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Thread: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

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    Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    I've known my pool had a slow leak somewhere since we moved in to the house about a tear ago. I've just been topping it off every few days, but recently decided to at least identify where the leak is. My pool guy conducted a dye test which was inconclusive. Then he conducted pressure tests with 'sonic listening devices' and identified the leak(s) as being under both built-in skimmers. He said there is a fitting or connection that was used in many of the pools in my area (Westchester NY) that breaks down and fails over time. He says he has replaced many of them. So now I need to figure out when and how to get this fixed.

    But now it seems like the leak(s) are worse. The water seems to be seeping out faster. Is it possible the pressure tests aggravated the situation?

    Thanks for any help.
    36k gallon in-ground gunite / Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 333 / Century 1HP Motor B228SE / Pentair Triton II sand filter / Polaris 280 sweeper

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    Re: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    Sure it's possible.

    If it is in the bottom of the skimmers then you should be able to let the pool leak and it should stop leaking just below the skimmers -- is that what happens?
    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: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    It's not only possible, it is probable. But don't blame your pool tech since the PTest is to confirm where your leak is with the assumption that you would repair said leak. The pressure used in a Ptest is more than the psi in your pipes during its Norman running.

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    Time to cut a hole through your decking and start digging to get under the skimmer. This is NOT a fun job.

    However, try to see if you can SEE the leak (split, crack, etc.) from above so you have an idea what is going on.

    Sounds like you have an experienced pool guy to help you at least.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Re: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    Thanks. I've never let the water level get below the skimmers, but will do so, and then peek down in and see what I see. We've been planning on getting the whole pool refurbished in the next 3 or 4 years, so maybe we will see if we can do that sooner. I assume that if that is something we are thinking of doing then it makes sense to do everything at once, rather than have the skimmers replaced (quote is around $4k) this year, and then ripping it up again and refurbishing the whole pool 2 or 3 years later. Does that thinking make sense?
    36k gallon in-ground gunite / Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 333 / Century 1HP Motor B228SE / Pentair Triton II sand filter / Polaris 280 sweeper

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    If you are ripping up the decking (concrete of some ilk I presume?), odds are excellent that the skimmers will get damaged in the process and you'll need new ones. The 4k to fix the skimmers now will go bye-bye when they rip things up around them...possibly. Perhaps you can live with the expense of the leaking skimmer (assuming it doesn't get worse...perhaps a bad assumption) until you are ready for a full remodel.

    We just finished redoing our pool and backyard...it takes a few bucks! My concrete guy did his best not to damage the skimmer but it was original to the 1978 pool build and it just didn't have the legs so we had to have a new skimmer put in. However, we went for a full pool and backyard gut: jack-hammered all the plaster out of the pool...new coping...jack-hammered all the decking out around the pool and most of the back yard. We are finally getting to almost done back there. WHEW!
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Re: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    I'm losing two inches of water per day now, so it's something that needs resolution. We are going on vacation next week and I'm not too trusting of the rinky-dink pool filler. It's already jammed once this summer and filled the pool to overflowing (until I nudged it).

    If I let the pool leak down to below the skimmer level, and shut off those two valves, will it damage equipment to run the pump with just the main drain drawing?
    36k gallon in-ground gunite / Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 333 / Century 1HP Motor B228SE / Pentair Triton II sand filter / Polaris 280 sweeper

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    Re: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    As long as the pump can pull water, you should be fine. So turn off the two skimmers and let the main drain do all suction.

    HOWEVER, I want to make sure of your plumbing. Often, the MD is plumbed to a skimmer and then that plumbed to the pump as a single suction line.

    You have two skimmers and a MD. Do you have these 3 separate suction lines (Skimmer A and Skimmer B and MD) run to the equipment pad?
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    Re: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    Pretty sure I have 3 separate lines and valves, but will make 100% sure before I turn off the skimmers. Thanks.
    36k gallon in-ground gunite / Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 333 / Century 1HP Motor B228SE / Pentair Triton II sand filter / Polaris 280 sweeper

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    Re: Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

    Following this as I have something similar going on. I have 26k gal vinyl kidney shaped pool. Losing water and I think that the skimmer is cracked. I have two large lines with red handles. Usually when we are washing filters or adding chemicals we will turned those two handles to the off position as well as the entire pump system. So how do I tell if the main drain is associated with one or both these handles? I have only one pool deck skimmer although there is a hole and cover for a 2nd one on the other side of the pool.
    Sandra in Indy

    IG kidney shape, NEW* vinyl liner-2010
    approx 26,000 gal
    StaRite Sys 3 cartidge filter, inline chlorinator
    gas heater
    looploc mesh cover

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