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Thread: Pros and Cons of a pool leak

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    16

    Pros and Cons of a pool leak

    So, it appears I have a leak in my pool. I never did the bucket test. I am estimating I have a loss of about 1,000 gal of water per week.

    I've been a pool owner for a little over a year. The previous owner installed an autofill device.

    My TA, CH, pH values appear to be exceptionally stable, despite me doing zilch about them.

    The only chemicals I currently add are liquid chlorine (10.5% 0.5 gal per day) and stabilizer (about ~2lbs every two to three weeks). I'm aiming for a CYA-level of 50 ppm, though, currently it's only at 30 ppm.

    My questions are:

    • What is the drawback of having a leak in the pool - besides the increased water bill?
    • Is the added utility water most likely taking care of my TA, CH and pH readings?
    • If the above answer is yes (at least partially), wouldn't the convenience of utility water being automatically added to my pool outweigh the hassle (maybe even the cost) of monitoring, buying and adding pool chemicals to keep three more readings in check, as opposed to if the leak were fixed?

    Here is a link to an interactive chart of my recent pool tests.

    Or see:
    Pool Vitals 20160311.jpg

    In the above chart note that vitals taken are graphed as lines, while chemicals added are graphed as bars. The scale on the right only applies to CH and TA. The scale on the left is to be multiplied by 10 for water temperature (in Celsius) and CYA.

    Low FC values were taken immediately before adding liquid chlorine (~6 pm), high FC values were taken three hours thereafter (~9 pm).

    The unit of CYA added is in lbs. Liquid Chlorine (10.5%) added has units in gallons.

    If none of the above work for you, the most recent pool test results were:

    FC: 3.75 ppm (sic!)
    CC: 0.00 ppm
    CH: 200 ppm
    pH: 7.7
    TA: 110 ppm
    CYA: 30 ppm

    I have recently acquired a new lot of R-0013 reagent which skewed my CYA results (down by 10 ppm) compared to the previous reagent. Further, I moved the ubiquitous tube sock filled with CYA granules from my poorly circulated skimmer to a return, causing a rapid dissolution of about two lbs of CYA within the past 24 hours - previously no significant reduction in CYA level in the tube sock was noticeable over the course of 2-3 weeks when placed in the skimmer. This recent location change probably made the CYA reading go up from 20 to 30 ppm.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    17,700 gal fiberglass outdoor, rectangular, chlorine-sanitized in-ground pool, 35x15 ft2. Pentair FNS Plus D.E. Filter (48 ft2). Pentair Whisper Flo 4 (1 hp) pump. Two skimmers (@2- and @4-), two returns (@7- and @10-), one vacuum (@4-o'clock position skimmer), no main drain. Autofill device adding ~1000? gal of utility water per week. TF-100 test with speed stir.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    2,769

    Re: Pros and Cons of a pool leak

    First, I have my doubts you are losing 1000 gallons a week. I strongly encourage you to turn off the auto fill and do a bucket test for a couple of days. You are implying your pool is turning over water about 4 times a year. Your CYA is low for your location. Do you keep a sock with CYA in the skimmer all the time?

    A leak is bad because your water bill will be higher. Where I live they may fine you for it. I have to reduce my water consumption by 35% of my 2013 use. It can undermine your deck or the pool. It can make it difficult to balance the pool. In your location you will be pouring a lot of CYA into the pool to stabilize the chlorine. You need to figure out if you have a leak.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    16

    Re: Pros and Cons of a pool leak

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    Your CYA is low for your location. Do you keep a sock with CYA in the skimmer all the time?
    Yes, I've had my problems with that. Placed a tube sock with 2 lbs of CYA in my second skimmer, but there is hardly any suction in it. Even after 10 days, the CYA granules have not disappeared from the sock. So, CYA dissolution has been practically non-existent. I am aiming for 50 ppm CYA.

    Only yesterday I moved the sock to a return and the 2 lbs of CYA still stuck in there have mostly been dissolved. The remaining CYA in the sock is now golf-ball size.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    A leak is bad because your water bill will be higher. Where I live they may fine you for it. I have to reduce my water consumption by 35% of my 2013 use. It can undermine your deck or the pool. It can make it difficult to balance the pool. In your location you will be pouring a lot of CYA into the pool to stabilize the chlorine. You need to figure out if you have a leak.
    I understand that due to my leak that CYA has become a consumable for me that I need to replenish regularly, just like chlorine.

    My question is, if I were to get rid of the leak, would the effort for controlling the other chemicals outweigh the effort for just keeping CYA and FC in check?

    In other words, if my autofill device keeps me from having to control TA, CH and pH (provided that really is the case), am I paying more (or less) by having extra water added to my pool on a continuous basis?
    17,700 gal fiberglass outdoor, rectangular, chlorine-sanitized in-ground pool, 35x15 ft2. Pentair FNS Plus D.E. Filter (48 ft2). Pentair Whisper Flo 4 (1 hp) pump. Two skimmers (@2- and @4-), two returns (@7- and @10-), one vacuum (@4-o'clock position skimmer), no main drain. Autofill device adding ~1000? gal of utility water per week. TF-100 test with speed stir.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    wjr75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    IL
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    816

    Re: Pros and Cons of a pool leak

    I would try to figure out where it is leaking. They sell red dye which can be used to see where the leak may be. Been there and have done that. Being an Engineer I think you may be over analyzing things just a hair
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
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    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Shallotte, NC
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    693

    Re: Pros and Cons of a pool leak

    It is possible to have a 1,000 gallon per week leak. We had a 17,000 gallon per month leak, for about 6 months of winter.... until l we could get the PB to address the problem.

    Your assumption, that constantly adding water will allow the pool to become clean, is probably wishful thinking.

    Your water is not balanced and the rate of sanitization fluctuates wildly. You will be treating 1,000 gallons per day and then dumping it.

    You really need to fix what is wrong.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
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    2,669

    Re: Pros and Cons of a pool leak

    Find the leak and go from there. You might be creating a large sinkhole, the water has to go somewhere.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Re: Pros and Cons of a pool leak

    First figure out what is leaking. There is a pool school article on leak detection.

    Once you know what is leaking then determine if that is doing harm. I would be concerned about a leak on a fiberglass pool because it relies on the surrounding soil for structural support. Even small volumes of water can, over time, cause major undermining and soil movement
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    11,580

    Pros and Cons of a pool leak

    4000 gallons per month is roughly 5.3 CCFs. I'm on tiered billing where I live so at the high end of the tier that would be 5.3CCFs X $7.20/CCF = ~$39 per month. I definitely do NOT spend $40 a month maintaining my pool's pH/TA...not even close.

    You can certainly do a quick calculation of your water cost but I assure you that if you run your pool using the TFPC Method of pool care then you'll be spending more money on water than on chemicals to keep your pH and TA in check. Calcium is rarely an issue for FL folks especially for you with an FG pool.

    As the others have stated, all that water is eroding something and if it causes your pool walls to fail then your remediation costs will make the choice of "living with a leak" seem very foolish.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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