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Thread: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

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    Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Hey guys, first post here. We bought a house last fall that has a 15 year old in-ground fiberglass pool. It has a 3 foot hairline crack in the floor around the middle of the pool. Best I can tell it's losing approx 1" per 24 hours. What are my repair options? Thanks so much!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Have you tried running a bucket test or a dye test to make sure it is loss due to a leak and not evaporation? Your repair options will be determined by what caused the crack in the first place. If a void has formed under the pool that caused a crack then that will need to be addressed. You may want to contact the company that originally installed the pool and see if there is any warranty repair available. They can also send someone out to evaluate the crack and give you repair options.
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    There are several threads on here re fiberglass repair. You can also do a google search on fiberglass pool repair.

    But a three foot crack in a fiberglass pool that is losing water could be serious. I would strongly recommend getting a fiberglass pool installer, an old one, out there to look at it. As with any leak in a pool before repairing determine what caused the leak, repair that, then repair the leak. Additionally you need to look for damaged caused by the leak such as undermining of the pool. A fiberglass pool relies on the underlying dirt and the dirt on the sides of the pool for structural support.
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    there may be voids under the pool and that is a whole different thing.... fixing fiberglass in a pool is just like a boat


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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Thanks so much folks - I'm going to see if I can track down the original installer. How likely is it that a 15 year old pool is still under any kind or warranty? I'm not familiar with this industry at all.

    Another question, is it safe to allow the pool to drain down to the level of the crack so I or a repair person can inspect it? I know that you're not supposed to fully drain a fiberglass pool for various reasons. What about for repair? None of our pumps are currently running of course, we're not even close to "opening" the pool yet here in NC.

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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Most fiberglass pools have an pipe you can pump groundwater out so the pool does not pop. might look like a skimmer lid.
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    What level of water is the crack? I mean, is it in the shallow end or....?

    Do you have a dry well installed? When my fiberglass pool was installed they put a dry well in also in case I ever needed to monitor or drop a sump pump down it to drain water from below the pool. Its covered with the same type plastic cover as my skimmer.
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    The crack is on the slope as you come up into the shallow end -- does that make sense? I do not know about a dry well - am trying to reach the prior owners to find out some of this info.

    We have our own very deep, private well, so using water to refill the pool is not the issue .. but I'm sure it messes up the chemical balance when you're always putting fresh water in, right?

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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    I believe the warranty of a shell is dependent upon the manufacture. Some boast of lifetime of the product, while others may only go 10-20 years. I would imagine the repair process would require draining the water to the damaged site unless there's some new process used in the industry today. They've come a long way for sure.

    New water added .... sure, it would change some test levels, but that's easy to adjust. What you really need to know is if that deep private well has metals in the water. THAT's what you want to avoid at all costs if possible. Take a fresh well sample to the pool store before adding anything to it and have them check it for metals. Best of luck.
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Found out that there is NO existing warranty. And there is NO dry well. So what options do I have for draining it below the leak level ... is that safe? Sadly there are no known FIBERGLASS pool repair joints around here. I've talked to 2 different pool companies and neither of them will deal with fiberglass repair nor do they know/recommend anyone. Sheesh!

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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    well that sucks, but that is what I have seen lately becoming the trend with fiberglass pools, they start out with "lifetime warranty" and then it turns into, sorry, not covered.

    Knowing your on you own is almost better than "we will see" and they drag it out forever ..

    below is a google search of fiberglass repair near you, you do not need a "pool" person, you need a fiberglass person.. the JRS below looks like a perfect fit, and they do these repairs every day so they now what they are doing.. and they have a mobile van

    Google Maps

    Fiberglass Shower Kits | JRS RESURFACING
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    I agree with Casey. Think outside the box. Maybe even a boat repair shop. Safe to drain? ... Ugh, I suppose you could to speak to experts in your area to check the status of your water table. Maybe your county environmental office or water district. This time of year it might be high. All of that is beyond my scope.
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Awesome suggestions, thanks.

    And regarding the pool drain ... I meant safe as in "for the pool" itself .. wasnt thinking about the water table, etc. We live out in the country, 5 acres ... no one nearby.

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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Understood. I'm no engineer, but I believe the concern of water removal would be for the stability of the shell itself. When our FB pools are "set" and filled, they in-turn become "pressed" into the earth and expand a bit from the tremendous pressure. That pressure helps to keep that seal with the shell and ground. The concern with water removal is that that downward and sideward pressure is relieved, which may allow the shell to contract a bit, thereby breaking that pressure-tight seal against the ground. So the shell may tilt, shift, rise, etc. Would that damage the pool? Maybe, although your shell already appears to be damaged, so you may look at it as a last-ditched effort to save it. Also something to be aware of is your existing coping. If you have a cement patio, ledge, coping, etc around the pool, that reactive pressure could damage those areas as well - not to mention plumbing if the shifting was excessive.

    So it's really an unknown thing for us. You may be able to make a more educated guess based on local authorities and information gained from your county or pool experts. Not an ideal situation by any means, but based on local conditions and current water tables, you may get fortunate and save it. I certainly hope you do.

    Hey - Last ditch thought ....... just like with plaster pools that are drained, sometimes they drilled weeping holes to relieve pressure and allow moisture from a high water table to escape. If you have your pool emptied to fix a crack, you or your contractor "may" want to consider that same thing. Again, I'm speaking outside of my area of expertise, but it doesn't seem too unreasonable. They have to fix a long crack anyways, what's 2-4 weeping holes while they're at it to help keep the pool in-place? Well, the experts in your area can let you know if that's even a good possibility. Just had to toss it out there.
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    IF I were to drain mine, I'd only drain it *only* as much as needed to expose the crack. Hopefully there would be enough left in the deep end to keep it down.

    If I didn't have a dry well already, I'd find out how to dig one and drop a sump pump down there if needed to keep ground water from pooling under the pool shell.

    Perhaps having trucks lined up ahead of time to deliver water quickly back into the pool would make me feel safer than a slow hose....

    Just some random ideas. Let us know what you decide to do and how it goes. Pics!!
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    I've been told that there is the potential of fixing a crack like this without draining the pool - using a scuba suit and hydraulic cement. One of my best friends is a professional scuba diver, oddly enough.

    The rest of these options with draining the pool, sump pumps, etc etc are making me more inclined to just put water in it twice a week - it's really not that big of a deal, other than messing up the chemicals - and maybe that's not as big of a deal as I think. And no, we do NOT have metals in our well water - it's actually very clean.

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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Hope your friend can hook you up. I'm not familiar with the hydraulic cement, but who knows? Worth a shot I suppose. Good luck.
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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    We do not want to scare you, just inform you of things to look out for, being informed is much better than finding out afterwards

    I have heard hydraulic cement being used in concrete pools but not fiberglass so I just really went outside the box Did a search for underwater fiberglass repair and found all kinds of things, I have used none of these things but if it works that's all that matters... Google

    Request Rejected This website needs a lot of work but looks the most promising
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    Quote Originally Posted by shodges View Post
    I've been told that there is the potential of fixing a crack like this without draining the pool - using a scuba suit and hydraulic cement. One of my best friends is a professional scuba diver, oddly enough.

    The rest of these options with draining the pool, sump pumps, etc etc are making me more inclined to just put water in it twice a week - it's really not that big of a deal, other than messing up the chemicals - and maybe that's not as big of a deal as I think. And no, we do NOT have metals in our well water - it's actually very clean.
    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: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    Many thanks, Cowboy - I had just gone to do the same Google search and found some options but did not notice that "AquaBond" stuff - it has good reviews and I don't see the harm in trying. It's only $80. I think I'll do some more research, look at reviews and try one of these underwater repair options.

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    Re: Noobie - crack in fiberglass pool

    I'm going to rain on the parade a bit here. While repair of small leaks and cracks in fiberglass pools is one thing one problem is that one would like to know why there is a crack that is leaking in the first place. Is there movement when you step in the area? Is there movement in the underlying base?

    The danger is if you fix the crack without knowing the cause it may just reappear with a more degraded condition.

    Now it wouldn't hurt to try some of these methods on some fiberglass and see how it looks works. But I would try and figure out what is wrong before I start repairing. I realize that sometime you can't and have to trust faith but before I start messing around i like to know the lay of the mess first.
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