New to the forum - first time pool owner
Just wanted to post and say hello. Have been lurking around for a few weeks, since we signed a contract on a house with an existing pool, trying to soak up all the info I can. It seems to be the kind of thing that you don't quite understand until you are "in it," and we got our keys on Friday so am back for more education! GW forums are so helpful (I often post and read in Oklahoma Gardening) and it's great to see so many active members here.
I've been over to troublefreepools on the advice of several posts, and our realtor gave us a test kit with a floating rubber ducky, a book that I'm going to dive in to. (har har!)
Our pool is probably the same age as the house, 1975, quite large with a deep end and diving board, detached spa, separate pump systems, and will be in need of renovation fairly soon according to the pool inspection we had prior to move in. Previous owners painted the plaster a blue color and it has sort of eroded or bleached out in parts of the deep end. All the tiles are quite dated but present and accounted for, although the very day we got the keys a row of about 8 tiles fell off the wall and onto the top step. Ha! One corner of the pool has a badly-eroding stone retaining wall and stone coping. The rocks have split/sheared off (probably freeze/thaw damage because there are no capstones on top of the wall) and the mortar has been poorly repointed. The concrete coping surrounding the rest of the pool has various cracks and patches, and both skimmers have been obviously repaired or re-cemented with kind of sloppy looking results.
The electrical panel and pool pump systems need upgrading and repairs (leaking seals on pump, open electrical panel not to code, etc). Lights are either disconnected or unworking, or maybe we just can't figure out how to turn them on. :) The estimate for complete renovation to like new from the pool inspector was somewhere around $40K, which included new coping, new retaining wall, new waterline tile, new skimmers, sandblast and replaster, upgrade electrical and repair current pumps, lights, keeping same decking. We are pretty broke from the purchase of the house at this time, so want to put money into the "must haves" instead of the "nice to haves" until we can afford to completely renovate in a few years. Will be getting multiple quotes then of course.
I feel like electrical and systems repairs are priority one. It's not sexy, but it seems to be the first thing to address. Perhaps reattaching the fallen tiles is urgent, too? We plan to keep the pool open this winter, as we are clueless about winterizing and after polling local pool-owners, our winters are often mild enough that as long as you keep the pump running to keep water from freezing, this is ok. There is no cover, and I imagine that has something to do with the bizarre shape and retaining wall making it either impossible or cost-prohibitive. Didn't want to look at a gross stewpot over the winter so plan to keep pump going and do chemicals and cleaning over the winter. Will be calling a local company to come out and give me a hands-on "pool school" in the next two weeks - have checked and seems like would be $150 well spent. Already I think the pump sounds louder than it did when we looked at the house, so need some experts on the scene. It runs 24/7 and is controlled by flipping the breaker on the electrical panel. I wonder if I can run it less (maybe only overnight hours to prevent freezing) as we are not actually swimming yet. Any input would be appreciated. Also, and suggestions for Oklahoma City-area pool renovators/service companies are welcome!
PS - I totally meant this to be an introductory post just saying hi but a pool seems to be like a new baby - you get all the information from the proud parents even if you didn't ask for it!
Here is a link that might be useful: Pics of our new-to-us pool