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Thread: Rebuilding an Old Pool

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    Rebuilding an Old Pool

    Our pool in Miami is more than 30 years old and is clearly leaking. The pool is 15x34 feet, and goes down to a depth of about 8 feet. One contractor says the only leak is from the return lines (there is an odd system of 21 self-cleaning lines) that he proposes replacing with three inlets. Pool also needs refinishing. ... A friend says that if I refinish, replace the patio area deck that will be dug up, etc., I should go all the way, and replace the main line in the bottom of the pool and the line that goes through the skimmer also. They do not appear to be leaking now, but to redo patio and pool and not replace main lines, my friend says, would mean that I might do an expensive pool repair and then have to redo the whole thing again, maybe, in a fairly short period of time. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    -- Damasco in Miami

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    Re: Rebuilding an Old Pool

    If you are replacing an infloor cleaning system with three main drains, it will require a bit of chipping out for access to the suction lines. Disabling the infloor system may only require some plumbing changes at the equipment pad. Replumbing the entire pool might be a big job, or it might be made easier just by diabling the existing lines and adding new, assuming that your leaks are purely plumbing leaks.

    If you are going to get into the shell anyway, it's probably worth it, but I'd ask my renovator for his costs and recommendations. Good luck!
    http://www.swimmingpool.com/

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

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    Re: Rebuilding an Old Pool

    Welcome to TFP!!

    I can not only give thoughts but, perhaps also some insight

    Sounds like you have an infloor cleaning system (Caretaker or the like) which is the 21 lines. Did the person who said that is where the leak is pressure test all the separate lines that feed it? (If he did you would have seen someone SCUBA diving in the pool to plug and check each 'bank of heads') Did they pressure test ALL the lines?

    If they pressure tested all the lines, I would tend to trust the lines that were good (replacing the skimmer line would be easy if the deck was already removed and trenches dug, but doing the drain line would be expensive and might cause more problems in the future than the original line )

    If you plan on going with the 3 new wall returns, have them add 1 more to be a suction line (in case the drain line fails in the near future) which you could use for vacuuming or low suction IF the bottom drain line fails. As you plan on resurfacing the pool, make SURE!!! that they completely seal the 21 inlets before they plaster over them!!!!!

    I have more to say but since this is your first post, I'll wait for any questions you have on what I've said 8)

    Again, welcome here and we'll do all we can to help you with any questions you may have with your pool
    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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    Re: Rebuilding an Old Pool

    we also have a 40yr old 20x40 pool. Last summer we had it sand plasted (was thickly painted) and plastered with diamon brite and water line tiles (blue) put all the way around.
    We also had the original skimmer (old rectangle shape) replaced (had slow leak) and went ahead and had the main drain replaced with the new double main drain (our main drain had a air leak, not alot of suction before).
    we also ended up replacing (actually capping) our return line after we found out it was a copper line....they capped off that one and ran another return.
    It was a major investment for us and a pretty big job but, it all got done pretty quickly.
    and now are big old beast is shiney new

    I wish we could have had a new concrete or stone deck put in (not in the budget) but, we did have a couple concrete areas replaced that were badly cracked and also a few of the bull nose coping....so if you can, do it all at once....i love the pool but, our decking is just kinda old and blah (i'm just happy the pool looks so great)

    now if it only it would go back to some warm weather...only about 4 more months

    good luck and welcome!!!

    Chris
    30-40yr old prehistoric IG gunite 20 X 40 approx 30000gals
    now with new cool blue Diamond Brite and blue waterline tile (looking good for 40yr old pool)
    new Hayward 244T sand filter, 3/4 Hayward pump, Jandy heat pump
    pool skim (love it)

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    Re: Rebuilding an Old Pool

    Thanks for replies... I haven't gone to trouble of leak testing yet, because there IS a leak (pool is now down about 8-10 inches), and I'm debating whether to just redo the whole pool.... One thing that bothers/interests me is Special Contributor's comment that a new main drain might be more trouble than old one.... Is the idea that if old lines are still working after 20, 30 years, they're likely to still keep working?

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    Re: Rebuilding an Old Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Damasco
    I haven't gone to trouble of leak testing yet, because there IS a leak (pool is now down about 8-10 inches), and I'm debating whether to just redo the whole pool....

    If you can afford it, by all means redo the entire pool, but it's gonna be $$$ (big bucks)!! :P

    If you want to stop the leak as inexpensively as possible, you need to know where and what is leaking (and hopefully, why)! Therefore, getting someone in there to test the lines and the pool itself is a MUST! It could easily be something as simple as the hydrostatic valve in the drain being stuck open. You could also be loosing water through the backwash or waste valve, in which case none of the lines are bad. You've got to find out where the leak is before we can advise on the best way to fix it!

    Anyone who comes out to a leaking pool and doesn't bother to check everything before suggesting how to fix it is a moron!! I'll admit the possibility of something so glaring that he might 'know' a return bank is bad, but leaks sometimes come in 2's or 3's, so you need to check everything!

    As to question about what I said (BTW - "Special Contributor" is my rank here - there are a number of us who have that rank- my 'handle' is ''waste'' and my name is Ted ) - just because a line worked yesterday or for 30 years is no guaranty that it will work tomorrow. If there was a problem with the initial installation of the line which lead to the current failure, I would think that any and all lines run at the same time could soon have the same failure too. However, there is also no guaranty that a new line won't leak within 30 days (there may be a guaranty that whoever ran the pipe will fix it for free, but not that the line won't leak). Cutting into the shell of an existing pool might cause structural problems, especially in the deepest part of the pool where the pressure is greatest, also draining pools can cause it's own set of headaches. In addition to this is the stuff from ktdave in this thread with tunneling backfill problems.

    2 things:
    1) Please have the pool completely checked for leaks!!!
    2) Please read Pool School

    Again, thanks for joining us! We want to help you but need to know what's going on before we can give you the best possible advice 8)

    Ted (a/k/a waste)
    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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