Today’s dollar drain courtesy of the City of Phoenix: the new greased-gravel “paving” they’ve installed in the alley pretty clearly is not going to stand up to the force of water flowing out of a backwash hose. In theory, it’s against the law to backwash into an alley: if they catch you, it’s a $2,500 fine. This law is most honored in the breach. Presumably if you drained an entire pool into the alley — upwards of 10,000 gallons — someone would notice and the city would show up at your door. But most of the time, no one pays any attention.
However, you can be sure the Trash Cops certainly will notice if the fine new fake blacktop is dug up. Besides which, even if no one complains, the damn stuff is almost impermeable to water…and of course, they didn’t build drains alongside the crud. So that means every time it rains and every time someone backwashes onto it, we are going to have fine mosquito ponds.
For quite some time, I’ve been figuring that when the DE filter on the pool gives up the ghost, I’ll replace it with a cartridge filter, which doesn’t have to be backwashed. In theory, you only have to take it apart twice a year and clean out the cartridges. (We’ll believe that when we see it…) If this is so, it will represent a considerable savings both in terms of hassle and of service calls. The present filter has to be cleaned out three or four times a year…and the $1,250 tab for the thing is less than half the cost of a fine.
So the pool guy is out there. The difference in how efficiently this device runs, as compared to the ancient one, will make up $1,250 in my time — and in annoyance factor — within just a few months. Think of it: NEVER HAVING TO BACKWASH AGAIN! Wooo hooo! And when you change out the pump pot basket, you don’t have to bleed off the air, another source of hassle and mess.
It does mean I will run out of money before next September, when I have to take the annual required minimum drawdown from savings. Fortunately the stock market is up, and fortunately I can charge this on a credit card, thereby deferring payment into 2018. That means I can move the tax hit into a year in which our tax bill supposedly will drop (har har hardy-har har!!!!). If the usual set of politicians’ lies turns out, for a change, not to be outrageously false, then maybe I can at least keep the tax hit down some.
Plus I expect the economy to tank after 2018 — probably in 2019 or 2020 — and I’d like to cover as many of these expensive house maintenance jobs as possible while the market is up and my investments will recover the losses in a month or two.
But my God, the backwash valve on the Money Bin has been running out of control now for months!
Paying off the car drained both personal and corporate bank accounts. I’ve had a thousand bucks worth of dental work so far and at the least am still looking at replacing two crowns. This predicament, naturally, developed after I took it into my pretty little noggin to paint the house, which probably wasn’t immediately necessary, but certainly will be if I decide to put the place on the market and move away from Bum Central and Meth, Inc.’s headquarters. I do love my house and my neighbors, but realistically, there are some drawbacks to living here. 😀
Among them, one could argue, is the cost of maintaining the Funny Farm…