Ask the pool team: a bunch of questions about an old gunite pool

I would love to know what you think about us installing a vinyl liner in our pool. It has a horrible leaking problem and the covers for the main drain desperately need to be replaced. Also, when the pool was crystal clean (Once this year-oops!) I can see foot prints in the bottom. On top of the fact that tiles and granuals fall into the water constantly and it looks hideous.

Our pool is about 16X32 or 17×34 and it goes from 3 feet at the stairs to 9 feet under the diving board and the transitions are smooth. I have included a picture to jog your memory and to see if you have a ballpark idea of cost. Would at least LOVE to know if your company installs these and if so- round about cost on that.

We are also currently finding out when the last time the sand was changed in our filter, from the previous owners. Can you tell me the cost on your company servicing that also?

Let’s talk about the issues in order of importance…

1.       Sand Change – yes, it absolutely should be done. The cost starts at $250. Or you can do it yourself – it involves purchasing filter sand ($8-10/bag) you’ll need at least 6 bags. It depends on your filter volume and I am not exactly sure, but could find out. You scoop the sand out of the top and replace it. Most people who do it one time say they will never do it again, it’s just tedious and not fun, but also not very complicated. *Sand should be changed every 3-5 years. It’s a safe bet that it’s been a bit longer than that, if not much, much longer. One homeowner I spoke with this year said he did his sand change once before, and it would never be him doing a sand change again. For some reason our guys love doing sand changes, but they are really not that much fun!

2.       Leak in the pool – a new liner would not help solve this if the problem is in the lines. A pressure test is about $250 and we would isolate the line(s) that are the problem if it is the plumbing, or we can troubleshoot to see if it’s in the pool, or the light. (I can also walk you through steps where you do this, and monitor the water level to see what it does, then do this and see what it does until we are cued into what it could be) Unless you see a visible crack in the gunite, it’s probably not the problem. If the line is found that is the problem that line could be plugged, or something like that. A liner retrofit is probably almost as expensive as a gunite redo…so not really fun.

3.       The green pool. Would be helped by a sand change for sure, by running the filter 24/7, by making sure you are using enough liquid chlorine, adding algaecide weekly and have floating tablets in continually…so this could be any of these combinations.

4.       Tile falling into the pool. You could strip the tile. It’s not “functional” but rather cosmetic. So if you strip it, it won’t be pretty, but at least it would stop falling in. Aside from remarciting the surface, or putting up new tile, not many other options. Again, something that you can do – though it is a “special talent” and we do have an excellent tile person, Karen. Cost for removal and reinstall of new tile if we did it would run $3500. New marcite (white) would run $7000)

5.       Pool surface clean and new clean water next year: I would recommend if you want to start with fresh water next year that might be beneficial – so when it’s time to open, a complete drain of the pool (don’t do this yourself) where we use our trash pump with 3” hoses to drain the pool, clean it with an acid wash, and refill immediately the same day, will both clean the pool walls to make them “whiter” and also allow you to start with fresh water. Depending on how your tap water is, you may want to bring in a truck, it would take at least 3 trucks of 8-9k gallons to refill your pool, at $365ish each, or refill with the hose if you think your well can handle it. Price for an acid wash starts at $550.

6.       Safety cover: for your pool it is complicated, and therefore just a bit expensive. I am glad that you were able to get other quotes, and that our price was good, relatively speaking. Maybe a future option down the road!gunite pool in need of renovation as quoted by Pietila Pools Services

Let me know if you have any other questions, or if these answers raise any different questions for you!