I’ve got the week off, so I’m catching up on some spring stuff that moving and house buying and selling have delayed.

Up in ABQ I started off by getting my parent’s pool going (fun ITA97 fact: I started in highschool as a lifeguard and worked my way up to running large pools and parks and rec middle management in my first career, so I look at home swimming pools as cute, easy little things to run). Because I did my job well in the fall, I opened up the cover to find crystal clear water. I unplugged the skimmer lines and added about a foot of water, and once circulation and filtration and were re-established I cleaned the pool and made the only chemistry tweak needed in the form of a few pounds of cyanuric acid. The last thing was to turn my attention to the pool heater that wasn’t working.


This heater was new and installed last year to replace the orginal one from 1983. It stopped working after a big wind storm last summer. Five or six service visits from the installer (who holds a mechanic contractor license, somehow) yeilded the guy replacing the blown roll-out switch each time and the heater working for a day or two after each visit.

He was clearly treating the symptoms instead of figuring out the problem. I first pulled the upper covers and found the heat exchanger and flue to be clean and soot free, which eliminated one possible cause of a roll-out switch blowing. The second possible cause is a burner problem, so I Jumpered the switch and fired up the heater to find one row of burners with a yellow, last flame. It happened to be the row of burners closest to the roll-out switch, and I even watched as little gust of wind blew the flame right out onto the thermal fuse. With that information, I brushed out the burners and then blew everything out well with my dad’s diminutive pancake air compressor. It fired back up to a nice, strong blue flame from the entire burner unit. I put in a new roll-out switch and let the heater do it’s thing. This guy came out five or six times instead of talking fifteen minutes to troubleshoot the problem and five minutes to clean the burners that got crap blown into them from a big storm.


It took about 36 hours for the pool heater to bring the pool up from a starting 58 degrees to their preferred 83 degrees. I went swimming for the first time yesterday afternoon.


Bonus content for Better Call Saul fans: the apartment building behind my parent’s house is the building used as the Sand Piper Retirement Home in the show. They get the notices for when they are filming, and I can reveal that Sandpiper will be back in some way for the upcoming season of Better Call Saul. Also in the background is my olde Escalade, which now serves as my parent’s occasional towing and moving large objects vehicle. I don’t mind visiting it, but I don’t miss owning it.

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