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Thread: Leak at the top of the tile

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    Leak at the top of the tile

    Central Florida
    10k gallon in-ground
    Generic Pebble-tek with a course of tile

    Mostly, my pool keeps a nice water level; no observable leakage. But, even very heavy rainfall will not elevate the level over the top of the tile, which leads me to believe there is a significant leak at the top of the tile.

    My question is... should I even be concerned about this? In practice, it's kind of nice because I don't have to drain it down. But I don't know where all that water is going and if it might be causing some unseen damage.

    Thoughts? Thank you.

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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Could we get a picture? The whole pool and some of the tile.
    Do you have a overflow drain? It will be a small 1/2 inch pipe in the middle of the tile line. It could look different that is why a picture would help?


    Were you there when they built the pool? If its not a drain you are not aware of I'd really like to see a picture of the pool.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    I am thinking what they said ^^^^^^^^^^^ You have a overflow drain that you do not know about. Here is hoping!

    Kim
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Thanks for the help! I'm not sure pictures will give enough detail, but here are a couple. The tile looks to be contiguous, i.e. no jets, breaks, any visible plumbing. The water level goes completely to the top of the tile. There are three inlet jets, each about an inch below the tile; one skimmer; one suction cleaner port several inches below the tile; as well as a light one foot below and a main drain. That's the sum total of visible breaks in the surface.

    I was not the original owner, but I did have it resurfaced/retiled when I bought the house a year ago.DSC_0031.jpg


    DSC_0032.jpg
    Last edited by Sandy Pool; 01-16-2016 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Add pics

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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Very interesting...........so no holes right where the water stops at..........hummmmm guess we need to play detective.

    Okay so you say the pool will NOT overflow even with heavy rain (and we DO get some heavy rain in FL!) when it rains it goes to ------------the top of the tile and not past it......

    Can you talk to the people that replastered and tiled your pool? I would be interested in what they had to say.

    I know it is cold so will not ask you to get in the water LOL See if you can look at above the tile where the water stops all around the pool to see what it looks like.

    Is it soft in any spot? Is there a slit or something that could let water out above the tile?

    I would talk to the people who redid the the plaster and see what they say.

    Hey you have been there a year.......has it ever overflowed?

    Kim
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Okay so you say the pool will NOT overflow even with heavy rain (and we DO get some heavy rain in FL!) when it rains it goes to ------------the top of the tile and not past it......
    Right. We haven't had a real rain for awhile, but it goes quickly to the top and I've never observed it above that line.
    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Can you talk to the people that replastered and tiled your pool? I would be interested in what they had to say.
    I'm completely not kidding when I say the last I saw of my resurface guy - one man shop - was his mug shot on the local news. Other than that, I'm happy with the job he did.
    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    I know it is cold so will not ask you to get in the water LOL See if you can look at above the tile where the water stops all around the pool to see what it looks like.

    Is it soft in any spot? Is there a slit or something that could let water out above the tile?
    Will do.
    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Hey you have been there a year.......has it ever overflowed?
    No. If it's a leak at the tile line, it's fast enough to keep up with the heaviest Florida monsoon.

    Thank you for your help.

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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    You don't mention skimmers nor do I see them. Does your pool have them?
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Good catch Dave!

    Sandy can you please add your pool info. in your siggy? (Settings in the upper right corner, edit signature on left hand side).

    info needed:
    pool surface type and size, filter type, pump type, test kit using, how adding chlorine.

    THANKS!

    Kim
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    I did say in Post #4 that there was one skimmer. Its bottom is about even with the lower edge of the tile.

    Sorry about the Sig info - I don't see where to add that with Tapatalk, so I'll log into a web page and update it.

    Surface is generic Pebble-tek, 10k gallons, in-ground, cartridge filter, 1hp Sta-rite single speed pump, chlorine using 3" tabs Pentair chlorinator augmented with liquid to keep CYA under control. Taylor test kit K? using powder.

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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Sorry I missed the skimmer. I would either find the leak or make sure I ran the pump to drain water from the pool when necessary.

    If the water stops at the very top of the tile, then that's where the leak is.

    Incidentally, your pool looks overfull in the pics. Do you keep the level about 1/2 way up the skimmer?
    Dave S.
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    I am following on build thread and his overfill outlet is RIGHT UNDER The coping. It is oval in shape. I think if you were not in the pool looking for it you might miss seeing it. Signed the contract this morning, New build Orange County, CA - Page 9 It is post 169. He has a tape measure by it.

    Kim
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    It's hard to be certain without getting into the water, but I looked very closely and see no sign of an overflow outlet.

    I think in the pics, the water is just about half-way up the tile, but coincidentally, we had two hard storms in two days, so the level is up now. But it hasn't gotten quite to the top of the tile.

    So, assuming no purposeful overflow solution, is water egress, from random areas over the tile, a problem to be avoided?

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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Do you have an auto fill (round lid that looks like a skimmer cover with a float valve inside)? My auto fill canister has an option for an overflow inside the canister up above the float valve is a plug with 3/4 socket that a PVC pipe can be glued into. Or builder did not use this option so the plug is still in place. If yours has this option perhaps the builder took advantage of it.
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    So it appears the pool is "leaking " between the top of the tile line and the bottom of the coping. Is that correct?

    I can't tell is that coping part of the deck that is just etched and colored or it is separate from the deck?

    If the coping and the deck are the same that is the "leak". If that is how the pool is built than that is not a leak. That is a consequence of design. You need to keep your pool level within the tile line or as Dave states halfway up the skimmer. Allowing the pool to overtop the tile line can cause unseen problems and degradation of the material under the deck surface.
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    No, no autofill. Nothing at all out of the ordinary.

    @gwegan - the deck is an acrylic surface, all one piece from the top of the tile, going up about 4" and horizontally for several feet. The coloring you see is on the surface. I'm not understanding the difference between the two styles you reference - did I tell you enough to answer your question?

    Thanks everyone.

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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    I think you have a pool deck that rides over your bond beam. Your pool may be "leaking" at the joint between the top of the bond beam (which usually corresponds with the top of the tile) and the deck. The coping is structurally part of the deck. Close up pictures would help.

    If that is true then your pool is "leaking" through that joint. Now when the pool was constructed that joint was sealed. But that joint has a lot of movement because the large deck expands and contracts with temperature so that joint rarely stays sealed. If the pool is allowed to go over the tile line it seeps through this joint in multiple locations and your pool only fills to the top of the tile line.

    This may cause long term degradation of the material under your deck, or it may do nothing.

    The solution is to not let the pool much above halfway up the skimmer inlet or the tile line. As a secondary defense you can re seal or re caulk the joint. But that is a secondary defense and no matter what you use it will only last a few years because there will always be deck movement.

    Again some close up pictures of the top of the tile line would help.
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Here's a closeup.

    It sounds like the deterioration of the seal is very likely over time, in this case 21 years. And prevention by monitoring the level is the most practical solution, and lastly, is advisable because damage is possible.

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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    Also check your skimmer for an overflow. Some have a knockout for overflow built in.
    https://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/lit...LITSKIMC15.pdf
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    Re: Leak at the top of the tile

    You can seal the joint I'm talking about clearly in this picture. Here it looks in great shape but it only takes a small crack to result in a large volume leak. But I can't rule out something in the skimmer as suggested above.
    Keeping the pool level about halfway up the skimmer is what you need to aim for.
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