I'm looking for some advice on what to do with a troublesome pool.
Small in ground pool (15'x20' roughly), probably 1970's construction. Owned the home since 2008 so I don't actually know.
Northern California pool, in clay soil that swells with the seasons
White plaster with numerous cracks, but it still appears smooth, nothing chipping or flaking.
3 years ago we epoxy puttied a significant crack to stop a leak near the skimmer
1 year ago we epoxied that crack again to stop a leak and the crack had grown significantly
Currently losing 1" of water every 24 hours, stops losing water about 4" above the returns
We've had two leak detection outfits out to try to find the source of the issue. The consensus is that all of the plumbing is fine, no leaks in the skimmer either. They can't find a crack in the plaster that is visibly taking dye. We agreed to have the skimmer throat injected with chemical grout since the area sounded hollow, which fixed the issue for about a month, but when we started running the equipment again, the repair failed (or something else happened) and we are losing water again.
We are now talking to contractors to go full boar on this and remove the plaster, repair cracks in the gunite and replaster. I'm worried that this is either: 1. total overkill, 2. opening pandora's box or 3. that it isn't going to solve anything except having cash in the bank since the soil moves too much and the pool is done for.
We're currently getting a couple people to come out and look at it, one is a local fiberglass guy who flat out said that fiberglass is the way to fix older pools in my town since the soil moves too much for plaster and gunite repairs to last. The plaster guys (who are more numerous) are sure they can do it. All I want is a pool that doesn't leak. Any thoughts or advice?