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BBB Accredited Business since

Farwell Pools & Construction, Inc.

Phone: (608) 222-1730 Fax: (608) 838-8857 3818 County Road Ab, Madison, WI 53718

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This firm offers swimming pools and service, septic tank services and septic tank cleaning.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Farwell Pools & Construction, Inc. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Farwell Pools & Construction, Inc. include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 2
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review on Farwell Pools & Construction, Inc.
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 1
Total Customer Reviews 1

Additional Information

BBB file opened: June 16, 1997 Business started: 01/01/1968 in WI Business started locally: 01/01/1968 Business incorporated 06/15/1983 in WI
Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. Duane Farwell, Owner
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Duane Farwell, Owner
Business Category

Swimming Pool Contractors, Dealers, Design Swimming Pool Service & Repair Swimming Pool Cover Sales & Service Swimming Pools - Maintenance All Other Amusement and Recreation Industries (NAICS: 713990)

Alternate Business Names
Farwell Construction

Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

Farwell Pools & Construction, Inc. has received 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A+.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Additional Locations

  • 3818 County Road Ab

    Madison, WI 53718 (608) 222-1730


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

1/16/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: In November 2013 We purchased a home with a pool. The pool is located inside a sun room connected to our house. The previous owner gave us the name of the company who had installed some of the equipment and who serviced the pool. We contacted the company and they confirmed this and offered to continue to service the pool equipment if needed. The pool has a heater which was installed by Farwell Pools only two years ago, in July 2012. In March 2014 a sensor failed in the heater. We called Farwell Pools, they came out, diagnosed the problem, told us it would be covered by warranty. They returned a couple weeks later and informed us that the warranty had expired, but that they repair the inexpensive part/ sensor anyway. After their service we noticed water leaking from the bottom of the heater. We contacted Farwell Pools. We paid them to, diagnosed the problem. They disassembled panels and screws on the heater (laying them on the ground), they also turned the heater off. Farwell informed us that the "Tube Assemble" within is leaking and needs to be replaced. While waiting for the bid, we contacted them in June to ask that they reassemble the heater for safety reasons (the parts and screws were left on the floor,and the smell of gas). After some time, they sent a bid to replace or repair. (the bid was high for both). In the bid, they claimed that the "area" where the equipment was installed was "small" and so the labor would be more. While waiting for their reply, we contacted a pool heater installer to put it back together for our safety. He looked at the 2012 heater and told us that Farwell Pools had not installed the heater gas to code or per the manufacturers instructions. He declined to work on it. We contacted another company. They also declined for the same reason. The install is not to code. Both companies noted that the main front panel is blocked from being opened by a pipe running in front of it below. Neither installer could gain access to the "tube assembly" to even view its condition. We have sent six or seven certified letters outlining our concerns and requesting action from Farwell Pools. We have called weekly. The safety of our family is most important, so on September 4th We signed the repair bid, remitted a check for 50% as stipulated/requested by Farwell Pools. Their bid stated 10 days from the receipt of payment to order parts and conduct the repair. Farwell Pools continues to ignore our phone calls and letters. We have four children and are frustrated and saddened at Farwell Pool's callous attitude towards our safety. We also have a home warranty that will pay a portion. It expires in about 3 weeks. They will pay $1000 towards the repair. We have notified Farwell Pools of this numerous times, but they do not reply.

Desired Settlement: We would like Farwell Pools to contact us regarding repairing the pool heater, bringing it to code and the receipt of the payment we sent in September. We have offered Farwell some simple suggestions that were provided us as to how to address some of the code issues. We would like Farwell Pools to repair the pool heater or replace as needed. We would like Farwell Pools to conduct the service prior to the expiration of our home warranty with HSA.

Business Response:



Better Business Bureau

Subject: Complaint #********

To whom it may concern:

In the matter of the complaint submitted by:

***** ******** *** ***** *** ******* ****** *** *****


In late May of 2014, we were contacted by Mr. ******** to troubleshoot a heater we had installed

in his home for the previous owner.  Being familiar with the equipment room, we were aware that the location for the pool heater, pump and filter was less than ideal to say the least.  There is literally no room to operate when accessing the equipment which makes diagnosis of problems very difficult.

My technician however was able to access inside the heater and determined that the heat exchanger was leaking and a governor in the In/Out Header was corroded away.  The failure of these components was likely due to pool water balance from the previous owner.   At that time we provided Mr. ********

with an estimate for the repair and an estimate for replacing the entire heater unit.  Taking into account that at the time this was transpiring we were in the busiest time of our season, and that Mr. ******** was not living at the house, we did not have contact with Mr. ******** for some time.  Then we started receiving Certified letters regarding this matter from Mr. ********.  He indicated that he agreed with most of our estimate except for the price of the heat exchanger (Tube Bundle).  He did some investigating on the Internet for pricing on the heat exchanger and found some lower pricing.  We indicated that internet pricing is cash and carry with no regard for installation.  The price we gave Mr. ******** was a fair price for our area.    However as a courtesy, we “sharpened out pencil” so to speak and lowered our price of the heat exchanger. 

As to Mr. ********’s contention that we left a “dangerous” situation in his equipment room, we would like to address those as follows.  At no time was a situation dangerous.   The door to the equipment room could be shut to prohibit access, so any minimal parts left on the floor could in no way cause danger with the minimal effort of shutting a door.  Mr. Thomson stated that he had (2) “professional heater installers” look at the heater and state that it was not “up to code” and they would not work on the heater.  When the heater was installed, it was installed the only way it could due to the ridiculously small area in which the heater could be placed.  Our belief is that the “professional heater installers” took one look at this set-up and didn’t want anything to do with it because of the nightmarish room in which the heater is installed.   I find it interesting that our heater technician was able to access the heater to inspect it, but the “professional heater installers” couldn’t even access it.  This adds to my belief that they just wanted nothing to do with it and that was there excuse for turning down the work.

As to the “smell of gas” in the room, I would think that if that situation existed, any prudent person would call the gas company right away to alleviate any concerns. In addition, the disassembly by our technician in no way involved anything to do with the gas valve or gas piping.  Any attempt to include this issue with safety concerns is not valid.

In closing, we would like to complete the work for Mr. ********, but this business of sending “Certified" letters and hiring outside contractors has left us with some trepidation in working with Mr. ********.  We feel he has not always been on the up and up with this situation and somewhat devious.

We would like to have a good business relationship with Mr. ********, and now that all parts required for job completion are in stock, we will schedule the work and complete it before his home warranty expires.




*** *******

***** *******

Business Response:





Better Business Bureau

Subject: Complaint #********

To whom it may concern:

In the matter of the complaint submitted by:

***** ******** *** ***** *** ******* ****** *** *****

This letter is the second being submitted by Farwell Pools in the matter of the heater repair

for Mr. ********.


It should be known that as of the week of October 20th, the repair that we were contracted for has been completed and paid for by Mr. ********.  No other issues were raised by Mr. ******** regarding the heater repair, so we can only assume that our work was to his satisfaction.


As a swimming pool repair service, we have completed hundreds of heater installs and repairs to the satisfaction of our customers.  We would never work on any piece of equipment that was deemed “unsafe”.  Although the heater that we installed for the previous owner of Mr. ******** property was not in an ideal location, we were simply contracted to replace in existing heater.  Not change the plumbing configuration in any way.  Mr. ******** seems to want to blame us for work we did in the past, even though the previous owner was more than satisfied with the work we performed.  Mr. ******** seems to be passing judgment on issues that he is really not qualified to interpret.  He sites the opinion of (2) “independent pool installers” with no information of whom they might be.  This makes it impossible for us to refute what their opinions are.  In the end, the “proof is in the pudding” so to speak.  Our technician was able to remove and re-install the front heater panel several times in diagnosing and repairing the heater, so the panel removal is a non-issue.  This repair job has been a bit of a moving target for us.  It started out as rather difficult but straight forward heater repair, and morphed into the suggestion that we raise the heater for access without any reference to how costly an endeavor that would be.  I would reference picture 100_7932.JPG that Mr. ******** submitted in his complaint.  This picture shows Mr. ********s equipment room.  To raise the heater the way he suggests,  the pool plumbing, gas piping and heater venting would all have to be modified.  This modification would come with a sizable cost as a plumbing and HVAC contractor would have to become involved.  At no time did Farwell Pools state or imply that we were qualified to do gas piping or indoor heater venting.

 Mr. ******** likes to use buzz words like “dangerous situation” to convey that Farwell Pools doesn’t care about the many customers we service.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We take great pride in our work and have many hundreds of satisfied customers to prove it.  We find ourselves “scratching our heads” at what purpose is being served with the continuation of this complaint.




***** ******* *** ********



Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

November 21, 2014

Better Business Bureau: This letter is in reply to your most recent inquiry of November  17th 2014. 

I.D # ********, Farwell Pools and Construction Inc. 


I.              In Mr. *******’s November 17th reply to the BBB he says:  “It should be known that as of the week of October 20th, the repair that we were contracted for has been completed and paid for by Mr. ********.  No other issues were raised by Mr. ******** regarding the heater repair, so we can only assume that our work was to his satisfaction.”


On October 23rd Farwell Pools ***** *** ******* came and replaced the Tube Assembly and Thermal Governor on our broken pool heater.  We attempted to use the pool heater on the 25th to heat the pool.  Immediately the unit began a loud and continued banging noise.  I sent an email to Farwell Pools on October 25th .and enclosed a video with audio of the clanging noise.  On November 16th I again sent Farwell Pools an email outlining our concern regarding the loud banging noise when the heater is being used.  We have received no response.  We have attempted to contact them twice via email regarding the repair and noises.     

Prior to the leak in May, the heater never made any banging or clanging noises operating.  I think it reasonable to inquire as to the cause, and if it needs to be addressed.


Our concern regarding the code and safety issues still remains.  But at this time, we are waiting to hear back from Farwell Pools regarding the repair, operation and banging. 

I will attempt to include the audio segment in this response.

II.           In Mr. *******’s November 17th reply to the BBB, he says: “Our technician was able to remove and re-install the front heater panel several times in diagnosing and repairing the heater, so the panel removal is a non-issue.

The “front panel” is approx. almost two feet tall.  This front panel is attached by a hinge at the bottom and a knurled screw at the top. The front door/panel is there to give access to the “tube assembly”, Unitherm Governor” and other inside parts by unlatching at the top and hinging at the bottom.  The panel is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE REMOVED TO PROVIDE  NORMAL ACCESS.  Mr. Farwell and his technician disassembled the heater for the repair!  In the process they REMOVED the front door.  There is still NO ACCESS to the inside parts via the front door/panel as intended by the manufacturer.  The unit was installed with disregard for the installation guidelines of the manufacturer.  There is a pipe obstructing the front door from being opened.  Farwell should have installed the unit “above” the obstruction to meet code and Raypak guidelines.

See page #32 of Raypak Instllation and Operating Instructions:


 Please note:  We have researched online and  in the “trouble shooting/Mechanical” section of the Raypak manual.  There is no description of the problem, cause or possible solution of loud continuous banging during normal operation.

See page #42 of Raypak Instllation and Operating Instructions:


***** ********



8/14/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: May of 2011, I called to report that my pool that Farwell constructed in May of 2008, had several problems. First, the ropes on the automatic pool cover broke. This happened due to misinformation that Farwell gives to (or at least use to give to) their pool customers about shutting down the pool for the year (I live in the midwest and in the winter the pool needs to be shutdown). They tell the owner,through their literature, to drain the pool to six inches under the skimmer. This in fact cause undue strain on the ropes as the snow and ice accumulate on the pool cover through the winter months. When I called to ask about the cover and its warranty, Farwell's customer service asked when I had the pool constructed. When I told her 3 years prior, she told me that about how long the ropes last. Two years later and the ropes break again. Second, I told them the PCV return pipe developed a leak. They repaired both in May of 2011 for $1531.62. Two years later, I have had to have the same work done as both the PCV valve has sprung a leak and the ropes have broken.

Desired Settlement: They refund me the cost of having the same work done again.

Business Response:

We are sorry you are having difficulty with your swimming pool. Farwell Pools install the best brands of products available in the swimming pool industry and install the items with a lot of experience.

In reviewing the history of this swimming pool we find it was built by our company in 2007. We closed the pool the first year at no cost to the customer with the water level at just below the skimmer. We gave the customer a personal training session so they could learn the easiest and most economical way to run their pool. We offer each customer to call us with any question regarding how to run the pool and free water testing.

Our history with this customer is they use advice and services from other companies and call us only when they have a problem. The problems mentioned in the complaint we feel were preventable had they consulted us. The complaint mentioned a broken pvc pipe that our company repaired for them, that type of repair is uncommon but an unfortunate result of our Wisonsin winters.

The customer claims we advised them in our literature to lower the pool water level for winter to 6" below the skimmer when in fact that is for safety covers and tarp type covers only.   Every late summer we send out a flyer to customers who use our closing services where it clearly states the water level should be lowered to the bottom of the skimmer.

Proper operation of automatic covers is critical to experiencing few problems.  Attempting to open the cover with rain water on it or before the winter water level is restored to normal is beyond the design limit of all brands of automatic covers and is a major reason for rope and cover failure.  It is the customers responsibility to pump off water on the cover before operating it. Family members and guests that have not received instruction on the operation of auto covers should not be allowed to operate the cover until they have  received training.  

Consulting us for advice about any phase of pool operation is free and a great way to help prevent premature component failure.


***** *******

Farwell Pools and Construction Inc.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

***** ******* states in his response that Farwell closed the pool once at no charge.  He does not mention that closing cost us $63.30!  We did call Farwell back in May of 2008 because the the cover came off its track - after Farwell had winterized it the winter before (they dropped the level of the water 6 inches below the skimmer when they closed the pool and caused the cover to come off its track).    According to ********* we have an automatic safety cover, which according Farwell response, should have the water level dropped 6 inches below the skimmer.

We did read all the literature on all components of the pool including the pool cover pump, which we have already replaced 3 times.  We religiously pump off the rainwater as the rain is coming down and wait until it is completing done pumping before even trying to open the pool cover.  For the first 4 years after the pool was built, we used only Farwell and from time to time requested advice from them only.  How Farwell gets off saying we only used them after using other companies and then calling them after something went wrong is a blatant lie and I would like to know where he gets his information?  

As far as using only the best  brands of products available I would have to disagree.  They use products that are okay but far from the best.  The Hayward water pump they installed broke down in 4 years and I had it replaced with a super efficient, super quite, Eco pump which has a 3 yr warranty vs the 1 yr warranty that the Hayward has.  The Goldline Control panel that Farwell put in has a known defect that I had to repair (a solder that I had to do) that would have cost me $700 to replace if I had not researched it myself. 

And finally the broken PVC pipe that they were kind enough to repair and charge me $163 for labor lasted 2 years!  I'm sure that was my fault also.

I take very good care of all my property especially my pool.  I daily take the chemical readings and make sure that all levels are within tolerance.  I am not disputing the work that we done but rather the followup and the gouging that I got from Farwell not backing up their work or materials.  I am not satisfied with the lame response letter in which Farwell did not address my compliant, made off the wall remarks (lies) on how the equipment was treated and pointed to no facts in his rebuttal.  Obviously he does not take this complaint very seriously.



*********** ****