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Thread: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

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    22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Hello all. I recently purchased a home in a north Dallas suburb that had a 15 year old fiberglass pool. The gelcoat was in pretty bad shape so I elected to have the fiberglass resurfaced. The crew will be draining, grinding (smoothing), putting on a new layer of fiberglass sandwiched between resin coats, and finally putting on a new gelcoat. They will also be replacing the rubber seals around the jets, replacing the main drain as it is no longer to code, and replacing the seal between the flagstone coping and the concrete deck. They quoted tile as well, but I declined that service, as I just don't believe that they can get tile to stick to fiberglass for a reasonable amount of time (10+ years) given the additional cost ($1750). I figured I would document the process here and use it as an opportunity to get any advice anyone who has gone through this might have. I feel pretty confident in my contractor choice and feel like they will do a good job, but if anyone has any questions they think I should ask during the process, I would be happy to do so.

    Here is the original pool:


    After approx. 2 hours of draining:


    After 5 hours of draining:


    My only concern at this point is that they had to remove the ladder to do the work, but it kind of looks like they just cut the ladder off at the concrete. Maybe this was required due to how the ladder was originally installed, but if that is the case, I expect them to fix it before they finish. I don't want to have sharp metal and holes in my concrete deck after they are finished.



    Work got started today around 8:30am. Draining 22k gallons takes a lot longer than I would have initially thought. More pics to follow as work gets completed over the next five days.
    22k gallon fiberglass diving pool. Pentair Nautilus FNS 48 D.E. Filter. Pentair Challenger 1.5hp pump.

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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Great thread! This will attract a lot of interest although few of us have any experience. Thanks for starting it up
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    I grew up in Dallas (off Welch) and once looked at a satellite pic of the area and was amazed to see every single house with a pool in the back. I wonder how many of those folks use TFPC methods, LOL. I wondered if your pool was originally fiberglass or was that something added later? What are those bars that are spanning the pool- are they something to keep the pool from collapsing inward?
    Looking forward to more pics.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Are they cutting deck out to replace the rubber seals? How will they resurface the places where the boards are bracing the wall from caving in? Just a couple questions that come to me right off.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    @YippeeSkippy: The wood bars are braces. The pool is a fiberglass shell that can potentially collapse inward when the pool is emptied. The water in the pool keeps the pressure equal (or at least close to) inside to outside. This is why you should never completely empty your fiberglass pool if you are trying to replace water. It is better to remove 1/3-1/2 of the water max, and just do it several times if necessary. Also, yes my pool was originally fiberglass. In fact those pictures are the original shell, although you can see that the gelcoat has completely faded and in many spots fiberglass is bare. I will take a closeup picture so you can see those spots.

    This is a closeup of the blistering that happens over time from a fiberglass shell pool. The process can be accelerated when you don't control your CYA. CYA and CH are both extremely important in a fiberglass pool:


    This is a closeup of what happens when the blisters from the previous picture pop. The fiberglass is exposed (this is a bad thing):


    @swimcmp: The seal between the flagstone and concrete is cut out using a dremel-like tool. Then the gap is filled with sand, a flexible joint compound is added, and then sand is mixed over the top to blend the color (joint compound is traditionally grey). Im actually still not sure how they will resurface the area where the braces are. My assumption is that they will have to move or remove the braces temporarily in order to work those areas.
    22k gallon fiberglass diving pool. Pentair Nautilus FNS 48 D.E. Filter. Pentair Challenger 1.5hp pump.

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Out of curiosity I would love to know how much this costs to have done. I built a gunite pool but looked at fiberglass. I know that with the sun we get that fiberglass would fade but I always wondered how long fiberglass lasts and how much it costs to resurface.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    To replace the rubber gaskets on the returns and changing main drain is going to require deck removal I think. Behind the fitting that goes thru the wall there is a nut to compress the gasket and get a seal that has to be held tight. Also if there is a male fitting screwed in to it that has to be resealed. What if that pipe is a glue fitting? Just curious I know how I build and what those pieces look like and can't figure out how this is going to work.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Day 2 update:

    The crew actually left yesterday around 2pm with about a foot or so of water left to drain in the deep end. They ended up coming back around 5pm and finished draining and then did the grinding. I was shocked at how quickly this went. In about an hour and a half, three guys using right-angle grinders were able to grind the entire pool surface. They actually ended up just removing the braces temporarily to do the grinding, and then resecured them when they left. They have removed them again today.

    Here they are starting to grind:


    Here is the pool after grinding is complete


    Today they started the actual process of laying on new fiberglass. They have three guys working, two in the pool and one laying face down on the pool deck. The guy above the pool lays a sheet of fiberglass in and the two guys in the pool use paint rollers to roll out the resin onto the pool surface. The new fiberglass sticks to the resin and they then roll out the fiberglass in order to smooth it out and get rid of any creases that form. Meanwhile, the guy above the pool cuts the top of the fiberglass flush with a common utility knife and then uses a paint brush to clean the top edge and secure it to the pool.

    Here is a wide shot of what has been done so far:


    Here is a closer shot of a new piece of fiberglass being added:


    The resin coat is tinted a light blue, but I spoke with them and they said it is not the final color. I also got clarification about the ladder issue. I told them originally that I did not want the ladder at all. That is the reason they ended up just cutting it out. I also confirmed with them that they would patch the holes in the deck where the ladder fits in.

    @ComputerGuyInNOLA: My pool has no trees or shade in north Texas. It gets full sun almost all day. The pool was built in 1998 and has never been resurfaced before now. I was also told by my contractor that the resurface, with proper care, should last a minimum of 15-20 years.
    There is another option with fiberglass pools that is essentially just reapplying a new gel coat to existing fiberglass, which costs in the neighborhood of $3000, but my surface was too blistered and broken down for that.

    @swimcmp: To be honest I am not sure at this point. When my contractor swings by today I will ask him about this. He has never mentioned deck removal before so my assumption was that it would not be required, but I just don't know at this point. More updates to follow.
    22k gallon fiberglass diving pool. Pentair Nautilus FNS 48 D.E. Filter. Pentair Challenger 1.5hp pump.

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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Day 3 Update:

    So the new layer of fiberglass is complete. The crew finished mid afternoon yesterday.

    Here are a couple shots of the finished fiberglass layer:



    Here is a closeup of the fiberglass to show texture:


    That texture is not good for applying a gelcoat though so the next step is sanding the fiberglass to a more smooth finish. They showed up today at about 1pm (giving close to 24 hours for the resin to cure). The sanding is essentially the same thing they did earlier to grind down the previous surface, but with a finer grit.

    Here is a shot of the sanding:


    Once they finish sanding, they will apply the gelcoat. I am told this will happen this afternoon. I was also told that they could be filling the pool as early as tomorrow afternoon (giving the gelcoat 24 hours to cure). I have heard that the longer gelcoat has to cure the better the finish will be, so I am considering asking if they will hold off another day before filling. Does anyone have any experience with that? Unfortunately, I work second shift so I will not be here for the application of the gelcoat. I was hoping to get some pictures of that process, but I won't be able to. I will for sure update with more pictures from tomorrow morning though.
    22k gallon fiberglass diving pool. Pentair Nautilus FNS 48 D.E. Filter. Pentair Challenger 1.5hp pump.

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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Day 4 Update:
    Sorry for the delay in updating the post. Day 4 of the project was applying the gelcoat. They then gave the gelcoat a full 24 hours to cure and then started filling the pool. It took about 32 hours or so to fill the pool completely. The only thing that has not been completed at this point is the deck seal and fixing the ladder/kooldeck.

    Deep end post-gelcoat application:


    Application of gelcoat:


    Final product:
    22k gallon fiberglass diving pool. Pentair Nautilus FNS 48 D.E. Filter. Pentair Challenger 1.5hp pump.

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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Wow, it looks great...
    Intex Rectangle 18 x 9 x 52', 4544 gallon (18000 litres), 0.75 hp pool pump, 100 sqft Zodiac Titan Cartridge Filter - 40mm, Stenner Peristaltic Pump chlorine injection system, Intex Over The Wall Skimmer, Intex Fittings with 40mm plumbing Lil Patch Of Heaven. Build/Construction http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lice-of-heaven

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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    Wow! That went quick! Looks awesome! Did they fix the main drain and replace those seals around the jets too?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: 22k gallon Fiberglass Resurfacing

    They actually replaced the jets entirely (or at least the pieces that screw into the wall).Also replaced the deck seal and the main drain cover. Ladder anchors were torn out and the concrete around them was patched and kooldeck surface was replaced. All in all I am very impressed and happy with their work. I was worried about their short business history and heard a lot of horror stories from others who have had similar work done, but so far, I don't have any complaints at all.
    22k gallon fiberglass diving pool. Pentair Nautilus FNS 48 D.E. Filter. Pentair Challenger 1.5hp pump.

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