At the moment I am still hoping for some crazy solution, but I fear that stupidity just might have cost me my pool. If anyone here has some hope to offer I am really in the mood for some right now.
The quick version is that my pool appears to be leaking and I am not yet quite sure why. It started all of a sudden last Saturday when I noticed that the water level was getting a little bit low. Sunday morning the skimmer was sucking air. After filling it back up during the day on Sunday I lost another inch or so overnight and another inch today. At the moment I am doing a bucket test to comfirm that something is wrong but I seriously doubt that evaporation can explain what I am seeing.
This is where the stupidity comes in. On Friday I added what I thought was the last of my PH down which was in a container the likes that Walmart sells. Some of this stuff had been left by the previous owners and I had used enough of it already to know that it seemed to do what I was after. Oddly when I went to check the pool on Saturday there was a pile of white powder on the bottom of the pool, piled around the corners of the deep end. At the time I figured that was odd because that stuff never did that before, but the water was 15 degrees colder than it had been due to a recent cold snap here and I rationalized that it must have been that. I immediately vacuumed the powder up figuring that the filter would disperse it better than whatever was happening down there. Nothing else happened beyond noticing the water levels drop at the times already noted.
...until tonight...Thinking backwards to try to figure out an explanation for why it would start leaking I remembered the powder and so I went to find the container to see if the ingredients could possibly be agressive enough to cause some sort of damage...the empty container was not for PH down as I had thought, but instead it was CYA.
The time that it sat on the bottom couldn't have been more than 12 hours. Is it possible that it ate through a seem or even directly through the liner or caused some sort of damage in that much time? I have seen other people post putting that stuff in their pools here and nothing about destroying the pool in the process and yet I still need an explanation for the sudden water drops. I have already read the articles about leak testing and thus the bucket test mentioned earlier is underway, but I am still trying to figure out how to do a food color test so I haven't tried that yet...
If this thing is leaking on the deep end I am not going to be able to save this pool, I fear. At this point I am mostly looking for someone to tell me that I am crazy and CYA can't possibly cause this because I would feel a whole lot better if it was any other reason than a stupid mistake like that. Anyone?
Oh yes, the pool is 5 years old. Prior to Saturday I was losing about 2 inches of water per month. Since Saturday I have lost quite a bit more than that amount. (For future readers that don't want to cross reference dates, today is Monday.)