Lots of water loss in my IG vinyl liner pool

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
Pulling this out of my intro thread as it probably deserves its own. Intro thread here: New Member / Owner Will summarize here.

I cleaned the sand out in my filter yesterday. I didn't take a note of the water level before doing so, but did on Saturday night around 8pm, and it was normal. By the time I was done with the sand replacement, around 3pm or so, I noticed our pool had dropped by around 8". With the surface being approx 16' x 36', that's around 2.8k gallons gone.

Put in some water from a couple of hoses. It wasn't filling as fast as math said it would, so I filled it up and marked the skimmer around 11pm. Checked on it at 7am, and it had lost ~3.5" of water. Plugged up the returns and main drain (it was already below the skimmer), marked it, checked at lunch around 11:30am, and it was down another 2". So it has to be a leak in the body of the pool itself.

Next step is to put some food dye around the edges of the pool, right? Especially around anywhere the vinyl might be compromised, like the steps, pool light, plumbing lines, etc.? Anything else I can do? By my calculations I'm losing ~3 gallons every minute.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,444
Tucson, AZ
What’s the age of the liner? Are there any discernible soggy spots around the pool?

The only other trick is to simply let it drain down and see where it stops....could be a lot of water loss though....
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
I have no idea on the liner. House is from 1994 but the liner may not be that old. We bought it in April. I'm not seeing any sag in the liner with the exception of one little area (perhaps the size of a ping-pong ball) above the normal waterline where it hits the clips at the top.

My property is up on a hill, and the pool is as well. I'm a little concerned about where this water is going in the ground. I would hate to suddenly have a deluge in my finished basement, for example! But hopefully being on a hill means even if it drains it won't destroy the pool....still, I'd rather not let it get to that point, so, food coloring test, if I can!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,775
Tallahassee, FL
@Pool Clown @ajw22
We had to hire a company to do our leak test. I could see where the water was coming out from under the pool but could NOT find any holes in that area........Well it turned out it was on the other side of the pool and draining UNDER the pool to the other side :shock: It was three little holes that I could not find on my own. It took some doing even when I knew where to look!!!

You have worked so hard to get this pool right and now this :(
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,700
Northern NJ
I think options are:

- Dye and see if you see the leak
- Drain until it stops
- Hire a pro leak detection company and see what they find.

That water has to be going somewhere so I would carefully look around your or neighboring properties for signs of soggy areas.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
Another 1-3/4” lost in the last 5 hours. Notably this is where it was when I noticed it yesterday (with it being around my second ladder rung).

Was injecting food coloring in the water, and found it.

image.jpgimage.jpg

Now to fix.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,775
Tallahassee, FL
ANY idea what dropped down there to do that? Ok so run to Home Depot and pick up their pool patch kit. It should be able to be put on under water. Make sure to read the box.

Some tips on doing this
-a swim mask is a must.
-Do you have anyone that can help? You will need to trust them and them not be a jokester! They will hold your legs to help you stay down as you put the first patch on. You might need to go down a couple of times to get it all the way on.
-Use rounded edges and ends.

I would make it go past the ends a bit to make sure to stop the tear. Then you will follow up with an even bigger patch to make double sure.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
ANY idea what dropped down there to do that? Ok so run to Home Depot and pick up their pool patch kit. It should be able to be put on under water. Make sure to read the box.

Some tips on doing this
-a swim mask is a must.
-Do you have anyone that can help? You will need to trust them and them not be a jokester! They will hold your legs to help you stay down as you put the first patch on. You might need to go down a couple of times to get it all the way on.
-Use rounded edges and ends.

I would make it go past the ends a bit to make sure to stop the tear. Then you will follow up with an even bigger patch to make double sure.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Going into the pool now. It’s just me because the kids are at karate with my wife. Not how I wanted my first time swimming to go, for sure!
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
Vinyl patch not going well. Glue isn’t holding to the liner. Not sure if liner is just too old or if the glue is. Holding out hope for flex tape to seal this down.

63188DD7-F105-4D48-AC0D-4E16D725C727.jpeg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,775
Tallahassee, FL
Start saving your dimes. It is getting close to time for a new liner :( I don't know about the flex seal tape. You can learn for both of us!
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
The vinyl came back up as the top wasn’t holding at all. The flex tape seems to be sticking really well. I’ll put some more water in and see if I lose any overnight.

Agreed on new liner time. We found some of the leftover liner in the pool shed and it was dark blue. This liner is almost pure white now.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
This is 30 seconds after putting red dye all around the flex tape. Not sure if it will hold long term. But at least I have an idea where to check if I have water loss!

C10C1D7A-4F11-4EC5-B813-E71D54032F19.jpeg
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
Original liner color vs current.

02FDBF10-9066-4727-A0EB-17659584FCAD.jpeg

Edit: also our municipality charges like $4 per hundred cubic feet, or 700 gallons or so, so hopefully not a fortune to refill.
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
Refilling much faster now that I’m not also losing water (hopefully). Stopped for the night at the bottom of the skimmer. Marked and ready to review tomorrow.

AC9CF660-E331-4440-B768-D4AE4B2B9ACA.jpeg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,775
Tallahassee, FL
I would put some small pieces of that flex tape along the the edges as there seems to be a couple of tiny gaps. Here is hoping you hold ALL of your $$ water overnight!!

Kim:kim:
 

IceShadow

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2019
685
Milwaukee, WI
Maybe 1/8” - 1/4” loss. Cool here so still a little worrying but probably manageable either way.

BC274CDC-670A-43B2-92D9-549B9A30B28D.jpeg

Gonna change out the plugs for fittings on the plumbing and finish filling it tonight.

My wife is convinced we can install our own replacement liner after watching some YouTube videos. Unsure myself.