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Thread: Pool Crack

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    Pool Crack

    Hi all,

    I have a crack on the floor of my pool that is now extending all the way up through the wall. I don't notice any water loss other than normal evaporation. I have landscaping behind my pool and felt a little bit of moisture when I dug down with my hand that may be coming from the pool. So perhaps it is leaking. I can try to get a photo on here but it is tough with all of this Texas wind moving the water around. I had "aaffordablepoolspa" come out and look at the crack and they suggested a "SAW CUT AND SEAL OF APPROX 25FT OF CRACKS IN POOL SHELL" ($1350) and "INSTALL 15 TORQUE LOCK STAPLES" ($1485) (sorry for the caps, copying directly from the proposal). They also suggested to re-plaster the shell after a year or so to make sure the lock staples worked. My pool is going to look awful for a year or so I guess. It sounds like there are no guarantees when it comes to fixing cracks. That is what my online research is telling me.

    Has anyone ever gone through the cracking of their pool? I have a gunite pool with regular plaster. Does this sound like the right thing to do? Is the cost about right? I have Sky Blue Pools coming out Wednesday for another quote/proposal. Does anyone have any suggestions for companies or anything else for that matter? I'm worried this is a structural issue. The pool is probably about 10 years old from what I can tell.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    MiaOKC's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Crack

    Hi Mike! We have a few cracks in our pool and are undergoing a renovation right now. Before we started all this, I took the red drops from my test kit, put them underwater and held the container right up to the crack and squeezed out some drops to see if the red got sucked into the crack (to see if it indicates a leak). I didn't seem to have any water being lost aside from normal evaporation, and didn't see the red get sucked in (I think this might be called pool dye test or something similar if you want to google).

    However, since I could see the same crack traveled up the pool wall and into the coping, I was pretty sure the gunite was cracked. When they sandblasted my pool, it was confirmed that the cracks went below the plaster and into the gunite, but I am not sure that it was determined (or if it matters) if the cracks go completely through the gunite wall. I blame our heavy clay soils, and in your area you might have the same issues. To remedy, they chiseled around the cracks and are supposed to insert staples and seal before we replaster (any day now, waiting on weather). It's part of the larger overall reno of my large pool, so I couldn't tell you if the costs are in line. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable might have some input. Good luck!
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Pool Crack

    I have a friend out south of Dallas and he has had cracks in his pool filled by a pool crack company. I don't know which one he used. They did not put staples into his. He did have water loss with his (but not a lot). All seems well so far but this was only 2 years ago. I am not sure where in DFW you are, but if you are close to Ft. Worth you might at least call Seahorse pools in ft worth and ask them to talk to you on the phone about it. They just finished work for me, and I feel like they were very honest and have been around for over 40 years. I don't feel like I was "over sold" on anything.
    ~18,000 gallon
    DE filter/chlorine
    IG Grey Plaster
    25 year old pool w a facelift in 2014

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    Re: Pool Crack

    Quote Originally Posted by glitter&guns View Post
    I have a friend out south of Dallas and he has had cracks in his pool filled by a pool crack company. I don't know which one he used. They did not put staples into his. He did have water loss with his (but not a lot). All seems well so far but this was only 2 years ago. I am not sure where in DFW you are, but if you are close to Ft. Worth you might at least call Seahorse pools in ft worth and ask them to talk to you on the phone about it. They just finished work for me, and I feel like they were very honest and have been around for over 40 years. I don't feel like I was "over sold" on anything.

    Thank you for the reply. I called them and they are going to come out soon to take a look. I am wondering if the harsh winter had anything to do with it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MiaOKC View Post
    Hi Mike! We have a few cracks in our pool and are undergoing a renovation right now. Before we started all this, I took the red drops from my test kit, put them underwater and held the container right up to the crack and squeezed out some drops to see if the red got sucked into the crack (to see if it indicates a leak). I didn't seem to have any water being lost aside from normal evaporation, and didn't see the red get sucked in (I think this might be called pool dye test or something similar if you want to google).

    However, since I could see the same crack traveled up the pool wall and into the coping, I was pretty sure the gunite was cracked. When they sandblasted my pool, it was confirmed that the cracks went below the plaster and into the gunite, but I am not sure that it was determined (or if it matters) if the cracks go completely through the gunite wall. I blame our heavy clay soils, and in your area you might have the same issues. To remedy, they chiseled around the cracks and are supposed to insert staples and seal before we replaster (any day now, waiting on weather). It's part of the larger overall reno of my large pool, so I couldn't tell you if the costs are in line. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable might have some input. Good luck!
    Thank you for the info. Do you have any special insurance to make sure you pool shell does not float? It seems these companies do not cover any damage from doing an entire drain of the pool.
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    MiaOKC's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Crack

    We insisted on weep holes being drilled through the shell in the deep end asap after the water was pumped out. I was a wreck because our PB took his sweet time and didn't come back for a day or two or three, and we had light rain expected. Our main drain is so old it's been disconnected from the system years ago, so while they pulled the hydrostatic plug, I didn't trust that to be the sole protection from pool pop out! The weep holes will also be repaired when they plaster.
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Pool Crack

    My pool doesn't have a main drain (it was filled a couple of owners ago). When Seahorse took the water out of mine they did drill some holes in the bottom. The guy here said that he knew of 2 pools in DFW that had floated, but both had yards that were on the lake. I am within walking distance of a lake. It probably wasn't needed as my pool sat empty for a couple of months during the time that we were trying to close on the house.
    ~18,000 gallon
    DE filter/chlorine
    IG Grey Plaster
    25 year old pool w a facelift in 2014

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Crack

    The crucial question: is the crack moving/structural or is it cosmetic. The people who bid with staples seem to think the crack is still moving/structural and are proposing a structural repair. Structural cracks are difficult to repair correctly, especially if the underlying cause of the motion is not fixed. I recommend getting at least two more bids for the repair, so you can get some confirmation of how serious the structural issues are.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Pool Crack

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    The crucial question: is the crack moving/structural or is it cosmetic. The people who bid with staples seem to think the crack is still moving/structural and are proposing a structural repair. Structural cracks are difficult to repair correctly, especially if the underlying cause of the motion is not fixed. I recommend getting at least two more bids for the repair, so you can get some confirmation of how serious the structural issues are.
    Thanks for the info. I have three more companies coming out this week. I will report back once I receive the quotes.

    Quick pole: How does the pool owner deal with the risk of the pool shell popping out when the pool has to be completely drained? I live in the DFW area of Texas and shouldn't have an issue with this happened. I just don't like the idea of "hoping" it won't happen.

    -Mike
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Re: Pool Crack

    There are two main ways that a pool is built to deal with preventing a pool from floating. The first is to have a hydrostatic valve installed under the main drain cover. This is a valve that will allow ground water to flow into the pool but will not allow pool water to flow out. I am not sure how to describe what this looks like.

    The other method is to basically have an open pipe that goes into the ground that will allow ground water into the pool. These are normally sealed with a plug, in my case my pool has a twist on and off plug.

    In most cases these are located under the main drain cover and easily accessible. I have heard of some cases where the plug is covered by plaster and you need to remove the plaster from the cap to take it off.

    If you have neither of these I recommend digging a hole as deep as your pool with a post digger if possible and leaving it overnight to see if it fills with water. If so you will need a way to remove the water, I believe some people have dug a hole big enough to fit sump pump and use that to drain the ground water away from their pool. Of course if you do this you will want a hose long enough that you are not pumping the water back very close to the pool.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Pool Crack

    Maybe it is just my area, but standard procedure for pools that do not have a drain is just to drill a few holes in the pool and then refill them and plaster over them. As I mentioned above, they drilled holes in my pool. I think they drilled 3 in mine.
    ~18,000 gallon
    DE filter/chlorine
    IG Grey Plaster
    25 year old pool w a facelift in 2014

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    Re: Pool Crack

    I love how one contractor told me that homeowner's would cover the pool shell popping out. That is way off. I don't think they'd cover a thing.
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Re: Pool Crack

    Got one quote back so far. This one is from Seahorse Pool & Spa in Fort Worth.

    He gave me three options:

    #1 Fix the crack with staples, patch impacted area with plaster and seal my decorative rocks above tile line. Cost = $1920

    #2 Replaster pool with no staple reinforcement and seal rock above tile. Cost = $4032.80

    #3 Crack repair with staples, seal rock above tile, plaster pool. Cost = $4932.80

    (Plaster price is with white plaster only using MetaMax and Start up Tec when filling.)

    My pool is about 22,000 gallons. The sales guy thought it wasn't a structural issue with the gunite shell. He believes its just the plaster starting to go. He says I could go without replastering but thinks I'll need it done anyways within 2-5 years.

    Still waiting on more quotes, but does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Thanks,
    Mike
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

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    Re: Pool Crack

    It may not be structural. I would have a couple more pool repair people look at it and tell you that though before I settled on a course of action. You are on the right track.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Pool Crack

    How old is your pool? I too live south of the metroplex and also have cracks in my pool. My pool was built 7 years ago and I have two rather long hairline (4 and 8 feet long respectively) cracks in the plaster running along the wall of the pool. One runs vertical and one horizonal. I don't think I'm losing any water from the cracks, but I could be wrong.

    For you experts out there, should I have hairline cracks in a pool that's only 7 years old? Is that normal?
    Dallas, TX. 27,000 gallon in-ground free-form gunite. Built in 2007. DEL60 filter with single speed 2hp Hayward pump. Polaris 360 cleaner with associated booster pump. Stenner chlorine pump and tank. Intermatic P1353ME timer.

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    Re: Pool Crack

    "My pool is about 22,000 gallons. The sales guy thought it wasn't a structural issue with the gunite shell. He believes its just the plaster starting to go. He says I could go without replastering but thinks I'll need it done anyways within 2-5 years."

    First I am not a structural expert, but learn quickly and have pretty good common sense.

    Second, a sales guy [if not an expert] should not be making the call and you should never rely on "thought it wasn't a structural issue". There should be no "thinking about it". It is empirical whether you have a leak or not, or will soon have a leak.

    Next, companies that evaluating your pool and also providing tiered options that are both structural or cosmetic or both, something is wrong with that. If you break your leg, someone should not offer to fix and set the bone and repair your skin, or just repair your skin. You need an independent structural expert to tell you what it is you need to do and why, and give you empirical data that is irrefutable. And most importantly, determine the source what caused the crack: poor orig workmanship, leaks, shifting soils, etc. Once you have all this, now you have your plan and road map. Now you can get quotes from repair companies and determine what companies are credible and which ones are blowing smoke where it does not shine.

    Lastly, there is a right and correct solution for you. You need to do your homework and determine who can tell you the veracious information, then both seek qualified and honest companies to fix your problem and take responsibility for their work. Go to the BBB in your area and bail from anyone that has a poor track record.

    Regards,
    tstex

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    Re: Pool Crack

    Quote Originally Posted by tstex View Post
    . Go to the BBB in your area and bail from anyone that has a poor track record.
    I gotta say that I'm actually leery of using the BBB as a reference anymore after reading how just by paying dues one automatically gets an A+ rating. Just something to consider.
    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: Pool Crack

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    I gotta say that I'm actually leery of using the BBB as a reference anymore after reading how just by paying dues one automatically gets an A+ rating. Just something to consider.
    look at the complaints filed and if they are resolved? If you have one unresolved complaint, then call the PB and ask them why? I reviewed a PB that had one complaint [resolved] and it was due to a gunite guy using the neighbors water hose to wash-off his hands. The neighbor actually call the BBB to complain and it was registered. The PB paid her handsomely to cover the trite cost of a sub washing his hands.

    So, even though there is a rating, you have to dig deeper. However if the rating is less than, then bail. World of mouth referrals and site visits are the only real-way to go...

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    Re: Pool Crack

    Quote Originally Posted by tstex View Post
    "My pool is about 22,000 gallons. The sales guy thought it wasn't a structural issue with the gunite shell. He believes its just the plaster starting to go. He says I could go without replastering but thinks I'll need it done anyways within 2-5 years."

    First I am not a structural expert, but learn quickly and have pretty good common sense.

    Second, a sales guy [if not an expert] should not be making the call and you should never rely on "thought it wasn't a structural issue". There should be no "thinking about it". It is empirical whether you have a leak or not, or will soon have a leak.

    Next, companies that evaluating your pool and also providing tiered options that are both structural or cosmetic or both, something is wrong with that. If you break your leg, someone should not offer to fix and set the bone and repair your skin, or just repair your skin. You need an independent structural expert to tell you what it is you need to do and why, and give you empirical data that is irrefutable. And most importantly, determine the source what caused the crack: poor orig workmanship, leaks, shifting soils, etc. Once you have all this, now you have your plan and road map. Now you can get quotes from repair companies and determine what companies are credible and which ones are blowing smoke where it does not shine.

    Lastly, there is a right and correct solution for you. You need to do your homework and determine who can tell you the veracious information, then both seek qualified and honest companies to fix your problem and take responsibility for their work. Go to the BBB in your area and bail from anyone that has a poor track record.

    Regards,
    tstex
    Hi all,

    This is my problem. I've tried to do the research to figure out what the underlying issue is and can't even find a company that will tell me for sure what the issue is. Are you saying we should hire a licensed engineer to figure out what the problem is?

    I got another quote. They want to do a full leak detection which includes testing structure, plumbing, and equipment for $550. To repair the cracks it would be $420 for the first 10 feet and then $38 per foot thereafter. Then its $3900 to replaster (White Plaster with 50% ColorQuartz added for appearance and durability (Prep, chip away from tile, fittings, and covers, apply sealer bond coat,and install new plaster). Labor and Materials.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks
    22,000 gallon - cartridge filter - IG plaster (rock waterfall) - Pentair IntelliFlo VF Variable Flow High Performance 3HP Pool Pump - 16A 230V

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Pool Crack

    Mike, which way did you go on this?

    I'm in a similar boat, cracks all over the pool, some moving but an old finish. VERY reputable PB wants to put in 15 piers along with the demo work for a small fortune of $21K, just for the repair. Do the staples actually work? Starting to consider just buying a truck load of sand.
    18,000gal IG with FG finish + spa, Pentair CCP 420 filter, Pentair VS pump, Hayward AQR15 SWCG, Polaris 360, 325k BTU heater...

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    cwescapexlt4x4's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Crack

    Yes, curious what you ended up doing and the outcome (if any).
    Chris - aka cwescapexlt4x4
    (Build 8/26/14 - 10/17/14) in-ground Presidential Pools 15K gallon salt water pool Pentair Inteiliflo pump, Regal Blue Pebble, Clean & Clear filter, in-floor cleaning,
    LED light, 3' sheer spill, 2 benches, large Baja step. / Pergola by Booth Built 19W x 14D // Outdoor Kitchen, W/Primo grill and BBQ Coach kit for the island.

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