Last summer when covid meant no visiting beaches or other people’s pools, we decided to get a pool for our own yard. We got one of the Intex “East Set” pools which you plop in place and add water. Okay, actually there’s more involved including clearing the space where the pool will be of any rocks, installing a safety fence, and all of the associated maintenance. But it’s easier than most aboveground pools and much much cheaper than an inground pool. But even our small pool doesn’t warm up as much as we’d like. Sure, you want the pool to be refreshing, but not painful, bracing, or even exhilarating. And a cold pool is one that isn’t used much. Which makes even the low amount of money spent on the pool and fence and water look like a bad investment. So it doesn’t take long after the initial swim before you start thinking “there’s got to be a way to warm up the water”. In the end, I came up with a fix that worked really well for me, wasn’t too expensive, and actually did warm up the pool, at least enough to make it worthwhile. The full story follows the picture of the finished project.[ continue reading »» ]
The condensate pump for my HVAC systems gave out a couple of months ago. I went down to the basement and stepped in a puddle. It’s amazing how much water came from the HVAC system in just a day. I’ve never really liked this particular pump. It’s noisy and it has failed before – I’ve taken it apart to figure out what was wrong only to have it work again. It has a lever on the side where you can push down to manually activate the pump – to override the float sensor and I’ve needed to do that before. So as I sloshed through the puddle to the pump this time, I was surprised to find that the manual lever did nothing and that the power to the outlet was still on. I didn’t need much convincing to buy a new one. I got a new DiversiTech LCV-120 which has no mechanical float and is incredibly quiet. I really should have replaced the Little Giant with the DiversiTech at the first sign of problems years ago.
However, I don’t want to be without a condensate pump even for a little while so having a backup would be useful. And I’m considering making some sort of system where the DiversiTech is somewhat raised up and I have a second pump below it with some sort of battery back up to make sure there is never a problem again. And therefore, I set out to repair this thing – the pump that I hate, the Little Giant VCMX-20UL.[ continue reading »» ]
For a temporary pool, a temporary fence seemed ideal. There are a number of them on the market but only one seemed to have a solution for when the fence would run over grass, Pool Fence DIY. Granted, the grass solution isn’t nearly as good as a concrete solution. But when you consider the purpose of a pool fence is to protect small children from getting in a pool when they shouldn’t and that the fence is basically making an “attractive nuisance” unattractive, a temporary fence over grass will work fine for me. So I spec’ed it out using the Pool Fence DIY estimator and ordered it up. Here are my thoughts after it is now installed.[ continue reading »» ]
I recently moved my office in the house to a room that’s going to work better for me. I spent a lot of time working out the desk area and planning the desk surface and the chair area. It’s worth it to plan because my butt spends so much time parked here. The room was already carpeted and I didn’t really want to pull up the carpet – at least not at this time. I kind of like the sound deadening that comes with the carpet and the floor underneath is nothing great. But that meant I needed some sort of solution to having the chair roll around. I tried just on the carpet and as expected, the chair squished in. It was hard to move the chair and I was pretty certain the carpet would be wrecked within a few weeks.
It was a summer under siege by wildlife. We had all kids of critters causing all kinds of new issues. And it isn’t like we moved deep into the suburbs. We are still in our near-urban location with our same density of houses. (Sorry, but on the blog, no specific places to be named.) Yet the critters found us this year in great numbers. Here’s the roundup – as of November.