15 January, 2017

Last Friday For the Pool Project?

And, wouldn't you just know it, it's Friday the 13th. Must be my lucky day.

Any way, I thought I'd show you a detailed description of the pool valves.

Outgoing Valve Arrangement

First off, these three are all outgoing, that is, water flows from the pump house to the fittings, the spa jets - which finally, after all these years, really work well, and the two sets of 'eyeball' jets - the 3-eyeball set at the end, and the 2-eyeball set in the middle of the pool.

More Valves

Next, these are all incoming - water flows from the pool into the pump house.

Here's the newest valve - the main drain ball valve. That was just installed yesterday. Adjusting that valve with the Vacuum valve open allows Huey, the automatic vacuum to really zip around the pool and give it a good cleaning.

When the vacuum is working, the skimmer must be turned off. That's the function of the large three-way valve.

All the water from those fittings flows through the 2-Hp main pump

And Yet, More

The waterfall valves, there's two, the outlet one prevents water going to the waterfall. The other allows water to flow into the ½-Hp pump dedicated solely to the waterfall.

There is one other valve that isn't mentioned here. It's the one on top of the big filter. That valve controls backwashing - sending water and debris out the drain. It also controls rinsing the filter, as well as the normal day-to-day pool filtering.

The last thing of the project for Mario and crew, is for Bani, the electrician and plumber (he did the masterful arrangement of piping and valves in the pump house), to reroute the gate doorbell and transformer, so that we can begin to use some new equipment at the main gate.

Late-breaking news... Real news, not that fake stuff we're inundated with anymore. So, I found out from Mario that Bani is just Emanuel's nickname. That's right. His actual name is Emanuel. Who knew? I sure didn't.

Anyway, Emanuel, or Bani, or vice-versa, was going to show up Friday, to do the doorbell bit. That didn't happen. I know, that's just totally unheard of down here. I thought maybe, Saturday would do it and texted Mario to see if Bani was coming then. No, he doesn't work on Saturdays, and the reason he didn't reach on Friday was because of a family emergency.

So, now, we're rescheduled for Monday morning. Stay tuned for more late-breaking news on that front.

Enjoy your weekend.

12 January, 2017

Friday and the Project's Almost Done

You ever have one of those typical Belizean mornings? The kind, where you have, say, four stops on your list? I did, this morning.

First, I needed to get some cash, so I stopped and cashed a check, like I usually do.

Next, I wanted to go to You Have Mail, up on Seventh Avenue, just past the bus terminal. The little sign in the window from Wendell, the proprietor, said he'd be back around 9:30 AM - it was about two minutes past nine.

Instead of waiting for half an hour or so, I thought I'd cruise around and see if I could find the place where Carlos, our caretaker thought he remembered that they sold clay pots. No. Naturally, I couldn't find it.

So I swung around and decided to stop at Contour Cement Products. They have pots in the sizes I was looking for, but naturally, only display models with plants in them. He thought he could have some pots made up by Friday. I told him thanks and that I would stop by then.

Last on the list, Terrence, and the lawn mower. I'd been chasing this down for three or four days after the date he'd promised it would be done by. Again, this morning, it wasn't ready. Ok, I told Terrence I'd check back tomorrow or so.

Wow! Was that a lot of running around for nothing or what?

Giving up or giving in, I returned home and had a cup of tea. My phone chirped it's usual "Message for your Sir." from Monty Python. It was Terrence letting me know the mower was ready.

Wow, again! I jumped back in the wagon with the girls and we headed over to Terrences. Collecting the mower, I thought I'd break the hex and hit You have Mail once again. Be back at 9:30, eh? 10:45 and still no Wendell. Maybe another day. And, next time, I'll call first.

We're going to play bingo this afternoon for the dogs and cats - a fundraiser for the Corozal Animal Program (https://www.facebook.com/corozalanimalprogram/?ref=py_c). Maybe my luck will change... Wanna bet?

Let's see now. where are we with the project?

Flashing Installed Along Side House
Because of the tension of the shade cloth, the beam nearest the house bowed slightly. This normally wouldn't be a problem.

But, we had some high-ish winds just the other day, which blew a bunch of leaves onto the roof fabric from our Gumbo Limbo tree.

Normally, the leaves blow on and off the roof going from one side to the other. Not this day. The wind changed direction, and guess what? Those leave that normally blew off? Well, they blew off right down the space of the bow. Our nice covered deck looked like there was no roof on it at all.

What was the solution? An easy fix. Get some lengths of angled flashing and screw it into place. Now, no more leaves and no way for bugs to easily get in to the deck.

Grommets and Screws
Along the concrete beam, tensioning the roof fabric is no problem. As you can see in these two shots, the fabric lays nice and flat, even in a strong wind.

More Grommets and Screws
 All that holds the fabric now is grommets in the fabric and a corresponding screw into the concrete (or metal) of the chain. It makes a nice cover. There was no easy way to cover the gap with the fabric, so installing the flashing was a good workaround.

Before the Concrete Patch Goes In
Here's the area where the leaks appeared. It was water seeping behind the tiles of the waterfall that were also seeping through the porous block and creating a pool between the actual wall of the pump house and the sloped wall of the waterfall. Some holes drilled back through the sloped wall allow the seeping water to return to the pool without seeping through. We've had the waterfall running for a couple of days to make sure there is no more seepage. Now the cavity can be filled with concrete and all should be good to go.

Endher Smoothing the Patch
Endher applying the final coat of mud to finish the new patch.

Endher and Randy Checking the Work
Endher and Randy giving their work a final check before leaving for the day, giving the concrete a chance to dry enough to begin painting it and hide signs of a patch.

New Concrete/New Paint
New concrete boxing in the three pipes, which control in order from the left, the spa jets, the two pool side jets, and the three pool end jets. It's just waiting for a final coat of white paint.

 Wide Angle
Here's a view of the overall plumbing for the pool. All that has to be added now is a valve and unions so we can shut off the main floor drain. That way, when Huey needs to run around and really vacuum up a storm, shut the main drain off, open the skimmer. Since Huey now has his own port to plug into, we get more bang for our buck when vacuuming as the skimmer can work at the same time as Huey, since we don't have to plug Huey into the skimmer.

Our New Solar Cover
I almost got rid of the solar cover, but I'm glad I saved it. I replaced the old cover, a simple matter of detaching the old cover from the reel and attaching the new cover. Then you have to get in the pool with a pair of scissors and trim the cover to size.

An End Shot of the Cover
As you can see, the new cover is still suffering from wrinkle-osis. Once it's trimmed to proper size, that will eventually go away.

06 January, 2017

Thursday - It's A Warm One

Foggy, then warm... And there's still some repairs to be done. The peskiest is a couple of slow leaks in the wall of the pump house behind the waterfall

Endher and Rene Sleuthing the Leaks
Early on in the lead detection game. We knew we had a leak. Just what was causing it, and where was it?

Make Another Hole
About the only way to chase a leak down is to poke a hole in the wall and hope that you've guessed right.

Here Endher is punching another hole. They are being very neat and tidy with the work too, always a plus.

Checking For Drips

A series of small holes has become two rather large holes. All due to the detection process. Then spend some quality time looking for the drips.

Big Hole For A Little Leak
Now that they've opened up, pretty much straight across, Endher is looking intently for the leak.

Major Cavity
Here you can see the size of the holes. They're going to coat the pool-side wall and check in the morning. If they've captured the leak, then they will fill in the rest of the holes. A little paint and then done.

Best of Buddies
Couple of shots I caught this morning as the doggies were getting their morning meal. Bela (the doggie) is trying to eat her breakfast, but Noel is bound and determined that Bela needs assistance with the meal.

Hey! I'm Helping My Bud To Eat.
Another lucky shot. Noel is just trying to ensure that Bela gets all the nutrition she's supposed to receive.

Endher Explaining What's Next
The leaks have been isolated to two spots. So, what happens next is Endher will be coating the excavated wall with concrete, let it set till morning, check everything and backfill, casting the hole with concrete, then painting it.

The two spots are only leaking when the waterfall runs and for some time afterward due to seepage through the block. Once the seepage is stopped, problem solved.

Add caption
Now, on to my issue, the damned toilet. I've just siliconed the bolts that hold the tank to the bowl. Should be good to go, right? Guess again. When I added water to the tank, it leaked worse than ever.

Denis came over and looked at it with a flashlight. Now, we're thinking the problem is the big nut and part in the middle. So, tomorrow, take it apart, silicone the sh*t out of the middle bit, put it all back together, and hope we're good to go. I'll let you know.