Plum tactics

There’s more to plumbing than meets the eye. This one job we had involved installing a full plumbing system for a private residential heated pool. The project was a big one as the pool was huge and there was no infrastructure for the proposed plan. We began work by consulting with the customer to understand exactly what they wanted. It turned out that they wanted to heat the pool using a boiler system that was part of the house’s main heater system.

This sounds like a simple job… but it couldn’t be further from the truth. We were initially happy to carry out the work in the knowledge that there was a heater system already in place. After further investigation, the heater unit was very old, unreliable and poorly installed… not too mention too weak to heat the house during a cold winter’s night, let alone a huge external pool.

The job got bigger and bigger. So now, we’ve got to install a huge boiler to accommodate the huge pool. The problem with this… is that the current boiler is located on the roof. It wouldn’t be hard to get that one down… simply a case of decommissioning it, unhooking it and throwing it off of the roof. However, getting a boiler up there that was three times the size was a very different challenge. Firstly, the roof couldn’t support the additional weight! Argh! So we had to get a builder and roofer into to install structural supports for the new boiler. This was six weeks work before any sight of said boiler.

Once the roof was up to scratch, we ordered the boiler unit and a crane to hoist it onto the flat roof. Delivery was relatively uneventful… however, installation was a pain in the @@@@. None of the fixtures or fittings were standard sizes. Where was this thing made? (It was China… we should have guessed.) The next challenge was to find parts that would fit both the boiler and the fitting that were already in place. This added another six weeks to the job and almost doubled the cost! Ouch.

Once we had the boiler installed and operational, e began cutting channels from the house to the pool where the hot water pipes and cold-water returns would be. We then began laying pipes. Once we had the core pipes laid… we began installing the swimming pool. It was like a giant jigsaw puzzle! The instructions were in Spanish… so we had to think on our feet and make things up as we went a long… this took two weeks. We eventually got everything installed an up and running. Plumbing is never easy!

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