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Thread: We've sprung a leak!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    17

    We've sprung a leak!

    We bought a house in November which has a 50 year-old pool in the back. (16 x 32 x 8 feet deep -- deep end). After working my rear end off every day through the winter and spring, we opened the pool and swam in it a couple times before it decided to spring a leak. It's a concrete pool with sidewalls covered with fiberglass "tile". (The actual walls may indeed also be gunite, and the fiberglass "tile" sheets might just be covering that. [?]) It is obvious that the joints between those panels have deteriorated. Strips of caulk could be seen "flapping" when the pool was full, and there is also obvious deterioration in the gunite where the floor meets the walls. The finish has become chalky and sandy, and there are pock marks in a few places.

    Our pool guy wasn't able to find a specific leak. (It's not in the plumbing, we're pretty sure. No bubbles coming from the jet.) We had been refilling with a water hose, just so we could keep the pump working. But we decided to go ahead and drain it to make the repairs to those joints and the floor. (It did NOT stop leaking when the level got below the skimmer; it continued to leak.)

    At this point, the pool is drained. I can see evidence of past repairs where the floor meets the walls, as well as the ones between the joints in the wall panels that I already mentioned. The pool guy suggests some patching before applying a new epoxy sealing coat. I am a DIY-er, so I would like to fix this myself -- or at least do as much of the work as I can. If I knew exactly what materials to use, I'm pretty sure I have the necessary skills. Also, the way I see it, NOW is the time to do anything else (fresh paint, etc.) while the pool is empty.

    I suppose my first actual question is ... does my pool guy's suggestion sound like a reasonable solution? Are there any other considerations?

    In case you haven't figured it out already, I have never owned a pool before.

    Thank you,
    Dan
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    23,040 gallons, IG, Concrete/Plaster
    Sand Filter
    Pool is 53 years old!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Denton, TX
    Posts
    5,061

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    Welcome to TFP! We have several experts in this area who will respond to your post soon.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,052

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    I went through this last year. We just moved into a new home (to us) and had the same problem. We know the house was built in 1954, and the pool was built sometime between 1954 and maybe around 1961.

    If you haven't already done so, get a leak professional. The regular pool guys don't test the plumbing to the extent a leak expert will, in my opinion. Ours cost us $350, but I've heard pricing can range from $350 to $500. They fully pressure tested all our plumbing, and then got in the pool with dye and found our leaks. We were leaking around 30,000 to 40,000 gallons a month! They did a temporary repair with an epoxy putty, because we want to resurface the pool after this swim season.

    The first thing I'd like to ask is could you please post some pictures? The reason I ask is it sounds like your tile area is in greater disrepair than ours is. We had leaks in our tile area, which they were able to repair, but I wonder given your description if it would make sense, or even be possible, to repair what you have.

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told by our leak expert that repairs made with epoxy are TEMPORARY, and not a permanent solution. Would a full replaster be in your budget? It's the right way to fix the issue for good.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    17

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    I realize now that I should have done things differently. I suppose it's too late (since the pool is empty) to detect the leaks the way they should have been detected in the first place. And I'm guessing the plumbing can't even be tested at this point, with no water.

    I will try to post some pictures tonight. Thanks for the reply.
    Dan
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    23,040 gallons, IG, Concrete/Plaster
    Sand Filter
    Pool is 53 years old!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,052

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    They can test the plumbing without water. They cap off sections and pump air into the lines.

    I should note part of what scared us is most our plumbing is copper, with PVC fitted to it where it's been upgraded.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    17

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    Sorry I'm a newbie here...trying to add some pictures. I had to reduce the size quite a bit, so I'm not sure if we'll be able to see anything. I had 5 pics, but 3 seems to be the limit.

    Thanks for any help.

    Dan
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dan
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    23,040 gallons, IG, Concrete/Plaster
    Sand Filter
    Pool is 53 years old!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    17

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    Here are the other pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dan
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    23,040 gallons, IG, Concrete/Plaster
    Sand Filter
    Pool is 53 years old!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    17

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    One more pic.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dan
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    23,040 gallons, IG, Concrete/Plaster
    Sand Filter
    Pool is 53 years old!

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    17

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    The first picture shows a close up of where a couple of the wall panels are joined. I was able to loosen one end of a very old caulk bead and pull it out in one piece. The discoloration on the right side seems to be algae that rubs right off. It seems to be under whatever material was used in the last patch.

    The second pic just shows how the wall is topped off.

    The third pic is a smaller version of the fourth one. Ignore it.

    The fourth pic shows the light fixture in the deep end, and you can see a problematic wall joint, as well as the problematic section where the wall meets the "bowl" or bottom of the pool.

    The fifth pic is a close up shot of a similar problem area.

    The last pic is the broad view. That's a day's worth of leaves in the pool bottom. Also, I should explain that the dark streaks that appear to go from the bottom of the wall to the floor are from my (stupidly) power washing the deck above. The dirty water went straight down.
    Dan
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    23,040 gallons, IG, Concrete/Plaster
    Sand Filter
    Pool is 53 years old!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    17

    Re: We've sprung a leak!

    Anybody there?
    Dan
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    23,040 gallons, IG, Concrete/Plaster
    Sand Filter
    Pool is 53 years old!

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