My New Old Pool Dig Out

cboeger1974

Active member
Jun 2, 2020
26
St. Louis missouri
I am about to embark on a mission of my own to dig up a previously filled in pool. I did a little preliminary work this weekend with the bobcat and found my bond beam to be in rough shape. This thread has given me valuable tools to possibly tackle the project myself. I have some concrete background and I am in the heavy equipment industry so those things will hopefully help me in the this mission. I have included a pic of what I have discovered so far. This Saturday I will excavate the remaining dirt to see the condition of the remaining shell. Wish me luck. More pics to follow and I know I could use a ton of advice. pool first day dig.JPG
pool first day dig 1.jpg
 
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Davileet

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2020
73
Gainesville, VA
I have enjoyed reading your thread and I am very glad to see it is current. I am about to embark on a mission of my own to dig up a previously filled in pool. I did a little preliminary work this weekend with the bobcat and found my bond beam to be in rough shape. This thread has given me valuable tools to possibly tackle the project myself. I have some concrete background and I am in the heavy equipment industry so those things will hopefully help me in the this mission. I have included a pic of what I have discovered so far. This Saturday I will excavate the remaining dirt to see the condition of the remaining shell. Wish me luck. More pics to follow and I know I could use a ton of advice. View attachment 143936
View attachment 143942
Wow, this is going to be a heck of a project. I would not be surprised if the bottom of the pool did not have a large section cut out to allow for water to pass through the gunite shell of the pool. Did you happen to be there when the pool was filled in?
 

cboeger1974

Active member
Jun 2, 2020
26
St. Louis missouri
Wow, this is going to be a heck of a project. I would not be surprised if the bottom of the pool did not have a large section cut out to allow for water to pass through the gunite shell of the pool. Did you happen to be there when the pool was filled in?
Wish I was there when it was filled in. I am not so sure they put holes in the bottom as it is still holding water from Saturday when i hosed down the walls. My yard was completely saturated after heavy rains for days. Even during the heat of the summer. I am usually not a gambling man - this one is a huge gamble and I am hoping it pays off. Time will tell. Worst case scenario, I use the old shell as a form for shooting a new gunite pool. I would rather save the expense. All new plumbing and equipment for sure. You see the boy in the background - perfect project for a 15 year old to teach him the value of hard work! Hopefully he is up for the task. The house was a gut rehab 6 years ago with holes in the roof and racoons in the attic. So this hopefully isn't much worse.
 

Davileet

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2020
73
Gainesville, VA
Wish I was there when it was filled in. I am not so sure they put holes in the bottom as it is still holding water from Saturday when i hosed down the walls. My yard was completely saturated after heavy rains for days. Even during the heat of the summer. I am usually not a gambling man - this one is a huge gamble and I am hoping it pays off. Time will tell. Worst case scenario, I use the old shell as a form for shooting a new gunite pool. I would rather save the expense. All new plumbing and equipment for sure. You see the boy in the background - perfect project for a 15 year old to teach him the value of hard work! Hopefully he is up for the task. The house was a gut rehab 6 years ago with holes in the roof and racoons in the attic. So this hopefully isn't much worse.
Will be interesting to see what you find as you dig out more. I would assume that they removed the top of the bond beam all the way around to make it lower than the yard, so you will be have a decent amount of form work there. I would also wonder why they went ahead and decided to fill it in. At least you have easy access to heavy machinery to find out, and can fill it back in if things don't pan out. Worst case, you will have the hole dug already if you are forced to start from new.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,467
Morris Cnty NJ
Get the excavator in there amd dig out a good section. In less than a day you will know what your up against. Then decide on how to proceed. You may have o totally regrade and retain some earth if the top of bond beam is there still
 

cboeger1974

Active member
Jun 2, 2020
26
St. Louis missouri
Thanks for the replies thus far - I want to take a minute to introduce myself and this project as it looks like I have my own thread and we may be in this for the long haul. My name is Chris and I am from St Louis, Missouri. For the last 18 years I have worked in the asphalt and concrete industry. I have just enough knowledge to hurt myself in both areas - but no expert by any means. I bought this house 6 years ago with holes in the roof and raccoons living in the attic. Just so you know, my 4th gut rehab so I have a need for punishment. Some said I bit off more than I could chew but I guess I have strong teeth cause I'm still here and the house is still standing. Now to the backyard. On google earth I went back in history and noticed that in roughly 2011 ish or so the previous owner filled in a swimming pool. For 6 years my wife and kids sat around talking about "the pool that was once there". I have spoke to many pool companies in town but they all seem to only want to install new pools - nobody wants to remodel. Well the teeth got in the way again and I have literally jumped into the deep end. A rehab on a home is a gamble to a certain degree - you can see most things but then there are always those hidden items that you don't expect. I can't see anything on this one -so a big gamble to say the least. When I uncovered the bond beam damage I immediately began to search for methods to repair and stumbled across this forum and a wonderful thread about bond beam repair which looked somewhat similar to what I have - well not quite as bad but at least I have some great info to date. Hopefully some of the veterans in the industry can shed a little light as I start posting pictures of the great dig as i call it. I know I will have tons of questions in the days and months ahead. Thanks to all for input along the way!
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
4,693
Damascus, MD
Make sure if you have a high water table that your pool doesn't pop out. It should have hydrostatic vents in the bottom of the shell. Open those up as soon as you find them.
 

cboeger1974

Active member
Jun 2, 2020
26
St. Louis missouri
this pool is really old. Not sure if it has hydrostatic vents. Where would they be and what would they look like. I sit about halfway down on a giant hill. Plus the pool sits on top of a smaller hill in the back yard. Probably a 6’ grade change in backyard alone. When I put drain tile in the basement I never had water from under neath. Put it in to catch what ran down the walls.
 

cboeger1974

Active member
Jun 2, 2020
26
St. Louis missouri
I’m guessing if I punch a 6” hole in the bottom of the deep end I would be safe. I am planning to replace the deep end dreams no matter what so I might as well put a hole in the bottom. Or do I need multiple holes - appreciate any feedback.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
4,693
Damascus, MD
I would not punch any holes in it. If you do not have a high water table, there really isn't anything to worry about. Worst case you could just throw a hose in and fill it.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,467
Morris Cnty NJ
Get it dug out first. Theres probably a hole in it already I've never seen one filled without a drain hole but you never know. See what it is first it may be a total loss who knows.....you may get lucky too
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,528
Tallahassee, FL
I am SO in for this one.............I see my favorite worker already! NOTHING like some sweaty work for a kid to REALLY appreciate machines to do the work!
 

cboeger1974

Active member
Jun 2, 2020
26
St. Louis missouri
Well the big dig occurred yesterday. 8 hours later - 2 excavators, 5 dump trucks, 1 skid steer, 25 loads to the dump, a couple of determined kids w shovels, and we have a shell folks. Only hole in the bottom is approx 2’x2’ where the drain was located. Approx 10’ deep at the drain. No cracks in shell that can be seen.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,528
Tallahassee, FL
Well there it is!! That is a nice sized pool!!! I see a pipe sticking out from the side of the pool. I bet it is a return.

Just to let you know you do not HAVE to have a main drain aka bottom drain. The "rule" is IF you have a main drain it has to be a duel one to avoid entrapment. Now if you do want to have one you can add it but that is also going to be a lot more work.

Got to love big toys to do that kind of work but man I bet it was a long day on the toy!