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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
We all chipped in on our first "pool party" of the season. Kids helped scrub the pool and brush off the deck.
And I worked on cleaning up the dirt that was stuck to the concrete under the coils from the winter cover.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zach's getting back to work on the lawn rehab but it's really coming together back here!
We're ready for summer days of fun in the sun!
Now to just figure out how to keep the pool this clean and clear.
Need a pool deck or patio furniture fix? Here's what we got:
Outdoor Taupe Sling Chaise Lounge Chairs At Home
40lb Umbrella Stand At Home
4-piece Outdoor Sectional with Grey Cushions Home Depot
Black 11ft Cantilever Umbrella Home Depot
Brown Woven Plastic Deck Box Home Depot
Malibu Metal Outdoor Towel Rack Pottery Barn