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Thread: Losing Water

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Losing Water

    I took the cover off a week and a half ago and left the pump running all week while I was SLAMming the pool. When I started my water level was a little high but I had to backwash a few times and that brought it down to just right. Come the following Friday (1 week later) I was sucking air through the skimmer. Here in the Cincinnati area it was rainy and mild most of the week so I'm pretty sure I didn't lose it to evaporation. Once I noticed it was losing the water I turned the pump off for a day and the level was unaffected. So I'm thinking I have a plumbing leak. This is the first time I have opened a pool and now I'm worried that I'm looking at thousands to get the plumbing fixed. I have been reading this forum since we decided to buy the house last spring to learn what I can. In my reading the last couple days, it seems like this would be a pressure side leak since I'm losing water and not getting air in the pump basket. If the lines have to be replaced, how do they do it? Do they have to dig them out (in-ground pool)? If so, this is going to be a painful fix as my back yard is a hill and the pressure lines are on the uphill side with a retaining wall just past the concrete pad. Can someone give me a little direction here please?
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Losing Water

    The first thing you would need to do is a bucket test to make sure its not evaporation. Simply put a bucket on the steps and fill it to the same level as the pool, they should evaporate at the same rate. If the pool level falls below the bucket level, you have a leak.

    Once your sure it's not just evaporation then can you shut off some of your returns to begin to narrow down where the leak is exactly?
    - Matrioux

    2007 18K pebble IG pool - Wincor Pool Systems automation & SWG (under development) - DE Jandy DEL60 Filter - Jandy 1HP Pump - TF-100 Test Kit

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    +1 Do you see any wet or mushy spots, hundreds of gallons are not easy to hide
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    How is your backwash/waste pipe set up? If it's hardpiped off to a sewer or to some distant part of your property, the multiport valve could be leaking and you won't see the water exiting.
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Razorhog's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    It might not be a pressure side leak. Can you see where your backwash water comes out? Example: last year I was losing water faster than evaporation could account for and I noticed that when the pump was running, water was slowly coming out the backwash pipe in the yard. I replaced the spider gasket in the multivalve and it fixed the leak.
    SLAM * Chlorine/CYA Chart * Pool Math * Pool School
    17.5k gal IG Fiberglass, Triton II TR60 Sand Filter, Jacuzzi Magum Force Pump 1.5 hp, 3/4 hp booster, Polaris 280, TF-100 Test Kit with Speed Stir

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    Thanks for the replies. I'll take some pics tonight of the plumbing hookup. There is a valve in the return lines but I'm not sure what it shuts off. I would assume the jets in the walk-in as there is a seat on two sides with spa jets in it but I don't know.

    Cowboy, everything is wet. It has been rainy since the day after I opened it. A coworker asked if I had any green spots in my grass! I said yes, the whole yard! My yard drains really well since I'm on a hill.

    Heres an overhead view from Google Earth:

    Capture.JPG

    Pump and filter are in the bottom left corner just outside the concrete. 2 Returns are in the chamfers in the deep end and 3 are in the walk-in. Skimmer is in the top right corner (you can see the cover).
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    hmmm, rain does make it much harder to see a leak try and see if other things work and maybe it will stop raining long enough to see...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    Backwash is just an elbow coming out of the multiport with a translucent blue hose attached that I run down the hill when backwashing. I could disconnect the hose and see if any water comes out when pumping.
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    A bit more info that I thought of reading about the MPV. It takes a while to prime the pump when it first comes on and when it shuts off, there is a ton of gurgling and suction empties the pump basket with bubbles coming out of the return closest to the pump/filter. It has done that since we moved in and never having a pool before, I assumed that was normal. But after reading some that sounds like it is not. Thoughts?
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Losing Water

    as long as it primes and all/most air is out of the pump you are good, if the air continues to fill the pump then you may have a suction side leak...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    I ran home at lunch to find the model number for the MPV and checked to see what the valve in the return lines does. It shuts off the deep end returns I guess to create more of a spa effect in the walk-in. I also set up the bucket test to make sure it's not evaporation.

    Does it make sense to setup a manifold with individual shut-offs for each line to and from the pump?
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Losing Water

    I did for this exact situation, if I ever needed to track down a leak It is not a must do thing, just nice to have...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: Losing Water

    I wouldn't tear a working plumbing system apart to add isolation, but if I was designing one or had it torn apart for another reason I would certainly include as much isolation ability as feasible. I also put more unions in my plumbing then strictly necessary to make repairs easier.
    - Matrioux

    2007 18K pebble IG pool - Wincor Pool Systems automation & SWG (under development) - DE Jandy DEL60 Filter - Jandy 1HP Pump - TF-100 Test Kit

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    Well, I tried the bucket test but that was inconclusive. The wind blew the bucket off the step. Maybe putting a block in the bucket will help. But I have had the pump off for a few days and am losing about 3/8" of water everyday without the pump running. At this point I'm just going to find someone to come find my leak. Anyone have suggestions in the northern Cincinnati area?
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    JesseSchmidt's Avatar
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    Re: Losing Water

    So I performed the bucket test again and it seems that it was evaporation. I'm still baffled by this as I lost a couple of inches of water in a week. By my calculations, that's 1200 gallons in 7 days! Anyway, I put the solar cover on for the week before Memorial Day weekend and didn't lose anything worth mentioning. Thanks for all the suggestions!
    26k Gal IG vinyl, Hayward Super 1HP, Hayward Pro Series S244T Sand Filter, TFTestkits TF-100 w/ Speedstir
    Links: TFPC for Beginners / ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry / GETTING STARTED / PoolMath / SLAM / TFTestkits / Chlorine/CYA Chart

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