Wrong Polaris Debris & Leaf Bag Saved Me About $30

I asked my daughter to buy me a Polaris debris and leaf bag for our model 180.  Well, I thought our model was 180 because the people who we purchased the house included some documents of items included with the purchase of the house.  We were given quite  few documents for the pool equipment.  When the bag arrived, I noticed that it was incorrect. It was missing the quick connect plastic ring clips.  It only had Velcro, no clips.  The Polaris 280, 480 and 3900 use “tear drop” shaped clips to secure the bag to it’s cleaners.

The image shows the “incorrect” bag for our pool sweep. It is missing the quick connect clips and the top bag zipper. Not that that bag has a rather long connection collar. I had to cut my 2 inch PVC pipe long enough to go up the full distance of that collar which is about 4 inches.

The bag shipped to us did not have quick clips to attach the bag to the pool sweep.  It was also missing a zipper at the end of the bag to allow quick removal of the debris and leafs.  I then discovered that my daughter did purchase the correct bag for a 180 model.  We must have had a newer model and the prior home owners failed to include that model in the documents given to us.  This new bag is way cheaper, costing close to $13 while the proper bag for our pool sweep costs just over $45.  I decided to find a way to make this cheaper bag work.  It was easy.  I removed the old ruined bag from the fitting by using screwdrivers to pry out the outside ring.

This image shows the concept for this project. The bag is at the top. Into the bag is a 2 inch PVC pipe cut to 4 inches so it extends up into the bag . I found that the bottom of this pipe did not have to be glued into the bottom parts as it fit very tight. The bottom parts consist of the old bag clips and a 2 inch PVC coupling had been inserted into the bag clip portion. Later, I would use irrigation primer and glue to marry the bag clip to the union.

I discovered that a 2 inch PVC irrigation pipe joint fit rather perfectly into the top of the part that clips to the pool sweep.  It was a bit slack but the irrigation glue should fix it in place.  I wanted to maintain the largest opening for leaves to pass upward into the bag.  I measured the diameter of the bag and it was close to the 2 inch pipe diameter.  I then cut  an irrigation pipe that slips into the 2 inch joint for a distance of 4 inches because the bag has a rather long stiff collar with a long side slit.  I wanted all the debris and leaves to go up into the bag and not slip out of that side collar opening, which is the reason for the rather long, 4 inch pipe length.

This image shows the full complete modification. The new bag slips down from the top, over the top ring and ends at the 2 inch union. The long pipe length was needed to ensure debris would pass completely into the bag. Note that a ring (not seen in this image) has been removed from the bottom clip part so as to not interfere with the new bag. I had to remove the prior ruined bag which was locked in place by a hard to get off ring. If you want to save time, just cut the old bag with a sharp knife or razor saving you form removing the outer ring, which is a pain to get off.

I decided upon 4 inches because the bag has a rather long throat and I wanted the pipe to go up into the bag.  I was worried that the bag just might slip out of the plastic pipe upward.  I needed a solution to that problem.  I found an old 2 inch PVC joint and cut just a little off of it.  I then glued that small ring to the top of the 4 inch pipe to the bag would not slip off.

The above image shows the completed new construction.

This pools sweep modification PVC parts cost less than $5 for new parts.  The correct bag would have cost about $45. The new bag, my daughter purchased cost only about $13.  In just under 2 hours I had created a modification to the pool sweep that saved me just over $30.

The problem with the above bag is when you remove it from the sweeper, the contents of the bag can easily fall out.  Also, the bag does not hold much and fails to collect that much pool debris.  The next option, described next, is recommended.

A much better solution is to buy a really good cheap bag.  I recommend this bag:

SuMile 2 Pack All Purpose Bags Nylon Mesh Zipper Bags Pool Cleaner Bags Replacement Bags for Polaris 280, 480 Pool Cleaner Replacement Parts K13 K16

You get two bags for a very reasonable cost.   I find them to be very good construction and do a perfect job of collecting the pool debris.  This bag holds a lot.  I love the zipper for opening the bag and removing the contents.


Updated: May 30, 2019

Home Builder Plumber Errors.

We recently had a number of drain pipe problems occurring within a two month period at our two story home.  The three problems seem to be from suspicious causes.

Mike’s (our plumber) observations:

#1  With new home construction, when plumbing pipes fail to line up, some plumbers force joints to come together. This lasts for a while but as the building ages and the plastic becomes less flexible the pipe gives way.  Mike has seen this happen quite a few times.

#2  New home construction typically goes out to the lowest bidder resulting, in some cases, poor workmanship.  Mike started working as a plumber for new home construction when he started his career.  He got to see this aspect of the business.

In our specific case, we had a number of problems that were extremely egregious to the point of being intentional:

The downstairs bathroom sewer drain goes up inside the wall behind the commode and then does a right turn over to a hallway and then up at a second 90 degree union. These pipes are hidden in walls and flooring. The second joint was hit by a hammer resulting in a crack which led to a very small leak that took years to detect. It is simply impossible for anyone to get to that right angle joint so I suspect that this may have been a worker sabotage the home because it was allegedly high end and expensive,

The next problem was in the laundry room ceiling. This room was the location of a sewer line that serviced an upstairs bathroom. The sewer pipe coming out of the cement slab was not properly positioned vertically but came up at a slight angle. The idiot plumbers, compounded the problem by trying to force a rubber joint to marry the two pipes. The pipes were so far out of being matched to vertical that the pipe leaked.

The third incompetent error was the plumber failed to apply enough glue to the mating surfaces of the two pipes as they slid together in two locations. We found out that when the plumber came to fix the second leak the movement of the pipe caused the next leak. Glue was applied to the outside of the joints but apparently rarely to the inside, which caused this. One problem was below the toilet. The second leak was from the bath/shower. This too might have been from a plumber that intended to cause the home owner leak problems in the future.

Image shows a closeup of the junction of a joint (left) with a straight pipe (right). Note the void inside the large opening which indicates insufficient glue was applied.

Mike also became suspicious when he went to cut the old pipes out, the plastic snapped instead of bent when the pipes were almost separated. This told him that the pipe could have been from an inferior source.

Summary:  Our home builder’s plumber was allegedly incompetent or wanted the home owner to be hurt well after the house was sold.

Posted: September 1, 2018

Milwaukee V-Jaw Pliers That Are Way Cool To Use.

I went shopping for a small crescent wrench at Home Depot.  I found a wonderful and rather clever designed pliers that would outperform just about any small wrench I have in my tool kit.  Here is what I like about it:

  • The jaws have a clever design that easily grabs any bolt size up to 1 and 1/2 inches.
  • The jaws can open up to 2 and 1/4 inches for grabbing other items that do not come around to hit the wrench for 3/4 inch to 1 inch.
  • There is a push button on one side that is used to release and quickly allow the jaws to slide open or closed.  This push button extends outward for about 1/2 inch to impede grabbing bolts that come out from a flat surface.  The way around this problem is to flip the wrench over and try to remove the bolt.
  • The grips are comfortable.
  • Only 8 inches in length.
  • Both ends of the wrench can be used to ream or stretch out or ream pipe up to 1 and 1/2 inch pipe.
  • Rust protection.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.

Milwaukee 48-22-6208

American Standard Toilet Lid Problem – Solved

The customer complained that one of their bathroom toilet lids kept falling down.  This is a real problem for men.

I checked to see if the floor was level.  I was darn near level but had an ever so slight tilt backward which should have helped the lid to stay up.  It appeared to be a defective design.

The only identification is inside the water tank: American Standard 1112 tank, made in Mexico.  I suspect that this toilet came with the new home.

American Standard has a pretty awful score at Consumer Affairs web site.

The quick solution was to shim the tank backward a slight bit.  I used white heat shrink plastic tubing.  The top water tank rests upon a front and rear ridge.  I put the shim between the front ridge and the tank and then tightened the tank bolts.

In practice, this solution did work.  The customer had to make sure the toilet lid was firmly put up against the tank for it stay in place.  I now wished I had used a second plastic tubing shim.

Image shows a closeup of the tank resting upon a plastic tubing shim which has been placed upon the front base ridge.
This image shows the plastic shim in place before the tank is tightened down.


The image shows a side view and very close view of the toilet seat on the left in a up osition. In the center of the image shows the first tank ridge which the water tank rests upon. A red arrow points to where the shim was inserted before the tank was tightened. The bolt for mounting the tank can be seen. Near the right edge of the image is the rear tank mounting ridge.
This image shows the toilet seat placed in the up position as seen on the left side of the image. The red arrow points to the shim placed upon the forward ridge. The bowl bolt can be seen next as you view the image from left to right. At the very right edge of the image is the rear ridge which the water tank rests. The whole concept is to get the water tank to tilt backward slightly so when the lid is placed up, it will stay in place.


Revised April 7, 2018

Husky 3200 Lumen Multi-Directional LED Work Light Review

I had to do a some room remodel and needed a good portable work light.  I wanted the following features:

  • Powerful light source.
  • Easy to move the unit around.
  • Good light spread so lots of wall space would be lit.
  • Collapsible to a manageable size for movement and storage.
  • Low heat generation so the work space would not become any more uncomfortable from heat emanating from the light source.  I had up to now used tungsten halogen lights and the rooms would really get warm.
  • Low power use.  This became a feature after my choice was made.  I came to realize that in emergencies, this light could offer a reasonable light source from battery or generator.

The unit I chose was a Husky 3200 Lumen Multi – Directional LED Work light.  Husky Product number: 1001 713 235

I have been very happy with this device.  Here are some surprises:

  • I found that I could more easily see the texture coat shooting spray if I positioned the light off to one side of the my texture gun or position the light low when shooting the ceiling so I could see the spray pattern.
  • The three LED panels which can be swung around to best point the light is an incredible clever feature.   I tend to move the two side LED panels around each time I re-position the light to customize where I want the light to fall.
  • I could put this light into a tight space (see image below).
Image shows the light head illuminated and all three panels.
Image shows the light head turned on. Note that the two side LED panels swing back and forth from the main panel.



This image shows the work light extended to its full upward height. The image also shows the tripod at the bottom and the vertiacal three section stand which can be adjusted from two adjustment knobs.
This image shows the light fully extended to its tallest height. Note there are three stand sections and two stand adjustment knobs shown in red color.
The image shows the light head upon the collapsed stand but the stand legs are still extended to hold the light upward. The two LED side panels have been swung around toward the center panel to effectivly close the light from damage.
This image shows how the two side LED panels fold in toward the main panel to make a stored brick like solution to protect the LED light panels.
This image shows the light having its tripod partially collapsed against a bathroom corner and with the light stand fully drawn down so the light is as low to the floor as possible. The light is turned on and you can see the light pattern of the two side panels brighten two walls.
This image shows this light instrument being used in a very small space. In this cases, the light was used to offer light into a very small bathroom for painting.

 Update: April 7, 2018.  I have come to realize that this is not a light for professional use but rather for home owners that take good care when using their equipment.  My major complaint is the column locks and the tripod.  The column locks are, at times, difficult to lock and unlock.  Never use a wrench on those plastic locks.  The tripod is often times a pain to deploy and retract.  I have read reviews for this light and there is probably a much better unit to consider. that being PowerSmith.

Updated: April 7, 2018
Updated: March 6, 2019.  The following web page timed out:  http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-3200-Lumens-Batm.  New web page: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-3200-Lumen-Multi-Directional-LED-Tripod-Work-Light-DE007/206839059

Family Room – Items Used – Part 8

Here is a list of some of the items that I used to complete this project.  This is only a partial list.  It may be updated to include more items.

TV wall mount: Sanus SLF9 (excellent to the point of being perfect).  Vendor: COSTCO.

Smart TV:  LG 65UH615A.  This is a 65 inch diagonal flat screen smart TV.  It has 4 HDMI connectors, 1 optical audio, 1 Ethernet port, 1 USB port.  The image quality is very good.  This particular model was chosen mainly because the mounting screw holes are centered below half the vertical height.  This means that the TV can easily be mounted higher than your typical TV.  Most flat screen TV sets have their mounting screw holes centered.  We needed to have our TV clear the mantel and allow some space for the center surround speaker to shoot its audio just under the TV.  Vendor: COSTCO.

Mantel over the fireplace:  Stoll, Carolina Mantel, Aspire Rustic is a standard finish.  Size: 60” x 8” x 4”.  Cost $659.  Vendor: West Coast FirePlace, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.  Easy installation if you know where the studs are.  I had to use photographs of the fireplace rocks and the bare studs to confirm where the studs were located.  The texture coat wall made it difficult to get a stud finder reading some times.

Conduit pipe used to make HDMI and optical audio runs:  1 and 1/8 inch I.D. PVC thin wall.  I then used 1 and 1/2 inch thin wall cut into 1/2 inch segments to be used to glue and lock the conduit runs into the plastic (blue) boxes.  I had to use wire lubricant and a rubber mallet to get the pipe to run through my pre-drilled stud holes.

Rear wall speaker mounts: Panavise Stud Speaker Mount, Model 105108 (black).  Vendor: Orvac Electronics, Fullerton, Calif.  For the life of me, I could not remove the stock wall mount.  My intention was to remove the stud mount and attach the mount to a steel electrical box plate out of which ran the speaker wires.  I may call Panavise and get some advice as to how to unattach the wall mount portion of this mount.

Ceiling light wall (switch) dimmers:  Lutron, C L digital dimmer, model MACL-153MH-WH. (very good)  Vendor: Home Depot.  I love these dimmers.  You can preset the light level you want and simply turn the light switch on to that level.  You can easily override the preset to turn any of these dimmers on full.

TV bias light:  PPA Int’l OLS Home Accent Kit.  (does not provide a good white light).  I may replace this with a true white light source.

Fireplace Mortar:  I had to shoot caulking under the steel Stoll mantel to fill in the space between that metal shelf and the fireplace rocks.  Rutland, Fireplace Mortar, gray, 10.3 oz, interior use only.  It withstands 2,000 degrees F.  I paid $9.

HDMI cable from wall connector to TV:  Vanco, Ultra Slim HDMI High Speed Cable with Ethernet, SSHD03.  Vendor: Orvac Electronics, Fullerton, Calif.

Family Room Completion – Part 7

The family room has 3 sets of two lights across the ceiling.  Each set of lights can be dimmed.  The two lights close to the TV set are gimbals so they can be aimed to either side of the TV set.  The room also has one half wall outlet devoted to a floor lamp and controlled by a wall switch.

The audio surround sound sub woofer can be seen on the left side of the fireplace, shown as a black box.  The small black boxes on either side of the fireplace up upon the walls are left and right surround sound speakers.  Two more speakers are at the back of the room, wall mounted near the ceiling.  The center speaker is just below the TV set.

The little dot just to the right of the fireplace is the gas valve for the fireplace.

The blue glow behind and above the TV set is a bias light that can be remotely controlled as to color and turned off and on.

Next Part >


Family Room – Near Finish – Part 6

In this image you can see the following completions:

  • Surround sound, left, right and center speakers are shown.
  • The TV had been mounted.
  • The metal mantle on top of the stone fireplace has been mounted.
  • A bias light has been mounted behind the TV and can be remotely controlled.
  • The TV set can be swung left or right and tilted up or down.  It can also be pulled out from the wall to make rear TV connections easy.

Next Part >

Family Room – Above Fireplace – Part 4

The image above shows added insulation.  High temperature caulking was applied to all fireplace gaps.  Aluminum tape was used for some of the insulation joints.  On either side of the image is partial images of recessed lights that are hanging because the ceiling still needs to be painted.

The two boxes on either side of the fireplace is for left and right surround (5.1) speakers.  The center speaker will get its connection from one of the blue boxes above the fireplace.

Next Part >