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John Kogel

Swimming Pool inspection

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Maybe we could have a poll on this subject?

Do you inspect a swimming pool?

I perform a visual exam of the pool and pumps if I have access to them, but I don't inspect them. I tell my clients I don't inspect the pool and I am not trained to inspect the pool, but then I will take a look and call out a problem if I perceive that there is one.

For the written report, I am not sure whether I should be silent on the subject of the swimming pool, or should I include a comment that I either saw or did not see a problem? I have followed my instincts before, but am curious as to how you'all approach pools.

How about water features? Hot tubs?

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I purchased a copy of ANSI/NSPI-5 2003 (residential inground swimming pools) almost a decade ago with the aim of becoming familiar with the standard then offering inspections on them but the demand never surfaced. We're a coastal state, people go to the lakes, bays and bayous to swim.

If there's a pool on an HI, I inspect the electrics and give it a good visual but that's all.

Marc

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I don't inspect the pool itself but I inspect access to it and any sub panels that are associated with it.

Most of the time, there's a pool inspector there during the inspection anyway.

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I offer a pool inspection to the ASHI Pool Standards as a separate inspection/cost, similar to radon being a separate test, but only if I am also doing the home inspection. I get 4 - 5 a year. Pool has to up and running.

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I do not inspect pools, but I do look at the associated electrical like Jim. I tell my clients to call a pool company, if they need names I give them three good pool contractors that do inspections. It is not unusual for pools in some of the homes I look at to cost upwards of $150,000 or more.

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I don't inspect them.

When I know I'm going to have one - which has been like half a dozen times in the past 17 years - I tell the client that; and then, if the client agrees, I contact a pool company and arrange for a separate inspection of the pool at client's expense. Otherwise, I look at the sub-panel that feeds the pool and associated equipment. If there is a pool or spa heater in the same building I'll examine it the same way I'd examine a water heater but that's as far as I go.

I don't think we should include nice-to-have luxury items in our inspections. We should limit our inspections to the house and the things that are necessary to make a house work - not the nice-to-have accessories like pools, spas, exterior irrigation systems, driveway deicers, etc..

The only thing I think we should add to what we do, that we currently don't do, is fire sprinkler systems. The 2011 code brought those in. Most states have not adopted that part of the code but sooner or later they will. We inspectors will be leaving a big chunk of money on the table if we don't get trained up on those systems and work to get our states to allow us to inspect those systems when/if mandatory fire suppression systems are adopted countrywide.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Keeping it strictly about the house provides good parameters. Luxury items are a slippery slope; once you start down that path where does it end?

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Thanks, all.

My concern is how to approach a deficiency, a safety hazard such as Bill's lack of fencing, without stepping across the line and becoming an inspector of pools, which many of us are not.

I will write a comment about the pool then as an observation, but wonder if it could be twisted into something more?

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Keeping it strictly about the house provides good parameters. Luxury items are a slippery slope; once you start down that path where does it end?

For the most part, I tell people to get someone else to inspect the pool, but sometimes I do them. It's only a pool. It's not all that complicated.

Sounds like we all do the electrical, which is probably the most complicated and important part.

Pool equipment is either new, or it will be soon. Seems like stuff is always crapping out.

Decks and liners always have something wrong, somewhere; find it, and tell them to repair it.

I put big glaring statements about pool maintenance in the comments; pools are all about maintenance. When they fail, it's because someone wasn't doing something. I tell people to get a pool service, because I was sure they (my customers) weren't going to keep up with it....they laughed, agreed, and got a service.

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I tell my clients that I am not qualified to do a pool inspection and I exclude it from my inspection and report.

I advise my clients to have a pool inspection performed prior to closing. I suggest that they find out who installed the pool and who has been maintaining it. I tell my client that it is not uncommon for people to defer recommended maintenance if they are in the process of selling the house. I tell them that the company that maintains the pool will have a better maintenance history than someone coming to the house for the first time.

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I suggest that they find out who installed the pool and who has been maintaining it. I tell my client that it is not uncommon for people to defer recommended maintenance if they are in the process of selling the house. I tell them that the company that maintains the pool will have a better maintenance history than someone coming to the house for the first time.

That is almost verbatim what I tell my customers, even when I'm inspecting a pool.

Inspecting pools is a hit or miss proposition.

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Yep, I do them. Extra charge. If they don't want me to inspect it, I still mention safety items like lack of fences, electrical issues, etc. I just add a little blurb to the effect of "the pool was not inspected but I did notice x,y, and z during the course of the home inspection. Then I mark the state mandated check box as "not inspected"

Pretty simple in my opinion with nary an issue yet. Just explain what you did or didn't do and why.

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My attorney told me several years ago to "leave 'em alone".

Most of the litigation he was involved with (concerning home inspections) was related to swimming pools done by home inspectors who (more times than not) missed items that cost them big time.

I don't inspect them.

I'm fortunate in the D/FW market to have a contact who used to build pools, maintain pools and for the past 10+ years inspects pools as a contact resource for about 30 of the D/FW based inspectors.

He is a walking encyclopedia of pools and proper maintenance and he is "independent" ... NOT related to any pool company or service. He is an honest pool inspector and advises of all the required safety items. He covers all pool/spa equipment, fences, doors/windows from the house to the pool (safety) and even provides information from TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) as a matter of educating the clients.

His fees for his inspection range from $125 to $175 and I do NOT take any kickbacks, spifs, etc.. I simply try to coordinate a slot in his calendar for my inspection time frame.

He keeps threatening to "really retire", but then adds that he likes the additional income to help buy some toys for his grandkids.

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I don't and I make them aware of that. I will often comment on fencing and recommend updating because the fences are almost always too low, have to large a gap underneath and rarely have self closing and locking gates. I will inspect a sub panel in the area of the equipment.

There is an affluent town here in Bergen County where the town only recently made it a requirement to fence in the pools and many homeowners complained that they did not want to do the same.

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I don't know about elsewhere, but in areas I inspect, there is often an exemption to the fence ordinance if the property is over a specific size. Also, if the pool was installed before the ordinance was enacted, there may be an exception.

I still refer them to the CPSC pool safety barrier guidelines.

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Somewhere in the distant past I recall a case where the inspector said (and printed in his report) that he did not inspect pools. He went on to mention a few defects that he noted around an in-ground pool, but missed a major pool problem that cost a few grand to fix. Court found that he was liable because he did, in fact, offer inspection information to his client regarding the pool even though his report said he did not and since he was offering some advice he should have noted the more major problem.

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Living in Florida there is probably a swimming pool at every four houses. Yes we inspect them.

Inspection includes barriers, visible components of the shell, liner, coping, visible piping, pressure gauge, type of filter, electrical components, timer and controls, heater (solar, gas, heat pump), lights, bubbler, and pop up sweeps.

Excluded items would include automatic valves (can and will fail and anytime), automatic chlorine generators (can and will fail at anytime), leaks, in-ground/buried components.

I do not see any significant risk associated with inspecting these luxury items. Its a nice add-on fee.

We include the CPSC Bulletin on Pools/Entrapment. Find attached.

Charles

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif PoolSafety.pdf

703.06 KB

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I do offer pool inspections at an additional cost. I do explain to the clients that it is a visual inspection only. I do not perform pressure tests on the return and supply lines and I don't do a swab test of the liner or shell of the pool. If the client is well aware of the scope and limitations of the pool inspection, then you are fine. Being familiar with pools is obviously better. I have owned and serviced my own pool for the last 16 years.

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I don't inspect pools. In the report, I make sure and state that I do not inspect pools and recommend that they have it inspected by someone qualified.

I do inspect the electrical associated with the pool, recommend a fence if there is none.

That's about it.

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I don't inspect pools. In the report, I make sure and state that I do not inspect pools and recommend that they have it inspected by someone qualified.

I do inspect the electrical associated with the pool, recommend a fence if there is none.

That's about it.

Same hear I to do the same.

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I don't inspect pools but I do check for and report on any obvious site related safety concerns when there is a pool. I point the same concerns out when it comes to fish ponds. It's safety concerns for small kids mainly. Whether they live at that house or somewhere else in the neighborhood.

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