New build gunite error

RobFish

Member
Sep 22, 2019
5
Wellington, FL
I am seeking some advice for a problem we encountered building a new pool. We are building an in ground pool and the gunite company failed to make the proper depth of the sun shelf. We contracted for 9” of water and the gunite company formed the sun shelf for 6” of water. The PB recognizes this was their mistake and is working with me to rectify the situation. They offered me some money back or they can jackhammer the sun deck down 3” to allow for 9” of water. They promise me the rebar was set correctly for 9” of water.

My concerns are with the vibration of using a jackhammer on the sun deck may cause stress cracks throughout the pool and having other issues. Has anyone ever experienced a similar situation or had to chip away at gunite on a new construction pool? Any other concerns I should have or is this typical in the pool building industry?

If I do proceed with having them chip the sun deck down 3”, should I have them spray gunite on the sun deck again to smooth it out and seal any stress cracks?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Not sure if I am being foolish over 3” of water, but I want this large (7’ x 16’) sunshelf to be practical for my family.

A5E2C30D-CDD6-4CC5-9A66-F153AD6FB749.jpegE4E919AF-9D9A-4B0A-A104-AE15A9EBF036.jpeg19BC4072-093F-48C7-8073-744F474B6B93.jpeg
 

RobFish

Member
Sep 22, 2019
5
Wellington, FL
From looking at the hole for the umbrella holder the gunite is 4.5” from the top of the rebar (see picture). The gunite is a good 3”+ under the rebar. When I addressed the sun shelf issue with the PB they claim the rebar was set to the correct depth to allow 12” from the top of the sun shelf to the top of the pool wall. I called out the fact the rebar is only 4.5” down and the PB claimed maybe in just that one spot, but they have enough room to work with and get the correct depth. In addition, they were going to waterproof the sun shelf after they chip out 3”. I believe the diamond bright plaster will automatically waterproof the deck, but I am having concerns with rust through in the future. I included some pictures of the rebar before the gunite process.

I have read online the rebar must be a minimum of 3” deep in the gunite to avoid rust through. However, I am not an expert and can only rely on what the pool builder is telling me.

They are being extra accommodating as I was borderline annoying to the PB from the day we signed the contract to the time they sprayed the gunite that we wanted 9” depth on the sun shelf. The PB was not present when the gunite was sprayed and I was home. I sent the PB a text message when the gunite company was forming the sun shelf advising it does not look correct and he responded the gunite company has the plans and I should not worry. When the gunite company left, I sent he PB a text with a picture confirming they got it wrong.

It is in their best interest to make me happy, but need non-bias advice if chipping 3” off the sun shelf is a bad idea and I should work out another solution.
 

Attachments

RobFish

Member
Sep 22, 2019
5
Wellington, FL
How thick is the gunite?
From looking at the hole for the umbrella holder the gunite is 4.5” from the top of the rebar (see picture). The gunite is a good 3”+ under the rebar. When I addressed the sun shelf issue with the PB they claim the rebar was set to the correct depth to allow 12” from the top of the sun shelf to the top of the pool wall. I called out the fact the rebar is only 4.5” down and the PB claimed maybe in just that one spot, but they have enough room to work with and get the correct depth. In addition, they were going to waterproof the sun shelf after they chip out 3”. I believe the diamond bright plaster will automatically waterproof the deck, but I am having concerns with rust through in the future. I included some pictures of the rebar before the gunite process.

I have read online the rebar must be a minimum of 3” deep in the gunite to avoid rust through. However, I am not an expert and can only rely on what the pool builder is telling me.

They are being extra accommodating as I was borderline annoying to the PB from the day we signed the contract to the time they sprayed the gunite that we wanted 9” depth on the sun shelf. The PB was not present when the gunite was sprayed and I was home. I sent the PB a text message when the gunite company was forming the sun shelf advising it does not look correct and he responded the gunite company has the plans and I should not worry. When the gunite company left, I sent he PB a text with a picture confirming they got it wrong.

It is in their best interest to make me happy, but need non-bias advice if chipping 3” off the sun shelf is a bad idea and I should work out another solution.
 

Attachments

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,599
In my opinion, the gunite will end up being too thin and the rebar will be too close to the top.

I would worry about cracks and rebar bleed-through.

It might be fine, but I don't think that it's adequate for a good quality build.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RobFish

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,840
Damascus, MD
6" of water depth is useless IMO. 9" is shallow as well. My sunshelf is 14" deep and I think it is absolutely perfect. Lounging is wonderful on it.

You can see where it comes up to my leg below. Water is a little low here usually it is right at 14". 40" is what it is right off the shelf. Also IMO perfect depth for the shallow end.

20190904_092501.jpg
20190904_092523.jpg
20190904_092533.jpg
20190904_092604.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: RobFish

RobFish

Member
Sep 22, 2019
5
Wellington, FL
It's very doable to lower the shelf but I don't think it's worth the risk.

I actually like the shallow shelfs... 6" of water is my preference.

Take the money and forget about the 3". You'll never notice it
When you say risks, you mean bleed through and stress cracks and may result in future problems?
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,067
San Clemente, CA
When you say risks, you mean bleed through and stress cracks and may result in future problems?
Yes, absolutely. A jackhammer hitting the rebar can make voids that water can find its way in and bring rust to the surface. You have a solid shell now, no reason to comprise that.

You can always cut 3" off the legs of your chairs😂
 
Last edited:

Rissa8898

Active member
Jul 9, 2019
28
Southeast Texas
My tanning shelf is 9 in. water depth (12 in. to coping) and honestly I wouldn't mind if it was only 6. My little kids just play up there, so they don't care, but as grownups with achy knees it would be easier to get in and out of at a shallow depth if you don't have handrails. That being said, they can grind down the gunite a bit before plastering. We had a crew come out before plaster that smoothed and cleaned things a bit. I haven't used any chairs yet on my tanning shelf though if that's your concern.
 

RobFish

Member
Sep 22, 2019
5
Wellington, FL
Thank you all for weighing in and offering great advice! I will ask if they can grind down the shelf about an inch without using any jackhammers. I can always fill the pool an extra inch if I want to add some extra depth to the sun shelf. Maybe they will give so sort of additional upgrade for not building the pool to spec.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,599
It might be worthwhile to use a concrete saw to make cuts in the gunite to the desired removal depth and then chip out. That can reduce stress on the gunite.
 

panic_button

Bronze Supporter
Jun 23, 2019
24
Navarre Beach, Florida
Ours was the same way, it was only 7" deep/ It took the PB an extra week to correct it. 5 days of cutoff saws and impact hammers, they cut 8" x 8" pattern then chiseled it out then floated a layer of concrete to smooth out the floor.
 

Neto

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
205
Urbana, MD
Will that be 6" up to the border of the coping? It may even be lower since the water never sits that high... Maybe take the money and have them do a 1-2" mortar for the coping?
 

newpoolbuild

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2019
84
NY
I am seeking some advice for a problem we encountered building a new pool. We are building an in ground pool and the gunite company failed to make the proper depth of the sun shelf. We contracted for 9” of water and the gunite company formed the sun shelf for 6” of water. The PB recognizes this was their mistake and is working with me to rectify the situation. They offered me some money back or they can jackhammer the sun deck down 3” to allow for 9” of water. They promise me the rebar was set correctly for 9” of water.

My concerns are with the vibration of using a jackhammer on the sun deck may cause stress cracks throughout the pool and having other issues. Has anyone ever experienced a similar situation or had to chip away at gunite on a new construction pool? Any other concerns I should have or is this typical in the pool building industry?

If I do proceed with having them chip the sun deck down 3”, should I have them spray gunite on the sun deck again to smooth it out and seal any stress cracks?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Not sure if I am being foolish over 3” of water, but I want this large (7’ x 16’) sunshelf to be practical for my family.

View attachment 119094View attachment 119095View attachment 119096
How far is the pool from the house?