Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I've been in pool Hell!

So, I'll start by saying I'm still very happy that I have a pool, but what a nightmare this whole process has been! And, I was so frustrated, that I took pictures only with my cell phone, so apologies for quality.

Here's a shot of our big, beautiful, empty back yard before the fun started.  As we say in blogland, the "before." It's worth noting that the grass had all just started filling in from the fence build earlier this year, and my husband is very particular about his yard.

I knew the electrician needed a week's notice, so I called the pool store two Fridays ago to see when they would be coming.  The response?  They hadn't made the schedule for the following week yet and would get back to me. Monday, they call to tell me they're installing on Thursday for sure.

They came to install on Thursday, and in the contract, it said that they don't take the dirt off of the property, but they will put it anywhere on your property you would like.  Except where I wanted it, because apparently their Bobcat didn't drive over grass and then driveway.  So, I had them dump it all in one side of the yard. We now had a 3 - 4' tall pile of dirt hanging out over by the fence.  I thought my yard was pretty level - not so much!   I had to come up with a plan quick to get rid of it!

They finished up moving dirt and building a pool, and in the afternoon, a water truck showed up and filled it! I did go down to ask them about one thing, though... There was 1 piece of top rail missing - they said that it was broken in the box and they would have to order it and then would come out and install it.  Waiting.... patience is not my virtue.

This is where things start getting really sketchy. The sales guy told me they would be providing me with an adapter to run the filter and pump until the permanent electricity was put in - and that it would also allow the installers to be sure everything was working properly.  But they didn't.  They left me this.

I called the store, my sales guys was out for the day, so I asked to speak to someone else.  A man gets on the phone who says he'll be the one coming out to school us and add all of the chemicals to get it started, but that there was no deal for them to do anything to get me electric and the sales guy shouldn't have told me what he did.  Oh, and he said "I'll see you on Saturday."  Knowing I wouldn't be home on Saturday, and not being a 100% satisfied customer at this point, I said "Wouldn't you like to know if I'll be home before you show up?" and he agreed to come Friday afternoon.

So I have a brand new pool, newly filled, and no pump to keep it running.  Nice.  (as a side note, I've been reviewing this site for a couple of months now, reading and learning, and I fully intend to use their methods rather than the pool store!)  I decide to make the best of it, so I dump in some liquid chlorine, brush the heck out of everything to stir it up, and hope for the best... the best being not having to drain and refill.

On Friday, we wake up to this:

That would be a leak... I called the guy who is to be showing up in the afternoon, tell him I think we have a leak, and he says to me "Isn't that the side where the pool was filled?"  No.  
"It could be the weight of the pool just pushing out groundwater."  No.  
Finally, when he says it could be from splashing (no one has even been IN the pool yet - the water was a nice 62°), I calmly said "Sir, I am a woman, not a 3 year old. The pool is leaking.  I can see where as the water is quietly trickling."  Then he said they'd send out a service crew.  

Two hours later, two guys show up, and as soon as they come through the fence, they confirmed that it was in fact a leak.  One guy puts on his goggles while the other walks around with some kind of amplifier, they find the leak, and Goggle Guy jumps in the pool to patch it, poor thing making a joke about how I could have warmed it up first.  So now I have a pool with one piece of top rail missing, a brand new liner with a patch, and no pump. Add in a husband, who wanted nothing to do with a pool, that is biting his tongue not to say "I told you so."

Pool School Fool shows up an hour early (I guess I should appreciate that, given that I gave him a hard time), and even though I told him I would be the one taking care of the pool, when my husband came out, it's like I wasn't there.  He would only look at and speak to him.  Interesting.  Whatever, I've learned enough on the site I've been studying to know that they've nailed it - for the most part, Pool Store Fools aren't fully up to speed on the actual, proper ways to care for things - they're in business to sell products, not make it easy - and they don't like being challenged.  But, he did give us what was needed to use an extension cord to be able to run the pump and filter.
Case in point - he told us the pH Down we had for the hot tub wasn't the same kind of pH reducer you need for a pool, so you know I had to check.  They're both Sodium Bisulfate, and oddly, the same concentration! Don't try to Pool Store me, Mister!  

Saturday morning, at 7 am, two guys came to get all of that dirt out of the yard (sorry neighbors!), and within an hour, our yard went from this (this photo includes the special kind of Bobcat that only moves on grass):

to this:

It actually was a WHOLE dump truck of dirt!  So glad we didn't have to shovel - and that it was $75 for them to take it away.  Sign. Me. Up.  The yard will heal soon, honey, I promise.

If you're in the local area and you're thinking of getting a pool, give me a shout. I'll tell you who NOT to work with because the reviews I read online and the research I did - these folks were highly recommended.  Maybe I'm just too picky.

But, I HAVE A POOL!  The leak was fixed, the dirt is drying up, the water temperature is rising (82° today!), my raft is inflated, and the electricians will be here Thursday to do it up right!  And the best part - I've taken next week off so I can simply ENJOY my pool for more than a few hours before we have to close it for the season!

Now, on to the deck - and I know that will go very well cause the Uncle that's doing it for us is just that awesome.  Can't wait to share the final details!!


  1. Something you would think would be simple... Glad it all turned out okay, and YOU HAVE A POOL!!!

  2. UGH what a headache! Nothing irks me more than repair- and sales-man types who talk directly to my husband instead of me. You can tell they just have this nagging wife impression of you and refuse to believe you can think for yourself. GRRR. I was getting upset on your behalf just reading this! But I'm so glad you have a pool now! :) Hope it gets warmed up and enjoyed soon!

    1. Thanks, Kelly! It was a difficult process, but the deck is being finished up this weekend, the chaises I ordered have arrived and are put together, just waiting for their new spot to be ready, and I have been in the pool several times so far! The water hit a high of about 86° last week, and I even got in a vacuumed for the first time!

      We moved 2 tons of rocks around the base already, and need to get 2 ton more to finish it off, and add a retaining wall to part of the slope that was left.

      I do have to say, for all of the troubles, I got a $100 gift certificate for the pool store that sold it to me. Just waiting for a big "end of season" sale to maximize my spending of their $$$ :)

  3. I hate to say it, but your start of pool ownership is just the beginning of....fun? Don't get me wrong, I like having a pool, but we have had it for 3 years now and every single year something has gone wrong. (Next year will be the magical year of perfection, no doubt.) Ooooor maybe it's just us and we have no clue what we are doing (very possible) and you got all of the headache out of the way now! Either way, it stinks that you had issues with professionals. I hate when guys like that down-talk because they're dealing with a female.

    1. I hear you, Erin - check out the site I have linked in the post. With their help, my water chemistry is almost perfect - and I haven't shocked once. No need to if you keep it up right (so they taught me!)

      As for men who speak to us like children, there's a special place for them. AND - I have my own theories why they talk to US like we're the small ones! :)


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