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Thread: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

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    Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    Some time after closing last fall the pool sprung a leak somewhere and drained nearly all of the water. There was approx 1.5 to 2 feet of water left at the deep end (8ft deep pool). We have pumped all of that out, but there is now water behind the liner. I have a 40x20 in-ground, vinyl liner. The liner is approximately 4 years old. There is no main drain at the bottom. I have an Aqua Genie system which incorporates both the skimmer and return in one. There has to be a hole in the liner somewhere. The problem I'm having now is that water has gotten behind the liner and its floating at the deep end. How do I get the water out from behind the liner to try to refill enough to locate the leak? So far the liner is still mostly in place, but if I don't get the issue fixed very soon I'm scared I'll have even bigger problems. The pool company who looked at it today said they have a "special pump" that they made that allows them to run a hose down behind the liner to pump that water out but it's not something I could buy anywhere, or rent, or borrow from them. $100-150 for them to pump the water out, I'd rather save the money and use for repairs. Thanks for any help you can offer.
    Becki
    Newbie with an in-ground, 37,000 gallon vinyl liner, sand filter.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    The water behind the liner is ground water. Most likely it will just come back if you pump it out, unless you leave the pump in place as long as you are leaving the pool drained. There are various ways to deal with this, like installing a well point with a sump pump to lower the local water table, but they involve some work/money.

    The odds are low that the liner will survive this. Chances are you will need a new liner. If you can find the leak and fix it fairly quickly, it is probably worth giving the old liner a try, but chances are fairly high that it will tear as the pool is refilled.
    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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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    Should I try adding water even with the water behind the liner to locate the leak? What would you advise as next steps? Thanks again.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    The first step is to look around the pool at roughly the depth the pool drained to on it's own and see if you can spot any problems. Second is to get some water in there to hold the liner in place and also to confirm the depth the pool drains to on it's own. That will give you an additional hint about where to look for the leak.
    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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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    I found the problem. A 2" tear very near the bottom, looks like from something sharp. Late last fall I found a rusty screw at the bottom and now I am wondering if it got stuck under the vacuum and tore the liner when I was cleaning. The foam backing behind the liner has all fallen down the walls, and is bunched up behind the liner now. The local pool company just quoted $5000-5500 for new liner and install. Is it worth trying to patch the rip and re-seat the current liner? It's only 4 years old. And I don't have $5,000 laying around.
    Becki
    Newbie with an in-ground, 37,000 gallon vinyl liner, sand filter.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    The odds aren't great that it will hold when you refill it. But there is a non-trivial possibility it will work. You are basically gambling the water to fill it up, so that might be worth it even if the odds are fairly low.
    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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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    I think a 2 inch tear is to much. Patches work good on small punctures. I had to patch a small hole and I found out over time the patch will need to be redone. Patch kits are cheap, so it may be worth trying.

    You may want to contact the people that installed it and see if they can fix it with heating a patch vs glueing if that is even possible.
    19,000 gal - Vinyl IG - Sand filter -1.5hp. - Taylor k 2006 - Loop Loc cover

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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    Thanks...I think I have to at least give it a shot. Unfortunately the pool was installed before I moved in and the previous owner didn't leave any information on the builder or the purchase of the last liner, so I'm on my own as far as that goes. Thanks everyone.
    Becki
    Newbie with an in-ground, 37,000 gallon vinyl liner, sand filter.

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    ship of fools's Avatar
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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    There isn't a whole lot to lose in trying and you may buy yourself another few years.

    Search on this site and you will get tons of info.

    A brand called Boxer has a very good reputation. You would start with a small patch. Then patch over that whole thing with a bigger patch.

    Worth a shot!
    21,000 gallon inground
    Haywood Sand Filter
    Vinyl Liner

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    Re: Serious leak over winter now water behind liner and pool is empty

    Thank you! If i have to go with a new liner, any recommendations on where to purchase?
    Becki
    Newbie with an in-ground, 37,000 gallon vinyl liner, sand filter.

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