Just found a crack in our newish pool...

Jaypeesi

Active member
May 5, 2018
29
Oakhurst Ca.
Our pool is a little over 2 years old. Noticed the yesterday that the auto fill was operating in the afternoon which was odd and the water level was a bit low. Last night turned off the water to the autofill and found the water level was approximately 2" below normal operating level. Looked for any obviously leaks with non found. My wife however noticed a some rust on the wall of the pool which turned out to be a crack. Started looking more closely at the area directly behind the crack and cement deck and the soil is definitely showing signs of something that is not right. Ny question is what should we expect from the builder? They have been around for years and have a great reputation. They want us to turn off the auto fill and pump and the owner will be out at some point in the next few days? Additional information, we are in the "hills" in central California but have not had any quakes lately. I'm preparing for the worst but am curious if anyone has any ideas.
 

Attachments

  • Wow
Reactions: TexasRain

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,366
Tallahassee, FL
What does your warranty cover? I would be getting out your paperwork to see what it says and go from there. Here is hoping he stands behind his product!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,547
It's a cracked gunite shell. You can see the crack going through the tile grout.

Get a small bottle of food coloring and squirt a tiny bit right into the crack to get an idea about how much water is leaking.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,547
Check to see if the pool is perfectly level.

The water level should hit the tile at exactly the same place on both sides and both ends of the pool.

Did you have an engineer do the design plan?

What were the gunite shell specifications?

Concrete psi?
Wall and floor thickness?
Rebar diameter and spacing?
Ground stability?
 

Jaypeesi

Active member
May 5, 2018
29
Oakhurst Ca.
Check to see if the pool is perfectly level.

The water level should hit the tile at exactly the same place on both sides and both ends of the pool.

Did you have an engineer do the design plan?

What were the gunite shell specifications?

Concrete psi?
Wall and floor thickness?
Rebar diameter and spacing?
Ground stability?
Unfortunately I have no answer to any of those questions :/. Truthfully we just assumed that by having well established pool company build the pool we would not have issues. Those are questions I would have never thought to ask and I'm guessing that most people would not have asked. The pool is level according to the grout line in the tile. I guess that is a plus haha. Interested to hear the builders take.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,547
Try the food coloring.

You can also use a colored test reagent as leak test dye. The red ph reagent works well. Use an old bottle in case pool water gets in the reagent.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,547
Ok, that's what I suspected.

Hopefully the builder will have a good answer.

I suspect that he will probably just use pool putty to seal the crack and tell you to keep an eye on it.

Watch for propagation or widening.

Watch the pool level to see if it begins to sink.

Note: You know that the leak is really bad when the suction pulls the bottle out of your hand and the bottle disappears.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: JJ_Tex

Jaypeesi

Active member
May 5, 2018
29
Oakhurst Ca.
Ok, that's what I suspected.

Hopefully the builder will have a good answer.

I suspect that he will probably just use pool putty to seal the crack and tell you to keep an eye on it.

Watch for propagation or widening.

Watch the pool level to see if it begins to sink.

Note: You know that the leak is really bad when the suction pulls the bottle out of your hand and the bottle disappears.
Hahah I'll watch for the bottle being sucked away! I'm definitely hoping the answer is more than pool putty. I will let you know. Thank you for your help!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,547
Is that an acceptable fix for a structural failure in the shell?
It depends on the details. You need a geotechnical engineer to determine if the pool is settling and if it is going to continue to settle without remediation. Once you get the stability issue settled, you can remediate the crack in several way including epoxy injection and locking mechanisms.
 

Jaypeesi

Active member
May 5, 2018
29
Oakhurst Ca.
I do not have any pictures of the rebar stage unfortunately. But based on the fact that the pool is built on a slope with no soil engineering I am guessing the pool is not going to stop moving. I have spoken with two pool inspectors (actually they are both well versed in pool failure analysis) and they both feel that the pool should have been built with a "free standing" wall on the downhill slope side. If it will be possible to retrofit the pool to these specs is unclear. I was also told that it was not my responsibility to engineer the pool for these conditions, that is why we hired a pool builder with experience in our local area. The pool builder is giving me the feeling that he either feels as if it is just a cosmetic issue or that he is going to try to avoid the situation all together. But one of the few positives of living is a highly regulated state like California is there are many protections for the consumer and I am beginning the process of getting the California State Labor Board involved. I now officially know more about pool building than I ever wanted to know,.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Apsuhead

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
21,204
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
But one of the few positives of living is a highly regulated state like California is there are many protections for the consumer and I am beginning the process of getting the California State Labor Board involved. I now officially know more about pool building than I ever wanted to know,.
@Dirk is well versed in taking on Pool Builders in CA and winning.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,738
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Ooh, I'm getting a rep! I haven't told the full story here yet, I just won another case against a CA contractor. I'll have to post that soon... but you'll have to stand by for that, I think I just spotted some kids on my lawn and I have to go yell at them! :rant:
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,738
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Dirk??? start talking!
Here: