We’ve finally started to settle down from the busy real estate season so I thought I would share a recent inspection report. We charge $125 to perform a pool inspection and that includes visual inspection and condition report for the pool and all associated equipment. We know pools and can verify that all plumbing, equipment, computers, valves (including automatic) are working properly.
We test all the normal parameters of water chemistry and apply our experience to tell you how it most likely got that way, and how to fix it if necessary. Although water chemistry can sometimes indicate a leak, we do not include a leak detection in the inspection, though we can arrange for one for you if necessary. We can dye test suspected cracks within arms length of the water’s edge.
All deficiencies that we note come with an estimate of the cost to repair or replace, and a suggestion of which one makes more sense. You can then take our honest assessment and figure out what makes the most sense for you.
At the equipment, we move all diverter valves, test the heater, blower, pumps, chillers, etc. We do not disturb the backwash valve because if it’s been awhile since it’s been used it’s often difficult to get them back into position where they won’t leak. We do ascertain if the backwash valve is leaking. We also check that we are getting good flow from all of the suction lines.
If you have any questions, or would like to arrange for your own pool inspection, please call me at 214-989-3888.
North Texas Pool Inspection Bierstadt Dr Plano for publication
Today’s post covers how to replace the gaskets around a light fixture in a fiberglass pool. The same process applies to vinyl pools but you’ll have to be careful about the placement of the liner in the repair. You will definitely want to consult the installation manual.
One thing right off the bat is when you start to look at doing this repair, you will want to note if you have the 8-hole fixture or the 10-hole fixture. You can see that this fixture is 10 holes / screws. In this picture you can see that a former company put a bunch of hard drying epoxy type substance in an attempt to keep the thing from leaking, so all that had to come off first before we could get a good seal with the new gasket.
The new gasket is a totally different material than the old ones. The new kits come with both the vinyl thick gasket and a couple of the cork/fabric type. There is no way to retrofit the foam type of gasket in an existing installation because you need to remove the fixture and line up the front and back pieces. What I am doing here is pulling out the remainder of the old gasket (poking out the sides) while wrapping the fixture in the new gasket, starting at the top. You must keep at least 2 bolts always attached to the rear ring (behind the fiberglass wall of the pool) because if not there is the chance of that ring sliding and you not being able to reattach it. Note also that all the old epoxy and black goopy stuff has been removed.
Finally, once the new gasket has been put on, you need to install the chrome ring. The chrome ring is what the light fixture actually attaches too. You have to take the fixture apart because the fixture ring is larger than the chrome ring. When doing this I noticed the nut on the light fixture was almost totally disintegrated. When I grabbed it with the pliers it just fell apart. Chemical maintenance becomes critical in older fiberglass pools as the lining starts leach into the pool water. I do not profess to know the chemistry behind this, but I’ve seen it a couple times now. The pool water here was so acidic a little cut on my finger started to really burn when submerged. A little trick for the chrome ring, I bought longer SS bolts of the same size as the existing bolts. This allowed me to replace a couple bolts holding the chrome ring to the retaining ring behind the wall. With that secure I could take out all the other ones without worrying about the retaining ring getting away from me. Once you have all the normal bolts in place you can remove the long ones and put the originals back in. The end result looked very nice I thought. If we can help you with leaking fixtures, leaks in general, or just general pool questions, give us a call at 214-989-3888.
One way for customers to update the look of their pools and backyard without spending a
fortune is to replace cantilever decks with flagstone coping. Cantilever decks were popular years ago, but almost all pools being built these days have true stone or brick coping. Coping is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also reduces the chance of having shifting soil around the pool area result in sections of tile cracking or coming all the way off the tile line. The break between the deck and the coping stones allows the ground to move a bit without damaging the tile.
On this job, the first step is to saw cut the first 12″ of the deck away and remove that section of decking to make room for the coping stone to come. Once the deck around the pool is removed, we sawcut under the tile and remove the tile. The saw cut under the tile is to avoid damage to the plaster as the tile is removed.
The mortar bed for the tile is rebuilt and repaired where necessary and the tile installed. The coping stones are selected by the mason for best fit and cut and shaped as needed. In the picture to the left, all the tile has been installed and most of the coping stones have been test fitted and removed in preparation for final fitting and leveling in a mortar bed. In the picture to the right, the next day, most of the coping has now been set and only the spa work remains.
Finally the final stone work on the spa is completed and the pool begins to fill. This project took about 5 days total. We needed to use a little bit thicker stone (2.5″) due to the thickness of the deck and the angle to the tile line. We still need to followup when the pool fills the rest of the way to balance chemicals and I’ll take some final pictures to share then.
I was on with tech support with Pentair today troubleshooting a Minimax NT heater that had suddenly stopped working. The Minimax NT was throwing an “-ERR” error code. It could only be one of two things. Continue reading
This is the most common problem with pools this time of year. New customers will call and say the pool was fine all winter with no issues, and almost overnight the pool has turned an impenetrable pea soup color. What has usually happened is that the pool has actually had problems through the winter, either with filtration or chemical balance, and it’s only as the temperature warms up or a storm dumps a lot of organic matter in, that the pool suddenly spirals out of control. Continue reading
With the recent freeze, several Dallas area pool owners have had the unfortunate circumstance of having to replace their filters due to cracked filter bodies. In many cases it’s not economically feasible to repair the filter which leaves the customer with the choice of which type of filter to go back with.
In order to intelligently discuss what type is better, you need to have a little understanding about how each filter type works. Continue reading
Spent a hectic day sliding around town trying to help customers from Rockwall to Plano and Richardson. I thought it would make sense to talk about some things you can do on your own if you find yourself facing a frozen/freezing pool. Continue reading
Today was a busy day trying to get a few remaining repairs done before the hard freeze hits tomorrow morning. They are predicting that the roads will be a mess fairly early so our ability to dispatch during the day will be pretty minimal. If you do find yourself with freezing equipment, the best thing to do is get it running and keep it running for the duration of the freeze event. Continue reading
We recently were called to a customer’s site when the tenant tried to use the heater and it wouldn’t stay lit. This was an older heater that had a bit of rust and soot build up in the heat exchanger. We tested the pressure of the gas coming in to the heater and it was well below the required 4.0 WC” while the heater was fired so the first thing that we needed to do was have a plumber come correct the clogged up gas line. Continue reading