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Thread: Is it possible for gunite to leak? Fixed...grout issues!?

  1. #1
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    Is it possible for gunite to leak? Fixed...grout issues!?

    Backstory. We filled our spa before our pool. We left home for a few hours after it was full and when we returned this is what we saw...





    Our PB was out of town when we filled our pool so we waited until he returned, showed him the picture and questioned if we had a leak. He said it was not possible and that the gunite was still wet from being watered twice a day during curing and it was leeching through the PebbleSheen until the PebbleSheen cured.

    Fast forward to 2 months later. The flagstone around our spillover and down the side of the spa is constantly wet (when the overspill is off). The middle of the overspill is dry. You can watch the water drip off the bottom stone of the overflow yet I have no idea where the water is coming from. Is it possible for the water to be soaking up the grout and running down the side or is it possible we have a leak somehow? I'm not sure if I should worry or if this is normal with a flagstone spa. Thanks!



    Built in 2011, 23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 5 jets, 3 tier fountain and 5 tier cascading waterfall into pool ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 997 sq ft exposed aggregate decking Our pool build

  2. #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    Do you have any plumbing runs, jets, or lights near the area of the wet spots?
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    The light is in the middle of the waterfall, on the inside, of course. There is a jet just a little counter clockwise from the right waterfall edge also.
    23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 6 jets and 5 tier waterfall ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 947 sq ft exposed aggregate decking

  4. #4
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    There is plumbing all around the wet area however this was wet before we ever turned the pump on. It was just a few hours after we filled the spa with water. When I notice the flagstone wet now, it is when the pump is off. The light is on the opposite wall.

    The area that is always wet originally had a piece of flagstone that was too tall and they cut it off after they placed it on the spa. I wonder if the saw used to cut the flagstone could have cracked something under it?!?

    Built in 2011, 23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 5 jets, 3 tier fountain and 5 tier cascading waterfall into pool ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 997 sq ft exposed aggregate decking Our pool build

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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey's Mom
    He said it was not possible and that the gunite was still wet from being watered twice a day during curing and it was leeching through the PebbleSheen until the PebbleSheen cured.
    That is cr@p! Pardon my french.

    You probably wouldn't get that much leaching in only one spot from the gunite. That water is obviously coming from the spa. IF the gunite was leaching that bad, he shouldn't have pebble sheened it till that settled down. Leaching on that level makes ugly stains on the finish.

    Run the chlorine level way up in the spa then later, collect some of the water "dripping" and see what the Cl level of it is. If it is leaching, there wont be any Cl in it.

    What are the chances that the PB would've said: "yep, i think you're right, that looks like a leak" when you first told him about this?
    You need to get on him right away about this before too much time goes by.
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  6. #6
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    I am thinking that the opening for either/both the light and/or jet are not sealed correctly and it is allowing water to seep behind those openings. You can try dropping a little food coloring around those openings and see if it is drawn in between the fitting and the wall.
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    Our pool builder is going to have the PebbleSheen company out to check the spa for leaks. I'm not sure what they will do?! I don't want to hear nothing is wrong like I have twice now

    The area that is wet is the stone. Is it possible the water is absorbed in the grout and "climbs" the grout line down the side of the spa?

    Today the raining turned to a sprinkle and in a matter of 3 hours the spa was down 6+ inches. I will try the food coloring and see if I notice it going anywhere.
    Built in 2011, 23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 5 jets, 3 tier fountain and 5 tier cascading waterfall into pool ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 997 sq ft exposed aggregate decking Our pool build

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    Senior Member Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    Sounds like one of the fittings or the light is leaking at the plaster joint. Really should not be a huge deal to find and fix.

    The question is will they be stand up people and exert the effort to fix it?
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    I think at this point its more about getting the PB to address the leak than where its leaking from.
    Point being the home owner shouldn't have to be looking for this leak.
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    Precisely Pool Clown! Bad part is we let him know about the wet spots when they were filling the pool up... in September.
    23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 6 jets and 5 tier waterfall ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 947 sq ft exposed aggregate decking

  11. #11
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    On top of the "leak" we have had a few different occasions that we walk outside and the spa is half-empty, one occasion the jets were spraying hot water everywhere because we had turned the spa on. In October the PB sent his assistant out who ran the spa in spa mode for a few and said nothing was wrong and we wouldn't have an issue again. Fast forward to yesterday, the spa started emptying and by afternoon the water level was down to the jets. Pool mode kicked in and the spa refilled but we emailed the PB with pictures and said this obviously isn't fixed. Today when I got up the spa level was again down to the jets because it was in freeze mode last night and alternated between pool and spa mode every 15 minutes. My husband called the PB and he had his assistant come over. He took apart one of the valves and found a small (size of a pencil head or smaller) piece of white plastic and said that was causing the spa to empty because the valve couldn't seal properly. I can't imagine something that small causing an issue that big. He said it was fixed, the spa was full of water and it had cycled several times in freeze mode without draining. I left to run errands for a few hours, just got home and the spa level is under the jets. I called and spoke to the office assistant who said the gunite people came over while I was gone, fixed the leak and that the PB's assistant is coming back this afternoon to reset something. I am hoping they drained the spa to fix the leak but considering no one told me they were coming, I wasn't home and don't know what they did, if anything. I still don't know if the problem is fixed with the spa or if the leak is fixed. I HATE not knowing what is going on. I don't understand why it is so hard to keep someone informed. I wanted to be here so I could show the guy the pictures of the area that I was concerned about.

    Can something that small cause the spa to empty when in spa mode or am I likely to find the spa empty again?
    Built in 2011, 23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 5 jets, 3 tier fountain and 5 tier cascading waterfall into pool ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 997 sq ft exposed aggregate decking Our pool build

  12. #12
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    Are you pulling from the spa drain when you are in pool mode. I assume pool mode means you have a waterfall going from the spa to the pool. It would make sense if in fact you are draining from the spa drain as well as your pool drains because water doesn't have enough time to refill to the spa in that case. When I am in pool mode, I pull from both the skimmers and the pool drain and most of my returns go through the spa so the spa remains filled up since the water level in the spa is higher than the pool. It's a matter of keeping the valves in the correct positions if in fact this is your problem.

    OR as I read it again, it fills up in pool mode. When you are in spa mode are any of your returns going into the pool. That would also be a reason that your spa is emptying. I run into the same problem that my spa empty's when someone plays with the valves OR I am not paying attention. When in spa mode, I only have a spa drain and all the returns go into the spa. When in pool mode, my spa drain is turned off and I primarily use the returns in the spa and a little in the pool.
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    What XsAllOverIt said.

    I also have an Easytouch with automatic value actuators and a spill over spa. When I was setting the system up for the first time I mistakenly began draining my spa because the valve for the spa return was closed. So water was draining from the spa, but no water was returning to the spa causing the pool to fill up and the spa to empty. Unless you have a separate pump for the spa (it doesn't look like you do) in normal pool mode you should be sucking from the pool skimmer and/or drain and returning to BOTH the pool and the spa. You need this so that water/chlorine circulates to the spa. In spa mode you want all of the water to be coming from and returning to the spa. That allows the spa water level to stay constant.

    It sounds to me like you either have a valve that is not opening/shutting correctly, or the valve is simply not set properly to open/shut correctly depending on whether you are in pool or spa mode. When I configured my system it took me a few minutes for me to figure out how to set my valves and now the Easy Touch operates the pool and spa perfectly.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    We have an actuator that is supposed to switch from pool to spa mode automatically without us needing to adjust the valves. During freeze guard it switches every 15 minutes. Something is causing that valve not to close properly. A bee built a nest in the actuator box a few weeks after the pool was built because the wiring to the actuator was dislodged. The PBs assistant removed the nest and re-glued the plug to the box. At that time we were having issues with the waterfall flowing into the pool when the spa was on thus heating the entire pool when we only wanted to heat the spa. I'm not sure if damage to that is causing this problem too.
    Built in 2011, 23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 5 jets, 3 tier fountain and 5 tier cascading waterfall into pool ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 997 sq ft exposed aggregate decking Our pool build

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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    HouTex ~ The pentair rep was at my house a couple weeks ago trying to get the pool cleaner to work (it still doesn't by the way) and he looked at the valves and actuators because I mentioned the spa draining. I would assume if it wasn't set properly he would have noticed that? I think the actuator and/or valve needs to be replaced. It doesn't always drain the spa, sometimes it works correctly. It worked fine from October until yesterday. I never know when I look out the window if there is going to be water in the spa or not
    Built in 2011, 23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 5 jets, 3 tier fountain and 5 tier cascading waterfall into pool ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 997 sq ft exposed aggregate decking Our pool build

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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    So while I was gone today the PebbleSheen installers came to check on the leak from the spa. They did a dye test and found a pinhole size leak in the top layer of the overflow from the spa. That could be what was causing the constant wetness on the overflow stone and possibly that water was traveling the grout lines to the side of the spa. I guess we will know when/if it dries out. I am glad they didn't find anything major, although I wish I was home so I could have watched and shown them the area I was concerned about
    Built in 2011, 23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 5 jets, 3 tier fountain and 5 tier cascading waterfall into pool ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 997 sq ft exposed aggregate decking Our pool build

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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    Monkey, in your other thread, you posted a picture of the equipment before the automation was installed. Could you now post two more pics? One of the valve actuators in pool mode and one in spa mode to see where the valves are in each setting.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member ajones02's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    monkey mom or monkey ale, any updates?
    17,800 gallons, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Cartridge Filter, Inground, Blue Granite Pebblesheen Interior, Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 Pool and Spa pump, Pentair Whisperflo 2HP Water Feature pump, Pentair .75 HP Booster Pump for Pentair Legend pool cleaner, Pentair EasyTouch 8-function remote, Pentair IntelliChlor SWG.

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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    I will ask the wifey to get some pictures... last week has been hectic in Monkey-ville
    23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 6 jets and 5 tier waterfall ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 947 sq ft exposed aggregate decking

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    Re: Is it possible for gunite to leak?

    Ok... I suck at checking this board from time to time!!!

    Update on here... PB found a 'spec' of something in a valve going to the spa. Bascially, they said that spec of PVC dust was causing the valve to not have a seal and water was leaking before it got to the spa. That was causing the water to drop in the spa while the freeze guard was running because the water loss was greater then the pumping back into it.

    As for the water on the outside of the spa. I 'think' the pebblesheen company found a hairline crack somewhere near a jet. I cannot speak for certain as neither of us were there at the time. I do not think they have resolved the issue yet as weather hasn't been too forgiving lately. I would ask my wife to chime in on that as she spoke with the PB (he's not happy with either of us currently).
    23x34' IG freeform play pool (18,850 gallon) ~ 7' spa raised 18" with 6 jets and 5 tier waterfall ~ IntelliChlor SCG ~ Pentair Intelligent VS-3050 variable speed pump ~ Clean and Clear 420 cartridge filter ~ Easy touch controller ~ Blue Granite Pebble Sheen ~ Intellibrite LEDs ~ Turbo twister slide ~ 8x8 flagstone tanning ledge with umbrella sleeve and bubbler ~ In-pool flagstone table with umbrella sleeve ~ 947 sq ft exposed aggregate decking

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