New gunite, plaster, liner? -how to do MAJOR repair of leaks


Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
I personally have an in ground pool but I am writing tonight to request help and opinions for my neighborhood fountain. In my subdivision (small with 20 homes) we have a VERY large, round pool basin that holds a large tiered shaped (about 9 feet tall) fountain made of concrete bowls that water cascades down 3 or 4 levels into the main pool. The main pool is round and about 6'-8' accross (diameter). It is stack stone around the wall (about 3' tall). It looks like it was just stack stone in a circle and then sealed. It leaked so it was rebuilt by some company about 3 years ago. They sprayed or painted some type of material that was like black tar and had a blue rubbery paint on top of it. It was okay the first year but cracked around the conduit in the floor and I fixed that. We had to close the fountain for the last 1 1/2 years because of the water ban (drought in GA). Being dry the last 18 months has probably increased the deteriation of the walls and floor because now the tar-like rubbery walls will peel really easy and are very brittle. We filled it with water and opened back up today and it is leaking everywhere. Probably 1/2 inch an hour coming through the stack stones over 180 degrees around the whole fountain.

I need help to figure out how to best renovate it. In the floor it has power for the pump and power for the SAM lights plus a 3/4" water line. The wire is in conduit sealed in the floor and comes out under the concrete fountain part above water.

My two ideas so far are:

1) To get a pool guy to measure it for a vinyl liner with some sleve type piece to allow for the wiring and the water line to enter the pool. Like a snorkel?
2) Get a guy who blows gunite pools to stop by when doing a pool near by to blow out this fountain. My concern with this is that gunite probably won't stick well to the rubbery/tar walls and floor with out removing that crud first and I don't know how to get that stuff off. That could be a crazy project by its self!! :hammer:

Both options require us to move the heavy fountain out of the base pool prior to resurfacing it.

Any of the members on TFP have any great experience to share with something like this? All ideas are greatly appreciated!!!


In The Industry
Jul 21, 2008
Pittsburgh, PA
since none of the conduit or lights are designed to be cut in I dont think a liner will work well, but I would have to see it. I would get a quote from a gunite company that does free quotes since some wont take the job.


Well-known member
Jun 24, 2007
Any more ideas from this intelligent crew? I trust someone out there has some insights that I do not.

As of today we probably will not go the liner route. The 1st quote I had is that it "could be as much as $3500". He was going to break the concrete in the bottom and convert the fittings to 1.5" water line and conduit with electrical so the liner fittings will fit. Then repour the concrete and level, set the liner in and rebuild the water line from 1.5" It is taking the fountain out and reinstalling level that concerns me or I would do it myself.

Plaster/gunite is not an option because I have heard 7-10K. So for now I am thinking of draining, scraping it out as best as possible. Pressure washing the black old water sealent they painted on.

Then use a rollon plaster OR water proof thinset concrete / mortor trialed on every where, dry and paint with rubberlike / water proof pool paint.

Any thing else?