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Thread: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

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    Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    Hi. I've got a in-ground pool that needs a new liner. In part this is due to general wear, so I've been planning on it in the next year anyway. But the timetable has moved up as I've recently developed two leaks. One was huge, and I found and patched it. The other is smaller, roughly 1/2-1" day, and I can't find it. But it is definitely more than 3 feet deep, since my water has now drained below the shallow end.

    So I can either try to squeeze in a replacement now before it gets too cold (I'm not even sure if I still can, since I'm north of Boston) or wait until the spring. My concern is that if I wait, the pool will be mostly empty during the winter. How big a risk is this to the pool structure? Any suggestions?
    18,000 Gal. Fiberglass

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    Re: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    I don't like doing liners in the fall do to the cold weather making the vinyl hard to work with and stiff. I like doing them in the early spring do to the better weather. Although you may risk damage to the pool if the pool is left drained. The walls could buckle inwards or you pool bottom could be damaged if exposed to the elements with out a layer of protection.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
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    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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    Re: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    At this point, I'm with Kevin that your liner should be replaced in the Spring....for the same reasons.

    You do have a dilemma, tho, because your pool shouldn't be that low over the winter. I'd sure try to find that low leak so I could keep more water in the pool than you currently can.

    Do you have any suspicions as to the location of the leak?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    Thanks for the advice. I had assumed the leak was around the stairs, since it's an old liner and there is evidence that it has pulled away around the stair seams. But the water dropped below the seam and kept dropping for another 4 inches before seeming to stabilize. I've looked around the entire pool at the level where the water stopped leaking and can't find anything that could possibly be the leak. The big hole that I patched is still about 2 feet below the water, so I'm pretty sure I patched it well enough.

    With the three day weekend coming up I'm going to put a few additional inches of water in the pool and measure it twice a day to see if I can convince myself I really understand what is going on. It's been tough over the last two weeks due to lots of rain, and my not being at home enough to track the water level daily.

    If the water level stays about 3 feet down, is there a serious risk of damaging the walls?
    18,000 Gal. Fiberglass

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    Re: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    If the water level stays about 3 feet down, is there a serious risk of damaging the walls?
    Didn't you say your shallow end is virtually uncovered? I would be concerned not to have any water holding those walls back.

    It's a crapshoot and you may do fine but the consequences are not pleasant.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Do you have a light?

    Dave and Kevin are giving you great advice
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    I would be concerned not to have any water holding those walls back.

    It's a crapshoot and you may do fine but the consequences are not pleasant.
    Although you may risk damage to the pool if the pool is left drained. The walls could buckle inwards or you pool bottom could be damaged if exposed to the elements with out a layer of protection.
    What options would I have if my pool is not capable of holding water?

    Ideas on ways to minimize my risk? I do plan on putting this together this spring...but those quotes above sound rather scary.

    Anthony
    18X36 IG Vinyl Grecian ~26K gallons
    Unidentified pump, Pentair Quad DE 100

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    Re: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Welcome to TFP!!

    Do you have a light?

    Dave and Kevin are giving you great advice
    Just to clarify.....

    If you have a light and the water stops draining at some level on the light lens but doesn't go down any more it is a high probability that the leak is where the power line goes through the wall at the back of bucket. Easy, fast fix. Still could be around the light though. If so the water level might stop to the bottom of light or a tiny more and then stop draining.

    I had a major leak at back of light bucket. I tested with light still in niche. with red dye, but the test didn't show a leak until I took the light out of the niche. I was losing much more than a foot of water a day.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Replace Leaky Vinyl Liner: Now or in the Spring?

    Please let us know if you have taken any action.

    Scott
    PoolGuyNJ
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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