I wanted to double check on some advice that was given to me by my
This year, I had some trouble with the liner on my above ground pool
that was a direct result of too much snow sitting on my cover and
stressing the walls of the pool last winter.
They recommended that I keep the pool cover on only until the all the
leaves have fallen and then remove the cover for the reminder of the
winter so that there is no pressure on the walls from the snow.
Sounds like a good idea, and I just took the cover off the pool today
(I live in New Hampshire, BTW). It's hard to believe, but my water
level was down some 6" or more from where I left it when I covered it
up! I know we had a warm fall but still, I guess it gets hot under
there and plenty of water evaporated. I'm pretty sure there isn't a
leak in the pool as this has happened ever since I got a new cover (my
old one had holes that let in rain water). And during the season,
there is no strange loss of water. Or maybe it's more believable to
think that some pool water was seeping through the cover into the top
and getting pumped off by my pool pump? Damn..... if that's it, then I
don't what I should do to prevent it.
So I have 3 questions:
1. Is it sound advice to keep the cover off for the winter and just
let the snow accumulate in the pool?
2. Is it ok for my liner to have more than half of the 4' wall
exposed? Will it dry out?
3. Did the water in my pool really evaporate or is it more likely
seeping through my cover or is something else happening?
Thanks for your time,
That's a new one on me. Pool owner for 10 years or so.
If you have holes in the cover, and you pump the water off...
well, you'll loose water.
Like I said, I never heard of this.
When snow is accumulating, the water should be frozen.
I can't see what difference the snow will make.
When the snow melts, pump the water off.
Never heard of a liner drying out.
I don't know what kind of cover you have, but all the covers I've
seen for above ground pools won't let water seep thru them,
you need to have holes for water to get thru.
6 inches of evaporation seems like a lot.
Where I am, (NJ), I've got tall trees over the pool.
It's rare for me to go thru a winter without having branches
poke holes thru the cover. If I siphon water off the pool,
the water level drops. To slow the process down, I keep the
solar cover on, under the pool cover. This holds the cover up
on top of the water so that I don't loose too much water.
By spring the whole thing is a big mess, leaves have gotten
in thru the holes in the cover and turned the water black.
A few days of running the filter gets everything back in shape.
I don't know what happened to your liner, but I recommend
buying online, I saved about 1/2 that way and got a nicer
looking liner than the ones in the store.
I quit using a regular cover 10 years ago. I'm under/near some
trees, so I got a leaf cover. [like a fish-net- about 1" holes. Much
easier for one person to handle than a solid cover] This may be the
first year that I'll actually take it off before spring as it looks
like the leaves will be all off before the pool freezes. Usually I
just end up blowing the leaves off it & letting the snow settle
through the holes. [I still use the 'pillow' in the center. It helps
keep the cover above water so it is easy to blow off.]
6" sounds more like a pinhole leak to me.
It's worked for me for about 15 years-- I'm in NY just a bit north of
The only problem I ever had with a liner was at the seam where the
bottom meets the sides.
Tough time to try to find it- but I'd look for a pinhole. There's a
guy in our area who uses a dive suit and specialises in finding little
leaks. If I were in your shoes I'd be weighing the cost of having
him check it against the cost of a new liner- and possibly pool. I
suspect that the cause of my liner failure was a pinhole that drew the
water down enough so if froze solid. It split the liner and bent
several of the uprights.
Hey Guys,.. thanks for the reply.
So the "trouble" I had in the spring when I removed the cover was that
some of the liner had come out of it's track around the top edge...
about 6' worth of the liner was off and sagging into the pool. Of
course, i didn't know this 'til the cover came off as what I used to do
was fill the pool underneath the cover to it's proper height and then
take off the cover.
So I had to call the pool shop, they drained the water down a foot or
so, and stretched the liner back up and fastened it back into the
track. It's fine now but the pattern looks a tad distorted on that
This is the 3rd year I'm using this new pool cover, the one before this
had a couple of large holes in it that I believe allowed rain water to
get in and keep the water level at a certain threshold over the fall
and spring. But with this new cover, each year, the water level drops
precipitously during the non-freezing months that the pool cover is on.
The reason the pool shop recommended removing the cover is because with
the water level so low the snow and ice on top are causing it to pull
in the walls of the pool. You can see this on my pool as it sort of
looks like the wall is bent into the pool.
I'm not afraid of having to clean up the water in the pool and there
are literally no leaves left on the trees around me. So as long as the
liner isn't in danger of drying out (the bottom corners are still under
1 to 2' of water), then I'm all set.
As for there being a pinhole in the liner, this is what I thought the
past 2 years when I opened the pool with so little water in it. So
during the year I kept a close eye on the water level and sure enough,
it was as constant as usual, with there being the normal amount of
evaporation as always. The cover has only been on since Sept 20 or so.
So that's only 2 months. There's no way during 2 months of the summer
that I lost this much water.
I saw another posting on WaterNet (http://waternetonline.com/index.asp )
that said pool covers usually develop undetectable pinholes in them so
that when you have a large amount of rain sitting on top, the pressure
also causes water from the pool to seep through so that when you pump
off the cover (as I do very diligently), you're also pumping off some
of the pool water.
Also, my pool cover is oversized for my pool... it's a 24' cover for a
21' pool. I did this to give it some room to slide when the snow starts
weighing it down.
I was thinking about getting a leaf cover instead but what does that do
to your water level with all the rain getting in there over the fall
and spring not to mention the snow that eventually melts. Do you pump
it out to keep it below the return? or just keep the return open so it
seeps out? It would actually be pretty cool to open my pool this year
and already have all the water I need in there! :-)
Thanks for your help guys,
That sounds so wrong.
I just installed a replacement liner 3 years ago.
Stretching the liner is a no no.
The only way I'd have done this is to
take all the water out of the pool then rehang the liner.
If the liner is already stretched I'd say it's too late now.
If the sides of your pool are moving, that would explain why the liner
I have a 24', I paid extra for heavy duty pool walls and I hang the cover
over the pool frame, not the pool walls. There is no amount of snow
that would move the pool walls. Well, maybe a glacier. I don't expect
a glacier for a few years.
Next year, get a face mask and spend some time examining the pool
bottom and sides for holes. You should be able to see them if they
Yeah, I know it sounds wrong, but it really was only off by an inch or
three... This pool was already in rough shape when I bought the house.
It isn't a necessarily old pool, but the previous owners didn't take
care of it at all. I don't expect it to survive much longer, besides,
aren't liners supposed to be replaced every so often anyway?
I can't picture this... the way my round above ground is configured it
has something like 10 or 12 uprights with coping that sits on top of
the uprights. The wall is aluminum and is fastened only to the top of
the uprights. The wall is away from some of the uprights and the pool
guy told me it's also split in one spot. He told me that the wall
won't be usable if I took down the pool and replaced the liner. He
might just be trying to sell me a pool but who knows, it really pisses
me off how the previous owners neglected this thing.
How do you spot the holes? Do you actually have to see the tear or
look for bubbling or what?
Don't you think I'd be losing water during the season more noticeably
if these holes were the actual cause of losing 6" over 2 months?
Thanks for your help Dan,
I don't think there is a schedule for replacement,
but eventually everything needs to be replaced.
Reading this group, even inground cement pools deteriorate
and need to be redone.
Mine was destroyed by periodic cicada's emerging underneath the
pool. Even then I patched all the holes. Only a few years after
that when the patches started to work loose did I give up and
get a new one.
It's not exactly a frame.
I don't seem to have a good picture of the pool sides online and it's too
dark to go out and take a picture.
The sides of my pool are ribbed. I have a coping on top, but it's
extended with a 'promenade'. A wider section of aluminum so you
can walk around the top edge of the pool. Attached to the side
of the pool and the promenade is a fence. Each fence post is anchored
to the side of the pool and the edge of the promenade.
The pool cover hangs from the fence onto the water.
With a big pile of snow on it, it still isn't exerting any
lateral force on the pool sides. The ring of the coping and
promenade is too rigid to move inward.
Here's a picture from the top:
You won't see bubbling.
The hole is a black spot, dirt tends to collect at the hole.
Even if your liner has dark or black spots I think you will see
the holes. I know I could with my pool.
Look at the seams and sides too.
Someone was using the term pin hole. If the hole is really a pin
hole, you won't loose enough water to notice. You have about
10,000 gallons coming out in drips.
Last winter I had a 2 inch tree limb go right thru the cover and
liner about 2 feet from the edge of the pool.
I pulled the branch out during the winter but didn't realize the
bottom was pierced.
After I got the pool clean I used it for a couple of weeks
before I saw the hole.
Once the ground gets soaked, the weight of the water and pool slows
down the leak.
When the pool is open, rain replenishes the pool.
Once you cover it, evaporation should be almost zero.
It's hard to say.
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