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Thread: Draining Pool - Terrified

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    Draining Pool - Terrified

    Re-doing tile (waterline and steps) and must drain pool. Also, may paint the surface (plan to open a different thread for questions on that).

    I am nervous about the pool popping out of the ground. I believe it is a fiberglass pool. I am embarrassed I cannot be 100% sure of that. I thought it to be concrete, but upon first swim (recently purchased), I noticed some paint peeling on the surface, and behind seems to be the shell of the fiberglass pool.

    SO, I have read that many fiberglass pools have a hydrostatic plug built in the main drain, but I do not think that mine does, although I wouldn't know how to determine this.(?)

    The tile work is being done by a "tile man" (whose work I am confident in), but not a pool repair person by primary trade, although he has in fact done pool tile previously for sure.

    What can be done and what is the best approach to drain the pool without having an in-ground pool become above ground? What can I do?

    I live on the east coast of Florida.


    Here's a video I took to show the GF the paint surface flaws in case it helps at all:
    http://youtu.be/oumg3wsegfu

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    Living in Central FL, I think you have a good right to be concerned.

    Firt thing, is dive down to the main drain and take the cover off. If there is a hydrostatic valve in there, you should be able to see it.

    If there isnt one, the only real option I know of to ensure non-popping of the pool is to have a hole drilled into it to relieve the pressure.
    That can be patched pretty well by a good pool company with experience in FG pools.

    In this case, I even recommend a reputable pool company to have a look and get their opinion.
    Divin Dave,
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Living in Central FL, I think you have a good right to be concerned.
    Ahhh

    Firt thing, is dive down to the main drain and take the cover off. If there is a hydrostatic valve in there, you should be able to see it.
    Will it just look like a plug in the main drain? If there is a valve, I will observe two things inside, (1) the actual drain and (2) the valve?

    If there isnt one, the only real option I know of to ensure non-popping of the pool is to have a hole drilled into it to releave the pressure. That can be patched pretty well by a good pool company with experience in FG pools.
    I didn't want to get into all of that... but I understand what you're saying.

    Edit: Thank you BTW!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another thing... someone else mentioned they thought it may be a concrete pool with a fiberglass painted surface... Why would someone do this?? And, how can I determine?

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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    You might see an open hole or pipe, which is the drain to your equipment.

    then the hydrostatic valve...mine looks like a piece of pipe sticking up a little bit with a cap on the end.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    That doesn't look like FG to me. Looks like plaster. I think pics might be easier to tell.
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    How old is the pool? I ask because my PB installed a pipe around the perimeter of the pool to pump out ground water. The water table is not quite that high here yet.
    23.6x14 IG free form ~8K gallon, Pentair VS 3050 Intelliflo, GloBrite LED lighting w/IntelliBrite controller, Aztec Cobalt water tile. CLI Carolina Blue pebble finish, Bronze pool cage, 336 sqft Heliocol solar heating. Build Thread and landscaping Solar heating install

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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    You guys are great I appreciate this!

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    That doesn't look like FG to me. Looks like plaster. I think pics might be easier to tell.
    Delivering on the pictures

    (Full Res)














    Where it seems like paint coming off is what's confusing me.. and is what's making me want to paint it while it's drained for the re-tile..







    Quote Originally Posted by borjis View Post
    You might see an open hole or pipe, which is the drain to your equipment.

    then the hydrostatic valve...mine looks like a piece of pipe sticking up a little bit with a cap on the end.
    I dove down and unscrewed the cover.
    Like this?

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    The ceramic tile embedded in the plaster is the key. Can't do that on fiberglass or vinyl.

    Some people do paint plaster pools, it is not recommended here because it is not cheap, there is a lot of prep work and it only lasts a few years. And the more times you paint the more prep work is needed. The cost over the life of plaster vs paint isn't that far apart. There are a few threads here where people have painter their pools and documented it.

    I am not familiar with hydrostatic valves. But, if there is on there I suppose it is under that square drive plug. Or while the pool is drained maybe they just take the plug out to allow ground water in if it rises.
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    The picture just before the one of the drain really does look like FG, to me. I don't know the age of your pool, but as you can see from my sig, some of these pools have, over the years, been constructed of different materials or subsequent to construction, modified by using different materials.

    So, don't be surprised if you find that it is constructed of concrete and fiberglassed.... or something else. It is pretty important to determine exactly what you are dealing with, first....

    Personally, being about 14 feet above sealevel, myself, I wouldn't dream of draining that pool without some form of hydrostatic relief.

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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    I really truly appreciate the advice from you guys. Thanks for taking your time.

    Is there a way I can be certain of what I'm dealing with here? What is the yellow-ish behind where the paint is peeled/rubbed/worn off? ...Is it paint? (It does get cloudy when you rub on the surface)
    Fiberglass pool surfaces aren't yellow like that are they? And if it is concrete why would someone coat it in a resin/fiberglass (or whatever that is) like that?

    It's going to be mostly drained this week for waterline tile and I'd like to ;fix up' those areas I mentioned since it will be drained..

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    Yeah, I agree that the yellow behind the scratched surface does look like it could be fiberglass now that I look at it more. Hopefully the tile people can figure it out when they dig in there.
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    Not to drag out this thread but when I think of a fiberglass pool I picture the really smooth, blue colored surface they seem to have. So, why the yellow here?

    Could it be a layer of fiberglass over the original (possibly concrete) pool? If so, why? (because yeah, like you said, the ceramic tile in the steps is confusing.) I thought the side view of the pool light hole would tell something. I can't imagine why do that instead of another plaster or paint.

    Sorry to carry on.. I think I owe the forum a test kit purchase at the least

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    That surface you see as fiberglass is gelcoat. There are pools out there with fiberglass side walls and concrete bottoms. And one person up there ^^^ has fiberglass over wood!

    No worries, that is what we are here for, to help you with your pool. You should buy a test kit for you! You will benefit from it more than anyone.
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    The "yellow" areas are the structural resin of the fiberglass pool. The last picture shows clearly some individual strands of the chopped fibers. The white surface is likely gelcoat but could also have been painted. The reason you are seeing the yellow color is that the white surface has been worn away in those areas.

    In any case the fix is straight forward, sand, clean, prime and repaint.
    IG pebble pool (refinished 2015) w spa overflow 20,000 gal. Sta-Rite 450 sf cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (2015) another 2 hp pump for spa. Pentair 120k heat pump (2014). Jandy 8000 controller with Jandy valves.

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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    Quote Originally Posted by pool812 View Post
    The "yellow" areas are the structural resin of the fiberglass pool. The last picture shows clearly some individual strands of the chopped fibers. The white surface is likely gelcoat but could also have been painted. The reason you are seeing the yellow color is that the white surface has been worn away in those areas.

    In any case the fix is straight forward, sand, clean, prime and repaint.
    Thanks

    What's involved in the sanding process? Am I going to have to completely remove the old paint?

    And can you recommend a a product for prime and paint? I'm looking online for a product that will not rub away and cloud up the water like it does right now when you rub on the wall of the pool.

    I'm finding there's all kinds of paint..rubber, epoxy, etc

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    that last pic is of a hydrostatic vavle in the main drain. Really nothing more than a pipe plug.

    cant help with the fiberglass. I know nothing about it.
    Divin Dave,
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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    I agree with Pooldv that the waterline tile makes it look like this is a gunite pool since it appears that the waterline tile is even with the surface of the pool. It you look at the stairs you will see tile and grout on the edge of the stairs. I have never seen stairs like this on a FG pool. This is a sign it is a gunite pool. Maybe it is gunite and had been resurfaced at some point with a fiberglass inner shell. Food for thought?
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    Re: Draining Pool - Terrified

    I agree that the tile makes it look like a gunite pool, at first glance. The areas where the white finish is gone show fiberglass. I also thought that this pool could have been renovated with fiberglass at some point. The two pictures of the light fixture make it look more like a fiberglass shell. Look at them closely and it appears that there is about 3/8 inch depth of fiberglass that has been cleanly cut out for the fixture. A cut that clean and a depth that consistent was likely done at the shop and not on site in the ground.
    One of the photos of the waterline tile shows a sort of recess just below the lower edge of tile. It kind of looks like the recess could have been to allow the tile to sit closer to flush with the pool walls. I have never seen that before. Once the tile guy hammers all the old tile off you will have the answer, probably.

    One question is do you repair the spots, or refinish the whole pool. If the white surface is chalky it probably is time to do the whole pool. Then there is the texture which is a bit unusual, keep or go smooth?
    IG pebble pool (refinished 2015) w spa overflow 20,000 gal. Sta-Rite 450 sf cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump (2015) another 2 hp pump for spa. Pentair 120k heat pump (2014). Jandy 8000 controller with Jandy valves.

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