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Thread: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

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    HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    We've bought a house with 50 year old pool (in Aurora, IL-- near Chicago). The main pool is 44 feet x 23 feet.

    The issues:
    1. the pool has been painted and the paint is beginning to peel off. The pool has never been plastered.
    CONFLICT Part 1: one guy wants to sandblast it and plaster; and the other guy says don't you DARE sandblast
    CONFLICT Part 2: do we have to plaster or does paint work? one guy wants to plaster. the other says just paint.

    2. The pool was never heated. It has two skimmers and one inlet at the shallow end. the drain at the deep end is not connected to the circulation. how do we heat the pool?
    CONFLICT Part 3: one guy didn't address it and the other says you have to pull cold water out of the bottom otherwise you'll have the top warm and the rest VERY cold.

    3. We're working to add a pool cover (to try to limit the gas bill on heating the pool). There are some issues here too.

    I can easily see us making a very expensive mistake on this pool. We've had troubles even getting people out here to bid on this work (apparently renovating old pools is not a favorite for pool companies).

    If you know anything about older pools or have anyone we could talk to further. I'd really appreciate it.

    Dom (who's getting really nervous)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    I have little first hand experience with plaster pools, but don't worry lots of people here do and someone will be along soon. As to heating that is a whole can of worms in itself, with options from wood burning heaters (rare), natural gas, electric heat pumps or solar panels. The best choice partly depends on the climate you live in (you may want to add your location to your information it helps us help you knowing things like swim season length, climate, etc.). To answer your direct question you can heat a pool from only the skimmer, but cold water may settle in the deep end, there are multiple things you can do about this, the simple solution may be just pointing your eyeball returns down, or using a suction side automatic cleaner that plugs into your skimmer so it sucks water from the deep in occasionally.


    p.s you also should read the pool school link in the upper right of this page, then take a break, and read it again, most people get a lot more from it the second or third time around
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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    Welcome to the forum.

    Paint will NEVER last as well as plaster. Most GOOD paint jobs only hold up a few years. My nephew has been repainting his pool biannually for the last 15 years!!

    A good plaster job will easily last 10 years and many beyond that.

    A big pool like that would benefit from reconnecting that main drain, if possible. I would separate that cost and then decide. There are some workarounds that are very satis factory if the price is too steep.

    how do we heat the pool?
    With a wheelbarrow full of money in a pool that size. Heating a large pool is an expensive luxury. What city and state do you live in? My guess is an initial cost for a 400k pool heater might be around 3k and your gas bill will be pretty stunning. That's just a generalization so others with more experience than I will better address the heater. Your city and state is VERY relevant.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    If you are plastering then sandblasting is by far the best choice. If you are repainting, there are some advantages to removing the old paint chemically instead of sandblasting, primarily the surface will stay smoother for the new paint. Still, sandblasting before repainting is fairly common.

    As others have already mentioned, plaster is a much better choice in the long run, though it will cost a little more up front.

    If your only return is in the shallow end, it does get difficult to setup the water circulation well. Depending on the exact layout you may need to add a second return somewhere near the deep end and/or get the main drain working again. Still, in many cases, it is possible to resolve circulation issues by simply aiming the return you do have correctly. Getting the circulation issue resolved is fairly important. It affects proper sanitation as well as heating.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    Jason, thank you!!!! Your post and the others really helped us. We can now think about more clearly

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    Mod Squad Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    I wish you luck, and hope to see some good news on this soon.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    ...and some pics of the reno would be cool!


    Completed March 1, 2013. 12,500 gallon IG Lagoon Style w/swimout, walk-in steps, 15' x 30' x 3' - 5', Gunite, Wet Edge Technologies, Pebble Sheen - Northshore Tahoe, 2" Tennessee Fieldstone Coping, Belgard Country Blend Pavers, 1.5 HP Superflo, 19" Tagelus Filter, IC-20 SWCG.

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    North Georgia

    Re: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    I'm wondering if you could retro fit a liner in your pool? I don't know how it would seal against your return and skimmers....or non-working drain......
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: HELP - getting VERY conflicting pool renovation advice

    For those who wanted to see a photo, I've attached one. We have more questions coming (this turns out to be pretty complicated). Thank you!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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