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Thread: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

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    Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Firstly - Thank you for this forum. I have referenced it quite a bit over the last year during my pool overhaul project.

    A little history - We bought a home in Coastal WA built in 1907 from my Grandma (the family home) about 8 years ago. This pool has a 75' X 27', 68,000 gallon concrete-gunite pool in the back yard. This pool was built about 1965 according to the little medallion cast in the pool deck near the diving board. The square-round pool is 9.5' deep in the deep end and has sloped sides from bottom to top (it does not meet current Code standards for side slopes). The last time anyone used it was 2004, the summer after my grandfather died. He was the one who kept it going. My family grew up around this pool, so many great memories and great days spent swimming with any number of family dropping by.

    At any rate, we bought the house thinking that we would get the pool going again - by my oldest daughters freshman year (the goal). She is in the 8th grade now. The pool was spider webbed with structural cracks from top to bottom, side to side, everywhere. The main drain was permanently plugged, all the skimmer piping was okay, but the concrete around the skimmers was broken. I have an acquaintance in the biz, so I invited him over for a look. He told me that the only option for repair with a guarantee would be to backfill and drop in a new pool liner, total costs probably about $100k. I thought about it a lot and it just is not a great investment here in the Pacific Northwest. We only get 3 months of use from the pool on our best summer. So I decided to keep the current pool shape and go it alone. Sweat equity, stupidity, or stubbornness I am not sure which.

    Last summer I:

    Chased every crack, backfilled and ground flush. The big cracks I repaired structurally with rebar and epoxy, wire, fiberglass, whatever fit.
    Cut in all new piping returns, lights, skimmers and backfilled old lights, skimmers and other holes.
    Cut/bored in a new main drain set up, cut in floor drains, backfilled and ground flush.
    Rolled in a 4 part liner over the new smoother surfaces.

    Went through 5 grinders, $800 of blades and diamond cups, and 15 filter sets on my breathing mask. It was a long summer. Before and After:



    The water table fluctuates between 6' and 11' BGS (I installed a monitoring well). The pool was watertight after last summers work until January this year, when it cracked again during a hard freeze. The crack was not in the liner, it is clearly a structural crack. This pool's construction, age, and location with the water table causes settlement. My grandfather spent all of his time filling cracks in the pool to keep it going. I know that will be my lot in life for the next 10 year, and have made my peace with it. This pool will never be trouble free! I figure I will have to make temporary fixes all summer long and at the end of swim season when the water table is down, drain and make better repairs. Maybe pool is to strong of a word for this thing, and "concrete hole" is a better term.

    Anyway I have all the pipes stubbed out from the returns, skimmers, main drain and am about to start running pipes and conduit to the new machinery I haven't bought yet. I will have lots of questions going forward, and am happy to be here.

    First question - What is a good temporary crack repair system for concrete/gunnite? I am looking at Aquabond because it has a mixing tip and seems like that would be the way to go for underwater work. The first crack is below the current water table so I will need to work with a positive head in the pool on that one.

    Thanks - Ryan

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    wow! 68,000 gallons! (Doc Brown / Back to the Future voice)

    What a fascinating story!

    And that shape...never seen anything like it.

    Looking forward to more photos as you progress!
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Welcome to TFP! Nice story!
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    TheBraLady's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Please keep updating! LOVE the story!!
    Pool Completed 8/2015 18'x36' Gemini shape 3.5' - 8', 19,200 gal IG vinyl, Hayward Max-Flo 1.5 HP 2-speed pump, Hayward Pro Series 300-lb sand filter, Hayward AquaPlus SWG, NO Autofill, Dolphin M400 robot, Taylor 2005 test kit, 434 gal Bullfrog A7L spa

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Have you talked to a liner company about making a drop in liner for it? They can make them for any shape of hole and as smooth as you have made it, I am sure it would lay over it nicely. Then you just plumb in all of the drains, returns and skimmers and you "should" be good for many many years. I have never bought a custom liner I've seen people on TFP do it for $2500 - $4000?
    6000 gal inground fiberglass
    1.5hp pump / sand filter
    Liquidator

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Hey that's a pretty good idea. Seems like you ought to be able to put a vinyl liner in there for under $5k.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    In hindsight it would have been a better choice to sandblast the whole pool, fill cracks and repair. Then go for AquaBright ecoFinish which is a very flexible plastic/epoxy based system. It would be very flexible for future cracks and if it leaks you can repair and reapply.

    Very difficult and time consuming any route you take.
    Good luck

    Felipe
    7,500 gal Rectangular, Easytouch 8, Air+water temp sensors, Screenlogic2, IC40, intellibright5g color12v, Intelli pH, SD 70 filter w/Zeolit, Magicstream Laminars, waterfall. Raised Monolithic concrete lined with glass beads.

    In Sunny Monterrey,Mx!

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    I thought long and hard about the drop in vinyl liner. The pool has sides at a 1:1 and lots of uneven curves. I knew we could get a vinyl liner that would be moderately close, but it would have a lot of folds in it and there is no coping on this pool, but I could have cut a level line and built a way to hold the liner track. I just kept imagining spending weeks trying to get an accurate model and still ending up with a liner that didn't fit correctly at the top and would be needing me to do a bunch of retrofitting of the liner right after I purchased it. Plus we could not have installed the liner until August of last year because I could not get a good handle on the groundwater until then. The correct way to do a liner would have been to build a vertical section of pool wall all the way around, cutting off the existing pool 2' bgs or so and building a proper coping edge. That may have been a better solution, but I am okay with where we are.

    So, I am still looking for a leak repair system? Anyone have advice?

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Okay, so last weekend I started installing the underground utilities for the pool. The 2" lines from the skimmers and main drains are routed back to the equipment pad. I have been reviewing the pool build pictures on this forum in the evenings trying to sort out how I want to arrange the equipment and piping. I am an engineer, so the logic of the piping for me is a big deal.

    By the end of this week I will have the piping all run to the equipment pad as well as the conduit runs. The only remaining piping will be the supply from the municipal line and possibly speaker wire, although I did that on the last house I remodeled and within about a year everything was wireless and so it was un-needed.

    Now I am going to start buying equipment - and I would like opinions on the equipment I purchase. We will only run our pool 3 months of the year the other 9 months I will winterize and turn off the equipment, so my choices of equipment will be based on that.

    Right now I am looking at

    Pentair 3HP Intelliflo VS - do I need a variable speed pump for my limited use? We will have a slide attached as our only other feature.

    Pentair IC60 SWCG - Since I am only operating 3 months of year, should I look at manual chlorination instead? Is it worth the expense for the SWCG? I'm not sure how much chlorine pellets cost.

    For the filter I am sort of lost - the pool always had a Hayward DE filter probably a little undersized, but looking at the different types of filters none really go up to my size of pool. Based on my 3 months operating schedule - what would you recommend?

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    No, ypu really don't need the Intelliflo unless you're going good to get automation, easytouch or intellitouch. You can get a Superflo 1.5hp variable speed pump, 342001, for quite a bit less. It also has a built in controller.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Wow, what an amazing story. You've been left with quite a legacy. Someone else mentioned AquaBright, and that might be the way to go for the pool surface. There is an AquaBright expert on the forum, so maybe he'll chime in. I'm not sure if SWG makes sense. Based on the size of your pool, you would be running it at 100% all of the time, and you will probably still need to add chlorine. For 3 months out of the year, chlorine may make more sense. I also want to make sure that the new drains you've put in are VGB compliant. Good luck on your adventure, and continue to post pictures.
    Build in Progress - 15k gallons IG gunite, 12x38 rectangle 4-6-4, Raised Spa - 6x6 w/neg. edge & gas fire feature, All Pentair - IntelliFlo VS Pump, 420 Clean & Clear Filter, 400K BTU MasterTemp, IntelliChlor IC40 w/EasyTouch8 Bundle, ScreenLogic2, IntelliChem, 3 GloBrite LED Color Lights in Pool - 1 in Spa, 1 ColorVision LED Bubbler on Ledge, Bellecrete Grey Mod-Edge Pre-cast Coping, QuartzScape Mariner Blue, Sunstone-Lagoon 1x1 Mosaic

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Good Stuff thank you. I used a product called AquaGuard or UltraGuard or something like that. I will have to find the cans of it. It's pretty rubbery and thick. The base layer is basically like fiberglass epoxy. I just e-mailed the company who sent it for their best answer.

    I did install VGB drains. I think they were Haywards? It was quite a chore digging in those new lines. You can see how I had to cut hand holes to shove the pipe down the backside of the pool wall. I also remember a requirement that they be 36 inches apart OD to OD. After I am done the pool will comply with the building codes except the side slopes will not meet the necessary geometry for the top 24".


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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    WOW! That is all I have!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Wow, 68K. That is a really interesting pool. I am curious to see how this all goes.

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    So I am still sifting through equipment choices. I think I am down to the filter type.

    My first consideration is a sand filter. I have noticed that there are a lot of finer sand products available to utilized in lieu of regular sand to get maybe a finer filtration quality? With Cartridges, I will be the only one to clean the filter. With DE or Sand I can get my wife or possibly oldest daughter to backflush when I am out of town. This is probably the most major consideration, because we live a really busy life, and me being available to keep tabs on the filter is wishful thinking.

    I have DE around, and could always throw some in the skimmer baskets for another layer of polishing if needed. I could also use DE, but to me it just seems like Sand is the lowest maintenance of the 3 types. My pool is big, so even if I buy the biggest cartridge system available, it is still 1/2 the size recommended by the manufacturers (roughly). Which would mean twice the cleaning program. On Amazon, the Hayward 24" sand filter got really good reviews.

    Being real, a little cloudier water for less maintenance is probably the direction best for my family. Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    I wonder if there are commercial sized sand filters for pools that large?

    Love your story... LOVE old pools, they sure made 'em big back then, huh??

    Maddie
    Maddie :) 12K 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.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_PNW View Post
    I have DE around, and could always throw some in the skimmer baskets for another layer of polishing if needed. I could also use DE, but to me it just seems like Sand is the lowest maintenance of the 3 types. My pool is big, so even if I buy the biggest cartridge system available, it is still 1/2 the size recommended by the manufacturers (roughly). Which would mean twice the cleaning program. On Amazon, the Hayward 24" sand filter got really good reviews.

    Is that DE you have around made for pools? Or the food-grade kind for insects?

    If it's not pool grade it will cloud the water something fierce. I almost did that a few years back haha.

    I'd go with sand. I wonder if one is insufficient if 2 could be paired in parallel somehow. Pretty sure
    I saw that at a commercial swim facility once.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Maddie :) 12K 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.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Sand in for the win! I LOVE my sand filter.............it is SO easy to "clean" aka backwash then rinse and all is good until the next time!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Pool Restoration - A labor of Love

    Quick Update, on this project.

    So my kids started asking me - "when are you going to fill up the pool" and I started in with a list of things we had to do before we could. We had to bring in the electric subfeed, water service, and gas to the new pool building, had to pave a new band around the pool rim, start the pavers, build a new fence and basically another month of work. Then I started thinking "The pool is pretty much done I, could have the kids swimming in there, probably inspiring me to work a little harder". So I scrapped those plans, found an empty breaker slot on my shop panel and ran out a temporary service. I built the concrete forms for the pool building and then filled in and used bricks for the temporary pump and filter base (that would be level with the floor after installation). I installed a 1.5 HP Superflo and Pentair Sand 75 GPM filter and filled the pool. My wife bought some outdoor carpet and I just raked the gravel under it and laid it down for access to the pool.

    This would also give me a chance to see everything working before I backfilled and paved. Now, the pool is full but COLD and while we are still a long, long ways from complete the kids have been swimming like crazy even though it is the middle of a construction site. We all surf, except my wife, and so they have plenty of wetsuits for them and their friends. Now I am trying to balance my chemistry so will probably move over to that forum.

    Here is a picture of the full pool. I have some leaks to address, but I think I have them 90% identified. It is hard to work on the bottom of this pool because it is 9' down, so it takes a lot of breath.



    Here is the simple equipment set up. I left a lot of straight runs so I could add other stuff as needed, but this is functioning really well.


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