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Thread: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

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    matj6876's Avatar
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    10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    Hi TFP team.

    We moved into our current place about 18 months ago and inherited a 27k gal in-ground pool. We upgraded the filter and converted it to salt water. Both may have been a mistake, at least in the short term.
    The pool is coming up on 10 years old next summer and, as a pool rookie I think I see the following issues;
    • The newer, heavier filter has cracked the equipment concrete slab (not pictured)
    • The salt water appears to be significantly accelerating the wear and tear on the flag stone coping around the pool. They are coming loose.
    • Whatever the sealant stuff that is running between the pool and the deck is coming out
    • I think I have a leak in the lines from the water feature to the pump.
    • Light's not working properly


    Bottom line I need some work done and before I reached out to builders for quotes I thought I would post here and see if folks had any advice?
    Any - "If you are doing this then you may as well do that at the same time" type things?
    Any other pointers when doing renovations/repairs that a newbie ought to look out for?
    What coping is best installed on a Salt water pool?

    pool.jpg

    Thanks in Advance
    Cheers MattJ
    My Pool: 27K gal IG plaster, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    Love, love, love your yard! NICE!

    Lets take these one at a time.

    -equipment pad cracking-IF the pad was think enough it should not have cracked. The bigger the better for filters. I would look at shoring up the pad to handle the bigger filter.

    -coping coming loose-Picture please. Do you mean the the whole piece of coping is coming up or it is flaking? Again pics.

    -sealant stuff-pics please

    -why do you think you have a lead in the pipes from/to the pump?

    -light-any idea what kind of light it is? How old it is? Did it work when you moved in?

    Lets see what we can do to answer your questions.

    Looking forward to more pics......you can use photo bucket to add more pics.

    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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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    What does your plaster look and feel like? Depending on how well the previous owner took care of the pool, it may be time to re-plaster, which most often includes the replacement of the waterline tile and coping. When this is done, it is the perfect time to repair, replace, or upgrade the light(s).

    Many Pool "builders" don't actually build pools, they just hire subs that build different parts of the pools. Instead of contacting a pool builder for quotes, I recommend you contact a company that specializes in plaster, tile, and coping. There are several in the DFW area.

    Does your pool have an overflow outlet? It may just be the picture, but your pool appears to be awfully full to me. With all the rain we have had in the DFW area this year, it would be pretty easy for the excess water to get under and behind the coping which can eventually cause them to come loose.

    If your equipment pad is like the premade one I had at a rent house, it looked to be 3 inches thick, but was actually hollow underneath. After several years of being in a wet area, it just turned to mush from the bottom side up. When I tried to shore it up, it just came apart. Much better to have a real one poured in place.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    matj6876's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    Kim, Jim, All -

    The yard (with pool) was one of the reasons we bought the house. Making sure I look after the pool is important to me - we love it and it gets well used. So thanks for the kind comments and thanks too for the quick response, it's exactly what I was looking for. I've been tapping away at this between the festivities and here's the info in response to your questions:

    Pad - Here's a pic. The cracking was not there with the older, much smaller, filter. Adding this new one has definitely cracked it. I fear that, like Jim says, it's just too bad a slab and if I am getting work done it may just be time to get a more substantial slab poured?
    Pool2.jpg

    Coping - It is both coming loose and sort of "flaking". In the picture below, the yellow oval shows the stone coming loose from both back and underneath. In the orange box you can see the bottom of the pool; the fine "silt/sand"(?) appears (to me) to be coming from the stone and is a constant in the pool. We regularly have to sweep it away. When I rub the stone, more of this sandy substance comes away from the stone. This was what I had been led to believe was the effect of the salt water on the "soft" flagstone.

    Overflow & Auto-fill - Seeing as Jim brought it up. The pool has no overflow and no auto-fill. With the amount of rain we have had it has often overflowed and I don't doubt this has exacerbated the coping issues. Are these possible to add?

    Pool3.JPG

    Sealant stuff - see the red box on the above pic. The sealant is pulling away (shrinking?) in all places, not just where the coping is loose. This is just one example area but it is like that at many points between pool and deck.

    Feature Leak - I think I have a leak in the water lines to the feature as when I run the feature, the grass that sits behind it gets very wet in places and I feel like I have to add more water to the pool than usual. That said, I have to acknowledge that this is more of a gut feel. I have no empirical evidence and I understand that you see patterns where you want to see them! I get that many things affect how much water you need to add and the grass could be a sprinkler, drainage or other unrelated issue.

    Light - Looking at the info I have, it may not be broken. Maybe just old with mismatched expectations on my part. The light is an old Hayward Color Logic pool light. Like this, but older: https://www.poolsupplyunlimited.com/hayward-lpcus11030-pool-light/140870p1 . I thought it was broken because of the limited number of colors it put out. In looking at the original documentation (that was passed down to me) it looks like it is working as advertised. Let's just say at this point the light is not a big issue. If the work I get done calls for an opportunity to update it... I may do so.

    Plaster - This one really made me think. We are the 3rd owner of the house. The original owner built the pool, and kept it for four years, the middle owner for 5 years and then us for 18 months. I have every reason to believe the pool really has been looked after. I have all the original plans and brochures from the build back in 2006 and other that what I would consider wear and tear the pool really is in good condition. I say all that, as I really don't think the plaster is that bad... but I don't know if it's ever been replaced and I don't really know what bad plaster is like! The only other pool I owned was one we put in and had for 4 years before we moved, no plaster issues. The plaster feels fine - how would I tell if I have issues?

    Thanks again folks - really appreciate the advice.

    Cheers & Merry Christmas - MattJ
    My Pool: 27K gal IG plaster, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    Hi,
    Welcome to TFP!
    although concerning, i dont think any of your issues are large ones. Here is my take.

    Pad I think whoever build the equipment pad skimped on it in either thickness, lack of steel reinforcement or both. Even though its a pain, its easy enough to build a new equipment pad.

    Coping Looks like the mortar in the coping is just getting old and coming loose. Hard to say why, but it can be chipped out and the stones re-set in mortar and grouted. Again, its a pain, but very do-able.

    Caulking It could be due to a bit of shrinkage, but most likely due also to ground movement due to the type of soil we have in this and your part of Texas. This is fairly common in lots of areas of the country. You can get self leveling caulk at home depot (sitka flex) and fix it yourself, or you could hire it out. You would want to cut out off of the existing caulk first though and put a backer rod down before applying new caulk.

    Leak this would need more investigation. You could dig a hole around where you suspect the leak is and turn on the water feature. If you have a leak, then water should pool in the bottom of the hole and you should be able to track that down. Hopefully there isnt a leak anywhere you can't get to.

    Nothing to say about the light.

    Plaster Bad plaster will become delaminated from the gunite and come off in chunks. I doubt thats the case or you would mention it. If the dust/ dirt is coming from the flagstone and loose mortar, then after the mortar is fixed, you could use a sealer on the flagstone. The sealer would protect the stone from the saltwater and significantly inhibit what you're experiencing. You would need to re-seal every 2 or 3 years, but its a easy DIY.

    None of these should be difficult do fix excpet maybe for a leak. The most likely most costly one is repairing the mortar on the coping. Depending of course how many need to be fixed.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    Well Dave has covered it all!

    I will just say I am LOVING the pictures with such details to help us know what you are seeing. THAT helps SO much!

    Now I have to ask you.........how are you testing your pool? THAT will be your number one way to have a health, long lasting pool. Here at TFP we are all about doing our own testing....yeah the pool stores will test for free but we have found their testing to be wrong more than right

    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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    matj6876's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    Thanks again folks!

    Kim - in answer to your question I've been using the TF-100 for as long as I can remember. I am a 100% convertee to bleach, acid, salt, regular testing and not much else. All good on the numbers front!

    From the info above I've got some really good pointers to get me started. Awesome. Couple of last questions;

    Overflow & Auto-fill: possible to add or a real pain? (Jim, you should see the water level this morning, after last night's rain!!!)
    Any recommendations on a company that specializes in plaster, tile, and coping in the DFW area?
    My Pool: 27K gal IG plaster, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Re: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    Most coping eventually comes loose. Expansion and contraction from heating and cooling eventually breaks the mortar bond. Water can also weaken the mortar. Salt is probably not a significant contributor to the loss of bond.

    It needs to be pulled up, the mortar needs to be removed from the stone and bond beam, the stones need to be remortared down and then grouted.

    That type of stone is layered and does flake. The salt is probably not related (but it might be). Salt damage is usually more pitting/ dissolving type damage.

    The pad looks like a premade pad with a concrete mix. It's usually concrete mixed with Styrofoam to make it light. They're not the best option. They usually crack over time. A properly poured pad should last for a long time.

    Caulk eventually fails. It's job is to provide an expansion joint between the coping and deck. The constant movement of the deck eventually causes the caulk to fail. If the coping comes loose, or the deck settles, then the caulk fails even more.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: 10 Year old pool needs some work - looking for advice (pic)

    Mat,
    Overflows and autofills are built into the wall of a pool. It would be quite a project to add one.

    Your sig says you have a DE filter. If your filter has a "waste" setting on it, you can turn the filter to waste and pump water out of the pool.

    If you dont have a waste setting on your filter, you could install a 3 way valve between the pump and filter and divert water out of the pool that way.
    Of course both of these methods require some action by you, but I personally dont know any other way.

    As for autofill, I dont know of any work arounds for that.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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