Fiberglass Pool Install

Tres Gatos

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2019
53
Bullhead City, AZ
Water chemistry question... The PB is pouring the concrete collar and leaving the job site until spring. The pool has the water in it that was trucked in and it has since turned dark and green. The pool is uncovered and the bilge water frozen on top. There are no chemicals in the pool.

Is this normal?

I though Leisure Pools USA required that the water be tested and maintained weekly (at least during non-covered season) in order for the gel coat warranty to be honored. I read that unattended water can cause issues with the gel coat. ??? Lost.
What assurance do you have the PB will ever return? Do you have any financial leverage at all this point?
 
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robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
78
MD
Okay, more bad news...

We have had unusually warm weather, so I took the opportunity to go out and clean up and inspect the pool-install-in-progress. They poured the concrete collar a few days before Christmas, and aren't returning until the spring, when it gets opened for the first time (it was not opened yet, so no water in pipes, or even electrical hooked up yet).

Previously I had posted concerns when they placed the pool in the wrong spot and rather than lifting it, opening the hole, preparing a proper/wider base, and reinstalling, they just dug a wider trench and dragged the pool sideways by 18"-24". My concern was the combination of a lack of a proper gravel base and the fact that they mixed a lot of soil in the backfill. Well, today I went out and sure enough, the pool is grossly out-of-level on the width span (which is under 12').

I measured a 1.25-1.5" difference from water level to top of shell in the 11'10" width. It is visibly not level, and a level confirms it's out. It looks worse than when they first installed it, which leads me to suspect that it has settled in just this short period due to improper base and clean backfill.

The guys at River Pools (Jason Hughes) say that it should be (all around) within a half inch.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
17,829
Northern NJ
Let’s see if anyone has experience with this type of situation. My guess is you need to remove the pool and start over. I don’t know how you can get the tub level and stable with the concrete collar on it.

You need to decide if you can live with the out of level pool and see how long it lasts. I would be worried about PVC pipes cracking if the shell moves too much.
 

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
78
MD
The PB just said he doesn't trust my tape measure and that it was within a 1/4" all around at collar pour. He is coming out to use his laser level.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,400
Tallahassee, FL
He is going to have to take off the collar, pull the pool back out (hoping the damage is not done aka cracking already started) and star all over with the hole. They should have NEVER drugged it to put it in the now spot. The bottom was not prepared properly or all for that matter.

Let me guess. the high side is on the side the drug it to.

Time to make sure EVERYTHING is in writing and have your own person out there to check your PB's laser.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,284
Evans, Georgia
Make him use a crane this time. I believe it cost about $400 to rent the crane when we were installing our pool initially, but it isn't so much that he can't absorb it, IMO.

Maddie :flower:
 

Winger 03

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2009
254
Frederick County, MD
Sorry to say, Kim is correct (not sorry that she is right, but sorry that you have to do what she says). Lift, regrade, set, check level, pull again etc.... There are really no shortcuts on this part. Fiberglass pools are 99.999% about the installer. A great pool with a crummy install is worse than a crummy pool with a great install (more or less).

Jason is right. - .5" is pretty good, I think RPS got closer than that on mine.

Will be interesting to see the installer and their laser level.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,397
Morris Cnty NJ
You would be lucky if this guy comes back. I haven't rly commented in this thread but it's painful to see what this guy has done with this install.
Fiberglass pools are an art to install unless they are flat bottom. The only way to be sure of install is to use graded 3/8 gravel and compact the heck out of it. Screed rails should be used that are shot with a transit.
Also know that no fiberglass pool is dead level. The shell itself is +/- a half inch from the factory. That is the acceptable range for an installed shell.
At this point you have no leverage. Not sure why this guy is paid in full without being close to done. If he was only going as far as collar he should still not be 100% paid. Theres always punchlist items on any build and they get completed and signed off THEN final payment is made.

Guys like this give the bizness a bad name. The real problem is the hack installers. 99% of customers dont care what's going on thru the build. They see a pool when it's done and looks good and new and would never ceck level or look further than a whole pool picture. I would let him do whatever to check with a laser and go from there. There is a mouldings or even tile you can apply to waterline to cheat the eye and then mud heavy on coping to compensate to make it look good if the level is gonna keep you up at night. Theres no way hes gonna reset that pool. That would require busting the collar and digging out the pool and its plumbing. It's as much work as putting one in from scratch and a half install on top. Chances are the shell would get damaged. I would reach out to mfgr. and see if you can get them to put pressure. I'm unsure if they gave you this installer or you found him and went with that brand based on his relationship with them. I wish you luck and a better outcome. Like I said it is fixable to look good with options
 

chazas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2007
159
Manassas, VA
I would stop and take a deep breath. You have fill and other construction problems, I get that. But what I have been told is that the remedy for a fiberglass pool that is ends up out of level is to install waterline tile parallel to the waterline, then pour a deck level too, so you never see the top piece that’s not level.

I also would not take a great deal of care listening to what River Pools tells you. Just my view.
 

robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
78
MD
Okay, more bad news...

We have had unusually warm weather, so I took the opportunity to go out and clean up and inspect the pool-install-in-progress. They poured the concrete collar a few days before Christmas, and aren't returning until the spring, when it gets opened for the first time (it was not opened yet, so no water in pipes, or even electrical hooked up yet).

Previously I had posted concerns when they placed the pool in the wrong spot and rather than lifting it, opening the hole, preparing a proper/wider base, and reinstalling, they just dug a wider trench and dragged the pool sideways by 18"-24". My concern was the combination of a lack of a proper gravel base and the fact that they mixed a lot of soil in the back fill. Well, today I went out and sure enough, the pool is grossly out-of-level on the width span (which is under 12').

I measured a 1.25-1.5" difference from water level to top of shell in the 11'10" width. It is visibly not level, and a level confirms it's out. It looks worse than when they first installed it, which leads me to suspect that it has settled in just this short period due to improper base and clean back fill.

The guys at River Pools (Jason Hughes) say that it should be (all around) within a half inch.

Any help would be appreciated.
Latest update... The PB shot the pool level with his laser and confirmed the settling (out of level). He said the pool will have to be partially "pumped" and lifted to correct, or use coping/tile to hide. We are 1.5" out over 12'. This equates to 5" over 40'. It is very visible and even the steps appear sloped.

Question for the forum members... How do they "lift" a partially pumped out pool with the concrete collar already set? The collar is now covering the (rebar) attachment loops on the pool lip. Wouldn't this put undo strain/crack the plumbing? Also, they would have to excavate a whole trench along the pool to be able to get down and have any hope of properly re-doing the gravel base (along the edge they dragged it off of*), and they would have to dump yet more gravel into the widened trench. How is all of this done without the other three sides bulging in from lack of water pressure in the pool to stabilize the walls (braces?)? And what of the wall that is being excavated (how does that side not bow out from water pressure on that side)?

This is a bloody mess and the PB is already using "blaming" language in his texts to us. Fortunately, we told him about our concerns over the pool shell re-positioning and poor back fill (dirt & gravel).

*For those just reading this, earlier in the install thread we detailed how the PB placed the pool in the wrong location and then rather lifting it and preparing a proper base in the new spot, they simply dug a trench and dragged the pool sideways about 2 feet.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,400
Tallahassee, FL
I would get in contact with the manufacturer to see what they say to get back up. I would also ask them if there are ANY other installers in the area.

I REALLY don't think (notice the word think) there is really ANY way to lift it with water in it. Is he going to bring a crane to life it with?

Me? I think everything has to be undone and started all over. The coping, the pipes, everything. He is going to fight you but stand strong. Don't get in a yelling match with him. Lets find a phrase for you to use................."Remove everything and start all over." Notice I did not say please. That is too close to "asking" them to do it. With that simple statement you are telling what you will accept and does not leave any gray area. Do your best to have someone else there to listen and take notes!

I will also ping @jimmythegreek to make sure he sees this and can give his input.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,397
Morris Cnty NJ
This is a mess. I cant remember but is this guy paid in full? Theres no way to lift a fiberglass pool correctly without alot of backwards work. I'm guessing hes gonna try mud jacking the collar and flex the fiberglass. Anything he does is a recipe for disaster. Gotta bust the collar out dig up the pool and reset it right. Probably have to play with the plumbing too. Anything else is a hack job. I'm sorry this happened to u. I would contact manufacturer and your attorney at this point. An out of level pool will hold up no problem in court. An independent analasys of the issue helps your case alot. Like an engineer who has pool experience to write a report
 
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robertwest

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
78
MD
@jimmythegreek ,

Yes, they are fully paid. The PB clarified that they're going to empty the pool (bracing the walls) and then "re-level it." I asked how the re-leveling is done to a pool that has been fully plumbed, set, and collared - will have to wait and see if he's willing to tell me.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
17,829
Northern NJ
I think you have to let the builder take his best shot at correcting the problems his way. Document everything in writing including what your expectations are and any extended warranty to cover future problems.

See if you can hire an independent engineer to be on site and observe the pool leveling work. Try and agree with the builder that if the engineer approves the work you will accept it.

If the PB cannot get the pool to your and the engineers satisfaction then you have the tear it out and start over option which may involve legal actions. It may take you offering to contribute some of the cost to a total redo versus spending the money on lawyers fees. If the builder is reasonable he may realize that if both of you put the money into the redo versus lawyers fees you will both be better off.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,397
Morris Cnty NJ
You already know the answer to how its done......its not. Mistakes happen in construction. This is just hack work from the first problems you posted until this problem. Hes an installer. He can walk away hes paid already. You own the shell from the beginning and are stuck with his damage going forward. Theres no good way of doing this short of pulling collar and digging up pool. Maybe an engineer could ok flowable fill to fill the gap underneath after the lift but I wouldnt do it myself. It sank the short way correct? Theres too much material still in place regardless of the 2 ft shift he did that should hold the pool this early on. Poor compaction, soil, and gravel base, or a combination. Its gonna be down there forever and you dont know whats gonna happen next year. He used a skidsteer to dig the pool. That's a red flag to me not having an excavator. I would love some back story on how you found this guy, and how hes paid in full from even before all this