Doughboy Pool Cave In
We had a 16x32 ft. doughboy pool professionally installed in ground on a 11/2 ft. grade to skimmer end leaving 6 inches above ground on the high side. We took the excess dirt (hard clay) and built up around the pool, making an area of a 10ft. radius, leveling around the pool to within 6 inches from the top of the pool, leaving a 1 ft. gap for the backfill area around the entire pool.
Afterwards we installed a cement deck around the pool. Approximately 1 week later the pipe going from the skimmer to the sand filter came loose, causing water to flood the back fill area all the way around the pool. This in turn caused the backfill to push in the walls (32 ft. sides).
We're being told that the build up of the excess dirt around the pool caused the issues, but the worst collapse is on the side without any build-up. They have agreed to come and fix the pool itself but will not repair any damages to the cement or dirt work, leaving us with the clean up. We could not find anything on Doughboy web site stating not to level the entire area. The pool co. did not inform us that by doing this it could cause damages either. Our feeling is that had our ground been level to start with this problem would have still occurred. We are in need of some answers from someone not associated with the
pool co. or the sub-contractor he hired.
Hi. I like to see at least a foot of wall above the level of the dirt. The dirt should never be higher than the water level. The more water you have above the dirt the better. Anytime the dirt is higher than the water you run the risk of a cave in. This could happen due to a leak in the plumbing, the liner, or for any number of other reasons. There are risks involved in putting a pool in the ground.
Doughboy, at least they used to, recommends a slurry solution for backfill. It sets up similar to concrete and will not cave in the pool walls. It is, however, a rather expensive process.
I recommend a hard packed dirt and to always keep the water level above the dirt.
It sounds like the plumbing caused the problems and that might be the responsibility of the installers. But if the installers were not responsible for the backfill, they have a point in not wanting to handle all the repairs.
I would need more details as to exactly what was contracted by the installers and how much was done after they were done.
On my installations I make no guarantees at all for pools installed in the ground. The customer is responsible for having the hole dug and for backfilling. My job is basically the same as if I were installing the pool on top of the ground. My liability in this situation would be limited also.