New Build - Pre Plaster Planter Leak into Pool

Sep 11, 2021
20
North Texas
Good day.

Plaster is scheduled for a few days from now. We have a raised planter right next to the edge of the pool. We noticed that our drip sprinklers would cause water to leak under the tile and onto the gunite, leaving a brown stain.

The pool builder had the mason add a skim coat of stucco or something similar to the inside of the planter a few days ago, but the water continues to leak, if we leave a garden hose in the planter for 3-5 minutes. This is with most of the dirt out of the planter. The water also appears to be leaking from around one of the PVC pipes going into the gunite.

The pool builders initial reaction was that the pebble plaster (wet edge) will be water proof, so it won't leak near the PVC pipe, but wasn't sure about from behind the tile.

Any ideas or similar situations?
 

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Toxophilite

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Feb 23, 2022
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Dickinson, Texas
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If that planter box is providing any water or runoff from within into the pools from behind the tiles, it needs to be ascertained now, and remedied, before plaster. Yes, the plaster will seal up any water seeping through the shell, and the PB will seal up the normal pre-plaster seepage at the drains and returns coming through, but if there's a source coming from behind, over, around the tile line, you one, risk the new dry plaster pending fill to develop a hydration stain, two, damage over time to the integrity of your tile line, and three, that mineral laden water will eventually be coming over your plaster and staining it.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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First of all I think a raised planter like that is a very bad idea for the reasons you are seeing.

The inside of the planter should get a rubber membrane like what is used to build a stall shower floor to totally waterproof it and keep everything inside the planter.
 

Toxophilite

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Feb 23, 2022
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If you get the planter box 100% waterproofed, make sure to incorporate a drain to it that can remove water faster than being added. A hard enough rain will overflow, contaminating your pool with dirt and mulch. While I get the concept and is very neat, outdoor features that also involve water are never truly immune to being constantly problematic in the long run. It's like you solve one issue to create another. I've got a wife that loves planters and fountains, but I'm the one on the contingency committee.
 

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ajw22

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A hard enough rain will overflow, contaminating your pool with dirt and mulch.

A hard rain can overflow the box with or without the waterproofing.

That is why I feel having planters that close to the pool is a bad idea.

And what is planted in the box can be a source for algae getting into the pool.
 

Toxophilite

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A hard rain can overflow the box with or without the waterproofing.

That is why I feel having planters that close to the pool is a bad idea.

And what is planted in the box can be a source for algae getting into the pool.
Very correct! As, any drain is going to be much slower through soil. Any effective draining would have to be through some scupper arrangement, which leads to how to get that water away.
 
Sep 11, 2021
20
North Texas
Where is your expansion joint for the planter that is sitting on the bond beam?

You have an expansion joint between your coping and deck?Thsand in as an expansion joint, as it is pavers, instead of a concrete slab.

Where is your expansion joint for the planter that is sitting on the bond beam?

You have an expansion joint between your coping and deck?
There is a sand joint between the deck and the coping and between the planter to deck.
 

Toxophilite

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Have y'all considered a rock/gravel feature that can freely drain onto deck and drain away from pool? I could even see lesser problem with a few potted sprigs of cactus in the rocks v. a full planter of soil, again, with a tightly sealed planter and with full drainage to deck.
 

ajw22

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Oly

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Jun 28, 2017
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The irrigation is a drip line from a city water system.
A drip irrigation line is saturating the soil enough to run under your deck and build up behind your pool shell and seep into your pool? That sounds like a significant leak in the pressurized irrigation system or massive over irrigation. I would cap that water line and investigate other options soon. Good catch on finding this issue now. The advice of your builder .... :hammer:

--edit-- OK just realized that is the planter is next to pool. I thought the concern was the planter next to the house by the downspouts. :scratch:
 
Last edited:
Sep 11, 2021
20
North Texas
So the bottom of the planter is open to the dirt ground?

It is going to be hard to keep the water runoff contained out of the bottom of the planter.
Yes, it is open to the ground. Maybe I should ask that concrete be added to the bottom of the planter and then seal with some sort of membrane. It would be very difficult to add a drain, with PVC pipe, here because I think the pavers would need to be pulled up. Maybe if we add a hole to the planter that then drains to the deck and thus the deck drains?
 

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