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Thread: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

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    Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Hello,
    I am new to taking care of this 5yr old 18' round above ground pool that was installed partially on a hill in our backyard. They cut into the slope and leveled the area. The pool was neglected this summer by my spouse and I had no idea what I was getting into when I said I was going to get it back to the blue color before I closed it for the winter. If this pool is fixable, I will be the one taking care of it as my spouse lost interest in it. I proceeded to drain it last week when we had 60's-70's degree weather in GA. I had no idea that it could hurt the vinyl liner. I refilled it 2" and went to pool store where they sold me a bunch of stuff that I didn't need. I even bought a patch kit as I thought the water level had went down over the summer. I didn't think I had a leak. I even found what felt like a small rock under the liner on the bottom (opposite side of wall with hole in it now) and patched that. I don't think the rock had went through as the 2" water was still there when I got back from store with the kit and other stuff. The kit had a dye tester and it wasn't leaking so I proceeded to fill the pool back up. I filled the pool within the same day so it wasn't empty long.
    I did get the pool blue again but I have found a small hole in the metal wall about 2 inches from the bottom of the pool now. I'm so frustrated that I don't know what to do. It has increased from a pin size to a BB size in the past week. There is a soft spot in the metal wall about golf ball size around this hole. The water has went down about 3 inches since last week. Our temps have went back down this week in GA so I haven't got in the pool to patch the hole in the liner. I believe that the hole is directly in same spot as the hole in metal wall as I can stop the water coming out the metal wall if I put the plastic net on opposite side of wall flush with the liner. It is 33 degrees here right now and I am not looking forward to getting into the pool to stop this leak. I bought Boxer patch kit and the Dye leak test kit. I do have a dive suit but I dislike cold temps. Can I drain this pool a little so that I'm not jumping in 4 foot of ice cold water? Please advice of how to fix my leaking pool. What is my first step? Stopping the leak in liner? How do I know if the leak was from the hole in the metal wall or just a tear in liner? I read a similar post and got some ideas as to what could have happened. I just want to fix this properly and not make anything worse.
    Thank you for any suggestions,
    Tina

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Welcome to TFP Tina.

    Here's a couple of suggestions. One you're not going to like at all and the other might work but there are no garantees.
    1) Drain all the water and fix the hole in the wall and liner before it gets worse. You need to put a patch over the hole in the metal wall if it's bigger than a pencil lead. Draining and patching is the preferred way but see suggestion #2.

    2) Take a sheet of thin plastic about 6" or 8" wide and as tall as the wall and try to gently slide it between the wall and the liner and then patch the liner. The plastic will have to be about 1/8" thick and will need to be smooth and rounded on the edges. Even at that I don't know if you can get it to slide to the bottom, but it might be worth a try.

    I know you're already agravated with it and wish you had found the hole in the wall when you had it drained, but once you get past this bump in the road things will be much better and easier. Especially since you've found this site.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    If I do drain pool down to right below the hole, will that work? It will only be about 2" of water in pool as the hole is that low on wall.
    Can I just make slit in liner big enough to patch hole on inside of metal wall? I'm afraid if I take liner out of track at top that I won't get it back in properly. The other concern is if I drain pool in these cold temps, will I run bigger chance of the liner shrinking? Just not wanting to make situation worse.

    Another thought: Can I patch inside pool wall after draining it to below the hole and patch outside of metal wall? Just a thought but probably not correct.

    Could this all be from the location of the pool on a slope? Or do you think we've had a leak for a while?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    In cold weather the liner will shrink more than if it was warm so you want to minimize the amount of time it's without water. You can try some JB-Weld from the outside to repair the wall and then patch the liner from the inside.

    I doubt the slope has anything to do with the leak.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Thank you for all your help. I have given my options some thought and will start draining the pool. I'm not looking forward to this as I'm concerned about the liner shrinking . It will take a while to drain if I use the small pump, over 12 hours. Draining would go faster if I fill it back up to middle of skimmer so that I can run pump to prime the vacuum hose. Our days are so short in the winter and I'm not wanting to be out long in our freezing temps in the dark. I may wait til the weekend when I have the entire day to devote to this. The pool pump drains the water out very slowly so I don't think I want to use that method to drain it again.
    Where would you suggest getting a patch for the metal wall? I think home depot or lowes will have the jb weld.
    If I have to sand the wall, what kind of sand paper do you recommend? coarse, fine etc.
    What else do I need to get from home depot to complete this project? I think I read on a similar post regarding a leaking metal wall that rustolieum spray was recommended after sanding the wall. Any specific kind? Does this need to dry for a certain period of time before I cover it with a patch? Does the patch need to be on the inside, between the wall and the liner? Then do I use the Jb weld to seal the patch in place? Do I just ask for sheet metal for the patch in home depot or lowes?
    Thank you again. I'm sorry for so many questions. Just wanting to be prepared.
    Tina

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Since you have a vacuum hose and this is an agp, attach the vacuum head to one end and put it in pool while submerging the rest of the hose to purge as much air out of it as possible...then cap the other end with your hand and drag it over the pool wall lay it on ground and relase your hand...you will siphon the water out much faster than using a cover pump
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Welcome to TFP

    For draining since you're on a slope you can supplement with garden hoses siphoning the water out. Fill a garden hose with water from the spigot, put one end in the pool and the other end down the hill. Use as many garden hoses as you have.

    For patching I'd use flashing from a hardware store. It goes between the wall and the liner, since the hole is close to the bottom you can tuck the bottom edge into the wall track and duct tape the edges to the wall. The duct tape holds the patch to the wall and protects the liner from sharp edges, might use two layers. See http://www.shadebuilder.com/Pool-Wall-Repair.html for more info, you might search that site as there are other tidbits about repair there. Sanding and painting any rust is a must, which because the hole is getting larger it sounds like you have some. Won't know how much until you pull the liner back. As long as the paint is dry to the touch it would be fine. Might even be okay if a second coat was put on and then the metal patch applied as that would act like glue to help hold in place while taping.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Dman & Dan have given you some good advice. I use my vac hose to drain water out of my pool and you'll be surprised how fast it is once you get it started.

    Use a medium grade sand paper to clean the rusted area and as Dan said, paint it with good primer. I like Hard-Hat primer from Rustoleum but any good brand will do. The flashing he mentioned will work great and duct or gorilla tape will protect the liner from the edges.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Thank you all so much! I'm in process of refilling it now so I can use vacuum hose to drain it. Water level dropped below skimmer and return jet. This may take a couple hours with garden hose but I'm monitoring it.
    I'll keep you posted of my progress.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    No need to refill, just take the vacuum hose, anchor one end to the bottom with a weight and put the rest in the water and fill it up, then hold your hand over one end and drag that end out of the water. I either put the vacuum head on it or bungee a dumb-bell to it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    I know this may sound dumb but how do you fill up the hose? I put vacuum head on one end of hose and attempted to fill hose with water but hose just floats. I also put garden hose in it and almost had it or thought I did but it stopped. I'm really new to all this.

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Try feeding one end into the water slowly until the entire hose is in the pool, it should then be full of water. Hold your hand over the end you're pulling out to seal it and keep the water from running back down into the pool. Pull that end out and down, once it's below the level of the water you should be able to release it and water should flow.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    It doesn't have to be completely and totally full of water to work, just mostly full. It may take you a couple of times to get the hang of siphoning but you'll get it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    It's draining great now! Thank you all!

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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    I got jb weld for steel as my walls are steel (water proof one said aluminum) with powder coating except around skimmer it is different material. I hope thats ok. I think the pool is a Pacifica and came from rec warehouse. I got rustoliem, sand paper, small square metal sheet about 12" x 12". Gorilla tape too.
    Our pump was changed out last year by pool store. It's a Hayward 1.5hp. We still have a cartridge filter though.
    Well I've got prob 10" of water left and still draining.

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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    I wasn't wanting to be out after dark when the temps go down but I probably will be now .

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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    I was just informed that our temps may go to freezing tonight low 30's. Should I stop draining it now and wait til morning? I hate to do that but it fills so slowly with the garden hose. I thought of putting another garden hose in it from other side of the house but spouse said it wouldn't go faster as one hose would just decrease the flow of other. Is that true?
    This is all depending on how quick I get done with the sanding, patching, etc.
    Any suggestions?

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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Well I've went this far so I'm continuing the draining unless I hear from someone on this site that I ought to stop. I also just reviewed the leak detection under pool school. It sounds like the visit to the pool store last week they just sold me food coloring for a leak detection kit. I'm so glad that I found this site! I think the only useful thing that I bought at the pool store last week was the Boxer patch kit.

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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Might as well drain...low 30s will not cause damage. The point on running two hoses depends on the size of your plumbing, but he is at least partially correct, you won;t get double the flow, but it still may be faster than 1 hose.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Small BB size Hole in 18' AG metal pool wall

    Pool drained, liner patched, wall patched and pool refilled today. I haven't patched outside of pool wall though. What do you recommend for outside of wall?
    The hole in the liner was just below the seam on the bottom. The hole in the wall was higher up from the ground about 2" from bottom. I'm worried that I didn't get all rust up but I think this will hold for a while.
    I hope this isnt a dumb question but here goes. Do I need to put anything in the water before I cover the pool? I had just put that winter kit in the pool before I found the leak.
    Dave, Dan and Dman Thank you so much for all your advice!

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