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willow66

gunite pool just poured too deep

willow66
11 years ago

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?

Thanks....

Comments (77)

  • PRO
    www.SwimmingPoolSteve.com
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I intend to research as per your sources - thank you. As for pouring the floor one day and shooting the walls days later, or a month later, that is <strike>absolute silliness</strike> edit* as edited below you CAN in fact do this* - any pool builder who did this would be asking for serious long term problems. Shooting a basin in multiple stages goes against every concrete application I have learned over a lifetime and thousands of concrete pool builds. To each their own I guess.

    EDIT - As per Aqua link pools and spas I have read the American Shotcrete Society bulletin as well as this technical article about shotcrete "cold joint creation". TLDR - Shotcrete acts as a sort of sandblast to the existing surface which opens the cellular structure for maximum adhesion such that a cold joint as typically seen with multiple stage concrete applications, does not exist. Understanding this as explained here, as a shotcrete pool builder, I would still strongly recommend to pursue pool shells as a uniformly placed concrete structure - however under ideal installation circumstances shotcrete CAN be added in multiple staged layers. very interesting stuff (that I never want to have to try lol)

    And to think of all those times I almost worked my guys to death shooting the shell at one time. I could have just done it causally over the course of a week apparently!


    http://shotcrete.org/media/Archive/2014Spr_TechnicalTip.pdf

  • PRO
    Aqua-Link Pools and Spas
    8 years ago

    Not silliness just fact. Get educated!

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  • PRO
    www.SwimmingPoolSteve.com
    8 years ago

    You are right, here is the technical bulletin for any other readers: http://shotcrete.org/media/Archive/2014Spr_TechnicalTip.pdf

    I updated the above comment to reflect this info also. Thank you.

  • Jim Patterson
    8 years ago

    Finally made a decision. We will leave pool as is. Not worth spending $8k to raise the deep end by a foot in order to get more shallow end. My oldest kid who is 16 likes it the way it is so he can dive, jump and swim underwater. Thanks for everyone's input and suggestions. Good discussion and I learned a lot.

  • PRO
    The Pool & Spa Place
    8 years ago

    It is a bit deep, but with the amount of seating built in I like the way your son is thinking! You should be able to maximize enjoyment out of the pool in all aspects. Enjoy.

  • House App
    4 years ago

    .

  • Cheri Gerwig
    3 years ago

    I realize this thread is ancient but I’m having a problem with our shallow end being too deep as well. How difficult/expensive might it be to add either a shelf or perhaps some bar stools? Does that sound like a fairly easy solution? I just want a place for shorter kids to rest/hangout more easily. We have a Bahama ledge but I want something more in to water. I’m thinking by the hot tub area.

  • Cheri Gerwig
    3 years ago

    They’ve poured the gunite but no plaster yet. The gunite was a few weeks ago though.

  • PRO
    Aqua-Link Pools and Spas
    3 years ago

    You will have to dowel and epoxy rebar into the existing shell. Bond the rebar to the existing rebar. Create a three dimensional plane on your existing shotcrete, clean and bring to saturated surface dry condition. Apply new shotcrete and then water cure.


    Cost is based on area of the country but this could easily be $10,00.00 plus.

  • Jim Patterson
    3 years ago

    The scope and price sounds right. Bottom line it’s not worth it. I had the same concerns and opted not to do it. Once the pool was filled and we started enjoying it our concerns vanished. My recommendation is to leave it and you’ll be happy as is. It always looks weird without water anyways. You’ll be fine.

  • Mrs. S
    3 years ago

    keep in mind, you make the shallow part narrower. Youll end up with MOST of the pool being "slope".

    We did our pool 4' deep in shallow end. I'd do 4'6" deep if I had to do it again. We made our shallow end big, also deep end big. Actually, the whole pool is big.

    Kids swim. They run, they jump. They rarely stand there in the shallow end, is our experience. Keep an eye on them.

  • Cheri Gerwig
    3 years ago

    Thanks for all the recommendations and thoughts. I really appreciate it. It sounds like it’ll be too expensive. You guys are right. It’ll be fine. The kids will love it and I’ll just get myself a nice floating chair. Lol.

  • Keith Marks
    3 years ago

    Gunite was sprayed and before finishing all hell broke loose with the weather. They covered the pool up as quick as possible but some of the gunite did not set and fell in. My PB Says they will chip out what needs to be and reshoot. Is my shell compromised ? My PB says no. Will the gunite still stick to the other gunite ? Please help.

  • PRO
    Aqua-Link Pools and Spas
    3 years ago

    Dry mix shotcrete or Gunite is a pneumaticlly applied concrete. It forces cement paste into the surface. As long as the old surface is prepared properly by getting rid of any bad substrate, creating a three dimensional plane and bringing the surface of the substrate to an saturated surface dry condition you will be fine.

    There are no cold joints in shotcrete due to the process of shotcrete. You could have an 100 year old pool shell and as long as it’s prepared properly you can shoot on top of it and not have an issue.

  • Keith Marks
    3 years ago

    Thank you for your help of easing my mind. I didn’t know who to ask. It’s a lot of money to be compromised.

  • Cheri Gerwig
    3 years ago

    Update: My pool guy did end up adding a little step for us which totally helped! They had not poured any plaster yet. So, he doweled rebar down to connect to the base, then they poured the plaster, and it worked great. Overall it is still too deep but at least younger kids have a place to stand next to the hot tub now.

  • Bel Port
    3 years ago

    Can a floating bench be added to the deep end when my pool is still at the gunite stage?

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC
    3 years ago

    Not sure what you mean by a floating bench.

    You can add a bench while it's still in the gunite stage. We have added benches and or steps on pool renovations as well.

    To add the bench, holes must be drilled into the pool shell to allow rebar to be set for reinforcement. The holes should be cleaned thoroughly and an epoxy should be put into the hole followed by the rebar. Wait 24 hrs to build the remainder of the rebar cage.


    The surface should be saturated with water, but no puddling, to allow for a proper bond of the gunite. A piece of the original rebar from the pool should be exposed to allow for a bond clamp and #8 copper wire to be installed from the original, to the proposed bench's rebar. This is an electrical code requirement part of NEC 680 section.


    Hopefully your builder knows this method.


    Just as you would with a freshly shot pool, hydrate the bench often so it cures properly.

  • Will Fons
    3 years ago

    I am in gunite stage. And the slopE To the deep end slopes to fast. And I feel my sport pool is all 4.5 to 5 feet with little to no shallow. I have very little shallow. They are telling me they can put Gunite on top of Gunite a week or 2 later without doing any extra prep. . Thoughts?

  • Will Fons
    3 years ago

    Here the current stage

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC
    3 years ago

    Your pool builder should a structural detail that shows the pool size and the slope ratio.

    Check the dimensions as to what your discussions and expectations from the PB were.

    If the PB does not provide it to you, ask the town building department. They are supposed to have a copy for their files. It may be a hard copy or sometimes it's in electronic form.

    You can simply measure your pool against the detail. It should match!!!


    Personally, I don't like the term Sport Pool, as to me there is no boiler plate design and it can be open to interpretation as to size, depth and configuration.


    Just yesterday my structural engineer provide me a detail for pool we are to build soon. The depth goes from 3'-5'. It conforms to a specific slope ratio of 15:1. That means, for every 15' of length, the depth drops 1'. The pool is 38' long.


    You can certainly add concrete in the existing structure, provided the steps I mentioned in the previous post are followed. Working into slopes can be tricky as the thickness of the added pour must be consistent.

  • Gretchen Ponts
    3 years ago

    We just had the gunnite stage done and turns out they dug the entire pool 3 inches too deep. So the entire pool and all the plumbing is too low and needs to be raised. The pool builders solution is to put a 3 inch layer of Gunite on all horizontal areas including the steps, the edge of the pool, and the Baja shelf. Also requires jackhammering out the skimmer and other plumbing since that has to come up 3 inches as well. I’m worried that just putting a 3 inch layer of gunnite on top of the horizontal parts of the pool would leave room for a crack anywhere between the old and new seam. Any help to ease my mind that this is an OK approach to do?

  • Jim Patterson
    3 years ago

    If the depth is deeper by only 3 inches I wouldn’t change that. Most people pay extra for additional depth and I don’t think 3 inches is worth adding more gunite. However, when you say all the plumbing is 3 inches too low that’s a problem and must be dealt with separately. But coming back to your original question. Yes you can add gunite to existing gunite. Most likely they will need to add additional rebar (steel) between the existing gunite and the newly poured gunite. By the way, they made my pool too deep and my slope to much of an angle. Considered adding more gunite to raise it like you and at the end left it all alone. Now it’s 4 years later and we absolutely love the way it is and glad I did’t mess with it.

  • Gretchen Ponts
    3 years ago

    The measured assuming pavers for the decking to link to the existing lanai patio. But we’re putting in travertine. That’s why the pool is 3 inches to low and where the problem is.

  • Jim Patterson
    3 years ago

    Ok, now I understand. I also have travertine. Looks like they’ll have to add for sure to the pool edging to bring it up for the 3 inch gap. Makes sense for the steps and baja shelf. I thought you wanted to add to the entire bottom of the pool as well but there is no need to touch the pool floor. I agree with the horizontal surface areas. Adding Gunite to Gunite is done all the time. If they are a good company, and they do it properly, adding steel etc, you should not have any problems. My only concern would be the jackhammering for the skimmers. Just make sure they don’t cause any other issues/cracks along the gunite when they make the openings. You should be ok.

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC
    3 years ago

    3" too thin to reinforce with rebar. Plus, the existing rebar would have to be tied in to meet the electrical code for bonding.

    Provide the surface is Saturated Surface Dry (SSD) with no puddling, the gunite will bond just fine.

    The skimmers will have to be busted out raised. Yes, your baja shelf will be a greater step down, but, the plaster finish will pick up an additional 3/4"-1". So not such a bad step down.


    I'm not super confident about shooting just 3" of material. Especially in freeze thaw areas.

    The front and the back of the beam could be notched, to allow for a "haunched" key way if you will. Grabs more surface area instead of relying on just the top of the beam.


  • laswift
    3 years ago

    Not reading all the comments, but the shallow end being too deep is a blessing in disguise. We built a pool with a 3.5’ deep and end and once it was done, I realized it was huge mistake and we should have made it deeper. Kids don’t want to stand in the pool, they want to SWIM! Even adults in the pool wanted to veg out on their noodles and floaters with their beverages and didn’t want to be in the shallow end either.

  • laswift
    3 years ago

    ^^^Should have said 3.5’ deep shallow end

  • Gretchen Ponts
    3 years ago

    Thank you, Jim. That makes me feel better. Though I’m not sure about mystic pools as it seems we still have a big problem on our hands possibly? I had already made the Baja shelf 8 inches deep so making it deeper is not a good thing. I appreciate the feedback so at least I can ask More educated questions when they discuss with me how they’re gonna do the solution with adding a good night and redoing the piping.

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC
    3 years ago

    Hopefully the PB has a structural engineer on board to advise.


  • Christine Amendola
    3 years ago

    Hello, new to the forum. We are building a pool and they just did the Gunite. The walls are uneven and we have had a chunk break off at the top. Spoke with our contractor and he said this is “normal” and once they plaster it will be fine. My husband and I have concerns and would like another opinion before they continue work, are there independent pool inspectors or consultants we can have look at the work to confirm it is acceatable. Appreciate any guidance. Thanks, Christine

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC
    3 years ago

    Christine Amendola


    This is not normal.

    I hear a lot lately on this forum how pool PB's tell their clients they can "right" things with plaster, tile or coping. Or they say, "this is normal". Amazing.


    Document everything with photos, notes and any phone calls or conversations with the PB or whoever is in charge of running your project.

  • Christine Amendola
    3 years ago

    Thank you for the quick response Aqua Link and Mystic, your feedback is extremely helpful and I will be getting a second option before we proceed with any additional work on the pool. Thank you so much, attached is an image of the work that we are being told is acceptable.


  • Maritza Murray
    2 years ago

    Our pool gunite got shot in the other day and the slope is not gradual... it looks really bad... 3’-7’ we have a Baja shelf... then 4, of 3’ depth then its slows down really fast... looks like no room to stand on even ground... it’s really concerning me

  • Maritza Murray
    2 years ago

    Any help would be amazing!!!

  • Jim Patterson
    2 years ago

    I think you will be fine. Once the water is filled it will look good. The slope always looks aggressive when empty. You will have some area in the shallow end for standing. For that size pool you really only have 2 choices - a shallow pool on both ends or more of a diving pool which requires a slope. If they built a slope with more standing area you would have more of a vertical wall which creates a hazard. You should be ok.

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC
    2 years ago

    Swimming pools require a structural detail drawn by an engineer. Preferably one versed in swimming pools. Building departments require this as part of the permitting process.


    There are specific slope ratios to conform to for structural reasons, not aesthetics.

    Pools will be classified as a Diving or Non-Diving type based on specific measurements and depth(s).


    Perhaps your builder has a copy of the engineer's plan, if it does exist.

    At the very least, the builder should have informed you the shallow area would be short based on the pool size and the location of the Baja shelf.

  • Maritza Murray
    2 years ago

    Thank you. I will get those from the builder. There is so much to know... it’s intimidating

  • PRO
    Aqua-Link Pools and Spas
    2 years ago

    The ISPSC and ANSI/APSP/ICC-1 Require slopes to be no more than a 3 to 1 slope. Meaning for every 3 feet of length you can drop 1 foot in depth. If the pool is short and you wanted a 8' deep end then your shallow end will be very minimal. I go over this requirement with my clients in the design phase so they know the consequences of a deeper pool. If they followed this code then they are not in violation.

  • HU-806097226
    2 years ago

    I am in the middle of pool construction and during the Gunite and layout our phase the subcontractor over shot my spa by 6 inches and the benches by 4 inches. My contractor was not fully transparent with me, and he had them fix it without consultation. The gunite company jack hammered the benches back to 14 inches for the overshot 18 inches and the beam wall back 2 inches, then smoothed with a some type of concrete/gunfire’s mixture. No the benches are not clean lines Does this sound like a correct repair? Should I be concerned about failure in the future. I just don’t seem to be getting the answers from my pool contractor.

  • PRO
    Aqua-Link Pools and Spas
    2 years ago

    Without pictures and a plan this is hard to answer. As long as you you have 3” of coverage over the rebar then they have at least meant the minimum coverage of concrete over rebar.

    You would have to find out what they used to smooth it out to get a opinion about whether this would work or not.

  • HU-806097226
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the reply. So he told me it was gunite and that he “flashed” the beam (1st pic) and the benches (2nd pic). He said that when they plaster it will fill in gaps and crevasses and smooth edges and that we won’t even notice that they had to cut back. Does this look and sound right ?I just don’t want my spa to fall apart in a few years. What do you think?

  • PRO
    Aqua-Link Pools and Spas
    2 years ago

    It’s definitely not the cleanest or straightest shot that was ever done but if he properly prepared the substrate (old shotcrete) by ensuring it had a 3 dimensional plane and brung it up to a saturated surface dry condition then it will be fine.

    If you take a crowbar to it and hit it and you get a solid clang off the bar it is good, if it sounds like a dull thud or hollow then you know it didn’t bond well.

  • HU-98010125
    2 years ago

    Our pool is curently just concrete and they messed up the one side so they have to add about 8” on one side to get it symetrical. they are going to rebar and pour the concrete and then apply the gunite coating. they said done correctly it will have no issues with cracking is this a simple process or should we live with a pool that left curve doesnt match the right curve ?

  • Ryan
    2 years ago

    I have a similar problem with my pool in that the beach slope is too steep (1 to 4 slope) and needs to be raised on the one end and create a step and then taper back to the beach to create a 1 to 7 slope needed. The plan is to epoxy new rebar every 24" squares and create a 6" inch grid all the way up the beach until the concrete is less than 3". The beginning of the beach will get a triangle notch cut to create a line to make sure the new concrete is never tapered. The solution does not call for shotcrete but instead regular poured concrete 4,500 psi with a bonding slurry first.


    Does this sound like a good fix? Is the shotcrete necessary or will this be just fine?

    If anyone has anything to add I am open to suggestions.

  • HU-343498791
    2 years ago

    We are at the plaster stage on our pool and the pool is over 1 foot deeper in the middle where tanning ledge is and is 3 inches higher out of the ground than should be. Thus going to cost

    us additional slab and concrete around pool and also giving a bigger drop in the back yard.

    We wanted a shallower pool because wife is only 4.10 tall and only a few feet of the pool where

    stairs are is where she can stand. Tanning ledge is in 5 foot of water. Should only be 4 and is

    in middle of the pool. Any suggestions?

  • Mrs. S
    2 years ago

    You guys have to start your own thread if you want responses.

  • burke blaser
    last year

    https://www.houzz.com/user/webuser-98010125 i have a similar problem

    with my pool as it was poured 5 imches out of square what sis they end up doing to fix your piol?

  • navajo66
    9 months ago

    Original Poster here. Wow I just found this post I posted in 2012. It’s 2023 now and my pool build has been a disaster from the very first fill. That addition of concrete added and “tied in to the original rebar” he promised would not crack and make a cold joint. BS!
    I have so many cracks and leaks and issues it has been a nightmare. Already have done a huge expensive renovation in 2017 for plumbing. The drain cracked first year and has been closed off. The structure of both spa and pool has been leaking for 3 years. I cannot find anyone to to a repair. I’ve had to research this myself and have decided (I think) to have all 100 feet of my cracks chiseled out and repaired with torque lock staples. But not sure. The spa which is inside the pool probably needs to be cut out and rebuilt from scratch.
    Pool builder has been out of biz since year after so no warranty.

    I did read way back in one of those comments that the Gunite company may warrant its structure? May look into that.

    I think I’m on my own though. Wish there were good contractors who did repairs and not just pb’s who put shoddy work in your yard.

  • PRO
    Mystic Pools, LLC
    9 months ago

    I know of one engineering firm in California that will perform forensic tests on the shell to determine the problem.

    So many things can create cracks in a shell such as unstable/unsuitable soil conditions, improper placement of rebar, type of rebar, amount of rebar, improper coverage and or cement ratio and content of the shotcrete. Groundwater can affect a shell as well. There may be rebound in the mix which most certainly causes cracks.

    Rebound is the material that "bounces" off the surface when the shotcrete is applied. It does not provide a mechanical and chemical bond needed and must be shoveled out of the shell during the shoot. That is customary during this process.


    Shotcrete crews may offer a warranty or be responsible in some aspect if their mix was poor and not to standards. But, they will generally be under the impression the PB will have the pool prepped properly to meet the approved plan.


    Your situation is horrible and I feel terrible for you. If I looked at your pool in it's present condition, I would probably recommend removal and start all over again. I think problems will continue and although the Torque Lock is a great product, a 100' crack is a lot to mend. Others may differ on opinion. You can make the repair and see if it holds, but understand it may not go away.