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Repair help with fiberglass/concrete pool


JHeath
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I'm seeking advice and knowledge on how to repair our pool.  It is a concrete bottom, fiberglass wall pool built around 1980.  We had a very small crack in the fiberglass panel that had been patched over and over and over with the epoxy stick stuff.  This was done every year by a local pool company.  

Last year, when the pool was opened in the spring, the skimmer would no longer create suction, and a leak was found by another local pool repair company.  This is where the nightmare began.  He told us we needed a new skimmer and new line installed.  His guys dug a new trench outside the pool concrete deck area, all the way around to the pool equipment.  When the concrete section surrounding the old skimmer box was removed, the workers pushed in the fiberglass wall about 1/2" on one side of the crack.  They said they would dig it out and push it back and repair the crack.  

4 weeks later, unannounced, the contractor came back while I was at work, installed the new skimmer box, and only caulked the crack with some polyurethane type caulking.  When I called him, it took 2 weeks to call me back, and he said that was all he could do.

Shown in the pictures below, the crack stayed leak proof for just last season, and this spring (2 weeks ago), when I removed the cover, I found that the fiberglass wall had been pushed in even further, and the caulking had popped open.  See pictures below.

I'm a concrete contractor for 32 years, and had my serious doubts about this repair, so I never (luckily) poured the new walkway around the skimmer, but only placed in paver blocks to have something to walk on for the summer.  It was a wise choice, as it turns out.

What is the proper way of repairing this type of crack in a fiberglass panel?  We are trying to assess if we can make this pool good again, or if I need to say goodbye and cave it in.  Will a typical fiberglass matting/sheet buildup repair work for this?

 

Thank you for your assistance, and reading this far.

 

 

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The few pools I have seen like that (around here we call them "baker" pools, not sure why) have a metal support structure with anchoring beams that set into the concrete several feet back from the edge. These connect at the "seam" where the panels bolt together from the back.

Unfortunately, these bolts and beams rust. Lose an anchor and your wall starts to bow inward which cracks a panel, allowing more water in to further collapse the side. 

To fix it in any sort of permanent manner would require removal of the backfill, support across the pool from the other wall, and rebuilding the anchoring as well as repairing the panel and pouring concrete. I have never done this, the job my employer at the time bid on wound up getting filled in.

I would think, being in the concrete business, that you could probably manage something. Not saying it will be easy or cheap.

@jimmythegreek, @Pool Clown, have you guys ever seen one of these?

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Thank you for the knowledge.  This is exactly what my plan of attack was going to be (fiberglass matting on both sides, with resin, similar to a fiberglass hull repair on a boat.  I suffer from a severe lack of time, due to work being very busy, but I have lost complete faith in the local, so called "pool experts" that seem to barely know how to open and close a pool, let alone repair one.  The company that built the pool had zero interest in doing this repair, and offered no assistance of knowledge to go about performing it.  Too many "cash the check and run" pool "specialists" around these parts.

 

Thanks again for the assistance. 

Quick question.......would adding a piece of "Starboard", which is used in structural forming in the boating industry, for repairing transoms and making waterproof compartments on boats, to the gravel/exterior side of this repair, help any?  I like it's rigidity and thickness for the outside repair, and I would mix up a fiberglass "peanut butter" type mix of chopped glass and resin, thick, to apply it, and clamps to hold it in place until dried.  Waste of time?  Should I just glass it and fill backside with a 4" wall of concrete?  

 

Thanks for any further insight!

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Starboard isnt needed at all, chopped mat is strong as anything. Theres a guy on YouTube and the net who has a big site amd sells everything you may need direct. I haven't used him in a while but I did quite a few fiberglass coated decks years ago. Call him he knows everything fiberglass amd can tell you what you need to do

 

Fiberglass site dot com 

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The couple of pools I have seen that way (around here we call them "bread cook" pools, not certain why) have a metal help structure with mooring radiates that set into the substantial a few feet back from the edge. These interface at the "crease" where the boards bolt together from the back. 

Lamentably, these bolts and pillars rust. Lose an anchor and your divider begins to bow internal which breaks a board, permitting more water into additional breakdown the side.

https://startupbusinessbureau.com/how-to-start-a-pool-cleaning-business/

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Thanks for the replies.

 

This pool does not have individual panels that bolt together from behind.  It's a continuous sheet of fiberglass, held in place by steel supports from behind, that are anchored to the concrete below, and have a steel lip (bendable) all the way around the coping top that the rubber blue coping molding snaps into.  I don't where the seam is on this pool, as they did a marvelous job of hiding it when the pool was built.  The same company that built this pool is one of the companies I called for a repair.  They have zero interest in repairing the pool, even though the manager brags about how well they could if they wanted to.  They're too busy doing the easy work of installing new equipment and openings, closings, and maintenance.  

Leaning heavily, at this point, towards caving the pool in and filling in the area.  I'm sick and tired of the money spent on this pool every single year.  I spent $$$$$$ just last year on a new heater, new filter and pump, new return line, and new cover.  I've talked myself into putting that money elsewhere in the future, and cut my losses.  I'm just too busy running my own business, and this year it's nearly impossible to hire on new help, so I'm short handed.  No time in the immediate future to do this repair myself.  It seems the printing presses and ink, in Washington DC,  are flowing freely to keep the workforce at home with no need to go earn a living this year.  Thanks for your information sharing.

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

During construction of a concrete pool,   contractors must consider all stages and nuances. Otherwise, the service life of the pool is drastically reduced. After the winter period   I unexpectedly discovered leaks, poor thermal insulation and thermoregulation, deformation of the pool bowl, a departure from the inner surface of the finishing materials, and so on. I decided to turn to almightyconstructionnw, who helped me solve the problem very quickly, and we managed to enjoy a vacation by the pool in the summer.

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On 6/6/2022 at 8:17 PM, Izamarfeat said:

During construction of a concrete pool,   contractors must consider all stages and nuances. Otherwise, the service life of the pool is drastically reduced. After the winter period   I unexpectedly discovered leaks, poor thermal insulation and thermoregulation, deformation of the pool bowl, a departure from the inner surface of the finishing materials, and so on. I decided to turn to almightyconstructionnw, who helped me solve the problem very quickly, and we managed to enjoy a vacation by the pool deck in the summer.

A swimming pool requires regular repairs and maintenance. In your case, you noticed the problem in time and solved it.

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