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Thread: Inspecting pool without it being open?

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    Inspecting pool without it being open?

    As I've mentioned in other posts, my husband and I are buying a house with a pool. The owners don't want to open the pool for us to inspect it without completely closing the pool up again. They are concerned about liability issues if someone were to get into the pool, even with the cover on, after it is opened and drowning. They are also concerned about any possible cold weather that may yet occur. The liability issue seems like a non-issue to me, as there is already water in the pool, it just isn't quite as high as normal. When you open a pool for the summer, and then go on vacation (or just leave for several hours), there you have an uncovered pool, so that would seem to be an even greater liability issue. Our house is in Wilmington, DE, and now that it is April, I highly doubt the pipes are going to freeze.

    Anyway, onto my real question. Their real estate agent knows of someone who inspects pools without completely opening them. That is the solution they are proposing. Our agent contacted this person, and this is what he was told:

    "Charlie for Charlie's Pools and Spas did call me last night in response to my text message. I asked him how he was able to do the inspection without completely opening the pool. He stated that with 27 years of experience he has learned how to evaluate pools without having to fully open them. He has done pool inspections throughout the year, even in February. His method is to take off the cover a section at a time (not to remove the whole thing) and examine the pool wall for evidence of any degradation. He disassembles the filter and examines it and dry runs the pumps for a brief period. He said that unless a pool had been closed up for more than a few months he has always been able to tell if there is a problem with the pool wall. "

    Has anyone here heard of such a thing? I haven't. I'm not sure I would trust a pool inspection done without completely opening the pool. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    21,000 gallon (+ or -) in-ground plaster pool with Nautilus DE filter, 1 hp pump, and Zodiac G4 automatic vacuum.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Central Massachusetts

    Re: Inspecting pool without it being open?

    IMO, that's a poor way to inspect a pool. I suppose you could get an idea of what it looked like and the basic equipment. If it were me, I would want to see it operational. If it were the dead of winter, I'd understand not wanting it opened. On the first of April, I'd want it open. At the very least, I'd want some money in escrow in case there was an issue with the equipment.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Inspecting pool without it being open?

    An experienced tech who actually turns on the pump for a moment and does a through examination, including looking under the cover from several different angles, should be able to get a fairly good idea of what kind of shape the pool is in. There is no substitute for seeing the pool open and running, but you can get moderately close given the procedure described. It is not uncommon for pool inspections to be very cursory. That description is more through than many inspectors would be in the same situation.

    Demanding that the pool be opened is not going to be acceptable to most sellers, so this may be the best alternative you have. bk406's suggestion of getting some money in escrow until the pool is opened and confirmed in good shape is very reasonable.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Inspecting pool without it being open?

    Looks like having the pool inspected while not completely open is a viable option. My next question is, any idea what a reasonable amount of money we should ask for in escrow for when the pool is really opened?

    21,000 gallon (+ or -) in-ground plaster pool with Nautilus DE filter, 1 hp pump, and Zodiac G4 automatic vacuum.

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