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Concrete Pools

See also: Categories: Pool, Inground Pools


Concrete pool refers to a monolithic pour of concrete into a cast-in-place (pour in place) forms reinforced by the steel rods.

Why cast-in-place

Cast-in-place construction is generally chosen where embankment shifting or external pressures due to other causes are possible

Reason for concrete type of pool

The durability and the infinite variety of shapes and sizes into which concrete can be molded are two reasons for this option.

Where facilities for precasting are available, precast construction offers the possibility of economies through reduction of forming and labor. When joints are properly designed and constructed, this type can perform as well structurally as can cast-in-place structures

Basic application process

Small pools can be cast monolithically while larger pools might require expansion and construction joints.

Exterior Forming

The setting starts with the exterior concrete forms. When applicable, the exterior forms are set starting at the step.

Squaring & Leveling

Each pool can be squared using the Swim-crete pool prints. The pool then should be leveled using a laser or transit. The highest point of the pool is established. Start at the opposite end of the pool, use shims to level toward the high point until the pool is level.

Steel Placement

After the exterior concrete forms are squared and leveled, steel should be placed in a grid following local codes.

Interior Forming

Once exterior forms, steel reinforcement, and plumbing are in place, the interior forms are set. Interior forms are suspended using the Swim-crete parapet bracket.

Note: Minimal or no interior bracing required to suspend interior concrete forms.

Concrete Placement

Once all forms, steel reinforcement, and plumbing are in place, the Swim-crete system is ready for concrete placement. 3" (8 cm) slump recommended for all monolithic pool pours.

Concrete is placed into the concrete forms at a 3" slump starting in the deep end walls. Once deep end walls are filled with concrete, the walls are vibrated; this allows concrete to flow under interior forms.

Concrete placement continues in the deep end of the pool, stacking concrete until both wall and floor come together.

Finishing of concrete floors begins while the placement of walls continues.

Once concrete is cured to minimal strength, remove the forms, break the tie ends, leaving the pool ready to be plastered, tiled, epoxy painted or utilizing other finishing methods.


For both methods commonly used for concrete pool construction (shotcrete and cast-in-place), it is necessary that the horizontal reinforcement carry the horizontal tensile forces caused by the pressure of water within the pool. This reinforcement is usually used at 12,000 to 15,000 psi. When steel is stressed much higher than this in tension, the likelihood is increased that tensile cracks will form.

Quick Statistics

  • In 1959 cast-in-place concrete (pour concrete) accounted for 23 percent of all the pools built (up from 11 percent in 1957)
  • In 1957 pneumatically applied concrete (shotcrete) accounted for 72 percent of all the pools built
  • In 1959 pneumatically applied concrete (shotcrete) method of application accounted for only 54 percent
  • In the same year vinyl or nylon liner accounted for 15 percent
  • In the same year fiberglass, steel, aluminum and other materials for 8 percent

Quick Facts

  • Precast or cast-in-place application methods represent about 40 percent of the pools constructed with concrete.
  • Forms for pools should be set for casting walls at least 8 inches thick
  • Cast-in-place construction is generally chosen where embankment shifting or external pressures due to other causes are possible.
  • Cast-in-place walls are designed as flexural members with the steel stresses higher than 12,000 to 15,000 psi.
  • Generally cast-in-place is more expansive option over shotcrete.

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