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Thread: How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Bluffdale, UT
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    14

    How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

    Hi - I am really hoping to get some help here.

    Today I opened our pool for the summer, and noticed that I have air bubbles being blown into the water by all of the water inlet jets (pressure side). So i know that bubbles are usually a problem on the suction side, so I did some tracing, and found that I have a leak (audible) where my pool vacuum plugs into a port in the side of the pool (not the skimmer, but a dedicated port).

    The pool is an in ground, vinyl lined pool. When I push on the vinyl around the port, I can hear the suction change, so I know that is where the leak is. My fear is that the port cracked during the winter. This port is where the suction/vacuum hose plugs in, and has a little spring loaded cover. I don't think the cover is the problem, but rather behind the vinyl liner - so I think the threaded PVC port may have cracked.

    Is there a way to fix this without cutting into the concrete decking and digging down? The wall behind the vinyl is some type of foam block, but it is reinforced with rebar and concrete. So going through the wall doesn't sound like an attractive option either. Is there some type of glue or epoxy that can seal the leak, but that let's me somehow restore the threads (if they get covered) so I can insert and remove the cover? (I plug it in the winter)

    I want to fix it right (i.e. not seal it up), but am looking for options?

    Thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Sacramento, CA
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    2,769

    Re: How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

    Some pictures would be good. You may be able to reomve it and replace it but we need a picture first. With the port open and closed.
    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
    Dec 2010
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    Bluffdale, UT
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    14

    Re: How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

    Ok, so now that the pool (and weather) has warmed up, I've had the time to trace this down a little more...

    Where the vacuum attaches to the side of the pool (suction side), it is sucking air in. As a result, the pool returns are blowing bubbles into the pool. The DE filter also has to be bled fairly often, and when I do, I get a foamy discharge, so it is a fair amount of air getting it. I can also see the bubbles through the clear plastic faceplate n the top of the pump.

    The "leak" where air is being sucked in is right at the vacuum inlet fitting. I replaced the faceplate, as it was cracked, but it still sucks air. I think it probably cracked either when it was winterized, or possibly when the liner was replaced about 18 months ago, then got worse.

    Pool Vacuum Fitting.jpg

    I can hear the leak, and when I put pressure on the vinyl above or to the side of the fitting, the sound seems to dissipate some. (I also see fewer bubble in the pool after holding it a few minutes).

    Pool pressure point.jpg

    When I removed the Hayward Vacuum Lock Port, I could not see or feel any cracks, so I think it is a hairline crack that expands slightly when the vacuum lock port is installed, or the winterizing plugs.

    Hayward Vacuum Lock Port.jpg

    When I had the faceplate off, there was not a gasket under it, and it did not look like there was a gasket between the vinyl liner and the wall fitting either, although it was hard to tell due to the tight fit of the liner, and not wanting to stretch it out to see under it due to risk of tearing it.

    I can't see behind the liner, but believe the fitting is glued to the pipe from behind (or perhaps there is an adapter?). My questions are:
    1) Is there a way to repair the cracked fitting without removing it? Marine epoxy? Goop? Something else? Regular pool leak sealer doesn't seem like it would work because it is on the suction side rather than return line side.
    2) Is there any type of sleeve (almost like putting a helicoil in a stripped spark plug hole) that could be inserted to stop the leak?
    3) If I do end up replacing the fitting, I'm concerned about having to pull the liner back. I can drain the pool down without a problem, but I am worried about the liner shrinking then tearing when it stretches again? The liner is about 2-3 years old.
    4) If I recall correctly, when the pool was constructed about 18 years ago, I think it was some type of foam block for the vertical walls. They may have been reinforced with concrete. Is this going to be a major construction effort? The pool deck is also concrete, right to the edge of the pool coping.

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    US
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    122

    Re: How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

    There are others that know more about this than me, but I came across this a while ago. I cannot vouch for it, but it looks like an option that does not involve digging.

    Flood Grouting Trenchless Pipe Repair
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Bluffdale, UT
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    Re: How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

    Thanks for the reply. I just sent them an email, as they appear to be closed today. Not sure if that will work on the suction side of the system or not. (?) Also don't know if they have a dealer in Utah or not.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bluffdale, UT
    Posts
    14

    Re: How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

    They replied and said the flood grouting is primarily for the pressure side, as it does not really adhere where it is sucking air in to the pipe/fitting.

    So here are some follow up questions:
    1) Are the Hayward inlet fittings threaded on the side that connects to the pipe, or are they glued? As in, can I unscrew and replace the outer fitting once I remove the four screws that hold on the face plate?
    2) What is the easiest way to access behind the liner? Is there an easy way to disconnect the bead at the top to pull it back and get behind it (once I drain the pool down several inches)?

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    US
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    122

    Re: How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

    Sorry that didn't work out. I don't know about #1.

    #2 The vinyl liner track looks like this:
    attach-top-track2-sm.jpg

    You need to put a screwdriver or other tool between the top of the track and the liner and gently work it out. It is meant to hold it in tight, so it's not easy to get out by design. Also, pouring REALLY hot water (I use near boiling water) on the liner makes it really stretchy and MUCH easier to work with both taking out and putting in.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bluffdale, UT
    Posts
    14

    Re: How to fix leaking port for in ground pool?

    Thanks Dave - I ordered a replacement Hayward inlet fitting for a couple of bucks just to see what it really looked like on the back side. It appears to be threaded, but has a hex nut type shape and is almost 4 inches across. I don't know if when they built my pool they had all the plumbing and fittings in before filling the walls with concrete (they are styrofoam block), so until I can get behind the liner, I can't really tell if it is replaceable without major surgery to the wall.

    I think the track I have is a little different from that. I'll get some pictures this weekend when it is light, but I think I know how to get the liner out. The problem now is that the inlet is about half way along the long side of the pool (45'), so I don't think I'll be able to get the liner out mid track - I might have to start by the stairs and work my way down to the middle.

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