[ Introduction ]
[ Pool Inspection for the Home buyer ]
[ Pool Inspection FAQ ] [ Winter Inspection Information ]
[ Selling Your Home With A Pool ] [ Pricing & Sign-up Form ]
Safety ] [ Diving Do's & Don'ts ] [ Emergency Help ]
[ Pool Covers ] [ Maintenance ]
[ A Commentary by Stephen Toff ] [ Contact Us ]

Toff's Pool Inspection

Selling Your Home With A Pool

Inspect the pool
Most Common Questions
Your Pool Cover is Like a Uniform


Inground Swimming Pools, Above Ground Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas have become very popular throughout the USA and are often found as part of your "Home for Sale" package.

No longer can we pretend that the pool or spa doesn't exist. As much as 20% of the homes for sale market place have a substantial water feature. These water exercise and entertainment arenas represent a sizable investment and with a little help from experts in the pool and spa industry, you can learn to accent the positive and avoid the negatives when presenting a pool or Spa for sale with your home. As a buyer, you can become knowledgeable as to what to look for and what questions should be asked.

Inspections on these watery fun items are becoming commonplace as the buyer becomes more sophisticated and learns how to protect themselves during a transaction. Currently the "seller" is hiring pool and spa inspectors more often to pre-inspect theses devices. An in-depth pre-inspection allows the seller to correct deficiencies, present the pool in more positive manner, anticipate necessary negotiations, and take care of minor problems in a leisurely manner.

Leaving the pool as an "unanswered question" can be the undoing of a sale and unnecessary emotional concern. Many people are afraid of swimming pools and swimming pool ownership. These are the people that don't understand the pool and how to enjoy it safely. A well prepared review and inspection of the pool or spa should not only reveal any problems but also discuss the remedies. The buyer is then more comfortable in "knowing" and can more easily proceed with the purchase.

Inspect the Pool

A winterized pool can be inspected, and should be inspected. There is no reason to leave your buyer in the dark about the condition of what might be a sizable investment that the property owner has already made. Most of the time the basic inspection is thorough enough that additional tests or services are seldom needed or suggested.. Placing funds in escrow is undesirable and often unfair to one of the parties involved. A professional pool inspector will not only inform the buyer about the pool deficiencies but will often include comforting remarks about how to remedy problems, different options available and recommended materials and services for them to consider.

An informed buyer can proceed to the next step intelligently and with confidence. If a buyer is informed that the pool needs a lot of repairs but it is structurally sound and worthwhile to invest in, then all parties are aided in being able to proceed to the next step. A pool inspection, particularly in the winter encompasses so much more than what you would first expect. The whole pool environment should be involved in the inspection. Consideration and review must be made of the fence perimeter, the walkway, the deck accessories including the attaching parts of the ladders, handrails, diving boards, and any additional compliments to the pool. The type of equipment, sizing, capacities, plumbing design, electrical considerations in having properly sized circuits, safety controls, GFI's for under-water lighting, secure conduits, proper height of junction boxes, safe step design, smooth cleanable interior surface, secure stable walk-surface perimeter, proper distance of lighting, safe and secure drain design, proper amount of fittings, are but some of the many items that should be considered. Regardless of summer or winter weather, all of the preceding items are verifiable. Even the proper winterization techniques can be verified so that what is being looked at during the inspection will be properly safeguarded through the winter months.

In both the summer and winter months, pressure testing of shallow plumbing lines could be performed if there is suspect of a problem. Problems are indicated by broken and cracked concrete slabs above plumbing. Fittings, wrong types of plumbing parts used, improper plumbing techniques observed, or generally shifting of the pool. The seller sometimes will need to provide written permission for the inspection company to gain access to the plumbing for pressure testing. (This would be when the lines have to be cut.) Normally, pressure testing does not require intrusive methods. There are professional limitations on what lines can be pressure tested without incurring additional charges,. Such information would be presented if such a situation occurs. Deep lines often requires a scuba diver, and is often cost prohibitive compared to alternative remedies if found to be a problem.

There is no way to "guess" at a fair and proper financial consideration for what might be found at a swimming pool. A brand new pool could have significant deficiencies due to poor application techniques or other problems that may have gone unnoticed. The electrician might have been the "brother-in-law" instead of the pool contractor. Significant code changes could occur making you financially exposed to safety infractions that are costly to remedy. The peace of mind that occurs with having a pool inspection completed, helps all parties to proceed.

Many of the safety aspects of a pool are reviewed during the pool inspection. Some parts of the pool may require additional services or man power to make determinations at additional costs. Most of the time, the main considerations are reviewed enough during the normal inspection that additional charges are seldom suggested or incurred.

All parties should keep in mind that the pool industry is generally well trained and produces a wonderful and dependable product, if properly maintained. The care and maintenance of the pool has significant impact on its longevity and safety. The application of new knowledge, safety accessories and proper fencing and barrier protection is paramount for the continued enjoyment of the pool.

Most common questions :

(Make sure you answer these questions as soon as possible. The answers will provide, information, comfort and confidence to the buyer.)

a) What company manufactured the pool and in what year?

Some names in the pool industry are better known than others. It is important to know who built the pool for future reference, parts purchases and to find out about any transferable warranties that may exist. Some manufacturers will extend some of the lifetime warrantees to a second owner of the pool.

The knowledge of who built it and when allows the service company to be advised as to recommended winter water levels and other service procedures.

b) What type of pool?

(Concrete with painted, plastered or fiberglass finish; Vinyl with metal, plastic or wooden walls; or Fiberglass one-piece shell) This information will help in determining the proper chemistry and maintenance equipment to use. (For instance - Never use concrete style vacuums on vinyl liner pools.)

c) What size is the pool?

This information should be immediately available. It is helpful for the buyer to compare this pool to others that they might be familiar with and to be able to intelligently discuss it with their friends, home inspector and pool professionals. Expense of operation and the size of recommended equipment are affected by pool dimensions.

d) How deep is the pool?

The basis for that question is often in relationship to the children's height and concern for their safety. One of the most important statements to understand is that it is seldom the pool owner's children at risk! The most common accidents are by strangers to the pool that don't understand or respect the general rules and design of the pool. It is our responsibility, (The pool industry and the pool owners) to help educate the pool user on proper diving techniques and proper maintenance and safety concerns.

The Pool Cover is like a uniform

Make your pool a big splash when it comes to helping you sell your house! Pool, Spa, Hot Tub "Jacuzzi", even a jetted bath tub! Whatever you have, make it a "Splash" during the first presentation of your house.

Is your Hot Tub properly covered and the wood coated for winter protection? Does the jetted bath tub have the fittings shiny and bright, the surface clean and the interior plumbing rinsed to not be an embarrassment when the unit is filled and tested?

Look out back. Does your pool look inviting, fun and enjoyable? Or is it covered like the black lagoon hiding something sinister underneath? A covered pool can look attractive too, here are some pointers for preparing your winterized and closed pool:

The proper water level of a winterized pool is a paramount concern. Call the factory. Ask the service manager what water level should be maintained all winter long. Purchase a cover pump and use it through out the non-freezing water months to maintain the proper water level. (Once the pool freezes, leave the pool alone)

Properly covered pools can look professional and calming. Learning how to cover a pool professionally takes just a little more effort and knowledge:

Solid covers that are held down with water weights should be set to touch 100% of the pool water surface. (This keeps a consistent look to the perimeter, the chemical balance is maintained in the pool water and the wind won't "flap" and disturb the cover.) Only fill the water tubes 3/4 full, to allow for ice expansion. Do not drag the tubes on the concrete walkway. Extra material should be allowed in the pool perimeter for rainwater build up and then finely have the cover rise to the deck with extra material around the perimeter to go under the water weights.

Professional placement of the pool cover requires laying out the cover evenly and not capturing extra air pockets under the cover. Air pockets make the cover look unpredictable. A smooth surface of the cover projects a calm pool underneath. Have your service company set up your cover with a minimum of air pockets. If your pool is rectangular, have the corners set with enough material to fold in both sides the same distance of the rise in the walls. This square corner effect accents the whole shape of the pool.

Rectangular and Custom shaped covers should have the water tubes touching each other or slightly overlapped, laying about 1' from the edge of the pool. Polyethylene covers can be custom "cut" with a scissors to accent the shape of the whole pool. Make sure you only cut after the above recommendations were followed - Proper water level, cover flat on complete water surface, extra cover material at the water-to-wall perimeter, and tubes fitting tightly together.

Now the beautiful shape of your customized pool shows through the contoured cut cover you are presenting.


Submitted by


Stephen Toff CSP
Certified Pool Service Professional

Contact Toff's Pool Inspection.

Certified Service Person by the National Spa and Pool Institute.

Certified Pool Operator by the National Pool Foundation

Serving all of the State of New Jersey,
Southern NY and Eastern Pa.

Please call us at
for more information

Or email us at

[ Introduction ]
[ Pool Inspection for the Home buyer ]
[ Pool Inspection FAQ ] [ Winter Inspection Information ]
[ Selling Your Home With A Pool ] [ Pricing & Sign-up Form ]
Safety ] [ Diving Do's & Don'ts ] [ Emergency Help ]
[ Pool Covers ] [ Maintenance ]
[ A Commentary by Stephen Toff ] [ Contact Us ]

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