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Thread: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Hello all,

    My installer recently finished my install, and the pool is not level by 2". The problem is mostly in one corner. I've read that the industry standard is + or - 1/2" per 40 ft. I am about 1" out of level from end to end (36 ft long), but in one corner, it is up another 1", for a total of 2". It is so drastic you can feel yourself walking UP the concrete and down again, as you walk around the corner. There is a 1" difference in just 8 feet.

    At first he tried to blame it on the pool manufacturer (san juan), then admitted it was an oversight on his part. He said the only option was to tear out the concrete and reset the pool. As it stands now, he is trying to convince me the 2" is no big deal, and he is asking for the final payment (about $6500).

    This is just the biggest problem with our pool. The skimmer box is crooked, and the fiberglass is scratched in a couple places. Through the entire install, I was cleaning up after them. When the pool was ready for the concrete guy, my pool installer didn't come back to see the concrete being poured, and didn't even come inspect after it was done. I was left with a pool full of concrete that I spent all day cleaning myself.

    During our pool installation, our installer was being pulled in many directions (he owns a pool store), and in more than one conversation he told me he was trying to "please many customers at one time". Many days, his crew of 2 people would get here at 9am, and literally sleep on the lawn until he showed up at 11; he would give them something to do, then take off again. They would work for a couple hours then wait for him to come back. When he was actually here working on our pool, he was distracted by his phone, more often than not. I cannot even have one 5 minute conversation with him about my pool, without him taking calls. The point I'm trying to make here, is that he was not focused on our pool. I'm 100% certain, had he been installing his OWN pool, it would be level.

    As frustrating as the install was, my wife and I kept telling ourselves, what really matters, is the end result. Now, the end result is that our dream pool, that we've been saving $ for 3 years, is not level. It makes me sick to my stomach to look at it.

    I can't remember ever seeing a pool that is not level.... not noticeable anyway.

    Am I supposed to accept this, pay the bill and say, "oh well"?? I don't think it's fair for me to pay for something that isn't right. I don't expect it to be perfect, but it is way off. Please see pictures:

    Here you can see the "corner" I'm referring to. Where my dog is standing, this area is about 3/4 " higher than the other end (the end off to the right). Now, follow the waterline to the left and you can see the drastic change:



    Here is a picture of the lowest part of the pool:


    Here are two pictures, showing the lowest and highest point of the pool:


    And I have to live with this crooked skimmer box. You should have seen it before. It looked like a 5th grader did the caulk job. He put a cap over it to hide the caulk.


    And this scratch:
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    What a shame. I had a concern with my FB pool last winter (1 yr after install) when after a lengthy drought with ground shifting I suspected a small "lean" to one side. While your situation is certainly different, I can still relate to that feeling in your gut. The pool should be within standards before you accept it, and many of the other issues you noted are simply ridiculous. Your biggest ally right now is holding that final payment until they fix what you want fixed. Although we all know that if they do tear everything up to re-level, it doesn't make life any easier for you there at home with the mess, pets, etc. That installer has a responsibility to you and your family to make things right.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and I found this quote on-line: "The industry standard states that a pool can be up to 1” out of level in 40’."
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    You need need to be happy with the end result before I would want to give the final payment.

    Make a very specific list of things you want addressed and provide it in writing (or email).

    Just remember though, If they have to tear out part of the concrete, odds are when they put the deck back it will not match exactly.

    I have a feeling there are always issues with pools, and while you may not have noticed them on other pools, it is probably because you were not invested and paying attention to the details.

    Also, you may want to contact the pool manufacturer and find out what they think about the install. If there is stress on the fiberglass due to improper leveling, that could impact the warranty.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    In case it helps you later (if things get ugly), the following is a quote from a friend of mine who in in the pool industry who assisted when someone else had a problem with their pool contractor: "There are several ways to go (when there are problems) if the contractor refuses to bend or make things right. The contractors Board and bond company.. Do not pay them a penny more. If they feel that he hasn't performed according to the contract, the Contractors board would be the first place to start. They will get a third party involved to inspect contract and work performed. They are on the consumers side. But I definitely would not pay a penny more tell complete even if he does finish it. No Money no Power."

    I hope everything turns-out right for you and your family.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    First I would talk to the pool manufacturer and find out of there is a problem with the pool sitting the way it is. Will that shorten the life of the pool? Are there hollow areas under the pool?

    I wouldn't pay more money until the problem is corrected.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Thanks for all the advice here, gang. Here is the current status.

    The rep from San Juan called me, and I sent him pictures. He is going to let me know if he can even warrant it. He said SanJuan pools are some of the strongest made, and they can handle a lot. But if he can't guarantee it for their normal 25 year warranty, then I don't see any other options aside from tearing up concrete and resetting the pool. The san juan guy mentioned to me that IF he can warrant it as it sits, there would be a option to tear out the concrete 2 ft from the pool edge (all the way around), then re-pour concrete (a different color to make it look like it was SUPPOSED to be fancy) OVER the edge of the pool lip and come down with it enough to make it look level. But in doing so, it seems the layer of concrete over the high end of the pool would be so thin, I feel like it would crack and fall off into the pool. Have any of you seen this technique done?

    The pool installer seems like he wants to satisfy me, but so far, has only offered a waterline tile. I'm happy he wants to help. But as far as I've read, tile only works if the deck has not yet been poured. No matter what is done with the tile, the waterline is still going to be off in relation to the white plastic strip. And it seems to me, any pattern on a tile would actually make it more noticeable. I'm happy the pool installer is trying to attempt something. He is a great guy and I really like him. I'm really sorry he didn't measure the level correctly when he put the pool in the hole and I wish this didn't happen. Part of me feels "sorry" for him, but the other part of me feels like... he has been installing pools for 10 years. All he had to do was pay attention and measure and he could have corrected it. The last thing I want is for him to lose money on my pool. But at the same time, we can't accept this pool as is.

    Below is a picture showing a different perspective on the pool. Here you can see from one side to the other, on the end where most of the problem is. Up to the skimmer box on the right, and up to the tail of the polaris (dangling in the water), things are acceptable. It's only BETWEEN the skimmer box and blue bucket, where things get whacky. From the skimmer box to the highest point near the banana trees (just 10 feet), it's off by over an inch.

    You know... during the install I TRIED to talk to my pool installer as much as I could. I was asking questions about this or that, making sure I knew what he was doing, what to expect, and that everything was going ok. Every time he told me, "You don't have to worry, I have a method in everything I do." I never thought that I would need to worry about something like this! When I was on the phone with the San Juan guy, he asked me, "What would it take for you to be satisfied with the pool?" I could not even answer. Put yourself in my position. Let's say the pool installer gave me a "discount" on the pool. Would we be happy with it? No. The benefit of a discount would go away shortly and then we have to look at the pool for 25 years. I want to pay full price for a pool that looks good. And what if we decide to move out of this house? If the next perspective owner gets the pool inspected before buying the house, any pool inspector would tell them the pool is not level and under stress.

    Thanks again for your help and opinions. At least I know I'm not over-reacting. I wish we could "over look" it and be ok with it. But there's just no way we can accept it.

    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    duplicate post
    Last edited by guytimes; 07-08-2015 at 10:06 AM. Reason: duplicate post
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Sorry to hear of these issues. I know the thought of ripping out and resetting is not appealing but.......

    I think they need to rip the entire deck and reset the pool. If they think they can rip the deck in just that one area and dig a little then you may have too much flexing in the bottom which will lead to potential cracking at some point. The only way to fix an un-level FB pool is to lift, regrade and reset.

    Forget the tile idea, this will lead to another problem. The tile will stick out from the coping since it was poured referenced to the FB not further out referenced to the tile. Trust me you will not like this look at all. Since he does not seem very careful with the installs, I think you will get more trouble than you will "solve"
    Jim

    Southern Frederick County, MD - Leisure Moroccan 38 Fiberglass Pool - 19,800 gallons
    Pentair 1.5 hp 2 speed pump - Cartridge filter - Dolphin robot - TF-100 Test Kit - SWCG

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    I stopped reading at "2 inches out of level". I would not accept that. Any PB knows better and he screwed up that big time. I am not very picky as a whole and tend to forgive tradesmen some small imperfections. 2" is wa-a-a-ay too much to forgive.

    It sounds like you have financial leverage. Keep that leverage and have them fix the pool as it should be and then pay them.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Honestly I would have them rip it all out and fix it correctly. I don't want to look at this everyday and be mad, it would ruin the pool for me
    Free form pool 90'3" prim, 14180 gallons. TF100 Kit In pool table with travertine top, 3sheer descents, Depth 3.5-5-4, Jandy 2HP pump, Inline Chlorinator, Wetedge Satin Matrix Antigua.

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    I am very sorry to hear about your problem.
    Me myself I would not be satisfied with the pool being out 2".
    I would have them demo all the concrete decking, pull it and then reset the pool.
    I would also ask that the manufactures rep inspect the shell prior to resetting it as I would be concerned with stress fractures.
    Hope it all woks out for the best as it is a terrible shame when something you dream so much about gives you headaches instead of pleasure.
    Best of luck, Vic

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    HUGS! You are so right in being upset!

    Start all over. Do NOT let them do anything other than take it out and put it back in level.

    It is a fiberglass pool? As in they brought it in on the back of a truck and used a crane lift it into your hole? I bet San J. will not warranty it. Over time the pressure of the unlevelness will cause it to give and crack

    Even if they do...........if/when you go to sell you KNOW it will be brought up as a negative

    No cheerleading here Just hugs as you should not have to even think about stuff like this on something that is meant to bring so much joy!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Have them redo the whole thing. What a pain, I know, but in the long run you will be happier. We have an older pool (over 30 years) that we just acquired when we bought this house in January. It is rectangular, and the back right corner is a good five inches lower than the other three. It's a steel frame/vinyl built into the side of a hill, and seems structurally sound (we think the footer on that corner settled over the years) and we have no problems at all with it, BUT it drives me INSANE when I look at it. I have to keep plants on that corner to distract myself.

    Good luck!
    Wendy
    1980s 20x40 in-ground beast, 36K gallons, 4' - 8', vinyl liner, Sand Dollar sand filter, two skimmers, bottom drain, three returns
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Just one more chime here to tell you I feel pain for you over this mess of a situation. And I can't even imagine the extent of your disappointment. I'm no expert, but I trust all these guys on TFP to tell you the truth. I would do what they say. It won't be easy to do it over, but I agree that it will be the only way to move forward and enjoy your pool. If you don't do the redo, it will always nag at you. And I think if you go with the redo, with time, the pain of this experience will begin to fade away as you get to enjoy your pool the way it's meant to be enjoyed.

    There are many experts and experienced people on TFP to help you through this process. And then there are plenty of others here like me who will encourage, support, and listen whenever you need us to. You've already seen both types in the above posts, and we won't disappear on you! You let us know - whatever you need, whenever you need it!

    Add my hugs to Kimkats' hugs.
    Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    PoolESQ's Avatar
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Hey guytimes,

    I was in your exact situation in my first home. Had a fiberglass pool installed that was out of level by about 3 inches left to right. Once I brought it to the PB's attention, he wanted to offer some BS freebies, like extra concrete decking, patio, etc. I refused and he was understanding. My pool was a Viking pool and their standard was up to 1/2 inch was within spec. Obviously, we were waaayyy outside of that. So, I insisted on a complete tear-out and re-level. It was a major delay and a pain in the you-know-what, but well worth it in the end.

    A couple of thoughts:
    1. Do NOT let them put waterline tile. It will only make the defect more noticeable.
    2. Do NOT make your final payment. It's the only leverage you have.
    3. Do NOT let them pour more concrete over the lip. That's just silly.

    Now that you know you have a nonconforming pool, it will be something that will haunt you in the future sale of your house. You will have to disclose this defect and will likely chase many buyers away; so many folks already fear purchasing a home with a pool, you don't want to add to the fear.

    You will never regret insisting on getting it done right, but will forever be disappointed if you let them do some sub-par fix. Keep to your guns.
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    I'm surprised there are pool builders left who will install a fiberglass pool. Every thread I see on here talks about having to re-set one because it wasn't level. I wouldn't trust anybody to make a perfectly smooth surface, and back fill sand everywhere so fiberglass isn't stressed. I don't think that level of perfection is possible for the typical pool builder. Hopefully they get it right this time.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Wow, you guys are great. Thanks to each of you (too many names to list) for all the reassurance (and hugs). You are all invited over for a pool party. I do have some news.

    The San Juan Rep called me, and says he IS able to guarantee the pool as is. He says he issues the warranty to the pool builder and then the pool builder to us. But if something goes wrong, would my PB really fix it all at no charge? Who knows if he will even be around in 5 years.

    My PB and his wife came over today to talk to us about the pool. Again he was trying to blame the problem on San Juan. After listening to this for a bit, I finally stopped him and told him the reason our pool was not level, was because he didn't take the time to check to see if it was level. Plain and Simple. Then they started talking about a waterline tile. Again I stopped them and told them that I have never seen tile be able to hide an un-level pool. Then he asked me what I wanted. I told him I just wanted our pool to be level. I told him I wanted them to give US options. He didn't have any, except he said he had a water fountain guy who may be able to put a water feature there. He said he was sorry that he didn't catch it, and he wanted to satisfy us. He seems sincere, but has not offered to pull the pool out. When he left he said he really wants us to think about what we want in order to be satisfied. He said he wants us to be happy.

    So now my wife and I are trying to decide what we want to do. The thought of tearing up everything and starting over... the thought of them in my back yard for another month, is a night mare. But at the same time, we agree with you when you say we will wish we had fixed it, in the long run.

    Before we go down that route, I'd like to make sure there isn't an option we would be happy with. We've been scouring the net and looking at some water features. There are some, that, combined with tile, would hide the fact that the pool isn't level in that one corner. Check these pictures out. Could this be done on a fiberglass pool? I'm not sure of the details, but the concrete coping would have to be cut off in the high area, and then the tile would go all the way around the pool, and then extend up into a wall (we are thinking about 12"-18" high) to the waterfall. Maybe we could put plants in it, or one of those gas fire features. I donno, we are just kicking around ideas right now.

    What do you guys think? One concern I have with putting a water feature in the deep end of the pool, is that it makes it harder for kids to hold on to something when they are going around the deep end. But this seems like a viable solution if it can be done on fiberglass. Heck, maybe we can hide the solar cover behind it. It would kind of take up a bit of the walkway.







    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    I disagree with those two pictures in your problem area. Both are so lineal that it might exaggerate the problem. Something "busier" like random rock formations with a water feature built in might be a better disguise.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    Bump. Sorry to bump my own thread, but really looking for advice here. Pool guy calling me tomorrow so I need to know is these are options. I think it is.
    Pool: 13,500 Gallon, San Juan StarDust Inground Fiberglass, installed May 2015
    Filter: Pentair cartridge filter, Clean and clear plus
    Main pump: Pentair Intelliflow | Booster pump: Pentair 3/4hp
    Pool Cleaner: Polaris 280 | Chlorine generator: AquaCal Autopilot Digital Nano Plus
    Filled pool with city water & using TF-100 test kit

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Filberglass pool install. 2" off level

    That is up to you. I would insist they remove and replace but I am not the one that would have to live through it.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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