Swimming Pool Project – Building an Outdoor Shelter for the Heater and Pump

preparing for our first really cold nights

preparing for our first really cold nights

While I have been enjoying my swimming pool, Greg has still been working on things like protective housing for the motorized pool equipment.  The heater, the pump, and the pipes-with-hydraulic-fluid-coming-from-the-Fastlane-motor inside the garage all need to be kept from freezing.  While he worked out the plans for the long term housing, he temporarily erected a cardboard shelter over a quick 2×4 wooden frame. He used my greenhouse thermometer to monitor the temperatures inside of that, especially on nights that it went down into the 20s (Fahrenheit). He found that even with just cardboard, the heater was keeping it all quite warm. This gave him hope for a successful outcome of the finished product.

 

The permanent shelter used:

  • treated 2x 6 and 2 x 4 lumber
  • a few odds and ends of other scrap wood
  • extra long bolts
  • 3 inch foam board (we bought it here)
  • 1.5 inch foam board (same source as above)
  • fiberglass mesh
  • synthetic stucco

The first thing to do was to prepare the brick wall of the garage for the equipment housing to be attached to it. He drilled through the brick,

holding this drill steady to go through brick takes some concentration

holding this drill steady to go through brick takes some concentration

placed two pieces of 2×4 lumber with pre-drilled holes, each on the inside for the extra long bolts to secure to,

the largest bolt I've ever seen

the largest bolt I’ve ever seen

extra wall support

extra wall support

then finally bolted the top horizontal frame piece (made out of treated 2×6 lumber) to the garage.  The end of the frame on the cement box is just resting there.

whole top of frame in place

whole top of frame in place

Next, framing was built for the side panels to slip into.  (treated 2×4 lumber used here)  He dug out a ditch, from the already present cement sidewalk around the house to the edge of the cement box.  He filled this with cement.  Before it set, he put screws through the bottom of the side frame, so that some of each screw was sticking out the bottom.  He then placed the frame over the cement with the screws in the still wet cement.

all tidy inside the equipment housing

all tidy inside the equipment housing

The individual panels for the equipment housing were made of  foam board.  Three inch thick pieces were used for the roof panels, but only 1.5 inch foam for the side panels.  A piece of fiberglass mesh was cut to fit each side of the foam board pieces.

he happened to have some mesh from his fiberglass projects

he happened to have some mesh from his fiberglass projects

The idea was that it would help keep the 1/8 inch or so layer of synthetic stucco, that was applied over the top of it, from cracking.  The synthetic stucco was for water proofing and looks.  It is kind of like thick paint with some sand in it, so can be put on more thinly than real stucco, which is more like cement.

plain gray on the inside

plain gray on the inside

Wooden frames were built around the side foam panels, but the top pieces were left as plain foam edges.  The side pieces also had thin sheets of wood put on the inside, because he had them…

swimming pool equipment housing foam stucco panels drying in my greenhouse

swimming pool equipment housing foam stucco panels drying in my greenhouse

Here, you can see the equipment all snuggly in it’s house, waiting for the final roof pieces.

notice the slats of wood to keep the roof panel pieces from falling through

notice the slats of wood to keep the roof panel pieces from falling through

The outer stucco color was able to be the same as that on the greenhouse, which is just across the patio. Plus, it nicely matches the peach tones of the house brick.

water proof and much better looking than any metal or plastic structure would have been

water proof and much better looking than any metal or plastic structure would have been

He is still working on (edit: has now finished) a system of water pipes to go around the heater that will spread more heat to the equipment, just in case it should get down to temperatures that threaten freezing inside the housing.  But so far, just this set up is handling temperatures down into the 20’s even better than the cardboard.  😉   And the wind doesn’t blow it away.