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Question DetailsAsked on 5/3/2011

How do I approach my neighbor about his leaky pool?

My neighbor has a leaky in-ground pool. Every time he turns on the pump, my garage and driveway flood. I corrected the majority of the problem with the garage flooding by working on the ground between my garage and his property. But my driveway was flooded nearly every day this summer. He has a hose that stayed in the pool the entire summer, so I assume he knows he has a problem. I am worried that if I do not approach him in just the right manner, all of my neighbors might not be so kind anymore. (The previous owners had some minor disagreements with this neighbor.) I would appreciate any suggestions on how to approach the subject with my neighbor without becoming the neighborhood outcast.

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6 Answers


I agree with Mike (aka old grouch).

I hope your garage is not close to the pool. Chances are that the earth surrounding the pool is muck. If the pool is drained without bracing the walls they can collapes inward and some of the earth will avulse toward the pool cavity. If the neighbor is not friendly or cooperative and your garage is far enough away don't inform him of my opinion.

Answered 9 years ago by aceinspector


Wow. I find your idea of "...a contractor version of Angies List were we can report on customers that are creeps" very, very compelling. Although every Angie's List member that I know are nice people, the possibility exists that not every one of the 500,000 are nice. As an example, I offer up my neighbor, who is a former Angie's List member. My neighbor often uses service providers for her house. She recently had her roof replaced, carpet installed, walls painted, kitchen countertop installed, etc. I have to say that she had a complaint about every single contractor that has ever performed work on her house, and it's usually for crazy problems that she caused herself. She once had a light post installed in front of her house and after the concrete was good and solid she demanded that the post be moved six inches because she wasn't happy. I like my neighbor, but if I was a service provider I would absolutely hate to perform work on her house. Wouldn't it be an interesting idea for a service provider to "check the list" in reverse before performing work for an Angie's List member? I think there would be all sorts of privacy problems, but it's still an interesting idea and well worth discussing in a hypothetical way. I think there might be some very strong opinions about this subject and I'm really looking forward to hearing from existing members about this concept.

As for a Reports tab specifically for reports where no work has been performed, that is a good idea as well and I might actually be able to do something about that. Reports are clearly marked with a "work was not performed" flag, but we don't specifically separate those reports into their own section. When I'm searching for a service provider on "the list" I read the reports, but I'm really less likely to look at reports for work that wasn't performed because it doesn't tell me anything about an actual service that was performed and it might be valuable to be able to filter those reports or separate them somehow. We are working on a key word search system to help members find contractors more quickly and we give less weight to reports where work was not actually performed and that seems to really work.

Answered 9 years ago by MichaelL


On AL's web site, it states:

"Companies don't pay to be on Angie's List. Only Angie's List members report on the companies they've hired. View the list of services rated in your area. Additionally, members make sure the ratings are clean and honest by supporting Angie's List. They pay a MEMBERSHIP FEE because we work for them (not the contractors) to keep the list growing with the most accurate information about the companies in their area."

I don't think members would believe that they pay to be listed for and categorized by contractors. How long would it be before a sense of being set-up took hold? You know, contractors coming up with their own lingo to identify who is an easy mark and who is liable to pay for things that they don't need.

Calm down, I didn't mean it. I'm only jumping to a conclusion that I think the ones you want to identify would jump to.

And it is liable to taint the assessments of other AL users: "If they can read who I am and what I say, how will that affect their willingness to work for me?" Then the whole concept goes in the trash.

There are ways for contractors or vendors or service providers to exchange information and new avenues could be developed if there is an enterprising soul who wants to do it. But, taking the current AL to that point would dilute what has been built and risk the loss of people who want and need to protect their identities (like some single ladies or ex-spouses or whatever). I would not hesitate to have my name associated with any remark I make but I'd be livid if my mother or a sister's identity was published without their knowledge and agreement.

At the very least, the privacy policy would have to be revised with adequate notice to the existing customers so they could decide whether to remain or leave.

Maybe a way around the smell I've wiped on the idea is to open a field on the report form to allow the reporting member's name to be displayed. Then they can feel in control of whether their identity is known or not.

Answered 9 years ago by Old Grouch


Just a short note about the missing post you mentioned: I should not be yammering in public about features that we might be tinkering with in the development shed that may or may not see the light of day. It was totally inappropriate, so the post was removed (along with any responses, sorry Old Grouch [:)] ). I apologize for any confusion this might have caused.

Answered 9 years ago by MichaelL


Discussing it with the source (your neighbor) won't get any easier by waiting longer. You really need to do something because the continual flow of water from the pool could begin to wash soil from under the driveway then you'll be replacing concrete so you don't offend his frugal, defensive nature.

I don't suggest that you take them a box of Christmas cookies that are completely water-soaked with a note that you had them in the garage the last time they flooded you.

Find or take time for a casual chat with him/her/them. Ask if you can lend a hand next spring when they work on the leak between the pool and the pump. If they look surprised, you can tell them why you came to that conclusion including the flooded garage, the hose in the pool to replenish the water and the continuing water running down the driveway when they use the pool. Could be that they thought the water was draining (leaking) from the bottom of the pool and not bothering anyone.

If they deny the leak you might have to go to the code enforcement or planning department in your city/town to see if there is any rule on the books that covers the situation and ask them to take a look. It kinda puts the local government in the "bad guy" role but you really need to get it fixed.

Another alternative might be to wait for the next damage and make a claim on your homeowner's policy then let the insurance company investigate and recover from the neighbor. The problem you might face is that they'd find out you have known since the inspection and that you had taken some action to re-route the water but were not completely successful...that could get your claim denied and put the full problem in your lap or pocket.

Comes a time when you have to protect your investment instead of worrying about what the neighbors might think. Tact is putting a positive spin on things by offering to help. If that fails, there's always that box of soggy cookies.

Can you tell I like the soggy cookie idea?[6]

Answered 9 years ago by Old Grouch


I have personally known of public utility company enforcement, I would actually offer this man my professional pool repair no charge for a situation like this. It is good advertising, in fact the best kind. Also it helps good hearted people in a bad situation. My heart goes out to you. If this is still a problem and you are near Sacramento, ca,contact me and we will find a way to take care of it.

Answered 7 years ago by everclearpools

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