Coffee heat rising

Penny-wise and pound-foolish!


Leslie’s Pools had an in-store special offer of 50 percent off any pool service, including the routine filter cleaning. Naturally, I couldn’t resist that one, and so this morning Bob the Wonderful Leslie’s Guy showed up to do the job.

You may recall that last April, I got peeved at Leslie’s because they’d jacked up their price on DE filter service and tacked on a “trip charge,” a gratuitous insult when gasoline prices were lower than they’d been in the past two years. So I called on Adam, a neighbor who advertises that he’s in the pool servicing business, to come over and clean out the diatomaceous-earth filter. He did the job for Leslie’s pre-hike price, and since he could walk to my house there was no absurd trip charge. Not only that, but he used his own DE instead of dumping mine in there.

Ohhhkayyyy….  That looked, on the surface, like a positive development.

A few weeks later I had to have the pressure gauge replaced. Adam had jammed it back onto the pump cattywampus, and with the action of opening and closing the relief valve during the almost daily debris-cleaning activities, it had cracked. That cost $133.31.

Dumb tax!

And that’s not all. Harvey the Hayward Pool Cleaner has been sluggish to the point of torpor. He barely crawls around the bottom; normally he zips around like some sort of berserk ferret in there, and often climbs up the walls and tries to get out. The swimming-through-molasses act has been going on for a very long time (like…since last April, maybe?), and no amount of backwashing and trips to the Leslie’s pool-cleaner vet have helped.

Well, so Bob the WLG, having already complained that it wasn’t very long ago that I had the thing cleaned out so he didn’t see why it should need to be cleaned again, hauls the filter innards out to the alley and takes the thing apart.

It was totally clogged. Bob speculated that Adam hadn’t bothered to disassemble and clean the parts individually, but had simply set the whole lash-up in the alley and sprayed it off with the hose. Since it didn’t take Adam long to do the job, that’s probably a fair guess.

Dumb tax surcharge? Hours of physical work for the Happy Homeowner. I’ve been out there for a good hour almost every morning through this godforsaken record-breaking hot summer, just trying to keep the pool from turning green. I’ve had to clean up dust and debris manually, day in and 115-degree day out, because Harvey was effectively nonfunctional.

So that’s what happens when you get cheap and hire an unknown quantity instead of a provider with a known track record, just to save five or ten bucks.

one of these


a bunch of these


Image: Proof-quality Lincoln penny, public domain, Wikipedia Commons

3 thoughts on “Penny-wise and pound-foolish!”

  1. @ frugalscholar: Weirdly, I do enjoy it. I usually swim a couple of times a day while the weather’s warm, between early may and the end of October. Because we’ve had a couple of cooler nights, the water is off its high of bathtub-high and is again refreshing. It’s one of the best ways to survive an Arizona summer.

    It’s not really trouble: it’s just a lot of steady work. As long as you keep up with it, the pool will run for years without much heavy-duty maintenance.

Comments are closed.