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Thread: Help pool losing water fast!!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Help pool losing water fast!!

    Hi guys,
    Thank you first and foremost because last time I posted something on another acct (couldn't figure out how to log on to it!) response was great. My pool is a 15x30 oval shape inground pool about 7 feet deep and i live in Massachusetts.

    Now to my problem..A few weeks ago i noticed my pool was losing a little bit of water but not enough time elapsed until i refilled it so the difference wasn't as noticeable until now and also I thought it could have been the weather because it has been so hot in Massachusetts. Flash forward to last Thursday, I was preparing to go away until last night (Monday) and noticed the pool lower than usual once again. I had to go so I decided to switch my valve to just go to the bottom skimmer in case it went past skimmer (thank god i did that!!) and was going to have my father in law come by on Saturday to turn it off. Sure enough my wonderful father in law did not, but luckily a friend stopped by on Sunday. He then sent me a wonderful picture of my pool steps and the jet just above the water. He also sent me a picture of one other jet (have a total of 3), and the water was just barely above. So when i was gone somehow my pool became a fountain!!!! I asked him to turn off the pump which he did and hoped for the best when i got home.

    I got home late last night and could tell that the jets away from stairs were just above the water now and I continued to keep the pump off overnight. This morning I went out and saw that the water was now about 1 inch below my jets. So then i did some tests. First with the pump off marked a line at the top of the water. Kept pump off for 1.5 hours. The water dropped about 3/16". Next i put the pump on (water coming from bottom drain because water line is way past the skimmer). Water dropped same amount in same timeframe. I'm not even close to a novice nevermind a pro at pools and plumbing but to me seems like most likely water is leaking from bottom drain to the pump. I've noticed a little bit of air bubbles in the pump but don't know if that is more/less than normal. I have a pool guy coming to my house tomorrow, and though he did a great job replacing my pump and filter and opening my pool unexpectedly last year, still leery of his full advice because i feel like every pool store and every pool guy has drastic differences of opinions.

    That being said, if whoever decided to read my whole post! could give me their best advice on what to do that would be great along with answer a few questions. I am pretty handy and know how to fix leaks in pvc plumbing and know people who know a lot more than me in plumbing that could fix it for free (once we determine the location of leak).

    1. Does it sound like the leak is coming from the bottom drain and/or somewhere in the pool?

    2. Any advice or ideas on how to determine location of leak?

    3. Any thought on how much i could potentially have to pay for this to be fixed?

    4. Any suggestions or ideas for more information to find out before pool guy is here?

    5. Any questions i should be asking pool guy?

    6. Once i fix this issue i will only have few weeks left for season of pool, is there such thing a closing it too early?

    Once again thanks for reading my post and for whatever feedback you might have.

    A new fountain owner!,


  2. Back To Top    #2

    TFP Guide
    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Fletcher, OK

    Re: Help pool losing water fast!!

    brian, Is the water below all returns/suction lines beside the bottom drain? If the water is below any opening then that leaves the main drain... Cost and finding the leak is going to be hard to say.. you will need to find someone who does that...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Agent99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    San Jose, CA

    Re: Help pool losing water fast!!

    The leak could be in the return lines or the main drain line. Isolating them from each other is painful as it involves cutting into your plumbing.

    For example, to pull the current return lines out of the equation, plumb a temporary line bypassing them into your pool and see if the water level remains constant. Yes, this will mean cutting into the line on the output of your filter (or wherever convenient) and running a pipe into your pool to return it that way. Now if the water remains level like this, you have a leak in the return line somewhere. If the water level drops, you have a leak in your main drain line. What you're hoping for here is a leak in your main drain because you can just shut it down and cap it and go all skimmer suction. This will work fine. Read about my fake main drain in my signature for an amusing story.

    Another way to do it is to do a pressure test on the return line, for example. You still need to cut into the line you want to pressure test and you need to seal all the jets/eyeballs so it won't leak. Glue a fitting onto the line, plumb in a hose bib and a pressure gauge and then take a hose and connect to the hose bib. Turn on the water and then open the bib and get the pressure up to around 25-30 psi and then close the hose bib and then disconnect the hose. Now wait and watch. If you have a leak, that gauge will slowly drop down to zero.


    The pic shows 4 lines of my pool plumbing being pressure tested via the hose bib/pressure gauge trick.
    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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