Spa Spillway Design - too late to correct this PB mistake?

Pool-Lounger

Member
Dec 25, 2021
10
Virginia
Hello,

We're in the build process and our large free form spa was designed to have a "negative edge" spillway into the pool. The plan was to tile the surface of the spillway (top), and stone veneer the entire outer wall of the spa. This will be a salt water pool with a separate spa pump.

The pool builder made a mistake of extending the concrete "lip" around the perimeter of the pool, to the area underneath the spa. This was later covered with travertine coping, which currently sticks out about 6-7 inches. Even after the thin stone veneer, this lower edge would stick out 3-4 inches. The water from the spillway will end up spilling onto the travertine coping instead of into the pool.

Is there any way to salvage this mistake and have the water spill into the pool and not splash onto the travertine? I am assuming that when the pump is fast the water could overshoot the travertine lip, but otherwise under normal conditions it would just dribble onto the travertine.

Has anyone encounter this dilemma? Any opinions greatly appreciated. Pictures attached.
 

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ajw22

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You could also build out the spa spillover wall with cement and make it thicker so it is flush with the tile line below it. I don't think the thickness of that wall would be noticeable. Feather the thickness in on the sides as it wraps around.
 

Pool-Lounger

Member
Dec 25, 2021
10
Virginia
PL,

You would have to increase the spillover size to overhang pool.

Seems like this could be done, the key would be to make it look like it should be there.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thank you Jim. When you say increasing the spillover size to overhang pool, you're probably suggesting using stone or travertine for the actual spillway, right? Obviously we can't have the tiles stick further out, which is the material we were looking at for the surface of the spillway.
 

Pool-Lounger

Member
Dec 25, 2021
10
Virginia
You could also build out the spa spillover wall with cement and make it thicker so it is flush with the tile line below it. I don't think the thickness of that wall would be noticeable. Feather the thickness in on the sides as it wraps around.
Two issues here:
1. Would the thicker cement give any problems over the years, since this is technically adding a new layer of concrete to an old layer...
2. It has to be the same thickness around the entire perimeter of the spa, since the spa coping will also need to be wider by 3-4 inches all around, otherwise it will look funny I guess...
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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PL,

I'd get with your pool designer and see what they can come up with that will make things work. You might have to change the design and material for the spillway to make it look like it should be there.

It seems like you have two choices..

1. Live with what you have. Not something I'd recommend.

2. Find a fix that works even if it means tweaking the design / materials.

I don't think it has to be the same all the way around. You should be able to just widen the spillover and make it look like it was a design feature and not a mistake.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ajw22

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Two issues here:
1. Would the thicker cement give any problems over the years, since this is technically adding a new layer of concrete to an old layer...

They can drill some holes into the side and epoxy rebar sticks into the existing wall to connect the new cement to it. A good builder will know how to do it. The added layer is not structural.

2. It has to be the same thickness around the entire perimeter of the spa, since the spa coping will also need to be wider by 3-4 inches all around, otherwise it will look funny I guess...

Show me pics of the complete spa to have a full picture of what you are dealing with. Fating up the whole spa wall may work fine.
 

Pool-Lounger

Member
Dec 25, 2021
10
Virginia
They can drill some holes into the side and epoxy rebar sticks into the existing wall to connect the new cement to it. A good builder will know how to do it. The added layer is not structural.



Show me pics of the complete spa to have a full picture of what you are dealing with. Fating up the whole spa wall may work fine.

Here are some more pictures....
The only solution I see is to abandon the negative edge spillway concept and do a travertine or stone traditional spillway... Even if we thicken the wall, it may not be thick enough to extend beyond that lower travertine edge... any other suggestions?
 

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Pool-Lounger

Member
Dec 25, 2021
10
Virginia
I would see about them taking that "rail" off with a chipper or some such. Of course there will be push back as this may cost the company some money to have done.
I wish it was only that travertine edge underneath the spillway... Below the travertine is an entire 6-8 inch thickness of concrete that was done during the shotcrete process... To get to the level of that "seating shelf" under the spillway, they probably have to carve out all that thickness, go down about 1-2 feet to the shelf level, and do that all around the perimeter of the spa... o_O
I don't see any viable exit! :cry:
 
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kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
So here is an idea along what you said above:

-square off the overflow ledge aka flatten it. Then find a very pretty piece of stone that is wide enough to extend far enough out to allow the water that spills over to hit the water instead of the sticking out part.
 

rstrouse

Well-known member
Jun 17, 2020
556
California
I don't understand why they cannot jackhammer the gunite back to the spa wall all the way around the spa to remove the extra shelf. Heck if the width of the bench is too wide they could cut that back as well. I would guess that the buildout contains no rebar.
 

Pool-Lounger

Member
Dec 25, 2021
10
Virginia
I don't understand why they cannot jackhammer the gunite back to the spa wall all the way around the spa to remove the extra shelf. Heck if the width of the bench is too wide they could cut that back as well. I would guess that the buildout contains no rebar.
The buildout does contain rebar. They twisted the rebars to from that ledge for the travertine to sit on. Alas! There’s also at least one light that sticks out through that area but it shouldn’t be a problem I guess.
 

Pool-Lounger

Member
Dec 25, 2021
10
Virginia
For those of you who actually have a finished pool/spa and have used them, help me understand something..

When the spa jets are operating, I expect the water to fly beyond the lower edge, even with the negative edge tile spillway (it will gather some speed and shoot out)..
but when in standby, is there actually any water that drips/spills down the stone wall and onto the travertine edge?

In other words, how does the filter pump/circulation work on a pool/spa combo when the jets are not operating? Can we have zero spillover if not operating the jets? I’m new to this..
 

Toxophilite

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For those of you who actually have a finished pool/spa and have used them, help me understand something..

When the spa jets are operating, I expect the water to fly beyond the lower edge, even with the negative edge tile spillway (it will gather some speed and shoot out)..
but when in standby, is there actually any water that drips/spills down the stone wall and onto the travertine edge?

In other words, how does the filter pump/circulation work on a pool/spa combo when the jets are not operating? Can we have zero spillover if not operating the jets? I’m new to this..
No water will flow over the ledge - no spillway when the spa is in operation or not in operation. There's no circulation in spa when not running in spa mode, but you can set timer to run spillway mode a couple times a day to refresh spa water with fresh pool water. Some, like mine, have a bypass on the pool return that allows you to adjust and push some of the pool return to the spa while in pool mod so the spillway is always flowing some while in pool mode. That can be set from no flow to a lot.
 

Cena_sea

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Mar 17, 2021
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I don’t know if this pic will help you but I found it and forgot about it til now. It was a mix of glass and regular tile I hadn’t seen before in a spillway.

If they could build up the wall and square the top you could add the same glass tile all around except in the much smaller spillway. The narrow spillway is a piece of travertine (or bluestone sealed, blue marble etc…) jutting out?

Edit: or instead of one spillway piece a tiered waterfall step effect to push the water out in layers.
 

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Pool-Lounger

Member
Dec 25, 2021
10
Virginia
Than you all for the constructive ideas.
So the pool builder (and they are very reputable) admitted that the ledge was wider than initially planned, and now say that they will remove that travertine section and the tile underneath, and "chip" at the concrete wall to carve out about 2 inches of thickness. They will then taper down the slope of the wall to a about the depth of the seating bench. Then they will re-tile so that the tile is flush with the stone veneer above. That is a lot of chipping considering that the spa wall is around 12 feet long, but it is what it is.
I am hoping that the end result will look acceptable and not noticeable under the water line. I will try to post pictures when that happens, so that others might benefit in case they encounter such a decision.
 
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