Our pool recently developed a leak, which appears to be related to a crack in the gunite. I have stopped adding water for the last couple of months, and turned off the pump. The water falls to a level which is above the return lines, and light and stays pretty steady. There is a crack visible in the plaster that stops at around this level, so it seems pretty likely to be a gunite crack.
Since purchasing the house with this pool, I knew in the shorter term we would need to replaster the pool. I had it in my mind at the same time we would replumb with PVC and convert to salt at the same time. I am guessing the copper plumbing is original from circa 1960, so probably due to fail soon anyway.
I have had two different contractors provide estimates, and am a little confused by some of the conflicting advice and would really appreciate some advice from this forum.
- Main drain. One contractor told me it is not possible to replumb the main drain and it should just be capped and abandoned. Other contractor says the main drain can be replumbed with PVC for additional cost but isn't really necessary. The extra cost to replumb the main drain in the scheme of the whole project isn't that great, and if there is even some benefit to doing it, I would be inclined to do it. What is the consensus on the need for a main drain?
- Repairing gunite crack. One contractor proposes to repair with inject epoxy, other proposes staples. My gut tells me that staples is definitely the right answer. Are there any circumstances where epoxy would be sufficient or better?
- Coping - the pool currently has safety grip bull nose coping. Both contractors pointed out that this is very thin coping which limits the new coping can be installed. However one contractor states that it is possible to cut down the gunite to allow installation of thicker coping, or poured concrete. Other contract states that top of gunite should not be cut down as it will affect the integrity of the shell?
- Pebble - We are considering installing a pebble mix. One contractor can use glass beads and abalone shell in the mix, other contractor states that the glass beads and abalone shell will begin to fall out after a couple of years and should definitely be avoided. This is not a big deal for us, happy to forgo the glass beads and shells, but just curious about conflicting advice.
Thanks in advance for any advice on the above, and if people are interested I can post photos as the rebuild progresses.