Welp my fiberglass pool popped out... sigh (story/advice)

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
287
Wentzville, MO
I have had a long storied relationship with my fiberglass pool, which over the past few years I have posted and asked questions about. And now.. well things pretty much went from bad to about as bad as possible. (skip to TLDR if you aren't in the mood for a story)

A bit of backstory for fun (in case anyone is bored). A few years ago we had HEAVY rains in December in my area. During this time my shell cracked along the bottom after it noticeably tried to jump into the yard. Luckily back then my entire concrete decking was installed and held it down. But as I mentioned I ended up with a crack in the bottom (my own homemade hydro valve). But you could tell the decking raised a bit. I didn't see any of this until the spring though and it was such a great surprise. Anyhow I got quotes to fix it and ended up just doing it myself during one 90+ dry week. I did a much better job as a newb than I thought I would and saved the swim season (yay). The following spring I opened the pool and everything was great... or so I thought. I didn't clear the pipes correctly as I tried to blow them out and cap them... underwater. So of course I lost almost all of the plumbing. I then proceeded to have all of the concrete decking cut out and then I solo hand dug all the way around the pool (during the summer). I somehow managed to not die and replaced all of the pipes myself. Fast forward to this season.. considering all winter I had a giant mud pit I needed to do SOMETHING so this year wasn't gross (and my wife would swim). I couldn't afford new concrete so I got 20,000 lbs of rock and wheel barrowed it around to the back to fill the mud trench... again somehow I didn't die. Everything seemed OK at that point, the white rock didn't look bad, the wasps left and we enjoyed the summer.

And then... I woke up this morning and let my dogs out. In the darkness something didn't look right so I flipped on my light and SURPRISE! The pool decided to jump 2 feet out of it's hole (YAY)! We have had three days of straight rain, the most in a year at one time and it obviously turned my pool into a boat. As well as the fact that now trying to close the pool correctly I had dropped the water level 1 1/2 feet to just below the jets. It seems like that's ALL it took. So here I am at work half shaking my head way less devastated than I should be.

TLDR: My pool today floated two foot out of it's hole due to being dug out and all of the rain. I can't afford to get a new pool. Is it worth having it re-set and if so how much does that tend to cost? I plan on topping the pool off tonight just to see what happens... lol... I assume the back fill fell under it by I have nothing to lose.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,551
Do you have pictures?

Do you have a dry observation well near the pool to monitor and control ground water?
 

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
287
Wentzville, MO
I do not but plan to take some when I get home as It was dark when I left and well I kind of glazed over and left. I did talk to my wife an hour ago and she was freaking out as I hadn't told her yet. My daughter told her that she heard a loud noise in the middle of the night.

The only thing I have is a PVC pipe a bit outside of where the decking was (in grass). I do pull from it but it "weeps" so it can take 12 hours to finally drain it. Such as the rain fills in the area faster than I can pump. But I have absolutely no way to really see down inside of it.

I assume I have NEARLY a zero chance that it could settle back into the ground, at least to close to wear it was. But when I get home I plan to start pumping water from that pipe and toss the hose in at the same time. An interesting thing (not really) is that I do have a small section of decking left around the skimmer. And the pool is still in place, so the entire thing is coming out at a angle.

Do you think I should pump the area around the pool dry prior to adding water, at the same time or fill the pool first to add weight? It may not matter but I figured I would ask.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,551
You're in a bad position.

There is no good answer.

There is no way for us to tell what will happen or what the best course of action is.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,551
Every fiberglass pool should have a 12" to 18" diameter well near the pool so that you can monitor the ground water level.

The water in the pool should never be lower than the water in the well.

Before draining the pool, you should use the well to lower the ground water so that it is always below the water level in the pool.

It seems that your ground is particularly saturated more than most.

Besides the well, you should probably have a professional address the drainage so that the ground is not always so saturated.
 

CircaSurvivalist

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2020
70
Memphis, TN
As a new fiberglass pool owner this is one of my biggest fears! I'm interested to see pictures of this and learn more about how exactly this happened. With the hurricane rolling through we got HEAVY rains over the past 2 days. I had to lower the pool water level multiple times and kept an eye on the ground water level through the well point they installed. The ground water level got about half way up the pipe before I threw a sump pump down there to start draining, but not going to lie, it put me on edge a little bit.
 

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
287
Wentzville, MO
I am going to take some photo's this weekend. If you read my LONG story you can see that water has been a huge problem for me. I had the pool filled and fully surrounded by concrete decking several years ago and it had so much pressure buildup that the walls bulged and the bottom cracked. And then of course this situation. BUT I don't have a well point or anyway to monitor the ground water. There also isn't a hydrostatic valve installed. The pool is OLD and the installer went out of business over a decade ago.

I have done so much research on FB pool issues that I think the chance of popping IF it's not only installed correctly and never drained at all is almost zero. And at least you have an easy way to monitor and drain the ground water. My situation was the perfect storm. I will share some photos in a few days!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
That really is a shame. :( Not just for the pool itself, but obviously all the manhours of exhausting work you invested hauling dirt, rock, etc. At this point, take your time. Think about all options, get some local pros out there to evaluate the soil, water table, and potential remedies for the future. You'll bounce back better than ever I'm sure. Take care of yourself.
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
373
Katy, Texas
Aleforge, I'm sure we're all feeling your pain, as your description was quite vivid--and after you being easily the king of do-it-yourselfers, along the way. Please keep us updated on your progress. I'm not knowledgeable of FG pools, although the engineer in me can see some obvious advantages and risks of that concept. Here in southeast Texas, we don't close pools, but I see what you're doing by lowering the water to drain the returns, and that makes perfect sense. One thing that popped into my mind for your major repair or replacement is this. What would happen if the pool was reset where the wintertime waterline was at ground level, and you sloped the ground and decking around the pool up to the raised top of the pool? Aesthetics is not my strong suit, but it seems like that could be made to look OK or even good. I also don't know if there are HOA issues at work here.

Whatever you do, kudos for sticking with it. If it were mine, I'd have long since given up and had dump trucks full of dirt filling in that hole and an Italian fountain in its place! Best of luck to you.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,963
Evans, Georgia
"The only thing I have is a PVC pipe a bit outside of where the decking was (in grass). I do pull from it but it "weeps" so it can take 12 hours to finally drain it. Such as the rain fills in the area faster than I can pump. But I have absolutely no way to really see down inside of it."

This sounds like your dry well to monitor and use to drain (with a sump pump) water that gets under the shell. How wide is this pipe??

Maddie :flower:
 

Aleforge

Well-known member
May 31, 2014
287
Wentzville, MO
Texas: Thanks for the well wishes, it actually is nice to get support from the community. And ya I did some major labor on this and it's for sure disheartening to look outside and see it wrecked.

Bowser: I am fairly devastated as this point not to mention it has been a nightmare. One of my biggest issues also is that I am broke. I would love to either have a new pool put in or hire people to do the work but I can't even afford to have it removed. Ya it's fairly standard to temp drop water levels just below the returns to blow them out. But I obviously should've given more thought to the fact that the decking is gone. AND well the rain coming in... it was a perfect storm in a sense. So your saying to slope the concrete upward to help water flow away from the area better? That sounds like something to consider. I don't know if kudos are warranted... LOL, but thank you! Ya I didn't give up due to my wife and kids. They really wanted the pool and I just tossed myself into trying to learn things. And thanks to here and google I figured some stuff out.

Yippee: The pipe is like 2.5 or something, just visualizing at work. Someone on here told me what it was called (you prob know). I end up just using a transfer pump to slowly remove the water out of it. And I mean slowly, after it rains it takes hours.
 
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