gunite pool just poured too deep

willow66July 16, 2012

New to the forum and need some advice. Our PB just did gunite on our pool and the shallow end is too deep. I'd say it needs to be raised by 8-12 inches over about a 15 to 20 foot length. He wants to pour concrete over the gunite to raise it up. My questions are: 1/ Will the concrete adhere to the gunite or will we have problems later on

2/ Will it crack? We live in a freeze/thaw area

3/ Will the plaster adhere to the concrete

ANy advise? Has anyone had to do this in their pool?


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I don't have an answer, and you should get the pool that you contracted...

How deep is the shallow end? Ours is 4' (with 3.5' on the edges) to 8' (deep end). My wife wanted to be able to do laps (and flip turns). I actually really like this depth and wouldn't change it, if we did it again. Our kids have no problem standing on the bottom on the edges, and they swimming around the pool, et.

I have a friend who's pool was supposed to be 4'-6' and ended up with 3'-5', and IMHO, that is a much bigger problem. The builders wouldn't re-do it, and they got some sort of discount on their pool, but now deal with this mistake everyday. Of course, everyone has their own opinions of what they want/like, so make sure you get the pool you want.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Thank you for responding. The pool is rectangular 18 x50 with a 6 x 8 foot spa inside the shallow end. Currently the shallow end is 3.5 feet and quickly goes to 4 feet (all right in front of the spa and step area, so essentially this shallow part is only 6 x 10 feet maybe) then it quickly goes to 5+ up to 10 feet deep. Almost 2/3 of th pool is over my head and I am 5' 3".
My husband and I feel like it needs more shallow area. PB says he can add the depth with concrete. I just worry that it will not bond to the gunite or it will be more likely to crack.
Is it better to add gunite instead of concrete, or are they essentially the same thing anyway?
Has Anybody out there done this succesfully?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:14PM
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It would have been advisable to have a cross section plan so you know the depths. I provide this with each plan.
There are min/max slope requirements for pools.

Gunite or concrete can be used. I have done both for remodels, benches, and other miscues.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 7:17PM
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Doesn't sound right to me... why would the PB not use gunite? You contracted for a gunite pool, not some mish mash of gunite and concrete.
How hard is it to dig to a predetermined depth? I could tell my 10 year old to dig a hole to a certain depth, and he could do it correctly.
This industry just amazes me with how much crookedness, and incompetence there is. There are great pool builders of course, but one really has to do their homework to find them.
OP, I hope you find the answers to your questions.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 7:51AM
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keep in mind that if the water level is 3-5 inches lower than the depth of the pool because the water doesnt go all the way to the coping.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:39AM
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i did consider the water level and it is still very deep in the shallow end. My son is 48 inches tall and 95% of the pool is over his head. It was just not dug and shot at the depths the PB had indicated on his drawing. Considering it is a 50 foot long pool we should have lots of room for deptths from 3 to 9 feet. Anyway we are going to add concrete when we pour the patio. He said he would use rebar to tie it in to the old gunite. . He said PB's do this all the time with no problems. I really have no choice but to trust his process. The whole pool build has been a bit overwhelming and I am just ready to have it done;)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:49PM
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It's a shame that the PBs who monitor this site don't pipe up and offer their advice.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 4:34PM
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^some of us are out building pools and don't monitor internet forums to offer free help in a 72hr window. Our deepest apologies for not piping up sooner sir, sometimes patience is necessary.

If I ever made this mistake, there isn't a question that I would reshoot it (gunite or shotcrete, whatever was used originally.) A bonder can be used in-between the old and the new, but there have been recent ASA articles saying there is a better natural bond with a clean surface than with a bond prep surface.

I would never shoot 8-12" thick over a previous shell with out a new steel (rebar) floor, drilled and pinned with an engineered epoxy.

So, my method would be: drill and pin steel, clean surface and remove 100% of loose material/dust etc, use a bonder or don't (whatever they will do to warranty it all the same as new) and reshoot the new floor at 4,000psi.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Natural One... you are right. I am just a little ticked off at the profession in general right now. I am dealing with my own problems of shoddy workmanship from my PB. Like I did point out earlier in the thread, there are some really ethical PBs out there. One just has to do their homework really well. Again, sorry to take my frustrations out on this particular post.
OP... make sure, like Natural One says, that the concrete is rated to 4000psi.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 8:35PM
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As long as you pneumatically apply concrete onto concrete you do not need a bonding agent. In fact it is recommended that you do not use bonding agents.Make sure that he saturates the existing shell before applying the new shotcrete. That means a few days before shooting, mist the shell with water. Also ensure that he bonds the new steel with the old to ensure the continuous bond. That means he has to dig into the old shell and find rebar. I would also kick the P.S.I. up to 4,500. It's a few bucks more but worth the added strength.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 1:38AM
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I responded the same day. What more is expected?
Every PB does things a little differently depending on their experiences. I've only built about 10,000 pools and seen a lot more than that built in various ways that I didn't like. Doesn't always make PB's wrong if they don't do things like I would.
I've removed pool shells in part and whole and have a pretty good idea what works and what doesn't.
The percentage of bad PB's in the industry compares about the same as the number of bad customers in the population. There are plenty of those as well.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 7:36PM
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Your pool builder probably provided you a lifetime warranty on the structure of the pool...generally meaning the gunite. That warranty is actually typically provided by the gunite company who shot the pool. If you feel you need to raise it, then I would have the gunite company do the work so that the warranty survives the change. Keep in mind, though, that your son is short now, but unfortunately won't be for long!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Two great points by Womanowned.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:05PM
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question for all you pool professionals out there. I have interviewed several PB's. All have said that for a 34 ft length gunite pool, that is 3.5 ft to 6 ft deep, I should expect that the shallow end would stay flat at the 3.5 ft deep level for about 10 ft before the taper would start towards the deep end. I know all pools can be built to the homeowners desire, but do you agree that this is industry standard? This is what we wanted--A shallow end that stays at 3.5 ft for about the first 30% of our pool before the taper starts to the deep end. On our 35 ft pool, our contract with our PB calls for a 3.5 to 6 ft deep pool. The pool starts at 3.5 ft deep at the very very beginning of the shallow end but after about 2 ft,it quickly tapers to almost 4 ft deep and then at about the 7 ft mark gets to about 4.5 ft deep. Basically, there is no flat shallow end and our children's heads will be above water as the taper starts right from the beginning. We were expecting a flat 3.5 ft shallow end for the first 1/3 of the length of our pool but that's not what we got. I have asked my PB to fix it but not sure if he will agree that it was a mistake. At this point, his comment was that "well, there is a point in your pool that is 3.5" deep". I just don't think that this is the industry standard. Your thoughts.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:10AM
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