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Thread: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

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    poolnoob.ca's Avatar
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    Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    In the summer of 2013 we had a 12x23' fiberglass pool installed, and had a patio and pool shed installed that summer also. We had planned to install a waterfall wall along the back side by the back fence in the spring of 2014, but put it off until this year. In April 2015 i went out to open the pool after a long cold winter, and was startled to find the the coping along the back side was tilted back from the pool. After removing the coping stones i saw that the gravel and concrete collar had sunk and broken, and that the pool wall was significantly bowed in.

    I'm not sure how or why it happened. I called our contact at Leisure Pools to see how to proceed with repairing it, and he said don't worry it's easy to fix, don't lose any sleep over it. He said they would send someone to take a look (they are 4-5 hours away), but no one came. He said i must have lowered the water too low when i closed, but it was never lower than just under the jets. My guesses were maybe it was because it was around 0" F (-15 to -20"C) all winter and the ground heaved. Maybe that side wasnt prepped properly? So we started calling pool companies to get someone to repair it, no one could be bothered, except for one company. The woman came and quoted fixing it, and also installing the waterfall wall that we had planned. She said they could start the next week. The wall will be made of stone, about 18'x3' with three 3ft led lighted descent waterfalls. She thought the collar was not wide enough. She also said that fibreglass pools should be filled quickly from a water truck, but Leisure Pools filled it with our hose. Is that correct?

    Six weeks later they finally started (delays finishing other jobs, delayed by rain, etc). Wife was getting very annoyed by the delay. I'm glad we didnt get the wall installed last year in the area that collapsed or it would have been a complete disaster. For educational and cautionary purposes i thought i would document the repair and waterfall wall installation in a thread with pictures! I'm sure i will have a few questions also. Thanks for reading!



    A view of the bowed in side with coping stones removed and collapsed concrete collar.



    A view from the house side. The 3 white hoses are the roughed in plumbing for the waterfalls.



    Step one, remove the coping stones from around the pool.

    More to follow, got to go to work now.
    Please stay tuned and please leave any comments, questions etc.
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    :::eyes glued to the monitor waiting to see this thread develop::::
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Do you know what's going on on the neighbors side of that fence? that is not a lot of room between you and them, looks like 4 or 5 feet. I wonder if they have drainage to that area or a sprinkler or something that saturated the ground water along your line causing the expansion when it froze. Just throwing out ideas so if there is a cause there it doesn't affect your waterfall next winter.
    Mark

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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Looking forward to following this one!
    Good Luck.
    Ant
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Quote Originally Posted by mguzzy View Post
    Do you know what's going on on the neighbors side of that fence? that is not a lot of room between you and them, looks like 4 or 5 feet. I wonder if they have drainage to that area or a sprinkler or something that saturated the ground water along your line causing the expansion when it froze. Just throwing out ideas so if there is a cause there it doesn't affect your waterfall next winter.
    Mark
    Hi Mark, that is worthwhile to consider, but i don't think it was a factor. In the second and third pics above, the first 2 sections of fence from the left just have a big maple tree behind it that i hate for dropping leaves and keys - although I wonder if it has roots that are pushing through? I will get the crew to check when they dig out that side. The next section and a half is a shed that's been there for years. Aside from that their yard has been removed of grass and covered by patio with small gardens for at 5 years or more, i've never seen a sprinkler on their side.

    Will post more pics tonight!
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    This should be interesting to watch.

    Kim
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    The next step is removing the concrete collar all the way around the whole pool as it was not wide or strong enough as per our contractor. I considered just replacing the broken side at the back, but it will hopefully be better to replace the entire collar at once. A worker dug out some of the dirt along the back fence and removed the broken chunks of concrete, then sledgehammered along around the rest of the pool. Also the first row of flagstone around the pool has been pulled back so the new collar can be poured. I feel quite grumpy seeing my pool in such disarray. My wife says i'm always like that during renovations. I googled "renovation depression" and apparently it's common. My wife was amused that i did that!


    This is the caved in collar, easier to see now with some dirt removed.


    My poor pool with no coping or concrete collar, and the first row of flagstone pulled back. This pic is from three days ago on Monday.


    The back side with concrete collar removed.

    Tuesday they came and removed all the pieces of concrete, Wednesday nothing happened, today no-one has showed yet. We're moving along at glacier speed! Time to start cracking the whip. She says they'll be done by the end of next week, i'm not holding my breath. I would assume the next steps will be to remove and retamp the gravel on the backside, put in braces to make the wall straight, and make the concrete collar forms. Also trying to find out what model of LED waterfalls we are using so i can source the appropriate transformer.
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
    Filter: AstralPools ZX-310 SWCG: AstralPools VX7T
    Heater: Hayward H250FDN Test Kit: TF-100

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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    That is a lot of hot, sweaty work done! They are resting up for the next step!

    Kim
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Well, a disappointing morning. No new pics and no new progress. Our contractor said they were coming yesterday (Thursday) to assess and make a plan, no-one showed. This morning before 10 a worker showed up, the sub-contractor who was ready to install the concrete forms. Told him our story, he took a look and said "she didn't tell me the wall was bowed in 4 inches, that'll have to be dug up and braced, i'll need to bring a couple more guys, i was ready to put in the forms". Ummm, yeah! So great planning by our contractor when the wall's not even straight yet.

    At least this guy knows what he's doing. He seemed knowledgeable about installing fiberglass pools and repairing pools. He said they will be back Monday with help to dig out the gravel, brace the walls, and then refill the gravel. He stuck a stick in the green sump pipe or whatever its called and said the water is high, so they will continually pump it out as they dig.

    He stayed and chatted for a while, cleared up some questions. He got some details from us about the waterfall wall that he will install after the collar is repoured. He corrected some incorrect statements our contractor made, she said we would have to drain the pool, he said no, maybe a bit. She said it should have originally been filled with a water truck, he said no it's better to fill it partially a bit at a time as the gravel is concurrently being topped up around the outside. He said he has had to drain truck-filled pools because the walls bowed OUT from the weight of the water. He also told us about a lady who didnt want algae to grow in the pool over the winter so she drained it completely! Needless to say it popped out of the ground.

    Also since yesterday i was able to find out the LED waterfall model. CMP Brilliant Wonders 3ft x 3. Need to find the transformer now.

    brilliant-wonders-daylight-feature.jpg
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Heater: Hayward H250FDN Test Kit: TF-100

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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Quote Originally Posted by poolnoob.ca View Post
    . She said it should have originally been filled with a water truck, he said no it's better to fill it partially a bit at a time as the gravel is concurrently being topped up around the outside.
    Yes, this is how they filled my pool during installation. They only filled it up to the level of the rocks around the pool. As they worked on pipes and such they would finish, add more stone and have us keep filling up to those rock-supported points. I didn't understand it then but realize they were being very careful.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Careful is GOOD!

    I love that waterfall!

    Kim
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Hi Kim, thanks, i think i will look and sound great when it's all done. No chance it will be done by end of next week as my contractor said earlier this week. At the end of May she said she could start the next week, i dont think she had any intention to. I said to my wife today, i think she's happy to say she can do everything and soon to get your name on the contract and down payment cheque, then worry about the details later.
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    I HATE when they do that! then NO follow through!

    Kim
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Finally some decent progress today: two subcontractors showed up today and removed several wheelbarrows full of gravel from the bowed in side, the wall started straightening as the gravel was removed. It is now straight, and they have braced it to keep it from bowing in. They pumped out lots of water from the green pump pipe as they were digging.

    The head guy thinks that the water was too high during the winter, which made that side expand and heave and bulge in. He thinks the other side stayed straight as that is the side with the bench running from end to end. I will now monitor the depth of the sump water, as i should have been so far, especially at closing time.

    They did great work today as it was in the high 80's here, and working between the pool with the sun reflecting off, and the brown fence it was pretty hot on that side! They asked if they can bring shorts and go for a dip tomorrow, i said of course!

    The next step will be installing sonotubes on that side which will be the footings for the waterfall wall, and should also support that side also. Then we can get back to repouring the collar and reinstalling the coping stones.


    All the gravel they dug out.


    The pool with the braces across it, can see a couple sonotubes stuck in the side.


    Yay, the wall is straight again!
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    I wonder if you should keep that board and put it back in when you close? Just as another precaution?

    Nice of you to let them enjoy the pool while they work!

    Kim
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    you could do a 4x4 notched out the exact length and use it to brace during closing, it would also hold the cover up for added benefit
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Thanks for the great ideas guys, i never thought of that.
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    I was thinking they might have used two or three braces to spread out the pressure at the connections points. Probably fine this way but I tend to be very cautious. Glad to hear they seemed knowledgeable once they finally showed up.

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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    Wow great progress. Your comment about it being 80 and hot made me chuckle a bit. It is in the 100's all week here and the tile guys are supposed to come out today. I can't imagine having this line of work in summer anywhere. I might have to do the Suz thing and start filling up ice chests with Gatorade. I can't imagine working in this heat.
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    Re: Oh no, the wall is bowed in! Repair and waterfall install {w/PICS}

    The weight of the water was also pushing the side back out, and it's only 24 feet long so i think one brace was good enough. As far as using the brace when i close, when i close i am going to drain below the returns and blow out the lines, plug them good and then fill the pool back up, that way there will also be lots of water weight for support.
    32,000L Fibreglass Leisure Pools IG 12.5'x23'x5' Pump: AstralPools BX1 1.0HP
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