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Thread: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice appreciated!

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    Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice appreciated!

    Hi everyone,
    Our 27,000 gallon inground "l-shaped" vinyl liner pool was started by our pool builder in mid-April. We are now heading into August and we still are not done. To say this process has been frustrating is an understatement.

    We were almost done a couple of weeks ago... we were just waiting on the solar cover and for them to come and to come take a look at a couple minor things with the equipment. We went to bed on a Friday night.. and woke up on Saturday to a pool that had lost 3 inches of water. Filled it back up on Saturday.. woke up on Sunday and lost 4 inches.

    Called the pool builder.. he couldn't determine the problem. He came out a couple times and checked.. but we continued to lose water. Finally shut off the pump. Water turned green.. and he thought he figured out the problem. He had a leak detection company come out to double-check and confirmed the issue... two of the return fittings had come loose and were causing the massive leak. Given the amount of water that was leaking from those two returns, the leak detection company could not make a determination if that was the only source of the leak.

    The concrete guy and pool guy come out and we meet. The pool guy wants to cut out small sections of the concrete so he can get his arm down the hole and fix the problems. I was not comfortable with that and a patch job on the concrete. The original concrete job was awesome...

    To his credit, the pool builder has stepped up... dumped a bunch of chemicals in, set up a temporary line for the pump (using main drain line and bypassing the return lines) and the water has stayed clear. The pool builder agreed to tear out the section of the concrete to the edge of the pool and have it re-poured to the edge of the pool (we did bullnose coping.)

    The section of concrete was taken out this morning. I get a text from my mother-in-law (who was at our house) this morning with a picture showing where the #6 stone backfill has been washed away around the pool. My guess is a combination of the leak and a poor job backfilling. I then get a phone call from my wife... my mother-in-law spoke with one of the concrete guys that commented that the original backfill job wasn't great and they he's sure they will be back out down the road to fix things because of it.

    So I went home on my lunch break from work and took some pictures and measurements. I'm absolutely fuming right now. I will attach some of the pictures for you to view. When you look at the picture of the steps, I feel like that there is some of the backfill that has washed away under the remaining concrete.

    Then the other side of the concrete that was removed... if you look under the concrete that remains.. there is a significant gap between the stone and the concrete as far as I can see. Unfortunately, I can't see much further because that is a corner of the pool.

    I left a message for the concrete guy... and I've decided to hold off on calling the pool guy until 1.) I talk to the concrete guy for his opinion and 2.) I would go nuts on the pool guy

    Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Maybe I'm overreacting (if so, please tell me)? I'm an extremely laid back and go with the flow kind of guy.. which has been taken advantage of during this whole process (which is his fault for doing it.. but also my fault for allowing it to happen.) Once the leak occured, he knew my position and that I was frustrated... I tightened up on him. Everything is still cordial, but I've been a little more firm and hands on. I do give him credit for stepping up to the plate and admitting his mistake on the leak and for fixing the concrete the "right" way. But I've lost all confidence in him and the quality of the structure. It just stinks to spend $30K+ into something that was potentially done very poorly.

    Thanks in advance.



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396395012/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9393624925/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396397824/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396393438/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396395586/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396396310/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396389704/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396390412/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396391144/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396391850/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33356435@N02/9396397114/

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    I am trying to understand how that concrete was poured. Was it pre-formed ?????
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    Don't forget, this is a public forum. If you have any intention legal actions, this is not the place to air your laundry.

    I am not sure I would not have my attorney look into this.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    Definitely speak with the concrete guy to get his expert opinion! You may want to get an additional third party(a different pool expert) involved to give you unbiased advice on how to proceed. It seems that there will be a lot of weight resting on the pools walls due to the back-fill erosion. Good luck!
    6.7K Pro Series 18x48, VL40T32 pump/filter, Hayward skimmer, TF100, and BBB!

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    I won't comment on the technicalities of what must be done to rectify the issue. However I would urge you to keep your composure and try to keep the pool builder engaged. Documennt things (as you are doing) and encourage/challenge him to get this all fixed. Tell him that you trust him to make things right.
    Don't get to a point of no return before its absolutely necessary.

    Best of luck!

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    I agree with you guys. I am still extremely polite and the conversations are cordial. Attorney would be last step. As I said earlier, he has stepped up and owned the mistake. They just fixed the returns... His plan is to tunnel a short way underneath the concrete towards the diving board and push in #8 stone to fill in the gap and compact. They've filled in the gap underneath the steps already.

    By posting the original message, I was simply venting and looking for advice from others. This is or first (and hopefully last) pool install... So just looking for advice on what to do and how to handle the situation. If tunneling and filling with stone is the correct solution, that's great.... I just don't want shortcuts to be taken which will cause me headaches down the road. I'm a believer in taking the time and steps necessary to do things right.

    Any additional advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    Also... Bullnose forms were used for the concrete coping around the pool. They secured the forms, poured the concrete and removed the forms.

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    I am not a geo-engineer but it seem that if you have 4-8 inches of air under all of your decking and what deck you shown is bridging from firm ground to the edge of the pool, that the decking need to be removed, the back fill needs to be tamped and then the decking need to be replaced. It seems the backfill needed to have more stone in it as it has settled quite a bit in these shots.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    My initial thought was to pull it up and have them do the decking again.

    One thing to keep in mind is that I had a total of 6 inches from our 27000 gallon pool empty out within a 36 hour timeframe. Which is why the stone was washed away and settled so low along the frame of the pool near those returns.

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    Quote Originally Posted by wahhutch9
    My initial thought was to pull it up and have them do the decking again.

    One thing to keep in mind is that I had a total of 6 inches from our 27000 gallon pool empty out within a 36 hour timeframe. Which is why the stone was washed away and settled so low along the frame of the pool near those returns.
    Mmmm...what is the back fill material ? Was/is it stone ALL THE WAY to the bottom ? If so, not sure how THAT MUCH could wash away - where did it go ?

    Perhaps he never compacted it in the first place and this has settled (forget about the water issue) ? How long has the concrete been in place ?
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    I'm no expert, but looking at your pics I would think they need to remove all the decking and correct the washed out gravel re compact then re pour decking,if not I cant see how the decking wont be susceptible to premature cracking.

    as stated previously you may want to get a third party inspection done.

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    #6 stone all the way around. Honestly... It was done while I was at work, so no clue if it was compacted properly or not.

    Concrete was poured on May 30. The leak started July 14.

    The way our yard slopes in our subdivision, a good portion of the pool is above grade. They back filled with the #6 stone and the graded it out to the rest of the yard. We so have 3 ft high retaining wall that was built on the side of the pool that has the diving board. Besides the retaining wall area, I have no idea where the stone could have washed away.

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    Should I seek a 3rd party concrete guy or 3rd party pool builder?

    Thanks

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    That does not look good to me at all. I do not think it washed away, where would it go? I think it settled, that gap is Huge.

    Might be a blessing that you had a leak, otherwise you would not have seen this.
    24X44 IG Vinyl Custom Shaped Pool, Starite S7M400 Cartridge Filter, Starite Sumpermax VS Pump, built July 2015, TF-100 Test Kit, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG, NG Starite SR400 Heater, Easytouch with Screen Logic, Magicstream Laminars, Bullfrog A7 Spa

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    Also, do you know how long the backfill was allowed to settle before the concrete pour, or was it right away, i.e. backfill on Monday - concrete on Tuesday ?
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    It was back filled somewhere around May 10-14... I have to check my files and pictures further in the morning to get an exact date. The concrete was poured May 30... So it was 2 to 3 weeks between backfill and the pour.

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    Ok, let's assume the leak washed out the dirt.
    Why is it dry under the concrete?
    It looks like at least a yard of dirt is missing, where is that yard of mud?
    Do you have an area with extra mud?
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    Ok, let's assume the leak washed out the dirt.
    Why is it dry under the concrete?
    It looks like at least a yard of dirt is missing, where is that yard of mud?
    Do you have an area with extra mud?
    By dirt, I'm assuming you mean the stone that was used to backfill? I have no idea where it is. Honestly. When we lost all of that water there was no evidence of a leak anywhere around the pool. The only guess is that it went through the stone and dissipated around the pool and in the retaining wall area. It was so frustrating at first because we lost all that water but there was no evidence anywhere of where it went.

    When I came home this evening, they had fixed the returns and the holes around each return were definitely damp. They used some of the stone that they dug up to try and fill in around the steps. Unfortunately, I took that 8' piece of quarter round and was effortlessly able to push it back in by the steps.

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    The stone can't be "washed away." What happens is the huge volume of water flowing the the backfill and underlying soil moves the particles around. If the material was placed without sufficient compaction, then when it gets soaked the particles can rearrange themselves in a more dense state. Think of it like a pile of blocks all stacked so that their points are touching. There will be big spaces full of air in between the blocks. When the water flows through, the blocks move so that they are touching along the flat sides and the voids go away. At the same time, the stack will get smaller.

    Pushing stone under the slab won't work. They need to either fill the void using an appropriate grout like cellular concrete or a slab-jacking mix (not flowable fill from a ready-mix company) or take out the slab, place and compact more stone then re-pour the slab. I would keep the concrete guy in the loop. He knows what should be done.
    DIY 28x38x18 Full L, 26,000 gallons, Pentair VS Pump, SWG, CCP 420 Filter, Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm SR400HD Heater, EasyTouch Controller

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    Re: Under Construction - Absolute DISASTER. Advice apprecia

    I spoke with the concrete guy this morning. He told me that he is confident the concrete will be fine. He told me he doesn't go cheap in his concrete and that he uses the best mix possible... And a wire and fiber mesh to help. He told me to think of it as a bridge... The concrete sits on the metal edge of the pool wall and there is a small gap between the edge of the pool and where the concrete is resting on the ground. He said he's confident it will be OK and hold up over the long haul.

    Thoughts?

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