As I sit here working once again it comes into my mind as usual how many times I re-state OVER, and OVER again the same issues in the report I write for these potential home owners so I thought I would just take this opportunity over the coming weeks and months to shed some light on the usual suspects.
I am thinking it may be easiest to break it down into sections and just “divide and conquer” so to speak. There are a few ways I could go about this, I think the most direct would be to break it down into what I would consider the most potentially hazardous to least hazardous, the other direction I can see making sense is simply breaking it down into different systems, for example Pool, Electrical, Roofing, etc. Since I am slightly OCD when it comes to this type of thing I think I will just separate it out system by system so I can wrap my head around these a little easier.
Lets start with what I believe is the most mythical creature of all in the metro phoenix area, the illusive and often times sadistic swimming pool. I find it pretty unbelievable that in a town with this many pools (I am pretty sure this is the only town where there are more swimming pools than there are green lawns) there are surprisingly few folks that I run into that actually have even the slightest idea on the common maintenance requirements/ potential concerns and safety hazards that come along with owning a pool. Sure I get the occasional home owner who has maintained their own pools and have a general understanding of the location of the pump and skimmer baskets and even have dabbled in the art of swimming pool chemical balance (100 level class) and may even have cleaned out a filter or lubed up some o-rings; but the vast majority of clients that I speak with simply hope to either hire someone to take care of the pool for them, or state something along the lines of “I guess I will have to google that”, or even more concerning is the ones who are hoping youtube will have all the answers that they seek. YIKES. So here I sit, with all this knowledge just leaking out of my brain on a daily basis and there you are most likely having virtually little to no knowledge on this subject, I think it’s time to start leveling the playing field.
How to not have your internal organs sucked out of you like jamba juice through a straw!
I wish I had a dollar for every person who has expressed concern over the potential entrapment concerns of swimming pool drains, not that this is not a concern and I am certainly not trying to downplay the issues associated with entrapment hazards, but the plain fact of the matter is that most of the drains at the bottom of the pools are not even connected directly to the pumps, and of those that are they are typically connected to same line that pulls water through the skimmers and are typically not pulling that much water through the drains. There is however one commonly overlooked and EXTREMELY dangerous opening in many of the pools I inspect. The DEDICATED VACUUM PORT is a pretty common option chosen by home owners that goes un-noticed, unmaintained and often times neglected.
Here is an example of these ports that has one of the most common problems-
Below is an example of a functional vacuum port and operational cover-
The safety concerns here are simple, the proper “rated” type covers
a. Properly thread into the opening at the wall.
b. Have a spring loaded self closing cover installed.
c. Latch and seal to help reduce the risk of a small child opening.
Safety is so important when it comes to pools and forgive me if I get all serious here for a moment, but it only takes a few seconds for children or adults to be seriously injured or even killed. So please take a few moments, look around you pool area and just pay attention; most of the injuries that occur in and around homes could be so easily identified and avoided with just even the smallest amount of preventative maintenance and diligence.
I will be posting a video in the next few days showing you exactly how easy it is to replace one of these covers and as always, feel free to comment below or send me any questions you may have. Stay safe out there!