Water leaked out of the deep end last season, Vinyl liner destroyed in winter..

itsme_bernie

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2013
84
New Jersey
Good Afternoon Pool Lovers

Well, I probably have two separate problems, but I need to ask here to be sure. If the problems are not the same cause, and I should separate the problems into separate posts, please let me know.

1- At the end of last season, the water in the pool was leaking out so quickly, I had to stop refilling it. It drained completely to the bottom of the pool like never before.
- Is there any chance it is the vinyl? or the return/drain interface?
-OR do I just run a hose into the return and see if it holds water? Is that the smartest way?

2- I did not predict what would happen next, which was the old vinyl pool liner pulled up and destroyed itself in the cold and wind. (see pic)
I am pretty sure I understand why that happened now. I didn't know the liner was stretched in in the first place.

I suspect, due to the speed of the leak, and the fact that it drained completely to the bottom, that the issue was a problem with the plumbing to the bottom return in the deep end.

3- I need to know if there is anything I can do to problem solve the deep-end drain/return before I rent a camera to stick into the pipe and look for roots or something.
- Maybe I'm lucky and it is a problem right near the pool interface itself?
- Are their any clever workarounds for an empty pool with no vinyl (at the moment) besides having me (or a crew) come to dig it up?? I don't know if I can afford this right now, let alone am I allowed to in NJ with the shutdown.

4- Then I need to figure out my options to replace the vinyl or seal the pool some other way. If I could do this myself somehow, even temporarily, it would help a lot. I would like my family to be able to use the pool, but we are broke due to the Covid 19 shutdown.
-Additionally, the sides of the pool concrete, that were underneath the vinyl, are beautiful, smooth concrete. the rest of the pool is crumbled, sandy concrete. This looks like I need to resurface somehow?
-Maybe I can buy the vinyl for this somewhat "kit" pool, which seems to be a pretty standard 16x32 pool? Is it at all possible to attach it and stretch it in alone?
-If not, Can I paint it with some kind of vinyl paint and go back and cover it with a liner in a year or two when I can afford people to come do it?

Thank you for ANY help and advice you can offer

Bernie
 

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1Sammy

In The Industry
Jul 20, 2017
289
Windsor, Ontario. Canada
Now that IS a drained to the bottom pool, yes sir.
One thing we know for sure is that you have good drainage Under that pool. All that water had to be taken away some how. In most cases an empty pool such as that will let ground water in, i see not a drop !
Guessing from your description there is a main drain down there under that liner balled up in the deep end ? That is where that much water will get out. No need for camera. I would clean up the bottom and get a garden hose down there and fill the main drain. See if you can see where the water is getting out. It has to be right there in the lowest possible place. If it was higher , say up along the pipping then the water in the pool would stay at that height, now it is not. AND in case you never knew, that liner is beyond a patch kit, lol, SORRY. Had to say it. It was due for replacement anyway. Good luck.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,065
NY
+2. The main drain will hold water if it’s ok. Fill it with a garden hose and wait. If it’s still full a few days later, That was not your problem. It could have been a liner leak at the drain, but that will be fixed with a new liner. If the drain holds water, Check the hydrostatic Vavle like @borjis said. If the two so far are good, you had a big hole in the original liner.
 
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crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
151
DesMoines / Iowa
mine had a hydro-static valve that is vermiculite bottom vermiculite can be patched if its all not bad, there is plenty of people that eliminate the bottom drain, I went with a dual drain and used hydrostatic valve but I know if it leaks ill just replace it with a plug. here is the cost, depends on what has to be done to the bottom to make it smooth, btw vermiculite can be bought at home dept (garden section) small places can be patched with sand and mortar, leak might have just been the liner leaking , once you get that liner pulled back do a test of the pipes, then go from there. you can definitely put a liner in and patch the bottom. Me and the better 1/2 did our liner in one night. here is mine in there is a list of price and were to get it. Post pics of the drain with the cover off
 
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itsme_bernie

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LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2013
84
New Jersey
First, thank everyone for your help so far! I am no longer freaking out to the same degree.

I got into the bottom of the pool and tested some things like you all suggested. By the way, it is May, I am in NJ, and it just SNOWED on my head!!
I have additional pics and info.

- I took off the cover for the bottom (deep end) drain, and it was full of water. Just in case it was blocked by debris, I stuck the running hose straight up there, and it went until I felt the hose hit the pipe as it bent up toward the surface.
- I will check again in an hour or so, but that bottom drain appeared to be holding water.
- I had some rips in the vinyl for a while, and had "repaired" them, so they might have also been where the leak was.
- I do not believe I have a hydrostatic valve, but I don't really know what that is

I have some new pics of the floor of the pool. The sides are lovely, smooth concrete of some kind. As soon as the sides end, the bottom is a very sandy material which looks like it's coming apart.
- What does this have to look like before I can put a new liner in? Am I plastering something over this or just smoothing it out?
side bottom IMG_7240.jpg

side bottom IMG_7237.jpg


There are only a few spots that look like it might have been what looks like a very sandy, loose concrete? Or it is just compacted sand? I have a few pics attached to show that.
sand concrete bottom IMG_7238.jpg

deep end IMG_7239.jpg



This is the drain. As NewDude said, I think it will take a day or so to know if this is actually holding water well.
drain IMG_7242.jpg
 

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itsme_bernie

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LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2013
84
New Jersey
mine had a hydro-static valve that is vermiculite bottom vermiculite can be patched if its all not bad, there is plenty of people that eliminate the bottom drain, I went with a dual drain and used hydrostatic valve but I know if it leaks ill just replace it with a plug. here is the cost, depends on what has to be done to the bottom to make it smooth, btw vermiculite can be bought at home dept (garden section) small places can be patched with sand and mortar, leak might have just been the liner leaking , once you get that liner pulled back do a test of the pipes, then go from there. you can definitely put a liner in and patch the bottom. Me and the better 1/2 did our liner in one night. here is mine in there is a list of price and were to get it. Post pics of the drain with the cover off
Looks like a lot more than a patch job, so what do I have to do with it?
I am thinking of putting a padded bottom in if that effects my choices? I assume I have to smooth it out at least?

Thanks for the price list.. THAT was freaking me out. Also, BIG relief that I can do it with my wife or someone in a day or night or so. I know I have some work ahead of me, but this makes it possible while stuck at home.
 
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itsme_bernie

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2013
84
New Jersey
mine had a hydro-static valve that is vermiculite bottom vermiculite can be patched if its all not bad, there is plenty of people that eliminate the bottom drain, I went with a dual drain and used hydrostatic valve but I know if it leaks ill just replace it with a plug. here is the cost, depends on what has to be done to the bottom to make it smooth, btw vermiculite can be bought at home dept (garden section) small places can be patched with sand and mortar, leak might have just been the liner leaking , once you get that liner pulled back do a test of the pipes, then go from there. you can definitely put a liner in and patch the bottom. Me and the better 1/2 did our liner in one night. here is mine in there is a list of price and were to get it. Post pics of the drain with the cover off
So I need to make it look like this again? This pic was posted by CrushKittyKitty in his pool lining post (above)

20191001_161007.jpg
 

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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,417
Morris Cnty NJ
I can almost guarantee theres mo plumbing issue. That liner is prob 15 or more years old its bleached white by poor chemical maintenance. Theres no hydrostatic valves in liner pools it will never function as intended. I've seen them installed in older pools because they came preinstalled that way. First step is to pull liner out of track and clean up the pool to see what your working with
 

crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
151
DesMoines / Iowa
A night was what it took to set the liner btw. its took me what seemed like forever to do everything leading up to it alone. My case was a pool that had set for years leaking at least 10 and had a bad repair done then. I replaced all plumbing and moved the pump and filter, and tore out the whole bottom and sides. the vermiculite was crumbling and was really nasty. brush the bottom see what the vermiculite is like I have heard of people just going over it with a skim coat of sorts. I dont know if that would hold up, but the big picture is you want it smooth
 
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itsme_bernie

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May 30, 2013
84
New Jersey
Thanks Guys
I do believe the pool was bleached by the previous owner. When I moved in 10 years ago, I already though the pool was at least 10 or 15 years old. I have been doing all I could every year to just delay replacing almost everything I wanted to replace, just so I could afford it and have the time.
I have also been chasing "phantom" leaks this whole time. The pool would stay full for days or weeks, then leak out slowly sometimes, and quickly other times. I guess it could have been the liner the whole time. A lot of my problems went away when I blocked one of the two jets in the plastic stairs. I wonder if I need to remove those (if it's even possible now) and fix that jet somehow while this is all apart?

So, I have some job ahead of me. I need to make the bottom of that pool look pretty?? Holy cow. The previous owner of this house did EVERYTHING as cheap as he could. Is that why the bottom of my pool crumbled like this? Or is this normal? I just want to avoid doing the same thing again (as the last folks). I guess I'm starting by sweeping and shoveling all the sand/dirt from the bottom of the pool out of here.

Is it smarter for me to USE the dirt/sand that is down there now, and mix concrete with it, and reapply it? If it effects anything, I was considering putting "padding" in.
Any reason not to put padding in a New Jersey Pool?

Thanks so much guys!!

Bernie
 

crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
151
DesMoines / Iowa
I put padding in the shollow end concrete and mortar feels like concrete. You could even do a full sand bottom cheapest option then sand+mortar then vermiculite. Vermiculite crumbles when it gets old, sand is not good in all places due to ground water and moves. mortar & cement was my best option at the time I could not find vermiculite in large quantities at what I thought was reasonable price. Shipping kills....
I took out the vermiculite because it was falling apart and was full of what was pond sludge from the pool sitting for years leaking. The last liner that was put in mine was wrong the corners were an angle wide at the top small at the bottom. the liner was wide at the bottom small at the top. He had a pool company here install the liner, and I have no idea who they used, This is Iowa so not very many to choose from so I wanted to make sure i didnt use that company. Now for the plastic stairs and the jets, check the stairs for cracks the jets jet covers. When you replace the liner you want all new covers and seals now would also be a good time to check the skimmer for cracks and replace that as well. Decide if you want a bottom drain now is the time to delete that. post close up pics of those stairs and the jets and the progress as you go, It makes for good reading.
Btw vermiculite is good for gardens and yards.... that is were all mine went
 
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crushkittykitty

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2018
151
DesMoines / Iowa
One thing I should mention I would not patch large places with cement+mortar use vermiculite if you are going to patch. The patches that mine had fell out they did not stick to the vermiculite A skim coat of vermiculite may work. They say you can patch vermiculite with sand+mortar mine was subjected unprotected weather and may have been installed wrong. liners bleach out normally due to sun so I would just put it down as time to change the liner. Jimmy may be the pro :)
 
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