Return to the Pools & Spas Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Cracks in pool

Posted by MAGGIE96 (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 27, 11 at 16:49

I have an inground shotcrete pool that was completed in November, 2009. We did not notice any problems until a little over a year later (in December 2010). The last week in December we noticed that we were losing water. Over the next week, we started measuring and were losing aprox 1" per day. Pool builder said let it leak and that will tell us where the leak is located. However, as the water line went down, cracks became noticeable. During the month of January, cracks seem to be developing and/or worsening at an alarming rate. We lost about half of the water. After losing that much water, the pool builder pumped more out bringing the deep end to about 3' of water. (We were greatly concerned about allowing it to leak this much because we didn't want all this water under the pool.)

The pool is about 47' x 20'. It has an underwater beach area on the left, then drops down to about 3' and continues to the deep end which is about 9'. There is a swim-up bar area at about 3 1/2' depth that is attached to our outdoor kitchen with steel. There is a crack that goes all the way through the beach area and down the wall into the floor. 2 cracks at the right fountain (attached to the bar area) down the wall and into the floor. Some on the left wall of bar (through the steps) and down the wall and into the floor. Several on the opposite pool wall and they range from the 3' depth to about 5' depth of the pool. All of the cracks are now meeting up in the floor.

Our property slopes downhill on the deep end. The deep end was dug down into natural soil about 4'. They used a sandy soil to build up the yard and slope aroud the diving board.

Some of the cracks in the below photos have already been chiseled. They were going to fill with epoxy. We had them stop until we could gather more information.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Pool built to the following specs:

Concrete structural shell 1/2" diameter steel located on 9 inch centers on both horizontal and vertical walls and also on the floor. The shell will be a minimum of 12 inches thick on the floor and a minimum of 8 inches thick on the wall, with a 12 inch beam located at the top. There will be 2 exits located in the pool, one being the steps with an underwater beach area and second being a bench located at the opposite end of the pool. The pool will be equipped with two skimmers intake, 6 returns, with directional eyeballs and two drains. There will be two additional drains and one wall drain located in pool for water feature. An additional fitting will be installed through the wall of the pool for a Polaris cleaner. There will also be two -500 watt lights installed in the pool wall.
********************************

All plumbing and electrical conduit will be schedule 40 pvc and installed underground
Oklahoma style rock coping located along the outer perimeter of the pool with a foam polivoid added between the concrete surface and the rock coping covered with a rubber based (Deck-a-seal) sealant. The pool will have 6" frost-proof ceramic tile, located at the waterline perimeter and in the skimmer throat.

Pool equipment:
1-2 hp Sta-Rite Circulating pump
1-1hp pump for the sheater
Triton TA Sand filter w/multi port valve
Polaris 280 floor cleaner with booster pump
Intermatic clocks with freeze protection
2-500 watt Pool lights
2-12" Nexus water sheater
Intermatic remote for lights
2-Bermuda-king skimmers
5-Anti-vortex safety drains
Rainbow 320 Chlorinator
UltraPure Ozone generator
SR Smith 8� Frontier II diving board w/stand

Below are pictures that were taken during construction :

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Where are you located?

Did you have a soils engineer check for ground suitability and stability?

How out of level is the crack make the pool?

Were any support piers added? I didn't see any in the rebar pix.

Do you have any excavation pictures?

Does the pool house have any issues?

Has anyone tried to determine which slipped, the corner with the pool cabana or the rest of the pool?

Was there any fill used for the cabana structure?

What strength mix was used?

What happened to the trimmings and rebound?

Was it shot all in one day?

That's as heavy duty as they come. Something settled and the shell and water weight flexed.

You might want to give the folks I linked a ring.

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: These people have the know how and and the know why's.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

maggie96,
All good questions Scott asks.
1/2 inch rebar is pretty substantial for most residential pools.
Anytime a pool or deck is poured against an existing foundation without an expansion joint there is a possibility of cracking. Most of your cracks appear to be near the contact zone of the building foundation. There could also be a little pull toward the downhill side of the yard. The downhill side of the pool should have had a footing installed at natural grade to support the structure.
It's usually a better idea to perform eathwork before digging the pool so the fill soil can be keyed into the existing slope.
Epoxy injection has pros and cons. Settling needs to be complete. Cracks that go completely thru the concrete can be difficult because the epoxy tends to flow thru everything.
Suggest you call an engineer before letting the PB complete his repair. A little destructive testing may be in order such as coring a hole to check thickness and material strength. Good luck.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Scott,

I'll try to answer the questions the best as I can...
Located in Austin area
No engineer. Most of the area here is clay.
Don't know how out of level it is.
No support piers
I might have 1 or 2 photos of excavation....will try to upload Monday. (photos are on a different computer at other location)
No, we have no issues with pool house or residence, although I have great concern that pool could cause problems with pool house, as they are attached.
No studies have been done yet...I'll tell you more about this below.
I don't think any fill was used for the cabana.
Not sure of the strength mix used. I have asked the PB to look at his receipts and inform me.
No clue what happened to the trimmings and rebound.
Shot in one day. (dry mix)

Ok, here is what PB has done this far. Pressure tested skimmers and returns. No problem. Next step was to pressure the drains. Came out to do so, but couldn't reach drains without a wetsuit unless he pumped more water out. He first wanted to verify that he installed hydrostatic relief valve and that it was working properly. Because he couldn't reach it to verify, he was afraid to pump more water out. The next step, if relief valve was present and drains tested ok, was to tear out stone at fountains around bar and test plumbing there. We are of course hoping that this problem started originally from a plumbing leak..... (I've been told if anyone did something wrong in the construction, their insurance policy won't pay, but if this started with a plumbing leak, it will pay.)
At this point, he has hired an engineer (soil, I think) to come out on Monday and take a look.

We have known the PB for 12 years. He has built a pool for us in the past at another home (in clay). Although it was nothing like this pool, we had no problems. He felt he was beefing up the steel and concrete for this pool to avoid problems....I'm just not certain if it was sufficient. We have no experience in this sort of thing whatsoever, and I think his experience with this problem is extremely limited. Looking for some guidance from people who have the expertise in figuring out what the problem is. Obviously, some things are cheaper to test than others. Gunite company just wanted to fix the cracks and move on. The PB and I are in agreement that NOTHING should be done until we figure out the WHY.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Based upon the photos I think the bathouse is settling away from the pool and since they connected the structures together(why?)the pool structure is stressed and losing the tug of war.

There are several issues contributing to this failure.
1. failure to remove unsuitable soil/organics under the bathouse and pool structure.
2. substandard footing under the bathouse foundation
3. minimal steel in the bond beam in that area
4. over shooting the walls and using the cut material in the floor.

Depending on which contractor did what there will be lots of finger pointing in this issue and you might want to check with your insurance carrier before moving forward. I seriously would question the decision to stop the pool contractor from continuing with the repair as this could further cloud the issue of who will take responsibility for the damages. Leaving the pool empty will lead to other problems specifically plaster failure.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Maggie, I didn't read your last post before posting my opinion.

I don't understand why the insurance carrier would cover the problem if it was caused by a leak vs a strucural defect.

There was no reason to drain the pool to determine the leak when a lot of info could have been obtained from a simple bucket test prior to draining.

Running the scupper line out the bottom of the bathouse foundation and through the pool structure was asking for trouble.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Renovxpt,

I don't know the answers to #1 & #2 above regarding the pool house. What I do know is the builder who constructed the pool house is considered one of the best custom home builders in our area. This isn't something we've just heard, but have first hand knowledge of. He is one of many builders in our area that are customers of my husband. This guy has a fabulous reputation. He does not cut corners. He too will be present on Monday to meet with the engineer hired by the PB to answer any questions that may arise.

The way I understand the insurance is any defect caused by workmanship is not covered. However, if a pipe broke and water leaked out under the pool and caused the cracking, the pipe itself is not covered but the consequence of the leaking pipe is covered.

The first thing the PB did was a dye test when the pool was mostly still full of water. The dye test proved that most of the cracks were indeed leaking. The question now is why did it crack? From what he tells me, we can't really determine a course of action for repairs until we understand what caused it to begin with. He felt that if we don't have those answers, we won't really be fixing the problem......just putting a bandaid on it. He also felt that the continuation of the cracks will help point us to the cause. I, however, am greatly concerned that the continued "explosion" of cracks is being caused by most of the water leaking out.....If I am right, it doesn't give us any answers, just worsening of the problem. I don't have sufficient knowledge which is why I'm so afraid. Where did all of that water go? Was it the right decision to allow it just to drain out or did that magnify the problem. It seems to me that if we went along for 1 year without problems and then all of a sudden in 1 month cracks just begin to develop and intensify like crazy, something huge is going on. If the pool house caused it, then why is the pool house not showing symptoms? Nothing makes sense to me.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Well, keep in mind who hired the soils engineer and remember the link to the engineers I pointed you to earlier. I know they know how to properly solve issues like this. They aren't cheap but good never is. These people are very good at what they do. I did send them a link to this thread, btw.

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Maggie, Just about all structures settle to some degree and differential settling is often the cause of rigid structures cracking. Concrete will actually stretch a bit before it breaks from stress which might explain why it took a year. In this case even if they hadn't tied the two structures together with steel the fact that the swim up bar is keyed into the bathouse could be a greater contributer to the failure. If the swim up bar had obtuse angles or was not keyed in on three side it might not have failed. Just an opinion based upon very little information.

Its good that you have two contractors that you have faith in working to resolve the problem. Stopping the epoxy repair was the right thing to do.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

quote" Was it the right decision to allow it just to drain out or did that magnify the problem. It seems to me that if we went along for 1 year without problems and then all of a sudden in 1 month cracks just begin to develop and intensify like crazy, something huge is going on. If the pool house caused it, then why is the pool house not showing symptoms?
Yes on the draining, although the water exerts a little energy to the pool shell it's nothing compared to the energy the foundation of the pavilion exerts back to the pool shell especially if the substrate soil is wet.

It appears that the pool builder had his guniters shoot up directly against the slab of the pavilion. 1/4 of the weight of the pavilion and it's slab are in contact with the pool shell. with no allowance for expansion, contraction, or settling.
I'm curious, did an architect or an engineer draw your pavilion and pool or did the pool builder design his pool around the pavilion slab?
When the footer beam of the building pushes against the pool beam and wall of the pool most especially on those inside miters the pool shell will lose the battle every time. If there was a leak beneath or near the pavilion's slab the situation will be accelerated and exaggerated quickly.
I'll bet your Homeowners insurance will end up suing one of the contractors if they eat the claim or the architect/engineer if the contractors followed the plans.
IMO, the proper repair is to jackhammer out the shell beyond the cracks and reform with at least an inch preferably two of clearance, two part epoxy some long (24 to 30") dowels into some slightly oversized deep drilled holes (12 to 15") into the matrix of the shell, steel reinforcement, and gunite that demo'd area again.
Even the strongest concrete repair product methylmethacrylate won't work because since its bond is four times the strength of your shell it'll just move the crack over from the repair as it continues to settle. Trust me on this, all settling is not over in the first year This isn't going to be a cheap fix to do it properly.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I'm sorry, last night I totally misinterpreted your question. I thought you were referring to the pool builder draining the pool.
Letting the water leak out on it's own is what caused the aggravated and accelerated cracking. But, now it's a blessing.
You can now see all the areas affected and where the gunite cracks lead to at the beam.
Sorry I misread your question, it was late and I'd had a few beers out in the pavilion after Mom and the kids went to bed before coming in to log on.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Kelly,

Thanks for all of the input. I was wrong on the date for the engineer. I thought it was Monday 1/31, but it is next Monday. PB has hired leak detector company to come out this Thursday. He also filed a claim with his insurance company. More waiting.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I'd suggest having the engineer inspect the slab and the engineering of your pavilion too. Although the pool builder shot up against your slab when he shouldn't have the pavilion's slab has also settled noticeably. Expansion and contraction from temperature changes will not cause that magnitude of damage.
Do you remember footing beams and piers prior to pouring the foundation. Having a foundation company come out and offer their insight will go a long way. Good one's like Olshans here will over a very long warranty on their repairs. This is/was caused from compound problems, handling both at the same time is your best avenue.
I'm not trying to snake your builders it's just my .02

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Maggie,
The 10th photo of your post is very telling.

In the upper left hand corner it appears that the bathouse foundation was poured without a footing on a 6-10 inch layer of organic rich soil. This soil horizen extends the length of the pool and might extend through the remainder of the bathouse foundation that isn't visible.

Kelly's suggestion that the cracks could be caused by the compression of the two stuctures is feasible, however I think they are moving away from each other. A close examination of the cracks should reveal which way things are moving. Either way, whether its compression or tension causing the problem the structures should have been allowed to move indenpendently.

One could argue that the design of the pool complex, or the movement of the bathouse or movement of the pool, or a combination of all of the above contributed to the problem.

I am total agreement with Kelly's advice about letting your homeowners insurance take on the battle of assigning blame. It will be a lot easier on you if they take over the issue.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

OMG!!!
After coming in from smoking a cigarette and enjoying a beer I just looked very closely at your pic #3 from gunite construction.
Look to the far left where you can see the steel tied tightly up against the slab and air beneath the columns base.
This, my internet friend, is a true recipe for disaster.
You'll really need to get on that structure too. I see what might be at best an 18" wide x12" deep footer that looks like it was barely shoveled into topsoil. That picture is a must see for your engineer.
Do you have any pictures of the foundation's forms prior to them putting the concrete in it? I'd like to see how high the other side of the slab by the fireplace is relative to the natural ground level. The pic's are deceptive but it looks like they just set forms on top and scratched a little footer with shovels down into the native topsoil without putting a sandy clay pad down, rolling it out, formsetting, and digging legitimate beams and boring piers. I think they just ordered a bunch of redimix and poured it behind however many formboards it took to reach the finished floor from the original ground level. If so this will be one incredibly heavy foundation.
I always find myself in an awkward spot when I'm forced to make the following statement "You really should retain counsel to assist you and your structural engineer in handling this in the correct manner. The builders, both of them and their insurers, will tell you that it's not really that big of a deal. If that is truly so, then why is your home on a pad with footer beams and bell bottomed piers and not just flopped on top of the dirt like this?"
I'm sorry that your having to go through this. I think it's great that you have good relationships with the two of them. It should really assist you in what's coming. Keep a good attitude, demand the proper construction techniques, and don't roll over for penny ante repairs.
I haven't come into this forum like I usually have for a long time but I'm trying to make a habit of getting back regularly. I've received several e-mails asking where I've been over the past couple of months. I'll follow this thread. I'd be happy to assist you in any manner possible except placing me between you and your builders due to my comments on your construction.
You can trust me on this, I've been almost 10 years on this board under 2 names Huskyrider and Huskyridor.
I've never spammed a member and I've never offered anything less than the truth as I see it on any questions I've answered based on over 30 years of hands on home/pool construction. I let the members know what they're dealing with and how I'd handle it if it were at my house.
I'm certain many will vouch for me here on these inputs from me to members. I have nothing to gain from yanking someones chain, if it's big I'll say so and if it's small I'll do the same.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Kelly, you certainly have a charasmatic spirit!


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Reno,
It look like we were posting at the same time.

quote" Kelly's suggestion that the cracks could be caused by the compression of the two structures is feasible, however I think they are moving away from each other. A close examination of the cracks should reveal which way things are moving. Either way, whether its compression or tension causing the problem the structures should have been allowed to move independently."quote

You know, after looking a little more closely to the direction of the cracks relative to the pavilion's foundation I think your probably right. The weight of the open body of water in the swim area placed both a light compressive load and a heavy tensile load on the walls and floor right in front of the inside barstool area where the inside miters are due to sticktion. Sticktion (a construction adjective for what concrete does at a cold joint when it sticks to the old concrete) from not having a expansion barrier between the two caused the wall to stick to the columns footer and the side of the slab on both sides of the post up to the inside corner and out to the outside corner where the pool beam stops making contact with the slab. This tensile load (picture 2 heavy blocks of concrete on both sides of a teeter-totter board) caused a failure in the cohesion of the matrix.
Way to go man, that was a sharp eye look.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: reno

quote" Kelly, you certainly have a charasmatic spirit! "quote

LMAO!!!

It's great to be coming back in again, I didn't realize I hadn't been around in that long of a timespan.
Getting old is tough, time goes by so quick it's mind boggling.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Maggie, fascinating thread. I'm sorry it comes at your expense.

I'm a licensed engineer from New York. Not a pool expert, (hence the moniker). But i did build one for myself last year.

My expertise is focused on highway bridges and similar structures. I have done a fair amount of forensic engineering, expert testimony and the like. I have to recommend to you in no uncertain terms - get your own engineer, and pay him with your money.

I have seen so many cases where equally qualified engineers offer conflicting opinions, based largely on who pays them. Not that they are dishonest, but if an engineer has a working relationship with a client, the engineer will tend to look for causes that look elsewhere for responsibility. Not always, but engineers generally advocate for their clients. And the client here is your builder, not you.

BTW, the PBs on this board have better eyes than most engineers I know. Nice work guys.

It would be a good idea to have a surveyor come out and take a bunch of shots around the pool. The whole perimeter, the steps, parts of the floor on both sides of the crack. Tie the elevations to a couple of permanent benchmarks (known reference points on a nearby structure or something permanent). Then if the problem recurs in the future, you have a good frame of reference to help determine what is moving. I did this with my pool the day after they plastered it, just in case I had a problem down the road.

Another thing that we do to determine if cracks are active is use glass slides. You can take a slide (the microscope kind) and glue it to the concrete with epoxy on both sides of the crack. The glass spans the crack. Glass, being very brittle, will break if the crack is still active. In your case, I would leave the glass in place for at least 8 weeks to test it.

Good luck to you. And please post the resolution.

John


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

John, while the principle is sound, IMHO, the material isn't. Glass and pools don't mix and should be mutually exclusive except in tile. Shards happen. Murphy's laws evolved for a reason.

Perhaps a different material? Maybe a thin clay rod? Should be fragile enough.

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Scott, I don't think they will swimming in the near future and it won't be in that water.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

MAGGIE96
Time to start looking up as well. See if there are any cracks at the corners of the arches on the building starting to develop. Check all sides.
It's pretty easy to pick apart a structure after the fact. But some of your pictures are quit telling. Building footings poured on grade, not below. Pool walls freestanding 4-5' above grade. Lack of horizontal bars in the bond beam. Guniting the pool structure directly against a foundation. It is truly a combination of poor practices that is contributing to the problem. Any one of which a builder might get away with.
PB's insurance probably won't cover the pool if it's considered workmanship. His insurance will most likely cover building damage caused by the pool.
Good advise was given that you need engineering and/or legal council representing YOU!


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

If the pool builder has product liability insurance theres a good chance it would be covered even if its negligence. If he does any commercial work he most likely has coverage for this. The same is probably true for the bathouse contractor. The homeowners insurance company should be in the battle for the home. If Maggie has the funds she might hire an attorney to make sure her homeowners insurance company doesn't bail and leave her standing alone.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

GEEZ!!!
I can't believe everybody has better eyes than I do.
There is no steel for the beam in the top (you should have either 3 over 1 or as I do a 2 over 2 #4 boxed) you should also have vertical alternates coming up from about 5' into the floor and all the way to the top horizontal of the beam.
Quite honestly I cant tell you on the open board what I'd be doing if this was my pool that I had purchased one year ago.
Way to go Geek, I was so overwhelmed with the magnitude of the cracks and the cold joint that I missed some incredibly large indicators leading to the catastrophic failure in this pool shell.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

There are beam bars, 1 front, and 1 back. Another thing I like is that there they didnt drop the bars under the skimmer.

There are no "B" detail bars, but the wall holding up the structure is typically " double curtain".


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Look close at the one horizotal bar that is at the back of the beam in the gunite picture of the deep end. It's only attached to a vertical bar about every 2' or so. It's doesn't match any engineered plan I have ever seen.
Even if you use 1/2" bars, you still need some kind of surcharge on the walls freestanding that far above natural grade.
The transition of the beam at the footings is almost nonexistent if you look closely at the one photo showing that area.
Kudos to MAGGIE96 for taking pictures.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

A legitimate pool beam is 12" x 12" of concrete with 4 #4 bars either 3 over 1 where the 3 are 3" down from the top of the form and set at the 3",6".9" inside from the form. The one beneath those 3 is 9" down from the form and 9" inside. The other method (which I prefer) is a boxed beam which is 2 on top at the 3" down and 3" and 9" inside from the form. The 2 beneath them are at the same distance in from the form and 9" down from the top of the form.
Vertical alternates come from 5' inside tghe wall and go all the way to the top of the beam, it splits an 8" x 8" centered square into 8" tall by 4" wise rectangle.

quote" Kudos to MAGGIE96 for taking pictures. "quote
I'll second that.
It's a shame she hasn't posted in a few days, I'm more than certain that she's completely heartbroken about this situation.
If any contractor performed any type of substandard work at my house (regardless of the trade) and a failure of this magnitude occured, someone would have to restrain me.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Well, she has that big pow-wow on Monday. Then she'll get to see who steps up and takes the ball.

So far, the right people it seems to me.

I do hope she has been following along and decides to continue her posting.

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I've never advocated suits but if this were my house I'd send the builders of both packing, hire an attorney, and sue them both to demolish and replace both structures with code compliant work.
I would have never passed a either a pool reinforcing steel or foundation inspection with these construction techniques. And quite honestly my guniter would have refused to have shot the pool if they'd of seen this steel reinforcement. My guniter, who I feel is the best in our nation, offers a lifetime warranty on cracks which involve water loss for as long as you own the home.

Maggie, I hope you read your thread before your meeting tomorrow and I equally hope that it's the structural engineer only there without either builder being present.

Good luck, we're all behind you and wishing you the best.
I know you dropped a ton of money on these improvements and deserve what you paid for to be constructed properly and code compliant even if you don't live in an incorporated city/township where building inspections are mandatory.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Yes, I'm still here, although much of this talk about beams is over my head. I know what the beam is, I just don't understand the descriptions of how it should have been done differently.

At the present time, we don't need a test to determine if it is still cracking. The developing of new cracks and continued worsening of all is still very apparent to the naked eye. Each week gets progressively worse.

If you look at the 2nd photo (photo of the right fountain at the swim-up bar), you can see that the grout above the tile is separating from the stone. This is hugely different now. Big gap and all of the rock around the sheeter is loosening. The part of the column that I'm describing sits only on the pool......it it NOT the part of the column that was built with the building. The plumbing runs down that area to the bottom of the pool and out. Whatever is going on seems to be more severe at this fountain than anywhere else in the pool.

Sorry, I'm probably jumping around....trying to remember things from all of the comments above.

Yes, tomorrow is the day that the engineer is supposed to meet here with the PB (I believe he is a soil engineer). Building Contractor will be present as well to answer any questions that may arise. Yes, I am one big walking ULCER!!! I understand that I will more than likely need to hire people myself, but since this guy has been scheduled by the PB for more than 2 weeks, I am going to allow him to come as scheduled. I have not heard from PB's insurance adjuster, although they were supposed to contact me last week. I will follow up with them again tomorrow and find out why.

I sincerely appreciate the input I'm getting from all of you.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Update: Met with structural engineer hired by PB. He ruled out any problems with cabana.
Met with leak detection company. All plumbing (except right fountain) tested ok. Right fountain tested at 18lbs. drops prox 1 lb every 1-2 minutes.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Did you ask the engineer his thoughts on the fact that the pool and cabana are tied together as one? According to the experts here, that is probably the problem. Good luck


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

MAGGIE96,

Is the right fountain shown in any of your pictures?

Lots of pools leak. Structures don't necessarily fail because of a leak. At least not ones with sound construction.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I suspect the right fountain is the sheer on the right side of the bar.

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

quote" Right fountain tested at 18lbs. drops prox 1 lb every 1-2 minutes. "quote

That doesn't sound good. Is this the pipe running up from inside the pool by your bar seating area on the right that is plumbed out of the slab and into the pool and then exiting the pool there on the floor in picture #3 down of construction. In picture #7 of construction it looks like there was another pipe plumbed into the equal but opposite side of the seating area. It doesn't appear that these pipes were utilized but might have been water features for the tops of the short posts that might not have been used for features because I don't see anything plumbed out of the top of the little posts.
I'd ask the leak detector to bring a nitrogen tank and decibel meter to listen to that area down by the floor. I'd guess that there were features that got passed on for some reason and might have just got capped and left idle. The plumber would have plumbed these pipes into that fountain return pipe prior to the decision to leave them out, and it could be cracked there at it's base where it leaves the pool and enters the poolhouse foundation. I'm just guessing based on the pic's. If this is the case all your builder needs to do is dig down to where that pipe leaves the pool shell and cut/cap that pipe outside of the shell and then retest the line.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Thanks Scott,
Hadn't noticed the two sheers on either side of the swim up benches.
I never like running pipe thru foundation footings if it can be avoided. It's another poor construction practice. In this case it brings up the chicken/egg question. Did the movement of the pool cause the leak? It's quite possible as it appears the pvc was gunited into the pool.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

1) I have to wonder how often those sheers ran.
2) How much could it have leaked or washed away?
3) Could the gunite shoot have cracked the line?

Maybe I am missing something, Any leak there would have run away from the pool and down the hill.

I am not convinced the rebar broke anywhere but rather that the gunite tried to fold under due to stress of the soil compacting under the weight of the shell and water. Gunite isn't exactly the most ductile material. Hence, the cracks at the bar where it held. #5 rebar and 9" centers is a strong mesh but without bottom support...

Just for arguments sake, suppose the bar area was separated from the structure. I think we would still be discussing this pool having issues, perhaps not as dramatic though, just different. A listing perhaps, like a boat with too much weight on on side.

Alas, in order to find the cause, some cores will be needed, both of the shell and soil below for testing.

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I think MAGGIE96 indicated the spec was #4 @ 9" oc.
I've never seen rebar actually brake when cracks are present, even large ones. The rebar has the ability to stretch a great deal.
Weak spots are at the corners and along the footings where the rebar is placed too deep(not blocked out from the footing) in the gunite. Lack of uniformity in these areas will produce considerable stress to this area.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Right you are WRT the rebar size. I had .5" on my mind with came out as #5.

I hope Maggie is getting updated.

I would really like to see what testing of the cores, gunite and soil would reveal.

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

How do you pressure test and sheer descent?


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Racket,
I would think you would need a sledge hammer, a saw, a cap and some glue.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

You have DIY instructions for that?


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I doubt they did a demolition on them at the bar. I think it's more likely the the tech dug down and cut the pipes before it came through the shell.

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Scott, they would have to dig about 6ft deep to test it that way? Considering that the masonry was already falling apart it could have been demolished with a lumpy in a few minutes.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I don't think so. Pic 9(?) showing the two men, one doing the shoot. The ground behind the backer slopes a lot. Diagonal dig, maybe 2 feet.

I sure hope Maggie comes back soon. All this conjecture...

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Look at picture #5.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Steep drop right after the deck right there and it is fill, relatively easy digging. Pic 10 shows the location exactly

I think either location is possible but without Maggie, we won't know..


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Not too sure how much info you would gain with that approach?

To each his own.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Maggie.

Any new info you can share yet?

Scott


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I would assume that Maggie's attorneys have told her to stay offline with this situation.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

quote" I would assume that Maggie's attorneys have told her to stay offline with this situation. "quote

Hopefully she retained one for her counsel.
Last thing I remember was she was meeting both builders and the pool guys structural engineer.
I'd definitely be hiring my own and not depending on his.
What you see in this thread, piss poor construction techniques, happens in Texas all the time.
I lose pools on price all the time and then get the come fix my mess calls. Thankfully it sounds like her builder is a stand up guy and hopefully he'll have a claim against his insurance carrier. This kind of stuff typically throws a builder around here into closing the doors quickly, but he'll waste no time starting a new pool construction company.
You know what's sad???
The 21 yr old girl that cuts my hair has a license and is held accountable for her actions but the guy I just lost a 65k pool on price to is on his 4th company since 2000 and still competes with the good builders I've known for decades under the same name and has never been held accountable for the many many uncompleted and poorly constructed pools he's been on. How can you beat my price by 10k, simply by quoting it a tick above cost, not paying the subs, and by not doing things the proper way.
What's even more sad is that the judicial system here protects him more than the pool buyer.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Isn't that the truth! They are like poisionous weeds that keep poping up everywhere. When you think one has died 4 more come up in its place.

They can put up a website with incredible pools that the consumer thinks they built, claim 30 years of experience and have an A+ BBB rating in a matter of a few weeks.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Geez - I can't imagine folks would choose the low-bidder without both personally seeing at least one recently built pool and talking to at least one previous customer...

All four of my quotes were within about $5K (~10%), which I think is about as close as you can get with different products (shotcrete vs gunite, PebbleTec vs Quartz, Intellibrite vs Hayward, etc) If I had a quote significantly lower, I would have been exceedingly skeptical and would have spent a lot of time checking up on that PB.

But I suppose there are always folks who want to believe that they're getting a bargain rather than realizing that they're going to get what they pay for.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

It is a must to test the bottom drains .they used ridge sch 40 pvc ,it does not flex, the skimmer box is way to big the weight of the skimmer box is equal to a small car ,its out of ground no support.the rebar did not have a proper box beam design,single steel.the floors are not 12"look at the photo core drilling will prove this out.but" mainly test all plumbing just poorly planed ,when ground drops away like that


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

At long last, we have answers!! 9 core samples taken, only 4 could be tested under compression. Other 5 basically came out of the pool in pieces due to all of the air pockets/voids in material. One core was only 5". (Most ranged from 5" - 9") Engineer says pool is total demo. Settled with both insurance companies. Now we move on toward the demolition.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Amen and may that builder reap the pain of the rebuild!


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

I would love to know who the builder was along with the gunite company.


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Wow! I missed these pictures when they were originally posted. MAGGIE96, I'm so sorry!


 o
RE: Cracks in pool

Maggie,
this is so sad. We are interviewing builders now and I;m scared to death. Can you message me who your pool builder was?

And Kelly, who was yours?
lzydogrnch@aol.com


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Pools & Spas Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here