Another weekend, another bit of progress on the pumphouse
The central task was to work out the sliding door/gate
situation. I decided to match the rest of the yard permiter with 7-1/2" fence planks. 2x4s joined by brackets made up the frame. The pump-side slider is done, the other side is just a frame at the moment. Finishing them and mounting them to the tracks should be a weekday task.
A few more odd jobs, left to right:
- Since the post footers were on the embankment, I did a second pour on their downhill side. This one included rebar driven 5' down and cinder blocks. Post mix concrete was fine for me since I intend to cover them with soil.
- The solar system came with a diverter and tee junctions, all threaded. Disappointingly, even with a lot of torque and teflon tape, they leaked. So I replaced these with standard, glue-in parts.
- I sawed a channel into a 2x4 to make mounts for the rebar guards for the solar grid. Next step will be to attach them to the roof. I really do hate to put so many holes in my awesome shingling job, roofing sealant nonwithstanding.
- I wasn't happy with the tree trimmer options at the hardware store, so I'm going to see if a 16' 2x2 and sawzall blade (with retaining bolt) will work.
So when I left off
, the pump house foundation and frame was in place. Plumbing required the solar to be in place, solar required a thing to be put on, so the next step was roofing
. It was all pretty straightforward: flush the tiles up to the features below, nail on the line, etc.
One future subtask will be to put rebar guards up over the panels in case a heavy branch comes down.
Now piping could proceed
. Since I had in-ground posts as well as decades-old pvc coming out of the concrete, I decided to clean off the area (muriatic acid ftw) and lay down some epoxy to fill any cracks. Then there was quite a bit of pvc work.
I'm hoping for the best with the new DE filter, but I can say the valve is a huge improvement
on the previous setup. As I mentioned previously, the fact that it is not integrated with the filter canister is very nice. And in comparison to the two flow options (return/backwash), this one has:
- Backwash (with a window so you can see when it's clear)
- Rinse (some post-backwash step)
- Dump straight to the waste pipe
- Bypass the filter (great for testing new pvc work)
- And I can't remember the sixth, ummm let's just say self-destruct
The next step was to re-enclose the yard
using something other than the plywood seen above. Though I haven't completely figured this one out, the first step is to put up sliding door hardware
. The master plan is to have two sliding panels, a solid one to enclose the pump house and a fence-y one to gate the hill behind the yard.
I found good sliding track
options at McMaster-Carr. Even the lightest-duty models feel industrial-grade and are the right materials to handle the outdoors. Now to find doors for them.
It appears the pool
has been conspiring with the pump equipment - no sooner do I complete the post-epoxy fill than the DE filter starts leaking
. Doubly-so, it's leaking through both the backwash pipe and the backwash valve spindle. All told, the filter has had a good run, but in comparison to current models it's a shame that the backwash valve is part of the filter rather than a separate piece
Cue the cascade of, "If I'm doing ______, I might as well do _______."
I had already removed the facade of the pumphouse since the original builders had mixed pressure treated posts with normal doug fir. So most of the enclosure was swiss cheese. Removing the rest of the fencing wasn't challenging.
One of the OG posts could actually be saved, though I had to cut it to about four feet. Using a crowbar and shop vac, I cleaned out the post holes in the slab and sledged in some replacement posts. Though termites were an issue for the enclosure in general, the posts here primarily succumbed to water damage
. Hopefully a roof and a layer of concrete epoxy will keep water from seeping into the post holes.
The rear posts were just stuck in the dirt. Since this section is on an incline, digging a decent post hole was a bit problematic
. For one post I sunk a concrete pier that had a built-in bracket. For the other I stuck a fencepost stake at the bottom of the hole and, again, concrete. For each I topped the mortar off with a cinderblock to keep the post above the waterline.
Since I had the fence cleared out and didn't want any unplanned fireballs, I replaced the insanely-long, unsupported gas piping
with a valve adjoining the ground pipe. Maybe there's another gas heater in the future. Or a meat smoker. Or tiki torches.
With the foundation elements in place, I built up the pump enclosure
and what will the the frame for the replacement fence (gate?).
The enclosure definitely needed to be replaced, but this was also to support the installation of a solar heating grid
. A heating solution seemed appropriate as I had removed the gas unit and was looking at a bunch of pvc work anyway. Of course, solar isn't particularly useful without sunlight, so I spent the better part of a couple evenings climbing/sawzalling.
So, leaky filter handle -> chopping down tree limbs.
Job not done, to be continued.