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Thread: Leaking pipe: Pool Repair business or Plumber?

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    Leaking pipe: Pool Repair business or Plumber?

    I have a leak in one of my underground pipes. It's out in the yard so digging it up to get to it shouldn't be hard. My plumbing is 1.5" PVC. Just wondering if I should call a pool specialist or just a regular plumber for this? I cracked a pipe once a while back and called Roto-Rooter. They did an OK job. It's not leaking where the last repair was.

    Kevin T
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking pipe: Pool Repair business or Plumber?

    Depends on who is going to be less expensive as both would be able to repair a PVC pipe. You doing the digging will help keep costs down.

    Have you done any digging to see the leak?

    PVC is very easy to work with and within the ability of most homeowners, maybe you? The guys at Home Depot/Lowes will explain it to you.

    The key to this type repair will be exposing a good length of pipe so you can flex it a little to get the last slip fitting into place. I would think you want to see three to four feet of pipe on each side of the leak, but more is better in this case. Inch & a half will not flex as well as smaller pipes, so I'll reinforce, more exposed pipe is better. They do make some slip repair fittings but I'm not sure of their longevity being buried, others may chime in on that.

    You wan the pipe dry.

    The glue will not set right if there is water inside of the pipe, so if you have a slow trickle when the pipe is cut, go get a cup of coffee and let it drain completely out. I have rushed this part in the past and paid the price of getting to re-do my work later.

    You want the pipe clean. Wash all the dirt off the cut ends to be glued. Dry them well. Use primer then glue.
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    Re: Leaking pipe: Pool Repair business or Plumber?

    +1 on the primer even if you hire it done make sure you tell them you expect them to use primer. You would think it would be a given but I am continually amazed how often I have seen even so called professionals skip that simple step. While it can work the bond that is created is much weaker than it otherwise would be all because someone tried to save a few seconds and dollars.

    Expanding on what Tim said be prepared to to drain the pool down below the level of the pipe or plug the line at the pool if that is an option. Not sure about the slip repair fittings but I have used a saddle repair fitting on a water supply line I poked a hole in with a pick years ago, it has never failed and is under continual pressure. I would not however use it on a crack and it would not work if the problem is a failed joint between 2 pipes. After exposing as much pipe as possible on either side of the repair you can use a hairdryer or heat gun to get a bit more flexibility out of the pipe you are not trying to melt it just get it a bit more workable.

    Depending on the cause you may want to think beyond the repair, if it is just a failed joint you can probably repair it and move on. but if you have a crack say from a tree root, pressure from above, or shifting ground it may be prudent to try to go deeper for as long of a run as you can and back fill with a bit of sand to allow for shifting.
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking pipe: Pool Repair business or Plumber?

    All good advice. I'll just add you can use the Blue PVC glue if it's a little wet, or stuff a little bread in there as a temporary seal during the repair. Nether negates draining or plugging at the pool as mentioned, just helpful little tip for smaller amounts of leftover water in the pipes.
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    Re: Leaking pipe: Pool Repair business or Plumber?

    Couple of points to add.

    PVC pipes rarely leak mid run without a reason. The fact you have had two leaks is a sign that something is changing and making the leak happen. In my neighborhood built over mining tailings its rock. The lines are installed over or backfilled with rock or smooth cobble and it doesn't work. Over time things shift and lines fail. So I encourage you to backfill with sand around the pipes and try to determine way you have had two leaks.
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    Re: Leaking pipe: Pool Repair business or Plumber?

    Thanks for the input. I dug up the pipe this evening. It's actually pretty close to the surface. Maybe 6" or so. Looks like somebody (previous homeowner?) may have done some manner of repair. It's leaking from a fitting. I tried to upload the photo, but can't seem to get it done. I called a local pool repair place. They said max it'd be $125. The other pipe I needed repaired was because I was digging and hit the pvc line so that was my fault.

    Kevin T
    16' x 32' Vinyl Liner Grecian Pool. 20,000 Gallons. Sta-Rite SuperMax 1HP Pump (PHK2RA6E-102L). W. Cooper Ranger Series 25" Sand Filter. Dolphin Nautilus Plus.

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    Re: Leaking pipe: Pool Repair business or Plumber?

    A leak at a fitting is the common problem. This is something you can do. There are plenty of youtube videos and the folks at HD or Lowes will explain it. You can use a hacksaw to cut the pipe. Clean the ends after cutting.

    Just make sure you dig out below the pipe at least 3 inches make the cuts clean and make sure the pipe is clean. Measure twice cut once. Dry fit everything first --- it should fit snug without strains. Use primer first, let it dry and use cement. Let it dry a couple of hours before pressurizing or covering. While you are at HD buy three bags of sand and use this to cover the pipe .
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