Remove attached fiberglass spa, or convert to vinyl lined?

codyt

Active member
Jun 19, 2013
26
Stilwell, Kansas
My pool has an attached fiberglass spa that I'd like to remove. We just want the wall to come straight across and give us more deck space.

So far I've had two contractors come out to look at it (and bid a replaster job) and neither one wants anything to do with taking out the spa. They aren't sure how they'd be able to build a leak free wall into the existing pool.

Has anyone ever dealt with one of these spas? Anyone removed one? Any ideas on how to remove it and build a leak free wall in place?
 

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PJ

In The Industry
Oct 11, 2012
209
Re: Remove attach fiberglass spa

The only possibility I can think of is to convert the pool into a vinyl lined pool.
 

codyt

Active member
Jun 19, 2013
26
Stilwell, Kansas
Re: Remove attach fiberglass spa

PJ said:
The only possibility I can think of is to convert the pool into a vinyl lined pool.
I was actually going to ask about this as an option if nobody had any wonderful ideas to remove the spa leak free.

After doing some searching I've only been able to find a couple of posts on here that address this idea.
converting-a-concrete-pool-to-a-vinyl-liner-t26970.html
coping-tile-concrete-repair-too-much-convert-to-liner-t59984.html

And neither of them seem to have actually done it. Does anyone on here have any experience with converting a concrete/gunite/plaster pool to a vinyl lined pool?
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,179
SouthWest Alabama
Re: Remove attach fiberglass spa

Most pool builders aren't fiberglass guys so it's no wonder that they don't want to tackle it. I would try to find a fiberglass repair place and see if they'd make a panel to cover the opening that removing the spa creates. You can then backfill the space and deck over it.
 

codyt

Active member
Jun 19, 2013
26
Stilwell, Kansas
Re: Remove attached fiberglass spa, or convert to vinyl line

PJ said:
Yes we have done it.
Can you tell me how well it has stood up? What kind of walls did you have to attach the track to? Mine are fiberglass walls, and it worries me that they wouldn't be good for attaching the track to. Would there be any problems with the "safety ledge" at the base of my walls? Also, right now the plaster on the bottom of the pool is in bad shape (chunks missing making divots up to an inch deep and very rough in some areas). Would the bottom of the pool have to be re-plastered? Or some other treatment to make it even and smooth for the liner?

Do you have any pictures of the pools you've done this with?

Thank you,
Cody
 

PJ

In The Industry
Oct 11, 2012
209
Re: Remove attached fiberglass spa, or convert to vinyl line

We have done a handful. I have seen 2 others done by other companies as well. We have had one that had a rough bottom as well that we used floor foam to cover. However, we were called back when the bottom starting wrinkling 6 months later. This was due to a pin hole leak in the liner that led to the foam becoming saturated with water and slick. We removed the foam and smoothed out as many divots as possible and put the liner back in, so far so good. The other two I have seen have do not look as good as the one we have done, and I think that was due to mis-measurement. There are a few wrinkles on the deep end slope on one and the corners of another. As far as the liner track staying attached to the fiberglass walls, it will. Most of the pressure is not pulling on the track but pressing on the walls and the floor. Self tapping screws are used every few inches to attach the track. If you do go ahead and decide to go this route however, liner warranties are null and void in most cases. As far as replastering the pool....that would be the best, however...you can go the foam route, just know that if you end up having wrinkling problems, the foam has gotten wet somehow. Also, I think a good sanding and cleaning might do just as well.
 

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PJ

In The Industry
Oct 11, 2012
209
Re: Remove attached fiberglass spa, or convert to vinyl line

My husband just told me they also used 3M 5200 on the backside of the track.
 

codyt

Active member
Jun 19, 2013
26
Stilwell, Kansas
Re: Remove attached fiberglass spa, or convert to vinyl line

PJ said:
We have done a handful. I have seen 2 others done by other companies as well. We have had one that had a rough bottom as well that we used floor foam to cover. However, we were called back when the bottom starting wrinkling 6 months later. This was due to a pin hole leak in the liner that led to the foam becoming saturated with water and slick. We removed the foam and smoothed out as many divots as possible and put the liner back in, so far so good. The other two I have seen have do not look as good as the one we have done, and I think that was due to mis-measurement. There are a few wrinkles on the deep end slope on one and the corners of another. As far as the liner track staying attached to the fiberglass walls, it will. Most of the pressure is not pulling on the track but pressing on the walls and the floor. Self tapping screws are used every few inches to attach the track. If you do go ahead and decide to go this route however, liner warranties are null and void in most cases. As far as replastering the pool....that would be the best, however...you can go the foam route, just know that if you end up having wrinkling problems, the foam has gotten wet somehow. Also, I think a good sanding and cleaning might do just as well.
Thanks for the information and the pictures. Our pool is almost exactly like the one in your pictures. Ours just looks like it's a little deeper, and has the ugly useless spa that we're trying to remove. I'm wondering, would the pool have to be fully re-plastered first? Or would it work to just fill in the divots with some plaster or mortar/grout to provide a smooth finish for the liner to rest on? I really wouldn't want to pay for a full re-plastering and then pay for a vinyl liner too.

I don't suppose you happen to be in the Kansas City area? Do you know anybody in KC who converts pools to vinyl lined?
 

PJ

In The Industry
Oct 11, 2012
209
Re: Remove attached fiberglass spa, or convert to vinyl line

It depends how rough the finish is. I would lean to patching and sanding if it's not too bad. I will send you a PM about someone who could do this for you.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,696
Houston, Texas
Re: Remove attached fiberglass spa, or convert to vinyl line

If you remove the spa you will also have to deal with the plumbing. You will need to look into whether or not removing the spa will involve tearing up any of your deck to re-route the pipes.
 

codyt

Active member
Jun 19, 2013
26
Stilwell, Kansas
Re: Remove attached fiberglass spa, or convert to vinyl line

zea3 said:
If you remove the spa you will also have to deal with the plumbing. You will need to look into whether or not removing the spa will involve tearing up any of your deck to re-route the pipes.
Actually, the spa plumbing is completely separate. It had it's own pump, filter, and heater mounted on a skid (you can see it behind the bags of salt in the overview picture I posted above, it had been in the equipment room until I pulled it out).
 

swimcmp

In The Industry
Nov 8, 2011
1,087
Moberly,MO
Cody Check out Latham they have a sure fit liner that the coping could be attached to the fiberglass wall. You will have to have new returns installed to convert to vinyl. We did this on a "Polynesian" brand pool. What about instead of removing spa putting a plate over it filling in behind it and pouring concrete deck over it. You may also need a new main drain or you will need to fill it in. You could maybe place a 1" laver of pool base over your floor.
 

codyt

Active member
Jun 19, 2013
26
Stilwell, Kansas
Thought I'd wrap this thread up with what we did.

We found a company (Mid America Pool Renovation poolrenovation.com) that said it'd be no problem to remove the spa and make it leak free. They gave us a bid to re-plaster the bottom of the pool and re-paint the sides and remove the spa area. They also gave us a bid to refinish the entire pool with their "INTER-GLASS" fiberglass system and removing the spa area. We decided to go with the INTER-GLASS system even though it was about twice as expensive. The INTER-GLASS system has a 15 year warranty, and the company has been around for over 30 years, so they seem pretty stable. We liked the idea of the uniform surface of the INTER-GLASS and its ability to seal against leaks between the plaster and existing walls, or at the newly filled spa area. We also didn't want to deal with the painting every couple years.