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Thread: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

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    Unhappy Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Hi everyone!

    I'm brand new here, so I hope I've posted this in the correct area. If not, please kindly move my thread.

    We had our pool built 3 weeks ago, with a pebble finish. Parts of it seemed pretty rough to begin with, but of course we were told we needed to brush it every day to wear down the extra plaster. So, we did this religiously. As everything started to look really nice, we noticed two main areas where the pebble was VERY rough. One was in the spa, and one was in the deepest part of the pool (pictures attached). Just look for the lighter blue looking spots.

    So, we brought our pool builder out with the pebble guy, and they had a look. The pebble guy admitted that it looked like they "ran out of pebble" when they finished the spa. So, they agreed to drain the spa into the pool and take care of it (that will happen Wednesday). My pool guy said he would not touch the pool though, because he doesn't think it's a defect, but rather just the natural variations that happen with pebble. I know it's hard to tell from the pictures, but after going down there with my goggles, I can tell you it's a similar issue to the spa. The only difference is that it's really really sharp, because instead of a totally bare spot like the spa, the pebble is just sparsely applied. Because there isn't a consistent all-pebble surface, the few pebbles act as a very sharp surface. Every single person who has come to our pool has commented how rough it is.

    So, here are my questions:

    1) Am I justified in being unhappy about this, or is this normal variation in pebble that I need to live with?
    2) Is there a way for this to be repaired underwater, without draining the pool?
    3) If all else fails, and my pool guy refuses to fix it, what recourse do I have? I've heard of guys that come out and evaluate pool construction defects and then mediate, but I'm not sure where to find that.

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    Chris
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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    What did the pebble guy think about the spot in the pool? I wonder if having his opinion on your side would help move the PB to act on your behalf.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Thanks for replying Jamie! The pebble guy was definitely in line with the general contractor (neither of them want to do any more work of course). He was the one, however, who said that "they must have run out of pebble" for the spot on the spa. That comment really ticked me off. I held my tongue, but I wanted to say "then why the heck did you fill the pool?! How bout you just go get more pebble." But, because it's hard to see exactly what's going on on the bottom of the pool (because its deeper), they both brushed it off as an irregularity. As I said though, I've since verified it's a similar issue by going down there with goggles.

    The pebble guy also tried to say that there are so many variables that could have caused the damage that he has nothing to do with. He kept asking about pH and acid levels saying that scaling could be an issue with it. It was completely baseless (forgive the pun...you know...pH...base. ya, that was bad). We've kept the chemicals straight from day 1.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Who is the "pebble guy"? Is that the contractor that installed the pebble or a representative from Pebble Tec?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    It's the guy who installed the pebble. We don't have pebbleTec. We have National Stonescape (I think that's what it's called). I don't think the pebble guy I referenced works for them though. He's just the guy who applies it.

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    Daxton's Avatar
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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Have them redo it it. They already admitted. What is the pebble product? I will tell you I just had stonescape mini pebble 6 weeks ago. We were told don't need to brush because it's pebble. We followed direction. It feels smooth and fantastic all over today!
    The actual applicators and experience are key IMHO.
    Shotty work is typically the culprit.


    Free form | 14k gal | 81 pf | 3.5' - 5' - 4' | Dolphin M500 | intelli FLO VS 3 hp | heat pump ultra temp hp 90 | quad 60 DE | ic40 swcg | Aqua blue mini pebble | 5g LED

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    That's exactly what this is: stonescape mini pebble. It's interesting you were told not to brush it....we were told we absolutely had to do it twice a day for a month. I'm going to try to get them to redo it, but it's going to be a battle.

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    For what it's worth (and this is a little off-topic, but it goes to the lack of attention to detail by the general contractor), the pool was supposed to be 3.5-5.5-3.5. I measured it the other day. It's 3" short on the sides and 9" short in the middle. That 9" is a huge difference!

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Like you, after a few weeks we noticed a number of areas in the PebbleSheen that were either rough, or thin. The rough areas are likely because the acid wash process left a large amount of concentrated muriatic acid in the bottom of the pool near the drain as it was pumped out and along the sides. This area in the deepest center then gets a lot of the "cream" of the smooth cement washed away, leaving more pebble showing and subsequent roughness. I see this as part of the variation and a result of the process.

    The other areas which are pebble thin are on the sharp curves of the steps and Baja deck that were pressure washed excessively, blowing the surface pebble off of the close radius. This was mentioned to the PB who put a warranty ticket out to the Pebble crew for 30 days to let the concrete cure. They came out to look at it and didn't want to touch it until fully cured to avoid issues. They will come out and sand the sharp sections, and possibly "stack" an acid column using tubes as it was explained to me. This exposes new Pebble underneath.

    In the end, you need to be satisfied with the work and you likely spent enough that you deserve to get your money's worth. Hope my story helps, and good luck,
    July2015 New - 12,900gal IG Clorine Pool: Free Form Shot/PebbleSheen, Ceramic Waterline/Travertine Coping/Deck, Paramount PV3 In-Floor, Pentair 3050VS Intelliflo Variable (3000rpm High/1000rpm Low), Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge, Venturi Skimmer, MDX/SDX Drain, Paralevel, Rock Waterfall +3/4" Aireator, Intellibrite 5G LED, EasyTouch4, and Tab Floater.

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Thank you! It does help!!!

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    I'm get quartzscapes on my new pool it's from the same line. The biggest selling point is the npt has a lifetime warranty on there finishes I would call them. And the PB has to offer 1 year warranty on the work. So I would think you are covered as long as the applicator was certified tech with npt.

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    So, the PB has tentatively agreed to redo the pebble on THE ENTIRE POOL AND SPA. He's going to come down with some goggles and check it out one last time to make sure it can't be fixed, but he has all of a sudden seen the light.

    Any opinions as to if redoing the entire thing is overkill, or if it's really the only way. Obviously I just want what's right for the long term. Just frustrating to go back to the 3 days of no swimming, month of no heating, and month of brushing twice a day. Plus, he said the pool will be out of commission for about 2 weeks for the demo and the replastering.

    Any other input would be welcomed! Thanks so far for all the help! It gave me the confidence to push the PB hard to get this done!


    Ceedubbadubba (Chris) -- Lake Elsinore, CA. 14k gallon Pebble play pool/spa (3.5-5.5-3.5), Hayward 400k BTU Heater, cartridge filter 5025, EcoStar variable speed 3hp pump, Goldline PS-4 Automation System w/ remote & AutoConnect Platform (Cell phone control), Goldline Salt System, Hayward ThePoolCleaner Vacuum, 360 degree rock coping with 2 water rocks and a built in fire bowl, real peat moss accents along with 8 starfish and skull.

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Glad to hear it all worked out. While it sucks you have to wait to enjoy your pool, it would really suck to have a poor finish that may need repair a few years down the road when the PB warranty is up.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Let/make him do it----------take it out and start over again. See if you can get an upgrade of some bling as well for your trouble!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    When they bring in the pebble, just scan and see who in the crowd seems to be 'important' ... ask him if he has some 'extra' stuff .. I asked for abalone shells ...
    If he has some extra items, he may give them for a much lower cost than the PB. E.g. I got abalone shells for $200. When leaving, he said he could have done glass beads for $1200. I would have taken that offer, had I known earlier!
    2015 build (link)| 16.5 K gal | Salt Water | IG rect | 35'x16' | 568 sf | 105 ft peri | depth 3'-5' | PV3 in-floor | 2 Venturi skimmers | MDX+SDX drains | T-CELL-15 SWG | Hayward Ecostar VS pump | Hayward 7220 DE Filter | Aqua Cal Icebreaker Heat / Cool pump SQ166 | Hayward Sense & Dispense PH Controller| Omnilogic | Pebble Sheen Blue Surf | Ultra UV | Stenner acid pump | Coverstar Automatic | TF-100

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Good info!!! Do you have any pics of those two? I had looked into them and declined based on cost, but I've never found a good pic of them. I had also thought about just putting them on my two reef steps. What do you think of that? Our rock guy had also brought up a glow in the dark pebble that they scatter in. Any idea what that's all about?


    Ceedubbadubba (Chris) -- Lake Elsinore, CA. 14k gallon Pebble play pool/spa (3.5-5.5-3.5), Hayward 400k BTU Heater, cartridge filter 5025, EcoStar variable speed 3hp pump, Goldline PS-4 Automation System w/ remote & AutoConnect Platform (Cell phone control), Goldline Salt System, Hayward ThePoolCleaner Vacuum, 360 degree rock coping with 2 water rocks and a built in fire bowl, real peat moss accents along with 8 starfish and skull.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    OH and that 9" and such being off------------NOW is the time to get that fixed as well! 9" is a LOT!

    Will a different crew be doing the work? I would ask for that also since the first crew messed up so bad.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Also make sure when they redo the pool that they take out all the plaster and not just a few inches below the tile line. Someone on here had the wrong finish put in their pool by mistake and the plaster company wanted to just chip out a foot down below the tile and cover the remaining parts of the pool. That just means that when you refinish later you have to have it chipped out then.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    ummmmmmm VERY good point! AND he would lose even more depth if they do that!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Construction Defect Question (Poor Pebble Job)

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    OH and that 9" and such being off------------NOW is the time to get that fixed as well! 9" is a LOT!

    Will a different crew be doing the work? I would ask for that also since the first crew messed up so bad.

    Kim
    But, how would they fix that unless they rip out shotcrete, rebar, and re-excavate?! Honestly I'm not completely broken up about the depth--just hate not getting what I paid for.

    By the way, is that depth supposed to be measured from the deck or the waterline? My measurement is based on waterline.


    Ceedubbadubba (Chris) -- Lake Elsinore, CA. 14k gallon Pebble play pool/spa (3.5-5.5-3.5), Hayward 400k BTU Heater, cartridge filter 5025, EcoStar variable speed 3hp pump, Goldline PS-4 Automation System w/ remote & AutoConnect Platform (Cell phone control), Goldline Salt System, Hayward ThePoolCleaner Vacuum, 360 degree rock coping with 2 water rocks and a built in fire bowl, real peat moss accents along with 8 starfish and skull.

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