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Thread: questions about fixing underground pipe

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    questions about fixing underground pipe

    Hello!

    I'm getting my pool started way late this year due to getting a fence destroyed by a storm fixed before opening. It's incredibly, incredibly green.

    When I fired up the pump, water started flooding up from underground around where the return lines go into the ground. Questions:

    1. Is it a safe assumption that the break is right where the water is coming up?
    2. Do I need to blow the lines out before cutting out the broken piece?
    3. Do I need to drain the pool below the returns or plug the lines before I start working?


    Any advice is welcome. Thank you!
    24,300 gallons, IG vinyl, Hayward Pro Series S244T sand filter, 3ft to 9ft deep

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: questions about fixing underground pipe

    Before plugging or draining, I'd suggest start digging following the pipes to the pool. The break may not be close to the pad.

    The reason I suggest not closing off the returns is it would then be very obvious when you get close to the leak. Hopefully it isn't under concrete!
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: questions about fixing underground pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R View Post
    Before plugging or draining, I'd suggest start digging following the pipes to the pool. The break may not be close to the pad.

    The reason I suggest not closing off the returns is it would then be very obvious when you get close to the leak. Hopefully it isn't under concrete!
    Ah, so my assumption in #1 is not all that safe. I REALLY hope it's not under concrete as well.

    If I can find the break though, I take it I do need to plug the returns?

    Thanks for the response!
    24,300 gallons, IG vinyl, Hayward Pro Series S244T sand filter, 3ft to 9ft deep

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: questions about fixing underground pipe

    suggestions in bold Blue

    Quote Originally Posted by ChewBiscuit View Post
    1. Is it a safe assumption that the break is right where the water is coming up?
      Yes - Water may travel a bit underground and come up elsewhere. But that's a good place to start digging and scope around.

    2. Do I need to blow the lines out before cutting out the broken piece?
      I don't see why as long as you have a valve or a check valve where the equipment is. Do you have a "flooded" system? i.e. Is the equipment below the water line of the pool? That will affect question # 3...

    3. Do I need to drain the pool below the returns or plug the lines before I start working?
      See question above. If a flooded system, then, yes, use a winter plug while you fix broken PVC

    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: questions about fixing underground pipe

    Thanks mikemass. The equipment/pump/filter is all above the water line. If the break is at the first underground elbow like I thought, that would be below the water line.
    24,300 gallons, IG vinyl, Hayward Pro Series S244T sand filter, 3ft to 9ft deep

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    mikemass's Avatar
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    Re: questions about fixing underground pipe

    perfect. Like Charlie_R said then, dig without a plug in the pool. When you get close to the break you will see the water rushing out. At that point plug the return (using a winter plug) so you aren't digging out a muddy mess. Finishing digging out the area all around the break. Get the PVC good and clean and repair. Are you familiar with using PVC primer and cement? All good once you get to that point?
    25 + year pool owner. Current pool (going on 11th year) - 38K gallon in ground Gunite/White Plaster, Spillover Spa, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Hayward 450k BTU NG Heater, Hayward Goldline Aqua Logic control with T-Cell-15 Salt Water Cell, Dolphin Explorer.
    You Need: Bleach, a A Test Kit & a Bookmark to "Pool School". Now what's your question?

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    Re: questions about fixing underground pipe

    Quote Originally Posted by mikemass View Post
    perfect. Like Charlie_R said then, dig without a plug in the pool. When you get close to the break you will see the water rushing out. At that point plug the return (using a winter plug) so you aren't digging out a muddy mess. Finishing digging out the area all around the break. Get the PVC good and clean and repair. Are you familiar with using PVC primer and cement? All good once you get to that point?
    That makes sense. And yep, I'm golden once I get the break exposed.

    Cool, thanks again for the advice!!
    24,300 gallons, IG vinyl, Hayward Pro Series S244T sand filter, 3ft to 9ft deep

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    Re: questions about fixing underground pipe

    I found the break. I have 2 lines going into the ground that feed 4 returns. One of those 2 is cracked. Can I just shut off that cracked line, and run the pump using only the other line feeding 2 returns? Or will bad things happen?

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    25,000 Gallons Inground, Gunite
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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    Re: questions about fixing underground pipe

    If the line you are repairing is isolated at either end (valve off near equip and plugs in the returns) then nothing too bad can happen. Really just a valve or plug leaking.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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