Brand New Pool Leaks —should we have them re-plaster or fix patch and hide with decorative tile?

Hi TFP community,

Our brand new pool (16x36x8’) got filled on 5/22 and started a major leak (more than an inch every 12 hours) in the next couple days. We went through the 5 day start up process and kept re-filling but let our contractor know. (He did not do the start-up process.) He got a leak detection company out and they found the crack that’s causing the leak. They epoxied the crack due a temporary fix.

Pool got drained starting yesterday evening. They will now determine whether the issue is at the plaster level or at the gunnite level. Hopefully plaster level as that’s a lower level of problem as per PB.

The plaster guy started the draining process yesterday evening. He also asked us if we would consider a patch which he would cover with decorative tile at his expense. His reasoning was that this would save him money from demo’ing the whole pool and re-plastering. And we’d get that tile upgrade and not have to deal with demo. While it seems like a mutually beneficial solution, we told him let’s figure out the problem and the right way of fixing it first.

My question: Should the pool be re-plastered (vs. patched at repair location and covered with tile) since it’s been drained before the often recommended 28 day plaster curing process? It’s white plaster. It was drained on day 17. Now it will sit without water at least a few days as they figure this out. The crack is about a foot long starting at the corner of one of the lights at one end of the pool. It just out in It is not due to light casing issues. It is a straight line.

Thank you so much.
 
Last edited:

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
654
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
While we wait for the experts to chime in if your pool is draining now i would get a garden hose and spray down the walls every few hours to assist with the curing.
 
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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
654
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
keep that up until your curing window ends
 
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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
654
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
if it is the plaster that is leaking and having had to drain negatively affects the plaster in the curing window in any way, then i would not let the plaster guy talk you into a patch I would insist on a redo - in the meanwhile keep it as wet as possible until our resident experts can chime in
 
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It's pretty unusual to have a major leak from the structure of a brand new gunite/plaster pool. I'd definitely determine the source (plaster or gunite shell) before committing to any fix. And emptying the pool before th plaster has cured needs a expert input. @bdavis466 , @onBalance , @jimmythegreek ?
Thank you, Keith. It seems unusual to us too, and that's what got us so stressed and worried. Especially if it is the gunite shell.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
855
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
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CircuPool RJ-60
Seems losing that much water in 12 hours is a bigger problem than just a plaster patch.
 
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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
654
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I wish. Both of us work all day and not home for about 10 hours.
do you have a lawn sprinkler? - you can get a timer for it that turns it on and off - might be worth looking into - or don't worry about it and ask them to tear it all out and start again.
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,847
Morris Cnty NJ
That's alot of water to lose thru a basic plaster leak. It can be possible to lose heavy water thru penetrations in the shell as they lead to dry earth and leak quickly. What's tough is to make any patch look good, amd adding deco tile randomly in the pool may not look great especially on a new pool. Add in the fact you have young plaster without water this early on, makes a tough call. Personally I'd only do a full chip and do over if it's more than a simply plug patch. If it's in the shell it's another stor. White is easy to patch amd blend though so maybe you get lucky. Get a timer on a sprinkler to water it down. Can also lay wet blankets hanging off the coping
 
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Haku84

Well-known member
May 20, 2021
57
Southern California
Pool Size
18000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Hi TFP community,

Our brand new pool (16x36x8’) got filled on 5/22 and started a major leak (more than an inch every 12 hours) in the next couple days. We went through the 5 day start up process and kept re-filling but let our contractor know. (He did not do the start-up process.) He got a leak detection company out and they found the crack that’s causing the leak. They epoxied the crack due a temporary fix.

Pool got drained starting yesterday evening. They will now determine whether the issue is at the plaster level or at the gunnite level. Hopefully plaster level as that’s a lower level of problem as per PB.

The plaster guy started the draining process yesterday evening. He also asked us if we would consider a patch which he would cover with decorative tile at his expense. His reasoning was that this would save him money from demo’ing the whole pool and re-plastering. And we’d get that tile upgrade and not have to deal with demo. While it seems like a mutually beneficial solution, we told him let’s figure out the problem and the right way of fixing it first.

My question: Should the pool be re-plastered (vs. patched at repair location and covered with tile) since it’s been drained before the often recommended 28 day plaster curing process? It’s white plaster. It was drained on day 17. Now it will sit without water at least a few days as they figure this out. The crack is about a foot long starting at the corner of one of the lights at one end of the pool. It just out in It is not due to light casing issues. It is a straight line.

Thank you so much.
Any updates? What was the source of the leak? What was the fix? My new pool appears to have a leak as well. PB does not seem pressed to get anyone out to look at it, after all they've gotten 99% of the money already.
 
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