Hello to everyone,
We just bought a new home a couple months ago and therefore only enjoyed our pool for a short while before closing it last week (we're in Michigan). My pool is 11 years old, 35,000 gallons, 20'x40' IG w/vinyl liner. As a new pool owner, this was my first time closing a pool. I've been reading Pool School and studying/lurking like crazy and really feel like I've learned a ton already from you generous folks over the past couple months. I did run into one concern point though that I'm hoping someone can help with.
The previous owner was pool-stored, so of course I have crazy-high CYA levels (I plan to switch from pucks to liquid chlorine and follow TFP methods when we open in the spring). I decided to lower my water level slightly below the returns to help dump some CYA, as well as give me more peace-of-mind for winter by getting antifreeze in all the lines after blowing them out. The PO used a service that didn't lower the water level at all.. they just blew out the lines and capped them off, so I feel like I've got a little extra insurance now. Once I was all closed up, I decided to raise the water level back up a bit. I have a Loop-Loc cover and have read conflicting info that I may not want to keep the water level too low during our terrible winter. Anyway, as I was adding water, I noticed bubbles coming from one of the capped returns. I cranked the plug down extra tight thinking it was air leaking from the pipe, but finally I realized that the air seemed to be coming from the screw hole that holds the return fitting onto the pool wall. My pool has insulated side walls, so my theory was that as the pool was refilling, the liner was pressing against the insulation/walls and forcing out small amounts of air that then bubbled out through the hole. So basically, it seems like I have a small hole in this location, even though I've never noticed any water loss nor liner pooling. When I turned off my hose, the bubbles stopped, so I think that confirms my theory?
Now I'm wondering what to do about it. Should I lower the water level back down and attempt a repair? Or is this so minor that I shouldn't even concern myself? What steps would a repair involve? Could it be as simple as removing the screw, filling the screw hole with silicon, and reinstalling it? I'm not sure if that's a dumb question or not! Can I continue filling the pool back up (I was planning on leaving the water level halfway between the returns and the skimmers) and forget about this until Spring? I actually kind of like the idea of doing that so that I can dump more CYA in the spring, but that's a secondary issue that can be resolved any time.
Thanks so much for any advice.