PBs please help - what would you do?

pooljewel_2010October 28, 2010

We had foam jets by Crystal Fountains installed in our pool. They are in too much water according to their guidelines. However, that doesn't seem to be a problem. We've determined that there is a problem with the wave action generated by the foam jet that bounces off the wall that causes them to spin out of control(thank you huskyridor for your thoughts on that!) We placed a baffle around them to see what results we would get if we eliminated that condition. It appears to be totally a problem with the placement of them. Unfortunately Crystal Fountains has no specifications as far as how close to a wall they can be and their tech support says they have only seen this one time before. Here are pictures of how perfect they are in 6 1/2" of water with a baffle around them. PB is willing to do anything we want - they will tear out the plaster and gunite and raise them up then replace with either flagstone or the same pebble tech to bring them up to the level suggested by Crystal Fountains. However, we have already lowered the pool water level so there is only 4" over them and that did not solve the problem. The waves still caused them to spin uncontrollably. So, that doesn't seem like a good option. Or they will refund us the cost of the jets, but that doesn't really help me - they designed the pool and it's not right and all I really want is for it to all work correctly.

My question is, as a PB, what would you do in this situation? Any thoughts of something else we could try to correct the problem without ripping them out. Or, how would you take care of your customer in this situation?

Thank you in advance for any feedback or suggestions! This is a very frustrating situation for both us and the PB. I think bottom line for both of us is just to figure out something to make them right if possible.

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quote" their tech support says they have only seen this one time before. "quote

HOGWASH!!! I completely disagree with this statement from the mfg.

This, my Internet friends, is how every water feature mfg will counter on a problem like this. It removes any interpretation of them being responsible and places it entirely on the shoulders of the installer.

Looking at your pic's I'd guess that because the problem one works with the cofferdam around it then the problem is completely from the wave action, most likely due to the 90 degree inside corner on your left as you enter the pool on the sunshelf. the fountains generate crossing wakes as they bounce off of two walls and back into each others path.
I suggest raising the level of the shelf to 4" of water and moving the foam jet to the right in the center of your entry and further forward toward the leading edge of the step. This will place it in more open water away from the walls.

I feel reasonably sure this will handle your dilemma.

quote" My question is, as a PB, what would you do in this situation? "quote

I'd offer to do what I described above, and if it didn't work properly after relocation and raising the step elevation I'd refund the full cost of the water feature.

See ya,

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 12:04PM
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I think you are being a little ufair to the PB.
I am sure the homeowner asked for the fountains to be placed where they are.
You are just guessing that what you are recommending will be a cure.
It would take some trial and error to get it right.
I think ripping up a finished pool is a little extreme.

You have been in the business for a long time, as have I. I am sure you have had strange unpredictable things happen.
I had one that took aprox 15 min for the wave action of the entire pool to start to cause the feature to oscilate. How can that be predicted without first modeling the entire pool and features.
This is why I prefer foam jet features that are not water level dependant. They always work and are not affected by wave action.
Even the best waterfeature builders in the business can have strange problems occur with wave oscillation. It can be very unpredictable.

You can change the jet to a non water dependant foam jet that wont be affected by waves.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 12:44PM
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Thank you very much for the feedback. A liitle more info on the situation-I did not request any particular placement on the foam jets and did not request the Crystal ones at all. I'd seen numerous comments on this site about kids enjoying playing in jets on sun shelves so I asked the PB about putting something like that in for my grand daughter. PB sold me on the idea of the Crystal ones so she wouldn't have problems with hitting her toes on the normal type. It took some convincing me on his part since they were considerably more expensive. So, the placement and type were totally on the PB. I looked at the Crystal website the day before the dig began and saw the limitation on water death and contacted the PB to discuss it and was told he forgot about that limitation but would adjust the plans before they began. Apparently that did not happen since the final level of water on them was even more than shown on the first plan. I don't want to complain about PB though because they have done a fabulous job and seem very willing to fix this problem. I just want to make the best decision on how I want them to attempt to fix it. Tearing it out seems drastic but my understanding is they would have to do that even to change them to the normal type foam jets. Just one more request for advice please - if they do tear it out would you take the chance on using pebble tech and hoping it matches or would you use flagstone on the sun shelf so you don't have to worry about it matching?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 9:22PM
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Probably a stupid question, but is there any way to reduce the flow to that jet to see if that gives better results? I'd try anything I could think of before ripping up that beautiful pool! :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 9:48AM
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Yes, they can be adjusted and we've tried it at all levels. Thanks for the suggestion though. I'll try anything...

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 9:58AM
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If it's not a deal breaker for you, I think I'd live with it the way it is then risk the various side effects of a tear out and re-build. I'd ask the PB to refund the costs for the feature.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 12:06PM
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If your afraid of the color match on the PebbleTec then raising the level by placing flagstone over the shelf will bring you up 2"-2 1/2" and be equally pretty. The only place the pebble applicators will have to work would be under the leading edge. After filling the water back that area would be almost invisible.


This isn't ripping up a pool. It's using a cutoff saw to cut a ditch into the shelf, some random plumbing elbows and pipe, relocation, then a chipping hammer and a pair of couplings to raise the other one. A change in the shelf elevation would take very little steel, hammerdrill, some two part epoxy, and bagged sack-crete. With a helper I could knock it out in less than eight hours. Then I'd beg my PeblleTec applicator to cut me a sweet deal on the replaster.
You know as well as I do, going that extra yard for the buyer will sell more pools to their friends and neighbors than telling them to accept it as is.
It sounds like they have a really awesome pool builder who would gladly do this to help make them work, the buyer happy, and prove he's a man who really cares about customer satisfaction.

See ya,

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 2:58PM
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