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Thread: I have a leak! Please help

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    andyrob2215's Avatar
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    I have a leak! Please help

    I have an AGP and live in a cold climate. Last week we had a period of warm weather and noticed what I thought was the water level going down. Yesterday I looked again and with it colder again there is probably about 2 feet of frozen water in the pool now.

    In the fall it was my first closing but I followed TFP method to a T and followed the previous homeowners instructions on blowing out the main drain. The only thing I can think of that happened was water got into the drain line, froze and bursted somewhere under the pool. I see no water or sign of a leak anywhere near the exposed drain line or anywhere around the pool itself.

    Any advice as to what I can do now or in the spring. If it's completely drained by spring is my liner ruined, etc.
    Thanks
    21'x52 AGP 11200 Gal
    TFPC Method

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Any guess would be pure speculation. Probably best to wait until spring
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    I had the same problem here in maine. Already convinced liner manufacturer to send me a new liner. Just waiting for everything to melt and the first warm day.
    24 ft Sharkline Matrix AG
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    andyrob2215's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    So without water in there, it's evident that I need a new liner correct?
    21'x52 AGP 11200 Gal
    TFPC Method

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    We used to pump antifreeze in the above ground main drains in Detroit. I have not read the web sites recommendation, but we never had a problem.
    Some pools had a lot of snow/rain/ice on the cover which put downward pressure in the pool, and if the skimmer/inlet were not closed the pool water would be forced out the inlet.
    The pools would look half empty, but they were OK. Except for a few that had damage made by the winter cover as it usually made the skimmer wall area to buckle .

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    You have 2 feet of water in a vinyl liner pool. Is that correct?

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    andyrob2215's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Yes there is about 2 feet of frozen water at the bottom at this point. The top area of the structure is starting to buckle or cave inwards also.
    21'x52 AGP 11200 Gal
    TFPC Method

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    If you have a winter cover on it, i would recommend releasing it, as the cover has no support under it. It can bend your walls in and cause real damage to the skimmer area. This is the weakest area, due to being a cut-out. This is wall damage that can not be repaired.
    The weight of the cover, pushing down, forces the water out, thru the inlet, skimmer hole. The winter sound real bad, possibly force the water over the rail. The same problem could happen if you have a leak in the pool, as you don't want the cover to pull this tight.

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    andyrob2215's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Yea, there is a good amount of heavy snow on the cover that may be why it's starting to buckle on the sides. Is there any special way to do it or anything else I need to worry about having no cover on it?
    21'x52 AGP 11200 Gal
    TFPC Method

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    If you can't unbuckle, because it may be tight in several places, use wire cutters and cut the cable. Cables are cheap, pool walls are expensive. Don't worry about not having the cover, you can pump out the 2 feet in the spring , if it is real bad. But you may be able to shock, pull leaves out and refill in the spring without much more clean up.
    Here is a pool damage from someone waiting too long to cut cover. http://www.poolchoice.com/#!ice-pictures

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    andyrob2215's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    I would have to pump out anyway to expose the broken drain line...
    21'x52 AGP 11200 Gal
    TFPC Method

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    andyrob2215's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Well I cut loose the cover to find the liner is basically shredded somehow. The sheet metal that started to cave in sprung back into place for the most part so that's good news. Also the water level is a bit higher than I thought there's maybe 2.5 -3' of ice in there now so there may not be a leak in the drain line after all it may have justhave been leaking out from the liner.
    So now I need a new liner any recommendations?
    21'x52 AGP 11200 Gal
    TFPC Method

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Sorry to hear about your liner, as ice damage is usually not covered under your home-owners policy. If the rip is high in the wall, you can drain some water, but not enough to let the wind blow the pool over. If the rip is all the way to the floor, you will need to drain the water as it thaws. Possibly brace the wall/top rails if the pool is in a wind area.

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    andyrob2215's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    I think the rip is about halfway up where the ice level is now if it's further down it will just drain itself. I'm not sure if it's considered a windy area as it is cornered between my house and garage but I will try to brace it as it melts and leaks more.

    So at this point what do I need for spring, just a new liner?
    21'x52 AGP 11200 Gal
    TFPC Method

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Yes, new liner.
    It is possible it can be patched? When ice rips the liner it is usually pretty straight.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Start looking at liners online for your best prices. They are usually on sale right now. I'd go with nothing under 25 mil/gauge. The higher the better. The designer prints will run your more $$$.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    When you winterize an above ground pool in real cold areas, I would recommend an Equalizer pillow(or 2). It is a large pillow, which is best filled with a shop vac. Most people think that the pillow is to support the cover, but it is really to prevent ice damage to a liner. An above ground pool will usually not freeze 100%, and when the water freezes, you will have a solid ice top and solid ice sides.
    Without a pillow, the pool usually thaws first at where the side meets the top. Which means the side( like parallel to your 52" wall) falls to the middle of the pool, when this happens the 24', 12" deep floating ice berg on top of your pool, loses it side support, and tips, usually causing a long straight cut.
    The Equalizer Pillow, and even in most cases loses all it air during the winter, freezes into the top of the pool iceberg. When the pool thaws, the 24' by 12" ice berg is not as solid and has more thaw points, with the pillow, and when the side ice gives out, the top ice berg will most likely fall to the middle.
    I don't know if this would have solved your problem this time, as it seems like your damage happened in the coldest part of the winter. To winterize the main drain, we used to take a small sump pump and put it into a 5 gallon bucket, and attach it to the main drain line. Pools are usually plumbed different, 3 way valve, 2 way valves, no valves, so attaching the pump was different every time. The best was having a PVC tee with female threads between the pump and the main drain valve, in the summer it would have a plug, We would attach the pump by using a male bushing with threads, and the other side of the bushing would have a small garden hose attached to the sump pump. Turn the pump on, open the valve and watch for the antifreeze to come out the main drain, close the valve, and tape the valve shut. It usually takes a gallon of pool antifreeze (don't use toxic car antifreeze) per 8-10' of pipe.
    This is different than in ground pools as creating an air lock in the main drain is usually adequate.

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    I posted these pictures last spring and it shows how the pools freeze and thaw. Of course mine had no water left in it when the ice started to melt so there was no support for the ceiling of the dome in the middle. Once the sun started to warm the pool cover the center melted out faster and eventually caved in.





    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Those are some wild pics danpik
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: I have a leak! Please help

    Great pictures.

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