Bond beam/collar on fiberglass pool

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ
Just spoke to town inspector. He insists the bonding wire must be 4-6" below the subgrade, even with concrete and pavers being poured on top of it. Doesn't make sense to me but told the contractor to just do what it takes to get past these guys.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,357
Morris Cnty NJ
What we do is run the wire inside the concrete to make town happy and leave a length on the end. After concrete is poured we bond lug another loop in the sand bed for the pavers. Make sure he leaves you an inch for the concrete sand and I would do a step form for coping unless he plans to mud an inch to set even with pavers. When u actually lay pavers use geotextile before sand. This is an overlay as it's called and any settling that could crack the slab would allow the bed sand to fall into voids and make pavers settle that's why geotextile is required. Also need sand bed otherwise you wont be able to use polymeric sand you cant stick right to concrete otherwise you will haze the pavers really bad. I would put stone on the other side and after inspection just fill in with pavers the impervious stuff is ridiculous. Most towns dont count the pool against you and many count owners as 75% impervious so u can do a little more with pavers that concrete would allow
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ
Appreciate the insight.

Instead of just complying with the inspector requirement or taking my suggestion (just run one wire below the soil as the inspector wants and one over the concrete as the contractor wants and I'd go buy the second wire), the contractor has spent the week calling the state DCA and calling the inspector and arguing his case. So probably the last good weather week for a while (maybe for the year) and the contractor has decided to not show up at all. After only showing up 5 hours over 2 days last week, I've had it with him. We had another electrician come yesterday and he was shocked by the condition of the yard/electric run and couldn't believe our contractor expected to pass inspection. He gave us a price that would require us to spend $750 more for this electrician to finish the work, but I think it may be worth it. Separately, the contractor used an excavator to trench (as his old machine couldnt handle tree roots in our yard) and destroyed our yard -- we have to replace several drain pipes under ground just to get back where we were after the excavator pulled out everything). We have our landscaper (who was doing our hardscaping as well) come by and he too was outraged what he saw and the condition they left our yard. So he is at the house now pricing out what it would cost to repair everything. Add on top of everything the fact that two weeks after setting our fiberglass pool, my wife pointed out it didnt appear level. The PB checked and confirmed she was right, drained the pool (which he had me fill up with my own water despite our contract saying he would cover water) and pulled it out of the ground to reset it. Our landscaper is still not sure it's level and showed up this morning with his laser to check it again. Waiting to hear on that one....

All in all, this has turned into a mess but I think it's time to have true professionals finish up our project and tell the PB to take a hike. I may have to litigate to get money back but I can't keep going with these guys.
 

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
75
Middletown, NY
the fiberglass pool will not be perfectly level. I believe the industry spec is within 1 inch in 40 feet. At this point you’re too far along to bring other people in. Let them finish the pool and then you will have to clean.
Damage of lawn, drain line and irrigation lines is expected with a pool project...no way to really avoid it. If they are a good contractor they should repair the damage to pipes for a reasonable price and grade the dirt on your property so it is ready for topsoil/grass. The way most of their contracts are written they could just leaves mounds of dirt without proper grading and get away with it.
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ
I certainly understand that it will not be perfectly level but our issues go way beyond that with this pool builder. He has shown up a couple of days a week, if that, for a month and then this week not at all. After the pool was in the ground for 2 weeks, my wife mentioned to him that it did not look level and they checked and had to pull it out of the ground and reset it (33 ft pool was 2 inches from level). At one point his mason emailed me to tell me he was a crook who would leave me a damaged pool and steal my money and his electrician also made me nervous with a few things he said. A lot of other stories I'll leave out so we decided it was time to replace him and move on. So today we had our landscaper show up who worked a full day with a crew and added drainage throughout our yard, regradd, and fixed up a lot of the damage. The pool builder refused to fill in the trench after he dug it with the excavator or repair any of the damage... Tuesday we will have a new electrician here and Thursday hopefully a new mason to pour the bond beam before our landscaper returns to do the coping and patio.... After seeing a real crew show up today and work all day, I feel very comfortable with our decision to move on with people we trust. It is costing me money but definitely worth it for the peace of mind. Here's where we sit after a full day of work.
 

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malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
75
Middletown, NY
Did he install a dewatering tube for the pool? I don't see one and it is pretty important to have incase the pool ever has to be emptied.

Also, what did he backfill this pool with...please tell me he used crushed rock (best), or sand (good) and not the excavated dirt (unacceptable) to fill the hole.
 
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McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ
Did he install a dewatering tube for the pool? I don't see one and it is pretty important to have incase the pool ever has to be emptied.

Also, what did he backfill this pool with...please tell me he used crushed rock (best), or sand (good) and not the excavated dirt (unacceptable) to fill the hole.
He used a crushed rock to backfill (at least that's what it seemed to me -- picture of the material attached) and did install a dewatering hole. Our landscaper attached an elbow today to that pipe and ran the dewatering hole out to the side of the pool rather than coming straight up through our coping. So I won't be able to look down the hole to get a sense of groundwater, but will be able to run a hose down there if we have to suction out some groundwater. I can't say the work by the PB was all terrible but their business model seems to be to take on more pools than they can possibly install and collect as much money up front as possible (80% before the pool arrives and the remainder when the pool arrives). Then they take their sweet time on the actual install and move on to the next job in the meantime. So we would have a day or two of work and then 5 days off with all sorts of excuses. Permits were approved in early August and it felt like we'd never finish (with temps about to dip into the 20s next week). So it was time to tell him to leave and hire crews that would show up and finish his work.
 

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McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ
A few more shots to see what I'm talking about. First two shots show you what our PB told me after a month of work was "fully graded and ready for concrete." You can compare that against the shots above of what we look like after one day of the landscaper working (and the third picture which shows the landscaper working today)

1573354660468.png

1573354678685.png1573354699786.png
 
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McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ
Exactly my thinking. PB said he thought that was the best material for our soil. I don't know what to believe from his mouth but at this point it is what it is.... Unless I want to pay even more to empty the pool and start over (which I really am not).
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
583
MA
He used a crushed rock to backfill (at least that's what it seemed to me -- picture of the material attached) and did install a dewatering hole. Our landscaper attached an elbow today to that pipe and ran the dewatering hole out to the side of the pool rather than coming straight up through our coping. So I won't be able to look down the hole to get a sense of groundwater, but will be able to run a hose down there if we have to suction out some groundwater. I can't say the work by the PB was all terrible but their business model seems to be to take on more pools than they can possibly install and collect as much money up front as possible (80% before the pool arrives and the remainder when the pool arrives). Then they take their sweet time on the actual install and move on to the next job in the meantime. So we would have a day or two of work and then 5 days off with all sorts of excuses. Permits were approved in early August and it felt like we'd never finish (with temps about to dip into the 20s next week). So it was time to tell him to leave and hire crews that would show up and finish his work.
The attached picture is definitely not crushed rock. It looks like it might be a sandy fill of some sort but it is not clean washed sand either . Is this what he used under the pool to level it ? Hard to tell what is is from the pic. Perhaps ask your landscaper what the material is.
 

tank47

Bronze Supporter
Apr 28, 2019
66
NJ
It's DGA or sometimes called Crusher Run. No idea if it's as good, better or worse then clean stone but as you and I both know it's now our backfill. With all the rain we've had it has held up pretty good from what I can tell, not the sloppy muddy mess the rest of the yard has become, so that's encouraging.

 
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malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
75
Middletown, NY
He used a crushed rock to backfill (at least that's what it seemed to me -- picture of the material attached) and did install a dewatering hole. Our landscaper attached an elbow today to that pipe and ran the dewatering hole out to the side of the pool rather than coming straight up through our coping. So I won't be able to look down the hole to get a sense of groundwater, but will be able to run a hose down there if we have to suction out some groundwater. I can't say the work by the PB was all terrible but their business model seems to be to take on more pools than they can possibly install and collect as much money up front as possible (80% before the pool arrives and the remainder when the pool arrives). Then they take their sweet time on the actual install and move on to the next job in the meantime. So we would have a day or two of work and then 5 days off with all sorts of excuses. Permits were approved in early August and it felt like we'd never finish (with temps about to dip into the 20s next week). So it was time to tell him to leave and hire crews that would show up and finish his work.

That looks like recycled concrete aggregate. It is used a lot under pavers, but I am not sure of its suitability for pool backfill.
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ
One more question on the bond beam as we are a couple days away from pouring. I've gone back and forth with the pool manufacturer (Blue Hawaiian) on what is required and they are adamant we must pour at least 3' of concrete around the pool for our warranty to be valid. The concern this raised with our landscaper was that the 1' of coping and 2' of pavers that will be glued to the 3 feet of concrete will hold in place while all the patio that will follow on our decking will sit on a paver base and shift with the ground -- over time, it will be obvious as part of our paver patio shifts and the other stays firm to the concrete and look terrible. The answer Blue Hawaiian gives me is that we should then pour the concrete further out from the pool and let it sit under all paver areas. In Blue Hawaiian's view, the only way to ensure a paver patio won't settle/shift is to pour concrete under the pavers and glue all the pavers down with silicone adhesive (then fill in between with polymeric sand). This seems really odd to me and I'm curious to hear thoughts from folks on here if that makes sense? Concrete guy suggests we just pour the 3' of concrete around the pool and make sure the paver base that will sit under the rest of the pavers is compacted well to avoid shifting.
 

McLovitz

Well-known member
Aug 26, 2019
49
Livingston, NJ
Just to follow on, I spoke with our landscaper and one concrete company who expressed concern with Blue Hawaiian's request -- in their mind, pavers are meant to sit on a paver base to allow drainage under and the more we place on concrete, the bigger the chance pavers are heaved in the freeze/thaw cycle when the water has nowhere to go. So it sounds like we'll do the 3' concrete pour required by the pool manufacturer, mortar down the first 3 feet (coping plus 2' of pavers) and then pour a paver base next to it for the remaining pavers to sit on. Certainly interested in any views of experts on the board but that seems to be the path forward.
 

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
75
Middletown, NY
Why not just put the paver sand over the concrete collar and put the first row of pavers on there. If they move a little with the freeze they will settle back into place.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,357
Morris Cnty NJ
Do not mortar pavers to the concrete collar. They will haze over it's not a proper install. Set the collar an inch lower and use concrete sand over the collar and flow that right into your paver base. Honestly if your landscaper is telling you the pavers will move I would be concerned. Here in NJ we have alot of clay. The usual 4" of base then 1" sand doesn't work. I do minimum 8" with geotextile under it sometimes I go over a foot of base if soil is real bad. You just cant skimp on this. When you skimp and they move you will end up redoing it for double the cost. Pay a little more now and do it well and be done. Make sure they compact the snot out of the base in small lifts like 3" max at a time and several damp passes over and over. Use geotextile. I've had to re do many paver decks in NJ with poor base and it costs way more to fix than from scratch. Guys who cut grass are the worst culprits for these installs
 
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