My Liner change story...so far

czipper

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2014
87
Long Island, NY
Czipper:

As an FYI, please keep a very detailed timeline. You will need this if this goes to small claims court. Think about it, they messed up one liner, and want you to pay to do another liner. Only way I would ever agree to this is after they install the new liner and it is perfect, a few weeks later when there is no water loss due to installation, then they can be paid. In addition, I would ask for a detailed warranty in writing.

This scares me as when I have to do my liner, people always want money up front. A pool company is a $1,000 more expensive than a person on the side. By then, I should have enough friends in the business to know where to go. Thank you.

I am trying to. I have phone call records and the times and dates on the photos to make it easier. I also have this post to refer to.

BIG NEWS, I'd say its pretty clear the liner is leaking, after the owner of the liner company told me to go ahead and fill the pool overnight here is just a taste of what I found:



Again, the low contrast makes it very difficult to take good photos of it, but this one shows the distortion clearly due to the floating liner. The liner was bulging out all along the bottom of the steps and along the wall/floor junction extending from the steps. There was no rain last night, so the whole idea of water getting in from behind the wall was BS from the start. I wish I could say this sounds like a win at this point, but it doesn't. Hopefully the liner company will be either willing to do everything further at their own cost, but at this point it may be better to ask for a full refund and get a different company.
 

czipper

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2014
87
Long Island, NY
If the installer isn't happy with the work then neither should you. And you shouldn't have to pay (more) to get the job done properly. I hope you still have a substantial sum owed to the guy as leverage?


I agree. Unfortunately, I paid for the liner up front (deposit) and the contract required the payment balance once the liner is set in place and water goes into the pool. That wasn't unique to this company, so there wasn't another good option. That is why I was carefully documenting everything with pictures and timelines as soon as things went south. My discussions with the liner company owner haven't given me the impression that he's a slimeball who will try to wiggle away from this, but I know its going to be up to me to stand firm. Having a clear result about water getting in from the under the liner at the steps should go a long way to convincing him of his liability here.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,471
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Again, the low contrast makes it very difficult to take good photos of it, but this one shows the distortion clearly due to the floating liner. The liner was bulging out all along the bottom of the steps and along the wall/floor junction extending from the steps. There was no rain last night, so the whole idea of water getting in from behind the wall was BS from the start. I wish I could say this sounds like a win at this point, but it doesn't. Hopefully the liner company will be either willing to do everything further at their own cost, but at this point it may be better to ask for a full refund and get a different company.

Now is the time not to be a nice person. Move forward with what you have to do. I doubted the rain story all along.
 

czipper

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2014
87
Long Island, NY
Two weeks since I replied to his email, almost two weeks since I called him about the leak in the liner and he hasn't responded yet. I just looked up how to file in small claims court. It doesn;t look so bad.
 

czipper

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2014
87
Long Island, NY
This liner company's fatal flaw is that the owner is the WORST at communication and follow through. After my previous post 2 weeks ago he finally agreed to do the new liner in the spring (less hectic time) without charging us anything else, but he didn't follow up to formalize the arrangements in an email or letter or anything (as he said he would).

Its the beginning of November, the pool isn't closed up yet. I called a local company to close it so I could avoid the liner company, and this was very useful for the a great discussion I had about my situation with a pool professional. He was a bit horrified when he saw how the pool was left, and he made me realize that the pool really can't be closed because return lines are still behind the unfinished liner and can't be blown out and blocked off (dont know why I hadn't realized that myself, doy!). Without proper closing, freezing water in the lines are BAD news and could cost WAY more in the long run.He assured me that weather was still ok to put in a new liner, it wasn't too cold yet (but he even had one put in in January once in an emergency, although used heaters to keep it pliable)

Thanks to him, I decided that it can't wait until spring and that it must be finished before winter and I would ask for a refund so I could find a new installer. I explained to the owner of the liner company his liability of leaving my pool incomplete for the winter and asked him to refund me and be done with this. He offered to put the new liner in ASAP. While I hesitate, I am actually o.k. with this. I didn't think the installers were incompetent, they just made some bad decisions that could easily have been avoided. As long as they avoid the mistakes they made the first time around then I don't think there should be a problem. We'll see. An end of November Install target has been set, pending weather conditions). Here on Long Island it should be in the 40s-50s most days, although colder/warmer are not unusual. And it shouldn't be a problem finding several clear (no rain) days in a row in any given week, but my fingers are crossed.

I just want it all to be over.....
 

czipper

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2014
87
Long Island, NY
The new liner change was scheduled for the Monday last week, but we put it off due to Thanksgiving travel. Good thing too, it was 10 degrees below freezing for 2 days around Thanksgiving. Before I left I wound up pumping the water out of my skimmer lines and putting in Antifreeze as a precaution. I am pretty sure that will be fine. Also drained the filter, removed the pump.
Temps in the 40s, lows above freezing and no rain in the forecast from Today (Tuesday) to Friday. This should leave plenty of time to get the water level up after the liner change, so the replacement new liner went in today. here are a couple pics of the sand and the wall in the region that was washed out before, and the steps (before putting the new foam on).


BTW In this first pic, the bottom of the wall, right behind the shovel is where the water was claimed to be washing in from under the wall. I see no evidence of that, so I am comfortable concluding that the water was getting in behind the liner at the steps, as I wrote about earlier. The wall looked good, everything looked good. No salty language from the installers during the installation and it seems to have all gone to plan. They were nice and respectful guys (but the owner did not show).

It had just gotten dark when they were done, here are a couple pics of the liner, pre-fill:




A couple sizeable wrinkles, but based on the experience the last time I think these will smooth themselves out as the water fills in.....at least that is what I am telling myself so I can sleep tonight. Almost done.....
 

czipper

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2014
87
Long Island, NY
The gods must have not been pleased with my last sacrifice......

Some sizeable creases remained when the water reached the first fill level


The pool crew came out to work on the creases. That was an interesting process, he just used a toilet plunger to pull up the liner floor and work the creases out side to side until the liner laid flat.


There was still some wrinkling left where the creases were, I guess the sand beneath the creases had shifted to leave an impression of the crease. maybe those won't ever smooth out completely. it isn't perfect but it doesn't look too bad. They installed the skimmer, return plates, removed the vaccum and I continued the fill. It reached the happy point and I was getting ready to have it covered.

UNTIL the next day, when I discovered that the water level dropped a whole lot.



The pool guys came the next day, and wanted to leave it another day to see if it drops further. It didn't it's been there 2 days. They were supposed to come today to check it out but I haven't heard from them (no suprprise there) so I dont know what they are planning now.

Since the water level stopped dropping at the bottom of the step gasket, its pretty obvious that this new liner is leaking from where the liner is attached to the step. Just when I thought I was waking up from the nightmare.....
 
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