Rebar rust concern on unfinished open pool

Ocean18

New member
Aug 29, 2020
4
va
My pool was dug and rebar added December of last year. It has sat in this condition as the contractor has been lazily chasing down plumbing leaks before they can gunite. Covid and an increase in pool sales demand has created more delays on my project. Meanwhile, the rebar has been exposed to weather all this time, is getting rusted and when it rains the deep end fills with water and does not drain for days, further causing rust issues. Contractor says its not a problem. Please advise as to my rebar concern.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
20,751
Section 7.4.2 of ACI 318 states that “...steel reinforcement with rust, mill scale, or a combination of both shall be considered satisfactory, provided the minimum dimensions (including height of deformations) and weight of a hand-wire-brushed test specimen comply with applicable ASTM specifications...”
 

Ocean18

New member
Aug 29, 2020
4
va
Thank you James! Would you know if rusty rebar would be an issue for leaching and thus staining the gunite interior of the pool? Or would the gunite thickness be enough to keep that from happening? Your advice is greatly appreciated!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
Ooh, great question! Can I pile on? Since it's the plaster that is waterproof, not the gunite, is outside water seeping through gunite and affecting the encased rebar, rust-wise?

And I was once told, though it was perhaps under certain conditions or types of steel, that rust is its own rust inhibitor, and can actually protect the steel below. Any truth to that? Especially in the context of these pool rebar questions?
 

Ocean18

New member
Aug 29, 2020
4
va
Hello Dirk - The rebar is already rusty and gunite has not yet been shot. Curious to know if the gunite will encapsulate the rusty rebar enough so the rust does not leach through and affect the interior of the pool.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
Yah, I don't know. We need one of our builders to chime in. Though, half the time I see rebar, on a job or even in a store, it's already starting to rust. I think James has already answered the question, or at least pointed us to the answer. Unless you can show that it's rusted beyond what the code allows, there's not much you can do.

Gunite is pretty thick. As long as they cover it well with gunite, it'll be fine. Think about it, have you ever seen a pool or sidewalk or driveway with an orange grid on it? It doesn't happen, not unless they let it get way too close to the surface.
 

Ocean18

New member
Aug 29, 2020
4
va
You make good sense. I think it will be ok. Just hate seeing the rebar literally under 5' of rain water for days. When it all dries out, I will take a closer look and post photos. Appreciate your input!
 

Vukota12

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2020
46
New Jersey
You make good sense. I think it will be ok. Just hate seeing the rebar literally under 5' of rain water for days. When it all dries out, I will take a closer look and post photos. Appreciate your input!
I think is unconscionable that this builder has left this rebar exposed this long. Covid delays are one thing but delayed because he is adding new builds before he finishes this one is ridiculous. Use the power of social media to get him on track.
 
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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
339
Katy, Texas
Since December and not finished yet at the end of August? I'm not sure that a call to an attorney is not in order, especially when he's building more pools and not finishing yours!!! Has he got your money already?
 
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