Saturday, April 27, 2013

Preventative Work At The Bamboo Lagoon

While out working on the pool yesterday, I discovered that the wasp/yellowjacket population is already trying to get out of hand. I haven't found but one or two nests (which were immediately sprayed and destroyed), but there is a weed in the backyard that kind of looks like a pea plant and there are tons of wasps on them.

So yesterday, I bought two wasp/yellowjacket traps to hang in the backyard so I can get them under control before they take over. It has gotten so warm here so fast, that some things feel like I am already behind...but I am hoping that we get a lot of rain in May. If we don't, we will be hurting so bad for water later in the summer.

Anyhow, so I put out those traps this morning, and also set a bomb off under our front porch (where the spiders like to live) so I can work under there later this week. I have to put in some joist hangers as well as put in some ventilation holes and I don't want to be worried about black widows.

I watered a bunch of stuff that was in the shade and then got up on the roof so I could check the upper portion of the solar panels (which look great). I haven't tested them yet...still waiting for it to warm up just a bit more.

I want to get out and take all those pea looking weeds out, but I can't tackle it while the bees are out there, so I might have to see how the traps do and try to get to them when I see not as many bees. I don't want them going to seed so I need to do it before the flowers are gone, that is for sure.

I bought some 3 mil black plastic yesterday to lay down along the backside of the pool in a row that I don't want anything to grow in. It just creates a bunch of weeds right near the pool so I want to cover it up and hope that I can kill it all off, then treat it with vinegar and see if I can keep it clear.

As always, a ton to work on...and it never ends.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pool Maintenance

Multiport valve on pool pump/filter
Last year, it became evident that there was something going on with the multiport valve on the pool pump/filter. This made it so that I pretty much didn't vacuum, backwash or rinse for the last 1/2 of the season because getting the pool to stop draining was an ordeal. I managed to keep the pool pretty clean with filtering, brushing, skimming and scooping, but it is not how I want this season to be.

I dreaded doing this fix because I was sure it was going to be super hard (to get parts, and to do the actual fixing). I prepped by taking pics of the multiport valve and checking out the possibilities online. I then went to the pool supply store that I use and found out what I needed to do. They were awesome with instructions and gave me confidence that I would be able to do it without needing help or any crazy tools.

So today, I decided that not only was I going to get the multiport valve done, I was also going to get the pool pump's electric box secured to the post like it should be. I had already looked at the hole in the back of the electric box and measured for a carriage bolt I could put through the box into the 2x4 behind.

Electric box bolted to post
I killed the power to the pump, and gathered up the tools needed. I held the electric box into place and drilled a hole through the post to match up the hole in the electric box. I put in the bolt and tightened everything down, and with a small screwdriver was able to open the two zip ties I had used to temporarily hold the box in place.

I opened up the skimmer basket on the pump to relieve some pressure from the system and then started working on the 6 bolts surrounding the valve. As I started to loosen them, I could hear the water moving around. Once I took them out, I was able to lift on the handle and top of the valve and see the gasket that needed to be replaced. As soon as I opened it, it was obvious why it was leaking after vacuuming, backwashing and rinsing. More than likely, the renters weren't turning the valve in one direction like they were supposed to and messed up the gasket.

The bad news was that the gasket I had in hand, was not the same as the one in my valve, so I gathered up the handle/top, the two gaskets (one new and one old) and headed over to the pool supply store. I thought I might have to cut the gasket to fit like it should but I wanted to get a professional's opinion first. He recommended the same thing but first wanted to check their stock for the right gasket. My valve is pretty old so getting parts is hit and miss. Fortunately, he had the exact gasket I needed hanging in the supply room and it was 5 bucks cheaper than the first one I bought. He took the other one back (this is why I save packaging...LOL). I double checked on a few details and headed back.

Open valve with gasket removed
I put the gasket into its slot, and screwed everything back into place while keeping the edge gasket from pinching. Went down and turned on the power to the pumphouse, and turned on the filter to check for pressure and leaks. Noticed that there is a small leak from the pressure gauge, but I am planning to replace the gauge soon (just don't have the right one), so I am not going to worry too much about it right now. The leak is super small.

I cleaned the pool (not vacuuming, but everything else) and checked the chemicals. Still need to vacuum, fix some deck boards, set up the tiki torches, paint and assemble the deck table and clean up all the chairs but I felt good about knocking out these two maintenance issues that I was worried would be way harder than they turned out to be.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CO Monitors At The Bamboo Lagoon

Dual monitor mai
I have been slacking on the project list because of the need to just keep up on maintenance issues for the last couple of weeks. I have mowed the lawn a few times as well as started cleaning out two new beds in the front yard for plantings. I have also been cleaning the pool, watering, and doing general cleanup around here that never makes the project lists.

Today, I wanted to knock out just one one thing from the project list so I installed the second CO monitor for this house since you should have one on each floor. We have a dual monitor/smoke alarm on the main floor and then individual monitor and smoke alarm on the bottom floor. Installing the second CO monitor took a whole of 10 mins and that included installing batteries, checking for studs, leveling and marking screw holes, screwing in screws and then hanging the monitor on the bracket...tada...all done.

Both monitors down stairs
Now I am going to grab a quick bite to eat so I can get into the yard (now that the sun has moved around) because I have work to do in those two beds, and I want to be able to start marking more off my list.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Visitor

Saw this girl (I am assuming a girl since she is missing some of the coloring normally on a boy, although it might just be a juvenile) in the backyard hoping from terrace to terrace looking for food. I haven't seen her in any trees, just on the ground.

Northern Flicker

I hope to see her more as the season goes and perhaps we'll even find out that she is a he...LOL