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Thread: Spillover rocks leak?

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    Rsmith's Avatar
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    Spillover rocks leak?

    Had our PB out to go over some issues, one of which is a couple of leaks under the spillover rocks. He did some additional work in the spa under the rocks and declared it fixed. It still leaks out of the front. He came back and said that the leaks are coming through the rocks and can't be fixed. Has anyone else ever heard this or know this to be true?
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Does it leak with the spillover turned off? The spa shell should be water tight.
    36' x 18' 20k in ground, Finest Finish grey plaster, Pentair Tagelus 100D sand filter, Hayward Northstar 2hp pump, Jandy LRZ125EN heater, spill over spa, iaqualink controlled automation, Stenner chlorination, natural rock and flagstone coping, 1" glass mosaic waterline tile, SR Smith Vortex slide.

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    Rsmith's Avatar
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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    It does. Water level drops just below the rock level. End up even with the bottom of the tile line.
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
    Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater. Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Sta-Rite 450 sq ft. Cartridge Filter.
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Can you show a close up picture of the spillover with the water off showing where the leaks are? That picture is very nice looking but it doesn't help us to see what you're talking about.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Rsmith's Avatar
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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Attachment 54413There is a concrete seam between 2 of the rocks at the top. The water comes out at the bottom of that seam



    Attachment 54412
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
    Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater. Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Sta-Rite 450 sq ft. Cartridge Filter.
    Pentair 1.5 Hp Variable Speed Pump. TF100. Dolphin Z-5. First swim 5/26/16

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    The mortar joints are not properly sealed. Rocks do NOT leak, they are impermeable to moisture (unless your rocks are fake?). The mortar bed that the stones are sitting on is leaking.

    Freeze/thaw will be a potential issue if that mortar is not properly sealed.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Leaky rocks....creative contractor you have there

    Not all rock is impermeable such as porous stone but it doesn't appear that you have that. Even porous stone won't allow water to pass through it assuming it's a decent thickness. It can "absorb" some water but that's it.

    So to clarify, the stone and joints drop below the waterline correct? If so, I'm afraid that without a impermeable membrane behind it your looking at a constant battle of sealing and re-sealing. It should have been treated like a shower pan. Even with a tile and epoxy mortar floor there's still a rubber membrane (or poly tray) under it to direct the inevitable leaks to the drain.
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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Mortar is not waterproof or watertight - to the above posts..

    Substrate is always the leaker... What is the stone set on? These look like under water pix.. Have a Birdseye photo?

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Is it leaking from above or through the rocks? My spa will leak down for a while after the pool is shut off and it looks a lot like that. Once it falls below the rock line it stops.
    Approx 11K Gal. 10'X30' Semi free-form IG - 6 ' raised spa w/6 jets - 10' circle sun shelf with 1 bubbler - Waterfall - 3 / 1.5 HP pumps - Polaris 280 Cleaner - 3 Pentair Color LED Intellibrite Lights - Pentair 400K Master Temp - 2 Valve Actuators - 5 Fiberstar Mini Laminars - 1 Fiberstars 2004 Illuminator - 2 Skimmers - 6 Returns - Caribbean Blue Pebble Tech - 600+ sq ft kool decK - Auto Fill - 2 Boston Acoustics VOYA RK5 Outdoor Rock Speakers - 2 TIC Corporation TFS5CN 6.5-Inch 150-Watt Terra-Forms Rock Speakers - Apple Airport Express - 1 Awesome View.

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    IMG_2015.jpgIMG_2016.jpgA couple of pics from the front and back. The center of the tile line lines up with the middle of the rocks in the behind picture. When we turn off the spillover it leaks down until the water line is below the rocks which is also at the bottom of the bottom tile. After a few days if no one has run the spa the finish below the tile becomes exposed. Shouldn't that stay under water?
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
    Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater. Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Sta-Rite 450 sq ft. Cartridge Filter.
    Pentair 1.5 Hp Variable Speed Pump. TF100. Dolphin Z-5. First swim 5/26/16

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Is there no tiling on the spa side wall that's directly underneath the spillover ? Can you drain down an inch or two in the spa real quick? How thick is the mortar bed that the rocks are sitting on before you hit the plaster surface on the spa interior?
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Matt, there is no tile under the rock. Its just the quartz finish right up to the rock itself. I cant see the mortar bed on either side so I have no idea what's under there. My best guess is that it leaks under the concrete that sits between the rocks. He came back and did some work in the spa but didn't fix it. Not sure I understand your question about draining down the spa. When we turn the spillover off the water level will leak from underneath all night until the level is below the rock. I could turn a valve and lower it myself if that's what you are asking.
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
    Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater. Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Sta-Rite 450 sq ft. Cartridge Filter.
    Pentair 1.5 Hp Variable Speed Pump. TF100. Dolphin Z-5. First swim 5/26/16

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsmith View Post
    Matt, there is no tile under the rock. Its just the quartz finish right up to the rock itself. I cant see the mortar bed on either side so I have no idea what's under there. My best guess is that it leaks under the concrete that sits between the rocks. He came back and did some work in the spa but didn't fix it. Not sure I understand your question about draining down the spa. When we turn the spillover off the water level will leak from underneath all night until the level is below the rock. I could turn a valve and lower it myself if that's what you are asking.
    No, I was asking you to drain it and take a picture so we could see what it looks like just beneath the spillway rocks. On the left side where the big rock is (post #10 picture #2), it just looks like mortar. Are you saying that your plaster finish goes all the way up to that rock?

    Either way, the problem is clear water penetrating around the spillway stones through the mortar that is there. You've already demonstrated that because you say the water level drops to just below the stones and then stops. Well, it's likely stopping right at the level of the bond beam. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's any easy fix here. The mortar that those stones are set in is not going to be water tight. Typically you have to coat any water bearing surface with a water tight sealant BEFORE you mortar stones into place. I know in my waterfall that has a few small basins in it, the subcontractor that built it coated the inside of those basins with what looked like a thick type of sealant and then mortared stones into place. Otherwise, the water would simply weep through the mortar.

    My biggest concern for you is freeze/thaw damage. If water is weeping through the mortar, then it can easily stay "wet" around and behind the stone work. When water freezes, the expansion pressure is huge and I could easily see those stones loosening up.

    Not sure how to approach this with your PB...hopefully others will have better ideas.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    So that section of the spa wall is built entirely out of rocks?

    I agree with the above that the leakage absolutely is coming from the joints. Knock yourself out with a high quality sealer but that may not even entirely fix the issue.

    It would be a good deal of work but an epoxy grout/mortar may be a solution.
    -Brian-
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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    I was thinking the same thing. We haven't paid our final installment yet as we are still waiting on a few things and at this point I don't think he has any interest in finishing the job for the 6K we still owe. This is our first winter with the pool. Would I just lower the water level halfway down or so before closing to reduce the risk of freezing or is rain/snow going to be an issue? I could cover the rocks with a tarp when I close I guess.
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
    Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater. Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Sta-Rite 450 sq ft. Cartridge Filter.
    Pentair 1.5 Hp Variable Speed Pump. TF100. Dolphin Z-5. First swim 5/26/16

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Thanks Brian for looking in. It is a bond beam wall with 3 flat stones laying on top. The leaks are at the joints for sure. I should lower the water and seal under the rocks on both sides? Can you give me a name of a sealer product that I would want to get?
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
    Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater. Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Sta-Rite 450 sq ft. Cartridge Filter.
    Pentair 1.5 Hp Variable Speed Pump. TF100. Dolphin Z-5. First swim 5/26/16

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    I don't understand. Is the wall of the spa just built out of rocks? I would expect the shell of the spa to structurally be gunite with the rocks just applied for looks. But if it were, water would have to leak through the plaster, then through the shell of the spa to get behind the rocks. That or leak in between at the top, but then that would stop shortly after turning off the spillover.

    I think you are saying that it is leaking in at the top and getting behind the stonework. If so, the pool builder should definitely remove those top stones and rebuild that area watertight.
    chiefwej
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    Rsmith's Avatar
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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    The wall is a raised bond beam with the rocks applied to the front. I didn't see them lay the flat rocks on top but I assume they laid mortar on top of the wall and then laid the rocks on top of that and troughed more mortar between them. I removed the earlier pics to get these last pics up but the water level drops to a point just below the top rocks to the point that my plaster starts to show.( you can see the water level in regards to tile line in pics) If the water was at the joint between the 2 rows of tile it would also be about halfway up the flat rocks as you can see in the second pic. I would prefer it not leak and lower my water level that far.
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
    Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater. Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Sta-Rite 450 sq ft. Cartridge Filter.
    Pentair 1.5 Hp Variable Speed Pump. TF100. Dolphin Z-5. First swim 5/26/16

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    If that's the case then the gunite wall should have been waterproofed prior to installing the rock.
    -Brian-
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    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Spillover rocks leak?

    Brian, I don't think the water is coming through the wall. Its coming out between the top of the wall and the bottom of the flat rocks at the seam between them. My guess is the perfect fix would be to remove the 3 flat rocks on top, remove all the epoxy and mortar that's is on top off the wall and then start over. I am sure this PB is not going to do that. Can I seal the joint under the rocks on both the pool side and spa side and if so with what?
    Central Md. 37 X 21 24K IG Custom Gunite with Anvil Quartz finish. Raised Spa.
    Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater. Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Sta-Rite 450 sq ft. Cartridge Filter.
    Pentair 1.5 Hp Variable Speed Pump. TF100. Dolphin Z-5. First swim 5/26/16

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