Repairing/modifying in-ground concrete pool

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Joined: Sun 08 Apr, 2012 19:28
My Pool: 36' x 15' x 8' form-poured concrete in-ground.
Location: Wichita, Kansas

Repairing/modifying in-ground concrete pool

Postby drgnslayr » Sun 08 Apr, 2012 21:10


I have an old in-ground pool. It is concrete and was form-poured, not a guinite pool. We bought this house (and pool) 2 years ago and I discovered through the neighbors that the pool had not been operational for 2 years before I bought it. I believe the pool was originally built in the '70s.

Last summer, I drained the pool and power-washed it. It looked good, but has one crack going from side-to-side. It may leak a bit of water, but the pool holds water well with most of the loss coming from evaporation.

My plan is to fix the pool and enhance its performance in the process. Then... I want to pave stone over top the coping. It will be very difficult (and expensive) to have future plumbing problems later with pipes under the paving so it is vital I get it right the first time!

I was told from the neighbors that the drain was either clogged or leaking. Not sure how to test it for leaks. I dug up around the pool on three sides to expose the pipes. The old pipes are 1 1/2"... and I was going to upgrade them to 2" pipe to help with the flow even though I will have to convert the 2" to 1 1/2" near the pool wall because the pipes are only 1 1/2" in the wall. The pipes coming out of the backside of the pool do not allign with the outlets in the pool, so obviously they must wind through the wall. If it would work properly, I am willing to redrill and run straight 2" pipes through the walls to achieve better flow, though I'm not sure that would really help since the outlets downsize to help increase outlet pressure. The pool has only one skimmer, one bottom drain, and two returns. The pool size is 36' x 15' x 8' (in the deep end) and is an "L-shape" with stairs.

Upgrades: I believe this pool needs another skimmer. The only skimmer is on the wrong side of the pool... in the deep end on the south side (we have wind out of the south all summer long so leaves and debris will be blown away from this skimmer). I thought it would help to add a skimmer in the shallow end on the east side near the north wall. I thought it would help to add one or two additional returns, too, along with a centrally-located VAC line.

Possible Upgrades: Since I am already going to this amount of trouble I have considered a couple of other upgrades... but don't know if they are realistic. First, I'd like to build a paved stone "diving cliff" perhaps around 5' high where the original diving board was. I'd like to have a waterfall feature at the top. In the pool wall below the waterfall I would like to install a high-pressure pump outlet to provide fast surface movement for swimming in place (against the current).

Currently, there are no plumbing mechanics left, so I will be designing the pump/filter/valves system from scratch. In my thoughts it would seem necessary to have a separate high-volume pump that could work either the waterfall or the surface current-maker and controlled with a directional valve.

I am not sure what is the best way to fix the pool crack and not have it return. My thought is to carve it wider and fill with a specialty pool epoxy. I will replaster the pool, too.


I don't have a specific question, but as you can read... this is quite a project and I would appreciate all comments on "do's and don'ts" or whatever you think is important knowledge for me to know and pull this off successfully. I have vast construction experience, including cutting and pouring concrete.

Any advice on what mechanics fit best would be highly appreciated. I am considering using a salt system. I don't think the salt would damage my stone paving (white quartz).

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