06 February, 2017

Waiting For the Warm

Thanks for the prod, Julian. I appreciate it. It's always amazing just how quickly time slips away here in paradise. Especially watching the developments up north. My jaw is still agape. Well, that's enough of the political doody here. I'll save that for Facebook or heaven forbid, Twitter.

Here we are, the pool project is all done. Everything works better than expected. Everything, that is except for the warm weather and water.

It really isn't all that bad. Yesterday, I was in the pool for a good hour. The temperature was a brisk 78°(f). Now, I know for you folks up north (like Billy Waldon in Oregon) 78 would be great, but for us down here in paradise, 78 is just a hair above freezing.

I do have the beginning of a solar pool heater (the pump, solar panel to power the pump, and the frame to hold the panel). What I don't have yet is the actual heating stuff.

Originally, I was planning to use ½" black vinyl tubing. My friend, David Wright, has tried that and was able to raise his pool temp by only one- or two-degrees. Close, but not quite enough. So, I've been looking at other alternatives.

Neither one of us needs to make 'hot' water like you would want for washing dishes. We just need to raise the water temp about five or six degrees to get it up to about 84°(f). We both have solar powered pump and panel. What I'm thinking of using is a set up similar to the photo below.

Changes For the Pool?
Only, not on the ground. I have the room up on our flat roof over the kitchen to run a twenty-foot length of this system. I'd have to get some sort of frame constructed to hold it at the proper angle (roughly 12-13° from horizontal), but everything else is ready to go. Inlet and outlet from the pool are already in place to the pump house, where the pump will be installed, I'd only have to run piping to the kitchen roof. I think that would supply enough warm water for my purposes.

It would also be fairly economical to do. After all, it is still experimental at this stage. Stay tuned.

Little Noel Growing Up
On to other subjects, like our new little kitty, Noel. She's really not so little anymore. As you can see from this photo, she and Nelson have pretty much completed her training to be a grown up kitty. Just a few days ago, she finally figured out how to use the kitty and doggy doors (we have five, believe it or not). Once that happened, she's been unstoppable.

In fact, this morning, Carlos, our caretaker, told Dianna that he saw her catch and kill a fairly good-sized bird. No longer a kitten, I guess.

Further evidence that she's growing up is that she weighs a bit more than five pounds, so we made an appointment with Dr. Sheila for tomorrow to get her spayed.

Another small project I've got going on is our circular staircase steps. For whatever reason, the angle iron of the steps is actually upside down. It's uncomfortable enough to climb up the stairs, but it's really uncomfortable to come back down.

I was looking for a solution, thinking about using one-inch thick wood inserted. That would look really cool for a while, but it would also require frequent varnishing, and would probably be slick, not the most desirable feature in stairs.

Denis and I had gone to Contour Concrete Products the other day to pick up some pots for plants, That got me to thinking after I got home. I wonder if I could get something cast in concrete that would work, and that was affordable.

Next time I went to Contour, I asked Ruel Hall, the proprietor, if that was something he might be able to do. I had come up with a template in plywood to give him an example. Below, is what he came up with a couple of days later.

Changes For the Steps
It's only ¾" thick with some chicken wire embedded for strength. It might work, but I decided thicker would be better. I've asked him to make them about 1½" thick, and resize them to better fit the space. Ruel also suggested that he might try ¼" rebar for additional strength. I'm hoping to get a sample done this afternoon or tomorrow.

If that is a go, however long it takes Ruel to make eleven more inserts and that project will be done. I think that's a great solution. It also won't be a problem in hurricane season like wood potentially could be.

One last thing, before I forget. Colleen and Bruce have started construction (using Mario, who was our contractor) of their new house in Ranchito. Colleen has also started a new blog, at long last, titled Rent They Said ( She's doing some looking back in time, but plans to chronical their construction experience. Should be fun to follow.

1 comment:

Wilma said...

The pool is gorgeous! The cats are precious! Life looks good. I stay off Facebook these days - I just can't take it very often.