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Thread: Leaking drain line.

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    Leaking drain line.

    Hello TFP,

    For the past two or three years I've been losing more and more water from my pool each season. This summer my water bill was astronomical. I found a crack in my skimmer which I patched using A+B epoxy putty but I think the real problem is that my drain line is leaking. The water level has dropped to a few inches below the returns and has remained stable. I don't have a light niche and I don't see any source of a leak in the liner. I am thinking I should drain the pool, plug the drain, and pressure test the drain line. If the drain line fails I guess I'll have to pay for leak detection and be prepared to dig out and repair the pipe.

    My questions are:
    1. What is the easiest and most cost effective way to pressure test the drain line, or any other line, myself. Please include details or a link to detailed instructions (Unfortunately, I don't have a way to remove the drain cover and plug it without draining the pool as I'm too buoyant, can't hold my breath long enough, and I'm not scuba certified.)
    2. If the line is leaking is there a way to pinpoint the location of the leak myself or do I have to use a leak detection service?
    3. Has anybody on the forum has done this before?

    if you live in the Atlanta, GA area and are willing to help me fix this for a reasonable fee feel free to PM me. I'm pretty handy and I want to keep the cost low by doing as much of this myself as possible.

    Thanks Folks!
    20K Gallon Vinyl, Triton II TR60 sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking drain line.

    The water level has dropped to a few inches below the returns and has remained stable.
    That might indicate it is a return that is leaking. More than likely it is right where the return penetrates the vinyl. You can use dye to see if the leak draws it into the return.

    Dye testing a swimming pool - Austin Leak Detection - YouTube

    There are many other videos on youTube for this.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking drain line.

    If the pool continued to lose water after it was below the return, it's doubtful that the leak is in the returns. If it were my pool I would just plug the drain line and see if that stops the leak. If so, you can leave it plugged and the pool will work fine without a main drain. If not, look for a leak around the penetration for the drain.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Leaking drain line.

    Thanks for your input.

    That might indicate it is a return that is leaking. More than likely it is right where the return penetrates the vinyl. You can use dye to see if the leak draws it into the return.
    It's about 4-6 inches below the returns. Sorry I wasn't specific enough.
    If it were my pool I would just plug the drain line and see if that stops the leak. If so, you can leave it plugged and the pool will work fine without a main drain. If not, look for a leak around the penetration for the drain.
    I've read threads that say that plugging the drain is against code, potentially dangerous, etc. Can you confirm that is a safe/wise move to make chiefwej?
    20K Gallon Vinyl, Triton II TR60 sand Filter, Pump Type TBD, Chlorine (no SWG)

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking drain line.

    I've read threads that say that plugging the drain is against code, potentially dangerous, etc.
    I don't think that is true. There are pools built without MDs so there should be no issue with plugging it. In fact, the pool is probably safer without the MD.

    But if the pool stopped leaking at 4-6 inches below the return, I doubt it would be the MD because it is usually where it enters the pool. Is the 4-6" below the returns the same height as anything else such as a light niche, the bottom of the skimmer pipe connection, etc?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    PoolguyinCT's Avatar
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    Leaking drain line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurge View Post
    Thanks for your input.

    It's about 4-6 inches below the returns. Sorry I wasn't specific enough.
    I've read threads that say that plugging the drain is against code, potentially dangerous, etc. Can you confirm that is a safe/wise move to make chiefwej?
    That is not true in a residential pool shared by 3 families or less. Drains are required in commercial/public pools. (This expected to change in the near future.
    )
    If your drain is in series with other suctions (skimmers excluded) plug them also. If that is the case eliminate the drain branch from the suction manifold(pipes in front of pump) to keep the branch from being used in the future.




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