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Thread: Brand New Pool- LEAK- Help Please

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    Brand New Pool- LEAK- Help Please

    Just a quick intro, we have a brand new in-ground gunite plaster pool. The very first few days after it was filled completely (plaster finished June 5, fill completed June 6) we immediately noticed it wasn't holding water (dropping an inch or so every 6-10 hours). We have been working with a pool consultant who has been acting as our contractor (we don't have a written contract- I KNOW, ugh!), who also is the plumbing and electric sub. He is also a licensed pool contractor (well, his partner is the licensed one, he is a partner). Long story short, we have repeatedly asked him to find the leak. He went from saying it was a simple fix he can do himself, to saying he has to hire a company to do it. He finally got a leak detection company to come out last week to look for the leak. TWO WEEKS after discovering the leak. Which, of course, in the meantime means we are filling our huge, 40,000 gallon pool constantly, and the chemicals are out of whack. Needless to say, the leak detection company didn't find the leak (after a thorough 3 hour investigation) and concluded that it must be in the plumbing because it's not in any of the usual places (skimmers, lights, plaster, returns, suction, etc.). They suggested a more thorough pipe pressure testing which is more complicated (and expensive), so we are now waiting for our contractor to find someone to do that.

    We are going on almost four weeks of our pool being "filled" (I won't say finished because we have a myriad of other issues he still hasn't finished), but this leak is worrisome. What do you suggest we do? This contractor has been flaky from day one, very unreliable and extremely unprofessional. And that's putting it nicely. I could go on and on, but this is a public forum and I don't feel like that is appropriate. What we want it to get this taken care of in a timely manner BY HIM, and because it's a plumbing issue, HE needs to take responsibility and pay for it or fix it himself. He is dragging his feet and we are frustrated. Yes we can swim, but the constant balancing of chemicals and watching the water level is stressful. Not to mention the water leak is going into our newly landscaped yard and may cause quite a mess to dig out.

    Should we try to contact a leak detection company ourselves? I don't even know if he's on top of that. He is so flaky and temperamental, and he is constantly telling us one thing but doing another, it's extremely frustrating. My husband and I both are business owners and we have never encountered anyone like this. I know, we should have done more research before we hired him, but we are stuck now, so I just need some advice. We've threatened to call the state contractor's license board but that can take weeks to even process a complaint.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Brand New Pool- LEAK- Help Please

    If you want him to fix it on his dime, you're going to have to work on his timetable.

    My only other suggestion is to hire a lawyer, but then it could be months more before anything gets done as he may shut down everything if you try to sue him and you'll have to wait for a court to deal with it (plus all of the legal fees you'll incur, which can run into the thousands).

    If you're willing to try and get it fixed yourself and you're willing to pay the cost out of your pocket, there are people here who can assist with diagnosing a leak.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Brand New Pool- LEAK- Help Please

    Thank you, triptyx! Actually my husband IS an attorney and we have threatened a lawsuit (casually, because we really don't want to do that), however per my husband even if we do file, like you said, it can take months and all the judge can do is order him to actually fix it, which as we know, will maybe never happen. OR we can try to get it fixed ourselves and file suit for him to reimburse us. But without a written contract, it's not as solid. He's not the smartest card in the deck, so the threats do tend to work, but just actually getting him to do anything is like pulling teeth.

    I'm somewhat handy myself, as I did owner/builder on our last pool and if the leak detection/pipe pressurized testing is something someone can tell me how to do myself I would possibly be willing to do it. I just don't know what I'm doing.

    Thank you.
    Brand New (June 2016) IG 42,000+ gallon pool+spa. Pool 50x20', Spa 10x9, plaster, Pentair System 3 Sta-Rite filter, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, 2 Pentair Intelliflo VS pumps, 1 booster pump, Pentair Easy Touch Control System, Well water.

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    Re: Brand New Pool- LEAK- Help Please

    Do a quick search on leaks here on the forum - there are a number of threads with great advice and troubleshooting in them. Often, if you stop refilling the pool the water will drain to the level of the leak, which can significantly narrow down the leak's location (e.g. bottom of skimmer, bottom of returns, light recess, etc). The issue here is your new plaster - I'm not qualified to say if you can let it leak down right now without creating a problem for your curing process. I do know that either way, you don't want to let the plaster dry out.

    So, does the leak only occur when the pump runs, or does the level drop without the pump running?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Brand New Pool- LEAK- Help Please

    Like I said in the original post they did have a leak detection company come out and the guy did a 3 hour inspection of the pool with dye testing, etc. He ruled out leaks in skimmers, lights, returns, etc., and he was the one who recommended further pipe pressure testing saying that's most likely where there was a leak- in the plumbing. He was very thorough ($500 thorough!). We just need a more thorough leak detection company to come out to test the pipes I guess.
    Brand New (June 2016) IG 42,000+ gallon pool+spa. Pool 50x20', Spa 10x9, plaster, Pentair System 3 Sta-Rite filter, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, 2 Pentair Intelliflo VS pumps, 1 booster pump, Pentair Easy Touch Control System, Well water.

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    Re: Brand New Pool- LEAK- Help Please

    Ahh! I figured the leak detection you had was where they test the ground for moisture, I didn't realize they were doing dye tests and whatnot.

    I'll have to leave it to an expert from here.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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