A pool leak and replaster job, please help me not go into this blind

Cserrah

Member
Sep 12, 2019
12
Guam
Hello TFP,

I am truly at my wits end with my swimming pool. I bought my home just over a year ago, and the owners had the pool repaired and replastered just before selling. I've since posted a few times here detailing first plaster delamination from a bad plaster job. Next, a leak occurring in the pool. (see history if you're curious) With the help of some rubber plugs, I sectioned off the maindrain which definitely helped with the leak, but found that the leak would still be there in a filled up pool. The water level always seems to go below the skimmer level and slow around there, even when plugging all the skimmer lines. It would leak about 1.5-2 inch a day. My pool has turned green because I cant keep the water enough to circulate and I've given up constantly throwing in chlorine and stabilizer to keep this going.

The problem is I live on Guam, and the only company that has a business here for services has been very unhelpful in dealing with any problems. I've messaged/called many times only to be given some instructions on plugging certain lines then being put off on when they can come and help. There are no other official options. After a month of all this song and dance, I've gotten to the point where I really need to do something. At this stage, I've found a general plumber/electrician by word of mouth who is willing to help. He has some familiarity with pools but not an established business. His plan is to drain the pool, waterblast all old plaster, patch cracks (which we do see some at the corner of the pool), and re-plaster the whole thing, and check the plumping for leaks with a gauge before filling back up with water. We need to replaster this anyway, so I'm now thinking I might as well just do it and hopefully it will fix the leak in the process. Does this sound like a valid plan? What do I need to be aware of hiring a person and their subcontractors to do this as a side line job?

I would have to buy my own materials... can anyone suggest what plaster I should buy special for the pool if any? Or can this be a material I pick up at home depot?
If I'm going to do this please help me make sure its a good job and that I can choose a good material to make this fix last...

Thanks again for any help
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,842
Stuart/FL
Pool Size
12800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
C,

Sounds like a tough situation. I have no idea on the plaster but I'm sure somebody will respond that knows. @jimmythegreek can you help? In the meantime can you tell us how much water you're losing and if you've done a bucket test? If it were me, I'd want to try to isolate the probable leak source before I started messing with plaster. For example let the pool level drop and see if it stops leaking when it gets below the skimmer and/or returns. Also, if you could post some photo's of the cracks it will help our experts advise.

Chris
 

Cserrah

Member
Sep 12, 2019
12
Guam
I think I've done about as much as I can on my own. It is definitely losing water over the bucket test, 1-2 inch a day. Seems to stop just below the skimmer line. The plaster is delaminating and looks bad/shows cracks on the floor but since it slows and almost stops below the skimmer I believe the major leak is around the skimmers. The guy I mentioned pointed out that some of the corners of the pool seem to have hairline cracks present just in the top corner and there is a small hole on the side near one of the skimmers. I'm not sure how much of a pool professional he is but I feel like its all I got. I can post the photos. In the meantime any insight would really help.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,842
Bedford, TX
C,

If it almost stops just below the skimmer, then the most logical failure is at the skimmer.. Plugging lines does not help because the water is most likely leaking around the plastic skimmer and into the ground and not down the pipes. I would first suspect missing or cracked grout at the skimmer mouth and the tile leading into the skimmer.. It could also be the skimmer is cracked. This is a problem that you can fix yourself with some underwater putty..

Show us several pics of your skimmer..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,293
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hopefully the above works and you can fix the skimmer leak. If not I would hire a leak detection company. I see American Leak Detection says that they service Guam. These guys also advertise leak detection:

Once you figure out the where the leaks are, then you can determine a plan to fix or isolate them and refill the pool and get it working again. Then you can figure out if you need to tackle plaster or any other issues with the pool.
 

Cserrah

Member
Sep 12, 2019
12
Guam
Thank you, I will check out those leads you found. I guess I was looking for more pool specialty but I should look into actual plumbing services to help. I will post photos tomorrow during day time. I will need to tackle the plaster as well hence I am considering hiring for that and to go along with it fixing the leak. Is it still recommended to just tackle things one at a time, leak then plaster? if so why?

Question.. is it okay to just let the pool be green ? is there any harm? It is just becoming so cost prohibitive to constantly dump in chemicals in a leaking pool


I
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,842
Bedford, TX
C,

What we are saying is to find the leak before you re-plaster.. Depending on where the leak is, you might be able to have it repaired at the same time they plaster, but it would be important to know for sure where the leak is before plaster.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Cserrah

Member
Sep 12, 2019
12
Guam
Understood. Thank you for all the comments.
Can anyone provide insight on whether its okay to let the pool go green while trying to figure this out? Also our local pool plaster aggregate goes for about 30-45 dollars a bag. I'm wondering if anyone knows recommendations for plaster for when the time comes to do the job. Thank you
 
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