update on pool tear out due to elevation error

shellipDecember 8, 2011

We finally have an ALMOST completed pool in our yard. MANY THANKS to all of you who have been most helpful and encouraging during this process, which has been ongoing since March. Boy have we learned A LOT!




We think the plaster guys may have covered one of the drains in the gutter pool, as my photos of the plumbing show 4 drains, but I now only have 3. Don't know if this is a problem or not.

PB has connected pump and filter and we are still waiting for him to connect the skimmer, and the auto filler and cap the line for the cleaner. The pool is plumbed for a cleaner, but I think we are going to go with one of the electric cleaners due to the large amount of leaves and acorns we have falling. Don't think a polaris could stay upright with the weight. Looking at the Dolphin because of the size of the bag and its ability to clean up to the tile line.

PB has still not done the initial chemical start up, and I finally took water sample to another PB to evaluate.

PH 7.3

Total alkalinity 90

calcium hardness 75

cyanuric acid 20

free chlorine 0

total chlorine 0

salt 0

From the sample they recommend fresh water start up with the following over 3 days:

Magic Purple Stuff


Dychlor II shock


My PB said don't do this, put in a few chlorine tabs and call him on Monday!!! So we will wait again until Monday and see if he finally comes around to finish the start up and equipment hook up.Will keep you posted.Thank you all again and again.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My goodness, that is pretty.

Did you get a picture of the basin before plaster? That drain concern is significant. I find it hard to believe that the plaster team plastered over it. These guys are pretty skilled at doing this. I suspect something else may have happened.

What size pump is driving the weir? That is a fairly substantial length. Are you looking for a sheer effect into the basin or expecting the water to run down the wall and into the basin? The edge needs to be withing a 32nd of an inch of level for a minimal amount of water to be needed. That looks like it's only within a 1/4" at best and possibly under powered. If the drain issue is real, that may also have an effect as the drains may be partially blocked and an insufficient flow may not be possible until the issue is corrected. It may also present an unsafe submerged suction situation.

What did you use to plaster? Different finishes have different start up procedures.

Getting your own proper test kit is something I encourage all my customers to do. I have found pool store tests to be less than accurate on many occasion. Hand held electronic testers really don't cut it for homeowners.

Adding di-chlor and stabilizer is a great way to overshoot desired stabilizer levels in a pool. I personally prefer to use unscented bleach such as Clorox or other brand that is labeled 5 or 6% for elevating the FC level after the 1st few days and for the next couple weeks during a new plaster start up. If you have an erosion feeder, then tabs are appropriate. The use of added stabilizer is discouraged in this situation as tabs add this as they erode.

The type of plaster finish is important here though. While builders can build some beautiful pools, that doesn't mean they can care for them properly. I know of several that are like this. They don't want to know. They would prefer to turn on the system and move on to the next project.

Purple Stuff may not be needed if there are no metals in the water. Wasted money if that is the case. Test for iron and copper first. If it is present, find the source. If the test indicates the presence, then it's appropriate.

Know the raw chemistry of your fill water. This will help you predict your usage need for certain balancing chems as you go forward. Knowing your pools needs will help you maintain a safe, refreshing, and sanitary body.

As I mentioned before, a proper test kit will be crucial for your pool's needs. It will also help you measure a weekly service's ability to maintain your pool should you decide to go that route. Hiring a service does not absolve you of the responsibility. It is still your pool and not all maintenance teams are equal.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 6:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is a gorgeous pool. Hope it all comes together and you are swimming soon and forgetting about all of the headaches!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 11:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The uneveness of the flow is pretty typical for negative edge pools. It's common to have to grind a few spots to get it correct. Pool looks good. I'm glad you were able to get the PB to make things right.
You'd be surprised at how much a Polaris bag will hold. I hate having put the electric cleaner in and out of the pool.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 11:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The correct method to building a long edge negative edge like this is to use a level that accounts for the curvature of the earth...seriously. If you shoot a laser or use an elevations transit (very likely they used this) then you will always get this problem. This must be the first long negative edge that the company has built since you learn about this problem really quickly when you start the pool up...

The best work around that I can give to any person or contractor reading this is to install two or three individually controlled return jets directly opposite of the negative edge during construction. This will give you the ability to control the flow of water heading to the wall...elegantly simple solution to a big problem if you add it during the construction phase.

Def find out about the covered drain and find a water lab in your area that you can use for a second opinion when you have chemistry questions.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"use a level that accounts for the curvature of the earth"
I keep mine next to my wire stretcher, and my left handed pipe bender.

The perfect level is called a water level. It doesnt lie.
I find it funny that you plan the pool build to correct future mistakes.
A proper wier should take very little water to operate.

Having jets firing across the pool to make the edge run right, disturbing the once quiet water....... the thought makes me sad.

And by the way, very pretty pool.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 7:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

shellip....awesome pool....Congrats!

Agree with just-a-pb...our builder used a water level for our 16 foot negative edge...no problems with an uneven water sheet over the edge.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Photo of the plumbing in the gutter pool the day before gunite was shot.

Pump is a 1 hp Hayward. It is the only pump on the pool. We did not want a cascading waterfall. It is way too loud. We are just looking for the water to gently flow over the edge.

Did the test for iron, copper and magnesium, and none were detected, so I guess we can skip the purple stuff.I ordered the Taylor test kit recommended on TroubleFreePools.

PB is supposed to show up today, so we will see what he says. Has been a trying 10 months for everyone, so hopefully these are little fixes!
Will keep you posted.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A 16`negative edge is not a big negative edge. 40`or more is where you really start to get into trouble. Adding return lines opposite the negative edge is just prudent when you build a lot of these. All the careful tile setting in the world will not prevent the water from missing a tiny section on a large negative edge on occasion. It is just prudent to install additional returns to achieve a perfect visual effect.

To be clear we are not talking about jets shooting across the pool here. We are talking about 1-2% more water heading in the right direction. Sheesh guys,

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The gunite team should have asked about the one drain line. Did the gunite team make drain pots formed in the gunite?

You can't have a single submerged suction outlet. They need to be plumbed in pairs, should be tied in the basin and then run to the pad.

I am not convinced a 1 HP pump can provide enough flow given the amount of head loss.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 8:13AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Concerns about quartzscape plaster on new build
Yea, our newly constructed pool was plastered with...
Pool Filter question
Hi All, I'm new to this board. Thanks in advance for...
Looking for advice on indoor pool filter and pump
Hi, I've spent time reading over the archives, but...
Pool builder search sugar land, tx
Hi guys! Were closing on our brand new home in sugar...
Almost there, infinity edge
Waiting on plaster and landscaping. Almost there......
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™