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Thread: please help me find my leak

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    Join Date
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    please help me find my leak

    Pleases help me find a leak in my pool. I am losing about an inch and a half a day and my bucket is not losing anything. There are no bubbles from the returns when the pump is on (it runs for 12 hours on a timer). It is a concrete pool and I do not see anywhere where it would be leaking. In the spring I did use some dynomite pool patch in a few areas on the side of the pool but when I chipped away any loose gunnite it did not show any holes and the patch went on very well covered and worked very well (I recommend it but it dries extremely fast). and I used some mortar to reattach some tiles. All of this work was done well and all areas were well covered. I dont think this is where my leak is. My guess is possibly the main drain. I will check the pump in the am to see if any bubbles but I recollect that there are not. Do you guys have any guess as to where the water is going?
    If I wanted to test the tiles which I installed or the main drain what is the best way? Is there a simple way to perform a die test? maybe food coloring? or thread?
    I would like to get this sorted as I have already put in a lot of time for the pool as well as the repair above, I replaced the pump with a rebuild and redid some of the plumbing.
    Thank you for any help. I will post a pic of the pool soon.
    concrete and gunnite pool with two skimmers, sand filter, gas heater, diving board,
    love to swim in the pool with the family:)

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: please help me find my leak

    Welcome to TFP, it's great to have you here.

    A bit more info helps a lot. Does it leak all the time, or only when pump(s) running? Have you ever let it leak down below the skimmer? What level was it at after winter, and is that lower than you left it? Anything else you can think of? Have you done any testing with food coloring? Anything else that comes to mind when you scan this thread?
    Pool School - Leak Detection
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Re: please help me find my leak

    ok I looked at the pump this morning and there are bubbles in it. So I guess that means my leak is in the suction side. I have two skimmers and a drain but not sure if the drain is hooked up or not. Should I put a plug in one of the skimmers and see if that changes anytihng? if it is a leak on the skimmer side and I determine which skimmer, is there a way to find where the leak is? the deck is concrete. would I need to run a camera through there? when I opened the pool the water level was normal and below the skimmer of course.
    concrete and gunnite pool with two skimmers, sand filter, gas heater, diving board,
    love to swim in the pool with the family:)

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: please help me find my leak

    Much better experts than me will join the thread in due course. Leaks can be tricky to find. Take a look at Pool School - Suction Side Air Leaks in the meantime. If it were me, I'd answer the questions above and provide as much detail as possible. One additional question... is the pump above or below the pool's waterline?

    Perhaps best to start by checking and eliminating the possibilities that are easiest to fix. e.g. hunting down possibilities at the equipment pad, ensuring the basket lid is well-sealed, etc. The other thing is to do the bucket test, which will narrow it down and give the true extent of the leak. The bubbles suggest suction side, agreed, and it could also be more than one source. How much air in the pump basket? The detail will help the experts narrow it down.
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: please help me find my leak

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Air in the pump basket indicates an air leak, which would not affect the water level in the pool. As for hunting down a water leak in a plaster pool I would start with inspecting the surface of the walls and floor looking for cracks. If there are no cracks, check the main drain. Either get some leak detection dye or food coloring and with the pump off dive down and squirt a thin stream of dye close to the main drain. If it looks like the dye is being pulled into the main drain that is the source of your leak. You can test the skimmers and returns the same way. Also check the area where you did the repairs.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: please help me find my leak

    thanks. I did the bucket test and I lose an inch and half a day and bucket water doesn;t lose any. The pump is above the skimmer. the pump/heater/filter pad is dry. now I suspect it is the main drain as I don;t see any cracks anywhere. I will try the food colouring in the next few days.
    concrete and gunnite pool with two skimmers, sand filter, gas heater, diving board,
    love to swim in the pool with the family:)

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    wjr75's Avatar
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    Re: please help me find my leak

    I had two leaks fixed this year. The mouth around the skimmer where there was grout was leaking which was patched with putty until next year when the pool is drained. The other was the main drain hydrostatic valve which had some leafs stuck in it causing it to leak. In the past the pool light plug in the conduit had leaked. Just some idea's to check.
    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

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    Re: please help me find my leak

    OK I wanted to report back. I let the water drain until it stopped dropping, it got to the bottom of the skimmer level and sure enough found a leak between the skimmer and the wall. I patched it with plumbing stick and now not losing water to the leak. With very hot temperatures my bucket and the pool lost about an inch over the last 3 days.
    concrete and gunnite pool with two skimmers, sand filter, gas heater, diving board,
    love to swim in the pool with the family:)

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: please help me find my leak

    Great to hear! Glad it wasn't a tough one
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 1.2HP VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    rlefig's Avatar
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    Re: please help me find my leak

    Glad to hear just patched my 45 year old gunite and was successful as well
    1971 Gunite 31x16 IG Kidney shape pool approx 18000 Gallons
    EcoFinish Blue Lagoon
    Sta-rite System3 S7M120 Cartridge Filter
    A.O. Smith 3/4 HP motor, starite pump
    TF100 test kit

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