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Thread: dewatering system, or dry well

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    dewatering system, or dry well

    Hi all,

    I am having a fiberglass pool built in a few weeks (Viking). I live in central NJ, in an area with a high water table. Based on my sump pump well and activity, I think the water level rises to about 3 feet below the ground surface after extreme rain conditions (maybe once a year); after normal rain it is probably about 5 or 6 feet below the surface. I discussed putting in some kind of dewatering system or dry well with my PB and he said I didn't need it. But I am not so sure.

    Honestly with this sales guy, I feel a little pressured in a few ways, and there is something about him that makes me uncomfortable asking questions. I am not normally a shrinking violet in real life.. so I am not sure why I am so intimidated by this guy. I want to know if it is worth pursuing this dry well thing, because I feel that, some day, the pool may need to be emptied. He says it will never need to be emptied so it's not necessary. But how can that be? I know the finish is supposed to last 30 years but.... eventually 30 years goes by, right? or there's a leak, or whatever it is...

    What would you do?

    Also how much would adding this step cost?

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    Re: dewatering system, or dry well

    Remember, it's his job to sell you on his product provided by his company as quickly as he can. You're the one spending the money, you should ask as many questions as you need to and stay on it until you are satisfied with the answer. If you are not comfortable with him, ditch him. Talk to the company and ask for a different sales rep and don't be afraid to tell them why. Make sure you talk to other pool companies as well. You're making a huge investment, you NEED to be completely comfortable with EVERY part of the process. Don't ignore that little voice telling you that he isn't being honest or upfront with you, better to listen now, then regret later.

    This forum is a great place to get advice and to bounce the things he says off other people! There is, however, an advantage to talking to several builders from your area and especially people who have built in your area to get a good idea of what the area specific issues for you are.
    - Matrioux

    2007 18K pebble IG pool - Wincor Pool Systems automation & SWG (under development) - DE Jandy DEL60 Filter - Jandy 1HP Pump - TF-100 Test Kit

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: dewatering system, or dry well

    Welcome, I am going to be blunt and hurt this "sales guy's" feelings

    Run away, don't walk

    Yes, you need a sump pump/dry well/dewatering system under a fiberglass pool, In high water areas under all pools... any pool can POP out of the ground but fiberglass pools when empty are fiberglass boats and so are concrete pools/boats.

    Talk to other pool builders and see what they say when you tell them my water level is 3 to 5 feet, they will tell you to install a sump pump, they are down there anyways and the pump, gravel and pipe is maybe 400 dollars more, why would you not install it.

    I hope this helps
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: dewatering system, or dry well

    The fact that the guy says the pool NEVER needs to be drained proves one thing - he doesn't know what he's talking about and he's only interested in selling you a pool...ok, that's two things

    I agree with the others, run away from this guy and find a different installer! Preferably one that actually LISTENS to his potential customers.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: dewatering system, or dry well

    Thanks guys.

    I have already signed the contract, already given the deposit, and the pool has been ordered. So I can't get a different installer.

    BUT I do think I can insist he put in a dry well. I don't know why he was so hesitant to do it. I was/am willing to pay the extra cost, I never quibbled about the cost. He just didn't want to talk about it. And this was after I had already told him I was going to hire him. That seems weird to me.

    Everything I read (all over the internet) says there should be a dry well. Can anyone think of any downside to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    The fact that the guy says the pool NEVER needs to be drained proves one thing - he doesn't know what he's talking about and he's only interested in selling you a pool...ok, that's two things

    I agree with the others, run away from this guy and find a different installer! Preferably one that actually LISTENS to his potential customers.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: dewatering system, or dry well

    Aside from electrical costs and replacing a broken submersible pump every now and then, I really don't see the down side.

    If the PB doesn't want to do it then call around to plumbers to see what they would recommend.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: dewatering system, or dry well

    Quote Originally Posted by BourbonSt View Post
    I don't know why he was so hesitant to do it.
    So he can sell you another one when it pops out! hahha

    just kidding of course

    Do the dry well...it will give you piece of mind.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: dewatering system, or dry well

    so... at the risk of revealing my utterly cluelessness, couldn't we just leave the water in the dry well and NOT pump it out, unless we are wanting to drain the pool? I mean, for the most part over the next 30 years, wouldn't this just sort of *be* there, in case we needed to drain the pool, but otherwise over the next 30 years, it's just there, just-in-case?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Aside from electrical costs and replacing a broken submersible pump every now and then, I really don't see the down side.

    If the PB doesn't want to do it then call around to plumbers to see what they would recommend.

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    Re: dewatering system, or dry well

    You could leave the water in the dry well and not pump when the water table rises. Many folks with vinyl liner and fiberglass pools don't have drainage systems or dry wells at all. Many of them have no problems. But reading through this forum you will find quite a few who do.

    We are talking best practices. And in this case the best practice is to have the water table below the bottom of your pool. But I can pump it out if I need to empty the pool you say. Correct. But allowing the water table to be higher exerts constant pressure on the pool from the outside. We want constant pressure only from the inside (Weight of water (gravity) and outward pressure on the sides). That way the chances of the dirt, sand or whenever under and on the side of the pool shifting is reduced. In general the less water around the outside of the pool structure (no matter how constructed) the longer the life and the less chance anything can go wrong. In general your pool is engineered to do better with water on the inside rather than being set in water.

    One other thing to note -- if you search you will find owners of gunite pools in certain parts of Texas talking about how changing moisture content in the soils caused there soil around their pools to expand and crack a gunite pool. So just sayin water in the soil near a pool is not a good thing.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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