It’s Max again….the weekend was very uneventful, so I figure I’d write another article. In this article, I will discuss punctures or holes in vinyl. There are two major misconceptions people have when it comes to a vinyl lined pool.
1. Vinyl can be easily punctured.
2. When a hole is made the pool has to be drained to fix it.
First, lets talk about the thickness of pool liners. The most common gauges or “thickness” of a liner for an above ground pool is around 15-20 mil. For an inground liner, there are two common options, 22. mil and 28 mil. Inground vinyl liners can be made up to 38 mil.
The main reason I have to jump in pools to find holes is due to chemical abuse and wrong equipment use. When people use the wrong chemicals (usually chlorine) and the wrong equipment, holes are going to be made. Using the wrong chemicals will cause the vinyl to become weak and brittle. The wrong equipment has sharp edges that will puncture the vinyl.
If you did not read my article about using the effects of using the wrong chlorine, you can find it here, and it will explain how wrong chlorine will destroy your liner.
The 3 main pieces of equipment that cause holes are: 1. An ingound GUNITE vacuum head. 2. An inground GUNITE pool brush 3. Worn out pool poles.
The base of an inground gunite vac head is shaped like a rectangle with 4 pointed edges and plastic wheels. An above ground vac head is shaped like a circle with soft bristles. It is much harder to hurt the liner with a rounded vac head rather than one with pointed edges.
This one is sort of a no brainer, but I see it often. An inground gunite pool brush has coarse wire bristles with pointed corners. An above ground pool brush has soft plastic bristles. Make sure you pay attention to the bristles on your above ground brush. The chemicals in the water will eat away at them, making them brittle and they will break off, exposing the plastic on the base of the brush.
I see this one the most. A pool pole that has worn out holes where the vac head or brush fits into. These poles are also subject to the chemicals in the water. Corrosion will happen and the two holes will get worn out. When they do, the vac head or the brush will slip out, causing the top of the pool pole to push down into the vinyl. When this happens, the holes often look like a “half moon” and are hard to locate since the flap usually falls right back in place.
Make sure that you always inspect your equipment before you vacuum or brush your pool. And please don’t rush it….you will be calling me out there to find a hole.
When a hole is made, you DO NOT have to drain the pool to find it and fix it. There is a special type of pool glue that bonds a vinyl patches to the existing liner. This magical glue can be purchased at any pool supply store. Professional leak detector guys, like myself, have the experience and knowledge what clues to look for when a pool is loosing water.
If you suspect your pool has a puncture, look for theses signs and take the following actions.
Sign 1:If you have standing water that never dries up in a certain area around your pool.
Sign 2: If you are losing more than a half of inch of water a day.
Usually, these two go hand in hand. If this is happening, fill the pool up to the normal level (half way up the skimmer). Mark the water level with a pen. Wait 24 hours and see where the water level is at. This is the best indicator to see if your are in fact losing water.
Remember, if you are losing water you DO NOT have to drain the pool and always check your equipment before you vacuum or brush your pool.