Removing an existing Gunite pool and replacing it with a new one need not be can be a complex process but it does involves several important steps and the right kind of pool building experience. Here’s a general overview of what the process could look like:
First, disconnect all electrical lines and shut off and disconnect the gas line or propane line to your pool heater. This needs to be done by a licensed electrician (for the electrical) and licensed plumber for your gas or propane line). One of the most important parts of removing a pool is in the proper demolition of the existing pool shell. Before demolition can begin, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the new height and dimensions of the new pool, and how that will impact existing conditions. The existing pool will need to be demolished, either through excavation or using specialized equipment such as a hydraulic hammer.
It’s a common misconception that a concrete pool can simply be filled in with soil. Building materials cannot be buried in New Jersey, so all the parts of a pool shell must be removed off-site. That said, it’s imperative not to over-excavate while removing the existing concrete because by doing so will only create larger cavities that will now need to be filled and compacted. Once the gunite shell has been broken apart and separated, the sections can now be loaded in containers and sent off for recycling.
Once the old pool has been removed, the area will need to be excavated to accommodate the new pool shape/size. This may include the installation of drainage systems to prevent water accumulation or adding – in engineered fill in order to fill any voids created between the original pool outline and the new outline. If required, new clean gravel will need to be added/compacted at the bottom of the excavation.
If the elevation has been increased (the height of the new pool is higher than the original) than any section of the pool shell higher than original grade will need to be framed using wood forms and reinforced with steel rebar. This is an essential step in ensuring the pool’s structural integrity.
Once the pool shell is formed to accommodate the new pool dimensions and elevations, the process is pretty much identical to a new pool build. Gunite is applied onto the rebar, rough plumbing and new equipment is installed and construction continues to completion.
The finished pool with bluestone coping and patio installed.