In the many thousands of liners we process each year at WW Adcock the vast majority give many happy years of service.
Failures or problems are in low single digit %. However as you can imagine even 1% of 1000 liners is 10 liners, 2% 20 liners etc., so we are probably subjected to more issues than the average builder/service company.
Today I was conducting a measure class for Adcock personal and here is a photo.
The damage you see here is something we encounter 3 or 4 times a year.
It is 4 years old. This is why this liner is damaged:
This pool has two skimmers, both located at the deep end. The main drain and the skimmers are plumbed together so the pump suction pulls through them all.
The homeowner loads up the skimmers with 3" chlorine tabs. They only run the pump for a few hours per day because of the cost of electricity.
The chlorine tabs then dissolve without the pump running. The heavy chlorine solution then sinks down the skimmer pipe and out through the main drain grate. You can see how bleached the liner is right at the edge of the grate. There is also some PH wrinkling that is hard to see. This is because high concentrations of chlorine has a very low PH and will cause the liner to absorb water and expand, hence PH wrinkles.
So for the cost of running a pump. A typical 1 hp pump uses 746 watts per hour. Average electricity rates are 10 cents a kilowatt hour. So this pump running 24 hours.... uses just shy of 18 kw hours x 10 cents = $1.80
The pump would cost $324 to run 24 hours a day for 6 months. If you only ran it for 8 hours a day you would save $216. The ruined liner cost approx $3500 to replace and lasted 4 years. In four years they saved $864. Net cost of saving electricity was $2636 for a new liner.
I really felt bad for the lady homeowner because she was very nice. My recommendation to her was;We thank Nigel for this helpful information.
Run the pump more or put in a two speed pump and run it on low half the time or plumb in a chlorinator. Without these precautions the replacement liner would also suffer the same fate.
Actually when building pools, is it a much better idea to have separate main drain and skimmer lines to stop this problem and also down the road it helps to isolate plumbing leaks.
If you have any head scratching liner failure questions we would be glad to give you an honest assessment and if we use your problem for our Tech Talk we shall give you a liner for half price.
PS There is still the possibility that the chlorine has also damaged the lines below the skimmer, especially if it was plumbed with flex pipe which will fail with high chlorine concentrations. In which case I would have to re-do the math above!
Director of Package Pool Sales