I posted here a month ago, then got very busy and had no time to think about the pool. When I first posted I didn't even know what to ask and wasted a lot of time, so now I am starting a new subject in which I will sum up what I now know is the important information.
I live in Atlanta Ga.
36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
3 hp pump. Sand filter
I recently bought this house as a foreclosure and I have no other info on the pool.
House was built in 1971 but I don't know if the pool is that old.
The main drain was plugged, so I assume there was some leak there.
I have a friend who works for a pool company helping me. He is a good person who I like and trust, but he is not a genius, which is why I am asking quesitons here.
When we took the cover off the pool it was like a swamp. Leaves had been rotting in there for a long time. The water level was down about a foot below the the top.
We raised the water level and measured it for 3 days. The water went down about 1/2 inch in 3 days, but we figured that was normal evaporation and not a leak.
The pump had been stolen or removed, and we put in a new 3hp pump.
We drained the pool and cleaned it and refilled it. It then started leaking, going down about an inch a day. My best guess is that when we cleaned it out we opened up some leak, but I don't know how. Turning the pump off did not slow the leak.
There are two returns. One higher than the other. When the water level got below the first return, the leak slowed to about half an inch a day. We figured there was one leak there, and one somewhere else, either in the light or the lower return. We plugged the lower return and the
water level continued going down but only about a third inch a day, so I assume there is a problem in the light. I don't know if plugging the lower return slowed the leak, or if it slowed because the weather is cooler and the water is lower.
When we drained the pool we found a spot in the bottom, about 6 inch in diameter, where the plaster was gone. I think this was probably caused by us. We used a pump to drain the pool, and I think maybe in the process of moving it around down there we broke the plaster, but I am not sure. We patched the spot using some pool cement.
What is the best course of action now?
Drain the pool down below the light, seal the light, raise the water level back to the top and see what happens?
It has gotten cooler here and I doubt we would swim again this year. Soon the leaves will start falling and I will need to put the cover on the pool, so the other choice is just put the cover on the pool, then take it off in the spring, and the water level will tell me exactly where the leak is.
Remember I am totally inexperienced with pools so I hope I have given the right info.
Thanks for your help.