A Busy Boo Manor Summer

Updates have admittedly fallen off since we’ve taken possession of Boo Manor. Not that there aren’t any number of update-worthy topics to discuss. Maintaining a 140-year-old house takes work, and effort, and money. Not to mention patience, tolerance and persistence.

There have been any number of challenges that we’ve had to deal with since taking possession. I’ve already written about the rebuilding of the ducting in the basement of the old house to accommodate the ridiculously over-powered furnace. And replacing the air conditioner. While those were the first major undertakings, they certainly weren’t the last.

Since then, challenges have lurched outside. A significant and enduring issue has been the pool. By the time we opened it, it was a green, seething, algaeous mess. While we finally got the water to clear, we never—despite our best efforts—got rid of the scale on the bottom. Theoretically, this is easy; you just have to make the pool less alkaline (by adding acid) and the scale should just disappear over a few days of diligent brushing.

Of course, this would be far easier if there wasn’t a leak in the pool, losing water at the rate of something like 1/4″ per day. Which is, in case you were wondering, a lot. In fact, it’s an exceptional amount. Which requires replenishing on a regular basis. This, sadly, increases the alkalinity, thereby perpetuating the scale problem.

After a summer of one-step-forward-two-steps-back pool remediation, I finally found someone to actually work with me to solve the problems. This involved first repairing the pump (again) after the pool spectacularly lost three inches of water in two days (so a bit of a surge), resulting in the pump melting the feeder pipes and no longer behaving in a pump-like fashion. From there, we were able to locate the leaks (two great big gaping wounds in the liner; obvious once you knew where to look, but awfully difficult to find prior).

Of course, by the time all this occurred, we were well into September, and things were a little chilly. So when the pool guy looked at me and asked “who’s going swimming to fix this, you or me?” I was really hoping it would be him. For interests of expedience (he didn’t have his wetsuit with him) and cost, I went swimming. It was a wee bit frosty, and some shrinkage may have occurred. However, finally, we have a leak-free pool. A closed leak-free pool.

Next year we will tackle the scale once more, and hopefully move forward a little more constructively. At least as far as the pool goes. I’m sure there will be other maintenance challenges in the meantime.