New pool and no support from PB

guinness

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
553
California
I do not want him to file a lien against our house. I do not have a problem with paying the final amount as long as all of the work is complete and the items he promised are provided.
Contractors in California must first serve a preliminary notice to the owner before filing a Mechanics Lien so don't feel pressured to pay if work isn't complete.

 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,978
Laughlin, NV
The PB added 2 64oz. Containers of Start-Up magic when he started to fill the pool.
One container per 20000 gallons. Do not get on pool surface. It is a scale and stain preventer. Basic stuff.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,324
OV, CA
The other parts were the float valve I believe and the flappy door that goes in the front.
If you are finding these parts in the garbage pile and your are having to install them.. Then he "did not finish the job"... so sounds like you were within your rights to not pay him for an incomplete job. Did your contract also outline a "pool school" session? you know a primer on how to operate and care for your pool? That is often included in the verbiage as well. Hold on tight.. there lots of folks here that can walk you through the process of both understanding your pool and how to deal with self entitled PBs.
 

Lilo618

Member
Sep 19, 2020
17
Richvale, CA
One container per 20000 gallons. Do not get on pool surface. It is a scale and stain preventer. Basic stuff.
He put in 2 containers at the beginning of fill.
 

Lilo618

Member
Sep 19, 2020
17
Richvale, CA
If you are finding these parts in the garbage pile and your are having to install them.. Then he "did not finish the job"... so sounds like you were within your rights to not pay him for an incomplete job. Did your contract also outline a "pool school" session? you know a primer on how to operate and care for your pool? That is often included in the verbiage as well. Hold on tight.. there lots of folks here that can walk you through the process of both understanding your pool and how to deal with self entitled PBs.
ThAnk you! I feel so much better with everyone’s helpful comments.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
645
Katy TX
Just a couple of more points for your "questions list" to the PB, since you found 2 critical pieces (the weir door and the basket) of the skimmer in the trash
  1. Instruction manuals for every piece of pool equipment - heater, pump, filter, actuator valves, any automation system, skimmers, etc
  2. Warranty for major pool equipment - heater, pump, skimmer - there should be some process you need to file regarding that PB is authorized installer (if not you only get 60 days) whereas you should get 2-3 years depending on the mfg.
  3. Warranty for plaster - sometimes the PB files this but you need to follow up to ensure it is done
  4. Will he provide you a review of all your pool equipment and how they operate? The most basic is how the valves are positioned for Pool Mode and then how they change to go to SPA Moe (assuming you have a spa. ). Also, how to set up your VS pump, how to monitor your filter pressure, etc.
  5. He should also provide you a brush and a net with long poles. possibly also a manual vacuum (a hose with a vacuum head)
  6. He also should provide you a basic test kit. It is good for the initial test but you really need to get the TF-100 test kit asap.
  7. All the pool plumbing should be marked or labeled with the direction of flow, what it may control, etc.
Hope this helps. If you are holding 25% then that is good leverage. Not sure why he is not accommodating to resolve all and get paid for a job completed. Not installing the weir door and leaving out the basket demonstrates he is not very into the details. Suggest you alert your friends who are using the same PB.
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
200
Byran TX
It's really sad homeowners pay so much money for a pool and then encounter stuff like this. I wish everyone had a smooth process.
I'd love to see pictures of your pool!
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,382
Stuart/FL
Lilo,

Stick to your guns on the contract issues. Definitely have him do a performance test where he demonstrates the equipment to verify it all works and you know how to care for it BEFORE you make final payment. Somebody mentioned liens previously. If he's that shady you may want to get release of liens documents from any major sub contractors before final payment. This assures you he's paid their bills so they don't claim the pool before he turns it over to you. If there's anything you aren't sure about ask here. We'll give you the straight answers. Are there any obligations you have in the contract for start up? Don't worry if he just does the minimum and leaves, we have your back here with real experts in everything pool. We don't sell anything so the advice you get here is never conflicted.

Hang in there! Pretty soon you be making your new pool memories and this will fade away.

Chris
 
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Lilo618

Member
Sep 19, 2020
17
Richvale, CA
Just a couple of more points for your "questions list" to the PB, since you found 2 critical pieces (the weir door and the basket) of the skimmer in the trash
  1. Instruction manuals for every piece of pool equipment - heater, pump, filter, actuator valves, any automation system, skimmers, etc
  2. Warranty for major pool equipment - heater, pump, skimmer - there should be some process you need to file regarding that PB is authorized installer (if not you only get 60 days) whereas you should get 2-3 years depending on the mfg.
  3. Warranty for plaster - sometimes the PB files this but you need to follow up to ensure it is done
  4. Will he provide you a review of all your pool equipment and how they operate? The most basic is how the valves are positioned for Pool Mode and then how they change to go to SPA Moe (assuming you have a spa. ). Also, how to set up your VS pump, how to monitor your filter pressure, etc.
  5. He should also provide you a brush and a net with long poles. possibly also a manual vacuum (a hose with a vacuum head)
  6. He also should provide you a basic test kit. It is good for the initial test but you really need to get the TF-100 test kit asap.
  7. All the pool plumbing should be marked or labeled with the direction of flow, what it may control, etc.
Hope this helps. If you are holding 25% then that is good leverage. Not sure why he is not accommodating to resolve all and get paid for a job completed. Not installing the weir door and leaving out the basket demonstrates he is not very into the details. Suggest you alert your friends who are using the same PB.
I will note all if this! So at this point, pool is almost full and he’s not coming back until Monday. What should I do as soon as pool is full?
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,382
Stuart/FL
Lisa,

Make sure you do anything required during start up if there's anything about it in your contract. If there's nothing in it take a look at this document. Ask any questions you may have here. We have experts on this and I'm sure they will opine shortly.

Chris
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,680
Tallahassee, FL
Do NOT stop the flow of water into the pool until it reaches the middle of the skimmer and waterline tile.

Think about printing out the plaster start up link so you can have an easy to get to form of it. That will also allow you to check off what you have done as you work your way down the list.

Kim:kim:
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
645
Katy TX
Lisa
One other item regarding start up, you do not indicate the type of plaster used. You may want to go to the website of that name brand and find their start up procedure. This is more specific and would be mainly for special plasters such as pebble, or even quartz.
 
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emac

Active member
May 24, 2017
36
abbeville, SC
What a jerk of a builder. I remember when we built our gunnite pool the contract included start up chemicals. The PB was very clear on things like making sure I didnt stop filling the pool, and brushing it daily. My fill water was really bad and he even came over and vac'd it on waste for me and joked not to tell anyone.

If you got a good quality build, I wouldnt worry about it. It will force you to learn and that is good. You are in the right place. Just be thankful you came here and didnt the mistake of going to a local pool place.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,680
Northern NJ
Lisa
One other item regarding start up, you do not indicate the type of plaster used. You may want to go to the website of that name brand and find their start up procedure. This is more specific and would be mainly for special plasters such as pebble, or even quartz.
Links to the common finish startup guides can be found in...


When in doubt use the National Plasters Council (NPC) guide.
 
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JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,636
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Wow, I bet I saw my builder 5-10 times after plaster including:
- Turning on the equipment
- Dropping off the pole, net, brush (and test strips :) )
- Delivering my robot
- Several punch list items
- During sprinkler and sod repair
- Showing me the salt system (30 days after fill)

I paid my final plaster payment half way through the list above, after he turned on the equipment and made sure all was working okay. Sorry you are going through all of this.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,324
OV, CA
I wonder if your PB got himself in a cash flow pickle where he was paying for parts for the next job with money he is collecting from you.
 
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Lilo618

Member
Sep 19, 2020
17
Richvale, CA
Welcome to the forum!
I would not call that normal, but to be honest, PB's typically know nothing about water chemistry.
See Plaster Start-Up Guides - Further Reading. Depending on what type of plaster you had installed, follow one of those guides. You need something to test pH and TA with. Even a cheap kit from Home Depot or Walmart until you get your TF100.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
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Thank you again for your help. The PB did come back and fixed all of the issues. We ended up just hiring a pool guy just for the start-up chemicals and then I will take it from there. I look forward to all of your great advice in the future. :)