Greetings from sun and fire scorched Northern California! We bought our house at the end of October 2013. One of the biggest selling points for me was the casket shaped 28k gallon pool. While waiting for the seller's lender to approve the sale (it was a short sale we signed our offer for in July) I basically started sneaking up to the property and filling the pool because it seemed to lose water at a pretty rapid rate. I told her the pool was obviously leaking somewhere, her never changing reply was "there is nothing wrong with the poo!!". She refused to disclose it leaked, much less how often she had to fill it. So we bought it knowing it had issues and basically have been filling it for the last 2.5 years until we had the money to fix it. It would drop anywhere between 4-6 inches a day so we had to let our lawn and other non-drought tolerant plants die so we could keep the pool filled.
This year we got the money we needed to totally overhaul the pool. We knew it was a fiberglass over vinyl liner pool. The original construction was mid 70s, had no lighting, and the cement deck contained asbestos as a way to keep it cool on the feet. It had a very small adjoining spa that had no seating in it and a balancing hole that allowed cold water to rush in from the pool if someone adult size got out of the spa and was maybe 3' deep. Our pool guy says he thinks it was really intended as a kiddy pool.
Since it could be leaking from multiple places we decided to tear up the old deck and replace all plumbing. When we did so it was discovered that what was under the fiberglass and liner were wood walls. We were all pretty amazed the wood was still in good shape after 40 years buried underground. Our pool guy, Don, said he thinks the fact that our ground/dirt is essentially as hard as sandstone is what kept the pool from completely falling apart. It took him 3 days with a jackhammer to dig the trenches for plumbing and conduit for the magic stream Laminars we bought to install. The only thing that could break up the huge chunks he dug up was running over it with the bobcat!
Don decided to shore up the walls with a concrete header nearly 3' deep and a bit over a foot wide. We agreed that was a good idea. He used a skimmer designed for a gunite pool because of the cement header, installed an auto fill and a vacuum line/port for our poolvergnugen pool cleaner.
There were some leaky pipes, the skimmer was leaking at the pipes and through the gaps in the wood that had been very poorly cut to accomodate it and the main drain was leaking. There were probably some worn through areas in the liner and fiberglass but it is being relgassed as I write this. Everyone was getting fiberglass butt from the spa as the resin had worn off so that won't be an issue any more! Gorgeous waterline tile is being installed in pool and spa. There wasn't any waterline tile previously.
We decided to make the old spa the foot well and build it up and out so now we'll have benches to sit on and 6 jets instead of the 2 we had.
Travertine coping has been installed on pool and spa and travertine stack stones applied to the outside walls of spa. There is a spill way/waterfall from the spa into the pool.
A color change LED light was installed at both ends of the pool and one in the spa. They're also Pentair so should be fun to use with the automation. Four magicstream Laminars were installed on the far side of the pool that will also work with the easytouch.
Since our pool no longer meets code for a diving board and it was in pretty bad shape we went with a dive rock. Couldn't find any similar to those we saw in pictures that were quite linear and board shaped so we found one we liked and thought would work. And it did, after having its own cement pad built for it as it weighs 1700 pounds. Don just laughed when he saw it "well that can't go on the deck!". It's sandstone so will be climbable with wet feet.
All new equipment is just waiting to be installed. Everything is pentair. Clean&Clear Quad DE 80 cartridge filter, Mastertemp 250k BTU natural gas heater, intelliflo vs 3 hp pump, easytouch 8 with IC40, plus we bought the large remote and the screen logic add on so we can use our phones to interface with the automation from basically anywhere.
Today was deck pour day. Went with "dune" color cement so it won't fry out feet, and a salt finish. A sealed steel handrail is going in alongside the stairs so I can get out of the pool in an upright position. Previous owner had all railings removed. Yay for no more crawling!
Seven solar panels are going in on our new patio structure in another week or two but everything else should be completed next week.
It has been a long, hot, but exciting 2 months and seeing the deck get poured today really brought home to me how close we are to having our dream pool!! Will definitely be posting before and after pics!