Without getting into a lot of back story, I have had this pool for two seasons and had little trouble for the first half of the first season and then things went downhill and I have struggled since. Last year I was at 100% travel so I had to rely on others but that has changed so this year I can address these issues personally. Having just discovered this site, I've been lurking for a while and absorbing information Based on this alone the site is worth supporting and I am happy to do so. Now on to my problems...
Mechanically, my liner started to float towards the end of last season when the area went from near drought conditions to a record rainfall Aug and Sept. which ended up being a bigger problem and expense to address having dry well dug around the base of the pool to attempt to alleviate the hydraulic pressure after much discussion with pool guy #1. Similar issue at pool opening this year which makes me think that I may have a leak in the liner which pool guy #1 installed for the previous owner right before I bought the house. Pool guy #1 has been hesitant to look at any liner IMHO because he as the installer and I am suspect that he may be avoiding warranty issues. I have separated the liner from the back at the seam and have been transferring out the water and I measured for chemical composition to attempt to make a determination that the water is the same, i.e. liner leaking. However, until discovering this site I have been using test strips which are limited in their ability to compare. I have a test kit on the way and will add my chemistry info when my kit arrives for both in pool and behind the liner (hopefully today). I could add from my strips but I will save the responses of that it's not accurate enough. I also attempted to test for leak by measuring evaporation between the pool and a pail that I partially filled and set in the pool with the idea that I am only interested in comparison of evaporation and not actual rate. This test was inconclusive over a couple days being differentiated by an amount that was difficult to measure without more exacting equipment.
Any advice on how to test leak versus ground water / hydraulic would be welcome. My hypothesis is that I have a combination problem here with a small leak and a ground water issue where over time the space does not drain well so if its wet over long periods it becomes a problem and if its dry its almost indistinguishable from normal evaporation.
Second problem is a filtration one in which I likely already know the answer but, hey what's a forum for if not a sounding board? End of last year I had filtration problems, it didn't get as much attention as it should have as I was in the throws of contracting to have half my yard tore up for drainage work. Pool store (local) suggested changing the sand filer media which I scoffed at but again wasn't home to address so I told the wife to go for it. Really no change but again, fighting a large expensive problem and not as focused on this one. This year I have disassembled the mulitport valve more than once, inspected and changed the media (thinking that maybe they did a poor job or used play sand or something incorrect) in-between getting all sorts of poor advice from pool store on chemicals (acid and base at same time), clarifier, floc etc.
Today was the straw that tells me there must be a mechanical issue with the filter. Cleaning up after an algae bloom issue from a view days prior with vacuum. I have certain areas along the seams on the floor that seem to collect a large amount of dead algae when this happens. I started vacuuming these and noticed a plume coming out of the return closest to where I was standing. Not sure the median particle size of dead algae but if the sand is good to remove down to about 40 micron, this should catch this right? Did I forget to mention that the pressure on the filter has not risen one PSI since installation of new sand despite 24/7 operation? I'm pretty well convinced that the multiport valve is leaking by although it appears to be mechanically sound and that the wagon wheel gasket is not in new condition but is not completly mangled (or missing) either. Again any advice would be welcome. We live in the Erie, PA area where the season is short so I am making plans to change the filter unit completely as the top valves on my current Jandy 24T unit is obsolete (maybe that should tell me something...). Again, anything from this group would be welcome along this journey of check writing.
I'll address chemistry in a separate post as this is becoming a wall of text.