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Thread: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

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    Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Hi Folks.

    I am replacing my pool liner this Spring.

    I have removed the old liner and drained out all of the water so I can get in there and take the necessary measurements.

    However, groundwater is leaking into my pool through a small crack on the slope from the shallow end to the deep end, and adding maybe an inch or two of water per day (I have a submersible pump hooked up to a hose that I have been using to pump out the water).

    I presume that when the old liner was in place that water wasn't leaking into the basin because the water pressure inside the liner was keeping it out.

    I have a bad feeling that I already know the answer to this question, but I'll ask it anyway. Do I need to do something to fix this leak before replacing the liner? (Or can I suck the thing dry, put the liner in, fill it with water, and use that to keep the groundwater out?)

    I'm assuming that I need to fix the leak in the concrete. So then the next logical question is what do I use to fix it? Water is dribbling out of it at a steady rate, so it isn't like I can just fill it with concrete, right?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I tried to find information on this using Google but you can imagine that googling about pool leaks mostly returns people with leaks letting water OUT of the their pools and not IN.

    Mike
    ------------------------------------------------------
    16'6" x 32'8" in-ground Grecian pool with 8'8" diving well.
    Tagelus sand filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump.

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Mike! Welcome to TFP! I don't mean to scare you off with this introduction, but you need to fix this ASAP!

    Can you tell us a little bit more about your pool? If possible, pictures would be great! Pictures of the entire pool, close-ups of the crack, and your main drain would be helpful!

    Basically, you pool is below the water table in your area. The fact that pressure is leaking on the slope indicates that your water table is significantly higher than the deep-end of your pool. If you do not get water back in your pool quickly, you could fall victim to a 'floating pool' which is really, really bad!

    Does your pool have a hydrostatic pressure valve? This would be in your main drain the the deep-end, and would (or SHOULD) be letting water into the pool as hydrostatic pressure rises.

    Here is an image explaining why this happens:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_V6iY1CHPCz8/S ... g+pool.gif

    And here are two images of it in real life:
    http://blog.tracebasementsystems.co.uk/ ... dited1.jpg
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pTZB5kOC5GI/S ... narama.JPG

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Oh boy.

    So I don't have the liner yet. Should I just fill up the pool with water right now even without the liner in there?

    Yikes.

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Mike
    ------------------------------------------------------
    16'6" x 32'8" in-ground Grecian pool with 8'8" diving well.
    Tagelus sand filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump.

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Can you upload some pictures of your pool? I am also going to send you a pm.

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Sure. I'm at work now but I'll throw a hose in the pool as soon as I get home and also take some photos.

    Thanks again for your help. And I know nothing about any sort of hydrostatic valve or whatever.

    Mike
    ------------------------------------------------------
    16'6" x 32'8" in-ground Grecian pool with 8'8" diving well.
    Tagelus sand filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump.

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    nerdrium your pool won't float. No way that will happen. If you have a pool base bottom what could happen is the pool base would push out and you would have to fix it. The liner will hold it down. How bad is the crack, do you see it through the liner, does the liner follow the crack. To patch the crack use pool base not cement, not water plug, only pool base. You will have to have the ground water stopped from coming in to patch the crack. Filling up the pool without a liner is like filling a pond, you have nothing to hold the water in the shell it will seep out and it will take that much longer to drain to install your liner. Email me at swim@missvalley.com and I will talk to you about this. I have been doing this for 30 years strictly building liner pools.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp
    nerdrium your pool won't float. No way that will happen. If you have a pool base bottom what could happen is the pool base would push out and you would have to fix it. The liner will hold it down. How bad is the crack, do you see it through the liner, does the liner follow the crack. To patch the crack use pool base not cement, not water plug, only pool base. You will have to have the ground water stopped from coming in to patch the crack. Filling up the pool without a liner is like filling a pond, you have nothing to hold the water in the shell it will seep out and it will take that much longer to drain to install your liner. Email me at swim@missvalley.com and I will talk to you about this. I have been doing this for 30 years strictly building liner pools.
    My favorite part about TFP is learning from others. What are the implications of a pool base pushing out and how hard is that to fix? If it did push out, would it tear up the plumbing like a floating pool does?

    Mike has already taken out the liner. If he has a constant trickle of water coming through a crack in the cement, how can he stop this flow to patch with pool base?

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Okay, here is a link to five photos of the pool.

    The bottom of the pool is concrete. I realize that I can only fill the liner-less pool up to the level of the water table--with the level below the water table water will leak from the water table to the pool; with the level higher than the water table water will leak from the pool into the ground.

    When the liner arrives (which I've never installed before--so I'm sure I'll have questions about that as well when the time comes) should I--on that day--pump the water back out of the pool, try to fix the crack (which how do I do that if water is trickling out of it?), suck out the rest of the water that is left, then install liner? I can't (this will sound stupid, but that's what questions are for....) install the liner WHILE there is a few feet of water in the bottom of the diving well? (Ducks...)

    I'm almost sick to my stomach about all of this.

    Oh, a link to the photos...

    http://www.nerdrium.com/pool_leak/

    Thanks again!

    Mike
    ------------------------------------------------------
    16'6" x 32'8" in-ground Grecian pool with 8'8" diving well.
    Tagelus sand filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump.

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Alright, thanks for getting us pics! In my opinion, you are doing the right thing by partially filling the pool. You certainly would not want that base to push out (like swimcmp mentioned).

    Yes, you will want to pump the water out before installing your new liner. I am not sure if you should to patch that crack or not (I still don't understand how swimcmp would do it, and am eager to hear).

    Keep us updated on your progress and fire away with any other questions that come up!

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej

    If it did push out, would it tear up the plumbing like a floating pool does?
    [/quote]

    It wont push out. A liner pool is built different than a gunite or fiberglass pool; completely different animal. The pool walls are set on solid earth and aren't connected to the bottom of the pool. IOW, a liner pool isn't really all one piece with a bond beam. The worst that can happen is the floor will crack and warp a little. If the pool had a liner in it, water could get behind the liner and cause it to bulge until the water table drops.

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej
    In my opinion, you are doing the right thing by partially filling the pool.
    Not really. Not for a liner pool for reason stated above. A little bit of water coming thru a crack like that wont really amount to all that much. The reality is it probably wouldnt do much, if anything to the floor, either. Filling up a liner pool with no liner is just making a bigger mess to clean up.

    The permentant fix is to add a well point. If the water table is a bit high, on newer pool builds, they put in a well point some where near the pool. A pipe is buried under the deep end of the pool that come to the surface. Water fills up the pipe and can be pumped out. Well points are pretty basic pieces of engineering. They can be put in after the fact, some part of the pool bottom would need to be removed to put one in, but its not as big of a deal as you would think.

    You will need to pump out the water before puting in the liner. Thats probably not an actual cement bottom, but rather more of a grout type mix. There's probaably no aggregate, and the sand/cement mix is different. It may even have a little of vermiculite in it. If you dont do a well point (thats probably something a pool company would need to do. It can be DIY'ed. But i wouldnt recommend it). Pump the water out and patch it up.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Pretty unusual to see a concrete floored vinyl pool. Although I don't think it's been discussed on this forum, it makes sense to me to let the water seek equilibrium.....I would do so naturally, however, rather than overfilling with the hose.

    You will need to have it all pumped high and dry when you install the liner. The correct, permanent fix to that is to install "well points" as close to the deep end as possible....in your case, that would seem to be two of them, one on each side of the diving board and about 6 feet from it and as close to the decking as you can get them.

    Well points are simply permanent holes in the ground that will extend down ideally at or below your deepest point of the inside of the pool. They are typically 8-10" PVC pipe with LOTS of perforations to let water in. When you have high groundwater, like you do, a submersible pump is lowered into the wellpoint and run until it drains all the water from the pipe. It may have to be repeated several times. Better yet, you can get a pump with a float switch which will do that automatically and the pump then stays permanently close to the bottom of the wellpoint.

    Did your liner ever "float" away from the wall (maybe after a big storm)? If you never had an issue with it, you perhaps could just drain the pool when you install the new liner and hope for the best but your new liner may float at some point because you are unable to control the surrounding water table.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    bk406 and I are on the same page. However, bk, I think that really is a concrete floor...it sure looks like it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Dave and i must have typed at the same time.

    You think it's concrete? Hard to tell, but you may be right.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Bk is spot on.

    Duraleigh too! Get the water table in the locality of the pool pumped down till the water stops coming in.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Okay, so it probably doesn't help that I'm pumping the water OUT of the pool into the yard about, I don't know, the length of a hose but really only about 10 feet away from the pool itself when all is said and done.

    I have shut off the hose.

    I will do the final measurements of the pool tomorrow evening. No. I'm going to happy hour after work tomorrow (forgot). I am taking Friday off of work so I will do the final measurements then, get the quote from In The Swim, and order the liner as soon as possible.

    Once the liner arrives, and I figure out (with help from you folks, I'm sure) how the heck I install it, I'll re-drain the pool (with an additional hose or two--like out into the front yard by the street even), get things as dry as I can and then hurry and install liner while sucking water with multiple shop vacs.

    The scientist in me tells me that once my liner is in, and filled with the 30,000 gallons or so that it holds, that unless the water table comes up over the top of the pool, I should be okay.

    I don't know that installing the well thing is going to happen, especially if it involves tearing up part of the pool.

    Thank you all so, so much for taking the time to help me today, and put my mind at ease (my wife thanks you all for that part).

    For what it's worth, I've been down in the pool bottom a bunch lately and while I don't know everything, I'm pretty sure that the basin and floor of the pool are indeed concrete.

    Phew. I'm about ready to order a truck-full of dirt and make this whole problem go away. Plant sweet corn in it or something. Kidding.

    Thanks again. I'll start another thread once the liner arrives and I have no idea what I'm doing with that (the liner instructions make it sound like you attach it to the bead and let it hang and suck out the air, but people I've talked to say the exact opposite--that you plop it in the bottom of the deep end and start unfolding and working your way up the walls. Again--we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.).

    Mike
    ------------------------------------------------------
    16'6" x 32'8" in-ground Grecian pool with 8'8" diving well.
    Tagelus sand filter. 1 HP Hayward Super Pump.

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    You don't have to tear up the pool, dig a 1' diameter circular hole just outside the deck off the deep end, as deep as you can go (a contractor with the right equipment could do this in 10 min with the right equipment) with post hole digger or similar. Sink a 10" or 12" piece of perforated PVC in the hole. Drop a submersible pump in the hole and keep it pumped dry. Direct the output as far away from the pool as possible (storm drain?).

    Within a cpl days you will drop the water level in the soil to the level of the bottom of the hole.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Removed Old Liner, Water Leaking IN to Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Lershac
    You don't have to tear up the pool, dig a 1' diameter circular hole just outside the deck off the deep end, as deep as you can go (a contractor with the right equipment could do this in 10 min with the right equipment) with post hole digger or similar. Sink a 10" or 12" piece of perforated PVC in the hole. Drop a submersible pump in the hole and keep it pumped dry. Direct the output as far away from the pool as possible (storm drain?).

    Within a cpl days you will drop the water level in the soil to the level of the bottom of the hole.
    Don't forget to put a little gravel at the bottom of the tube once it's been sunk so you're not dropping the pump into dirt/mud. Also, sleeve the tube with one of those sock things to keep dirt and silt from infiltrating and filling the pipe.

    It seems like the deck on the side where the leak is happening is only 3' or so wide right? That seems like an ideal place to sink the well point, especially if you pitch it a few degrees to get closer to the pool base but it's really not that big of a difference.
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