How concerned should I be about these cracks??

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
959
MA
I am bleeding 160 Gals per day.
I wonder where all that water is going. I would think a pool surrounded by clay would have a hard time losing that much water per day.
Did they backfill your plumbing trenches with sand or the virgin clay soil?
Do you remember if the sidewall of the excavation was all the same color clay material or were there any layers down there?
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
434
Central Texas
Who is your builder?! Most builders around here, tout a lifetime gunite/shotcrete shell warranty.

So while your general pool warranty may be expired by 6 months, I would not be surprised at all if the builder promised a lifetime warranty on the pool shell only (ie: warranted to not leak water, but not warranted against cosmetic defects).

I would absolutely go after the pool builder for this.
 
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RoyR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 31, 2018
324
Escondido/CA
Even as an owner builder - there needs to be acountability - did you do a soil analysys? If it was engineered, rebar'ed and gunite correctly, this "should" not happen. Hopefully you took a lot of pics of the build process...eitherway, does not look good!
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,317
Pacific NW
That flex seal tape works pretty well. My ex used it to seal a bird bath from leaking. Not sure how difficult it is to remove but may work to seal temporarily.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,931
Morris Cnty NJ
I reviewed the engineer's drawing amd it looks pretty good overall. One thing missing is any supporting structure. When building a concrete pool on bad soil its common to have structural supports below the pool in key areas. I dont see any detail on overexcavation or soil remediation plans. I would think if you had that much of a swaying soil moisture content an injection or water injection system would have been recommended. I'm not familiar myself with them but I know they are used often in Texas and other parts of the country where moisture swings are huge. If the shell was properly wire tied and the shoot was quality mix amd applied properly for embedment depths its definitely an over engineered shell. I also note the locations of the cracks somewhat opposite of eachother but they are so minute you wouldnt be able to measure any settlement at this point. This is a tough situation and losing water is the worst thing for the pool overall. Get some putty or sealant in both cracks for now until this can be further addressed.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,429
Fletcher, OK
I reviewed the engineer's drawing amd it looks pretty good overall. One thing missing is any supporting structure. When building a concrete pool on bad soil its common to have structural supports below the pool in key areas. I dont see any detail on overexcavation or soil remediation plans. I would think if you had that much of a swaying soil moisture content an injection or water injection system would have been recommended. I'm not familiar myself with them but I know they are used often in Texas and other parts of the country where moisture swings are huge. If the shell was properly wire tied and the shoot was quality mix amd applied properly for embedment depths its definitely an over engineered shell. I also note the locations of the cracks somewhat opposite of eachother but they are so minute you wouldnt be able to measure any settlement at this point. This is a tough situation and losing water is the worst thing for the pool overall. Get some putty or sealant in both cracks for now until this can be further addressed.
@jimmythegreek Would an overdig where #57 gravel brought back in to fill the overdig be the standard or something else?
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,931
Morris Cnty NJ
That's just basic stuff when dealing with poor soil or water issues. Many pools are built on top of "stilts" reaching into the ground for additional support. They also use channel beams poured monolothically when the shell is shot. Totally different approach when dealing with expansive soils
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
84
Knoxville, TN
If it helps any, I used this on a crack I have as well as filling some tile grout that had fallen out. It’s white though so might not match very well. I hate using tape for anything as it leaves a sticky residue on stuff but no idea if that would be the case under water. And you’d have to remove it for the pool builder to inspect the crack, where filling the crack would at least be visible without removing the epoxy.
 

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JK in PHX AZ

Active member
Jul 19, 2019
28
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks to all for your input. I did witness the rebar installation and the gunite application, and all was done to spec. The only thing that differs from the drawing is that the bottom corner radii going from wall to floor, was supposed to be something like 18" radius (huge), and it was not troweled with that large of a radius. And, the cracking is at the topside of the pool, not the bottom. There was no overexcavation and refill with gravel, AB, etc., as none was called for in the engineering work.
I am pretty sure that the issue was caused by absolutely no rain for seven months (Feb thru Aug) this year, and then a 2" deluge a week before the crack occurred. Aside from the pool, in the past 3 weeks, we have 1/4" gaps open up in our travertine pavers near the pool (expansion), and artificial turf next to the pavers develop 3 large wrinkles (contraction).
I have filled the pool cracks with a white marine polyurethane sealant (ugly) which cures underwater, and this has stopped the leak according to food dye tests after application.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,168
Central California
I think you said you were out of warranty (or didn't have one). But if you had the design engineered, this sounds to me like a failure by the engineer to accommodate the known soil conditions for your area. The whole point of getting something engineered, and getting that all-important engineer stamp on the plans, is to be assured something like this can't happen. And more importantly, establishing the engineer as the responsible party if a failure occurs. If the builder (you or your sub) followed the plans to the letter, and there is some sort of proof of that (Was the dig and rebar inspected? Do you have the concrete spec, as delivered? Etc.), then the engineer and his insurance are liable for the fix (IMO). Something to ponder, anyway...
 

JK in PHX AZ

Active member
Jul 19, 2019
28
Phoenix, AZ
ATXFirstPool, I worked with a local pool construction consultant, who had contacts and previous work experience with all the different trades required to design, engineer, and construct pools. He provided at least 3 recommendations for each trade (draftsman, electrical, plumbing, rebar, concrete, etc) and I requested bids from those sources. He knew that the soil conditions in our area required that the pool shell design be engineer-reviewed to get County permits issued.
Usually, in any locale, there is one or two engineering firms that specialize in soil/foundation/excavation engineering. I would contact a few local pool builders and ask who they would recommend for any soil- and structural-related engineering services in your area. After a few responses, you'll likely see one or two names keep being mentioned, and that's who you should then contact. Good luck!
 
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ATXFirstPool

Active member
Aug 4, 2019
29
Austin, TX
If you went with something like BYOP, that doesn't sound like you had a certified independent engineer. Just out of curiosity, which of the parties (concrete company, the consultant, etc.) is going to fix these issues for you? Wondering in case I also go the BYOP route with an independent engineer.
 

JK in PHX AZ

Active member
Jul 19, 2019
28
Phoenix, AZ
Yes, it was a licensed professional engineering firm, and the drawings were stamped. See pdf attachment of the drawing earlier on in this thread. In my case, I am SOL, because I am 6 months out of warranty. At this point, I have plugged the leak, and I'm in the process of getting input from various subcontractors on how to proceed from here.