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Thread: Liner vs Paint, who will win?

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    Liner vs Paint, who will win?

    Hello everyone!!!

    We just purchased a home from an estate with an IG pool that we know little about.

    What we know (hopefully)
    Built in the 1970's
    Keyhole design with 9 ft deep end.
    Hybrid fiberglass panel pool. Basically has fiberglass panels on the side and a concrete bottom.
    Pool held water. I believe the pool was left filled and unattended for at least 2 years. When we closed on the home it. There was a low grade cover on the pool and the water level was about 12 inches from the top.
    The pump and filter were removed. There are 2 lines going underground to the pool and 1 line going into the plumbing stack in the house basement.

    Day 1 of owning the house
    I rented a gas trash pump and drained the pool. The walls seem solid and the concrete is in great shape for its age. No large cracks.
    I pulled a rubber plug out of the discharge line fitting (located halfway up the wall on the shallow end) and a small amount of clean water came out of line. Hopefully this means the pool was winterized?

    Liner vs paint vs sweat equity

    I had 3 pool professionals come out to weigh in on what to do.

    The first was a company that only does liners and mechanical items, no painting. He seemed knowledgable and well spoken. He stated he had never seen a pool like mine before and would have to have his installer come out to confirm you can put a liner in this type of pool. If his installer said yes he could put a new liner in for $3600. He never called me back with a verdict.

    The second company that came out only does liners. He has 30 years in the business and also seemed very knowledgable. He stated he had heard of pools like ours but had never seen one. He states he takes over 60 measurements and has a factory in PA customer make a liner. His cost would be $4000 and he feels confident about doing the job.

    The third company to come out was a referral from a friend. He does all types of pool service, not so much liners. He states it would be $7000 to put a liner in because the discharge fitting that goes through the fiberglass panels bolts on from the inside and the proper way to put a liner in would be removing that fitting, then lining the pool, then installing a new fitting. This would require digging up the area behind the fitting and replacing the fitting and line from the backside of the pool. Hence the extra cost.
    He suggested painting the pool walls and floor. Caulking the walls and floor seems. Two coats with a rubberized paint, no primer $1600. Pressure testing the lines installing a new pump (single speed), a sand filter system, and he would include something to inject chemicals. Maybe baqua but don't quote me on that $1600. So his total cost to open the pool would be about $3200

    I am attaching a pic of the thru wall fitting that may not be able to be removed from the outside and also a pic of the pool. You can see there are rust spots behind the walls of the pool and the fiberglass showing visual cracks and popping.

    Can you put a liner in this pool?
    If so do I line this pool and not worry about painting every 5 years?
    Do I have the third company come out and paint, replace mechanicals open the pool for $3200
    Also I am mechanically inclined so replacing the pump and filter does not scare me; however I am a little short on time. We have 5 children.
    20160602_083612.jpgScreenshot_2016-06-05-08-25-35.jpgScreenshot_2016-06-05-08-31-43.jpg20160602_083907.jpg
    Thank you all in advance!!!!!
    Rare IG 9ft deep 16000 gallon Keyhole Hybrid Fiberglass panel pool. Pentair VS 1.5 HP Pump. Pentair Sand filter
    Built in 1970's major renovation done 2016

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Liner vs Paint, who will win?

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Does the cracking go all the way through the fiberglass or is it surface crazing? The fitting you have in the first photo has slots cut into the fitting. There is a tool you insert into the slots so you can unscrew the fitting. A paint stick or scraper could work as well. A rubber strap wrench can be used to unscrew the trim ring.

    I would avoid painting the pool. A liner, if needed will last much longer. Was the pool completely full when you opened it? If it currently holds water you could go ahead and fill it and maybe just replace the tile.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Liner vs Paint, who will win?

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Hi, welcome to TFP! Does the cracking go all the way through the fiberglass or is it surface crazing? The fitting you have in the first photo has slots cut into the fitting. There is a tool you insert into the slots so you can unscrew the fitting. A paint stick or scraper could work as well. A rubber strap wrench can be used to unscrew the trim ring.

    I would avoid painting the pool. A liner, if needed will last much longer. Was the pool completely full when you opened it? If it currently holds water you could go ahead and fill it and maybe just replace the tile.
    The pool was filled about 12 inches from the top of the pool. There is small hole near the top of the pool. I believe it was where an eye bolt went through the sidewall for a deep end warning rope.

    I believe the cracks are just surface crazing however, there are hundreds of them.Only one spot was down to the fiberglass. Attached is a pic of the worst panel, the hole from the bolt and non perfect corners where the coping was shifted by concrete. Another reason why I though about a liner. This way the liner would seal any imperfect corners.

    Attachment 49462
    coping.jpg
    Rare IG 9ft deep 16000 gallon Keyhole Hybrid Fiberglass panel pool. Pentair VS 1.5 HP Pump. Pentair Sand filter
    Built in 1970's major renovation done 2016

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Liner vs Paint, who will win?

    A friend of mine has a concrete pool, popular in Michigan with older homes. When he used rubberized paint, he'd get about 3 years out of it. This year he painted epoxy and is supposed to get 10...time will tell.

    I just wanted you to know that the rubberized paint will at least in theory not outlast the liner.

    That said, I'm not sure how to help you gauge which way to go
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Liner vs Paint, who will win?

    Well a lot has happened in couple weeks. New mechanical items,new lines, plus adding a third line. Removing the concrete deck (which could have been a huge mistake it almost collapsed the pool) and we are going to install new coping that will accept a liner. Anyways I will start a new thread with the major and I mean major rehab of the pool. I guess for now the liner will win and be installed in a couple of weeks .......if I don't get anymore surprises.
    Rare IG 9ft deep 16000 gallon Keyhole Hybrid Fiberglass panel pool. Pentair VS 1.5 HP Pump. Pentair Sand filter
    Built in 1970's major renovation done 2016

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Liner vs Paint, who will win?

    Can't wait to see the transformation! Sending you the Reno-mojo
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
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    Re: Liner vs Paint, who will win?

    I have almost the same situation, a hand-laid concrete basin with fiberglass side walls. Ours is 16' x 60' though with the corners having a 2 inch radius to them. I'm curious as to how your liner conversion turned out. I'm considering the same vs. painting but without replacing the deck/coping. My plan is to mechanically attach the bead receiver at the top of the wall just under the current cantilevered concrete deck. Any pictures or advice? I have a quote on the 20 mil liner and aluminum receiver at $2125. Much cheaper than repainting the epoxy portion.
    16'x60' pool with poured concrete base and fiberglass panel sides; 45,000 Gallons, Trichlor Puck Feeder, Sand Filter, 5 Ton HP, Well Water Fill

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