The Pool Shed

This pool opening went bad fast.

rusty doorknob

What’s behind this door changed this family’s whole summer.

Just a regular stop on a regular spring morning.

My helper and I arrived on time.
This was a modest home in an old working class neighborhood
A 16 x 32 vinyl kit pool, about 25 years old.
I checked in at the front door and we went right to work.

The cover was clean and dry, a good sign.
My helper went right to work pulling water tubes.
My routine was to locate the pool equipment and begin to test and summerize.
The equipment is generally placed near the house.
I looked around and no equipment.

I turned and realized the shed near the fence was the pool house.
I saw that door knob before and assumed it was simply a shed.

As I approached the shed I could smell the chlorine.
The door hinges were in worse condition than the door knob.
Oh Boy.

The big reveal.

I told my guy to stop working as I went to get the homeowner.
I learned early on in business if the customer can witness the bad news at the same time as you, it’s easier for them to accept.

This lady had no idea what was about to happen. I did.
I had grabbed a screwdriver on my way to call her outside.
I asked permission before every move I made.
My I open the shed now?
The knob came off in my hand.

With my screwdriver I pried the latch back and slowly started to open the door.
Both hinges snapped and turned to dust. I let the hollow core door fall and it turned to dust.
The pool owner still did not get how bad this was.

I could see the 100# drum of calcium hypochlorite, open with the lid on the floor.
The shed was damp inside and wreaked of chlorine.
As we let it air out a bit I pointed out the chlorine drum.
I also pointed out I would have to move the lawn mower and other things to access the pool pump and filter.

I could have just said everything in this building is junk.

It still wasn’t soaking in.
Her yeah so what attitude was starting to bug me.

May I move your lawn mower now?
With a stupid look at me… “yes”.
I gently took the handle and pulled it off the mower and handed it to her.
Where it attached to the mower was no longer there.
Now she she was coming around.

The base of the mower where it was grabbed to drag it out, broke off in my hand.
I then pushed it out with my feet.
The pump was in two pieces, the stainless steel band corroded away.
The gauge on the filter was gone, mostly.
I opened the breaker box and it all fell away except the connections.

No vacation, no staycation.

Ma’am right now your major problem is you need an electrician to make this building safe.
Then you need to make a few decisions, all of which will cost a pretty penny.

We’re gone, no charge.
Call me if you get to where want to open the pool.
With the obvious repairs needed and the pool opening you’re looking at $1,200 to $1,500, that’s after the electrical repairs.

What happened here?

Chlorine gas did this.
Chlorine is a gas.
When in a dry state it’s moisture that releases it.
If you see a green color in solid chlorine the gas is present and you should not be there.

I am a firm believer in storing pool chemicals in heavy duty plastic containers placed outside.
That says containers, as in plural.
The tabs and granular don’t go together except under water.
But that rant is another article.

Monday is NOT my favorite day.

Mister B.

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