After many months away, I recently began flipping through the pages of TFP getting ready for spring. Glad to see you all again.
To recap, my family celebrated our one year anniversary in our new home this past February. The home came with an inground pool with a vinyl liner that was built by the previous owner. The backyard was designed with a kidney shaped pool to be kind of a garden oasis. One side of the pool is flanked by a garden, and the pool itself is coped in River rock held in with mortar.
I spent most of the winter deliberating as to whether or not we should replace the vinyl liner this season. But being in the new house means that there are a lot of projects the cost a lot of money, and I was hoping to squeeze one more season out of this liner rather than spend the estimated $5,000 for a new liner installation.
I decided that this year I would open the pool myself, with the help of my TFP brothers and sisters, of course. I did the Lord Smykowski deep cleaning of the sand filter which went brilliantly. Then, I reinstalled the pump, pulled the plugs, etc. and, with the cover still on, refilled the pool. I hadn't really lost any water over the winter. But even with the cover still on I could see that the water was black, like a pond. Algae was in full bloom. I purposely overfilled the pool, knowing that one of my first tasks would be a vacuum to waste to get rid of the heavy leaves and other debris that I knew were in the bottom of the pool.
Running the garden hose for a couple of hours was enough to get the water levels within a few inches of the top of the pool. I did a full five minute backwash of my freshly cleaned filter followed by a 2 minute rinse. Now I was ready for the vacuuming. It was time to take the cover off the pool, which I managed to do relatively easily by myself. I folded the pool cover onto itself the longways and laid it along the side of the pool.
While I was pulling out the last edges of the pool cover I inadvertently loosened one of the river rocks along the edge of the pool causing it to fall in to the pool right near where the shallow end starts to become the deep end. The rock disappeared into the blackness of the bottom but I figured once the pool water was clear, I'd be able to get the rock off the bottom and mortar it back into place.
Before starting the vacuuming of the pool, I decided it might be a good idea to try to scoop some of the leaves off the bottom with my net. Sure enough I easily filled the net several times and while doing so realized that there would be enough vacuuming to waste to warrant refilling the pool again to the tippy top. I put the garden hose back in and continued to work on the leaves manually and brush the sides of the pool. After an hour so I realized that the water level didn't seem to be rising. Another hour went by and it was apparent that the level of the water in the pool was not going up. I turned off the garden hose set my timer for an hour and an hour later the level of the pool of water in the pool was an inch lower. I'm now losing about 1 inch of water every hour.
So, seeing as how the pool had no problem holding water before I dropped the rock into it, I'm assuming that the rock did some kind of damage to the liner and that is the source of the leak. I can't adequately assess the damage because I can't see into the bottom of the pool.
The question is, do you think it's possible to get the pool water clear enough to allow me to get into the pool and repair/patch the damage? I'd have to continually fill the pool while trying to get the water balanced and vacuumed, etc.
I did do a full test before I started this whole thing. Here are my results:
FC - 0.0
CC - 0.0
Ph - >8.0 Acid demand test required 1 drop of reagent to lower Ph test level to 7.5
TA - 40
CH - 20
CYA - 30
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.