Replaster job has turned into a nightmare - Please Help

RANDY M

Silver Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
31
0
Santa Clarita, CA
#1
Hello to everyone, All Stains.jpg Holes Pool.jpg

The black stains in the picture started coming 4 years after we moved in in 2001.
No one knew what they were and I made everything worse by putting 3" tablets on them, dry acid in a sock, etc.
Finally decided to get it re-plastered. 40,000 psi hydrojet to remove plaster.
When hitting stains with hydrojet some voids opened up around an abandoned in-ground cleaner system.
Bad patch job?, ground water?, don't really know.
Haven't found all pipes but some areas that had a stain I see some rebar where the hydrojet exposed it. Pool re-plaster guy believes the stains are from the rebar.
Wants to fill all areas with hydro-static cement.
Also what I thought were 2 main drains for 18 years, one has a hydrostatic plug and the other one looks like it's full of original plaster.
After looking up in-floor systems I thought a main drain was originally needed?
Hope some of this makes sense.
Please, looking for some opinions, ideas, anything on what to do.

Thanks
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,197
4
Tucson, AZ
#2
If the chlorine made the stain worse, that often points to metals in the water, like copper ... but now I just read about the voids and rebar ... hmm.

The void should be filled in and I think the cement is the correct stuff.

Not sure what you are really asking here.
I would recommend investigating the vent and what you thought was a drain ... is it completely full of plaster? How were you controlling where the water suction was coming from?
 

blakeusa

In The Industry
Jul 9, 2010
575
0
Ashford, CT
#3
No problem with filling the holes with hydro cement. This is the right fix. Just make sure they cut out enough to get rid of the rotten rebar.

I would say that your replaster was also the only fix for your black spots.. and weak areas in your concrete shell.

As far as the main drain you need to pressure test the line and see if there are any leaks in the pipes. I have seen people putting plugs in drains due to cracks or
damage to the main drain line. Its also possible that you had a leaking hydrostatic valve in the main drain. Just make sure you replace the hydrostatic valve in
the main drain before you refill your pool.

Can't tell you why the other drain was full of plaster.

I would make sure that whatever the issues is with the main drain is that you repair it before you replaster just in case you need to cut out the drains or something.
 

Arizonarob

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Mar 25, 2018
1,121
3
Chandler Arizona
#4
If what I’m reading is correct, I’d put my money on a main drain failure. That’s why it and the ifc system has been plugged.

What Blake said above is spot on. Any of that rusted rebar has to be removed, otherwise it’s like a cancer to your pool shell.
 

pushin glass

Bronze Supporter
Jun 16, 2016
117
0
East Central MS
#5
I'm not sure the rusted rebar needs to be replaced. It only rusts in the presence of oxygen, and if safely emtombed in cement, I wouldn't think would pose an ongoing problem as long as the rust was adequately removed (wire brush, sand blast, etc.) to expose unoxidized steel for the cement to adhere to. That is unless it is really brittle and too far gone to add structural strength. It might also be a good idea to coat the rebar with rustoleum or epoxy paint after removing the rust. Epoxy-coated rebar is often used in marine environments to further delay/prevent corrosion.
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,416
0
Houston, TX
#6
randy,

I would suggest getting some quotes from very reputable gunite [repair] companies, and ones that can troubleshoot the main drain. This is one part of the pool that if not completely done right, will give you major problems from this point forward.

The gunite company should be able to tell you to remove, restore and leave as is or remove and re-install pieces of rebar. Based on the structure and design of your pool, they should know the stress points and if fixing this is mandatory or remediating. Once the "bones" of your pool are properly rectified, then you can dress up the rest of the pool. Unless you're a masonry/structural PE expert, this is not a DIY. Once you fill it w water, game is on and you want to make sure it's done right.

Get at least 3-4 bids and examine them all. If they are different, go back and ask each one to explain their bid and why it is diff or if someone else's is diff, and most importantly, ask 'why?"

Good luck and keep us posted, tstex
 

RANDY M

Silver Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
31
0
Santa Clarita, CA
#7
Thanks to all of you for your help. The few pieces of rebar I see look in ok shape. Not rusted thru. I think they were exposed in a bad patch job.
I'm going to expose some more and wire brush and paint at this point

Pictures are of what I thought were 2 drains. The 3/4" hole feels solid on the bottom.
So my suction evidently is thru the skimmer and a wall intake thats attached to the skimmer bottom, and a separate intake for pool sweep.

Going back in to see what else I can find.
Thanks again
 

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Dirk

TFP Guide
Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
4,375
0
Central California
#8
I replastered my pool and had the drains sealed up. Circulation is fine. They're no longer an entrapment danger. My vac no longer gets stuck. My toes no longer get stubbed. Brushing is easier. And I don't have to look at them. Many new pools are being constructed without drains.

If your pool can circulate without a drain, bye bye. Problem solved.

Abandon the drains, and the cleaner system and all associated plumbing, valves, etc. Just cut it all out. Have someone seal up the resulting holes in the shell appropriately. Buy a robot cleaner. Enjoy a safer, nicer looking, cleaner pool...
 

Dirk

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Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#9
Thought of something else. No expert here, so I can't even guess why the abandoned cleaner system was patched in a way that caused your stains. But let's assume that's what happened. The cleaner system pipes would lead back to a manifold somewhere. Have you found that? If not, I'd try to. What you're looking for is now many pipes leave the manifold vs how many heads/stains you've found in your pool. If it were mine, I'd want all the heads accounted for, and try to find any that have yet to be uncovered. If there are any still buried, and they have not produced any stains, you might be OK. But you don't want one or two leftovers that might start to cause problems in years to come, right through your new finish.

Now how to find them? I'll have to mull that over some more. There may be some telltales in the remaining gunite (patches, areas of a different color, etc). Or there might be a service that can find them through gunite (not sure what to point you at, but there are machines and systems that can do that sort of thing).
 

RANDY M

Silver Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
31
0
Santa Clarita, CA
#10
Thanks for your input. I've dug many holes to plant or remove things and have never come across an abandoned manifold. I believe the way the heads were patched caused some of the rebar to rust in those areas which caused the stains. I haven't found any heads yet on the left side of pool which I assume are there. I'm looking at old pictures of the stains to locate them. But where the hydrojet found a weak spot I have found some bad rebar. I'm guessing the head is buried nearby. Last hole I think I found an old newspaper or something under the gunite. That should make a good base to build a pool on.
Thanks again.
 

Dirk

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Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
4,375
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Central California
#11
Can you get at one of the old cleaner head pipes? You could glue a fitting/reducer/fitting onto it to connect a hose and then force pressurized water into it and see if that erupts anywhere in your yard. If they cut out the manifold and left the remaining PVC uncapped, it might be an easy find...
 

RANDY M

Silver Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
31
0
Santa Clarita, CA
#12
One last question for now.

Cut out bad rebar. Should I wire brush and paint all exposed rebar, wire brush all and just paint ends or just paint the ends.
I have some Rust Oleum black spray enamel. I'm hoping that's ok?
Thanks for everyones help.
 

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tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,416
0
Houston, TX
#13
I had a piece of rebar exposed on the side of my foundation where some concrete had broken off and the rebar exposed. I used a drill w a wire brush and buffed it to where it was 100% shiny new metal. I spray-painted it was a rust oleum rust inhibitor, let it fully dry and sprayed w enamel paint...let it fully cure, then prepped the concrete w bonding agent and troweled over it...So far so good..might not hurt to tie-together your metal mesh below w the same type gauge wire...

good luck, tstex
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,416
0
Houston, TX
#15
Ospho neutralizes ferric oxide to make the surface "paint-ready". But, I would still wire brush the surface first to allow the phosphoric acid to better work its substrate, then paint it to prevent any further rust..
 

pushin glass

Bronze Supporter
Jun 16, 2016
117
0
East Central MS
#16
If you wire brush it to expose new metal, it is "paint ready." I'd just wire brush it and coat it with rustoleum. I also second the thought of possibly tying in new metal to fill the void, although it's not necessary.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2017
477
0
Silicon Valley, CA
#18
What you're looking for is now many pipes leave the manifold vs how many heads/stains you've found in your pool. If it were mine, I'd want all the heads accounted for, and try to find any that have yet to be uncovered.
One problem with this approach is that the number of heads in the pool is not necessarily equal to the number of ports at the cleaner manifold. Each manifold port represents a cleaner "zone" and each zone can have multiple pop-up heads. In our pool, we've got anywhere from 4 to 8 pop-ups in each zone, so 29 total heads for a 5-port manifold.

On the other side of this, in a smaller in-floor cleaning installation, they sometimes double-port from the manifold, so that you have LESS total heads than the number of manifold ports.
 

Dirk

TFP Guide
Gold Supporter
Nov 13, 2017
4,375
0
Central California
#19
One problem with this approach is that the number of heads in the pool is not necessarily equal to the number of ports at the cleaner manifold. Each manifold port represents a cleaner "zone" and each zone can have multiple pop-up heads. In our pool, we've got anywhere from 4 to 8 pop-ups in each zone, so 29 total heads for a 5-port manifold.

On the other side of this, in a smaller in-floor cleaning installation, they sometimes double-port from the manifold, so that you have LESS total heads than the number of manifold ports.
Ding it! Thanks for that info. My bad. I've seen 1-to-1 systems. Didn't realize they could fudge like that. Hmmm. How can we help this guy find all the heads? Without probing or busting up the entire bottom? If they weren't causing stains (or rather, if the way they were installed wasn't causing stains), then this would be a non-issue. But if he goes through all the trouble and expense of a new surface, and some undiscovered head(s) start causing additional staining, that would suck.

I just know if it were my pool I'd want to account for every one of them somehow.

So how does one find a PVC pipe under gunite?
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 18, 2017
477
0
Silicon Valley, CA
#20
So how does one find a PVC pipe under gunite?
Yep, that's beyond my experience, but it reminds me of Egyptologists using radar to scan through King Tut's walls for vacant chambers.

I recall a recent post where someone showed pictures of an old Caretaker pop-up that had an exposed, rusted metallic spring inside. But I'd be pretty sure they removed the pop-ups heads before they abandoned the floor system in OP's case.