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Permanently Fix a Settling Pool Part III | Ask a Registered Engineer

A Successful Pool Repair Requires Evaluation and Design.

In order to permanently fix a settling pool, engineers will recommend a geotechnical soil evaluation. This is important to do before preparing a swimming pool repair design. A successful pool repair requires careful evaluations of soil and pool construction. This support capacity is needed to guarantee no future settlement occurrences.

A geotechnical soil boring must be performed to determine the properties of the different soil strata (layers) that exist below the pool.

To obtain the soil information, a geotechnical engineer will probe deep into the soil on your lot, taking samples of the soil and analyzing them. The geotechnical engineer uses the data from this soil test to determine the best depth analysis. This leads to terminating the helical screw piles for the most economical design.

In addition to the soil samples, the engineer also needs to review the original construction plans for the pool. Then, in combination with the soil boring data, the engineer can determine the best target depth for terminating the helical screw piles.

successful pool repair

Designing a Repair Plan that Will Have Greater Load Capacity than Needed is Crucial to a Successful Pool Repair.

Before the most economical repair design can be made, the properties of the various soil layers below the pool will also need to be reviewed. Once all other structural data is compiled, the engineer will be able to design a quality pile. This will not only support and restore your pool, but will also have a greater load capacity.

The additional support capacity incorporated into the design is called Factor of Safety. A Factor of Safety guarantees that future settlement is unlikely unless there is some kind of geological change to the soil stratum. This engineering design is specific to your pool problem. The steel underpinning design will have full configuration details and precise specifications for accomplishing pile installation and repair. Because each pool is unique, as is the underlying soil on each site, the engineer must calculate many things to complete the design for repair and restoration of your swimming pool.

What the Engineer will Calculate for a Successful Pool Repair:

  • The pier capacity needed for pool support mush be determined based on the as-built pool construction records.
  • The depth to competent soil must be determined to properly support the structural weight at each pile placement. The capacity of each helical screw pile shall be designed to support structural load plus have a Factor of Safety. 
  • Determine the proper pile spacing at the bottom of the pool. The spacing is dependent upon the strength of the pool shell, the ultimate helical pile capacity and the plate configuration on the helical pier shaft. 
  • The engineer needs to provide the owner and contractor a pile support design for the specific project, as well as detailed installation specifications. The specifications include the pile configuration, the installation depth, a plan drawing showing the pile layout, the shaft torsion required to assure design capacity is available, and the specifics for the repair and restoration work. 

The engineer’s report and technical specifications are extremely valuable. In essence, the homeowner can give the report and repair specifications to various contractors who offer to bid on the repair work. All prices for repair and restoration will be based upon the same type of product and repair work. All proposals that you receive will be for work, as specified by the engineer of record. 

Working with an Engineer Can Help Ensure Lasting Results from Reliable and Reputable Contractors.

Additionally, the engineer can offer references for reliable and reputable foundation repair contractors. In addition, plumbing contractors with pool restoration experience will be needed. Lastly, specialized equipment to locate leaks in the water filtration system and pool drainage system is necessary.

Before beginning any repairs or restoration work, there are some ideas to remember. Allowing the engineer the opportunity to review the proposal that you are considering is very important. Also, be sure that the company is meeting all engineering specifications. 

Just catching this post? Check out our previous posts in the series to learn more about what goes into a successful pool repair.

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