Water Pressure Regulator Adjust or Replace | High Water Pressure In House
John Laforme 0:00
Buying a home. Don’t panic. Just listen to the rest of this podcast
Alright everybody, welcome back to another episode of Home Inspection authorities. Straight Talk podcast with me. John laforme. Im a CREIA certified home inspector from Los Angeles, California. And the topics we discuss on this podcast are about buying home selling homes inspecting homes. So if you’re a home inspector, home buyer, real estate professional, this podcast is definitely for you. Okay, I am here today with Jeff Sheltie. I say it right? How you doing, Jeff? I’m doing well today. How are you? I’m doing good. Jeff is a licensed pool contractor. And how many years you’ve been doing this? I started in 1972. So 50 years. Wow. That’s a long time. You’re out your own company SNS.
Jeff Schulte 1:06
SNS for the last 11 years for 30 years before that. I was Encino Pool and Spa. Oh, okay. And before that I was Tom Thumb pool service. Tom Tom pool service. There you go. So do you. I know that you inspect pools because that’s how we met I met you on a home inspection. I think it was to a realtor named Alison Turner. And that pretty sure that’s how we met. And I just kind of I really liked you when I met you real nice guy informative. And I’ve been referring you ever since. Sure. Appreciate that on big jobs that, you know, I just don’t want to deal with some pools. I don’t want to touch you know, I got my hands full already when I’m there. So home inspections have many, many different systems to look at. So sometimes I just want to refer someone else to that job. So everybody’s happy and everything gets done in a timely manner, as opposed to waiting for me to do everything all day, you know. So,
back to you for a moment the work that you do, do you actually build pools as well? Right? We build new pools, spas and the new cocktail pool, which is a miniature pool. Sometimes it has a spa, sometimes it doesn’t. We also do water features fountains, waterfalls. So pretty much anything that’s water related. Even some fish ponds in their cocktail pillows. Not sure if I’ve seen one yet. Do you mean like the real shallow ones that are not too big? Or is there a specific look, perhaps I could say 10 foot by 20 foot or smaller? In the 70s and 80s. They were called spools, which was weird name, but now we call them cocktail pools. Okay, interesting. All right. Yeah. Not familiar with that term. Actually. What I want to talk about first is
John Laforme 2:53
how a person who’s about to buy a house with a pool?
Can you explain to them what they should be expecting as a homeowner now that has a pool to take care of
Jeff Schulte 3:08
a pool is more than just a body of water that you can get wet and and refresh yourself. A pool is a way to bathe pool is a way to have a certain look for your yard to enhance the beauty of your home. And here in Southern California, we can swim in a pool easily for six months. But the other six months it gets a little chilly here. Yeah. When water gets to be 55 degrees. You can’t go in it but it might as well look pretty look at
John Laforme 3:38
Yeah. Oh, you can have a heater too. You know, some polls have heaters?
Jeff Schulte 3:42
Oh heaters? Yeah, that’s a new thing that was invented two days ago. But people like those. And that’s a nice way to warm up your pool that you can have a gas heater, you can have solar?
John Laforme 3:53
Yeah, solar heating real quick on solar. How do you inspect? And how do you test a solar heating system?
Jeff Schulte 4:03
solar heat. First of all, we have to understand it’s a it’s a system that has a finite life to it. Right. And typically, they last 10 to 15 years. And we can tell by looking at the style of the collectors on the roof. If we can see them. We were up on ladders to do this, right? What era they are and if they’re over 10 years old, we would say okay, we need to test this system and we turn it on. See if it leaks from the roof. If it leaks, then we know that there’s a problem and Gotcha. It’s got to be replaced or abandoned. So that’s
John Laforme 4:39
pretty much how you see if they’re bad if they leak. Otherwise, they typically work
Jeff Schulte 4:44
otherwise, they typically work they’re either on or they’re not. Got it.
John Laforme 4:47
Okay, that’s simple enough. You know, when I’m on roofs, I do climb roofs. And a lot of times I do went into you know, solar, solar heating for pools. And I’m just always like scratching my head going This is not a good idea to put something like this on a roof. You know, it’s just you first of all, you get a mount it to the roof, you know all that plumbing exposed to the sun, all that PVC pipe. And I just just to me it just looks like a bad idea. I don’t know, it’s just my opinion.
Jeff Schulte 5:17
Well, the short answer to that is yes, it’s a bad idea. I’ve seen many, many, many systems that are mounted directly to the roof with no air that can get under it. Traps, debris, traps, little animals, it traps, dirt, twigs, leaves, anything you can imagine to can blow,
John Laforme 5:36
it’s a bad idea. Period, just for everything for everything you just mentioned is exactly what I already thought of. It’s like,
Jeff Schulte 5:44
that’s when water gets underneath it, and it’s laid right on top of the surface of the roof shingles and it keeps them wet for a long time and that deteriorate and it deteriorates.
John Laforme 5:56
Keep that in mind, people, you always got to keep your roofs clear. So if you get solar on your roof, you’re actually laying another material on top of your roof. And if it’s not breathing properly under there, it’s always going to be moist. And you could experience roof leaks, whether it’s on your garage, or your house or wherever, wherever those solar panels are.
Jeff Schulte 6:17
And they don’t show up immediately the leaks, right always show up in five years or so. Yeah, yeah.
John Laforme 6:24
So number one on the list. For any buddy buying a home or even someone already has a home with a pool, his child safety agreed. So I’m going to let you run on that.
Jeff Schulte 6:39
Child Safety has always been the largest item on anybody’s list, building a pool. Nobody wants to build a pool that’s gonna cause somebody to lose their life Correct. Nowadays, since Oh, approximately 2008 All pools have been required to have certain kinds of safety around them, whether it’s a fence, a barricade an enclosure, some kind of a device that’s going to keep children away from the water. Prior to that, certain people would get an inspiration and install a chain link fence which is claimable, or a short wooden fence, which you can move a box up to and climb over, or wrought iron or glass. Kids
John Laforme 7:29
are smart. I was pretty smart. When I was a kid. Now, you put a barrier there, I’m going to find a way around it. There you go. That’s all I had to do for that day
Jeff Schulte 7:36
is figure that out. So now we need to have a more impenetrable barrier for children. It still looks good, right? I gotta tell you these mesh fences that are five, six feet high. And they can be green, brown, black. They may be slightly ugly, but boy, did they do the job? Well,
John Laforme 7:55
it do they actually keep me out. Ever mind the kids? Because how many times I’ve grabbed one of those handles. And I’m like, gosh, it how does this thing work? You know, sometimes they’re hard to move. But that’s intentional, that they’re not they’re not meant to be easy to move. And it can be kind of annoying if you’re the adult just trying to get to the pool. But yeah, it’s definitely, I think probably the best thing. By the
Jeff Schulte 8:18
time a child is sophisticated enough to defeat the fence. They’re old enough to swim.
John Laforme 8:24
That’s a good point. That’s a good point. And I want to add to that real quick is what I’ve known my experience, inspecting homes of pools and and talking to my clients, the buyers, even though even their realtor, sometimes when I bring up, you know, you got to remember all these side gates around your house are designed to keep people out, not just your kids, not just your family, but everybody in the neighborhood. And when I tell him that the reactions I get are pretty astonishing. It’s like, they’re like, Wow, I never thought of that before. I’m like, Yeah, you gotta remember if you run down the streets at the store, and you’re you leave your gate unlocked, and then some three year olds wanders out of his own yard and wanders into your backyard. Who knows he’s there. They can’t do that. That’s
Jeff Schulte 9:10
exactly right. Yeah. The gates that are on the sides of your house. They open outward towards the street or close to and a child even if they could figure a way to open the gate can’t necessarily figure out how to move that without bumping themselves and the gate closes by itself
John Laforme 9:30
right so self self closing self latching gates and what’s the height
Jeff Schulte 9:34
on that? Four and a half feet 52 inches
John Laforme 9:37
okay 52 inches. So I just did a house yesterday very expensive house and the gates were not working right on that. So it’s it’s it doesn’t matter how expensive your home is how old your home is. They’re either working or not working and most people just ignore him. So if you have a pool, you want to get out there and check to make sure your gates on the side of the house actually Close by themselves and they open outward if not call a fence contractor and have that reversed and have that fixed.
Jeff Schulte 10:07
And that’s an immutable point. It has to be self closing self latching. Yes. In addition to fencing around the pool or fencing on the side of your house, or automatic cover that completely closes and you can walk on. Besides all of those other devices that we can put on, including alarms, the main drain covers need to be certified. And they’ve got to have certain markings on them. Right. So this is another child safety item.
John Laforme 10:39
Exactly. So and the other term for that is going blank real quick. For the main drain covers, anti entrapment devices, Diandra? I’m sorry, I just lost my train of thought they’re anti trattman entrapment devices. That’s what we’re talking about. So if you look into the pool, if it’s an older pool, it’s probably going to have one at the deep end. Right there at the bottom. Newer pools. What when did it change that any new construction pools had to have to
Jeff Schulte 11:10
it started in 2008, when the law became applicable, and no manufacturer had one at that time. So now we had a law, but it couldn’t be enforced because we didn’t have the proper items to install. Anti entrapment covers, okay, we had good covers, but they weren’t configured to meet the new law, right. And it really wasn’t until 2009 2010, before everybody got their covers certified. Every pump on a pool is required to have two suction covers or suction inlets, right. And if you’ve got two pumps, you can’t have a shared main drain between them. Each one has to have its own two individual covers. Got it? Okay, so if it’s a pool, you’ve got to have at least two main drains in the bottom of the pool, right? If it’s a spa, you’ve got to have at least two and if you’ve got a spa, jet pump, that’s got to have two as well. Okay, and they need to be three feet apart. 36 inches from edge edge cover, or on separate planes, vertical planes or horizontal planes. Back in the 60s pools are plumbed with two suction systems, one from the main drain and one from the skimmer. And then they were tied together at the pool equipment with a valve or twin valves, right. And back then in the 60s, main drain covers were typically either a grating or a flat metal cover that just kind of slid over the top right, and they were removable. Nowadays, any main drain cover needs to be physically attached, and can only be removed with a device like a screwdriver, I say. So that’s helped change things to make it more difficult. Also, gradings are no longer allowed, unless they’re highly evolved safety covers such as something that Aqua star would make. And they have three dimensional gradings. As far as entrapment covers, go, every one that’s certified needs to have certain wordage embossed on it. And it’ll say from the manufacturer from the manufacturer, okay. And nobody, from the distributor, to the pool supply store, to the pool service man to the contractor will be able to buy, purchase or sell or convey any of these devices.
John Laforme 13:43
You know, if you get too close to that bottom drain, there’s a chance that it could, you know, suck somebody down to it. And cause cause really bad personal injury.
Jeff Schulte 13:54
Well, if we had a single main drain, that’s absolutely true. Okay, worst case scenario, somebody showing up goes down and says, As thinking stuff, look, I can sit on the bottom of the pool, and they’re sitting on the main drain and their tush will cover the entire drain. And that pump keeps sucking, and it will pull your insides out.
John Laforme 14:14
Right. So that’s what it takes to completely cover that. That’s what would take for that for that action to happen. Yes. Okay. That’s what I was getting at.
Jeff Schulte 14:24
And VGB drain covers are mechanically designed so that that can’t happen. But they’re installed in pairs. So you have dual main drains, right? And God forbid somebody. I know I keep saying that. But I always hope you forget forbids that stuff. Somebody goes and sits down on one of the two drains and they plug it completely. All the section goes to the other side. Right. And they’re free. Right? Okay, anti entrapment.
John Laforme 14:53
So that’s the importance of having the correct covers on a single main drain. Yes. And then if you know, if you have an older pool, then most likely you have a single main drain.
Jeff Schulte 15:04
So all covers that are sold or conveyed in the United States must have that safety and Bosman on it, which proves that it’s been tested and retested again, so nothing other than the safety covers can be sold.
John Laforme 15:18
Got it. Okay. And other entrapment, I’m sorry, not a trap and other child safety devices, you can get our alarms on the exterior doors going to the pool. There’s other things like that you want to mention,
Jeff Schulte 15:32
there are alarms that are mounted at least five feet above the floor. And they’ll they’re battery operated and will fit on a door, any kind of door and they can’t be velcroed on or glued on. They have to be mechanically attached, like with a screw or a nail,
John Laforme 15:49
right. And they’re very, very noisy.
Jeff Schulte 15:51
They’re awful. They’re awful. That’s the whole point of yeah, if
John Laforme 15:54
you’re standing next to knock goes off, you’re gonna jump out of your skin. Now the
Jeff Schulte 15:57
downside to that is if you live in Southern California, anywhere in Southern California, okay, and you might want to open your door and let fresh air blow through your house. But you can’t do that if you have alarms on your doors. Right. So now you’re stuck. Re breathing your own air. Now air conditioner.
John Laforme 16:18
Right, let me ask you a question about the the self closing self latching door part of the swimming pool safety actor. Now, I’ve heard I’ve heard in home inspector meetings are covering this, but I’m not so sure it’s correct. What the way it was explained to me is, if you have sliding doors on the rear of your house facing the pool, and you don’t have a mesh fencing, those doors themselves are supposed to automatically close. They’re supposed to same with Windows, right?
Jeff Schulte 16:55
Not necessarily if you have a clerestory window that goes from floor to ceiling. Yes. But if you have a standard window. It’s not. It’s not incorporated.
John Laforme 17:06
Oh, I see. So only if it’s from the floor to the ceiling,
Jeff Schulte 17:08
if it’s easily scalable and right. Okay, got it. Alright, so.
John Laforme 17:13
So once again, homebuyers and homeowners that’s, that’s a good point to make there. So any of the doors and windows facing your pool, backyard area, patio area? If if they’re easy to open, or a child can just push them open or anything like that? What this what this rule is saying is that these should be self closing as well. But how do you self close a sliding door? I’ve never seen that.
Jeff Schulte 17:41
You can change it out and put in French doors. When a building becomes part of the enclosure, it’s required to conform.
John Laforme 17:50
I say, got it. So this is really going to play with new construction.
Jeff Schulte 17:56
Yes, I had a client and I know this is a one off thing. But it was a new house and it had 22 sets of French doors that opened directly out to the pool area. Wow. That was a lot of alarms to install.
John Laforme 18:11
That’s a lot. It’s like the house I did yesterday. It had so many windows, it was crazy. But anyway, okay, so that I Okay, that’s a good point. So we just want to, you know, share with everybody the importance of this child safety with regarding regarding a pool.
Jeff Schulte 18:28
Now there are alternatives to door alarms or window alarms. And that would be a pool size, soup pool side. A lot alarm that sits on the edge of the pool. Yep. And not only do they have a alarm at the poolside, every remote buzzer that plugs into the house and relays the buzz and it’s enough to wake up anybody in the house.
John Laforme 18:52
Okay. Yeah, I’ve never heard one of those go off. I’ve seen them. But I’ve never heard one go
Jeff Schulte 18:57
off. They are extremely annoying as they should be. Yes, that’s the whole
John Laforme 19:00
point. Everybody, it’s annoying. So you’ll go turn it off and check what’s going on. That’s the point of it, to bring your attention to the pool because something something or somebody might be in it. Okay, so
Jeff Schulte 19:14
those are the two main items that I look at for child safety.
John Laforme 19:17
Okay. Those are the two main items. Okay. All right. So by the way, there are seven and you need to have seven these days. Correct.
Jeff Schulte 19:27
Some municipalities asked for to sell have now moved to three. Oh, which makes it even more so
John Laforme 19:35
if you happen to know what municipality that might be offhand. City of
Jeff Schulte 19:39
Los Angeles requires three now rally city Beverly Hills requires two.
John Laforme 19:45
Got it? Okay. All right. So anything else about child safety you want to point out?
Jeff Schulte 19:55
Well, I like automatic covers, but you’ve got to have a square pool to really get the use out of them.
John Laforme 20:00
Right, right. And those have to be ASTM approved where their safety covers Correct. Exactly. Okay. I don’t run into I don’t run into too many of those about you.
Jeff Schulte 20:11
We install a lot of them. Oh, you do? Okay.
John Laforme 20:14
So you’re actually doing the installations? How would somebody find you if they wanted to have that installed?
Jeff Schulte 20:19
John Laforme 20:22
Okay. By referral, yes,
Jeff Schulte 20:25
we don’t advertise anywhere.
John Laforme 20:26
Oh, you don’t? Oh, look at you. I know, well, excuse me,
Jeff Schulte 20:32
and we’re swamped.
John Laforme 20:34
Good for you, man, it’s a being too busy is a good problem to have. Alright. So that’ll basically cover our message on the child safety in the importance of it. So remember, everybody, it’s not just whoever’s in your household, it’s people around your household fencing. Keeping people out. Very important, you don’t want to ever have to, you know, discover something like that in your pool. Anyway, let’s get into, I have a few questions for you and GFCI protection. For Pool and Spa lights, something a homeowner should know about and understand. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is the outlet you probably see in your kitchen counters, your bathrooms outside your home, typically required in any wet areas. And we can definitely call a pool a wet area, you know, so your GFCI is there to protect the pool. If in in the event the pool light or spotlight shorted out, it would trip it would trip the GFCI receptacle, you know keeping people from getting shocked or electrocuted in the pool. Is that about right?
Jeff Schulte 21:56
Yes, we don’t want people to get a charge out of that stuff.
John Laforme 21:59
No. No charge out of that. So. So Jeff, let me ask you as far as the GFCI goes, Is there a specific place it shouldn’t be or should be at location wise,
Jeff Schulte 22:12
a GFCI is required. GFCI is required for any electrical light that’s immersed in the pool. And you can have multiple lights attached to one GFCI as long as they’re all on the same switch. But it’s typical for a pool contractor to install a GFCI with a receptacle in it at the pool area so that a workman can serve it for power
right servicemen can plug in there. Sure problem
with that is other contractors are not aware, that has to be a dedicated line just for the pool lights and say the gardener or the landscaper may plug in his landscape timers for his irrigation controls into it, which shouldn’t be done, they should be read wired to their own GFCI
John Laforme 23:05
right. So it’s a dead dedicated receptacle only for the pool lights and should not be combined with anything else,
Jeff Schulte 23:11
right. And whether you have 120 volt light, or 12 volt light, they both still require a GFCI. But that’s only part of the electrical GFCI protection required. Now, in Southern California, almost every municipality requires a GFCI breaker for each pump.
John Laforme 23:31
At the sub are the main doesn’t matter,
Jeff Schulte 23:33
it doesn’t matter, okay? So it’s difficult to wire up a pump with a GFCI because pumps move water. And so the breakers are very susceptible to tripping off time when you don’t want it to trip. And there are certain kinds of breakers that are made specially for pool installations and they have a little bit of a safety delay. So it might be three milliseconds once it senses an error in electrical stray current right before it trips and that’s enough to have the pump keep moving and not shut off.
John Laforme 24:19
Got it? Okay. That’s interesting. All right. And another thing along the electrical scope here with the pool is equipotential bonding.
Jeff Schulte 24:31
equipotential bonding is kind of a neat idea. If you can imagine the shell of the pool which is usually made out of gun night or shotcrete has a skeleton inside of it made out of iron rebar, right and the reinforcing steel rebar is all interconnected and wired together and criss crossed and tied together. And the equipotential bonding is essentially a naked copper wire wire that has a special clamp that clamps to the shell of the pool. Now we call it four corner echo potential bonding. And it wraps all the way around the pool near the top. And this naked wire runs all the way back to the lights each light in the pool and the pool equipment. And it connects to each pump. The other electrical items, which may include the heater, a blower, the automatic operating system, anything that’s electrical or has electricity going to it. And it bonds them what the bonding does is kind of neat. It collects stray currents that may be in the ground. Let’s say that a conduit is old, and it’s rotted away being a metallic conduit. And there’s a wire that has some missing insulation, and that may lose some current. This collects it sends it back to the motor and it’s grounded now. So it’s harmless to be there.
John Laforme 25:56
Right? So all all the all the all the equipment, the motors, heaters, anything like that needs to be all daisy chained together with that equipotential bonding is kind of like you know, a bunch of people holding hands. You’re all holding hands. So you’re all bonded, right? That’s exactly that’s the simplest way to explain it. So this is the love. By the way, this is the number one thing I see missing on any pool inspection. equipotential bonding completely disconnected, or I can just pull it apart and it just slides out of the clamps. It’s it’s just never really connected. Right? That’s one of the biggest things I find
Jeff Schulte 26:32
in my room. In my report that I write up the first item under the electrical heading is Echo potential bonding system. It’s that important.
John Laforme 26:41
Yep. And let’s see on my Yeah, mine’s pretty right at the top as well. Bonding, present, bonding, not present. Bonding Needs Attention, all kinds of stuff. I have an explanation on as well.
Jeff Schulte 26:56
So these are the two main items that I look for when I’m looking at a pool child safety and GFCI protection.
John Laforme 27:04
That’s that’s everybody safety. Yes. Yeah. So that turns in from Chuck goes from child safety to everybody around safety. Getting into the electrical, electrical is pretty important. Especially, you know, we all went to school, and I’m pretty sure they told us all water electricity don’t mix. So gotta be careful with that. And another point I want to make, I want to ask you about is if you have an old pool, who knows what that electrical is going to look like. I mean, I’ve seen electrical and old pools. It’s never the same. It’s always just looks like it’s slapped together. You get a timer box, you get two pieces of conduit coming out of the ground. Yeah, a timer box sticking on top of it. bondings missing. Plastic safety cover inside the timer boxes is missing. It’s the wrong it’s not even an outdoor box. It’s an indoor box missing the seal. It’s rusted everywhere. So what can you tell us about how that should be installed in an older type pool, like what what kind of repairs would be required to bring it up to date.
Jeff Schulte 28:15
Most people look at a swimming pool and the tile is dated and the plaster is stained. And maybe the deck has some cracks and they want to freshen up the look of the pool, right? But the look of the pool, the pool itself, that’s only one system the beauty of re cosmetics, cosmetics, but there’s also the electrical system. After 3040 50 years, a pool needs to have a new electrical system installed and may need to have new plumbing installed in the pool.
John Laforme 28:43
Sure. Sorry, pre 1970s Pull up is gonna have copper gonna have
Jeff Schulte 28:48
copper. Copper has a finite life between 40 and 50 years and a pool environment. And after that you’re on borrowed time, it’ll develop pinhole leaks, and, yep, it’ll have lost some of its thickness, right through corrosion or erosion. Right. And it’s time
John Laforme 29:08
diving boards and slides. Let’s talk about that.
Jeff Schulte 29:13
Okay, I’m going to have to tell you a story. All right. Listen to this. I know this is anecdotal, but it’s what happened around 1974 75. A guy like me built a pool for a guy like you. Okay, and then you sold the house to somebody else. And he rented it out to a third another party. And then that third party who was renting the house, had a party, a crazy wild
John Laforme 29:37
party, California style, right
Jeff Schulte 29:39
California style. And one guy seemed to drink a little bit too much. I was I was having a great time. I was probably me. And he jumped off the diving board, and he cracked his head on the bottom of the pool. They pulled him out and he was a paraplegic. And they didn’t know what they were doing and they moved him and they became a quad diplegic Oh, and his attorney sued the guy who was renting the house, the guy who owned the house, the guy who owned the house that had the pool commissioned to be built the pool builder, and the local municipality. And he won against everybody. Wow. The people that built the diving board, of course, lost the biggest amount of money. And they picked up stakes, and they moved out of California. In fact, all the diving board manufacturers did, they moved to Arizona, they moved to Oregon anywhere but California. Now, today, you cannot install a diving board in a pool. Because your insurance company won’t let your business liability do it. You can’t do it, right? It’s too expensive. Or they won’t cover you. And as a homeowner, you have to have a special insurance if you have a diving board, and they will make it prohibitive. Easy for me to say that make it prohibitively expensive for that insurance so that you just take the diving board out. Got it, nobody builds them in California.
John Laforme 31:09
So if I, let’s let me ask you, let me create my own little story here. Little scenario, I’m going to buy a house, and it has an old pool, and it’s got a diving board and a slide. Does that. How does that affect me? Aside from the insurance part, am I going to be required to take that out? Or is that my own choice? If I don’t want to pay for the extra insurance?
Jeff Schulte 31:34
That’ll be your own choice. But you should figure that a diving board? Is the one appliance around a pool that causes the most accidents, right? Is it worth it? It’s fun for little kids, but little kids grow up to become bigger kids. And then it’s a problem.
John Laforme 31:51
Got it anything. What about slides, any issues with that?
Jeff Schulte 31:55
An older slide that’s made out of fiberglass and aluminum has seen its better days, and likely the gel coat is coming off. And as you go down the slide, you’re going to get slivers of fiberglass. Yeah, it’s time to remove that you can replace it with one of the newer acrylic slides. And again, it’s a company in Arizona that ships them in. And it’s really tough to sue a company in Arizona from here.
John Laforme 32:22
Is it also going to be an insurance problem with a slide?
Jeff Schulte 32:25
It may be it’ll depend upon your carrier.
John Laforme 32:28
Okay, so diving board definitely a problem with insurance. A slide maybe? Yes. Okay. That’s good information right there. I’m sure a lot of people have no idea about that. Especially Realtors actually trying to find a home for their clients with that has a pool, and they show up and they find it has a slide they may not know this. So this is good information right here.
Jeff Schulte 32:52
As an inspector, it would be on your best advice to recommend that it be removed a diving board right time you see one,
John Laforme 33:01
okay. Slide removed or not.
Jeff Schulte 33:05
If it’s an older slide, and it’s fiberglass, yes,
John Laforme 33:07
it’s just a worn out. You know, when I was a kid, my mom, we had an above ground pool. And we got a lot of fun. I gotta be honest, we had a lot of fun there. So this is going back quite a while. late 60s, early 70s. And she had put in an above ground pool. And we had a garage right next to it. Which was
Jeff Schulte 33:31
I know where you’re going with this,
John Laforme 33:32
which was, which was like, not far enough away where you couldn’t run off it and jump in, at least and that pool was only four feet deep. We actually you know, I think they dug out the bottom but it might have been five feet deep. And yeah, we might I myself, I don’t think I ever did it. But my older brothers did
Jeff Schulte 33:54
noses grueling Pinocchio.
John Laforme 33:57
But anyway, she also bought a slide for that pool, which made it really fun. So she actually had a slide put in and man, we had so much fun.
Jeff Schulte 34:05
Can I interject and ask a question, sir. personal question. Sure. Did you ever remember being in that pool and trying to climb up the downslide
John Laforme 34:14
up the down? Yeah, you went up right. Yeah,
Jeff Schulte 34:18
see kids do dumb things
John Laforme 34:19
we did. I did all kinds of dumb shit. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re a kid. So yeah, that was that was my experience with slides. I’ve only seen a few slides in the recent years of inspecting pools and stuff. Typically when I see them Yeah, they look old and worn out and beat up so I always make I first of all, I disclaim slides. I disclaim diving boards right away from my customers. So they know I’m not there to inspect the slide or inspect the diving board they need to call someone else in to do so. That’s what I that’s how I handle it.
Jeff Schulte 34:53
Most slides manufactured today. Have a deep channel in the middle and high sides. So It contains you as you’re going down the slide. It’s probably a good idea. The older slides didn’t they had a small rail on each side, and boom, you’re down.
John Laforme 35:07
Right? And by the way, my mom now has she still in the same house to this day? And I don’t know what year it was, but she actually pulled out that above ground and put it below ground in. And guess what? She’s got a diving board. No more slide. But she’s definitely still has a diving board. And my mom, my little young relatives, they love it. They’re in there all the time on the summer.
Jeff Schulte 35:30
Yes. Their favorite phrase to say is watch me.
John Laforme 35:33
Yeah. Watch me. Exactly. So okay, I think we just covered diving boards and slides safety wise, and they’re definitely dangerous. And you may run into a problem with insurance. That’s those key takeaways right there.
Jeff Schulte 35:50
Those are big takeaways.
John Laforme 35:54
Okay, Langa lair saturation index, I just want to just bring that up a little bit. I don’t want to get into chemicals and all that stuff. Because we’re not actually at a pool. Right now. We’re just sitting at my desk.
Jeff Schulte 36:06
Well, this is water chemistry. And way back. I don’t remember how many years ago, Mr. Lang earlier invented and did testing on saturation degree of calcium carbonate. And that was for boilers, how to predict when a boiler was going to precipitate calcium carbonate on its insides. And he developed a chemistry
John Laforme 36:32
Sable, chemistry set chemistry table
Jeff Schulte 36:35
and incorporated measuring in water, the ph which is the potential of hydrogen ion, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, total dissolved solids, water temperature, and you put them all together and came with came up with a formula to predict whether you were going to either played out materials on the inside of your boiler, or you were going to etch them off and the metal along with it. Right. And it was originally just for large boilers, for buildings. And it was adapted at some point for swimming pools. And it’s not exactly the best method to predict deposition of calcium, but it’s a good source. Right? And it’s one tool,
John Laforme 37:26
right? Got it. So maybe you can explain a bit in more detail. What are the effects of poorly balanced water? What’s it going to do to your pool? What’s it going to do to your pipes, what give us a rundown on that?
Jeff Schulte 37:41
Well, you can either have perfectly balanced water, whether it’s not etching and it’s not depositing right. With an etching, the pool is slightly acidic, and there’s not enough calcium to balance that out. And it the water will attack the calcium carbonate plaster of the pool, and it’ll pit or it’ll stain or a number of other minor things, it’ll, it’ll start to eat away at the surface. That’s something that happens rarely, but it only takes a short period of time to ruin a plaster surface that way, you can also have deposition where the calcium carbonate or and or other materials are going to play out or precipitate onto the surface. And that causes a smooth plaster surface to become rough. like sandpaper. Yeah. Now pools shouldn’t be perfectly smooth. They should be about as rough as say 220 grit sandpaper, right, which you can rub your hand on it and barely take off some skin, right? If it gets to be rough, like 180 grit or 150 Grit, you can feel it and it feels like salt, grains right on the surface and it’s really difficult for small children and their feet because they have tender feet. They don’t have calluses like adults do. So children are up and down in and out back and forth in the pool and they’re constantly touching things with their fingers, elbows, hands and feet. And when you get a sore because you’re rubbing all of the skin off it’s extremely painful once you get out of the pool. And you don’t even know if you’re bleeding when you’re in a pool because you can’t see it right. So we want to avoid deposition and we want to avoid etching of the pool plaster surface.
John Laforme 39:37
Now when you say etching You mean you? What do you mean by etching? I’m not quite following you on that.
Jeff Schulte 39:45
etching is removal of parts of materials that are in the plaster mix. Okay, so plaster mix is white cement, or white marble cement and white marble sand that’s been ground down saved.
John Laforme 40:01
So is it visible to sometimes like what I see a lot with older pools is I’ll see sometimes it’s like a spotted everything to spots everywhere, just like light spots, maybe the maybe the pool base is like a light blue. And I’ll see a bunch of white spots all over almost like it’s a leper. You know what I mean? And some people have had real to say, oh, no, that’s the design. I’m like, ma’am, that is not the design of the pool. That wasn’t intentional. This warned this is a warm pool finish, and it probably needs resurfacing. So that’s what I come across. Would that be a visual a visual of what you’re referring to as etching, it could
Jeff Schulte 40:40
be most plaster 50% of pool plasters are white. The rest are colors or pebble finish, right. And the colors will model to some extent, and they’ll change colors and they’ll get stained. And there it’s very noticeable in a pool. If you have a black pool in the models, gray or white, you notice it right now White pools also model and it models white on white or gray and whiteness, not as noticeable, right? Once the minerals and the metal start to play out, then you get greens, grays blues in the in the plaster. And you may think I’d like to get this clean. So you hire a pool man, or some kind of repair person to come out. Drain your pool and acid wash it to take off that surface deposition. When you do that it makes the pool rougher. So you’re etching at a high rate, you’re etching the top surface
John Laforme 41:38
you’re etching on purpose.
Jeff Schulte 41:40
John Laforme 41:41
You’re edging out you think you’re fixing it, but you’re actually making it worse. Correct. So it doesn’t the poor guy know that.
Jeff Schulte 41:49
When the pool service man is considering making money, versus the longevity of your pool, which one’s gonna win? Yeah, a
John Laforme 41:57
little bit bias there.
Jeff Schulte 41:59
You know, I serve as pools I had a service arm of my business for 30 years, right. And for the first 10 years, I used to do acid washes until I became educated. And I stopped doing that when learn, live and learn. But the neat thing about pebble finish is that it doesn’t readily accept stains. It doesn’t readily accept depositions. And just as a personal thing, the very first pool pool I pebbled was in 1988. And I had a chance to see it two years ago, and it still looks brand new today. Wow. Yes.
John Laforme 42:36
So pebble finish. What I typically see with a pebble finish pool is it’s also saltwater pool. So can you touch on what it means to have a saltwater pool system.
Jeff Schulte 42:52
A saltwater pool has a coarse salt in it. bags and bags of salt. But it’s got a little unit electric electronic unit that takes the salt and puts it into its little ion particles. Sodium and chloride, you’re referring to the salt cell, the salt cell separates it and the salt is NaCl. That’s the chemical composition. It separates it into Na plus and OCL minus in aqueous environments, like like blue water. Yep, the salt cell takes that chlorine ion and separates the oxygen from the chlorine. And there’s a whole number of little things that happen. But basically you end up with a chlorine gas, which off gases up into the atmosphere and ozone which off gases into the atmosphere. The ozone which is oh three is highly unstable. So it splits apart and creates more pure oh two molecules. And that’s what actually cleans the pool water disinfects algae bacteria, things that shouldn’t be in pools should be dead. So it’s the off gassing of the oxygen that actually clean the pool. Chlorine, you know, we’ve all heard the stories of small children being in a pool for a long time and they get green hair. That’s from chloramine and chloramine is another thing that happens to pools where Wait
John Laforme 44:35
a second, I got to interrupt you. You mean to tell me all the teenagers I see walking around with different colored hair might just get out and gotten out of the pool
Jeff Schulte 44:42
if it’s green or blue. Yeah. That’s the
John Laforme 44:45
latest Carrick style color. My oldest thought so funny
Jeff Schulte 44:48
blonde hair and and the winner in green hair in a summer. But that’s from we’re not going to get into this but right. That’s from ammonia in the water which gets there from human sources.
John Laforme 45:00
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Jeff Schulte 46:04
Yes, typically that’s done approximately 30 days after the pool has been refilled. Especially after being plastered, okay, because we don’t want the salt to interact with the the fresh plaster surface. Got it. So let’s say 30 days later, you’re putting in 800 pounds of salt. Wow. And you brought water bring the level up to 3000 or 3500 parts per million of salt in the water, which doesn’t sound like a lot and you can barely taste it or feel it in the water. Okay, now you can turn on your electrolysis machine, and it’ll start to create chlorine out of that salt.
John Laforme 46:48
Right. That’s the part I wanted to explain. Yeah. Okay, one count 111 component turns into the next.
Jeff Schulte 46:56
Well, it used to be that most pools were chlorinated, either using liquid bleach, or very strong form of bleach, or dry tablets. And they create a very strong chlorine presence in the water. Yeah, the saltwater creates a very low presence of chlorine, but it’s enough to kill any living thing in the pool. So your bacteria, your algae, your little nasty little bugs, right? They all die. But the level isn’t so strong that it’s going to dry your skin. Right In fact, with a saltwater pool. It makes your skin feel good. You feel luxurious.
John Laforme 47:38
Right? Right. Maybe like a soft water softening system. Yes. Water System. That’s
Jeff Schulte 47:43
a different thing. A salt water system. Not so well. Soft water system, right? isn’t necessarily good for your pool. Right pool needs some hardness and need some minerals in order to reach its water. Plaster equilibrium.
John Laforme 47:57
Got it? Got it? Yeah, so pay, you know, in other words, you know, a saltwater pool is not like going in the ocean.
Jeff Schulte 48:06
No, it’s about one eight to 1/9 as strong as the ocean.
John Laforme 48:09
Right. So that’s, that’s what I wanted to cover that today. You can drink that water and not die, right? People understand, you know, why do I have a saltwater pool what it means I just wanted to get into that. So thank you for that. That’s that was helpful information on that. And now let’s get into copper pipe.
Jeff Schulte 48:30
And what we’re talking about the plumbing system now
John Laforme 48:33
plumbing system, which is a copper pipe, which is typically a pre 1970s pool, correct?
Jeff Schulte 48:39
That’s exactly right, pre 1970s. Okay, and 1970 the first plastic pipes were coming out and found to be suitable for pools because they didn’t interact with chemicals, right? They didn’t send copper ions back into the water to be plated out onto the surface. And they were smooth on the inside knew we’re always going to be smooth. Right now the chemical makeup has changed the formula for PVC pipes over the years, and now it’s even stronger and less brittle if it’s ever been right. Very strong, very good. plumbing for a pool.
John Laforme 49:16
Right? So what that means homebuyers is if you’re buying a old home, you know anything prior to 1970 Doesn’t matter if the pool was built with the house or not. If it’s built before then it most likely has copper piping unless the people you’re buying the home from actually already replaced it. Now to replace all that piping requires jackhammering up any concrete walk any concrete decking around the pool, am I right? Yes. So you got to remove all that to dig up to get to the dirt under it to dig up those pipes and then replace that copper with PVC. This is a very extensive amount of work. What do you think something like that will cost
Jeff Schulte 50:01
The ballpark range would be 5500 to 8500 for a typical pool and spa,
John Laforme 50:07
okay, and that’s, that includes pouring the new deck, Wendy down and all that.
Jeff Schulte 50:11
Yes. But typically, you’d be changing your 50 year old deck out as well. Right? That helps the cost. Copper pipe has a life of 40 to 50 years in a pool environment. Okay. And if pool was built prior to 1970, that pool is 50 to 60 years old. Yeah. And it’s way past it’s on borrowed time,
John Laforme 50:36
our time. So if you’re noticing, hey, you know, I keep losing water in my pool. Why do I keep losing so much water in my pool? Why is it keep going down two inches every couple days? Well, you probably have a leak somewhere. And that could be caused by the copper pipe could be caused by the skimmer or it could be caused by multiple things. That’s right. Yeah. So in other words, there’s really no upside to keeping your copper pipe.
Jeff Schulte 51:00
Just the cost. Yeah. So that’s it. So
John Laforme 51:03
it’s inevitable, it will eventually deteriorate and become a problem. So that’s what it means when you’re pulling specter tells you that you have copper pipe, you can expect to do repairs or replacement in the future. And now let’s talk about something else that comes with copper pipe and that is a copper skimmer.
Jeff Schulte 51:26
Copper skimmers were and have always been rare. And some of the least expensive pools built in Southern California had a complete copper shell for a skimmer, and there was a an actual filter in that skimmer, and we call it a skim filter. And all you had was a pump that will pump water, it would suck water through the skimmer, there was a basket on top that would clear out the leaves. And there was a set of grids down below. And that was screened out the dirt. And that was a very simple system. Those rotted out I doubt if there’s very many left
John Laforme 52:06
I see I see one actually about two weeks ago, but the pool was completely emptied. It was in really bad shape. And I was I ever remembers that the the skimmer cover has got to be what 16 inches round. It’s it’s deep, you could climb into it.
Jeff Schulte 52:23
You can’t reach your arm all the way down to the bottom. Now it’s it’s crazy. So
John Laforme 52:27
yeah, I mean that’s, that’s something I wouldn’t want to have if I was buying a house. So that’s something that’s another thing you probably want to upgrade upgrade as well. And that’s going to be a single outlet, a single plumbing.
Jeff Schulte 52:42
So how would I work? Well, you’ll have a separate pipe coming from the main drain and a separate pipe coming from the skimmer,
John Laforme 52:49
right that’s on a newer pool.
Jeff Schulte 52:51
Well, that’s on the older pools. Sometimes these copper skimmers would have the main drain, plumbed into a side outlet on these COPPA skimmers. And you’d have to use some kind of a plug to plug off the main bottom of the skimmer where all the water went to the pump. Yep. And plumb it all the way back to the to the pool.
John Laforme 53:12
Yeah, I’ve seen some words where it’s weird stuff. Weird stuff. Exactly. Okay, so let’s get into I want to try to say this Don’t laugh. Daya may CIAs.
Jeff Schulte 53:30
I could ever find your clothes. It’s diatomaceous
John Laforme 53:33
diatomaceous. Okay, diatomaceous earth, versus a cartridge filtration or sand filter.
Jeff Schulte 53:40
Originally, pools had rock and sand filters, okay, and they were monsters the size of a small car. And they had good sized rocks in the bottom. When I say good size, I mean, the size of your thumb. Okay, and then they got progressively smaller as you went to the top of this giant tank until you had a very fine sand on top. Typically, it was a silica sand, which was screened to be all the same size, maybe number 20 grit. And they were adequate for screening out dirt and large particles, but not fine particles. So as part of your weekly service, you’d throw in some clotting agents, which would clot the dirt together and finer particles together so they could be screened out. And then you could reverse the flow of water in your filter. And that would clean it and you’d send all this dirty water to the waste or the street.
John Laforme 54:41
I used to own a D filter on one of my pools.
Jeff Schulte 54:44
And the filter was much more compact. Rockin sand.
John Laforme 54:47
Yes. Yes. Much more compact. So go ahead. You’re talking about Yeah,
Jeff Schulte 54:52
so the D filters diatomaceous earth filters had a series of what we call grids. On the inside they were wrapped with a fabric brick, and the fabric would get dirty really quickly if you didn’t coat them with material. That was easily cleanable. So, in Lompoc, California, they discovered a huge mountain that was just full of readily Diggable diatomaceous earth and its calcic calcified diatoms that were in the ocean that just settled out and died and settled out. And it was ideal for screening out materials up to say 510 microns. And you could not have to clean the filter for say, three to four months, then in the summer, you might do it twice, but Right, it made pool cleaning a lot easier. And the water was even cleaner, more sparkling than before,
John Laforme 55:51
it might have might have been easier, but I never enjoyed it.
Jeff Schulte 55:53
Nobody enjoyed that. CCleaner never hated doing
John Laforme 55:57
it. And then
Jeff Schulte 55:58
they started to make a couple of companies made cartridge filters, which had dozens of little cartridges in them. And it was easy to take apart. It was a pain to spray them off with a garden hose. But it was easier in less mess than diatomaceous earth, but it took longer to clean. And over the years these it’s kind of
John Laforme 56:25
like a balancing act. Which one’s better? Six of
Jeff Schulte 56:27
one half dozen or the other. Yeah. So it got to the point where manufacturers kept refining their products, as they always do. And nowadays, today’s filters, cartridge filters are right up on par ease, easy to clean, easy to work with. And they screen out a very high grade of particles.
John Laforme 56:53
Right? So is there a when somebody has to make that decision? They’re in the pool store? They get the salesman in their ear going, Okay, you need to D and another guy’s over here. No, you need the cartridge. Oh, my pool guy says I should get the cartridge but the sales guy says I get the d what do you do?
Jeff Schulte 57:11
Do you want a Chevy or a Ford? It’s either one will do the job. Okay.
John Laforme 57:15
That that’s a great way to answer that. Thank you. Yeah, that’s, I get asked that all the time. What’s the difference? Like you know what? I’m going to use yours. Either Chevy or Ford. Nowadays, we’ll call it a Tesla, maybe.
Jeff Schulte 57:29
Or how about a BMW and Mercedes Benz?
John Laforme 57:31
There you go. Okay.
Jeff Schulte 57:32
John Laforme 57:35
Alright, so that’s it. Okay, coping tiles and decking. decorations, decorations. But let me ask you a little bit about loose coping, loose coping. Typically, I see. There’s no expansion gap between the decking and the coping, or what either, like I said, One, there’s no expansion gap at all. So you got concrete touching, touching the coping? Expansion contraction is going to move that stuff and loosen it up. I get all that. But I have seen cases where pretty confident bond beams
Jeff Schulte 58:14
are cracked. It’s all related. Yeah, it’s so
John Laforme 58:18
can you explain more about the bond beam and how that affects the pool?
Jeff Schulte 58:21
Well, a pool is built into the earth. And it’s not going to move at all the deck is floating on the upper crust of the earth and it moves up and down. And on the hottest days of summer, a concrete deck will flex and expand maybe an eighth of an inch every 10 feet. And if it expands toward the coping, it’ll push the coping out into the pool. And the coping is affixed to the top wall of the pool or the bond beam in the pool, right? And it’ll take part of that. Anything that’s above the last bar of steel and push it and break it over time. So that’ll break right through the tile. Now you’ve got this neat horizontal crack going around your pool. Yep. Well, if you have an expansion joint that prevents the deck from touching the coping, let’s say it’s a piece of three inch tall by half inch wide foam. that’ll prevent the two from touching, right. And then you tear off the top of the foam once the deck is built. And you backfill it with a little bit of sand and then you pour expansion joint material like deco see Deco. So here at the top. It’s a poly sulphide based material and it’s flexible. It’s flexible liable was great for five to 10 years. Yep.
John Laforme 59:43
Yeah. And if you see that around your pool, and it’s and it’s all deteriorating, it’s time to pull it out and replace it because you don’t want water getting in there.
Jeff Schulte 59:51
You don’t you want the pool to be dry right next to the pool.
John Laforme 59:55
Right so so can you go into a little more about why you don’t want water getting In between the deck and the bond beam and all that
Jeff Schulte 1:00:05
there’s such a thing as a standard engineered pool. And it has a bond beam going around the top, which is kind of like the thicker edge around a can of Coke,
John Laforme 1:00:16
which you can’t see just so everybody knows you can’t see the bond, but you can not see it covered with the coping and the pool tile on the face.
Jeff Schulte 1:00:23
Just in round numbers, let’s say the wall of the pool is six inches thick for most of it, but up at the top, it gets thicker, and it’s maybe 12 inches thick. And there’s more steel running around the top of the pool, top of the pool wall. And that prevents the pool from cracking. Right. Every time somebody jumps into a pool, they’re displacing a certain amount of water. And that’s a force against the wall of the pool, right. And if the pool is designed with a standard engineering detail, that means it’s got minimal steel in it and minimal concrete in it. And it’s meant to have a deck which allows the soil under the deck and next to the pool to remain dry and resist that force of somebody jumping in, right, or the occasional earthquake that we get in Southern California. Right? Okay, custom engineered pool might have what we call either a free standing detail, or a no deck detail, which means it has more steel in it has more concrete in it. And it’s able to resist even when the earth next to it is wet and less able to resist forces so the pool itself will resist. Got it. So nowadays, one of the trends is to build a pool and have grass come right up next to it.
John Laforme 1:01:50
I was just gonna say that I can read your mind
Jeff Schulte 1:01:53
John Laforme 1:01:57
I don’t like that.
Jeff Schulte 1:01:58
I saw that. I saw you say that. I can read your mind.
John Laforme 1:02:02
I don’t like that when the grass runs up to the coping. Yes, you’re dragging all the grass and the dirt into the pool every time you go in it.
Jeff Schulte 1:02:11
Well, you can imagine everybody’s got a job to do. So when the gardener is blowing the leaves, and there’s nobody looking he’s gonna blow those leaves into your pool.
John Laforme 1:02:21
Oh, that’s another point. That’s a pet peeve of mine gardeners.
Jeff Schulte 1:02:25
Sometimes they don’t need. They don’t mean to but they do. And
John Laforme 1:02:30
you know, every time I leave for work in the morning to go inspect the house. There’s a gardener that hears it and he knows I’m going to a certain house and he shows up the same time I do in annoys the shit out of me with his leaf blowers. I don’t care about the lawn mowers, but the leaf blowers. And that really hurts my ears. Those guys piss me off on a daily basis. And I’m like, hey, they go. Here we go. Everything was quiet. Here comes the gardener. Noise pollution for the next two hours. Oh, come on. Anyway, lawn against the coping how so people are designing. I wanted people to understand this, that listening or watching. When you are running the lawn right up against the coping. The pool is designed to be that way correct. It’s designed
Jeff Schulte 1:03:19
to have wet soil against it because it doesn’t need strength in the soil. To keep it from flexing,
John Laforme 1:03:24
it doesn’t need that concrete decking to help doesn’t work as well. Correct. So would that have the same type of a bond beam as a regular pool with a concrete deck?
Jeff Schulte 1:03:33
No, it’s going to have a thicker bond beam it’s going to have more steel in it. Okay. And it’s going to be able to resist all these forces without any external help from the soil. Got it?
John Laforme 1:03:43
Okay, so it’s engineered that way. That’s a good one. Because remember, a couple years back was the first time I noticed that and people are asking is that good? Well, I didn’t like it from the get go. But that’s just my opinion, doesn’t mean it’s not okay. But what I noticed is the grass was right around the skimmer too. Oh, yeah, I was like, I just didn’t like so you’re
Jeff Schulte 1:04:06
going to get extra biological materials into the pool? Yeah. Extra vegetation in the pool. Yep. All kinds of little things are gonna happen to make your pool dirty. Or if you
John Laforme 1:04:18
wonder why there’s always grass in your pool. Go knock on your, your garden, his forehead. Say hey, man, you got to knock that shit off. Because that happens all the time. They’re just gonna blow that stuff right in your pool. And you wonder why your filters always clogged in your skimmer. Okay, what can a homeowner expect if they’ve never had a house with a pool? utility costs on that pool maintenance costs
Jeff Schulte 1:04:46
that will totally depend upon the authority that supplies electricity to them here and the part of Los Angeles that I live in. We’re beholden to this Department of Water are in power owned by Los Angeles. And they have constructed a hierarchy of fees, that if you use a gallon of water a day, I’m just picking a number out of the air, right, you pay five cents for that gallon of water. If you use over that one to 10 gallons, they’re gonna charge you 12 cents. And if you charge, if you use more than 100 gallons a day, they’re gonna charge you a buck and a half. And it’s unless you have no grass, no landscaping, you won’t be able to meet that minimum. So essentially, this is a tax on your water in Los Angeles, right? You can expect the pool with the motor with the gas with the electric with the water that you’re going to use the water that uses the minimal as the least costly item, the electrical could add two to $300 a month to your your electric bill that explains
John Laforme 1:06:02
my last house right there. And his options, you got a single single speed motor, or you can get nowadays a variable speed motors that kind of help you electricity. A variable
Jeff Schulte 1:06:13
speed motor is an incredible invention for a pool. Yeah. Let’s say you need to move 50 gallons every hour, or 3000 gallons a day through the filter in order to keep your pool clean.
John Laforme 1:06:29
Is that is that a typical amount for an advertised pool?
Jeff Schulte 1:06:31
I’m just pulling a number out, okay, okay, I have to run the numbers. But if you could use a three horsepower pump and do it in an hour, great, but your electric bill is going to be extremely high. Because to move that much water takes three horsepower, and that consumes a lot of electricity. Yep, let’s say you can use that same pump and run it much slower. And you’re only using 1/6 of a horsepower, but it takes 24 hours, you’re actually saving money because you’re moving the same amount of water through your filter, so it’s clean. And instead of paying $10 a day, for water for electricity, you’re paying 50 cents a day. That’s beautiful. It’s beautiful.
John Laforme 1:07:20
I’ve always pushed that on customers like you know what you got, you got an old pool system here, you got a new filter, but you still running a single speed pump, you can make the investment and total variable speed.
Jeff Schulte 1:07:33
And that’s also going to depend upon the size of the piping that you have. If you have an old pool, it’s going to have very small diameter pipe, right? And you can only pull so much water through that pipe. For instance, if I gave you a cup full of water and a straw, and I said take a drink no problems. Right? Right. If I made that straw, 30 feet long and said Take a drink. You couldn’t do it right, the friction wouldn’t allow the water pass through. It’s the same thing with a high horsepower pump. If you don’t have large diameter pipe, it can’t do the job you want it to do.
John Laforme 1:08:08
Got it? Okay, pull the water. So So in other words, adding a variable speed to an old pool system may not help it. Yes. Okay. Okay, that’s good to know. That’s good to know. Now, I want you to look at your camera for a second and say Hi, Dave. Hi, Dave. So my editor Dave, has a poll question. He actually asked me this months ago. Now I thought I gave him good advice, but I want your opinion on it. He was talking about he had kept having problems with keeping his pool you know, clean and the water right and stuff. And he told me he was only running the pool motor for a couple hours a day. I said that’s probably your problem right there. Running it only a couple hours a day is probably not going to circulate enough water to to keep things clean and according to how many chemicals you put in it. So I was telling them you know when the hot in the summer, you probably want to run that thing eight hours a day, six to eight hours and maybe in the winter less. What’s your opinion on that?
Jeff Schulte 1:09:10
That’s a good rule of thumb and that’s the advice that I give most people okay, every pool is different. Yes, I’ve got a right. I’m gonna give you a gold star. All right. Every pool is different. No two pools are alike. The environments are different number of people using it the number of trees and landscaping shrubbery around the pool. There are two main reasons for having a green pool. Number one is not enough chlorine or sanitizer, and the other is not enough filtration. Now, almost everything else that we can think of what happens to a pool has to do with one of these two items. If you have old water where it’s got a high concentration of dissolved salts and minerals It effectively buffers against the chlorine and keeps the chlorine from working and doing its job killing the bacteria in the algae. If you don’t have enough filtration because your filter is dirty, or your filters undersized, or you’re just not running your pump long enough and getting all of those gallons of water through your filter every day, you’re not screening out enough debris, or dirt or pollen or whatever happens to fall in your pool. Right? So those are the two main reasons. So the first thing I would say is run your filter sufficient number of hours, you’re pumping them sufficient number of hours. And number two, make sure you always have a high level of sanitizer in there during the summer months during the winter. Very, very low chlorine consumption.
John Laforme 1:10:48
Okay. So how many hours was that about? Right?
Jeff Schulte 1:10:52
Yes, eight hours in the summer, six to eight hours in the summer and four to six hours in the winter. Okay, good rule of thumb.
John Laforme 1:10:59
All right. There you go. Dave. Now’s for you, Dave. You’re welcome. So let’s see what else that I have here. We talked about that coping. time and duration. Yeah, we talked about that. You have anything else you want to point out like just for general pool ownership?
Jeff Schulte 1:11:22
Yes, there’s a high cost that nobody will tell you about. I’m about to tell this to you today. And get out your pens and pencils. Because this, this happens to everybody. I’m ready. When you first get a house with a pool. Every week in the summer, every weekend in the summer, when it’s really hot. All your neighbors, your friends, relatives, everybody’s coming over to your house, and you have to feed them. That’s the single biggest cost of owning a pool.
John Laforme 1:11:50
That’s great. I never thought of that
Jeff Schulte 1:11:52
Institute, the Costco rule. Nobody comes over to your house unless they bring a case of something to drink, the snacks, something to put on the barbecue something to contribute to the cost
John Laforme 1:12:03
something to offset that, that all that water being dragged out of your pool every time somebody gets in and gets out of your pool because it you will be filling your pool later.
Jeff Schulte 1:12:12
And adults pee in the pool more than children do.
John Laforme 1:12:16
That’s true. I think that is true. I’m probably guilty of that as well. We all are.
Jeff Schulte 1:12:21
I have been in the pool for a long time. So I don’t remember.
John Laforme 1:12:23
So I want to that was great. We covered a lot. For homeownership, I’m sorry, swimming pool ownership for you know, homeowners if you’re whether you’re a first time pool owner, I’ve owned a couple of pools, it’s a lot of work. To be honest, it’s a lot of maintenance, you got to get a pool guy, which is probably what 100 bucks a month around that 100 bucks a month, some guys probably charge 150. So there are costs that come with owning a pool. I know all of you like oh, I’ll just do it myself. I’m a DI wire. You’ll get sick of that about 30 days of trying to maintain that pool. It’s a lot of work. And if you’re a busy person, just get a good pool person. Keep an eye on them. You may want to recycle them every six months, just like your gardener because they’ll get lazy and get complacent. So keep an eye on who you hiring. That’s my tip because I’m talking from experience. I’ve had a couple pools I’ve had pool guys that had great ones and really bad ones. So now I just want to go over what advice would you have for home inspectors? What are the main things they should be looking for, aside from the child safety that we already covered?
Jeff Schulte 1:13:33
The child safety for a swimming pool? is part of the the home inspectors. Right? Well, you anyway,
John Laforme 1:13:42
we’re now required to if we inspect the house and we’re not there to inspect the pool, we still have to comment on the Senate Bill 4442 which is the swimming pool safety. So we do have to comment on that in all our reports. Whether it’s a in ground above ground spa as well. And a body of water swimming pool body of water is 18 inches or deeper, right are deeper or deeper. So big big event would that would that apply to like a huge water fountain that was like two feet deep? Yes. Yeah, it would. Okay. So that’s another thing that probably a lot of people are not aware of. When I say that I mean homeowners and home inspectors. You get a really big fountain on the property and it’s got more than 18 inches of water it’s it’s it’s considered a pool, it’s considered a pool and it should have safety devices and if you have children you got to make you got to be aware of that. You may want to fence that thing off if you have small ones because I couldn’t easily climb in that thing and fall in it. Typically the water fountains are not that high off the ground, but they’re deep. Some can be deep like it’s dug out underneath. Like it’s deeper than the ground you’re standing on it. other words, so? Yeah, so as far as home inspectors go, Yeah, you know, anybody doing home inspections, these they should be aware of this already. It’s been in place since 2018. I believe it was 2018. It went into effect, right? Yeah, it was 2018 when that went into effect. So electrical allies. Any pointers for home inspectors there?
Jeff Schulte 1:15:25
Yeah. Do the big three, check for equipotential bonding. Yep. Check for grounding, and check for GFCIs.
John Laforme 1:15:33
Okay, grounding inside the timer box. Yes. Is that we’re referring to and what we should what should we be looking for right there.
Jeff Schulte 1:15:40
Make sure that every conduit has a green wire going through it and it’s properly attached to the circuit board that circuit board. Timer. Well, the grounding lug that’s inside
John Laforme 1:15:57
it. Okay. So any, any, any conduit? Should have a green wire coming through? Yes. grounding wire. Okay. And GFCI? What, what about when you got a really old pool in the junction box is right at the edge of the pool? What do you recommend? They’re just upgrading that,
Jeff Schulte 1:16:16
cut it out and move it, move it either money?
John Laforme 1:16:19
Okay, got it. And anything else? For tips for a home inspector doing a visual if we you know, we don’t get into a depth like you do? You probably get a little more in depth on your pool inspections. Yeah, we do.
Jeff Schulte 1:16:33
So look for cracks and anomalies is the pool level? Yes, I decide. Look at the tile line. Okay, as the water level on the tile line, if has rotated more than an inch, that’s a little yellow flag. If it’s moved two inches, that’s a bright yellow flag. If it’s moved more than two inches, that’s a red flag. Got it. In any hillside area, where I work, if a pool is more than brand new, old, I always recommend the services of the geoscience a geo soils company. Right. And that’s they can choose to do it or not. It’s up to them. I always check that box on my report. Right? Yes.
John Laforme 1:17:20
Okay. All right. Anything else you want to add there?
Jeff Schulte 1:17:25
No, if we do this again, I’ve got a lot more topics to talk about.
John Laforme 1:17:29
We I’d love to do it again. You tell me one, that’d be great. We can add on to so there’s there’s more pool topics is what you’re saying? For, for homeowners to learn. And for home inspectors. Yes. Okay. I’m down with that. So that sounds good to me. So Jeff, I really appreciate you coming out today and talking about all this because I think we touched on some really good subjects. Some good topics.
Jeff Schulte 1:17:53
I’ve enjoyed this too. And I love talking when people are gonna listen to me.
John Laforme 1:17:57
Yeah. Oh, no, my, my, my, my listeners are listening. And we, you know, we recorded it for a video for YouTube version as well. Because some people like to be on YouTube. Some people like to be on the podcast apps and just listen. Some people like to just turn on YouTube and just listen. So it happens in different ways. But once again, Jeff Shulte from SNS pools by referral only this man does not advertise. He’s been doing it forever. So he’s got a great big fan base following
Jeff Schulte 1:18:31
since God was a boy, I sat behind Jesus in the third grade, and you go
John Laforme 1:18:36
and great pool inspector. Everybody loves Jeff never have a complaint about Jeff. So if you want to find Jeff, good luck, because
Jeff Schulte 1:18:50
yeah, ask John. Yeah, he can he can turn
John Laforme 1:18:52
you contact me. I can, I can refer you to Jeff. And and you may get them that way if he’s not too busy already. But anyway, John here from home inspection. Or, remember, if you’re buying a home, don’t panic. Just like the t shirt says, By the way, what size are you get you want if you’re a t shirt guy.
Jeff Schulte 1:19:11
I’m an extra small, extra small.
John Laforme 1:19:15
And so if you are if you have any questions regarding the podcast, or the YouTube, just you know, leave a message guys, I’ll be more than happy to answer it myself. And if I can’t, I will contact Jeff and get an answer. Maybe we didn’t cover something you want to cover? Or maybe we can talk about that on the next time. I have him back because I’m sure I will. Because I have a lot of questions. And next time, I will have a few more photos for you to observe just to go over a few things and stuff like that. But anyway, thanks again, Jeff.
Jeff Schulte 1:19:50
Thanks for inviting me on the show today.
John Laforme 1:19:52
I appreciate it. And see you on the next one. Everybody.
Jeff Schulte 1:19:56
Are you gonna cut the mic on
John Laforme 1:19:59
the trumpet? All right, we just dropped it right there. Thank you. Okay, just a friendly reminder, if you’re buying a home, don’t panic home inspection authority inspection authority. You can schedule us online, a go into home inspection of forty.com 24/7 or you can call us at 800-950-8184. We offer general home inspections, mold inspections and testing sewer camera inspections, indoor air quality testing, swimming pool and spa inspections, and light commercial inspections. Use specialized tools to provide the most thorough inspection possible such as drone or roof inspections that are not accessible, crawl bought, or under homes and tight crawl spaces to get to those areas otherwise not accessible. And we use thermal imaging technology as well. So give us a call at 800-950-8184. Like I said you can schedule online at home inspection of forty.com 24/7