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Thread: Bouncy / soft steps - replace or alternative options

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    Bouncy / soft steps - replace or alternative options

    Hello - 1st post here - I searched for this but couldn't find any answers....

    I'm about to have the liner replaced in my in ground pool. It was last done in 1992. The built-in fiberglass steps flex a fair amount when weight is applied indicating that the backfill has settled or fallen away somehow. I'm being quoted about $6300 for the liner replacement plus another $7000 to replace the steps. This is the first quote - I'm getting others. The steps themselves are ok, but could be in danger of cracking. The quote includes replacement steps instead of remove and refit. My question is two fold. Is $7000 reasonable for that job? Are there alternatives, such as back filling with expanding foam? Appreciate any insight. Thanks.
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    Holy Guacamole!! Unless your pool is much, much bigger than normal...that seems outrageous for both. I assume you are in the UK and assume those are US dollars.

    Here in the US, a normal residential pool should be maybe $4000 total.....TOTAL Many times less.
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    Hi - I'm in the US. The pool is 16x32. The quote was $2300 for the liner (28mil) + $2400 labor + $850 filling. The rest was for the removal/prep and new fittings/fixtures. Guess I should get those other quotes afterall.
    TFP Moderator -TF100 Test Kit - TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel- PoolMath- Pool School -
    You're done SLAMing when: 1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.
    "Do at least one thing every day that makes you happy. `Butterfly`

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    i dont know where you are but the prices seem very high
    we sell and in stall an new 16x32 liner for $2750.00 faceplates are included
    new steps well they run $2400 maybe a little more depending on whats around them
    i think you can do better on the prices that they are giving you
    paul

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    If the steps are good and have just had the foundation undermined I would think you could drill a hole in the decking and have someone pump in industrial grout to resupport everything for under $500.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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    PoolManUK, welcome to TFP!!

    As long as the steps are still whole (not cracked or leaking) all you need to do is provide some support for the treads that are flexing when used. This would require excavating the step area (which would need to be done to replace the stairs anyway - so that's a given cost - as is the cost of refilling them and redoing the deck) I'm assuming that the steps are fiberglass, but even if they're steel with the liner over them, my upcoming suggestions hold.

    Once there is access to the underside of the stairs you can use cinderblocks, paving stones or whatever non-compacting material to build a couple supports under each flexing stair (wood is not advised as it tends to rot in wet environments ) You could also just use PVC pipe for the supports (cutting the pipe just the right size is a whole lot of tricky, but it can be done).


    The optimal situation for using the PVC is if the stair manufacturer included receiving cups for pipes on each stair -- if yours have the cups, this becomes a breeze. Glue the pipe into the cups (they will sit ~1 1/2" off the collar, but that's OK) and drill a hole through the bottom of the pipe the right size to accept a piece of rebar (drilling the hole before installing the pipe is easier, but I didn't want to get ahead of myself ). Once all the pipe supports are in and the rebar is through the hloes (it only needs to extend a couple of inches past the pipe) - mix up some sac - crete and apply it around each of the supports so as to encompass both the pipe and the rebar. Once the sac- crete is set, those supports aren't going anywhere and the steps will no longer flex!!

    If nothing else, this will save you the cost of new steps -- Having changed out stairs (or 'retro-ed' them in) a few times - using the supports is a lot easier and therefore less expensive! (Besides, the new steps would have to be supported somehow or you'll end up back at square 1!

    Welcome, again, to TFP! I hope you are able to get the new liner in and the steps taken care of in time to enjoy the full swim season!!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

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    On my previous pool there was a stair which had cracked and been repaired with epoxy putty a few times too often. I purchased a 3/8 thick 2'x4' dark grey piece of PVC from www.mcmaster.com - cut a stair tread to size, rounded it over nicely using a woodworking router (1/4 " round-over bit) and stuck it to the step with a pint of underwater epoxy. No more flexing and no excavation. Better than spending $3,000 on new steps (plus the liner and coping and ...)

    But if you are digging anyway, putting solid supports under the stairs might be easier.
    So far lots of mud, moss and grass in my back yard (in that order). Planning a pool build for spring/summer

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    I respectfully disagree with what WASTE says about excavating. There are commercial contractors that will drill a hose through the decking and pump in a special grout mixture that will lift and support. I worked in a chemical plant where a slab floor in a wharehouse was settling and that is what we did to resupport and level the concrete floor without ripping it up or emptying the building.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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    With the liner coming out anyway, wouldn't be simple to remove the stair unit, thus gaining access underneath the stairs, and then install them as if for the first time? That would appear to be simpler than either of the approaches suggested so far.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Jason, the trouble with that is that is the steps are bolted and buttressed from the back side so you can't reinstall them without digging to gain access to the bolts and 'A-braces' ... and if you have to dig anyway- we're back to my suggestion of supporting vs. replacing. Also, how would you get proper support under the treads?

    However, kirbinster's {*notice I didn't SHOUT the name* } method could well have merit. As I originally said, ' if the steps are sound [not cracked nor leaking], all that needs be done is to support them'. After saying that, I went on to say how I would perform, or have done, a similar fix. As the original option was to replace the steps, I tried to give advice that would save PoolMan $ (as we all are) by removing the cost of new steps (~ $2400 if "all your parts" was doing it) - I can assure everyone that doing the fix the way I described is SO MUCH less labor intensive than changing out the steps that the cinderblocks, sac - crete, etc. costs less than the extra labor required to replace the steps!

    On to kirbinster's method --

    If I had ever heard of such a method, I might have suggested it! As I have no experience with this method, I question it's viability in a situation like this. How does the company that is filling the void know when there's enough in there? (I imagine that some sort of ultra-sound equipment would be used to insure that the voids are fully filled) I can see that with a concrete slab all you need is a level to know when enough material has been pumped in, but for the underside of a set of stairs? What if more 'undermining' occurs, will that chunk of pumped in 'crete just drop? Another worry is any stair plumbing, if there are step returns, could the pumped in filler damage them?

    As said, I don't know 'jack' about the 'pump and fill' method - what I do know is that the method I suggested is 100% safe for the pool and would save considerable $ over replacing the stairs
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Was just trying to make your name stand out from the text and not think I was talking about the work "waste" in the middle of my text - not trying to SHOUT!
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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