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Thread: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

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    New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    I bought a house with a 50 year old, 20x50 gunite in-ground pool. When we were looking at the house the selling realtor told us they didn't open the pool last season. During inspection, the sellers then said it hadn't been opened the "last couple of seasons". After moving in, the neighbor says "they haven't opened the pool in at least five years...

    So, we knew going in that we will probably need the pool resurfaced and talking to a few people, sounds like it is going to be around $10,000. Additionally, the deck has some sort of pebble coating, which is coming up and feels like gravel. I tried turning on the two pumps, neither of which seem to be working (one is missing the lid).

    The good news is they did have a pool professional open and close their pool so it was properly winterized and it has had a cover on it. I talked with a resurfacing company who is quite busy at the moment and they suggested opening the pool for the season and look to resurface later this year. I talked with the guy who used to deal with their pool and he had me fill up the water level, but he said he was going to come over a couple of times but keeps putting me off.

    Here's the list of what I see needing:
    1. Pool test kit (I used the Taylor K-2006 when I used to lifeguard) ($60)
    2. New pump or two ($?)
    3. New chlorinator or salt water system ($?)
    4. New pool resurfacing ($10,000?)
    5. Decking replacement ($?)
    6. My wife and I are concerned about safety so we are going to either add a fence around the pool or an automatic pool cover (talked to a fencing company who said it would be about $4000, maybe about the same for an automatic cover)
    7. Landscaping

    My questions are:
    1. Does any one have reccomendations on brand of automatic pool cover? Experience with pool covers in general?
    2. Does anyone see any potential issues with this current setup we should watch out for?

    I think the plan is to try and open this year and get a feel for everything that needs to be done, and then hire a company to resurface, do the decking and landscaping.

    Thanks to all, great forum!
    Scott

    Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here's the pool and some pictures of the filter/heating system:
    pool1.jpg
    pool2.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ulrichsd; 05-20-2014 at 09:20 AM. Reason: edit pictures
    50 year old, newly remodeled in-ground 20x40' pool (approx 30,000 gallons)
    1.5 hp Hayward pump and 20 gpm/ft2 sand filter (62 gpm filtration&backwash), 50psi max working pressure

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Well to save money from the outset a SWG is around a $1K, whereas you could probably salvage your inline chlorinator, if it has to be replaced maybe $60? My concern would be the little tubing - such a big pool - not the most efficient way and those tubes kinda stink IMHO. Having a chlorinator hard plumbed inline with the plumbing would be better. Even then I would only suggest the chlorinator for vacations - etc. If you're going to not be able to add liquid chlorine every day - maybe a liquidator or go ahead and spring for the SWG.

    I agree with the PB - open the pool and see what the surface is like - You sure it's gunite? Be prepared for organic staining.

    I honestly don't know if the pool can have an autocover added. Don't know much about them on install only seen new pools where they were part of the construction, but since you're talking about new decking then maybe?

    The small pump hiding in the back is a booster pump for a pressure side cleaner like a Polaris.

    5 years is no biggie. It's no different then SLAMing a pool that turned green over 1 winter. The process is the same - just may take an extra week or 2, a bit more in chems. I would expect organic staining however.

    Good luck! This reno should be interesting. We like lots of pics.... Welcome to TFP!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    I too wonder about it being Gunite, there were several other concrete pool styles being built 50 years ago, and I don't think Gunite really gained its popularity until the 1970's or even the early 1980's. On the topic of fence vs auto cover, check your local codes they may require a fence regardless of auto cover.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    I too wonder about it being Gunite, there were several other concrete pool styles being built 50 years ago, and I don't think Gunite really gained its popularity until the 1970's or even the early 1980's. On the topic of fence vs auto cover, check your local codes they may require a fence regardless of auto cover.
    Yep. In our city, even if you have an auto cover, it's required to have a 6 foot fence with auto latching gates. I'd look into local codes otherwise you'll end up doing both.

    Looks like the equipment is at least in decent shape but who knows if it hasn't been run in a while. As someone who just replumbed a filter and valve... why the **** didn't they add a union or two when they cut and repaired the intake and return lines to the valve? Especially with a top mount valve. You're likely going to want to do that anyway as who knows what's growing in the filter sand and in order to deep clean the sand, the valve has to come off and in order to get the valve off, you'll have to cut the PVC lines since they did not put in unions. And since your waste line is also hard plumbed, you should put in a union there too.

    For info on deep cleaning the sand filter see Deep Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    I'm not positive its gunite, but I mentioned it to the guy who was servicing this pool and he didn't correct me. I pulled up a couple of the corners of the cover and there are some cracks in the surface and some water line tiles missing. And bugs, lots of bugs

    The pool guy also said that the heater was undersized for the pool, but seems like that is the least of my worries right now.

    Good suggestion to look up code for pools. It does have a 4 foot chain link fence around the back yard, so I'll check to see if that is acceptable.

    Here's the pictures of the top of the filter:
    Attachment 29496
    50 year old, newly remodeled in-ground 20x40' pool (approx 30,000 gallons)
    1.5 hp Hayward pump and 20 gpm/ft2 sand filter (62 gpm filtration&backwash), 50psi max working pressure

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Thats weird, I was trying to add pictures and I think it may have deleted my original post...
    50 year old, newly remodeled in-ground 20x40' pool (approx 30,000 gallons)
    1.5 hp Hayward pump and 20 gpm/ft2 sand filter (62 gpm filtration&backwash), 50psi max working pressure

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Sure enough, it vanished. I bet a mod will drop by shortly, maybe they can fix it. If not, JasonLion has full Admin, so he should be able to.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Everything looks good to me, the first topic has pictures and is marked as having been edited this morning. There is no record of any deletions related to this topic or your user name.

    Adding pictures may have made the post require manual approval, which might have taken a moment.
    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Also only allowed to directly attach so many photos, very few for non-members. Best way to share photos is to upload them to a sharing site like photobucket and link to them in threads. No limit on doing that.

    See here: Posting Photos Tutorial
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Well, first thing is to get those pumps working and get it open and really see what you're dealing with. There's nothing wrong with operating a pool with ugly plaster, a disintegrating deck, etc.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun View Post
    Well, first thing is to get those pumps working and get it open and really see what you're dealing with. There's nothing wrong with operating a pool with ugly plaster, a disintegrating deck, etc.
    Half my clients operate that way it seems... lol
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    frustratedpoolmom -- You think some of your clients are bad? You haven't seen some of the hillbilly things I've done to my pool!

    ulrichsd -- As long as the pool still holds water, and the equipment can be made serviceable, we can help with most issues you are bound to come across. Look at it this way, you can transform it to you own liking as you fix some of the appearance issues.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Maybe it's just me but it doesn't look 50 feet long. If it is then each cover section should to be 3'3" wide.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    I was gonna say... 50 odd number. 20x40 makes more sense - much more common of a size for back in the day.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Since everyone else is focused on the pool and equipment (and I can't help at all with that. ..) I thought I'd but in on the test kit.

    You listed the Taylor kit which happens to be one of the kits recommended by the forum but you might want to check out the tf-100 kit from tftestkits.net.

    It uses the same Taylor reagents but gives you more of the reagents that you need more of especially for a SLAM. It costs a little more but you get more of what you'll need. There's even an XL option for the kit which will give you even more.

    Obviously you're not at that stage yet but if you are able to get it open and running before resurfacing/remodel you'll definitely be needing some decent amounts of reagents! The Taylor kit is fine, just be prepared to order refills along with it if you'll be starting out with a swamp.

    Can't wait to see more pics!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    I would also purchase some round-up and use it around your equipment pad. That "greenery" around the pump looks like it MAY be poison ivy. It would be helpful to clean it up regardless.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I would also purchase some round-up and use it around your equipment pad. That "greenery" around the pump looks like it MAY be poison ivy. It would be helpful to clean it up regardless.
    Thanks! I know it IS poison ivy as I now have it. I trimmed up all the honeysuckle growing in there but need to get our that poison ivy too. Doctor appointment today as it has spread to my face...

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    I will chime in about the auto cover. We had one installed with our pool 4 years ago. I love it. I've never had a pool before this one, but I've heard lots of horror stories about maintaining a pool. I've never had any trouble and I attribute most of that to the cover (and this website). It keeps out dust, pollen, bugs, rain, keeps heat in, keeps the chem levels more stabilized, eliminates evaporation... - I could go on and on. It really does make my pool maintenance free. I only need to vacuum every two or three weeks. It doubles as a safety cover. I don't live in a city so no codes to worry about. My insurance provider required either a cover or fence - didn't need both. There are a couple things to keep in mind. It was expensive. It does make my life easier so it was probably worth it. You need to keep a cover pump on top of it to pump rain water off. It's kind of an eye sore, but oh well. Another biggie is that it requires power. We've had a couple power outages that prevented us from using the pool. When the derrecho rolled through a couple years ago and knocked out power, we couldn't use the pool for 2 or 3 days even though it was in the 90s. That sucked. They do have an option for an auto cover where the tracks sit on top of the decking. Ours is in the coping since it was done at the time of pool install, but they can do either. Good luck. http://www.automaticpoolcovers.net/
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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Beens View Post
    you might want to check out the tf-100 kit from tftestkits.net.
    I've read some other threads on here people recommending that one as well, so I went ahead and order the TF100, sounds pretty similar just more quantity.

    Thanks!
    Scott

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by mrshanes View Post
    I will chime in about the auto cover. We had one installed with our pool 4 years ago. I love it. I've never had a pool before this one, but I've heard lots of horror stories about maintaining a pool. I've never had any trouble and I attribute most of that to the cover (and this website). It keeps out dust, pollen, bugs, rain, keeps heat in, keeps the chem levels more stabilized, eliminates evaporation... - I could go on and on.
    I think I'm sold on the auto-cover. We have a chain link fence around the back yard and I looked up the local code, we just need 4 foot fence (which we have), with self-closing, self-locking gate (will need to add, but I found some inexpensive options to modify the current gates). Thanks for the info!
    50 year old, newly remodeled in-ground 20x40' pool (approx 30,000 gallons)
    1.5 hp Hayward pump and 20 gpm/ft2 sand filter (62 gpm filtration&backwash), 50psi max working pressure

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    Re: New, proud owner of neglected 50 year old gunite pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JesseWV View Post
    Maybe it's just me but it doesn't look 50 feet long. If it is then each cover section should to be 3'3" wide.
    You are correct, I measured and it it's 20x40, 45' including the stairs.

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