Major pool leak in Arizona

ajknoll23

Active member
Jun 30, 2016
37
Scottsdale, AZ
Hey everyone,

Unfortunately I have a major pool leak (again). This is a major crack in the pebble tec lining, that we thought we fixed approximately 2.5 years ago.

Rewind to April of 2017, this was 7 months after we moved into the house and we noticed water bill was sky high. Found 2 10 foot cracks along the walls where the shallow end meets the deep end. We drained the pool, had epoxy shot down to fill the cracks and then re pebbled the pool completely as it needed it anyways.

Flash forward to this week, we noticed the water bill doubled, after dye testing all the common areas I dove down and found this monstrosity.


The difference now is that it's the middle of the summer and you're not supposed to drain your pool when it's 105*+ outside.

So what are my options? Pay the high water bills for 2/3 more months until the temperature is cool enough to drain? I really don't wanna do that.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

ajknoll23

Active member
Jun 30, 2016
37
Scottsdale, AZ
Aaron did you dye test those cracks to confirm?
How were the original repairs performed, was the old pebble removed down to the bare shell? Any pictures of the original repairs?
Yeah, I confirmed with a dye test and they were pulling in the dye. I dont float well so I had to take a 20 lb kettlebell down with me to stay down there, and also had the gopro in the other hand or else I would've taken video of it.

The original repairs were done by a structural integrity company, he chipped away the pebble and then injected epoxy into the cracks. then we tore out all the old pebble and completely re did it. I have some pictures somewhere I should be able to post.
 
Last edited:

ajknoll23

Active member
Jun 30, 2016
37
Scottsdale, AZ
Aaron did you dye test those cracks to confirm?
How were the original repairs performed, was the old pebble removed down to the bare shell? Any pictures of the original repairs?
Here are before and after pictures

Old pebble w/ cracks "fixed" w/ epoxy (you can see the cut out of the crack on the right side of the wall, theres another on the left side"

Picture of all the pebble removed

Picture w/ new pebble in

Picture w/ pool full of water and "fixed"

We have to have some kind of ground erosion or something that is causing the structural damage to crack like this. Need to find the root cause to fix it once and for all.
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
3,683
Chandler Arizona
Those cracks in the first pick are rather large, IMHO they should have repaired those using the staple method. As far as erosion is concerned, check your irrigation system for any leaks underground.
 

ajknoll23

Active member
Jun 30, 2016
37
Scottsdale, AZ
Those cracks in the first pick are rather large, IMHO they should have repaired those using the staple method. As far as erosion is concerned, check your irrigation system for any leaks underground.
The cracks in the first pic are the same size as in the video in the original post. In the pic, that was AFTER the repair was made. The company chipped away the pebble to be able to inject the epoxy into the cracks.
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
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Chandler Arizona
It’s the length of the crack that concerns me. (Not the width.)
Thinking about your situation further, I’m beginning to wonder if your pool shifted when California had their quakes a while back. Those quakes were felt here in Chandler as well as Scottsdale and South Phoenix. (There are videos online of people’s pool water sloshing around.) Do you have a timeline of when this problem started? You may be able to file an insurance claim.
Let me get a few more eyeballs on this.
@jimmythegreek @Pool Clown
 

ajknoll23

Active member
Jun 30, 2016
37
Scottsdale, AZ
It’s the length of the crack that concerns me. (Not the width.)
Thinking about your situation further, I’m beginning to wonder if your pool shifted when California had their quakes a while back. Those quakes were felt here in Chandler as well as Scottsdale and South Phoenix. (There are videos online of people’s pool water sloshing around.) Do you have a timeline of when this problem started? You may be able to file an insurance claim.
Let me get a few more eyeballs on this.
@jimmythegreek @Pool Clown
This new crack just appeared last month when our water bill doubled.

I just had a 30 minute conversation with the owner of Sharp Pool Creations and he said one root cause could be that since pebble isn't waterproof, water could have gotten between the pebble and concrete and with a 1985 pool, the gunite is weak and water reached the rebar. When rebar gets rusted/corroded it expands, causing cracks.

One of his fixes was to chip out the pebble and add what he called a "brown coat" which adds 2 inches of shotcrete to the shell and then he mentioned a waterpoof spray that goes into the shotcrete and fills all the micro voids, and then re-pebble. Probably costing around $10,000+

Would really suck to re-pebble fully as this coat is only 2.5 years old.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
A gunite shell is not the water barrier ... it is the plaster or pebble surface that is the waterproof barrier, so I am not sure I understand whey they would say the pebble is not waterproof. :scratch:
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,864
Chandler AZ
Possibly an expansive or collapsing soil issue.
Google - maricopa county expansive soil map
and look for map data for your area

Have you noticed any areas of shifting soil in your yard? Any relatively recent cracks in concrete dedking or driveway? Any new cracks on you house stem wall - especially in line with the pool cracks? Maybe ask your neighbors if they have seen any similar issues.

You may not have to redo the entire interior surface. The pebble can be patched - but the patch will definitely show. I agree with Rob in that the staples he referenced may be a better long term fix. Let's see what others have to say.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,488
San Clemente, CA
.... and 2" of shotcrete won't do anything except crack again in 2 years.

Unfortunately your pool was either miss- constructed, under-engineered, poorly drained or a combination of them.

Gunite isn't waterproof but if you have enough water getting through it to rust the rebar to the point of structural failure, it's time for a new pool. I doubt that's the case because there would be rust stains all over the place???

The pool sees the highest stress where it transitions from deep to shallow which is where yours cracked. Im thinking yours is lacking the correct rebar and/or concrete thickness.
 
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