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Thread: Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

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    Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

    I have had a slow leak in my pool for the last three years since I bought my house, and I am about 90% sure that the leak is in my underground pipes (covered by rediculously thick old 4x4 ft panels of old concrete which I tried lifting up to no avail). I have been doing the bucket test with the filter 1/2 off and half on and so far I noticed that I
    1. definitely lose more water than evap (1 mm loss in bucket compared to over 1 cm loss outside of bucket in a 24hr period)
    2. definitely lose more water when the pump is running.

    3. The pool holds water during the winter (when closed) over the point where the plugged skimmer, plugged returns, and light, are so I do not think it has to do with the shell.

    I did a makeshift caulking job of the old single skimmer two years ago because there was some leaking from that, but my repair seems okay, so I have basically ruled that out (for the bulk of the leak at least).

    I just had a new filter pump and multiport installed (I thought that might solve the problem if there was any backwash line leakage because of possible spider valve, etc. and, my backwash line runs underground to the street which makes it hard to see any leakage because I believe that there may be a break underground in that pipe somewhere before the end of the pipe, so if there was a leak out of that...I would probably nver know.

    Anyway....I think my next step would be to call pool company or American leak detection.
    I have been constantly filling the pool with water for the past 3 years and the leak is slow enough that I think (or hope) no damage will be done...but I am just getting sick of cold fill water and a higher water bill.

    My real question is though...would there be a way to fix an underground pipe leak without having to lift up these rediculously heavy slabs of concrete. Eventually I plan on replacing the pipes altogether, and replacing the concrete with pavers but not $$$ yet.
    Sharkline 54 matrix 15 x 26
    Pentair Clean & Clear 150SF Filter with 1-1/2 hp 2 speed Optiflow Pump

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    Join Date
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    Denton, TX
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    Re: Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

    Sorry to hear that you are having these problems. Unfortunately, I don't really see any way to fix a leak in your pipe circuit without exposing the area that is leaking.

    A leak detection service can identify where the leak is, but you still won't know what has resulted in the leak without seeing it. A camera can be run through the pipe (costs $$$) and give good visualization of the problem, but then you will still need access to it to fix it. Sometimes, you can have a fracture of the pipe from roots, freeze-thaw cycle, or soil shifting. You may also have a joint that has slipped out. Hard to say.

    It would be nice to be able to squirt some Fix-a-Flat in there and call it good, but it can't work that way. You need to consider what will cost you more money in the long run, identifying and fixing the problem or paying outrageous water bills.

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    Re: Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

    I was a plumber for about 10 years, not any more though. I honestly cannot think of any camera that would fit in a pipe under 3 inches. Even if it would fit in a 2", I seriously doubt it would go through a bend. About the only thing to do is segment test with pressure, either a stack test with water, or air pressure, both of which would require that you cut into the lines somehow to put test plugs in. Once you determine the line that is leaking, Go for the bends first, if that fails, dig up the whole pipe.

    As for lifting the concrete, is it something that can have some ramset anchorments drilled into it, some eyebolts screwed in, and just lift it out with a 4 way chain and a mini excavator? Then you can just put them back.
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

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    Join Date
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    Re: Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

    Quote Originally Posted by sevver
    I honestly cannot think of any camera that would fit in a pipe under 3 inches. Even if it would fit in a 2", I seriously doubt it would go through a bend.
    Yeah, I guess that the household waste lines are larger. The fiberoptics probably couldn't handle making turns at those angles. Learn something new every day.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

    thanks for the replies,

    I guess I will have to rip up the concrete sooner rather than later. It looks terrible anyway and the pipes are old Circa 1970. For now I will just try to run the pump for the minimum amount of time needed to keep the water clear.
    Sharkline 54 matrix 15 x 26
    Pentair Clean & Clear 150SF Filter with 1-1/2 hp 2 speed Optiflow Pump

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    Join Date
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    Re: Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

    You can always tunnel under the deck as long as the returns are ~ center of the slabs.

    It's not a lot of fun, but should only take a couple hours and no need to cut the crete Once the pipe is exposed, plug the line and force some water into the pipe to help show you where the leak is
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

    Eureka!

    I may have found the problem (or at least one of them). Under the small wooden part of my pool deck before the concrete starts, I lifted up a couple of panels and found some of the flexible clear tubing that was makeshiftly (if thats a word )installed as return line to be leaking about one or two drips per second. A slow leak where the pipes are clamped together with a ss clamp...( I really need a new piping job)..., which I will shore up...I will let everyone know in a few days if this is the problem...not sure if 1-2 drips per second is the main leak...but you never know??? I heard the previous owner was a real "do-it-yourselfer" meaning he never paid professionals to do anything, and he lifted the concrete himself and "fixed" the pipes.

    thanks again waste, 257 and sever
    Sharkline 54 matrix 15 x 26
    Pentair Clean & Clear 150SF Filter with 1-1/2 hp 2 speed Optiflow Pump

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Morris, IL
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    477

    Re: Anyway to fix a leak in the undrgrd pipes wthout conc remvl?

    On a side note, whenever we would tunnel anything, we would order a truck of LSM to backfill with. Liquid Sand Mix. It came in a concrete truck, you could request it with or without a bit of mortar mixed in. Basically just super saturated running sand, fill the hole, the wetness seeks its own level, and fills all voids, the action of the water draining out of the sand compacts it. You could probably do it on your own just dumping sand in the hole while the hose is running.
    steve

    Above Ground / 18' Round / Vinyl Liner / Sand Filter / 100K Gas Heater / Salt Added / No Nature2

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