I didn’t know whether to be in awe of his engineering genius or upset because he hadn’t done it sooner. He made it look so simple. I realize he had been preoccupied with a couple of surgeries on his right shoulder (he is right handed). And there were those pesky business trips around the globe.
My engineer was rightly proud of how much he impressed me. It once again proved why he is such a valuable employee where he works. What a mind.
The problem had been that the Fastlane would begin swinging sideways as I increased the speed of the water flow. The long piece of foam that he had me stick back there helped some, but it also succumbed to the weight of the Fastlane over a few weeks.
The curvy water flow made it harder to stay in the current while swimming; and it made me get sea sick. Even though I had made a lot of progress with overcoming the sea sickness affect, it was discouraging to have to deal with it again regularly at the higher speeds.
Only two things were used in this more permanent solution to stabilize the Fastlane:
- ABS drain pipe, 2 inch diameter, schedule 40
- stiff, plasticky packing foam, such as is used to line the outer perimeters of boxes when fragile items are being shipped, 1 and ⅝ inch thick
The ABS pipe was cut, using a regular hand saw, so that it would end right where the corners of the pool begin to bend around. The cut ends were sanded smooth.
The foam was cut into 4.5 x 6.5 inch rectangles because he happened to have a long piece of foam sitting around that he cut into 4 sections. However, he did eyeball how far the Fastlane would need to be propped forward to decide if these dimensions might be close. He was thinking that with the foam pieces being rectangles, there would be two options for how far away from the side the pipe would hold the Fastlane.
Since the foam pieces were only 1 and ⅝ inch thick, each end of pipe would be fitted with two of the rectangles, to make it more solid. A fitted hole was sliced out of the foam by putting the end of a piece of pipe in the middle of the rectangle and cutting a guideline. Then, the pipe was moved and the knife was inserted all the way through the foam to complete the cut.
Now, we had to get into the pool. The Fastlane had to be lifted out of the water enough so that the long piece of ABS pipe could be slipped inside of the cylindrical support bracket at the back of the Fastlane. It seems the idea is that this bracket will hold the Fastlane up straight enough from the curved side of the Tuff pool, but it never did this enough to have the water flow well for us.
Once the pipewas in place, the foam pieces were positioned over each end. He was careful to have the pipe end inside of the foam, even though it was sanded, to avoid any potential abrasion by the pipe on the vinyl. I will need to check it periodically to see that it is staying in place.
We ended up using the smaller width of the foam and the Fastlane was still held up a little higher than we thought optimal. The top of the flow grate is supposed to be even with the water. It was all fine when we turned on the Fastlane, though, because the push of the water forces the Fastlane back some so that it was perfectly under the water. Note, the water level was within a couple of inches of the vinyl in the corners where it spills over when there is movement.
My engineer says that if there is any problem with the Fastlane stabilizer floating a little too much, he will put cement in the ends of the ABS pipe and cap it, like he did for my underwater timer. Yes, we will wait for it to dry before we put it back in the pool. This modification will obviously weight it down.