Closed pool losing water

roday

New member
Oct 12, 2010
3
I closed my vinyl inground pool at the end of August. The pool measures 16' x 32' and runs 3' - 7' deep. Over the last few weeks I've noticed that the pool cover seemed to be sinking into the pool. Over the weekend I pulled back the cover at the shallow end and it was completely dry and the vinyl liner was beginning to pull away from the corners and bottom edges. I had a local pool tech come inspect the liner, since I thought that there was a hole in it. He claims that the liner has no holes (it was installed in 2002), and that the main drain has a leak in it. (It was built in 1954 by the previous owners) His suggestion was to plug that drain, fill the pool back up and see if the leak stops. Next year when I open the pool, he said that I will only be able to operate the pool using the skimmer (I only have one) Will this be adequate to filter the pool? I've also had issues in the past when trying to vacuum the pool. Normally I would run the filter with the skimmer closed and attach my hose and then turn the valve so that the skimmer is open and the main drain is closed, but sometimes when doing so i lose prime and would open the bottom just a bit to restore prime and then close the valve again. How do i vacuum the pool now that the skimmer is the only thing attached to my filter?
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
A few questions?

How far down was the water below the skimmer?
Was the water level below the returns and if so how far?
Are the lines plugged up?
Do you have a pool light?
Did you notice an abnormal amount of water loss during the pool season?

Lots of possibilities here. The pool guy may be right, but ruling out a few things fisrt might help diagnose the problem.
 

roday

New member
Oct 12, 2010
3
When the pool was closed, the water was drained about 4" - 8" below skimmer, but above the return line, which was plugged. I measured last night and the water line is now 42" (yes, over 3' of water loss!) from the skimmer. There used to be a pool light, but when the new liner was installed it was covered. During the season we experienced more water loss than in past years. The water would fall below the skimmer about every other week, but would then stay at around the same level. I figured that the liner must've had a hole in it, but thought I would take care of it in the spring, so that's why I didn't worry when I closed the pool. The pool guy told me the reason we didn't have this type of water loss during the season was because we had the pump running every day for about 12 hrs, so the pressure in the pipes kept most of the water from draining, but now that the pump was off, the water had nowhere else to go but out the hole in the drain pipe.

My main concern is if we close the main drain forever, will I have enough filtration/circulation with just the skimmer running?
 

haybird

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
211
Ontario
We have a similar size pool as you. 16x32 8'deep end. Builders around here stopped putting in main drains years ago because of all the problems they cause. We have 1 skimmer and 2 returns, with the eyeballs set the proper way we have lots of water movement and no filtration problems.
 

roday

New member
Oct 12, 2010
3
Do you have any problems vacuuming the pool? Many times when attaching the hose end to the skimmer I would lose prime, so would switch to bottom filter until I got the air out and then would close the bottom. How would i handle this with the bottom drain plugged up? How do you vacuum the pool? Also, I only have one return.
 

vln

Well-known member
Sep 9, 2010
79
Just kinda half way connect the hose so it still draws water from the pool, but yet air from the hose until it fills up with water then fully connect it. The pump may lose prime for a couple seconds no biggie, just wait.
 

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