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Thread: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

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    Default Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Our PB got in a hurry to drop our liner, and only waited about 24 hours after poolcrete installation to do it. Moreover, we had a thunder shower during that time, as well. The poolcrete showed erosion from the rain drops, which the PB smoothed out. Then he installed the liner over the damp poolcrete. I noticed water was seeping in from the bottom and walls in places, just a couple of hours before he dropped the liner and filled the deepend and shallow end with water to about a level of 8" to 12". He kept a vacumn pulled on the liner until the water got to that level. That was about 48 hrs ago. He has not added any more water, and today it rained again. So I got in the pool and eased around the shallow end because I was concerned that he had not smooth the poolcrete enough, and I found soft areas in the pool crete in the shallow end. My foot left a slight impression. Is this normal? I also noticed that the inside and bottom corners of the liner had lots of air or water behind them. Is this normal when the water level is so shallow? I also found rough spots where the poolcrete had set up that seem like the could be abrasive to the underside of the liner. I expect a smooth, solid bottom, and a snug fitting liner. Am I expecting to much? The pool has not been backfilled and I don't mind draining water out, if necessary. However, thePB will be back tomorrow and I need advice on how to handle this situation, if these are things that should cause me concern. Thanks, Webfeet

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    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Cool Re: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Web, this may be a little late for your timeframe, but most of what you've found is normal. Where your foot sank a little may have been an area that they patched that hadn't cured enough for walking on. The corners and bottom of the wall should 'tighten up' when the pool is full, the extra water pressure will make the liner conform better to the pool's shape. If the bottom is a vermiculite mixture, then water should be able to freely pass through it as you witnessed. With the rain you've been getting I'm not suprised that water was in the pool and that there is some behid the liner (you have a big hole in your backyard, mostly filled with the pool, but water seeks it's own level, and the lowest point it can get to, so you have the perfect recipe for flooding there) - add to this the fact that you have less than 1' of water in the pool and the rain water will collect between the wall and liner, at least till it's ~ the same level as the pool water, then it will try to push the liner around. As I said in a previous post to you, we try our best to trowel the floors as close to level as we can, but even the best trowler can have an off day, having no glaring dips or humps is about the best you can expect . Not being able to see your pool prevents me from commenting fully upon the quality of your pool, besides it's too easy to be a 'Monday morning quarterback'. Your PB should be able to address and allay your concerns. I hope that all turns out well and that you love your new pool!
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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    Default Re: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Thanks for your help, Waste. The PB didn't show up today- its to wet. He will be back Thursday. I was really concerned that a vacumn or toe could tear the liner where the 90 degree corners are. I guess it should be snug after completion. Please respond/ clarify the the next three issues. Anyone else want to chime in, please do.
    1)Will the pool bottom always feel mushy in spots or will it finally set up hard? Will it get soft when water passes through it? If so, I guess swimmers have to stay out during wet times, so as not to put indentions in the bottom. ( This doesn't sound right to me.) If it is suppose to cure hard, how long should it take? It had been over 48 hours and 90 degrees and above when I walked on the bottom.
    2.)The pool does have at least one rough, raised spot, oblong shape, about 1/4" high and about 1" by 3" in size. This area feels abrasive and is about 6 inches from the bottom step ( a high traffic area). So, I am concerned that it may cause the liner to wear prematurely, in that area, and leak. If it were at the bottom of the deep end, I wouldn't be as concerned, since no one would walk or stand on it.
    3.)The shallow end has a hump that was very visible during filling. Water, a couple of inches deep, settled around the wall edges of the shallow end, and flowed along the the wall edges to the deep end, like little streams along each side of the pool. This clearly defined a large hump. After the deep end was full and and the water was about 2 to 3 inches above the bottom of the shallow end wall, the hump began to disappear. I think that I may be able to "feel" the hump when we walk into the pool and toward the deep end. ( I got out yesterday after I felt the mushy area, so I didn't check to see if I could "feel" the hump while walking.) Can this cause any problems other than possibly being noticeable when we walk on it? My shallow end is 20' by 16', a nice size area. The humped area covers about 2/3 of that.

    Thanks,
    Webfeet
    Last edited by webfeet; 08-29-2006 at 09:57 PM.

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    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Default Re: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Web:
    1) After 48 hrs w/ 90 deg temps, it should have set enough to walk on. If you could 'dent' it by walking on it, so could the crew that dropped the liner, so I'm thinking it would have been noticed (though it's easier to notice these things when barefoot). The spots should not stay soft, nor resoften in subsequent rains, however if the rain came quikly enough and in sufficient amounts to 'channel' the surface - the bonding cement may have washed out and wet vermiculite (with no cement) is 'mushy'. (I have seen pools where the cement has slowly been washed out over the course of 10+ years of water continually channelling through it, leaving behind 'mush') As a general rule for cement mixes, the material reaches full cure after ~28 days, at this point it is as hard as it will ever get and deteriorates VERRY SSSLLLOOOWWWLLLYYY! , but for practical purposes a day or two allows use (always dependant on the situation/ conditions)
    2) An area like that doesn't sound like the mix was improperly trowled, it sounds like someone left a pile of debris from sweeping the pool (however, I wasn't there to see what was done). If it is just some vermiculite peices that didn't get fully removed, you can push them down with your thumb and they'll flatten out - if you feel any sharp edges while pushing or if it's hard and won't push down - STOP and have it addressed by the PB ( they'll have to partially drain the pool and remove/ fix it)
    3) That is the extreme case of "no noticeable dips or humps"! As long as it transitions up and down smootly, no problem - other that 'Webfoot's Isle' is taking up 2/3 of the shallow end. If you can live with it and it hasn't caused the liner to wrinkle - I'd say this is the 'bargaining chip' for you when you talk with PB (ie. fix 1 &2 and I'll be cool about 3) - I must point out that it would have been 'glaringly' noticeable if someone had just looked at the shallow end at 'eye-level' from the 'break' (the transition from shallow to deep end).
    I, again wish you the best with your new pool! If I've been unclear or haven't fully addressed your concerns, feel free to ask
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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    Default Re: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Waste, are you suggesting that the PB probably knew the hump was there and just ignored it? They were in a real hurry. However, I don't think it will be bothersome, but I will not know until I get to walk around in the pool more. PC doesn't want me in it.

    I told the PC before he dropped the liner that I wanted a very clean bottom, and that I was even willing to sweep and vacumn it myself. He said he would take care of it, and that I worry too much. (I guess thats because its my yard, pool and money - not his!) Although he has not been back to work since I found the rough spot, when I spoke with him on the phone about it, he said he would take of that problem.
    In that same conversation, he seemed surprised and confounded that an area was mushy- and even said that it should not be like that. Then in a later conversation he told me that I probably stepped in an area that was touched up right before the liner was put in. Then chastised me for getting in the pool. But like I said, it had been over 48 hours since the liner was installed when I got in the pool. We had a good rain during that 48 hours, but nothing that should have washed away any cement. It probably soaked up a lot of water though. So, I feel like my hands are tied, and that I can't get back in. When should I insist that the pool should be ready for me to inspect the bottom -i.e. walk around on the shallow end?

    I also noticed that the schedule 40 PVC plumbing pipes were layed directly on top of the concrete footing that runs around the exterior of the pool. Does there need to be some sand or something between the PVC and the concrete? To cushion it some, maybe? Again, thanks for your help. I will let you know how it turns out. PC will be back tomorrow. Webfeet

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    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Default Re: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Web, unless it rained too much today, I'll assume you met with PB or PC today, so will cover 2 quick points.
    1) I can't possibly say whether or not PB knew anything, what I was saying is that; if someone had walked down the slope to the deep end and turned around and looked at the shallow end (with their eye at ~ the plane of the shallow end floor), it would have been fairly obvious - however, i suppose there is a possibility that 'some wierd lighting' might have hidden the 'island'.
    2) The pipes don't need sand under them, per se (the co I worked for in Va, did the liner pool plumbing the same way), but sand placed over them, before the other backfill material, should help to guarantee their safety from breaking. The sand will fill any voids under them (SCH 40 PVC is pretty hardy stuff and doesn't mind resting on concrete) and insulate them from rocks, etc, that might be in the backfill material.
    Looking forward to seeing what pool dudes said/ did today.
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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    Default Re: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Thanks Waste, for you time and insight. PC and crew did not work today. No explanation. Just didn't show up. I've heard that this is not unusual, but it is frustrating. However,you've eased my mind considerably. I guess my main concern at this point is whether or not there are any more rough areas or debris under the liner. I want to get back in and check- it has been 5 days now. EDIT : The pool builder and my dh got in the pool on Friday morning, and the PB pushed the rough areas down the same way you had instructed me to do, my dh called me at work, and said he thought we should let the PB fill the pool, which we did. The PC also gave us permission to get in this weekend, 9-02, and we did. I found several other rough places and some smooth out when I rubbed on them, but some did not. I also found some low spots, about the size of 50 cent pieces. I could feel the empty space under the liner. [I]Could these rough areas and low areas cause excessive wear during foot traffic or vacumning?/I] I also have a new thread with a question about unlevel installation as evidenced by an unlevel waterline on the border and skimmers. Please respond to it too, if you have time. Again, thanks for your help.
    Last edited by webfeet; 09-04-2006 at 05:25 PM.

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    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Default Re: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Web, thanks for the update, glad you have 'permission' to use your pool .
    With reguard to your most recent ? : I am reminded of an earlier post concerning the usefulness of the liner's warrantee after ~ 5 years - to wit: after the ~5 yr mark the warrantee is kind ' o BS (the proration on them is large and you have to get the same company to do the work - locking you in) [I'm taking some shortcuts in my explaination - maybe I'll be able to find the post tomorrow if I don't have to work]. Having said that, I doubt that you'll have trouble with the areas you are talking about for many years. They may show pattern fading earlier than the rest of the floor, but it should be minimum - I'm basing this on pools I've seen that are ~10 yrs old and it's just starting to really show. I don't doubt that there is some extra wear as a result of the floor not being ~ perfectly flat, but it seems to be almost a 'non-issue'. I realise that you probably expected a little more for your money, but it doesn't sound like you have a 'defective' pool. I hope that the weather will cooperate and let you get a month or two's enjoyment from it before you have to close it for the winter!
    (I'll go take a look at your newest thread)
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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    Default Re: Pool filling- but trouble with poolcrete Help!

    Waste, Thanks sooooo much. The thread I want you to respond to is about an Unlevel IG Vinyl pool. It has several responses, but I want yours!
    Thanks

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