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Thread: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

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    New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    A very close friend of mine just purchased a home with a pool, since I am anal about pools and love swimming, they asked me to maintain it for them in exchange for usage. I advised them in the buying process to have the pool professionally inspected before closing, which they did. The inspection report looked pretty cursory, it was a one page report with some of the pool specs and some check boxes for the condition of the pool and patio equipment. The only thing of note was that the area under pool liner/cover condition was marked as "Poor" and in the notes section on the bottom of the page it said that the liner "should be replaced in a few years". Today, we pulled the cover off the pool in order to begin the opening process, we immediately noted that the liner was in deplorable condition. On one side the liner was stretched and peeling off the edge, the corners had all pulled away, the other side was full of tears from end to end and one corner had some extensive patchwork that was coming apart. Furthermore, there was an entire glass tabletop shattered in the bottom of the pool. Aren't these all things of note?

    Maybe this is common practice in the pool industry, but I have no idea why they paid a pool inspector if he didn't actually INSPECT the pool and report his findings. Do people typically just patch of the entire side of their pool for several seasons before replacing their liner? It looks like hillbilly **** in the back of this otherwise exceptional home and patio. Furthermore, they were going to pay to have the pool professionally started BEFORE the closing so that they could be assured of its condition, however their real estate agent insisted that they couldn't/shouldn't do this. It seems that they were burned by the pool maintenance company (they had it inspected by the same company that had maintained it all these years, in fact the owner of the company performed the inspection) and by their real estate agent. Now, the entire point of performing a pool inspection and having it started is so that the buyers can be made aware of the condition of the pool, however, the real estate agent and pool company have both found a way to completely undermine those measures and effectively scammed the buyer. Now, they have to front the cost of new liner in order to have a pool this summer, what's the point of buying a brand new house at the start of pool season with a beautiful walled in patio/pool if your going to be staring at a pool cover for your entire first year?

    Something else I am curious about, the report said that the lining was 7 years old, I thought "well, they usually last 10-15 years, so I guess they can ride it out a few more seasons". However, the liner was completely worthless, even if they could somehow patch it up for this year, I don't think anyone would even want to swim in it due to its discoleration and tears. It seems that only gross negligence on behalf of those maintaining the pool would cause it to fall into such horrible disrepair. We found all of the pool chemicals sitting outside floating in pot full of water, they had clearly been there all winter, I performed a quick water test, EVERYTHING was low, PH was at about 6.6! All of the signs seem to point to extremely poor maintenance. If you take excellent care of a pool with daily readings and treatment and use a solar cover, is it typical to just get 6 years out of a brand new, high quality liner?

    Is there any recourse for their predicament? From the looks of it, the pool inspector robbed them of $200 for the worthless inspection and failed to put information in his report that would have armed the buyers with critical information and the real estate agent tied their hands from ever obtaining it on their own.

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    Re: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    Yes, the new owners clearly got screwed.

    If they have financial leverage, they can unscrew themselves. If they don't, the path of least resistance will be to bite the bullet, get a new liner, and file away the experience.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    When the water chemistry is way off, especially when the PH is way too low, the life of the liner will be shortened dramatically.

    Legally, I am sure your can sue the pool inspector, but I doubt that their liability will extend very far. That is, you you should easily get the $200 back, but I doubt you could get them to pay for the new liner. Since the cost of suing is more than $200, it probably isn't worth it If, on the other hand, the buyers real estate agent knew about the problem and didn't tell them, they would probably be liable for the full amount. But you would have a very rough time proving that they knew.

    Regardless of the legal situation, the pool needs a new liner.
    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: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    Alright, so I spoke with the inspector today, he is going to refund the inspection fee, I just wanted to clarify a few things though. First of all, this was a visual inspection, so as he described it, he looks at the pool, and even if the cover is on, there is no need to pull it back as long as it is holding water. This seems a little odd, I would imagine that a visual inspection would require one to visually inspect the parts of the pool in question, not hazard a guess as to their condition by speculating from the water level on the pool cover. He insists that the previous owners screwed us, however, we hired him to prevent us from being screwed, so in essence he directly caused us to, this is at least how I see it, please chime in if I sound off. Secondly he never even tried the pump out, I know we didn't ask him to do a tear down, but you'd think he'd at least try to see if it fires up. It looks like the wire has a short in it so we are going to have to have it re-wired. At least this is what it looks like to me, he has a hayword 1hp pump and I have no clue how to get it to turn on, there doesn't appear to be any sort of switch on it and I can fallow the electrical wire all the way into the breaker box and don't see any switch in line, but there is a spot where the wire appears to be damaged.

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    Re: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    It's very common to use the breaker as the "switch" for the pump.

    Again, unless you have some financial leverage, I think you've gotten about as good as you can hope for. It will cost too much money to pursue anyone for what are really somewhat vague damages.

    Again, I agree, you got shafted. It's simply going to be problematic to recover any more money, I think. I am surprised he returned the inspection fee.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    When a pool is winterized there isn't any easy way to try out the pump and completely removing the cover is impractical. But he absolutely should have pulled back a corner of the cover and done some investigation of what was under the cover.

    I completely agree with you that he did not do his job. The fact that he was willing to return his fee suggests that he realizes that he didn't do his job. Unfortunately that does not automatically mean that he has any liability beyond refunding his fee. You probably should talk to a lawyer about this, but my casual understanding is that all you can get from the pool inspector is his fee back.

    On the pump, chances are there is a timer around somewhere. It might be inside a metal box that looks rather like any other electrical box. If you post pictures of the first place the pump wire enters an electrical box, and the rest of that general area, we will probably be able to help you figure it out.
    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: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    I'll get some pictures up but it sure doesn't look like there is any kind of switch or timer, I did find one junction box in line with the cord and it held a GFCI socket, that was all. The cord was actually run above ground from the pump all the way back into the house and interestingly, most of it does not have any conduit, there is conduit on each end where the wire enters the junction box and on the other end where it enters the house, that is all.

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    Re: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    our pool inspection wasn't very geat either. You would think you are paying them good money, it sure be a good inspection.
    I just moved on and had the pool updated (we figured it was a very old pool and would need it).

    good luck,
    chris
    30-40yr old prehistoric IG gunite 20 X 40 approx 30000gals
    now with new cool blue Diamond Brite and blue waterline tile (looking good for 40yr old pool)
    new Hayward 244T sand filter, 3/4 Hayward pump, Jandy heat pump
    pool skim (love it)

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    Re: New House with pool, looking for advice on several things

    I think one lesson we can all take away from this is to always be present when an inspector does the inspection. Follow him or her around. Ask questions. A good inspector will take the time to explain issues to you as he or she finds them, which should also be included in the hardcopy report. As they say, when the cat's away the mice will play. It's been proven that workers are more productive and do a better job when they know they're being watched. So in essence, you have to be there to inspect their inspection. I rehab houses on the side and I always get the houses I buy inspected. Either I'm there during the inspection or I make sure someone I trust is there.
    Andrew - Virginia Beach, VA
    22,000 gallons; 16x32 rectangle; 3.5Ft-8Ft Depth; Pentair Whisper Flow 2 speed Pump 1.5/.5HP; Pentair FNSP60 DE Filter; Aqua Rite SWG. Polaris 180 cleaner.

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