I apologize in advance for this being long, I'm just being detailed. The more suggestions/info I can get, the better it will help me out.
Hi, my name is Shannon and I'm a first-time home owner. I bought a house last June and moved in, in the middle of August last year (2012). The house came with an inground ROUND 24 foot swimming pool -- with a 6ft depth in the middle. Yes, it's ROUND, completely circle in shape. Nobody in my city knows anything about it, I've called 6 companies so far and I'm not getting any help or advice on what I should do about this pool. Most companies just argue with me over the shape. I'm pretty sure I know what a circle is. This pool is my luxury for the year. I don't go on vacations, I rarely take days off work, I don't get my nails/hair done, I don't own a car... so this is my luxury for the summer and it's currently a giant hole in the ground, that kind of smells LOL From what I've been told by the previous owners (whether it's true or not), the pool is at least 30 years old and concrete, may have been designed by an American. That hasn't been confirmed yet. I have no idea what is behind the liner. Also from what I've been told, there has always been a liner in the pool.
First of all, I never got to use the pool when I moved in. I waited 60 days to move in, was promised by the previous owners they would continue to maintain the pool (chemicals, maintenance etc) and they DID NOT!! The day I got the keys, the pool was green, it was dirty and the pump & filter were not running and hadn't been running for at least a week or more. Come to find out, they took the extention cord to the pump. Why they felt they needed a $20 cord is beyond me, plus, I was told ALL equipment was staying -- I believe an extention cord to work the pump should've stayed. So, I bought the chemicals I needed, bought a new extention cord and plugged everything up. Everything seemed to be okay but apon looking at the filter, there was an extra hose at the bottom -- I know from experience (I had a pool when I lived with my parents during my teenage years), that that hose wasn't suppose to be there and why is it there? I later found out, when I touched it, it was holding a leak from the drain-out at the bottom. So, they attached a hose and a clamp to stop the leak. The minute I touched the hose to move it, it fell off and water/sand everywhere. I had to turn the filter & pump off again to have it repaired. Epoxy clay seems to have worked for now, it still needs work to put a new plug in. At this point, I still haven't been in the pool. About afew days later, I noticed that when the pump was running for a long time, it would kick out the whole power in the house and stop working -- so now there's a problem with the pump. It eventually, just died and killed my electricity in the backyard. So, now I don't have a working pump and don't have electricity in the yard. At this point, the weather has now changed, it's not in the 90's anymore, it's dropped to the 70's and I've been trying to get this pool going for 2 weeks now. Leaves/sticks are starting to fall into the pool too much, clogging the skimmer. It's no longer summer. I eventually just gave up.
Closing the pool
I didn't find it very hard to close the pool, I watched count-less YOU TUBE videos to get an idea on how to close it properly so I wouldn't have too many troubles come May/June next year. The winter cover was also in horrible shape but at this point, I have already spent hundreds of dollars on the pool (water, electricity, chemicals, fixing the filter, having to find a replacement pump and running the electricity into the house, just to close the pool), I wasn't prepared to purchase a new cover as well. My dad and I patched it up the best we could but it wasn't even the proper winter cover for the pool I had. They had purchased an above ground cover for an inground pool. But the cables on the cover were completely useless to me. Now to mention, I have 24 feet to cover and they had 3 water bags to hold the cover down!!! We did the best we could, we used the bags in the areas where we knew the wind would blow the most and tied down the rest of the cover to the bottom of the fence posts around the whole yard and used heavy bricks/rocks to hold down the rest. I knew I'd be lucky if the cover lasted the winter.
Late March 2013 -- cover finally gave out and fell into the pool. The weight of the dead leaves/sticks and melting ice had sent the cover into the pool. All that dead debris fell into the pool too. I knew it wasn't going to be a fun clean up come May/June and it wasn't -- smelt horrible.
Early May 2013 -- While down in the middle of my swamp, I come to find out that the liner has 2 patch marks -- previous leaks/holes I wasn't told about from the previous owners. The one patch mark is right where the drop in ladder goes, it appears the ladder may have punctured the liner from excessive weight of going in and out of the pool -- maybe it knocks against the sides? That patch seems to be okay, it's still holding on, doesn't seem to be lifting up at all, I don't seem bubbles coming out of it either. The other patch is where the jet is, the opposite side of the pool -- that patch was in question, it appeared to be coming off, it's clear, so I'm not sure if it's a true pool patch or not (I'm guess it's not, I doubt the previous owners even cared, since they hadn't bothered to tell me). It's around the whole jet. There was also water under the liner in the middle, where it's slopped to 6ft in the center. So I wasn't sure if it was ground water or an actual leak somewhere in the liner as both patches are still on and I can't see anymore holes/rips/tears. The liner also seems "small", seems to have shrunk. It's very tight but still in the beading, it hasn't popped out anywhere. I'm not exactly sure how old it is, but besides the patch marks, it seems to be in good shape, colour is still nice, not much fading except for the very top where water doesn't go (border area). The liner is held in by a bead track, that I know for sure and again, the liner is still attached.
May 30th -- the patch where the jet is, has RIPPED. The liner now has a giant hole and I know now that it will have to be replaced, not just patched. It's a big hole. The hole is bigger than my hand, so we're talking a good 5-6 inches. I still can't see what is behind the liner -- looks like concrete, but may be steel, it's a hard material, it's alittle shiny but it could just be a reflection from the water/sun hitting it. I will most likely have to drain the whole pool now, knowning the liner needs to be replaced anyways.
Now, my question is:
What kind of liner?
Since most companies I have called can't answer my questions and I'm getting the run around from others, I thought I'd ask here.
I've heard of expandable liners that go to a depth of 72" but they don't make them for inground round swimming pools (because no body has a round inground swimming pool), they're made for above ground pools. I can find one online (about $400-$500) that I need -- 24'ft round, 72" depth and beaded but will that work in my inground pool? Should I add padding to the ground, sides of the pool once the old liner is ripped out, for added protection? If my pool is 24ft round, would a 26/27ft round liner work as well -- what about the extra 2-3 feet, would that account for the extra I would need in the deep end? (I'm just curious). Expandable liners don't come with much colour/design options and if I'm going to spend hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars on my pool, I want a liner that looks nice for years as I'll be looking at it for years.
If the pool turns out to be full concrete, can I epoxy paint it? I would most likely have a professional do that for me as I am not able to. But I've heard negative and positive reviews on this process. Most negative reviews have been chalking, chipping of the paint after 1 year. It's not something I'd want to have to do every year (re-epoxy).
I just want to be able to enjoy my swimming pool this year, so if I can't get it up and running in the next few weeks, maybe a month, there is no point at all. Here in Canada, we only get July & August (if that) for swimming weather.
Also, would you recommond the LOOP-LOC winter/safety cover? I'm very interested in it come fall, but again, I most likely would need a custom order cover as my pool is round or purchase a square cover (30 X 30).
Thank you again, for all the suggestions, advice, it's much appreciated.
PS: I'll try posting pictures for everyone to see my amazing ROUND swimming pool