Hi all, here's the bottom line-up front:
Inground pool (20 years old), vinyl liner, leaking inches per day, pump is off, water level at this point is around a foot.
What I have done:
Prior to the water level being as low as it is, I tried the dye tests around the likely suspects (skimmers/steps) to no resolve. I let the water drop to below the skimmers, then it went below them- and I thought surely it was a problem near the steps- but it's kept dropping. Currently water level in shallow end is below steps. Thinking that the culprit has to be the main drain.
NOTE: I do know I need to fill the pool so the liner doesn't collapse. I plan on doing that, but I want to plug up some things but I don't know where to start. I even tried to put a piece of plastic over the main drain thinking that if the leak was there it would suction to the plastic (didn't work, plastic never suctioned). The other thing is the suction line (not sure my term is correct, but it is the pipe for the water when it's backwashed) has water running out of it constantly. It has never stopped, and there is still running water out of it as I type, but just a to a lesser pressure than when the pool had more water in it. I am lost at this point and don't know how to start- hiring a leak detection person here costs a minimum of $400. I'm guessing it's a main drain issue, but how do I get water to stay in the pool until any type of hope for repair can be done?
No water has ever been seen around the pump. The concrete around the pool (stones and concrete type patio) is cracked significantly. Not sure if that is from some kind of underground leak or just that there has been a lot of settling on the property (it is on a hill).
Any takers on this riddle? Thanks to anyone who wants to take a stab at it- I am too broke to hire someone $400!