Pool Framed with Rebar but ultra heavy rains collapsed dirt around frames


New member
Mar 5, 2017
San Pedro, California
[FONT=&quot]We are 5 weeks into our pool project, and Calif got hitwith the most rain in 5 yrs. Great for the drought, but crappy for ourpool.

Ourcontractor is telling us he's planning on using sand bags to replace the lostwalls. And it looks like he's going to use the existing rebar, that's nowrusted and bent.

1.won't the rusted rebar bleed through over time? We are thinking he shouldeither 1) replace it all, 2) brush the rust off, and seal it with enamelpaint as your site suggests, and 3) apply more than 3" of shotcrete oneither side of bent rebar (i.e. spray 8".....4" on each side ofrebar).

2.with the collapse of the walls, we don't think sand bags will suffice. The pool is 8' deep in deep end. We'd prefer to have him build inessence a 'free-standing' pool (using plates or forms to build the walls, thenbackfill the dirt after the 8" thick walls have been sprayed.

Weare terrified that with the delay, and the extra costs for the repairs, mycontractor is trying to take short cuts just to finish this at a loss (assuminghe doesn't walk away first). Any thoughts on what the correct fixes should be?

18 Feb_1.jpg19 Feb_2.jpg


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
I have a sad for you :( BUT it is not the end of the pool. Yes it will be a lot of work to redo but it can be done. I will tell you this is not the worse one I have seen.

How long has your PB been in business? He should know what needs to be done and how. He holds the warranty card so should fix it the correct way.

Let us know what ends up happening.



TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Welcome to TFP and really feeling for you :-(

It sounds like you've given it the serious thought and research it deserves.

Mostly just bumping your thread. If I was concerned about his financial well-being, I'd contact a lawyer. If the company evaporates and it became DIY, I'd get the answer from an engineer. Just my 2 cents. Bummer. Good luck with it all.

You've certainly come to the right place. There's some extremely experienced people here that will see this.


Well-known member
Jan 3, 2016
Mesa, Az
Rebar with surface rust is no problem. Just make sure it's clean (no mud) before they shoot the pool. The bent stuff can be straightened if its not too extreme a bend. Rebar isn't meant to be be worked back and forth. He probably wants to use sandbags to support the earth that remains, something that is hard to do with plywood. Shouldn't be an issue as long as you get the wall thickness you need and sufficient cover front and back. Just make sure you have at least 3 inches clear behind all rebar on the dirt side.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
Franklin, NC
I agree, surface rust is no problem. My architect/PE friend and I were actually talking about rusty rebar the other day. He said is actually stronger as the irregularities created by the surface rust allows better adhesion to the bar. Epoxy paint would actually be bad because it would lessen the the bond between the concrete and the bar.


Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
Central MD
He's just using sand bags to fill the void. It is not unusual for a PB to use sand bags to "create" a sun shelf and shoot over it.

I know you are concerned, but I honestly don't see anything to worry about. Rebar rusts - on any pool where it rained before shooting pretty much. No worries. Whatever they need/choose to do to get a backside for the gunite to hit when it is shot will be sufficient. If they shoot up against a pegboard or masonite backer, then they will just fill behind it. Or in your case, the sandbags will take up much of the space needing to be backfilled.

Looking further, I believe the sandbags are to prevent further collapses. Perfectly reasonable - he has to use something if he believes it will cave further prior to being shot. Not pleasant but nothing to be concerned about from my perspective. I'm sure some others will reply as well.
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