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Thread: I'm a fool. Liner replacement is a disaster. What now?

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    I'm a fool. Liner replacement is a disaster. What now?

    Okay. We have a sweetheart deal on a house we are leasing for 6 years to get our kids in the proper school district. (We'll move/build/buy once the kids are out of high school.) The house had a neglected in-ground vinyl pool that hadn't been used for 4-5 years. Landlords said, "We aren't gonna fix it, but it's fine if you do." We thought, "If we can do it cheap enough, it'd be worth to have a pool for 6 summers, especially while our kids are teenagers."

    So we got a few bids and hired the cheap guy. I know. So they're total jokers, never show when they say they will, etc.

    But finally they show. The vermiculite bottom was very damaged from having no liner in place. So they had to do quite a bit of work to repair. But they did it, and hung the liner last Monday. As it's filling, we notice that there are quite a few wrinkles and some pretty obvious divots/footprints under the liner. We call them, they say it's no big deal, but they come and try to fix. Some of the wrinkles worked out, no improvement on the footprints.

    We swim the next few days and notice that there are quite a few wrinkles and the surface under the liner is pretty uneven. We decide that we'll just live with it, that it's worth it to us to just get these guys out of our lives. And it only has to last 6 years, right? We're going to live with it. Then Saturday -- 5 days after they put in the liner -- my husband notices a bump down by the main drain. Wearing a mask, he swims down to the floor and checks it out. It's a rock under the liner, and he can already see a small part of the rock has poked through the liner.

    They are coming tonight to work on the pump, and we will need to raise this with them. They will (a) deny that it's actually a hole, (b) deny that it's an installation problem, and (c) suggest that a patch will be just fine. We want them to pull this liner, fix the crappy job they did on the vermiculite and replace with a new liner.

    We've also already had two instances in which the liner has slipped out of the coping, and I had to push it back in. Is this normal or further evidence of the **** job they've done?

    Anyway, looking for feedback. We're right to insist on a full redo, aren't we? Anybody had a similar situation?

  2. Back To Top    #2

    I know, I'm an idiot. Plumbing is screwed. What now?

    I posted in the Under Construction section about the problems we are having with our vinyl liner replacement at the house we're leasing (very inexpensive 6-year lease, so we were willing to fix the pool on our own dime to enjoy for six summers with our teenagers).


    Let me just say that I know I've been a total fool on this deal. Thanks in advance for not hammering me on that.

    Before I agreed to do the liner replacement, I asked the original pool guy (OPG) to look at the pump/filter/skimmers and give his opinion on what, if anything, would need to be replaced. He said the pool had been properly winterized, so the filter and plumbing should be fine and that the pump was probably okay but might need some inexpensive repairs.

    I see now that (a) he is desperate for $$ and would've told me anything to sell the liner job, (b) I should've had a plumber do a pressure check on the pipes and (c) if I had done that, we probably wouldn't have been swimming on July 4th.

    So of course, on Tuesday when the pool was full, the new pool guy (NPG) (hired by OPG to do the job and who's also a joker, but not as bad as OPG) turns on the pump and smoke pours out. I'm not really that shocked because I know that the pump is old and that the OPG has lied to me about almost everything for a weeks. NPG says, "It just needs a motor, which will be about $250. I'll be back Thursday, and I'm worried about the filter and I have a bad feeling about your plumbing. It doesn't look like it was properly winterized. So I'll bring a used filter just in case that I'll sell for a deal if you need it." He no shows on Thursday and Friday, says he'll definitely be there Saturday. When he isn't there by 8 pm on Saturday, we send the kids to grandma's and go out and drown our sorrows. We get home at 11:30 at night, and he's been there.

    Here's what we see: a "new" pump and filter -- actually the used filter and what turns out to be a rebuilt pump -- are running, and they're are hooked up to PVC pipe running from the pump station over the ground and into the pool. This above-ground pipe is pumping filtered water into the pool. On the piping near the pump, where there are knobs to open/close the skimmers and drain, he has written: "Skimmers no good. Do not use." So we're pulling water from the main drain at one end and pumping it back into the pool from the above ground pipe at the shallow end.

    I'd been treating the pool with bleach religiously, but it was starting to get a little murky. 24 hours of the pump running and sweeping dust into the main drain really cleaned it up.

    So he shows up last night to fix a leaky gasket or something on the pump, and tells us: he couldn't get any pressure in the jets and thinks there's a leak in the pipes to them. The skimmer boxes are okay, but he couldn't get very much suction from the skimmer lines so he thinks there's a leak in them. He says the skimmer got some suction, so we might be able to close off one and get enough suction to make them work. He advises us to try running them for a few hours some evening to see how much water we lose.

    So, can I limp through the summer with no jets and just the main drain and the redneck PVC return? Can I do it for six summers? If the skimmer line isn't useable, what are my alternatives? Keep in mind that (a) we're only leasing this place and (b) we've invested about all we're willling to invest. (We know we're going to have spend some more money, but we just can't justify a big(ger) investment in someone else's house. (Landlords would happily just fill it in, so no help there.)

    This is a fairly large pool -- about 40x20, 3 foot deep in the shallow and 8 feet in the deep.


  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: I'm a fool. Liner replacement is a disaster. What now?

    You may be able to get by but you'll have to keep a close eye on it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: I'm a fool. Liner replacement is a disaster. What now?

    It sounds like you may need to run new lines for the skimmer and the returns, best done before or after swim season. Likely this will run $100 or so in plumbing, labor may be a different matter depending if you have a concrete deck around the pool, etc. The pool will probably have to be partly drained, etc. and I would try to get someone more experienced to do the work, however at least this guy did what he needed to do to get your pool up and running for now.


    p.s. if your only going to be there 6 years don't worry too much about the rock under the liner, if it pops through put a patch on it.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: I'm a fool. Liner replacement is a disaster. What now?

    If you're only there for 6 summers, I wouldn't redo the plumbing. I'd just run a PVC line above ground and into the pool for the skimmer and the returns. If you don't mind doing it yourself it'll run you easily under 100 depending how far the pump is from the pool. It's really easy. You can even rig it up with a skimmer basket. Is it ideal? Aesthetically, no, but it'll work fine and if you don't own the place, then to me it's the only solution that makes sense. Is it redneck? Yes, but you can try to hide it and it's a **** of a lot better than the thousands it may cost otherwise.
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: I'm a fool. Liner replacement is a disaster. What now?

    Thanks, everybody. I appreciate all the feedback. This place is really great.

    We're cogitating on what to do regarding the liner. It's a delicate balance between (a) knowing that we paid a fair price -- it really wasn't that much cheaper than the other bids we got -- and didn't get a good job and (b) never wanting to ever to talk to these guys ever again.

    We've talked to a couple of good pool guys -- wish I'd found them when I was trying to set up this job -- about possible fixes for the liner and the plumbing. Personally, I'm ready to move on, hook up my redneck skimmer and start enjoying the pool. It's not like House Beautiful has asked to come photograph our back yard, for Pete's sake. Just need my OCD husband to get there, too.

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