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Thread: Structural safety issue???

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    Structural safety issue???

    So this is what our waterfall / diving platform, which is being built over our grotto, is supposed to look like (first pic). Apparently a pipe for the light got cut so they had to dig under the decking to get the light wired. Problem is that this part of the deck is going to be supporting ~1/2 the weight of the waterfall. I am concerned that now that they have dug out from underneath it, it is not as structurally sound. Any experts out there with thoughts or opinions? If it is a safety issue, what should I have them do?

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    My Pool Build Thread: 21 x 40 Freeform Gunite Pool, 12" Tanning Ledge, 3.5 shallow graduating to 4.5, 8.5 deep end, 4' Waterfall which doubles as a diving ledge with 6' x 4' Grotto underneath, 670 sq. ft., 106 Linear ft., Rock Salted Concrete Deck, Pentair 520 Filter, Intelli flow 3 HP VS pump, (4) Color LED lights, Intelli-Chlor SWG, Hot Springs Vanguard Hot Tub with ACE and BT Sound System, ODK, TF100

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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    Ok That is interesting.

    Where do I start. So they screwed up the conduit for the pool light. That conduit with the cord coming out does not comply with code now. There should be a ground wire for the niche in there, That is not present. Second water should be coming out. Light conduits are open to pool so the light cord can be pulled through if you have to replace the cord. No putty !!!!!!!! You want that conduit line back to the junction box as clean as possible with the least number of large radius turns as possible because when you replace the light fixture in ten years you want pulling that cord to be easy peasy.

    As to the issue you raise. In California they would have to call an engineer to tell them what to do. I'm not an engineer. I would suspect that you would want them to backfill and compact to some standard as much as they can and then fill the remaining void with concrete or grout. Are there engineering drawings or specs for the grotto or the pool? They would talk about an accecptable footing.

    Your slab is already thick to act as a footing for the Grotto but they have cut out the support for the footing. They need to carefully replace that support with comparable support. Did you pull a permit for this pool and the grotto? Is inspection required? I would think about having an engineer look at it and tell you how to replace the support for the footing.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    I agree with gwegan.

    Get an engineer involved, and an electrician familiar with the NEC (National Electric Code) as it shows specific requirements for pool electrical.

    Your local building inspector will also be willing to help resolve this.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    there is suppose to be a bonding wire to everything in your pool, lights, ladder, concrete, rebar, pump, basically everything touching the pool or water.. at least you know now...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    I can see why there is not water pouring out of that conduit.
    There is a caulking gun on the deck.
    You do NOT want them caulking that conduit for the reasons mentioned above.

    The Bonding wire may be there, hidden by the deck. It does not have to come out where the conduit is. It may be running around the edge of the pool under the deck.
    Since they have dug out to the back of the light fixture, you should be able to see a thick copper wire attached to it's bonding lug.

    Why have they pulled the cable though the conduit before it is complete.
    If you are close enough to panel it can run directly there.
    If it is further away (sorry don't know the length threshold) then it has to come up above grade to a junction box.
    That conduit needs to be completed prior to running the wire otherwise there is a risk the PVC cement will get on the insulation and dissolve it.
    40k gal freeform, IG pebblesheen, 9'x'6' raised spa, 2-1/2 hp Whisperflo, 520 sq/ft cartridge, Legend w/ booster, Intellibrite 5g in pool @ spa, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator(retired),
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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    Got to love this group! So much knowledge and willing to share it to save heartache and $$ later!

    What a wonderful group of people!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    Here! Here!
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    Darn --- I missed the caulking gun!!!!!

    I would't worry about bonding -- from these photos I would not expect to see it.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    sounds like the bigger issue he is the electrical work, but as far as the concrete goes....well I am an engineer I wouldn't accept that, there is no way to get the soil compacted under that concrete. I don't care how thick it is, the rebar that goes into a concrete slab like that one there isn't going to give it the strength to span that beam. its going to crack/fail eventually. I would recommend they saw cut the deck at the top of the stairs (on the right) to the about where the box is (on the left). they can do a nice clean angled cut on the left and it will look nice. then backfill/compact the ground and repour that section of concrete. this will also allow them the proper room to address the lighting/electric issues correctly.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    I went back through your original build thread, but couldn't see where the pool was bonded or any pics of a ground wire anywhere. Maybe you just didn't get a pic of the bonding.
    102 Perimeter Freeform Pool, Rock Waterfall, Jandy Deck Jets, Depth 3'6" - 6', Stonescapes Aqua Blue Mini Pebble, Inpool Table, Rock Salt Decking, Jandy 2.0 Epump, Jandy 580 Cartridge Filter, Polaris 280 with booster pump, Jandy Power Center w/ PDA, Stenner Pump
    A country boy's pool build...Dean, Texas

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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    I am not an engineer either, but I think that job is totally subpar. The conduit needs to terminate in a junction box that is at least 8" above the water line, at least 4 inches above ground level and at least 4ft away from the pool edge. That can easily be accomplished by them gluing new conduits and running it back to a junction box.

    From NEC 680.24
    (a) Vertical Spacing. The junction box shall not be located less than 4 in. above the ground or pool, outdoor spa, or hot tub deck, or not less than 8 in. above the maximum water level.
    (b) Horizontal Spacing. The junction box shall be located not less than 4 ft from the inside wall of the pool, outdoor spa or hot tub, unless separated by a solid fence, wall, or other permanent barrier.


    As far as the concrete - I wouldn't trust that one bit. When they are done (and have your money), it may look fine. But I would not be surprise at all if in a year or two - you have a major problem with the dirt settling and crack forming. I agree with Dan that they should cut out the section of concrete and then repour it. However - trying to match your current concrete is going to be difficult. Maybe a better solution would be cut out that section of concrete and repour. However - don't even try to make it match. Make it different so that it looks like you intentionally wanted it to look different, and that it's not a patch job.

    (BTW - I am trying to deal with my PB on a concrete issue and I want them to cut out a small section, reset my grabbar which are not even, and then put a pebble finish so it looks like it was meant to look that way. There is no way they can match the concrete finish that is already there, and I don't want it to look like a patch job.)
    Pool Remodeled June 2015. 18K Gallon IG kidney shaped. Pebble Tec (Tahoe Blue) finish. Jandy ePump 2HP. Hayward SwimClear C2025 filter. Hayward SWG. Jandy iAqualink RS6 automation. 6 Deck Jets. Pool Remodel Link Future: Acid automation. Chlorine automation for winter. Solar panels.

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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    As an engineer I would concur with opinion above to remove the slab, fill, compact and repour after properly placing reinforcing steel.

    An alternative would be to remove any loose disturbed soil. Form the perimeter of the slab and fill with a non-shrink grout. This practice is best executed by a foundation repair contractor and is used often in areas with expansive soils. Do not let them fill with foam! The problem I see with this solution is the organic material about a foot below the slab which should have been removed. Also there are at least two PVC plumbing pipes in the excavation, one of which appears to be open and full of dirt. Do you know if this portion of the grade was filled?

    As I recall some LV LED Niches have a compression fitting on the cord which could be holding the water. The conduit should be continuous to the panel or turn up into a junction box that is 18" above grade.

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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    I am comfortable with the electrical as it is running back to a box at the far end of the patio. My primary concern is the issue with the decking and it being able to support all of that rock after the fix and I am NOT an engineer. The PB told me that they are going fill in the current "issue hole", dig new holes on each side of the "issue hole" and pour vertical concrete piers to support the deck above the "issue hole" sort of like a bridge is supported. An attorney friend told me: "I wouldn't suggest a fix. If your suggestion doesn't work all they have to say is we did what the homeowner wanted. Tell them your worried about the undercut and ask them if they are going to do anything to support. You have photos evidencing the problem if it fails.There are industry standards and under-cutting support falls outside industry standards. The PB will be held liable for any future issues if they do not fix it properly". Thoughts???
    My Pool Build Thread: 21 x 40 Freeform Gunite Pool, 12" Tanning Ledge, 3.5 shallow graduating to 4.5, 8.5 deep end, 4' Waterfall which doubles as a diving ledge with 6' x 4' Grotto underneath, 670 sq. ft., 106 Linear ft., Rock Salted Concrete Deck, Pentair 520 Filter, Intelli flow 3 HP VS pump, (4) Color LED lights, Intelli-Chlor SWG, Hot Springs Vanguard Hot Tub with ACE and BT Sound System, ODK, TF100

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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    PB has suggested underpinning the deck. This is a standard practice that is used to reinforce failing foundations and will work if they follow the proper procedure: 1)Remove all loose soils; 2)Remove any organic materials; 3)Compact concrete during pour with a concrete vibrator (not a 2x4 or hammer on the forms).

    What you should observe is the current excavation is cleaned out, formed and poured (proper vibration is critical or large air pockets will remain). Then they will excavate a 3' section starting at the expansion joint opposite the stairs, form and pour a pier. Move another 3' and repeat until it looks like a smile with every other tooth missing. Finally they remove the earth in the missing teeth, form and pour.

    If I was your PB I would cut your slab at the coping and the two expansion joints (temporarily supporting the stairs). excavate and pour in one shot. In the end it will be faster and cheaper than the approach above.

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    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    i don't see how much money they are really saving with that solution. the best solution is to saw cut and remove the concrete, recompact and repour. its the better, cleaner solution. put your foot down. they are your contractor, but you are the owner. they messed up, and you are not required to accept their solution. tell them you will not accept it and correct it properly
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
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    Re: Structural safety issue???

    Here is a link to how the current NEC requires the wiring/bonding for the in pool light to be connected.

    http://ecmweb.com/site-files/ecmweb....1ecmCBfig2.jpg
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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