Concerns about pool replastering and depth change
I'm very worried that we may have made a big mistake in the work just finished on our pool. They did the acid wash and started filling yesterday. It kept me awake much of last night (very unusual for me - never happened during our kitchen remodel or family room remodel).
In addition to replastering, we had the shallow part of the pool made shallower. It was 4' deep near the steps and the area where I could comfortably stand was pretty small. That made it difficult to play with our grandchildren and help them learn to swim there.
My biggest concern is that they made it too shallow - it's 2.5 feet now. I'd voiced that concern several times during the work, but the contractor said it would be a good height and my husband agreed with him. I was distracted with work and didn't push my concerns and at the time I thought it would be more like 3'. My DH usually manages these things because he's retired and I work.
It seems like an awkward depth - just up to hips when standing even on a short adult like me, too deep for sitting. I have trouble picturing how one will hold a child in the water other than by squatting. (The pool is T shaped with the shallow end being in the base of the T. The top of the T is all deep so at least the shallow part isn't where one would swim laps.)
Also, when checking the depth yesterday, I happened to stick my finger in a return (there are two returns in the shallow end and I was curious about how they are angled to circulate the water). I found that it was clogged to the point where my pinky can't go past half an inch in. We checked 2 of the other 3 returns. We couldn't check the 4th return because it's in the deepest part of the pool where the water already was and too high to easily reach. One seems okay, the other is totally blocked. We also noticed that there is plaster in the threads of the pool sweep connection.
The contractor says that the guy who comes to do start up can get in the water to clear the returns and that they have a tap to clear the threads for the sweep connection. I'm concerned about whether that will clear it well enough. But more, I wonder if anything else is messed up. It is so by chance that we noticed it and I don't know when we would have notice that some returns were clogged once the pool was filled.
There is also a small area where the plaster isn't smooth though the rest of the large pool is fine. Possibly one of the workers bumped it and didn't notice because it seems gouged out and the pebbles aren't showing there. The finish is Wet-Edge Mediterranean Magic. Can they fix this after the pool has filled?
Last but not least, while looking for information on code and diving boards, I found a booklet from our county on code requirements for swimming pools. Our contractor told us that the work they were doing didn't require a permit. The booklet says no permit is needed for replaster. However it goes on to say "Permits are required for modification of some other components of the pool, i.e. new pumps, alteration to the piping system, changing the shape of the pool or adding an antientrapment devise."
The replaced a broken spa pump - it's not clear to me whether "new pumps" above includes a replacement pump or only is about adding a pump. The contractor says it isn't needed for replacement. They say that since they didn't change the shell of the pool by adding a big shelf to make the shallow end shallower that isn't changing the shape of the pool and doesn't need a permit. In replastering, they re-shaped the bowls around the pool and spa drains and replaced the 70's round drain covers with long thin channel drain covers. Is that adding an antientrapment device?
I'm starting to worry that we might end up having to rip out the shelf and redo it either because it is too shallow or because it should have had a permit and didn't. If so it's an awfully expensive mistake.