We have a probably 30 year old pool that has fiberglass panel walls (3') and a concrete bottom. The pool is 16x32 w/ 3' shallow to ~9 foot diving well. The wall panels started to blister, and by last year they were blistered all over and the blisters were cracking. We don't have any issues with the floor. After some research, I figured that the coating on the fiberglass failed, letting water pass through, which was eating away the fiberglass resin. So, we drained the pool and took a grinder to the walls. We ground off the blisters, making sure we got the entire blister and we roughed up the remaining wall coating to promote adhesion. We ordered Sanitred, which we put on this past weekend. We washed the walls and floor with tap, acid etched the floor, then applied the Sanitred to just the walls and ~4 inches of floor to seal the joint. The Sanitred is a 3 step process, prime coat, patch, then top coat. The patching was a ton of work because we basically had to skim coat the entire walls to try to fill the craters from the blisters. The Sanitred says that we need to apply a 2part epoxy to protect the coating from chlorine. Here's where I need help.
The main drain has a hydrostatic relief valve, letting ground water in. If we keep a sump pump running, we can keep the water out. Reading the epoxy directions online before ordering, it says it has to cure for 5 days. How the heck am I going to keep ground water out for 5 days? It's totally not feasible to keep a gasoline trash pump running for five days. I've been looking at small sump pumps with floats, but I need it to turn on at about 2" of water, and I'm not finding any that support that. What have you done successfully to keep a pool drained for a week? I was looking at National Pool Guard EHB Epoxy paint, and when I called them about the deep end water, they told me they had never heard of that issue before (ground water entering pool)...
Also, I'm not sure what kind of paint was on the floor, and I read that you can only paint epoxy over epoxy...I'm sure that the existing paint isn't epoxy, but I'm not sure what it is, guessing just water based acrylic because I don't remember the pool being empty long. Do I have to put some coating on before doing epoxy? If so, I've got plenty of Sanitred left, so I could just do the floor. It would be much easier as there are no cracks or anything to patch, it would just be two coats of the permaflex.
Thanks so much for your help.
16x32 concrete bottom/fiberglass panel walls pool