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Thread: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep looking?

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    Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep looking?

    I have a leak and water was dropping up to inch to 3/4" when it was full . Now the water is below all jets and skimmer and getting lower by 1/2 inch a day. Done bucket test many times and it's confirming the leak. Don't have bottom drain , so must be a leak in a liner . Can't find the hole, the water is still too deep at deep end to stand and explore. Did some diving today, don't see anything suspicious. Tried food dye method , can't find anything. is it easier just to drain it and explore? I'm sick of this situation. and water getting greener since I can't filter and circulate it.
    Inground vinyl liner 20 by 40 pool in North East
    Hayward 1,5 HP super flow pump
    Sand Filter

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    cjpwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    I'm pretty new to this, but I've been told by my builder, his employees, and several other people that draining a liner pool will ruin the liner. Need to keep a few inches over the floor in the shallow end minimum.
    Chris | 16' x 34' 16,000 gallon | IG Vinyl | Pentair Tagelus sand filter | Jandy 2hp epump | AquaPro PRO1300 heat pump | Coverstar auto cover | Taylor K-2006 | built August, 2016.

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    I know it's highly recommended not to drain the pool, but at this point i don't really know what to do. Might risk it.
    Inground vinyl liner 20 by 40 pool in North East
    Hayward 1,5 HP super flow pump
    Sand Filter

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    How about hiring a leak detection company it would be cheaper than a new liner

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    Look at all the seams in the liner. Chances are that at 1/2" daily, you may not find the leak. This is a small leak. If you are below the pool walls, which should be about 3', then you have narrowed it down to the stitching in the pools wall, where the vermiculite or sand/cement mix is. Considering you do not have a main drain, this rules out the bottom. What about a pool light? I know friends who had leaks around the light and also leaks around where the plastic steps meet the walls.

    But again, if you are below the walls and light, the only thing it could be is the stitching or a cut in the liner. Cuts are hard to see, especially in the base of the pool. While, a cut in the liner on the walls will eventually start rusting. I always remind people not to scale the walls. Pool professionals tell you that fingernails can cut through a 28 mil liner.

    Outside this, the previous recommendation makes a lot of sense. Hiring a leak detention company would probably be about $250, while a new liner may cost around $2,500, if not more. It all depends on how old the liner is and the condition. If completely faded and really old, maybe it is best for a new liner.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    No steps, no light, must be a liner. The liner is somewhat faded and wife desperately wants new one. Got this liner with existing pool when bought the house. i was hoping to squeeze couple more years out of it. Will shop around for leak detection company. I called couple pool companies and everyone tries to steer me toward changing liner.
    Inground vinyl liner 20 by 40 pool in North East
    Hayward 1,5 HP super flow pump
    Sand Filter

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    Quote Originally Posted by psihiart View Post
    No steps, no light, must be a liner. The liner is somewhat faded and wife desperately wants new one. Got this liner with existing pool when bought the house. i was hoping to squeeze couple more years out of it. Will shop around for leak detection company. I called couple pool companies and everyone tries to steer me toward changing liner.
    Most cuts are at the wall level on the liner. I personally have not seen any cuts anywhere else. The water loss is usually around the light, the steps or the main drain, and/or skimmer and return jets. Even if the liner could be repaired for a reasonable amount, probability is that there would be more leaks in the near future. A liner is probably in your best interest.

    If you decide to replace the liner, report back to us to see where the actual problem was. One last thought. Do you have a dog? My neighbor lost all his water while away on vacation. He had cuts everywhere in his liner from his dog and never realized it. As the water seeped through to the base and cuts on the wall, it put pressure on the seams and bottom, causing almost 100% water loss. A well constructed liner with a good fit and proper drainage should last quite a while. If the liner is 12-15 years old, then it is probably time.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    "If you decide to replace the liner, report back to us to see where the actual problem was."
    Do you mean that I will see where the leak was when I remove old liner. If yes, what are the signs that i need to look for?
    Inground vinyl liner 20 by 40 pool in North East
    Hayward 1,5 HP super flow pump
    Sand Filter

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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    Quote Originally Posted by psihiart View Post
    No steps, no light, must be a liner. The liner is somewhat faded and wife desperately wants new one. Got this liner with existing pool when bought the house. i was hoping to squeeze couple more years out of it. Will shop around for leak detection company. I called couple pool companies and everyone tries to steer me toward changing liner.
    The leak detection company will find (and patch) any and all leaks / holes in your liner. I was not a believer until i watched him work. They put a small charge in the pool and a ground rod outside the pool and the only way the charge goes to ground is through the holes in the liner. They have a directional listening device that allows them to hear the water leaving the pool. At that point he put on his gear and patched all of the holes. I had numerous leaks and have gotten two more seasons out of my liner and am hoping for a couple more.

    Well worth the $200
    21,000 gallon inground
    Haywood Sand Filter
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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    I had 7 leaks in my liner. I tried to find them on my own...dye, bucket test, etc. Finally, the company putting in a new liner for me came out and did a leak detection so that my pool would be usable while the new liner came in. Wow! They did the electronic charge and found 4 on the stairs, 2 on the floor and one in the corner of the deep end where the hopper starts to descend. I would have never found them. Its worth the money! Do it with a full pool though. I made the mistake of having mine below the skimmer. They can't detect what is above the water line!

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    Wow, that's a good info!!! Thank you. Should I look for "leak detection company" or just keep calling "pool professionals"? I called couple people and they just trying to sell me a new liner with installation.
    Inground vinyl liner 20 by 40 pool in North East
    Hayward 1,5 HP super flow pump
    Sand Filter

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    Do it with a full pool though. I made the mistake of having mine below the skimmer. They can't detect what is above the water line![/QUOTE]
    Can they detect leaks if its in underground plumbing. Wondering if I got some there?
    Inground vinyl liner 20 by 40 pool in North East
    Hayward 1,5 HP super flow pump
    Sand Filter

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    Quote Originally Posted by psihiart View Post
    Do it with a full pool though. I made the mistake of having mine below the skimmer. They can't detect what is above the water line!
    Can they detect leaks if its in underground plumbing. Wondering if I got some there?[/QUOTE]

    Just tell the pool companies that you'll do a new liner soon but want to patch for now. They can pressure test the underground lines too but it is most likely the liner. You can even ask them to give you a quote on a new liner at the same time...they'll probably charge less if they think they're going to get your business on the liner . I think the charge would have been around $200 from my company which would have still been reasonable to do a couple hours of work. I wasn't going to invest in that equipment and I'm pretty DIY


    C.N.
    IG vinyl liner 20x40 Pool, Hayward S-240 Sand Filter and Hayward pump in basement
    Indoor Jacuzzi spa 500 gallons, Spa Marvel
    Rochester, NY

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    Re: Is it easier to find a hole in liner when there is no water?Or should I keep look

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrissyN View Post
    I had 7 leaks in my liner. I tried to find them on my own...dye, bucket test, etc. Finally, the company putting in a new liner for me came out and did a leak detection so that my pool would be usable while the new liner came in. Wow! They did the electronic charge and found 4 on the stairs, 2 on the floor and one in the corner of the deep end where the hopper starts to descend. I would have never found them. Its worth the money! Do it with a full pool though. I made the mistake of having mine below the skimmer. They can't detect what is above the water line!
    Very cool - I wondered how they did this. Of course this new piece of information means I've lost something else
    38'x16' Fiberglass pool - 3.5' - 8' deep - 19,000 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWG (RC-52 cell), Pentair SuperFlo VS, Pentair SD70 Sand Filter, Coverstar Automatic Cover, 10' board, PAL Treo lighting, Polaris 9550 Sport robot, Lamotte ColorQ Pro 7 test kit.

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