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Thread: New pool has trenches...pictures added

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    New pool has trenches...pictures added

    This weekend is the one month anniversary of getting our new pool. A couple of weeks ago we noticed a couple of places in the bottom of the pool that seemed like small rocks sticking up. I called the installer and he said that happens during settling and just use a bat to knock them straight back down. I haven't done that. I'm afraid I will cause damage to the liner that will negate any responsibilty the installer should have. Now, we have a trench in the pool at least 2 feet long and a couple of inches deep (my best guestimates) that is sorta in the shape of a y. The installer says it is a mole trench and that we need to dig our own trench about one foot away from the pool and about one foot deep and put in a barrier to keep the moles out, then we will have to drain, redo liner, and refill (all at our cost). My husband says he has seen a few mole trenches in other parts of the yard but nowhere near the pool area. I’m mad. My husband is FURIOUS! We paid this guy $950 to install our pool. We were told he would put down a gravel base and then sand on top of that but we never saw this happen. Of course, we didn’t watch him the whole time he was here so maybe he did?

    My questions:
    How can I prove a mole is or isn’t the reason there is a trench?
    Is there some way to check if there was a gravel base laid down without draining the pool?
    What would you do?
    Thanks. I’m going to go cry now…
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: New pool has trenches

    Do you see any evidence of gravel or sand around the bottom edge of the pool?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: New pool has trenches

    No to the gravel. As for sand, there is sand all back behind our house. Not clean sand though. It has different sized chunks of concrete and lots of rocks mixed in, as well as weeds. There is not a noticable amount of clean sand anywhere near the pool. This is why I am concerned that he might have tried to cut corners and not bring in any new sand. The area was naturally level too. I'm going to go take some pictures. I'll post them later. Thanks!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: New pool has trenches

    Hi, please do post pics, that would be helpful. The bat on the rock is not a bad thing, done gently you will not hurt the liner. If more force is needed you do run the risk of a small hole in the liner. I would much rather tap the rock, place a very small patch over the area, and get on with enjoying the pool than drain all that water just for one little rock. There is no possible way a small patch on a liner would void any type of warranty. If there is a sand base under the liner, the rock should gently settle itself in with very little assistance and no damage. I recommend using the rubber end of the vacuum pole.

    As for the trench, it sounds like what you get along the edges of the pressure plates on an oval pool. This happens when the ground is not packed in around the side support assemblies enough. This type of trench would run parallel to the sidewall, about 2' into the pool.

    The installer should not charge to fix the rock or the trench, but the water and chemicals are going to be your responsibility.

    I would hold off doing anything and watch it for a while. So far it does not seem like an issue I would drain a pool over, at least if it were mine. Leaving the pool full will also allow the ground to settle and pack more and you may find more issues that need to be taken care of when you do drain it.

    Sand and rock, they would come in trucks, usually big trucks. I am not sure how an installer could get truck loads of sand and rock into your yard without leaving a sign and without you knowing. We wheel barrow the sand on our jobs in from the front drive where a dump truck has left us a nice big pile the day before.

    Later, Dennis
    Pro pool installer for over 35 years
    Shadebuilder.com

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    Re: New pool has trenches

    Here are the pictures of the trench as well as the area around the pool. I took a picture of the weeds because he said he would spray stuff that would keep weeds and suff from coming up, but unless he sprayed a real fine line between the inside and outside of the pool area you can see we have lots of weeds coming up already. My husband started putting rock around the pool but didn't buy enough. We are planning to put sod down around the outside of the border, but don't want to do anything else until we figure out what the do about the pool itself!

    I do remember that during installation I could see that it appeared the pool was a bit lower in the ground than the area around it. I had read that if any leveling needed to be done that it was better to remove than add sand so at the time I didn't think anything of it.

    The trench seems closer to the middle of the pool. It is more than 2' from the edge. There was not a load of sand in our driveway or on the pick up truck ot trailer they brought with them.

    I have to say that this installer came highly recommended not only from a friend of mine, but also from the pool store I bought my pool from as well as the other pool store in the area. It is the guy they both use to install pools they sell. However, I think there is only one other person in the area who installs above ground pools so it is not like he has a lot of competition! Now for the pictures:




















    Thanks again for all the input. This is really bothering me. We spent a lot of money (for us...around $4500 for just the basic pool package and installation) on this pool. I am concerned that if I wait to see what else happens then the time frame won't be so recent and that may hurt us. Right now the pool is just 5 weeks old.
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    I have similar "trenches" that we didn't notice until the following year - we had our install in September and we immediately closed the pool and didn't use it until the next year. We haven't done anything about them. I had others say the same thing about moles. The thing is that we do have moles in the yard but no evidence of them anywhere near the pool. I have never been overly happy about the install, but since we couldn't prove that the trenches showed up right after install, we didn't do anything about it. Plus, the install was included in the price of the pool and then sub-contracted out to someone more local to us. Essentially, the trenches have not caused us any major issues. Dirt does settle into the trenches though.
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    Hi, great pics, thanks. And the part about the oval pool braces, forget that.

    It does look like rodent damage to me. Either that or some strange ground settling. Either way is possible and both are out of the control of the installer. It looks like he did a nice job, so go easy on him and try to work something out.

    My policy would be that if you drain the pool, I will come out and make repairs, no charge. There is just no way an installer can be responsible for water and chemicals. But I would hope his time would be given to you for free, not that he did anything wrong, I don't think he did, it's just good PR.

    When I do an install I treat the ground under the pool only, and advise my customers to immediately treat around the outside and do some sort of permanent landscape that involves plastic and rocks. No vegetation of any kind should be within a couple of feet of an above ground pool.

    As for waiting any longer, I see no reason to. Have them come out and pull the liner back. They should move the sand out of the way, fill in the trench and cap it with aluminum coil stock or something, redo the sand and reset the liner. They should not leave until the water is at the edge of the pool, the wrinkles are gone and everything looking as good as it did the first time around.

    You should do your part in the rodent and weed control and hopefully never have another pool issue in many years of happy ownership.

    Later, Dennis
    Pro pool installer for over 35 years
    Shadebuilder.com

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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    Wow, great pics. Those really ARE trenches, aren't they?

    No words of wisdom from me, never saw anything like it.

    But just wanted to add my !
    15' ROUND, 52" AG
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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    Thanks for the replies. I love my camera. It can take pictures underwater. I have some great ones of the kids swimming. I had no idea they are swimming while smiling with their eyes open until I saw the pictures! So cool.

    As for the trenches, I'll have to see if I can get my husband to do the work to keep the moles out. I'm not one to dig trenches and bury wire! And after all the money we have spent on the pool I don't want to pay someone to come out and do it. If I do nothing, how long do y'all think the liner will last? Is that what will happen? The liner will eventually split?
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole
    Thanks for the replies. I love my camera. It can take pictures underwater. I have some great ones of the kids swimming. I had no idea they are swimming while smiling with their eyes open until I saw the pictures! So cool.

    As for the trenches, I'll have to see if I can get my husband to do the work to keep the moles out. I'm not one to dig trenches and bury wire! And after all the money we have spent on the pool I don't want to pay someone to come out and do it. If I do nothing, how long do y'all think the liner will last? Is that what will happen? The liner will eventually split?
    I have a sure fire way to get rid of moles...One Cat and one large dog...Cat and Dog ( Golden Retriever Border Collie Mix) Got rid of the moles we had in our yard before we even had the pool put in...I had horrible trenches in my yard. One day I noticed Cat would get down into a hole and force the mole out into the waiting soft golden retriever jaws of Dog...Dog then played and played with the little thing until like his real animal like toys the stuffing came out...after about four games of Cat Dog and Mouse as we liked to call it No More Moles!!!
    Beave
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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    These vinyl liners are pretty tough as long as there are no sharp objects in those trenches you will probably be OK. Enjoy your pool for the summer and then when the cold weather returns, but wait, your in Florida. right? Just wait until it gets cold enough and then work on getting rid of the trenches. But yes, do something to get rid of those pesty moles now.

    Cleaning out the trenches might be a little problematic, but just take your vacuum hose and reach in there to clean them out. I wouldn't try to brush out the dirt just protect the liner the best you can. Our pool has small trenches in the bottom, but just enouph to stick your toes into. Your's would rate right up there with the grand canyon of trenches for an AGP.

    NIce looking pool and post some pics when you get it all finished. Spectrcide and roudup works real well on those weeds.
    93mastercraft - Aqua Leader Reflexion 21' round 54" high above ground pool. This is not a $399.00 Pool! Wedding cake steps, Haywood 1.5 pump/sand filter. If I'd thought taking care of a pool was this easy, I'd owned one a long time ago!

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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole
    Thanks for the replies. I love my camera. It can take pictures underwater. I have some great ones of the kids swimming. I had no idea they are swimming while smiling with their eyes open until I saw the pictures! So cool.

    As for the trenches, I'll have to see if I can get my husband to do the work to keep the moles out. I'm not one to dig trenches and bury wire! And after all the money we have spent on the pool I don't want to pay someone to come out and do it. If I do nothing, how long do y'all think the liner will last? Is that what will happen? The liner will eventually split?
    What kind of camera do you have? (I need one for a cruise this summer, for snorkeling!)

    TIA!
    15' ROUND, 52" AG
    Newbie at pool ownership!

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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    I hate to point this out now..but your husband should've put some weedblock fabric down under the river rock. That would help tremendously with the weeds around the pool.

    BTW, I have a trench over near one side of my pool too, and have no moles in my yard. I don't know what caused it..I thought I read somewhere that earthworms can cause it?? Anyway, I've decided to live with it until we replace the liner. It's no where near as big and deep as yours, though.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    You're soil appears to be very sandy, that coupled with the woods by your pool is an ideal enviroment for moles. Not what you want to hear, but the damage appears to be very mole-like. Be vigilant in trapping them out, you know where they're coming from (the woods), and that is you're first line of defense. An excellent trap for sandy soils is the Nash Choker trap, easily bought at the big box stores. Don't be squeamish about killing moles---it's them or your pool! I noticed that one of the bases from an upright is tilted. Has this affected the water-line in the pool? Is the water line even all the way around your pool? Has there been any settling?
    18' x 33' AGP
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    Re: New pool has trenches...pictures added

    Thanks for all the responses!
    The camera is an Olympus 850SW. For an unkknown reason they are different prices depending on what color you like. I got mine for under $200 from Amazon. It's great not only for the pool, but also for pictures when it is raining, at the beach, and for my preschooler to use. Very sturdy and also takes really cool underwater videos of them swimming!

    Instead of the weedblock liner, can I spray RoundUp or something every few weeks? My honey please do list isn't getting much attention these days.

    As for the sandy soil that is a big yes! Our plants and grass don't do well with it, but I rarely see standing water even after a few days of heavy rain (even 12" worth).

    I guess I will have to pay someone to dig a trench around the pool and bury some wire to keep the moles away. I don't have the heart to kill them. Besides, we have hundreds acres of conservation property behind out house so I imagine it would be quite the massacre to have to catch them all. Can you imagine 200 years from now someone coming across a mass grave of moles? What would they think?!?
    Regarding the other suggestion of cat and dog play, well I have a large dog and he recently escaped the house and caught one of the neighbor's cats (who they must of kicked out of the house because he was never in one) but my dog's never seemed interested in the moles or let us know there are any out there. Too tiny for a good meal I guess? By the way, my dog did let the cat go after he held it down for a couple of minutes. But only because my husband was screaming and running towards him. That cat hasn't been in our yard since!

    Now, tilted uprights? I'm not sure what the uprights are. I looked back at the pictures and think maybe those are the vertical posts but I couldn't tell if one was crooked. Please let me know which one you were talking about. I'll have to go check the water line in the morning (if the wind has calmed down enough for me to tell). I've never even looked at the water line except at the skimmer and that is only at one side (there is a screw over there where the installer said keep the water level and so I stare at that a lot). Otherwise I'm looking at the bottom of the pool! That is something I do need to pay attention to.

    Thanks again for all the input! I look forward to your responses.
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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