getting cranky!


As soon as I got up today, I ran, lickity split (okay I walked, but lickity split sounds like I was in a hurry) outside to check the pool water level and was excited to see the water level was right where it was yesterday.


Now I just have to put the dirt back where it belongs, clean up, and move on to my next project, reinstalling the pool light I fixed yesterday. Putting the light back is one project I’m really looking forward to, because it means I have to go in the water to do it. Anyone want to come over and help me? I’ll even let you turn the screwdriver.


Wenchy said...

I second that. YOU ARE KING!

Beth said...

You're such a stud!

Now, show me your crack again.

mrs. m said...

I was about to volunteer as your helper when I realized you said "turn" the screwdriver, not "I'll make you a Screwdriver to drink poolside".

Belle of Madison said...

Someone has a lot of time on his hands now that he's retired!

barman said...

Tony you are my hero ... well I mean, uh you see ... uh. Good job Tony. I love the way you document these things. I am not sure I would have the patients to do all that. So I never asked, you weren't a engineer when you were working, where you?

Blondie... said...

thank goodness it is fixed but hell, my head almost exploded with the math...


Lets take a bit skinny dip together!

No One In Particular said...

Yeah, what's with all the math? haha

So glad to hear the leak is all fixed! I hope one of the steps in fixing the pool light is turning off the power before getting in the pool with it!

Anonymous said...

todays sites drive me crazy! I was looking for Signed Photo and found another scraper site like this Signed Photo