sharp objects under the new liner in the deep end

Diver

Well-known member
May 5, 2011
477
South of Boston
So I recently got my new liner installed. Majority of the work was done by one guy and he struggled with liner being very tight around the corners a lot. Told me before it's all about preparation and cleaning and actual liner hookup takes him half an hour.

He spent half a day wrestling with it and then let it hang overnight, partially exposing the concrete shell. Came back with an expert and they finished it somewhat next day and few days later finally tucked the corners in when the water was almost to the level. Secured with the liner lock. Ironically he told me upfront that properly installed liner doesn't need a lock.

I took a swim today for the very first time and looked and felt around the deep end. The floor around the main drain feels like a moon surface. The shell is all around concrete. In a very decent shape. It feels like there are rocks or loose concrete chips all around. Some of them sticking out maybe 1/3 of an inch compared to the rest of the surface. Some of the relatively sharp to the point where i see the liner being slightly whiter shade because of the stretch.

I imagine any pushing off the bottom at the deep end will wear those point relatively quick. And I have a robotic pool cleaner. Ironically again, the guy was telling me that he advises people with sand bottoms that have some irregularities not to use the robots, since they will wear the spots where the liner sticks out.

So I'm at the loss what to do with this. He will for sure tell me it's going to be ok. And he guarantees his work for couple of years. But I haven't seen that in writing. He would probably promise to fix it if it develops a leak. But I assume I won't hear from him if it develops a problem down the road.

My previous liner served me 20 years. I can take care of it chemistry wise and shouldn't expect a premature failure.

He is coming back in a couple of days to finish few things - few spots have some wrinkles. I paid the deposit for the liner, but I still owe him $1600 for the install.

So the options that i see are as follows.

1. Do nothing, hope for the best.
2. Get something in writing acknowledging this specific problem and maybe how he would address it based on the timeline?
3. Ask for reinstall and have him cover the new water (~1k).

The last one is almost a loss for him. It would make it more sense for him to walk away and leave me with $1600 not paid vs do the same work again and paid for the water.

He seems like a decent guy and I don't want to shaft him, but the same time I'm pretty unhappy and most likely have a much shortened lifespan of the brand new liner.

What should I do?

edit: does the deposit ($3600) typically goes to the liner manufacturer it its entirety? is there any kickback to the installer?
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,632
Evans, Georgia
I'm curious- who measured for the liner? It sounds to me like the liner was a skosh small for the pool?

Perhaps he needs to drain and pull back the liner to fix the problem. Or......If I'm not mistaken he should be able to drain the water, make a small cut to remove the offending rock and then patch the pool. He would have to give you some guarantee about the work and the liner patch.

Ask him about this. Tell him your concerns.

Maddie
 

Diver

Well-known member
May 5, 2011
477
South of Boston
he measured the pool. i thought he was a little sloppy, but i hoped he knew what he was doing. i told him afterwards that i thought the size was a bit off and he said the manufacturers typically make it smaller a little to avoid wrinkles.

it's not a single rock under, the whole hopper is like that. there is no way to cut and patch to resolve it.
 

AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
288
Memphis
First off, get your warranty from this guy in official writing before paying him. The guy who installed my liner ran his business out of his truck but still provided me with a professional looking certificate for my 5 year warranty. Second is you can try calling the liner manufacturer explaining to them the situation with the measurements and if what he is describing is normal. My guy didn't have much trouble getting the liner in the track/coping and there was even enough wiggle room for 2 shop vacs to be sucking out the air while the pool was being filled with water. I don't have any wrinkles at all and he spent about 2 hours measuring at the beginning and about 2-3 hours installing with a crew.

I agree with Yippee, get him to come back out and fix the issue. If there are rocks or something under the liner, they can drain the pool and go under the liner to get them out. I wouldn't have them patch anything with a brand new liner. My old liner had been sitting for more than a month which was enough time for bull frogs to burrow into the pool krete in the deep end. The guys made the pool krete nice and smooth but didn't tamp anything down. Once they filled up the pool, indentions started from the little tunnels caving in. It took me a couple month to get them to finally come back out but they drained the pool, went under the liner, and tamped the pool krete in that area. They didn't have to do anything but pull the liner out of the track a few feet.

These pool builders and liner installers are working 15 hours a day during the summer so their minds can get exhausted causing some minor mistakes. I wouldn't judge him on a minor issue but I also wouldn't let it go.
 

Diver

Well-known member
May 5, 2011
477
South of Boston
i talked to the manufacturer and they say stretching liner with steam while installing is ok and liner might be slightly smaller to prevent wrinkling.

the installer is coming over in next few days, so i will talk to him
 

Diver

Well-known member
May 5, 2011
477
South of Boston
he is local, and i would rather not spring this on him over the phone. he is going to be in the pool fixing some wrinkles anyway. i will lend him my mask if he needs one to check it out.
 

Diver

Well-known member
May 5, 2011
477
South of Boston
my installer is AWOL. i messaged him 2 weeks ago and didn't hear back. he still has 3 small problems to address (2 small wrinkly areas and one liner track tuck) and there is the whole sharp things at the deep end under the liner that he still doesn't know about. he didn't charge me $1600 for work (i paid only deposit for the liner cost).

i don't know if intentionally gave up on this and i also feel conflicted if unintentional $1600 discount is worth the possible problems with the liner down the line.
 

AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
288
Memphis
Just keep blowing up his phone and try calling from a different number. The communication was the biggest problem I had with our installer/PB as I would call him multiple times per week and rarely get in touch with him. When I would talk to him, he would say he would call me back the next day but then never would. These installers and pool builders are often booking so many jobs during the summer that they cannot juggle them all at once. I would imagine it would be even worse up north with a much shorter season.

He is not going to just forget about the $1600 and knows where your house is located to make sure he eventually collects. He is probably just slammed with too many jobs right now and knows he can work in fixing your liner whenever he can fit it into his schedule. What you are describing with the temporary ghosting is exactly what I experienced, except I had already paid everything before I started calling to get some minor things fixed.
 

coolviper777

Member
Jul 2, 2020
5
Pittsburgh, PA
I think you all are being FAR too generous to the liner installer. The excuse of being too busy just doesn't hold water. It's not professional to overbook clients, and then do a half-way job as this installer clearly did. Lot's of red flags.....sloppy measuring, unable to finish install himself and gets and "expert" to help him, doesn't need liner lock then puts one in (which would seem to indicate to me that that it's not properly installed, based on his own words and others also).
 
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Diver

Well-known member
May 5, 2011
477
South of Boston
update on my situation. the installer came in with the same expert as last time, but this time to fix the wrinkles. they struggled for a bit and told me there was to much water to effectively do anything. ironically when he tried to fix them first time there was very little water and the wrinkles just got back. he offered me a discount or to let some water out so he can fix them.

at that point i bought the fact that there are bigger problem with the liner. after a bit, he agreed that the right thing to do is to drain the pool and fix it properly. he offered to undo the main drain liner gasket and fix it somehow from there. i didn't think that was the right way.

so he wants to come back in the spring after i open and do it right by me.

i had a chance to do more checking today and found few more spots with things under liner. and the liner is cut vertically a little at the stairs.

but now i have a different concern. he would have to undo at least some of the returns, and maybe even a skimmer plate. will he be able to match them all nicely together when he puts the liner back on? i assume at that point liner should take the shape of the pool and would want to stay that way. anything else i should be concerned about?
 

AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
288
Memphis
I would not wait until spring. The vinyl is much more flexible when it is warm and sitting all winter with wrinkles it's going to cause creases. Give this guy some flexibility but I would get it fixed before you close the pool for the winter.

As mentioned, who knows if he's going to be still in business to work on pools come the spring based on the way he handled this job. I would not take the risk to wait until next year.

Also, how in the world would they be able to fix these wrinkles with the pool still filled with water? That is probably 100,000 pounds of water on top of the liner. It has to be drained to be able to fix it and the vinyl is still very flexible within the first couple years.