Help! My pool is leaking! Winter is coming

LazyPoolGuy

Member
Feb 5, 2021
18
Ontario, Canada
Hi all, so we have a new salt in-ground steel-wall grouted bottom pool. The liner was installed this past spring. We’re located near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

I took a corner of the safety cover off 2.5 weeks ago to check things out. Water had dropped about 12” below the returns where it was drained for the pool closing about 3.5 weeks prior to that. Fast forward to today and it has dropped another 5”. It has slowed down last couple of days so I’m hoping I can find the leak soon at or just below the current water level, but I’m not sure.

Being a new pool owner, I would be grateful for any tips on what to do next!

I’ve called and talked to my PB several times. They checked it out once and couldn’t find a leak so want to let the water keep dropping so they know at what level the leak is.

Temps are dropping and we’re getting ice forming on top now. We’re lucky that we don’t have a high water table here so the pool “shouldn’t” float in the spring, but I’m a bit concerned with what will happen when the frost comes out of the ground. Is there also a concern with the surrounding soils wanting to push in the walls without the water pushing back?

Your advice on what to do next is very welcome!! Next 10 days: highs 28-38F, lows 12-24F.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,118
Spring Valley, NY
Not sure what to say but letting it get lower till it stops is a risk you're taking if and when the shallow gets to be waterless. At that point the liner can/will move which isn't a good thing. You say you already have ice which impacts that anything can be done now. Messing with the ice is also risky since ice tends to be sharp and can cut the liner easily.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,067
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I would add water to the pool when you get warm spells and the temperature is above freezing. Then sort out damage to the liner in the spring.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
1,001
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Hi all, so we have a new salt in-ground steel-wall grouted bottom pool. The liner was installed this past spring. We’re located near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

I took a corner of the safety cover off 2.5 weeks ago to check things out. Water had dropped about 12” below the returns where it was drained for the pool closing about 3.5 weeks prior to that. Fast forward to today and it has dropped another 5”. It has slowed down last couple of days so I’m hoping I can find the leak soon at or just below the current water level, but I’m not sure.

Being a new pool owner, I would be grateful for any tips on what to do next!

I’ve called and talked to my PB several times. They checked it out once and couldn’t find a leak so want to let the water keep dropping so they know at what level the leak is.

Temps are dropping and we’re getting ice forming on top now. We’re lucky that we don’t have a high water table here so the pool “shouldn’t” float in the spring, but I’m a bit concerned with what will happen when the frost comes out of the ground. Is there also a concern with the surrounding soils wanting to push in the walls without the water pushing back?

Your advice on what to do next is very welcome!! Next 10 days: highs 28-38F, lows 12-24F.

Assuming you have checked the equipment pad and made sure no water is leaking around there or into the waste drain if you have one?
 

LazyPoolGuy

Member
Feb 5, 2021
18
Ontario, Canada
I’d say there is about 10” of water left in the shallow end, but I didn’t think about the risk of it moving around also without the weight of water on it. The steps are vinyl over steel and we also have a bench seat also vinyl over steel, so I’ve been trying to focus on those welded seams.

Adding water could be an option, but with it draining 1/4” per day it could get costly or possibly increase the risk of damaging the liner depending on how the ice forms?

Sorry, I forgot to mention there is no floor drain, only the skimmer, lights and returns which are well above the water level at the moment.

I will have another look at the welded seams as mentioned before. Today is 38F with light rain so ice has melted. My window of opportunity is quickly closing though!
 

LazyPoolGuy

Member
Feb 5, 2021
18
Ontario, Canada
Just got in the pool, there was still ice, just the rain make it look clear. About 1/2” thick so now with the various sharp corners floating around I hope it’ll be ok. Confirmed 10” of water in shalllow end, but I was unsuccessful in finding the source of the leak. :(
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
1,001
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Just got in the pool, there was still ice, just the rain make it look clear. About 1/2” thick so now with the various sharp corners floating around I hope it’ll be ok. Confirmed 10” of water in shalllow end, but I was unsuccessful in finding the source of the leak. :(
If you got in the pool at 38F you should change your screen name from LazyPoolGuy to CrazyPoolGuy!
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,118
Spring Valley, NY
The places to look at are the transitions from the steps to the walls and probably the at the bench too. The liner never goes into those corners and creates sort of an arc where it's empty behind it. Have see this before where on the seam it pulls apart. Had one just like it this summer at one of the pools. With color dye in those places you may find it getting sucked in.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
11,026
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Make 100% sure the builder is involved as this screams warrantee. Also make sure if you have a safety cover it’s NOT zone the pool right now. The weight of the snow can/will rip it without the help from the water below supporting things above.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
4,281
Palm City/FL
Pool Size
12800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
I'm visiting my brother in the Dallas area and he has a similar situation. Much warmer here but still 31 tonight. I brought my scuba gear and plan to rent a tank then hunt for the leak with the food dye method. Lucky for me he's heating the pool up for this S Florida cold water wimp! Guessing this method might work if you have a diver friend... good bourbon is always a great incentive!.

Chris
 

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LazyPoolGuy

Member
Feb 5, 2021
18
Ontario, Canada
When I say I got in the pool, I mean with rubber boots and a winter coat and stuck to the shallow end. I’m not that crazy. Lol.

The corners where the steel wall meet the bottom and around the steps/bench do stretch out so I focused my time there for tears but didn’t see any. It’s hard to tell if any of the seams would have pulled apart. Can only keep my hands under water for so long at those temps.

The food colouring trick sounds like a good idea. I should have done that when there was a few more inches of water just in case the water level has stopped at the leak elevation now. Does regular food colouring work?

The safety cover is off right now. It’s one of those kind that stretch tightly across the pool that you can walk on. (Yes, I sent my kids across it to test it out. Haha). I’ll put it back on later. I know the snow will weight it down heavily, but I’m not sure that it will sag down to just below the returns where the water should be? I guess I’ll find out, but will check with my PB first. My PB originally called in a liner company to do ours because of the vinyl over steel bench and steps, so he has called them with respect to the warranty. I certainly am keeping email records of all of this as things can go sideways quickly here.

Thanks for the help thus far!