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Thread: Disaster scene underneath the winter cover

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    Disaster scene underneath the winter cover

    TFP gurus--

    During the February snows here in SE Virginia I noticed that the cover was sagging under the weight of the snow beyond where I would have expected to encounter the water height. Once the snow finally melted I pulled back the cover and the results weren't pretty:
    1. The pool level was way down (~2.5 feet below normal)
    2. The liner is "balooning" with water behind it.
    3. The balooning has caused the liner to deform/pull up along the bottom edge.
    In searching around in the forums it seems as though at least the 1st two problems aren't terribly rare, but where should I start?
    The local store is suggesting a diver, but doesn't seem as motivated about my issue as I'd like them to be.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    -flv7a

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Disaster scene underneath the winter cover

    That sounds like two different problems. First, the water level went down, which tends to indicate a leak. Second, the liner is "ballooning", which we call floating.

    Both of these can sometimes be fixed and sometimes require replacing the liner. For a leak, if it is small it can be patched, but larger leaks often mean replacing the liner. For the floating, if the liner is less than a year old it can usually be gotten back in place no problem, but older than a year often means it will crack or tear when being put back in place and thus needs to be replaced. Since you have both at once, needing to replace the liner is more likely.

    The core questions are: Can you spot the leak? Larger leaks are usually very visible if you look carefully. And how old is the liner?
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    Re: Disaster scene underneath the winter cover

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    That sounds like two different problems. First, the water level went down, which tends to indicate a leak. Second, the liner is "ballooning", which we call floating.

    Both of these can sometimes be fixed and sometimes require replacing the liner. For a leak, if it is small it can be patched, but larger leaks often mean replacing the liner. For the floating, if the liner is less than a year old it can usually be gotten back in place no problem, but older than a year often means it will crack or tear when being put back in place and thus needs to be replaced. Since you have both at once, needing to replace the liner is more likely.

    The core questions are: Can you spot the leak? Larger leaks are usually very visible if you look carefully. And how old is the liner?
    Thanks Jason, we bought the house 2 years ago - so the liner is at least 2.5 maybe 3.5, certainly older than a year, but not super long in the tooth either. That's pretty disheartening about the liner - I will peel back the cover and give the liner a more detailed look tomorrow. As I start that effort, the pool level (when I found it) was almost exactly level with the mid point of the light - is there anything back there that I should pay extra attention to? When I take the light out there's simply an empty cavity behind it.

    It sounds like leak detection & correction is first - is there anything to do with the floating liner in the meantime?

    Thanks,

    -flv7a

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Disaster scene underneath the winter cover

    For a floating liner the only solution is to raise the water level slowly while pushing the liner back into place. You can't do that wile there is a leak, so you have to deal with the leak first.

    Having the pool stop draining right in the middle of the light does strongly suggest that the light is responsible for the leak, though it does not prove it. At the back of the light niche there is a pipe connection where the wires feed into the niche from outside the pool. It is not all that uncommon for the pipe to break at the point where it connects, or just behind there. You probably couldn't see the break even with the light removed, but you could do a dye test to confirm that is where the leak is. Such leaks can be repaired fairly easily, though not in an ideal way. The pipe can be sealed up, which stops the leak but also makes it difficult or impossible to replace the light fixture. There are also other possibilities, but that is the most likely one.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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