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IN THE MAIL... - Future inspires service tech to reflect


This letter is from David Griswold of Dave’s Spa & Pool Service in Burbank, California.

I was really impressed with your August 1, 2022 article entitled “ 3D printed pools: The future is here”.

Link: https:// serviceindustrynews- hi. goTo=11.

In 1980, I moved out to the Palm Springs, 29 Palms area of Southern California to work with a pool builder who went to San Juan Pools of Florida to be trained as a franchisee. He had a ranch in the high desert along with a hanger (and plane) where all the equipment and plumbing supplies were delivered.

We put in several fiberglass pools and separate spas in the area. The process would take little time — with a team we were installing 2 pools per week. The pool and/or spa would be delivered to the job site. The pool shells were fabricated in Hemet, California, and trucked to each job.

A contractor with a backhoe would lift the pool shell onto the ground. He would then excavate the hole to exact dimensions according to a series of pre-measured chains to guarantee the hole to be not too large or too small. I would rough in the plumbing to the skimmer, main drain, and returns before the whole pool shell would be lowered into the hole.

Since the area was nothing but sand, we used the extra material to backfill. A sextant was constantly being used to level, while we would wash the sand into the hole to level and support the shell. To keep the shell from floating we had to keep filling it with water while the backfill was being done. When done we never had a level problem.

I would dig the trenches for the plumbing to the equipment site, set the equipment, and eventually start everything up when the pool was filled. An electrician wired in the pool light and the equipment. The deck was poured and the forms removed a few days later.

If the people wanted a spa, San Juan had a round model or the customer could purchase a fancier one.

Dig the hole, drop the shell in, do rough plumbing, and deck. Because we used Ortega valves for pool and spa water diversion, we ALWAYS installed an equalizer line with 2-inch pipe between the two bodies of water in the event an Ortega valve was not set correctly and the spa wouldn’t overflow.

I was out there before flexible PVC (pipe had to be softened with a torch to make bends). Scotch-coated gas line, Sta-rite Max-e-glass pumps, and Kreepy Kraulies were just being introduced.

The stuff I installed all belongs in a museum.

It was so hot in the summer that copper pipe left in the sun hardly needed a torch to melt the flux and solder. We used copper mostly for heat sinks on heaters — all else was PVC.

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