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Thread: Leak

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Leak

    Our pool is about 5 months old and has a built in spa with an overflow. I run the pump for 4 hours right around 10am - 2 pm. Within the past week or two I've noticed that in the morning, the spa is low by about 2-3 inches. It never got below freezing here, so I don't expect that is it, especially since I figure I'd see a leak above ground.

    I assumed that I must be having an issue with a valve or a check valve. However, I have isolated the spa from the pool completely. On the inlet side, there are two vavles that would have to fail. On the outlet side, a check valve, 3 way valve AND a 2 way valve would all have to fail. But the spa still dropped a few inches overnight. So I assumed the leak is in the spa body or the lines going from the spa to the equipment.

    Another step I took was that I circulated only the spa water and had all but one spa jet closed so the pressure is around 25 psi on the filter. I figured that if there is a small leak in the return line that it should quicken with the increased pressure. But the spa level did not seem to lower after a couple hours.

    My next step is to double check the return line by shutting off all the spa jets and if the water level still drops then I can be certain that the leak is in the drain lines or the body.

    Luckily my pool is still in warranty, but I really would like to have some good information to provide the PB so he does not waste weeks trying to find the leak. And I'd like to make sure it is not something simple I've overlooked. In the past two weeks, nothing has really changed. The only thing I did was drain the filter and pump a couple times and opened all the valves when I thought it might get below freezing here, but I can't figure how now that all valves are back to normal this could change things.

    Any ideas of what to try next? If I have to plug the drains, I can heat the spa and get in to do that.

    Any other advice
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    UPDATE

    Return lines are good because the water level dropped below them and all checks show them OK.

    I now have the water level just below the light niche (its a small LED that goes in a return line fitting. I'm hoping the cold water temps have just made it shrink enough to let some water get by). If water level continues to drop, then I know the problem is the drain or slight possibility it is the shell near the bottom, although there is no sign of this. If it does not drop, then I can assume it is most likely the light niche.

    Can't think of anything else.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Leak

    Keep investigating as you have been

    The light niche is certainly a good suspect and I would tend to concentrate on that. There is also the possibility that the check valve failed (unless all the other valves you mentioned were turned so as to isolate the spa, the check valve itself could be the lone suspect)

    Please keep us informed on your progress.
    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!)

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Leak

    I was able to shut off other valves such that the check valve alone would not be an issue - ie. It would require the valve and check to both fail. Plus, I've now gotten water level to drain past the returns and significantly below pool level.

    I'm now curious about how the 1.5" pvc line that is used for the light transitions into the conduit. Because no where does that 1.5" line rise above the water level in the spa, so it must have a water tight seal to the conduit. The light going into the pvc does not have an o-ring seal that I can see. I have the Nexxus Savi Melody. In a few hours I will check the WL. If it is OK, and I can suspect the light with certainty, then I'll add a little silicone or thread seal to the light.

    Any issues with silicone or teflon thread seal?
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Leak

    I've now confirmed that it must be in the drain. I'm calling the PB in a few minutes. I actually have a photo I took during the pressure test that shows the pressure on the guague at 5 psi for the drain line and 35 psi for the return jets line. At the time I told the PB about it and he said they can never get the drain ones to hold for 24 hrs. Hopefully since the spa is raised and the drains are only 4 feet deep it should be a relatively easy fix.

    Since the spa is draining all the way down and not stopping, I'm assuming the drain line is leaking at the lowest point. So the long runs that are 2 foot deep back to the pump should be OK.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Leak

    PB is not worried at all. He says that he's never had a line break under the pool and that it is much more likely that it is one of the plugs on the two drains or where the concete meets the drain, which he said was an easy fix. Hopefully I'll have this matter cleared up this week and can avoid seeing backhoes in my yard again.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  7. Back To Top    #7
    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by lborne
    PB is not worried at all. He says that he's never had a line break under the pool and that it is much more likely that it is one of the plugs on the two drains or where the concete meets the drain, which he said was an easy fix. Hopefully I'll have this matter cleared up this week and can avoid seeing backhoes in my yard again.
    Under the circumstances this sounds like good news, indeed.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: Leak

    PB still has not sent anyone out even though I've been calling every day and bugging him. Its so slow right now that he does not have a crew anymore and is relying on contractors. Anyway, I could not wait so I checked the drains myself. Code requires 2 drains for the spa, and it was obvious that on one the plug had a thread seal on it and the other did not. The one that did not was also not threaded tightly as I was able to turn it 2 turns by hand. That stopped most of the leak - from 2-3 inches overnight to about 1/2 of an inch overnight or 1 inch all day. So I think next chance I get I will pull the plug out and put some thread seal on it and see if that completely stops it.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    That would be an easy fix Good luck, let us know if this was the problem
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: Leak

    That sounds very reasonable. However, I'm wondering how you missed the missing water before this

    If it's just a leaky plug in the bottom of one of the drains, you've got it covered

    You did a great job of finding this yourself
    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!)

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    That sounds very reasonable. However, I'm wondering how you missed the missing water before this
    There was really always a very small leak (1/2" per day) but I attributed it to a small leak through the check valve back into the pool. Since I had done a bucket test on the entire pool, I never thought to isolate the spa and check it separately. But then after the cold snap we had here in Florida, I woke one morning to find the spa 3" low.

    The PB thinks the cold somehow made the leak worse. There is no question that the plug was loose. I could easily turn it with a crescent wrench with very little leverage due to the plug being inside the drain bucket. But now I have a good 3/4" drive socket set that will allow me to easily rotate the plug. There is a small chance that there is a small leak elsewhere.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Leak

    lborne, I had a leak with our pool and really did not notice it till about a couple of months after the pool was built and the afternoon rains ceased. I got the PB back out here and they found out that the skimmer was not grouted. After that we have had no more leaks. Not sure if this helps however I know how fustrating it is because I did the bucket test and monitored the pool level for 2 weeks
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Brentr
    lborne, I had a leak with our pool and really did not notice it till about a couple of months after the pool was built and the afternoon rains ceased. I got the PB back out here and they found out that the skimmer was not grouted. After that we have had no more leaks. Not sure if this helps however I know how fustrating it is because I did the bucket test and monitored the pool level for 2 weeks
    Thanks for the info. But I know for sure that THIS leak is with the spa beacuse I'm able to totally isolate the spa from the pool using multiple valves. And the leak continues below the pool level. Not saying the pool could not be leaking, but it is not detectable using the bucket test

    I'll be putting thread seal on the plug this evening and testing overnight again so should know by tomorrow AM.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Leak

    Yesterday evening I drained the spa and put thread seal on the plug and then refilled. An hour later it was down about 1/2". I was about ready to pull my hair out and then I realized I probably had not gotten all the air out of the lines, so I ran the spa in recirculate mode for a while until all the air came out and left it overnight. The level was around 1/8 - 1/4" lower. Hardly noticable. So I'm doing a 24 hr bucket test now to see if I can detect a leak vs evaporation.

    I fully expect the PB to come by today and mess up my bucket test.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Leak

    lborne, it does sound like there is still a leak somewhere, (perhaps the light conduit?)

    You have the opposite fear than I do, I set up the bucket test and the pool owner (or, more likely their kids) messes with it Any way you can catch PB before they mess with your test and tell them what you're doing?

    As I've said, you are doing a GREAT job of tracking this down yourself
    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!)

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    Good job
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    lborne, it does sound like there is still a leak somewhere, (perhaps the light conduit?)
    It could be a leak there but then that would mean I have more than one leak, which is possible. If I leave it alone, the spa will continue to drain past the returns and light, so that is why I've been concentrating on the drains. However, the light is a low voltage LED that fits in a standard return fitting. I noticed that it is just screwed in, so I took it out and put some teflon tape around the threads and put it back. However, I'm not quite sure how the conduit works and think it is supposed to flood.

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    You have the opposite fear than I do, I set up the bucket test and the pool owner (or, more likely their kids) messes with it Any way you can catch PB before they mess with your test and tell them what you're doing?
    He has given the job to a contractor that works for him and that guy could show up any day, although I specifically asked them to call first so I can meeting him at the house. But based on how things worked when the pool was built, I'm fully expecting him to show up with no call first.

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    As I've said, you are doing a GREAT job of tracking this down yourself
    Thanks. I thought this would be easy since my job is keeping submarines from leaking, but I am just not used to these low pressure, low volume leaks.

    Anyway, the bucket test last night showed it still is leaking. So I completely reworked the second drain plug and am now 99% confident the drain plugs will not leak. I also added the tape to the light. I did notice a very small crack on the lip around the drain. It looks like the pebble tek went under the lip and should have sealed it. If it still shows leaking after today, then I will put a bit of putty there to fill the crack and see if that stops the leak. Otherwise, I'm out of options and will leave it to the pool builder.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Leak

    Again, you're doing things correctly by finding and correcting leaks as you find them

    Since you have to keep subs from leaking, I hope you realize that a 'few' gallons of water missing from your spa is NOT of the same seriousness as having 100+ sailors drown

    In your job, you are looking at HUGE pressure violating a submarine - the pressures involved with pool leaks are a LOT less

    I think that you are doing a VERY good job of tracking this down!

    If I (we) can be of further assistance, just post and we'll answer
    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!)

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Leak

    Well, its research submersibles, so max of only 4 people. But 1500 psi.

    I plugged the small crack in the drain and overnight it seemed to still leak a bit. Too close to call, so I'm doing the bucket test all day.

    I finally talked to the contractor that the PB is going to have fix it and he said he won't be out until next week. On the plus side, after talking to him it sounded like he knows his stuff.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Leak - UPDATE

    Finally, 6 weeks after contacting the PB, my leak is fixed - almost. With all the valves shut off, it was leaking around one of the drains. They fixed it and all is well. Except now when the return valve is open the water level is lowering again. I know it is not any plumbing because they checked the pool for leaks too.

    I opened up the spring flapper style check valve and the rubber gasket was mishapen at the top. I compared it to another check valve where the gasket was perfect all the way around. I switched them to see if that was indeed the problem.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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