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Thread: Leak!

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    Leak!

    Okay, I am starting a new thread about my leak because I have now done more investigating and have gathered more information. I'm going to try and keep it short and to the point so I can figure this thing out, it's driving me crazy.

    Well, I've done several bucket tests and at first I wasn't even sure that I had a leak, but now I'm sure that I do in fact have a leak and it's getting worse!

    I ran my pump on high for 24 hours and the pool level dropped like a stone! 2 inches in 24 hours, pump started sucking air. So I turned my pump off completely and let the pool set for 3 days. The pool level kept up with evaporation only, held pool level pretty well.

    So this indicates to me that I have a suction side leak, correct? My PB says the opposite (pressure side).

    By the way, I have checked all of the obvious things like the pump lid, etc. I have taken apart all O-rings and re-lubed, etc. When on high, there is air bubbles in the pump chamber, they never clear. This is worse after I clean the cartridge because there is obviously more flow (suction). This also indicates a suction side leak to me.

    Thoughts?
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Leak!

    Pressure side with pump on. A suction leak would only draw-in air causing more bubbles or loss of prime. But when you have water being actively pushed out of the filter on the pressure side, it can be forced out of a pipe or a connection towards a return jet. Your pump probably started sucking air when the pool level got too low in the skimmer.

    Do you see any soft/wet spots on the ground?
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Leak!

    On the suction side, do you have any valves, like one between main drain and skimmer, or between pool and spa (I have several on my suction side).

    I found the size of the O-rings online, replaced them all, lubed them up, and problem went away. Instead of figuring out which one is a problem, I spent $20 on all 4 valves and solved my problem.

    Now my main problem is my kids leave water guns in the pool that get stuck in the skimmer and cause the skimmer to suck air... But that appears to be a parenting problem, not a pool problem.

    But the O-ring replacement was easy, got the parts on Amazon.com with prime, and used nothing more than a screw driver.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Leak!

    Thanks for the quick replies guys.

    No, I do not notice any soft/wet spots on the ground.

    I have no valves or main drain on the suction side. Only the skimmer leading straight to my pump.

    As you stated, O-rings are easy so I have cleaned and lubed all of the o-rings that I know of. (Equopment is only 8 months old).
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Leak!

    You have a pressure side leak.

    If the leak were on the suction side, it would still leak when the pump is off. If you think about it, the pressure in the pump on the inlet side has to be lower than the atmospheric pressure on the pool or no water would flow. So you would be drawing air in with the pump on, and water would seep out with the pump off. Also, water will seep out the pressure side with the pump off, if the leak is below the water level. What's changed? The pump is on when it leaks. The water pressure in the suction lines is actually higher with the pump off than it is with the pump on. The water in the return lines is under higher pressure with the pump on, and that's when it leaks. That means pressure side.

    Since you don't lose any with the pump off, the leak has to be above the water level. About the only thing that's above the water level is the equipment pad, unless your yard isn't level. There's no wetness around the pipes where they emerge from the ground? No leaking valves? No marshy ground? Two inches on a pool your size is probably something like 3% of the total volume, which is close to 500 gallons. That's a lot of water. Figure the equivalent of nine or ten 55 gallon drums.

    The only other thing I can think of is some oddball plumbing. Did someone rig up a valve to pump off overflow during rains? It could be leaking. Maybe a valve in the filter drain port to empty it without making a huge mess?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Leak!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    You have a pressure side leak.

    If the leak were on the suction side, it would still leak when the pump is off. If you think about it, the pressure in the pump on the inlet side has to be lower than the atmospheric pressure on the pool or no water would flow. So you would be drawing air in with the pump on, and water would seep out with the pump off. Also, water will seep out the pressure side with the pump off, if the leak is below the water level. What's changed? The pump is on when it leaks. The water pressure in the suction lines is actually higher with the pump off than it is with the pump on. The water in the return lines is under higher pressure with the pump on, and that's when it leaks. That means pressure side.

    Since you don't lose any with the pump off, the leak has to be above the water level. About the only thing that's above the water level is the equipment pad, unless your yard isn't level. There's no wetness around the pipes where they emerge from the ground? No leaking valves? No marshy ground? Two inches on a pool your size is probably something like 3% of the total volume, which is close to 500 gallons. That's a lot of water. Figure the equivalent of nine or ten 55 gallon drums.

    The only other thing I can think of is some oddball plumbing. Did someone rig up a valve to pump off overflow during rains? It could be leaking. Maybe a valve in the filter drain port to empty it without making a huge mess?
    Wow, this is very helpful to understand what is going on. I think I understand why you say it's a pressure side leak now. There is no oddball plumbing, just straight from skimmer to pump to filter to 4 return lines.

    There definitely is no leak at the equipment pad, I have checked it thoroughly. No leaky valves or marshy ground. My yard is very unlevel/uneven if that helps. Even the pool is not level (within an inch and a half or so)

    The reason I didn't know if there was a leak at first is because I would only run my pump on low for a couple of hours a day. When I ran it on high for 24 hours, the water level dropped like a stone!
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Re: Leak!

    Do you have a hard plumbed backwash / drain line, if so the leak could be inside the valve letting water by it directly into the drain when pressurized.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Leak!

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Do you have a hard plumbed backwash / drain line, if so the leak could be inside the valve letting water by it directly into the drain when pressurized.
    No, I do not. Thanks for the thought though! Still holding out hope it's something simple-ish like that
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Re: Leak!

    Okay, so above I stated that on the pressure side, I only have 4 return lines going back to the pool. But that is incorrect. I not only have 4 return lines but I also have a waterfall and 2 streamers. One of the valves changes from water features (waterfall and streamers) OR the pool return lines.

    The other valve behind it changes from waterfall only or streamers only (although you can put this valve in the middle-ish and get both).
    So my thoughts are that if I run my pump on high for 24 hours and isolate the waterfall for 24hrs and then the next 24 hours isolate the streamers, I should be able to nail down whether the leak is only to the returns (my suspicion) or if it involves the water features at all, and that case, which one? or both?

    Does that make sense?

    This leak is all or nothing. Pump running on high water drops like a stone. When the pump is off, no leak.

    I suppose it's possible one of the valves is bad, that might tell me this also, no?
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Re: Leak!

    Quote Originally Posted by nlindelldc View Post
    Okay, so above I stated that on the pressure side, I only have 4 return lines going back to the pool. But that is incorrect. I not only have 4 return lines but I also have a waterfall and 2 streamers. One of the valves changes from water features (waterfall and streamers) OR the pool return lines.

    The other valve behind it changes from waterfall only or streamers only (although you can put this valve in the middle-ish and get both).
    So my thoughts are that if I run my pump on high for 24 hours and isolate the waterfall for 24hrs and then the next 24 hours isolate the streamers, I should be able to nail down whether the leak is only to the returns (my suspicion) or if it involves the water features at all, and that case, which one? or both?

    Does that make sense?

    This leak is all or nothing. Pump running on high water drops like a stone. When the pump is off, no leak.

    I suppose it's possible one of the valves is bad, that might tell me this also, no?
    Start with "most likely to fail" and work down.

    Glue/Cemented PVC is the least likes to fail. Tubing held with a clamp is more likely to fail. O-rings are very likely to fail over time.

    You can try running "just the waterfall" "just the streamers" and "just the returns" and see if you can isolate the problem. The thing is, it's very possible you have lots of little leaks. Run the 3 tests and see your results, that will tell you something.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Leak!

    Well, after (almost) 24 hrs of running the waterfall with the pump on high I can confidently say there is no leak. I'll do the streamers next but I'm becoming more confident it has to be in the return lines somewhere. I'm guessing the "most likely to fail" place is at the junction of the eyeball returns or some such place?
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Re: Leak!

    Quote Originally Posted by nlindelldc View Post
    Well, after (almost) 24 hrs of running the waterfall with the pump on high I can confidently say there is no leak. I'll do the streamers next but I'm becoming more confident it has to be in the return lines somewhere. I'm guessing the "most likely to fail" place is at the junction of the eyeball returns or some such place?
    Smart to test it. I would have guessed that the Waterfall would have been the most likely to leak.

    Take pictures of all the junctions.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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