Feeling rather confident that I had found the source of the leak, I sprung out of bed the following morning to check on the pool. Fully expecting to see the area behind the pool dry and the pool water at the same level as when I went to bed, I confidently walked around the pool. Unfortunately, my optimism was quickly dashed. There was a puddle of water sitting on the outside of the pool in the exact same spot as before. At this point I was totally stumped.
Analyzing the Leaking Situation
It was time for me to sit still and evaluate my efforts. I tried to piece together what I had done and when the water leaked. Since it seemed that the pool only lost water at night while running the pump, I realized that my water leak must be related to my pump. The pump is situated on the opposite end of the pool from the leak so I knew it wasn’t the pump itself. It had to be in one of the tubes/pipes leading to the pump.
That’s when my heart sunk. My above ground pool filters through the skimmer and the main drain at the bottom of the pool. I had a sinking feeling that the problem was in the main drain. To test my theory, I I filtered the pool using the skimmer only. I turned off the main drain valve and allowed the filter to run at night as usual.
Success in Finding the Pool Leak
I have mixed feelings about finding the cause of the leak. I was thrilled the pool was no longer leaking. It appears the problem is a hole or crack or even a loose connection in the tubing beneath the pool leading from the main drain. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to think through the process of repairing a leak located beneath a pool. Not only is it difficult to get to, but just think about the cost and mess.
To Repair or Not to Repair: That is the Question
There are a few factors to consider after realizing the location of the leak:
- The leak was discovered at the end of the swimming season which is probably the best time to repair the leak.
- Did I want to spend the money to fix the leak?
- Is it possible to filter the pool without a main drain?
To tell you the truth, by the time I had finally discovered the leak it was autumn and the leaves were beginning to fall into the pool. I had had my fill of fighting with the pool for the season so I decided to put off the main drain decision until the following year.
What I did was I filled the main drain with air to prevent water from flowing through (a necessary procedure when closing the pool for the winter). I then did a haphazard job of closing the pool. I lowered the water level just a bit, threw in a bunch of chemicals, closed off the drainage ports, removed the wall skimmer and covered the pool.
Pool Closing Mishap
After removing the wall skimmer I realized the cap I had to cover the skimmer hole was the wrong size. You see I had replaced my wall skimmer earlier in the year and never purchased the corresponding cover. Unfortunately, I thought the skimmer kit was complete and didn’t realize until the end of the summer that the kit didn’t come with a cover.
I tried unsuccessfully to purchase the correct cover, but it was well beyond the end of the season and the stores weren’t restocking summer items. So, I closed the pool without covering the wall skimmer hole. I tried in vein to cover the hole with the pool cover, but it wouldn’t stay in place. Oh well. Such is life. Honestly, I wasn’t really worried since I had originally brought this pool back from the brink of disaster before, I know I could do it again if I had to.