Hybrid Fiberglass Pool major remodel.

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
So we just bought a house from an estate and the IG pool was a wild card. We have yet to move in and the house needs some updating. Since our pool season in Buffalo NY is about three months long I figured the pool was going to be our first major project.
No one knew anything about the pool. This is what I have pieced together with some effort. Built in the early 1970's,keyhole design, hybrid pool(which means concrete bottom and fiberglass panel sides. Filter and pieces of the original pump were found in the basement. Pool did hold water.

Feel free to see my previous post regarding lining the pool with a vinyl liner or paint it with epoxy.

Once we got started one thing turned into another.

I am a big time DIY guy,however time is of the essence so I broke down and contracted a company to do the mechanical items. I did a lot of research and requested a sand filter and a Pentair variable speed 1.5 HP pump. Interesting enough a quieter energy efficient pump was not offered to me by either one of the two different pool repair companies.

So here we go 06/2016 The pool company I choose, wanted to do a pressure test of the lines first. We only had two lines coming to the pump/filter area. One of the lines tested bad. While the company was replacing the line they called and recommended since they were in there they should add a third line ( I believe for a vacuum) at a reduced labor cost. Makes sense, I have seen a lot of pictures of pump setups and they all seem to have three lines not two like mine had.

The deck around the pool was generally solid; however, it was original and had four major cracks. So I called a concrete company that did excellent work for us in the past. I requested that the four cracks be fixed. I could tell that it bothered the concrete guy as he seems to be a bit of an artist. He didn't think it would look good having old concrete with new. He walked around the deck for no less than 20 minutes analyzing the deck. He finally said it would cost $1000 to repair the deck or he would replace the entire deck for $1700 plus the cost of the coping. Seemed like a no brainer and he really gave us a great price.

So I called the mechanical pool contractor and coordinated his line replacement with the concrete work. He recommended replacing the skimmer line while the deck was removed. Which I agree with.

Three days ago when the concrete guy removed the deck from the pool it almost collapsed the walls of the pool. Turns out the deck is actually the structural support for the top of the pool. Looks like the first section he broke out potentially ruined the walls. See picture with bowed wavy walls.By the way he forgot to mention to me ( or return my call) that removing the deck damaged the walls of the pool. So I spent my weekend excavating stone around the walls of the pool. Then reinforcing/repairing the broken fiberglass sleeves (which hold steel rebar) , coming up with makeshift ways to pull the walls back out. Then filling the pool, backfilling a couple thousand pounds of stone which seems to have worked and repaired the damaged walls. Time will tell.

Then I will have coping installed that will accept a liner. Then the concrete deck poured. Then drain the new water out of the pool and have the liner installed. If I would have know this all up front I may have consider a new pool. However this pool is original to the house, it is unique and it has character.

Stay tuned for after photos.

Pool before .jpg
Pool before1.jpg
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
8,648
Southern OK
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
This one is going to be great, looking forward to watching :)
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,195
Tallahassee, FL
I am SO in to watch the rehab!

The concrete guy did a rabbit huh? I bet he got REAL scared when that went so bad :( Am I guessing he will not be doing the coping and such work?

Kim:cat:
 

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
Pool before.jpg
Pool before 1.jpg
pool before 2.jpg
Pool before 3.jpg
Pool before 4.jpg
Just FYI the kids were able to rescue the frogs in the bottom of the pool. They used a homemade skimmer. Consisting of a pole and a spaghetti strainer attached to the end of it.
 

Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
945
We have the same construction in a kidney shape. We have receipts from the original owner from 1973. He took really good care over the years but we did a full plaster resurface and replaced the tile in the channel attached to the coping. Made a huge difference.
 

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
I am SO in to watch the rehab!

The concrete guy did a rabbit huh? I bet he got REAL scared when that went so bad :( Am I guessing he will not be doing the coping and such work?

Kim:cat:

Concrete guy finally called back. He states he did not realize the damage.

I am having the pool pro special order and install the coping. He needs to track it down; just like most things on this pool it is unique and not readily available.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,195
Tallahassee, FL
Can you tell us about the coping? What makes it different than "normal"coping? (I LOVE to learn and this info. might be helpful for someone else down the road.)

Kim:cat:
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,498
Pacific NW
Very interesting design...never seen that before.

Well look at it this way, he was giving you a steal of a deal on
the concrete work anyways.

Looks like you got it fixed?
 

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
Can you tell us about the coping? What makes it different than "normal"coping? (I LOVE to learn and this info. might be helpful for someone else down the road.)

Kim:cat:

I have been told the coping is non typical. This was due to the fact that the walls are only about 3/8 thick. So the coping is specific to this style of pool. So on the backside of the fiberglass walls there are shims that keep the angle iron/rebar post about 1/4" back away from the walls creating a cavity. This cavity on the back side of the wall allows this special coping to drop in.

The pool pro that has been working with me on this just called.He states he found this coping and needs to have it shipped from Canada. The cost of 90' of coping shipped is $1100 and since it is a custom install the labor on the coping is $500. I questioned the labor cost as I figured this coping basically drops in with the deck off. He told me it is going to be a custom installation of the coping. Unfortunately not many companies want to take on this project. They either don't call back or they refer me to other pool companies. In Buffalo NY our pool season is a few months and these guys are all super busy now. Basically I won't be getting any deals on this reno. However, I do plan on saving money on chemicals by using the TFP methods and not getting on the Pool pro's plan.
I will post pics of the new coping when it is done. We can see if it truly is special.
Pool before1.jpg
coping.jpg

- - - Updated - - -

Very interesting design...never seen that before.

Well look at it this way, he was giving you a steal of a deal on
the concrete work anyways.

Looks like you got it fixed?

Yes I reinforced the broken sleeves on walls (which hold the posts) with Bondo and fiber mesh tape. The walls seem better. Before I order the liner I want the pool pro to confirm this.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
Update when I pumped out the remaining black muck at the bottom of the pool, I discovered a drain fitting on the floor with two pipe fittings. I believe one line goes to the skimmer and not 100% sure on the other line. The pool pro didn't see this before because, this drain in the deep end was covered with muck.

I happened to be onsite while he was working on the skimmer. Just like everything else on the pool, the skimmer was fighting him. It was cemented in on the bottom. I asked him about the drain and other lines. He didn't trust the integrity of the line going from the skimmer to the drain in the bottom. He stated he would eliminate that line and probably cement over the drain in the bottom when we put the liner in. So I asked him with that setup, I would only be pulling water from the skimmer? He confirmed this, he was okay with it, and that was his recommendation to eliminate the floor drain.

So I thought back to, years ago when we were in a hot tub showroom and there was a poster on the wall explaining drain safety. How newer hot tubs have two drains to eliminate entrapment. It made sense to me at the time. So that got me on a search to learn about pool entrapment fatalities and injuries. I did not like his recommendation of just having one skimmer pull water.

I can appreciate a company trying to save me money as this has gone over budget. Since the deck is going to be off of this pool. I wouldn't consider it a major operation to install two drains about halfway down the fiberglass walls of the pool opposite to each other in the deep end. Considering the deck is off.

Could just one skimmer cause an entrapment?
Is just one skimmer on the top of the deep end ideal for water circulation?
Anyone agree with piping in an additional two drains on the walls since the deck is off?
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,045
Houston, Texas
You are much safer with one skimmer than with a skimmer and a main drain. The two main dangers with main drains in the floor of the pool are that the suction entraps under water you so you cannot break free and drown, or with shallow water such as a spa, you sit on a main drain and the suction holds you there, but instead of turning off the pump to break suction, you or your buddies try to force yourself off the drain and end up disembowling your self.

The suction pipe for the skimmer is way down in the skimmer throat which is off-set from the pool and accessed from the pool deck. The skimmer box where the water enters does not have suction at that point. If you where to cover the skimmer box in the pool it would not suck your body into the opening. At best you would block flow from the pool and the skimmer throat would empty and start sucking air. You pump would make a horrible noise and it you let it run dry for several minutes it may burn up the motor. The only way you would entrap yourself at the skimmer would be to get your fingers caught in there if you stuck them in there while the pump was running.

A main drain is nice to have but not essential. Most above ground pools do not have one, and some inground builders do not install them unless requested. A main drain in climates with extended hard freezes tends to be more prone to freeze related problems, which may be why yours is capped off.

Adding an extra return or two will do more to improve circulation than adding another skimmer or main drain.
 

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
You are much safer with one skimmer than with a skimmer and a main drain. The two main dangers with main drains in the floor of the pool are that the suction entraps under water you so you cannot break free and drown, or with shallow water such as a spa, you sit on a main drain and the suction holds you there, but instead of turning off the pump to break suction, you or your buddies try to force yourself off the drain and end up disembowling your self.

The suction pipe for the skimmer is way down in the skimmer throat which is off-set from the pool and accessed from the pool deck. The skimmer box where the water enters does not have suction at that point. If you where to cover the skimmer box in the pool it would not suck your body into the opening. At best you would block flow from the pool and the skimmer throat would empty and start sucking air. You pump would make a horrible noise and it you let it run dry for several minutes it may burn up the motor. The only way you would entrap yourself at the skimmer would be to get your fingers caught in there if you stuck them in there while the pump was running.

A main drain is nice to have but not essential. Most above ground pools do not have one, and some inground builders do not install them unless requested. A main drain in climates with extended hard freezes tends to be more prone to freeze related problems, which may be why yours is capped off.

Adding an extra return or two will do more to improve circulation than adding another skimmer or main drain.

Thanks for the reply. I will quote out adding two returns.
Do you think the two returns can share the same line as the skimmer? Or would you recommend a new additional separate line back to the pump/filter area for the returns?
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
14,045
Houston, Texas
The skimmer line goes to the pump and the return line comes out from the filter, so they never have shared the same line. When there are multiple returns they all T off the same return coming from the filter. If you wanted you could have a valve for each return line added at the equipment pad so you could isolate each line if you ever needed to make repairs. If you add a dedicated line for a pool cleaner it would have its own line from the booster pump to supply the extra pressure it needs to operate.

If you are re-doing all the plumbing anyway you may want to go with 2" pipes to reduce head loss.
 

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
The skimmer line goes to the pump and the return line comes out from the filter, so they never have shared the same line. When there are multiple returns they all T off the same return coming from the filter. If you wanted you could have a valve for each return line added at the equipment pad so you could isolate each line if you ever needed to make repairs. If you add a dedicated line for a pool cleaner it would have its own line from the booster pump to supply the extra pressure it needs to operate.

If you are re-doing all the plumbing anyway you may want to go with 2" pipes to reduce head loss.

Perfect will do. I will quote out the adding a return or two with valves
When I heard return I assumed it was pool water returning or being sucked in. Not the other way around. Thanks for the clarification.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
8,648
Southern OK
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
Update when I pumped out the remaining black muck at the bottom of the pool, I discovered a drain fitting on the floor with two pipe fittings. I believe one line goes to the skimmer and not 100% sure on the other line. The pool pro didn't see this before because, this drain in the deep end was covered with muck.

I happened to be onsite while he was working on the skimmer. Just like everything else on the pool, the skimmer was fighting him. It was cemented in on the bottom. I asked him about the drain and other lines. He didn't trust the integrity of the line going from the skimmer to the drain in the bottom. He stated he would eliminate that line and probably cement over the drain in the bottom when we put the liner in. So I asked him with that setup, I would only be pulling water from the skimmer? He confirmed this, he was okay with it, and that was his recommendation to eliminate the floor drain.

So I thought back to, years ago when we were in a hot tub showroom and there was a poster on the wall explaining drain safety. How newer hot tubs have two drains to eliminate entrapment. It made sense to me at the time. So that got me on a search to learn about pool entrapment fatalities and injuries. I did not like his recommendation of just having one skimmer pull water.

I can appreciate a company trying to save me money as this has gone over budget. Since the deck is going to be off of this pool. I wouldn't consider it a major operation to install two drains about halfway down the fiberglass walls of the pool opposite to each other in the deep end. Considering the deck is off.

Could just one skimmer cause an entrapment?
Is just one skimmer on the top of the deep end ideal for water circulation?
Anyone agree with piping in an additional two drains on the walls since the deck is off?

one of those 2 pipes may be a hydrostatic valve in case the water level is above the pool, the water will release into the pool instead of floating/popping :)
 

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
one of those 2 pipes may be a hydrostatic valve in case the water level is above the pool, the water will release into the pool instead of floating/popping :)

I agree. I believe one of the pipes in the main drain is a hydrostatic valve. The liner company recommends cementing that drain then installing the liner. This would mean I would be eliminating the hydrostatic valve. I would rather not have my pool pop out of the ground if it ever lost its water over the winter.

Do liner pools have hydrostatic valves?
Do you recommend having a valve.
If so do you recommend cementing the drain and finding a way to leave the valve operational?
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
8,648
Southern OK
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
I would make sure the hydrostatic valve stayed in place and worked.. the main drain is optional and most plug them (from what I have seen) within 5 to 10 years...
 

dq7256

Silver Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
29
Buffalo NY
The coping is in. I can see why it was $1100 plus $500 in labor. The coping is made out of aluminum and didn't just drop in. It was somewhat custom fit to the pool. They thought the coping might bend and kink while installing around the curves in the deep end. Luckily it did not. It looks like it is anchored with a lot of screws into the fiberglass wall.

Thanks to Mod Squad we added an extra return line and shut off valves for all of the four lines. Makes sense.
 

Attachments

  • pool after 1.jpg
    pool after 1.jpg
    40.8 KB · Views: 411
  • pool after.jpg
    pool after.jpg
    74.1 KB · Views: 425
  • pool after 2.jpg
    pool after 2.jpg
    67.3 KB · Views: 437

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread