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Thread: Possible pool leak around skimmer basket?

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    Possible pool leak around skimmer basket?

    Hi i have had a problem with my pool water going down over about 2 inches every 3 to 4 days. I thought at first the leak was just in the pump itself as there was small leak however I have turned the pump off for like 3 days and the water was down a couple of inches which means water has to be leaking from somewhere else.

    Also, I noticed last year after i drained the water below the skimmer baskets for the winter the pool did not appear to ever lose water which leads me to further believe there is a leak somewhere in the plumbing in the skimmer line.

    There are 2 things I have noticed. The 2nd skimmer basket that is further away from the pump has very weak suction and always have since we purchase the house last year.

    Also, i tried repairing the pump leak itself and noticed that the water still slowly drains out of the filter basket at the pump itself after this which means the line is losing suction?

    I have an inground pool and this is getting very frustrating at this point as all season I have had to add salt to my pool like every 2 weeks because the water keeps going down.

    I have a strong feeling that the leak is possibly at the joints under the skimmer baskets because the previous owners put chlorine tablets in the skimmer baskets which is a terrible idea.

    One other thing I wanted to mention is I am positive it is not evaporation because I use to think at first but, last night we had a torrential downpour and I had the pool pump off and I woke up this morning and the pool water is lower than it was last night with no pump running.

    Should i try plugging both my skimmer baskets for like 48 hrs and see if the water level stays up? Is it possible the leak is in the line in the second skimmer basket since the suction is almost non existent in this line?

    Also, I have a concrete pool, salt system with sand filter.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Possible pool leak around skimmer basket?

    The only way to troubleshoot leaks like this is to isolate different parts of the system and figure out what stops the leak. Plug one skimmer at the bottom. Plug the other skimmer at the bottom. If you have valves going to each skimmer, you could also close one or the other and see if the pump basket drains when one is open versus the other. It will take time but it's a matter of breaking the system into testable regions and trying to isolate each.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Possible pool leak around skimmer basket?

    Do you know exactly how your skimmers are plumbed? That will go a long way to help isolated lines. Do you have a main drain or two or more?
    ----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: Possible pool leak around skimmer basket?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent99 View Post
    Do you know exactly how your skimmers are plumbed? That will go a long way to help isolated lines. Do you have a main drain or two or more?
    I do know that I have 1 line coming in from the skimmer baskets to the pump, which means the two skimmer lines have to be tied together somewhere. Unfortunately that is all the information I am sure about as far as the plumbing because this is an older pool that was built in the early 80's. I can tell the pool plumbing has already been redone at some point, because both skimmer baskets have plugs in them where there were older lines that were used. Also there are two old lines ran beside the pump that are no longer used.

    If I determine that one of the skimmer baskets is leaking and I have a feeling it is the one that has hardly any suction in it would it be OK to plug that skimmer basket permanently and just use 1 skimmer basket until I have time and money to fix the other basket?

    Essentially I am running off of 1 basket anyway because I have hardly any suction on the other one.

    Also as far as the main drain in the deep end it has been plugged I am assuming because the previous owners thought that is where the leak may be.

    Thanks,

    Josh

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Possible pool leak around skimmer basket?

    It is relatively common to plumb the main drain to the skimmer and then to plumb the skimmer to the pump. It is a bit nicer to have the main drain plumbed to the pump and the skimmer plumbed to the pump and then you control things there at your pad. And if you have a second skimmer, also plumb that to the pump. Lots of control with flow that way. Anyway, I digress.

    You might jam a garden hose (turned on) or a plumber's snake or electrician's snake into the slow skimmer and see if that helps dislodge a clog.

    But, yes, you can run all day and forever on skimmer suction only. Read the link 'fake main drain' in my signature. I think my pool has been running on skimmer suction only since it was built back in 1978! And I only have 1 skimmer.
    ----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

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Possible pool leak around skimmer basket?

    Well I have just got time to get around to this. I plugged the skimmer basket last night that I thought might be leaking and overnight the pool water still went down 1/4 of an inch. I know some people say water can evaporate at that rate per day so I am not sure.

    One other thing I wanted to mention is that I have also had a problem with air getting into my basket on the suction side. This is because my pool pump is to far uphill from my pool there is a back flow valve installed before the pump so it will prime. The fittings were those rubber fittings with clamps because the back flow valve had to be removed occasionally if it got clogged with leaves. However I had a pool contractor that I have installing a tension pool cover this year replace them yesterday with the screw on hayward unions so I can take it on an off. The air leak went from a bubble the size of my fist down to the size of a quarter.

    I however cannot seem to get that last quarter size air bubble out any ideas where it could be coming from?

    Also, I am beginning to doubt it is leaking from the skimmer basket lines now. I have fiberglass walls on my pool and you can see my seams all the way around the pool as well where each piece of fiberglass connects on the wall. When the pool contractor was out yesterday he said he would be willing to bet the leak is coming from the fiberglass seams even though they are just hairline cracks.

    Is there anyway to seal the seams without totally draining the pool and resurfacing the entire pool? I have seen underwater epoxy paints would it be possible to use that without draining the pool such as this product EpoxyUSA - Solvent free epoxy and two part resins for home, garage, marine, boat, and office.

    Or would something like this work from lowes the jb waterweld and just run this down the seams in the pool and then just paint over it with epoxy later?
    Shop J-B WELD 2-oz Epoxy Adhesive at Lowes.com

    Also is there a dye or something that I can use at the seams to see if it is leaking around the fiberglass seams?

    Thanks,

    Josh

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    Re: Possible pool leak around skimmer basket?

    I ended up putting the jb weld epoxy adhesive from lowes around the visible seams in the fiberglass. It got dark outside so I was not able to complete it. I will let everyone know how it goes after I get it complete.

    I did however notice something while putting the epoxy around the seams at the 2 bigger separations in the seams. There appeared to be a brown almost like dirt/mud in these cracks.I am not sure if it is actually mud/dirt though.

    Would that be a pretty good sign that water is leaking from these seams in the fiberglass walls and pulling dirt/mud in from the pool and ground?? Does anyone have any experience with something like this happening with an older 70's / 80's concrete pool with fiberglass walls?


    Thanks,

    Josh

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