Winter Pool LEAK? New pool owners need help.


New home owners in SW Ohio. We have an inground swimming pool which was already closed for the winter when we moved into the house this fall. During the past month, we have observed the cover seeming to slide lower and lower into the pool. When we came back from a weeks vacation during Thanksgiving, we saw the cover seemed considerably lower.
Looking into the pool, the water level was near the bottom step at the shallow end. Someone suggested to me that the weight of the water and leaves on the cover was forcing the water in the pool up and out (somehow? - I don't understand the physics here, the water level is way below the skimmer - where does it go?). So I pumped all the water off of the cover, filled the water in the pool to 8" below the skimmer and cleaned off the leaves. This morning I checked and the water in the pool had dropped about 1/4 - 1/2" since last night.
I am at a loss and need some help! Do I have a leak? Should I just keep filling the pool this winter and deal with it in the spring? I expect that I should not let the level go down unchecked, it seems like this is hard on the cover and could damage the pool walls in the spring when the rains come.
Here is what I know about the pool: The bottom is cement, the walls are fiberglass. The pool was installed at least 20 years ago. The cover is new this season. The previous owner is unaware of any leaks.
TIA for any advice.
BRAD
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Definitely sounds like a leak in pool somewhere. I would keep pool filled this winter and fix leak in spring. You know you must keep pool filled ,as, if there is ground water level present it could float out of ground. . Keep that in mind when you do make repair
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it is possible when it was winterized they left a stopcock or drain plug a little open. I would have a pool company come out and check to make sure the pool was winterized properly and that they can't see any leaks. It will make any claim against the seller much easier if you have it checked now vs going back in the spring!
Jack wrote:

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I will check to see where the water comes back into the pool. There is no drain in the pool so it is not left open. Also, I neglected to mention that all the pumps and such are above the pool level so I don't see any way for the water to siphon out at the pump.
I have seen a couple other posts from people who loose water in the winter but not in the spring/summer. I have not seen a good explanation as to why.
So far I have had to replace about 18" of water. Is there any chemical treatment required of the new water I am putting in? The water out of the tap tests fairly neutral.
Thanks again, BRAD

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What claim? Unless the seller warranted the pool the house (and pool) were bought as is. Did you get it inspected before closing? If I were seller I'd say "^$$^$ off" if you expected me to fix it after closing. Unless I specifically warranteed it. Otherwise who knows what happened in the meantime. If the pool was closed prematurely that would be a hint to me to check it thoroughly before closing.
wayne wrote:

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Yes.
Right. What else did he lie to you about?
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