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Thread: Gunite Pool falling apart

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    Gunite Pool falling apart

    After getting my pool up and running in the last couple of weeks, I have had a large chunk of plaster and concrete, along with some smaller chunks, fall off the side of the pool. The largest size is about 12x18x2.5 inches and runs along a crack that has developed about six inches to a foot below the water line. The pool is gunite and was built in 1965. I extensively remodeled it with new tile, brick, and stone coping when I bought the house about 30 years ago. I have painted it 3 times with Ramuc chlorinated rubber paint.

    Now I am wondering the best way to repair this. I am probably looking for a quick and dirty solution rather than major reconstruction. The pool is due for another repainting and I have been looking at the rubber to epoxy conversion coatings. Any advice would be appreciated.



    16x32 Inground Gunite Pool, 1965, renovated, epoxy painted.
    Hayward Ecostar Pump
    6' Conical Franciscan Woodworks Teak Hot tub

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    Join Date
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    Re: Gunite Pool falling apart

    I was waiting to see if someone else was going to chime in here but so far, nobody has. I hate to suggest it, but since you not only have plaster falling off, but the gunite shell as well, I can only surmise that you are probably looking at needing a complete resurfacing altogether. I'm not sure that there really is a patch that would be a solution to whats going on.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Gunite Pool falling apart

    Painting isn't going to help at all if the plaster is not securely bonded to the gunite. If more plaster lets go it will bring any paint along with it.
    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: Gunite Pool falling apart

    Just wanted to say sorry your pool is cracking up! It is lovely... you did a really nice job with the remodel you did!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
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    Re: Gunite Pool falling apart

    You have to chip out till you get to a solid surface. The patching technique will depend on how much material you took out.Stucco mixes cant bridge much more than whats there. Once you get all the loose stuff out post a pic and I can tell you how to patch it.
    Frank
    PebbleConcepts.com
    FamilyPoolsInc.com

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    Re: Gunite Pool falling apart

    Jason,

    Yes I realize that the first step would be patching the depression securely. Most of the pool is pretty solid. I was exaggerating a bit when I said the pool is falling apart.

    Mermaid Qeen,

    Thanks for the compliment. It has been a lot of work. I have some friends who are stone masons who were slow at the time. The bricks are antique street pavers salvaged from a street in downtown Detroit. We positioned the boulders at the deep end with a rented front end loader and my friends insisted that I operate the machine when moving the big ones because they didn't want to be held responsible if one was pushed a little too far and ended up in the pool.

    Frank,

    I understand taking out anything that is loose. My concern would be knowing when to stop chipping. It may be obvious. I have had to replace over a dozen tiles in the last couple of years. I had to chip away at the surface to get it back to where I had room for thinset. I used Laticrete's top of the line Platinum thinset I believe it was called. I am thinking that this would be similar although would likely require a compound made for the depth required. Laticrete makes some compounds for thicker mortar beds.

    Since this is so close to the vacuum suction line, is it possible that there could be a leak in the line that could cause a crack and weak spot like this? I almost always have some air going through the filter. I should probably figure out how to pressure test the line. I would hate to put a lot of effort into patching only to have it come right back in a year.

    I am in Detroit, Michigan so freezing is a factor. Thanks.
    16x32 Inground Gunite Pool, 1965, renovated, epoxy painted.
    Hayward Ecostar Pump
    6' Conical Franciscan Woodworks Teak Hot tub

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    Re: Gunite Pool falling apart

    You will chip it back till you have a solid surface. It will be easy to tell when you hit stronger material. You will need to hit the hammer much harder. I am not trying to be funny either. You will be able to tell it is taking more effort. I have never see a leak in a pipe cause concrete damage. Concrete shells always get some moisture from the plaster because no plaster is 100% water proof.


    Air in the lines does not always dictate a leak point. The piping system in your pool can cause cavitation in the pump. I have seen equipment installs done wrong create this in the past. What happens is in certain circumstances when the intake port to the pump does not have sufficient length you can boil water at room temperature in the suction side of the pump. The suction side has a negative atmospheric pressure and changes the boiling point of water. In some cases air bubbles are just boiling. water.

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