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Thread: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

  1. #1

    HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

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    I need some expert advice concerning the re-forming and re-surfacing of my pool bottom/hopper (according to the pool guys the shallow end just needs to be patched with pool-krete).


    Sequence of events: (or skip to ‘A few important details that should be noted’) for my actual questions

    2nd Week of October
    My vinyl liner ‘floated’ in the middle of a nor-easter ( liner estimated to be between 15-20 yrs old ) ruining the liner.
    Afterwards all the water drained from the pool.

    3rd Week of October
    After getting several estimates decided on a company to do the work and ordered a liner ( choice of company was based more on reputation and customer reviews than quoted price – though the final agreed upon price was better than most of the others – final price for patching the vermiculite (6 bags), new main drain, all new return plates/gaskets, new skimmer plate, custom liner and installation = $3,790 (+$250 if a well point is needed) – the next closest estimate from what I would consider to be an acceptable company was $ 4400 ).

    4th Week of November
    Liner arrived (took 6 weeks to manufacture and deliver due to my pool being an irregular ‘free form’ shape)
    ** This is also when the rains began.

    1st & 2nd Weeks of December
    Moderate to heavy rains every other day.

    Decided to order a pool cover as well – solid with mesh panel ( another $1900 (installed)… got a love that custom shaped pool!... they originally wanted $2300 for the cover and installation but I was able to negotiate the price down to $1900 account of getting the liner work done as well ).

    3rd Week of December
    Pool company closes on December 18th not to re-open until January 4th

    1st & 2nd Weeks of January
    Average temperature drops to about 27°F (which is unusually cold for an average temp in this area, and far to cold to be installing a vinyl liner)

    3rd Week of January (this week)
    Window of opportunity opens: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday – no rain, temperatures in the mid-to high 50’s.


    During the above time frame the condition of my pool deteriorated drastically. It’s gone from SOME vermiculite patching to having to re-shape & resurface the deep end/hopper as well as patch the shallow end and then install the liner. After re-evaluating the job we negotiated a maximum of $1,500 in additional cost: this will cover:

    - 3 well points they installed today to pump out the ground water

    - An additional 10-15 bags of vermiculite (for a total of 16-21 40 lb bags of premix vermiculite)

    - Filling in the now collapsed areas and re-forming/shaping the deep end

    - Additional labor




    And yes.. I did get the $1,500 additional cost agreement in writing ( I had figured a rough estimate of about $2,500-$3,000 in additional cost and the pool guy said that normally he would charge $3,500-$4,000 for the additional work now required, so it seems the $1,500 max for the additional work is a good deal.. almost too good.. but I figure since I’m already into em’ for $6,000 and they’re going to already be working on my pool anyways that maybe $1,500 for the additional work isn’t too good to be true).



    A few important details that should be noted:

    1) I live in a high water table area ( I live on a peninsula surrounded by tidal waters ).

    2) The collapsing is moderate-to-severe ( in my lay opinion at-least ): see pics below.

    3) Existing pool bottom is dirt with vermiculite over it.

    4) Pool Shape & Dimensions:



    Question 1 : Filling in the washed out / collapsed areas: What would be the best material to fill the collapsed areas in with… dirt, concrete, gravel ?(they were originally saying concrete/quick-krete, but are now hinting at using gravel… I’m not sure I’m keen on either given that the rest is just dirt, however, I think given the choice between the two I’d prefer concrete.. but I’m just not sure as I don’t know about these things)


    Question 2: Vermiculite layer thickness: From what research I’ve done on the web it seems that a 2” layer is recommended, but the pool guy pointed out that what is already there isn’t 2” (though most of what was there has been washed away by heavy rains) and that a thin layer (¾” or so) will be fine.. is this true ? (pool guy said that given the physical properties of vermiculite that a 2” layer wouldn’t be any more stable than a ¾” layer). EDIT: Just got off the phone with pool guy and now he's saying they are going to apply a 1 1/2" layer of vermiculite (which makes me feel a lot better about things) so I guess maybe I misunderstood what he was saying. ???


    Question 3: Plastic bearer ?: Apparently there were no well point installed when the pool was built, instead they used a plastic sheeting bearer to keep the ground water at bay… should I insist that this plastic bearer be replaced?

    Question 4: How concerned about the rust should I be ? (and what can be done about it?) : See pic # 6

    Question 5: Well points: Should I expect that for a $250 well point that it should be a permenant ficture that is run throught the wall with access above ground (just a capped pipe a few inches beneath the ground that can be easeily dug up if needed).


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    # 6
    20K gal, vinyl, 1 1/2 HP pump, 24" sand filter

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    Sorry to hear this happened.

    1) Fill: dirt or quickcrete. 3/8" stone 1st though.

    2) 1-1/2 to 2" is fine. Vermiculite is mixed with Portland. This makes a semi-porous layer.

    3) No plastic sheeting needed with well points. I'm sorry to see this wasn't done to begin with.

    4) The walls should be lightly sanded to remove loose rust. A small cove at the base of the panels is a good idea. Add wall foam, glued top and bottom, not just curtained at the top. Spray adhesive is fine. We just don't want the foam to float when the water table rises.

    5) Terminate it above ground or you will have trouble finding it again. the line has to go behind the wall or it will interfere with the liner

    Considering what happened, you are getting a very fair price! Please treat the workers well. They are about to bust their butts for you.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  3. #3
    Guest

    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    I'll second Scott's opinion. Sorry to see it happen, but it is fixable, and the pricing (for the amount of work required) seems reasonable.

  4. #4

    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Sorry to hear this happened.

    3) No plastic sheeting needed with well points. I'm sorry to see this wasn't done to begin with.

    5) Terminate it above ground or you will have trouble finding it again. the line has to go behind the wall or it will interfere with the liner

    Scott
    3) The well points aren't handling the water at this point (as indicated by the pics) so they are goind to pump the surface water out and then dig out the mush and put down some rock with the well points lined horizontally to create a 'blind drain'.. apparently the amount of clay in the soil is prohibiting the flow of water through the well points.

    5) When I talked to the guy on the phone I asked him if they planned to run the pipe from the well point(s) under the wall and and back up to the surface on the other side of the concrete deck in back of the pool so it could be accessed in the future and he flat-out said NO, WHERE NOT DOING THAT (he wasn't an *** about it or anything he just said that it would involve waaayyyy to much work (at the agreed upon price I suppose, cuz I'm sure if I offered more money to do so they would)

    So.... having said all that should the well points be a permanent fixture even if they have no access point to speak of... I mean would having a bit of vertical pipe with holes in it under the pool really serve any benifitial purpose ?


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    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Sorry to hear this happened.

    4) The walls should be lightly sanded to remove loose rust. A small cove at the base of the panels is a good idea. Add wall foam, glued top and bottom, not just curtained at the top. Spray adhesive is fine. We just don't want the foam to float when the water table rises.

    Scott
    A small cove at the base of the panels is a good idea ? <-- I have no idea what you mean by small cove and why it would be good idea?

    There was no plan for wall foam and the liner has already been made without consideration for foam.

    -----
    20K gal, vinyl, 1 1/2 HP pump, 24" sand filter

  5. #5
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    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    Hey dudes

    Scott and Bruce have given you good advice!

    R.e. the wall foam, it's usually 1/4" and doesn't require any adjustments to the liner.

    Your floor is trashed And I doubt that 6 mixes will be enough to repair it.

    The term 'well point' is being misunderstood! A true well point is like what Scott said, a permanent drain point under the deep end that can readily put into service when the water rises. What your pool dude is talking about is a hole in the bottom of your pool into which they will put a pump to keep the water down while they're working on the floor. Just before they drop the new liner, they'll pull the pump and use hydrolic cement to patch that area.

    i don't want to disagree with Scott, but I wouldn't install the cove, the liner wasn't cut for it!

    Please keep us posted on what's suggested and done, Scott, Bruce and I are all professionals in this area and can help you avoid costly mistakes
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  6. #6
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    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    WRT the cove, a one inch rounding at the bottom edge will not effect the liner's fit. OTH, rebuilding the hopper probably will. Hope they get the measurements right. Rebuilding a hopper to exact previous conditions

    A proper dry-well should be created. It might cost more, since it requires extra digging and removal of soil in the hopper, the addition of at least 6" of 3/8 stone and an additional 24" x 18" sump for the water below to drain into. The sump will have the suction end of the line. Run the line into a trench, going under the steel wall and out from under the deck. Cover the trench with packed dirt, cover the rock bed with landscape cloth and form the hopper.

    BTW, six weeks to make a liner is BS. Two weeks I can see, not six. I can get a liner in less than a week, including shipping if I needed it. Someone dropped the ball.

    The shallow end will need a skim coat to smooth it

    I agree that 6 bags is going to be likely to be light.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  7. #7
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    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    Digging under the patio and footer that is probably around the base of the walls would be very tough and cost way more that $250 unless your lucky. An alternative would be to install a separate main drain pot with a collection tube that extends into the sump Scott speaks of. The threads in the pot are not tapered and deep enough for you to connect a line and pump. This will enable them to evacuate the water prior to dropping the liner now and in the future.

  8. #8
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    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    If the line showing to the left of the dive stand is the well point's, I would just glue some flex above ground cut a 3' section of the hard pipe that is exposed in the hopper, pull the well point out and pull the flex through, bury it six inches into the wall and into the sump. Cover the sump with a perforated lid and a piece of landscape cloth, then cover with gravel, etc... as earlier stated. Permanent dry well.

    A hydrostatic valve will not prevent liner floats. If you are suggesting to put it in the drain's second port, it will open when the pump runs. This would also likely get dirt in it and jam open eventually.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  9. #9

    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    If the line showing to the left of the dive stand is the well point's, I would just glue some flex above ground cut a 3' section of the hard pipe that is exposed in the hopper

    Scott

    the exposed pipe in the hopper wall is the main-drain pipe.


    just out of curiosity... how involved / difficult would it be to trench a pipe in the hopper wall, under the steel wall up-and-out on the other side of the concrete ?

    and would it really be that benifitial to have a accessable well-point ?


    Quote Originally Posted by renovxpt
    .....An alternative would be to install a separate main drain pot with a collection tube that extends into the sump Scott speaks of. The threads in the pot are not tapered and deep enough for you to connect a line and pump. This will enable them to evacuate the water prior to dropping the liner now and in the future.
    They're coming back either today or tommorow to do the following...
    1 - Dig out the bottom of the hopper and create a 'sump'
    2 - Lay pipe(s) through the stone horizontally
    3 - Tie horizontal pipes into single vertical pipe
    4 - Hook pump to vertical pipe and pump away.

    As to what you are describing let me see if I understand...

    1 - The additional main drain pipe would look identical to the real main drain in the bottom of the pool (so once everthings
    done I would have what looks like 2 main drains in the bottom of my pool ?
    2 - If the 'fake' main drain leading into the 'sump' just leads to the sump, what would keep the pool water from just leaking
    out through the hole (fake drain pot) once you opened the drain to attach a pump hose ?
    20K gal, vinyl, 1 1/2 HP pump, 24" sand filter

  10. #10
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    Re: HELP! IG POOL COLLAPSE - Advice needed !

    There is probably a 2 ft wide concrete footer around the base of the walls which makes running a line pretty tough.

    In addition to 1-4, I am suggesting adding a main drain pot and hooking the sump line into the bottom port for future liner changes. You could fill the pot with sand or cut it into the new liner.

    Sorry but I didn't answer the 2 questions at the bottom.

    1. yes. It wouldn't hurt to go ahead and add a second "real" main drain while its easy. In that case you would have 3 pots.

    2. You would put in a plug. As Scott mentioned a hydrostatic valve would not work in a vinly pool. When you pulled the plug some water would go into the sump until it equalized or you got the pump fitting in place. That way you still have access to the sump.

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