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Thread: I'm Losing Water -- Now What?

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    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Berea, KY
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    I'm Losing Water -- Now What?

    A little frantic right now. I'm losing an inch or more of water every day in my 16 x 32 inground pool with vinyl liner. Can't see any leakage around the pump, filters or any of the stuff over there. I presume with that amount of leakage if the leak was there, it would be obvious. I read the forum and have tried to look for anything obvious that might be the source of leakage in the liner, steps, seals around gaskets, etc. I got in the pool, felt and looked around...no obvious things to even do the food dye test. The liner is about 11 years old...seems to be in decent shape, but I'm realistic about its age.

    Nothing leaking from the backwash/waste pipe, so I think I've ruled out the possibility that the valve is leaking/defective.

    Only thing out of the normal that happened this week to coincide with the problem is that we had an algae outbreak last week, and as part of the SLAM I was brushing and running the dolphin very regularly, so damage to the liner could have come from that.

    I shut off the skimmer valve so the bottom drain could continue to function while I let the water drop to see if it stops somewhere. At the rate it's going, it should be below the skimmer in the next 8 to 12 hours if it continues. I had been adding water when it got to that point prior to this.

    The pool opened fine back in May and hadn't been losing water that I could tell throughout the season.

    What next? Help! More than a little 'freaked out' that somehow the underground plumbing has sprung a leak and have visions of having the spend more than the pool is worth jackhammering all the concrete up to repair.

    Gene
    Gene

    16 x 32 Inground Pool, 8 Feet x 3 Feet, Vinyl Liner
    Hayward Single Speed Pump

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing Water -- Now What?

    A leak company can introduce a small electric charge and it will seek ground through the hole in the liner. Then a diver can quickly find the leak. Seems like people say that costs a couple of hundred bucks. Or letting the water level drop until it stops and check around the wterline. Pool returns and lights are common leak places.
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    Re: I'm Losing Water -- Now What?

    Have you done a bucket test to confirm that it's not just from evaporation? Can also shut the pump off for a day and see if the loss slows down.

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    Berea, KY
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    Re: I'm Losing Water -- Now What?

    Thanks for the advice. I haven't done the bucket test based on what I have read elsewhere on the forum. It's literally losing an inch or more a day, which is also significantly more than it had been losing in the past. I'm currently letting the water drop past where I had stopped it (with more water) over the last four days. If it continues to fall, I will try shutting off the pump. Thank you!
    Gene

    16 x 32 Inground Pool, 8 Feet x 3 Feet, Vinyl Liner
    Hayward Single Speed Pump

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    Re: I'm Losing Water -- Now What?

    Here's my update...when the water level dropped sufficiently to do so, I shut off the return from the skimmer at the pump and the water continued to fall. The pump continues to circulate water from the main drain only.

    This morning I'm finding (at what appears to be) water at exactly the level of the lower two screws on my skimmer. Now that I think about it, that's where I THINK I kept finding it before, so I think that's was a pattern all along.

    The skimmer itself is full of water, so I'm somewhat encouraged that if it were the pipe itself, it would have drained itself over the course of the last four (at least) hours with no source of additional water. Best I can tell, that leftover water level inside the skimmer is exactly the same as it was four hours ago at 5:30 am.

    Opinions on whether I am on the right track to suspect it might be the skimmer gasket? If so, can that be replaced easily? I have two concerns, and a question...

    1) isn't there another gasket behind the liner? Do I just presume/hope/pray that one is ok, or do I have to replace it also?
    2) Is there sufficient support for the liner from the coping above while those screws are out?
    3) I have no idea where the documentation of the pool is, if it still exists at all. Is this a fairly standard part to order i.e. how does one order/purchase the correct gasket?

    Thank you everyone...it's been one of the more 'unsettling' 24 hours of my long pool ownership for sure!

    Gene
    Gene

    16 x 32 Inground Pool, 8 Feet x 3 Feet, Vinyl Liner
    Hayward Single Speed Pump

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: I'm Losing Water -- Now What?

    Yes, sounds like you are on the right track. You can fill the pool back up and use some dye there to verify. I make not familiar with the fix but this looks helpful.
    How to fix a leaky in ground pool skimmer gasket - INYOPools.com
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