If it doesn't break in and of itself, its surroundings will actively work to destroy it. Case in Point... Our pool. It's suffered it's second leak in about as many years. Why? Well, there are a couple of cause, 1) We have an underground creek flowing the length of our property into the canal. We didn't discover this for about 2 or 3 years after we bought and built. We discovered it because we had to go and build a pool - one of life's real pleasures (read necessities) here in the tropics. A veritable life-saver.
Of course, the creek apparently goes under a corner of the pool and pump house, which has caused that corner of the pool to dip slightly and 2) We've had over a year of very heavy truck traffic on our road with attendant huge vibrations both coming and going - dump trucks hauling marl, sand, boulders, etc, anywhere from next door, to down the road all the way to the ferry. Did I mention massive vibrations? Huge vibrations, shaking everything and anything as they roared past. And not just a couple of times a day either. Most days during that year, we're talking on the order of twenty to thirty times a day, and sometimes more. it was intense.
So, comes the day when the pool starts actually losing water. We peeked between the slats of the deck boards and could actually see water coming out. Bummer. Now we had to do something about it.
Who better to call than John Harris, the guy who built the pool. We've always enjoyed a good working relationship with John. He's easy to keep happy. Just fix him a big 'cuppa' tea (two bags, one sugar, and cream), and he's good to go. He and his crew have been together for over eight years and work well as a team.
This is the second time we've had John out to fix a leak in the pool. We've always been happy with his work. I think it would be a cheap shot if we were to say, it's John's workmanship. No one knew at the time we built the pool that we would be dealing with an underground stream. If we had, we'd have approached the initial construction differently - pilings and that sort of thing. Hind sight is always 20/20.
Anyway, we've got this leak to deal with. The guys came within a couple of days of our call to John. His crew starts early - like around 6:15 AM, and they get to it right away.
Thanks to the leak, we had partially drained the pool overnight, so finishing draining it only took about an hour or so that morning. It's not a good idea to leave an in-ground pool with no water for very long. They can and do pop out of the ground. Just check out YouTube for some sobering videos on the topic.
The guys got right to it, chiseling about an inch or two wide channel along the major cracks and then laying in hydraulic cement in the body of the crack. After that sets, which takes no time at all (The container says the hydraulic cement has a 15-minute working time. I've used it and I think it's more on the order of 5-minutes.). then you can trowel on some Diamond Brite and feather it in to blend with the pool.
Just for your info, Diamond Brite is made by Southern Grouts and Mortars (SGM) It's a blend of propriatary aggregates and polymer-modified Portland cement.
|In the Bag|
Here's some photos of the repair job underway.
The crack that was leaking is the one directly behind the worker in the picture below, not the one under the skimmer in the center.
|Cleaning Some Early Debris|
As soon as the hydraulic cement sets, then it's time for the Diamond Brite.
|Diamond Briting the Patches|
|More Diamond Briting the Patches|
|Feathering the Diamond Brite|
It worked like a champ. Agusto went all over the pool and lots of marl dust and other grime just melted away.
|Agusto Trying My New Replacement Wand|
|Doing a Fine Job|
|So Bright It Almost Hurts Your Eyes|
|Ready to Start Filling Water|
We shut the water off to the pool just about supper time as filling the pool means the rest of the place has minimal water pressure. We wanted to cook, take showers and get ready for bed.
I re-started filling about 8:00 AM the following morning, and it was done by noon.
Wouldn't you know it, Huey decided that this was a grand time to stop working. His little rubber feet had worn out and needed replacing. Seems like it's just one thing after another. But that's another story and another posting, down here in paradise.