Abandoned Pool - Suggestions Please

TWAcres

Silver Supporter
Jul 9, 2018
46
Ramona, CA
Greetings All ~ we purchased a home with an abandoned pool that we are wanting to resurrect.

Size: approx 20' x 45' and 12-15' deep
History: Neighbors claim it was up and going until approximately 2010 when the liner ripped and was never repaired
Construction: Cement and cinder block and a liner was used
Condition: seems solid - has held rainwater (and a frog colony). There are cracks in the base, but nothing deep or wide.

We've called at least five pool companies; only two have come out but neither came back with plans, suggestions, or quotes - even when I followed up with calls and texts. So, we are now looking at DIY solutions. Sider-Crete seems the best bet. Any advice or suggestions out there? Or are we just dreaming?

Cinderblock_sides_to_Concrete_base[1].jpgCinder block to concrete base

Corner showing Cleat.jpgShowing Corner with old cleat

Diagonal view to far corner

Thanks {in advance}.

Tumbleweed Acres
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

Did you actually measure the pool size (depth especially)? That is crazy deep for a residential pool.

Got any pictures that are of the entire pool?
 

ctrav

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 23, 2017
2,400
Northlake TX
Welcome to TFP Tumbleweed...

What an awesome project to take on. Lots of challenges and rewards ahead for sure considering the PB's won't return a call. Looks like you may have some of that "don't tell me what I cant do attitude" which is good as this project will most certainly test your resolve. BTW thats certainly a deep pool...

A few questions:

What does the big picture of the pool look like?
Will you be replacing all the equipment (I would think you would need to)?
Are you going with liner as was the original or maybe gunite?
Hows your access for equipment to get to the yard?
Have you considered tearing it out and starting over?
How was the plumbing run to the original pool?
Hows the current landscaping in the yard especially near the actual pool (trees, grass, shrubs)?
Have you looked into hiring a general contractor who may have better access to subs or is this something you can or plan to do?
Do you have pets (there will be a serious mess in your yard)?

I could go on but you get the point Im sure. My questions are not meant to dissuade you at all as I for one am excited...

Best of luck
 

TWAcres

Silver Supporter
Jul 9, 2018
46
Ramona, CA
Yes, it's crazy large (we believe the property was once used as an RV park) - we've measured around the pool, but not the depth (just guestimating on that one).

Here are a few more pictures and I'll try and get better ones this afternoon . . .

Corner to corner (shows diving board and equipment house). A random jet. From steps to diving board. (not sure if you can see this one) Aerial shot of pool area.

Answers to questions:


  • Will be replacing all equipment (the shed is empty)
  • Don't think we want to go with a liner but open to all options.
  • Plenty of access to pool
  • Tear it out and start over?! No, but I have thought of a tilapia farm
  • Not sure what you mean by how was the plumbing run (don't laugh) . . . it's all underground to the pool house
  • Landscaping: The pool area (fenced) is approximately 50' x 70' and is cement. With an additional 10' border on both the west and south sides of landscaping. There is additional landscaping, outside the fenced area (most of it dead) but the palms have survived.
  • We plan on doing the work ourselves (with help from family and friends)
  • Lots of animals and wildlife, but the pool area is fenced.

~ Tumbleweed Acres
 

Tx-C

Bronze Supporter
Aug 23, 2017
120
Midlothian/ Texas
Just WOW! you have an amazing view with the mountains and those palms are huge! You have work ahead of you but it will be so rewarding! looking to see how this turns out :).
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,752
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!

If those depths are correct you might consider filling it up so the depths are more manageable. Your volume with the depths you show are commercial size and require special equipment to manage.

For a surface I wonder if AquaBright might be an option? Search that term for lots of threads on it.
 

ctrav

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 23, 2017
2,400
Northlake TX
Looks like you have a plan...


  • Not sure what you mean by how was the plumbing run (don't laugh) . . . it's all underground to the pool house

I asked this because my concern is are the pipes intact?

One of your pictures showed a return on the pool (round thing)...how many are there installed? Do you know how many skimmers are attached?

You obviously have mad skills and awesome family/friends to be able to take on this project.

Please keep us updated!
 

TWAcres

Silver Supporter
Jul 9, 2018
46
Ramona, CA
Looks like you have a plan...

I asked this because my concern is are the pipes intact?

One of your pictures showed a return on the pool (round thing)...how many are there installed? Do you know how many skimmers are attached?

You obviously have mad skills and awesome family/friends to be able to take on this project.

Please keep us updated!
There are three round thingys {technical term, I'm sure}; two in the shallow end and one at the deep end. And two, what I believe are, skimmers. We haven't even tried running water through any pipes. But here is the equipment house. A couple broken pipes, but nothing we (husband) can't fix.

I am mad and my husband has skills! And yes, we are fortunate to have awesome friends and family {who also have mad skills}. Looking forward to the adventure - what's the difference between an adventure and an ordeal? Your attitude!

~ Tumbleweed Acres
 

TWAcres

Silver Supporter
Jul 9, 2018
46
Ramona, CA
Welcome to the forum!

If those depths are correct you might consider filling it up so the depths are more manageable. Your volume with the depths you show are commercial size and require special equipment to manage.

For a surface I wonder if AquaBright might be an option? Search that term for lots of threads on it.
I've thought of filling up the deep end a bit, but if the base is in-tact and serviceable, it seemed like added work for less pool? Or would it be off-set by the reduced equipment cost?

I've looked into AquaBright but it seems more of a surface paint/finish and I'm concerned with the exposed cinder blocks and the fact that the sides are not seamlessly attached to the base?

Thank you for your suggestions . . . Keep them coming!

~ Tumbleweed Acres
 

ctrav

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 23, 2017
2,400
Northlake TX
Make no mistakes about it ordeal or adventure you attitude is awesome! You will have to excuse my humble terms cause this Texas boy is fairly simple :)

Good to know no liner. I have a friend back east who has one on an older pool ind its just too slippery for my liking. A shot of gunite then AquaBright or in my case DiamondBright (with a very dark finish) would work well. PebbleTech is very popular as well. Mknauss makes a very good point about volume of the pool with the depths you describe. Specialized equipment could get vey costly. If you are planning a diving board suggest you check insurance. Some folks have a rather large umbrella policy that works well but then again CA is different than TX for sure!

Looking at your pics again you have a very unique property. Will this pool be for personal use? It may be worth looking into city codes to see if there are restrictions on water or pool size.
 

TWAcres

Silver Supporter
Jul 9, 2018
46
Ramona, CA
Make no mistakes about it ordeal or adventure you attitude is awesome! You will have to excuse my humble terms cause this Texas boy is fairly simple :)

Good to know no liner. I have a friend back east who has one on an older pool ind its just too slippery for my liking. A shot of gunite then AquaBright or in my case DiamondBright (with a very dark finish) would work well. PebbleTech is very popular as well. Mknauss makes a very good point about volume of the pool with the depths you describe. Specialized equipment could get vey costly. If you are planning a diving board suggest you check insurance. Some folks have a rather large umbrella policy that works well but then again CA is different than TX for sure!

Looking at your pics again you have a very unique property. Will this pool be for personal use? It may be worth looking into city codes to see if there are restrictions on water or pool size.
The diving board will be removed (don't need that headache).

The pool will be for personal use only (again, don't need an insurance nightmare). We live in an unincorporated area and are on well and city water, but will probably just bring in a water truck . . . but I didn't even think of water usage restrictions; that's why I'm here - to learn from you all.

~ Tumbleweed Acres
 

MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
269
Tucson, AZ
I've thought of filling up the deep end a bit, but if the base is in-tact and serviceable, it seemed like added work for less pool? Or would it be off-set by the reduced equipment cost?
Looking at the pictures I don't think it's nearly as deep as you initially described, so I don't think you have an extreme volume to worry about. Based on the cinder blocks, it appears that over 1/3 the pool is only ~3 ft deep, and the deepest portion looks to be maybe ~10 ft. It's a large pool for sure, but not extraordinarily massive.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,388
Morris Cnty NJ
that pool can never be covered with anything to make it waterproof without ALOT of money thrown at it. When u dont have a monolithic pour of some type of cementatious product you are taking a big risk trying to coat that. To put ANY coating on the cinderblock it needs to be skimcoated with something then a ecofinish, aquabright etc. where the floor and walls meet is a pivot point, any movement of the floor and walls with ground swelling of rain, freeze thaw, etc will crack the finish. The swirling you see on the walls is from wall foam that was glued then the liner set. There should be a track system under the coping to receive the liner. If it doesnt have one it could have been a hybrid pool w fiberglass panels that have the track at the top of them that was glued to the block. regardless we need some better pics to help further

- - - Updated - - -

i just saw the smaller pic of the red coping, you can clearly see the piece of liner bead next to the wood and the coping track. you can make a liner pool look great and cant tell the diff look wise from a concrete pool. you do no border, color match the skimmers/return plates, and liner over steps
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,283
Northern NJ
Do you care about operating costs for the pool? Chemicals it will eat are proportional to the gallons in the pool. Once you get above about 40,000 gallons it takes more then residential equipment - filters and SWG.

I suggest you work out an estimate of renovation costs, equipment costs, and operating costs and make sure it works for you. It may be more economical log term to have a pool better sized for your family.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,662
Central California
Welcome TW!! Nothing to add (except more questions!). Just want to be in on this bad-boy of a thread! This is gunna be good!!

Can you just shoot plaster or pebble right into the thing, as is? The block and floor don't have to be watertight, right? Can you get a good bond that way, or do you have to work the existing concrete in some way to achieve that?

Ya gotta join TFP. It's money well spent, but more importantly, you get to have more images, and we're gunna need more images!! ;)

Very best of luck. It's going to be so great when you're done!!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
This is basically like the pool that @duraleigh built (there is a build thread somewhere) and now @OTPirate owns.

I think a liner is about the only way to make it work due to the possible shifting of the blocks cracking any other type of surface.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,033
Pacific NW
Wow that is a huge pool! concur, that is likely 10 ft deep in the well. 12 at the most.

Liner is your best / least cost option.

Can't wait to see it refinished and filled.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,662
Central California
This is basically like the pool that @duraleigh built (there is a build thread somewhere) and now @OTPirate owns.

I think a liner is about the only way to make it work due to the possible shifting of the blocks cracking any other type of surface.
Yes, I see. Without knowing the stability of the various components, anything but a liner could be trouble...
 

OTPirate

Admin
In The Industry
Oct 2, 2013
1,481
Creedmoor, NC
Howdy! I hope Duraleigh chimes in as he knows more about the build. As far as chemistry- I have an SWG for a 40k pool that sometimes has a little bit of difficulty keeping up with the CL demand. I simply supplement with about one gallon of liquid chlorine a week during the summer. It was cheaper to do that than purchase a SWG for a 60k pool.
You do have to think about water restrictions where you are. I’m on well water, so no worries here.
My pool doesn’t have the depth yours has. Only about 6 feet at the deep end.
You will need a good pool vacuum in a pool that size.
I’ve been able to manage a fairly large residential pool by myself. There is nothing like it when you can invite the whole third grade class or all 30 cheerleaders over for a pool party and not blink twice. Go big or go home!