Possible water under liner

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
Screenshot_20200622-074151.pngScreenshot_20200622-074226.pngScreenshot_20200622-074151.pngScreenshot_20200622-074226.png

Hey y'all. I have these two "bubbles" that have popped up underneath my liner. My research says that this is generally due to water under the liner floating up. The wrinkles in the liner have been there as long as I remember, supposedly they didn't do the best job installing it. The wrinkles don't see. To be any worse, and have always been just a tight little fold.

These two spots are maybe an inch high at the tallest point of the bubble, not much. They have only appeared recently.

I hesitate to say this is a ground water issue, because nothing is floating in the deep end. We also have not had significant rain fall. Two years back we had a winter where it literally rained every day for months. There.was flooding everywhere and it was a muddy mess. We finished with much higher than average annual rainfall. That year and as far as I know forever this hasn't been an issue.

We did have a few days where we had a couple of significant individual rain storms that rained 3+ inches all at once, but that has been a week or two past and hardly any rain since.

I'm also puzzled as to why it has manifested itself in the center (ish) of the shallow end and not near one of the edges. Is it possible that a wrinkle or two somehow "combined" and the air contained in them is floating up?

I'm assuming no, since I always read that a floating liner is due to water.

Which brings me to wonder this. Since it's located in front of my steps somewhat, I sort of wonder if maybe the steps are leaking? I haven't done a bucket test, but I do plan to.

It might be in my head but also it seems to me that the liner is "looser" underfoot by the steps leading out that way. Maybe there is a leak where the liner meets the steps?

If it is water, what's the best plan of attack to try to suck it out way under there? I don't see me being able to fish any hose or tubing past the 90 degree turn and toward the middle right there.

If it doesn't get any worse, and it hasn't seemed to after a week or more, I don't know that I'm concerned about going to great lengths to remove it. We'll see.

I do have two spots where the liner is sagging maybe an inch low over maybe an 8 inch span, but they are waaaaay on the other end of the pool near the diving board.

Many thanks for any advice!
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,744
Morris Cnty NJ
Gotta figure out if it's a leak. If it hasn't happened before and no bad rain recently it's likely a leak. The fact its in the middle kind of shows you its nearby. What happens if you step on the bubble do you feel the water behind liner?
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
I don't know how to tell with my foot if what I'm feeling is water or an air bubble 🤦🏼‍♂️. When I step on it, it doesn't seem like there is a lot of resistance to my step behind it. It readily flattens out to the surface beneath the liner.

An inspection this morning seems to suggest they have lessened or are gone, but that's not with me in the pool stepping there with my feet.

The water level seems to have settled a few inches below where I like to keep it. I like to keep it so there is an inch or so of water covering the top step, and I swear it has dropped to about an inch below that top step and appears to have stopped dropping. It may also just be natural evaporation and the fact that I've just now really started paying attention to it this closely.

I think I will top it back off today, set up a bucket test, and also watch to see if the bubbles grow again after being topped off.

Where they occurred is somewhat close to a seam in the liner. I don't have much pool liner experience but I would think a seam would be a good candidate for a possible leak.

So at this point bucket test, then pending those results I'll need a dye leak test kit and do some checking at potential leak points?

If I don't find that it's a leak, I don't see any good way to pump that little bit out where it is, unless I did something radical and probably foolish like poke a hole in that spot, evacuate the water or air, then patch it.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
I'm starting to think it's just my wrinkles being more wrinkle-y 😂. I topped it off and it doesn't seem to be dropping quicker than normal, and it doesn't seem that there is a leak with a bucket test. I'll maintain the elevated water level for a while and see if they come back. Those same spots don't look like a bubble any more, but they do have a big wrinkle sti that's been there a long, long time.

I almost want to bite the bullet and fund a liner replacement just to right the wrinkles, but otherwise the liner still seems to have plenty of life left. It's still quite pliable. I think it's about 10 years old though so we have to be nearing the end. I sure hope I can find someone to do a better job and install the next one without so many wrinkles.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
He says they've always had trouble getting someone to install the liner without any wrinkles. I don't know how typical it is, but he said it's not a standard size or something and it has to be a custom install. They may all be custom and cut to fit, I don't know. I'm just regurgitating what I was told there.



This is why I asked the question previously about how to determine who might know what they're doing when I decide to find someone to do it next time.
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
Found it! Now that I did, it's glaringly obvious and I can't not see it. I can't believe I searched for it so long.

It's about a 1.5" rip along a seam. Being along the seam I'm afraid is going to complicate having a successful patch. It's nice to know exactly what is going on though.

IMG_20200725_153632569.jpg
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
Should I attempt to vac the water that's under the liner through the hole before I patch it? It's not a great deal, still looks about like the photos I started this thread with.

As I talk to the PO more about the history of this pool, once upon a time they tried to go linerless with this pool and had fiberglass blown down, or something like that, but it leaked and didn't hold water as well or something. So there is a layer of fiberglass under the liner. I guess that means it will not drain away as quickly as most liner pools.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
Sort of. It started as a liner. Just a regular old traditional liner pool.

I think he wanted to not have to replace the liner any more, and the way it was described to me is they tried having a blown fiberglass "liner" installed. And there IS a textured layer that reminds me of chopped strand. That always leaked so they went back to a liner over that.
 

mariane

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2012
1,047
Southeast Michigan
You can patch it with Boxer vinyl glue Boxer Adhesives 104 Boxer Vinyl 4 oz Adhesive for Swimming Pools
Use 2 "elongated with rounded edges" pieces of liner, the 2nd one bigger than the first. You can glue underwater. Put the glue on the first piece, fold it like a filled taco glue inside and dive down to the tear. Press it down real well and make sure all edges are glued down. You can use a brayer/roller. Repeat with larger piece. It should hold and stop the leak. You might want to try and bring the seam edges together but it's not required. Just make sure the tear is completely covered.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
I already have a boxer patch kit on the way! I'm just curious if it is necessary or worthwhile to try pumping the water out that's under the liner. I figured I can fish a hose in the hole and hold a seal around the hose with my fingers.

I was thinking after I patch and roll, I can place a large, flat steel plate on top of the patch with a 25 lb plate on top of that as it cures. Is that a good idea?

I can get large pieces of plate steel out of a scrap pile.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
My concern was just flattening it out. The seam is right there and it sort of curls into a half moon shape, akin to a dime cut in half maybe. I don't think it'll adhere properly when I let go and it flexes back to that shape.

Or, if I roll it good, will it initially be stuck well enough that'll work without something keeping it flat afterwards?
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,744
Morris Cnty NJ
Just make a larger patch to cover over the area well. You want all flat even liner area to glue to. I've never used a weight to hold it down but you could try it just protect the liner with something. This a brand new liner correct?
 
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mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
163
Pageland SC
No this liner is about 10 years old. It seems pretty pliable, but I'm sure it's nearing the end of its life.

IMG_20200519_123217381.jpg

I say it's still very pliable because it's had this sag for years now, and I've tried to man handle it back into place and I just can't quite stretch it high enough to get it back in the channel so I can clip it into place. I've pulled and tugged and tugged and pulled though and it stretches but doesn't tear.

I'm guessing this random tear at the seam is a sign that we're in the beginning of the end though.