May 26, 2010

Down the drain

by Marielle Carlisle

It's 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and I'm still in my swimsuit.

We are in our new home (snaps!), and are figuring out where to put things. I'm to the point now where I just open a box, cram the contents into a cupboard, and move on. I'll worry about the permanent placement later.

With this new home comes a pool. We received a 'pool school' type introduction of pool maintenance from a neighbor who happens to work for a pool company, and perhaps the most important thing I learned is why people pay other people to clean their pools. I took meticulous notes while our neighbor was talking, and I know this is doable, but this will be a learning experience.

He warned me that a local pool store, while with my best interests to keep our pool clean and healthy, would try and sell us stuff that we might not need. I braced myself, and with a water sample in hand I visited the store to find out what our pool chemical levels were. I learned that the stabilizer (something that keeps the chlorine in the pool) was really high, and we needed to drain our pool. He made it sound urgent, and I was inclined to believe him, because hey, he wasn't trying to sell us anything.

So I called my husband at work and had him stop at Home Depot to rent a submersible pump, and last night we drained the pool. It's actually quite easy, if anyone needs tips. We were up until 1am, but we did it.

Today I called our neighbor to report what good pool owners we were, and after I finished my spiel there was a pause on the other end of the line. He said that, yes, our stabilizer was high, but it was nothing to drain a pool about.



That's. Just. Great.

He said the reason the pool store guy was pushing us to drain our pool was so we would buy a bunch of products to get our pool in running order.

I'm trying not to think about what our water bill will be. It almost breaks my heart that this was something that didn't need to be done.

Let's try and put a positive spin on it: I know how to drain the pool. I know what those black caps in our front yard are (sewer pipes, you pump the pool water down it). I know not to trust a retail store's advice about pool care. I know that Thunderbird Pool and Spas is a great pool company.

I know I should take a shower and get out of my swimsuit.


  1. I must say that your story is the best example I have ever read of "money down the drain".

  2. wow. Not a fun lesson learned. I'll admit, I hate backyard pools...

  3. Your life is mirroring mine Marielle. Let's think even more positive...maybe that drained water went somewhere it was needed.

  4. How frustrating and expensive. Ouch.

  5. Ouch. I have to say I do not miss maintaining a back yard pool. I do miss the fun we had in it though. HOpe things go more smoothly for you here on out. Missing you!

  6. Lesson learned. Always get your neighbor's opinion before taking drastic measure. I have good neighbors for that too.


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