YoLink Detector

As some of you may be aware, we have been having problems with leaks – both from broken water supply pipes (like refrigerator ice maker supply lines)  and clogged drains. Fixing the damage from these leaks is expensive and we all bear the cost. The Kahala Board has some ideas for how you can prevent a leak from going undetected. Stopping a leak soon after it happens can save $20-$50,000 and saves the time your unit will be unlivable. 

We suggest installing leak detectors that connect to your unit’s WIFI. There are several good brands out there. One is  Zircon – which costs $49.99 each from Amazon. Board member Shawn Cohen has these.

Another is YoLink, which is what board member Tom Fuller installed in his unit. $68.99 gets you a hub and four detectors. Setting it up is super easy. You create an account and install their app. Next you connect the hub to your network. Once that’s done, it’s just a matter of scanning a bar code on each sensor, turning it on, and adding it to your dashboard. 

You can name the sensors and put them in rooms – and the dashboard has an indicator on the status of each detector. When a leak happens the system notifies you (you can set up email, app notices and text messages). Some of our leaks at Kahala have gone unnoticed for weeks because leak detector alarms are not that loud. No waiting for someone to possibly hear an audible alarm for a sensor stuck in a closed cabinet. The batteries last for five years and the unit will tell you when the battery is getting low. 

Place them where you would normally place sensors:

  • Under the kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • By your water heater
  • Under your dishwasher
  • Next to your refrigerator
  • Next to the toilet
  • Next to your washing machine

Some owners have even installed automatic shut-off valves. Here’s one from MyGuard for your washing machine hot and cold that comes highly rated. It’s $149.00. They also sell one for the water heater but you’d need a professional to install it. Do your research, but even just installing leak detectors connected to WIFI will at least get an immediate notice. 

The bottom line – there are things we can do to find leaks very quickly. A call to Poipu Kai Patrol Services (808) 645-1700 and leaks and overflows can be stopped early.



The island is supposed to open to tourism tomorrow. I will let you know if it is true. I am very skeptical. The Po’ipu malls are mostly closed and the beaches are empty.

Here is the latest update on construction: 

All the beams and posts on the lower balconies have been fixed. All the ceilings of the balconies will remain open till the project is finished. There are a few rotten beams on the upper balconies that have not been tackled yet.

We are ripping up the rotten floors and re sealing and re tiling on building 7 B. Next will be building 7 A, then building 5. It takes two to three weeks per balcony.

When they work on your balcony floor the workers will be walking through your unit. Until the railings get here, there will be two by four wood railings put in for safety reasons.

There are three remodels being done in building 2. There is a remodel being done in building 5 and another one in building 4.

The Kahala pool remains closed until the county stops their expensive (and stupid) cleaning rule.



Lanai replacement

Thank you for those of you who voted – more than 50% of Kahala owners voted to support obtaining a loan to fix balcony and railing issues that have plagued us.

The good news is that the board has re-worked our reserves, putting some items off, so that yearly dues won’t go up as much as first thought.

The bank is already preparing the line of credit loan, which we will use over the next year to address the water intrusion problem permanently. The professionals working on the project have done an outstanding job of prototyping a solution and now are poised to start work in earnest.

You’re probably wondering how this will impact you. We will be working with the contractor to set a schedule for the work. We’ll let you know when we are going to work on which buildings. This gives you time to communicate with your guests and either offer a cancelation or discount. We apologize in advance for the intrusion this project will make. We’re owners like you – so we want to minimize the disruptions.

I’ve included here a photo album showing the new lanais and railings going in. The good news is that the new tile and railings look fabulous!

The Kahala Board


Trans Pacific flights are supposed to open October 15.

We are in the midst of a major construction project.

Some of you are thinking of long term rentals for your unit. If so, remember that there is only one parking spot per unit. You can rent a reserved spot for a second vehicle, but the visitor parking spots are for visitors: house keepers, maintenance, construction workers and short visit daytime guests.

To rent a reserved spot contact our manager Scott Robey at manager@poipukai.org

First the good news, the new property managers at Po’ipu Kai represent a 500% improvement and have taken a huge stress off our Board. I have transferred all the Board projects to our new management except for the balcony/lanai project. I just thought it would be too much to dump on them just starting out. For questions about the lanai revitalization project, call me 808 634 8535.

The new mailboxes are almost done, the entry ways painted, the landscapers are working, we are saving big money on our water bills, trees have been trimmed, the Po’ipu Kai pool/jacuzzi is up and running, the tennis courts are buzzing with players and a few restaurants have opened, including Kalapaki Joe’s. The rotten beam replacement is almost done (up to building eight,) but we haven’t tackled the third floor balconies yet. We have put in new backflow valves (at great expense) so that the County will give us building permits.

The bad news is that the rotten beams and posts and the reconstruction of our lanai/balconies are going to be hugely expensive. We paid for the rotten beams and posts out of the reserves. The new decks: waterproofing, re-flashings, soffit replacement, tile grouting and sealing and the new railings and new gutters are going to cost us about two million dollars!

It turns out, we aren’t the only ones stuck with this type of damage. Many other associations have had the same issues with their lanai/balconies.

So here is the choice: you will soon get a letter for an opportunity to vote for either 1 or 2.

1. A 25 thousand dollar special assessment OR

2. Approve the Board to go out and get a loan and pay it off with about a 8% a month added on our monthly dues.

Our Board urges a YES vote on the loan.

Please don’t kill the messenger, after all, this place is forty years old.

Gordon LaBedz

We have to get building permits for each balcony railing replacement because the railings are considered “new construction” because they are different from the old ones. The tile and water proof membrane replacements don’t need permits, nor do the structural beam and post repairs because they are not different from the old ones.

The water department is holding all permits hostage until we get a back flow prevention valve on every building. We have good ones on buildings two and eight. We are getting back flow valves on building four and five this week.
If you plan to remodel your unit with something that needs a building permit and you are in buildings 1,3, 6, 7 or 9, you will have to wait till we install the new back flow valves. Please give me a call if you fall into this category and I can give you a heads up.
Gordon LeBedz

No worries. Hurricane Douglas passed north of the island. All we got was a nice summer rain, no wind. 

Still no CoVid here.
Since the COVID clampdown, we have had four units flooded. Building 9 and building 2: Clogged sewer pipe from overuse of disposal and a broken ice maker line. EDITORIAL: When I was a kid, we didn’t have ice makers or sink disposals and we did fine. Blame the American consumer culture…

The beams and post replacement project is up to building six, one thru five are done. The third floor balconies will create a building challenge. The contractors are not sure how to do it yet. The beams are extremely heavy.
We still have 64 leaky balcony/lanai floors. The floors on the prototypes on building five are almost done (need grout.) Then comes the railing and the gutters for the three prototypes balconies.
When we find out how much it will cost per balcony, we will figure out what we need. 
It is a blessing that the resort is completely empty.
Gordon LaBedz, Kahala Board President


Kahala was built in the late 1970s and the Board has been concerned about lanai integrity for
several years.

As you know, the Board initially thought the installation of new railings and gutters would be all
we would need to do initially to improve the integrity of the lanais. And we began efforts in
2019 to address the issue.

The Board engaged the services of an Architect, Andrew Lynch, to assess how new railings and
new gutters could be installed to mitigate water damage. He engaged a structural engineer,
gutter expert and a railing contractor to agree on an integrated design. Earlier this year we
asked owners to vote on the railing design they preferred.

But in the middle of this effort, we discovered in April 2020 that the wooden support structures
for lanais on the second floor of several units in Building 5 were completely rotten and had to
be replaced immediately. We obviously determined that attaching new railings and gutters to
rotting wood would not be safe.

We hired a general contractor to immediately repair the structural beams in building 5. As the
general contractor tore out the rotten wood support structures in building 5 he determined
that the dry rot had occurred over a long period of time and was caused by numerous factors
that allowed water to leak into the structural supports:
 The deterioration of flashing used on lanais,
 The end of the life span of the tile and membranes on the lanais,
 The removal of gutters from the lanais,
 The failure of flashing on horizontal support beam.

As a result of these findings, the Board asked the general contractor to examine the integrity of
ALL support structures for all 62 lanais.

He determined that 27 lanais have serious dry rot of their wooden structural support
beams—this is about 47% of all our lanais. The Board has engaged him to immediately replace
and repair all the supports for these 27 lanais and he has begun the work.

But discussions with our general contractor, architect, railing and gutter contractors, and our
Property Manager, led the Board to conclude that the root cause of the water leakage would
continue if we did not address all the causes at one time and eliminate the problem.

Additionally, we all assumed that dry rot will happen to all the other lanais that are not yet
exhibiting structural support problems because they all were similarly constructed. In short, it is

just a matter of time before we would have more problems that would erode the integrity of
more lanais.

To support this assumption, we note that about 8 years ago the support beams for lanais in
building one were all replaced because of dry rot caused by water leakage. Only the beams
were replaced. No other actions, such as tile replacement, membrane replacement, flashing
replacement, or new gutters, were taken. Today ALL the beams replaced about 8 years ago
have significant dry rot and must be replaced again. The ceiling structures of the lanais (looking
up from the ground floor) were removed by our contractor and showed that drywall sheets had
been installed inside, probably as soundproofing. But the drywall sheets were soaked with
water and had no way of drying, contributing to the wood dry rot.

The Board therefore is taking the following action:
1. We are repairing the structural supports for all 27 lanais this year. This work will be paid from
reserve funds already designed for lanai railing replacements.

2. We are developing a prototype overall solution that includes installation of a new
membrane, new tile, new flashing, new railing, and new gutters on two lanais in building 5–523
and 533—as well as replacing the ceiling structures.

Once this work is done and costs are
determined, the Board will use this data to estimate the overall cost to repair all Kahala lanais
and work with Hawaiiana to negotiate a long-term loan from a Hawaiian financial institution to
finance the project. The owners will have to vote to approve using a long-term loan for this
effort. If the owners do not approve using a long-term loan to finance this effort we would have
to levy a special assessment on all owners. The Board does not want to make a special
assessment. But even with a long-term loan, AOAO dues will have to be raised to cover the
amortized cost of repaying the loan. We will have more details on financing this fall.

3. Our goal is to have the prototypes completed before the owners meet this fall to review the
needed budget and approve our plan to secure a long-term loan to finance this effort. The
owners will be able to look at the prototypes to see what will be done for all lanais as well as be
better informed as to the overall project cost.

The Board has received a legal opinion from our General Counsel that the Association should
pay for all needed repairs to lanais, including tile and support structures, because all are
integral to the overall stability and integrity of Kahala buildings.

We look forward to discussing this with everyone at our October 2020 meeting. Let us know if
you have any questions or issues we can address before then.

Gordon LaBedz, President Kahala AOAO