Good Evening Everyone,
I bought and JUST moved into a 1997 home two weeks ago with an inground gunite pool with plaster. The previous owners moved up north two years ago and only came back to enjoy the home and pool in the summer months, although it seemed obvious by its condition that the pool was maintained at least weekly by somebody during the summer months...
Long story short - here are the details of the pool...
Two pumps (one for circulation on a timer @ about 8 hours/day and one for the 'pool sweep' which just seems to add power to a return jet so I can hook up a little creeper)
Pool Slide with water valve
Pool light (500w bulb Ameri-light (or something) by Pentair)) (I just replaced this entire assembly and GFI because old light had water in it - NOT a fun job because conduit was super tight)
In-line puck chlorinator (was slightly leaking so shut it off and am adding liquid chlorine until next spring when I will replace with SWG)
Cartridge filter Pentair CCP420 (just replaced all four elements until next spring when I will move to SAND filter)
I am new to the forum and have learned a lot about pools in the last two weeks (I knew NOTHING before moving in).
So here's my story -
There was NO chlorine in the pool the day I moved in although it was blue and sort of cloudy...
Took water to store every other day to adjust alkalinity (was low), Ph (was high) and chlorine (was none).
I shocked once, added some algicide and have been adding liquid chlorine religiously to get water clear - since cleaning out ALL the algae from the niche left quite a green mess the next day. Also, have had pump running 24/7 until I get the water chemistry under control and been cleaning the filter when PSI levels rise.
Got chemistry just right and water temp up pretty high (into the 90s) and was looking forward to spoiling ourselves a little and enjoying our last week or two of warmish Michigan weather in our new pool and house. (Scheduled a close for October 20th since that is when the mesh safety cover will be installed the same day).
Water is perfectly clear and back to a beautiful blue and looks better than I had ever seen it - never has leaked a DROP (aside from natural evaporation) since moving in.
Went to work Tuesday - everything was fine.
Got home 10 hours later - water level was 8" BELOW the skimmers
Shut off ALL electricity and closed valves to main drain and skimmers at the pump
Woke up (8 hours later) - water level continues to drop - now below return jets.
Went to work Wednesday - water level still dropping - at top of light fixture.
Before leaving for work, used dye test around light fixture thinking I damaged the conduit. No dice - water doesn't flow anywhere near the light fixture.
Put foot at main drain (water only comes to my chest in deep end which is only 7'), water is escaping the drain at an ALARMING rate.
Put plastic bag on drain and it sucked it right into place, but did not completely stop flow.
About to head home from work now - am told water level is below the light fixture but draining more slowly due to my plastic bag efforts.
I understand that the pump is probably toast (least of my problems). Pump will turn on but not sure it survived since it probably ran dry for potentially 4-6 hours. It sounded ok but without water in it I cannot tell if it is 'normal' or not.
Called several people today - many talked of digging up ground and major construction into the tens of thousands of dollars, but I had one guy call and say 'Sounds like you have a hydrostatic valve in the main drain that somehow stuck or blew open - I'll be by tomorrow to replace it'.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? I understand that the valve is designed to let ground water INTO the pool to keep it from floating, but can they just up and quit in an instant and allow ALL of the water in your pool to drain in less than 72 hours?!?
Thanks for any help!