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Thread: HELP! Chasing down leak.

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    HELP! Chasing down leak.

    So...After reading all of the things folks were saying about leaks and how it is almost NEVER the lines themselves...the weak points are at the connections. So...I started digging and I found this.
    Attachment 41150
    Up until this point, I was losing about an inch of water in an 8 hr period.
    I repaired it and now it looks like this
    Attachment 41151

    Now instead of losing an inch ever 8 hrs, I lost an inch over a 24 hr period...with some swimming done today. This still seems like a lot of water to be losing.

    So after filling my pool up to the bottom of one of the skimmer screws. I plugged up both returns and the skimmer to see if there is a leak going on anywhere else.

    Things that I do know"
    The skimmer was replaced at some point.
    If I leave the plug out of the skimmer, the water will drop into the skimmer line...without the pool being on.

    I have no main drain...that was abandoned a while ago
    that is also plugged with a black plug.

    The original pool was built using black poly line.
    The Return line in the picture is the return on the right hand side of the pool...there is also one on the left...that was also repaired at some point.
    Both of these are tied to one line from my filter....located in the basement of my house.
    being that the black poly is underground, I will assume that they are connected with a (T) type fitting...I also know that the pipes coming into the house..through the foundation wall are copper. ...so they had to go from black poly to copper at some point.

    I do NOT know how deep the T connection is. The guy who built the pool 40 years ago said the return lines ran along or were embedded into the footing of the pool..whatever that means. ...so the lines could be 3 fee deep, could be 6 feet deep...dont know.

    What else can I possibly do?
    I am open to suggestions.

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    You need to do the bucket test to see if you still have a leak. I think you do.

    The poly connections with clamps were never designed to have a 40 year life buried in the ground. Do you have air in your pump basket?

    Is the pump lower than the pool?


    I would look around the skimmer and the suction lines coming off of it. Fill the pool and do the dye test around the skimmer and in the skimmer with the pump turned off.

    This is a fiberglass pr vinyl pool?
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    I have no air in the pump basket.
    The pump is lower than the pool. Pump and filter are down in the basement. So from where the pump is, the return lines are about 7~8 feet above.

    I did not dig on the suction side of the pool because I don't have ant air bubbles in the pump basket...but if the skimmer is left unplugged I will not find any water in it...it goes God knows where.


    This is a 25,000 gal fiberglass pool with a concrete bottom.

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    6:00am Update. I closed off both returns and the skimmer with plugs last night at about 7:00pm. Still lost about an inch with no pump running and everything plugged up... Cluld it be the light fixture?
    I went around the entire thing with marine grade silicone...😕

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    I have not read this whole thread but have you let it leak down until it stops and then looked around the water line at that level?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I have not read this whole thread but have you let it leak down until it stops and then looked around the water line at that level?
    No I have not.

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    that would be the very next thing to do if it was my pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    Thanks...I guess I have to sit back and wait until it stops...

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    Should I unstop the skimmer and the returns and let it run its course? I figured if I keep them plugged up. I am eliminating the possibility of the lines leaking...for now..

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    Yes, keep them plugged.....for exactly the reason you propose.

    I would not let the pool drain completely because of the possibility of groundwater dislodging it. I would start to refill if it gets down to 2/3 empty.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    So over the past two hrs...I am losing 1/8" per hr...so a total of 1/4" over a two hr time span....has not stopped yet

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    As Dave suggested let it go down to about 2/3 empty keeping at least a foot of water in the shallow end. Then refill. If it stops that the level of your leak.

    If it keeps going l would look closely at the joint between the concrete floor and the fiberglass sides.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    Yeah...it hasn't gone past the skimmer yet. It has been inching down 1/8th of an inch an hr consistently.

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    So...It finally stopped at the bottom of the screw on the skimmer. I think it stopped because I used some atlas epoxy putty around the old return skimmer. After looking at it. it seemed that water could leak behind the plate.
    There is also no place for the water to go...no seams...nothing.
    Attachment 41211

    So..Do I fill it up to the next screw on the skimmer to see if it holds? Do I unplug the skimmer and returns.

    Update: Looks like it is still on the move, guess I will wait until tomorrow morning.

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    So...This is what it looks like I am dealing with.

    This is with everything still plugged up.

    What would be the suggestion.



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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    I had a leak a few years ago and I bought a syringe without the needle (don't remember where I got mine), and red food coloring from the local supermarket and fill up the pool with a couple of inches of water. Use your pictures as reference and slowly place some coloring at any suspicious locations. If you were losing that much water, the food coloring should tell you where it is.
    23K gallon, IG, Vinyl, Hayward DE-3600 Filter, Raypak 406A Heater, Hayward 1.5HP SP2610X15 pump aka AO Smith UST1152, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    So, I went back out to the pool and used some blue food coloring around both returns as well as they skimmer...NOTHING! The dye would not find is way through any leak, it would go one direction then another...but it would not focus into any one point. I put the food coloring into the skimmer and it did somewhat the same thing...except this went to the threads at the bottom where I have the green plug. It has not gone past this point. Also...there are no seams. I caulked each seam with vulkem 116...let that cure for 7 days, used epoxy primer and then went over it with epoxy paint..so all seams of the fiberglass wall are sealed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The lowest it has gone is the top lip of the skimmer. There is even water holding just beyond the lip of the skimmer. Does the door of the skimmer come off? could there be a hole or a leak where the little trap door connects to the skimmer?

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    Since you responded so quickly, I have to ask.....did you put more water into the pool before doing this leak test? If you did, then at this point I would consider hiring a professional. A couple of years ago some of my furniture was blown into the pool because of a storm which caused 5 leaks. The water would stop right at the top of the return and I was so sure that's where the leak was but I couldn't find it. After a couple of weeks of searching, I hired a pro and they found them in a couple of hours. One of the leaks was on the pool floor on the shallow end, I would've never found that one, well, actually, I didn't find any of them.

    Edit: none of the leaks were by the return.
    23K gallon, IG, Vinyl, Hayward DE-3600 Filter, Raypak 406A Heater, Hayward 1.5HP SP2610X15 pump aka AO Smith UST1152, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    +1 to adding a couple of inches of water above where it leaks down to. If it is already leaked down then I would not expect the water to leak or draw in the food coloring. Add a couple of inches of water and give it another shot.
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    Re: HELP! Chasing down leak.

    I did not add any water. I am guessing that it has to be the lip of the skimmer opening where the face plate meets the skimmer itself
    There is no water on that ledge
    https://goo.gl/photos/Yg3TDqj8Z1sj2h3o8

    This point also lines up directly with the water in the middle of the return openings

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