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Thread: I think my pump is leaking water

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    Unhappy I think my pump is leaking water

    I'm pretty confident my pool is losing water faster than it should, though my wife thinks I'm crazy. This past Friday before leaving to go camping for the July 4th weekend, I filled the pool because it was at the minimum point for the skimmer to work, and I didn't want to have to worry about it. When we return Sunday evening, the water level is back at that minimum point, roughly 2 inches of water loss. Yes, it was a warm sunny weekend, but that seems like excessive loss in New England.

    So I did a bucket test. With the filter running normally, the pool's water level dropped roughly twice what the bucket's level did. With the filter off (and a cloudy day) neither water level moved much at all. This points me to the pressure side of the equation. The trouble is I cannot find signs of water anywhere, which leads me to believe the problem may be underground.

    Until a few minutes ago when I shut everything down. I heard a noise coming from the pump. There are small bubbles entering the pump housing from the motor side. I have an older 1993 Jacuzzi pump, but the model number is completely worn away. I also have no contact with the previous owner or any service records, so I have no idea what was done to this pump or when.

    What bothers me is I STILL cannot see where the water is going. In an effort to isolate the issue, I've sealed everything as if I'm winterizing - though I didn't drain the lines. I want to be sure that with everything closed, the pool does not lose water. So I know the water from the pump housing can't be making its way back into the pool. And since the multiport is closed - and physics - it can't be getting sucked into the filter. The water basically seems to be vanishing.

    I've confirmed the two plugs at the bottom of the pump are good. They're brand new actually, nice and tight, even put some teflon tape on them. They aren't the issue. Well, the housing one definitely wouldn't be, but the motor side could have been. This sounds like a gasket issue inside the motor housing.

    I'm basically just looking for some confirmation on my findings. What are my possible problems? Where could my water be going that I can't see it leave the pump?
    Pool: Estimated 21,000 gallon inground with vinyl liner
    Filter: 200lb unknown model sand filter, estimated 30yo
    Pump: Jacuzzi 3/4 HP pump of unknown model

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: I think my pump is leaking water

    There is a two part seal between the impeller and the motor that separates the wet and dry side of the pump. If that seal fails you can loose water there, but usually you will see water on the equipment pad under the pump. Have you checked the spider gasket on your multi-port valve? A worn spider gasket may cause water to leak out the waste port.

    If you can post any pictures of the suspect areas that will help us narrow things down.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: I think my pump is leaking water

    Here's a couple pictures. The forum won't let me attach the third, but I don't think it adds much.

    I think my equipment was assembled by a blind quadriplegic. No offense intended to the blind quadriplegic community.

    Edit: Photos removed because I need the storage space.
    Pool: Estimated 21,000 gallon inground with vinyl liner
    Filter: 200lb unknown model sand filter, estimated 30yo
    Pump: Jacuzzi 3/4 HP pump of unknown model

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    Re: I think my pump is leaking water

    Quick update on this. Overnight with everything sealed up, I couldn't measure any water loss at all. So the leak is definitely not in the structure. I've put the waste line into a bucket and I'm running the equipment to see if I get any water there. I do hear a bit of a slurping noise from the multiport, if that helps.
    Pool: Estimated 21,000 gallon inground with vinyl liner
    Filter: 200lb unknown model sand filter, estimated 30yo
    Pump: Jacuzzi 3/4 HP pump of unknown model

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    Minnesota
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    Re: I think my pump is leaking water

    Check your skimmer/skimmers carefully to make sure there is not a crack. Did the leak just start, or when you opened the pool this spring? Please describe what you sealed up for your test.
    How many skimmers/returns/main drains to you have?
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: I think my pump is leaking water

    I have one skimmer, one return, and one sidewall drain. This is an older pool, there is no drain on the bottom.

    The leak feels like it started recently. It's been a few hours with the equipment running, I have no water in the bucket I setup, but the water level appears to be a little lower. I was going to let it go overnight to be sure, but I don't think it's the waste line.

    My suspicion is the return line where the pipe goes underground and meets the first 90 elbow. We had to do a lot of plumbing work last year, where the similar connections for the skimmer and drain were both loose and needed to be replaced. The whole pipe from the multiport to the elbow is wobbling back and forth.

    But I'm still concerned with the bubbles in the pump housing from the motor housing. I don't see how those could come from anywhere besides the pump.
    Pool: Estimated 21,000 gallon inground with vinyl liner
    Filter: 200lb unknown model sand filter, estimated 30yo
    Pump: Jacuzzi 3/4 HP pump of unknown model

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    Re: I think my pump is leaking water

    What an eventful day. After the story I'm about to tell, you'd be surprised that it moved water at all. Well, as of Friday, it didn't. My pump blew its gasket and wouldn't prime. I could visibly see the water coming from the seam.

    Easy fix. Time constraints meant I couldn't get to it until this morning though. I open it up and find the gasket out of place. The second smaller gasket on the impeller itself was extremely loose too. But I didn't expect to see a couple good sized rocks jammed in the impeller. I've NEVER run the pump without its basket for even a moment, so I'm guessing these have been in there since I bought the house a few years ago. Wonderful.

    I go to my pool store and replace all the gaskets for good measure. Pump begins running better than it ever has. So good, in fact, that it highlighted another leak I hadn't seen before. The pump housing itself was cracked. Had to stick my phone in there to get a good look.

    IMG_6985.jpg

    The epoxy is obviously cracked, but if you look closely at the bottom, there is a crack in the housing itself. It looks like the previous owner used the epoxy to try to fix the crack and it finally gave out. Maybe, I'm just guessing. So back to the pool store for solution ideas. And really the only solution is to replace the housing, so there goes more $$$. But it must be done.

    After getting that all installed, I thought this would solve my week-long struggle. Nope. I've found two more leaks now that pressure isn't being lost at the pump. One is where the pipe from the pump meets the multiport. This just looks like it needs to be tightened, but since the ****** who installed this didn't use any unions, the only way to do so is to dismantle the pump, twist the pump to unscrew the pipe, then I can twist the pipe itself. So that's a project for another day.

    But the second leak... here's we we've come full circle. Water from the waste port now! So I'll have to hunt down a spider gasket and get that replaced. Maybe add some unions too. I think I have an air leak too somewhere, which is strange because that is one problem I've not had since last year. But I'm giving the system some time to push all the air out before I go into debug mode on that front.

    Wish me luck. Any advice you can give would be helpful of course, but I feel like I've got this problem under control for now.
    Pool: Estimated 21,000 gallon inground with vinyl liner
    Filter: 200lb unknown model sand filter, estimated 30yo
    Pump: Jacuzzi 3/4 HP pump of unknown model

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    Re: I think my pump is leaking water

    So I went to investigate the connection between the pump and multiport today. I had seen some stuff on the outside that I can best describe as candle wax, very sloppily poured on. I also noticed a small amount of water on the TOP of the threads, which didn't make any sense. I theorized that this goop was some sort of sealant attempt, and the water has begun to break through. So I took a gamble and started to chip it away with the pump running, and sure enough, water started pouring out. The port is split right up the middle, so the whole multiport needs to be replaced. This isn't a big deal, as the spider gasket is part of a combined diverter assembly, it costs nearly as much to replace as a new multiport.

    My concern is even this leak cannot be enough water to be the only problem. It was only about one drip every 5 seconds. I'm running out of places the leak could be. Seems like after the multiport, the last option is the return underground.
    Pool: Estimated 21,000 gallon inground with vinyl liner
    Filter: 200lb unknown model sand filter, estimated 30yo
    Pump: Jacuzzi 3/4 HP pump of unknown model

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