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Thread: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

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    Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    I've been having a problem with my pool leaking. It is really fast when I first put water in (I never have to drain my pool no matter how much it rains) but after a while it tappers off.
    I talked with a pool guy and he asked me to turn off the pump and monitor it nightly. The first few days it lost about 1/4 inch of water then it was only a few millimeters. He is thinking I need to re-grout the pool, I was wondering what you guys thought. The pool guy wants 650 to re-grout the whole pool which I don't think it is terrible as I imagine it must be a lot of work but I'm worried it won't fix the problem.
    Here are some pics I hope might help Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.
    Pool Specs
    Pool is 28 x 14 Feet
    Shallow End - 37" 3.1'
    Deep End - 63" 5.25'
    Average Depth - 4.16
    Pool Gallons 12,217

    Thank you in-advance for any help

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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    I'd agree with with what you say. The price is not bad at all, it sounds less than what I would have expected. But will it fix the problem ? But what is the water barrier in your pool ? Is there a concrete shell that is waterproof or is the tile itself thought of as waterproofing the construction ? I can't imagine that the latter would ever work. Normally you make a pol waterproof first, then the tile is just there to give it a nice , good looking and easy to maintain surface. I think you'll need to post a few more details about how the pool is constructed in order to get better answers to this one.
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    You have an old pool.

    Have you looked at the skimmer?

    Have you let the pool drain down to where it stops?

    Have you done everything in pool school under leak detection?

    I think you pool guy is wrong. First find the leak. The pool is so old it could be anywhere. If after it drops below the tile line and stops leaking then you know its the tile line or the skimmer. This forum would be skimmer by 70 to 30, maybe more.

    Find the problem first then fix it.
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    Thank you both for the response, I'm so sorry, I missed the leak detection in the pool school. I agree the pool is old, I'm not sure exactly it's construction but it seems like it is concrete with one row of tiles at the top.
    The reason I thought it could be the tile is it looses a lot of water the higher it is then after a few days slows down to where it would take a week or more to get to the bottom of the tiles.
    I will try the items in the pool school tomorrow night and report back.

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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    Tile and the associated grout are not part of the waterproof envelope of a pool. In fact, contrary to popular belief, tile grout is not waterproof for the most part. Ask any tile installer who does showers. The waterproof membrane is behind the tile.

    Disregard this information. See below
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    I have to disagree with that, the grout does contribute to the water tight seal.
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    ......
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    Thank you all for your help, I tried to use the die today and was unable to find where it is coming. I checked the skimmer closely but did not see any issues.
    I will try the bucket test this weekend, we are going to have some rain the next couple of days...
    It is looking more and more like the grout

    Thanks again
    Sean

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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    I have to disagree with that, the grout does contribute to the water tight seal.

    Can you elaborate here pooldv? I would have assumed the same as Dan. I would think that the tile is just attached to the concrete shell which is the container for the water no?
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    Our pool is concrete but not with tiles. We did consider putting in tiles but decided at the time that it was something that we could do in the future. However we did discuss the issue with a contractor. He also told us that the concrete shell must be waterproof in itself in any case. We did consider to otherwise use concrete blocks for the walls, but we were told that such a construction would always be leaking, unless we fitted special type of systems to seal the construction. The tile would according to him make no difference at all as to the risk for leaks, as it would be impossible to keep the grouting watertight over time.
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    Here is an article discussing that gunite shells are not completely waterproof.
    Water Seepage through Shotcrete or Gunite Pool Shell

    I have also experienced some cracking in my waterline tile grout that seemed like it leaked some. Hard to tell because we have an autofill and we have plenty of evaporation in TX and splash out. So, higher water use isn't necessarily a water leak. My PB said that it could leak through the cracked grout. He blended some AB black and white epoxy to match the gray and mashed it into the cracks. Seems to be better after.
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Here is an article discussing that gunite shells are not completely waterproof.
    Water Seepage through Shotcrete or Gunite Pool Shell

    I have also experienced some cracking in my waterline tile grout that seemed like it leaked some. Hard to tell because we have an autofill and we have plenty of evaporation in TX and splash out. So, higher water use isn't necessarily a water leak. My PB said that it could leak through the cracked grout. He blended some AB black and white epoxy to match the gray and mashed it into the cracks. Seems to be better after.
    Well a gunite pool is not the same as a concrete pool with molded concrete. When I read "concrete pool" I'm not thinking of gunite. Our pool is built with massive molded concrete which for one thing is considerably thicker than most gunite pools.
    Indoor pool appr. 27'x13'x5', rectangular, concrete pool with epoxi coating, Sand filter with 1.5 hp pump, Electric heater + heat pump, Automatic system for chlorine and acid
    2 lights, 300 W each

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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    A few years back I has a leak in my pool and I saw spots where grout was missing between some tiles so I went ahead and re-grouted a bunch of spots. Afterwards, well there was still a leak. I tried dye testing myself but I obviously wasn't great at it so I called in a professional pool leak company. Well they did their thing and what the found was under one of my returns it was missing some of the finish under it where the return attaches to the line. A little AB pool putty later and some $$, no leak. So some times it's best to pay up a few bucks rather than wasting time and frustration in trying to diagnose/repair it yourself.

    So don't jump to re-grouting the tile unless you know 100% sure that is where the leak is or you will not be happy.
    Paul
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    Thank you all for the responses. I'm not sure what type of pool it is, I think it is some type of concrete, it was built in 1967.
    I've enhanced the photo to better show how it is leaking Dropbox - 20160502_174237.jpg
    I don't think it could be the returns or my light as the leak slows way down before it ever reaches it and I've die tested the skimmer and did not see any leak.
    I'm going to have the pool guy do the tile and see if that helps, fingers crossed
    Thanks again

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Re-Grout Water Line Tile to Fix Leak?

    I agree that there is not a lot of opportunity to lose much water through cracked grout. And that it is definitely best to determine the source of the leak before making repairs.

    Gunite and shotcrete are not materials they are a process for delivering concrete. Gunite pumps dry ingredients and adds water at the nozzle and shotcrete pumps wet ingredients under pressure. Both gunite and shotcrete result in a concrete pool.
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