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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Our First Official Spring Pool Opening and Pool Deck Reveal

We're so excited that warm spring weather seems like it's FINALLY here for good so we were able to open up our pool for the first time and finish the installation of our chlorine machine. We got our patio furniture just in time so we'll call this the pool deck reveal too!


Opening the Pool and Installing the Chlorine Genie

We were shocked to see how much water had made its way through the mesh cover over the winter. If you were following alon then, you'll remember we lowered the water level below all the plumping when we winterized and shut it down. The snow and rain filled up the pool almost entirely! A few more major rains and we would have been overflowing!

opening pool first time in spring

The crew took off the mesh safety cover, opened up the skimmers, installed the hand rails and did an initial pass at cleaning out leaves and bugs and scrubbing grime off the sides and bottom of the pool. You can see how cloudy the water is in these initial photos.

cleaning out pool on opening day

Installing the Chlorine Genie

Since the pool build was complete so far into fall, they saved installing the chlorine machine - the Chlorine Genie - for the spring opening. What's one more big piece of equipment on the pad? The Chlorine Genie essentially makes "chlorine" using salt and water.

installing the chlorine genie on pool equipment pad

I am still very much learning the science of owning a pool - chemistry was never my strongest subject! - so I pulled this off their website to describe what this does:


"The patented CHLORINE GENIE uses an electrolytic cell submerged in salty brine softened water to produce the chlorine your pool needs. The water is softened by a reverse osmosis system and water descaling system built right into the unit. The electrolytic cell breaks salt and water into the basic elements: chloride, sodium, hydrogen, and oxygen. The chloride ions combine to make pure chlorine which is then mixed with water and dispensed into the pool. The sodium combines with the hydrogen and oxygen and is used to control the pH of your pool water. The pH of most pools can be kept in balance without using commercial acid or soda ash! The only inputs to the system are salt and water." - ChlorineGenie.com


pool equipment pad with chlorine genie

Once installed and actively up and running, this should help us keep chemical use lower.


Cleaning and Clearing the Water

But speaking of chemicals... to get this pool water clear, clean and ready for swimming, it took about a week of chemical additions and adjustments to shock the water, balance the chlorine, PH, alkalinity and calcium. More chemistry. Livia at Blue Iowa Pools has been a great help getting this cleaned up and running for the season. We still need "pool school" so we can try to do more on our own without asking, but it sounds like with the Chlorine Genie, our load will be lighter.

pool chemistry test kit

While the chlorine was working hard to clean up the water, we had to keep scrubbing the sides and bottom of the pool with a scrub brush to clean the surfaces and keep pushing the dirt and grime around so it could get eaten up. (Technical chemistry term there).

zach brushing sides of pool

We all chipped in on our first "pool party" of the season. Kids helped scrub the pool and brush off the deck.

kids sweeping pool deck

And I worked on cleaning up the dirt that was stuck to the concrete under the coils from the winter cover.

kiersten scrubbing pool deck concrete

It took about a week of chemicals, scrubbing, more scrubbing, vacuuming, and more chemical adjustments to get the water crystal clear. At that point we turned on the heater in prep for our sunny weekend. Kids were so excited to be able to swim this weekend - they didn't care that air temp was 66 degrees! The pool was a cozy 90! Definitely bath water. HA!

kids playing in pool with pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

The Pool Deck Patio Furniture Reveal

A lot of elbow grease later and we're up and running of our first summer of swimming! Since we finished the build so late last fall I didn't buy any furniture since we'd just have to winter it over. I spent the winter months shopping and dreaming doubt what I wanted to do for furniture out here.

pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

Patio furniture isn't cheap, but in Iowa it has to withstand all extreme seasons. So the "cheap" stuff really doesn't last long. After doing a lot of research, I decided to bite the bullet and buy furniture that lasts. BUT... then the basement flooded. Knowing we'd want to put it back together this year, that's where the rest of this year's house budget needs to go. So I bought the cheap stuff to get us started. Hoping to get at least a couple years off of them, but my expectations aren't high.

pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

I found these sling lounge chairs and lumbar pillows at our local At Home store, along with some new umbrellas bases. We had the black and white umbrellas already.

pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

For some additional seating and shade, I found this little sectional set and big cantilever umbrella at Home Depot. Paired with the outdoor rug I originally bought for the deck, it will create a nice landing spot for more lounging.

pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

Sidebar: the arm rests and table top were more of a bright orange wood tone. You should know how I feel about orange wood tone by now, so guess what I did? Hit it with the same deck coating I used when I just recoated the deck.

outdoor rug and table

The umbrella is a massive 11' diameter with a humongous base that took 200lb of sand. Pretty proud that I was able to set this up mostly by myself and with the help of the KIDS. A deck box from Home Depot hides behind the couch and stores all the pillows when not in use.

pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

And for "things we probably don't need but are cute and look useful" - this little moveable iron towel rack was a splurge at Pottery Barn but I had reward dollars to spend after the living room furniture purchase that were expiring - they get you every time.

towel stand pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

Zach's getting back to work on the lawn rehab but it's really coming together back here!

pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

We're ready for summer days of fun in the sun!

pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

Now to just figure out how to keep the pool this clean and clear.

pool deck with patio furniture and umbrellas

 

Need a pool deck or patio furniture fix? Here's what we got:

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.

 

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