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Thread: Houston...we have a leak

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    Houston...we have a leak

    We installed the pool last October as we got a considerable discount because of the lack of interest in putting a pool in during the fall. The pool is a 20x38 kidney IG Vinyl. Over the winter, I suspected a leak as I lost 6" of water from time they closed and sealed (thick black winter blanket..no mesh) the pool till the time they came and opened it in the spring. I typically do this work myself but they insisted as the pool was new and it was included in the price.

    So we opened the pool on May 18th and I had to add water twice in the first two weeks...which was strange as we had rain several days both weeks and, in the past with other pools, I can count on one hand how many times I had to add water in the early summer months. I check the pool every morning and evening so Friday morning, I notice it's low again but in the evening I hear it sucking air down the skimmers. I have bottom drains so I switched the valves and am pulling 100% of water from the bottom drains. I then add 4" of water to bring it back to proper level and call the PB. He said it might be evaporation but they would send someone out to check it in...

    In the mean time, I noticed that since I filled the pool again and had the valve off for the skimmers, the rate of loss seems to have slowed dramatically...but not stopped. I then decided to get out my gizzmo's and plug the skimmer pipes..and poof...the leak is stopped.

    Now the pool is only a few months old..the skimmer pipes are all 4' underground and completely in concrete the entire distance from the skimmers to the pump.

    I know it is their job to fix but what should I be expecting from this repair? I have been reading that there is a magic solution that they can pour into pipes to stop leaks but I don't feel that is sufficient to "repair" pipes in a 5 month old pool. Will they excavate and replace the pipes? Has anyone else had this problem? I live in PA so the ground does freeze down 12-16" so I'm wondering if they didn't winterize properly or one of the gizmo's leaked.

    Other interesting note, with the skimmer valves shut off and the gizzmo's installed, I am still getting air bubbles from the returns when pulling 100% of water from the main drains. Should I expect a 2nd leak or just bypass from the valve and gizzmo's?

    They are coming out tomorrow so I'll keep everyone posted.
    ___________________________________________
    20x38 Kidney IG vinyl, Intelliflow VS pump, Cart Filt.

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    Re: Houston...we have a leak

    Certainly, they should fix the leak. Rather than get too far ahead of them and speculate, I would suggest yuo listen to what they propose but don't agree to it on the spot....just mull it over for a while and perhaps post back up their proposal.

    I'm Curious. How much water were you losing daily prior to plugging the skimmers?

    How much daily are you losing now?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Houston...we have a leak

    Before attempting to find the leak, the leak seemed to be getting worse. I would say that I suspected about an inch per day since we opened the pool. On Friday, I was losing 3" per 10 hours.

    Since I am responsible for all water, I was determined to find the leak and plug it as I didn't want to have to pay to refill the pool if the leak wasn't in the pool itself.

    Now that I have the skimmer's plugged with Gizzmo's, I still think I am losing water as it appears I lost 1/4" over night but that is nothing compared to what I was losing before inserting the Gizzmo's.

    I am speculating that the leak is at the junction where the skimmer attaches to the verticle piping as that is in earth and not encased in concrete. Have a hard time believing the horizontal flex PVC would break and leak that much when it is encased in concrete.

    I am a "fix it" guy by nature but I will take your suggestion to listen instead of giving my options...
    ___________________________________________
    20x38 Kidney IG vinyl, Intelliflow VS pump, Cart Filt.

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    Re: Houston...we have a leak

    Well, that all makes good sense. The 1/4" per day is the average for exaporation loss so it sounds to me like you have got it identified.

    Likewise, your idea that it is in or around the skimmer not only makes good sense but, statstically, that's probably the most likely place to find them.

    I bet they'll be able to offer a good, permanent fix for you that you can live with. Please keep us posted.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Houston...we have a leak

    Just wanted to follow up with the resolution: Even though I was convinced it was in the skimmer plumbing, the leak was found in the floor of the shallow end. The seam had separated on a three inch section which was causing the water loss. We have no explanation as to why closing the skimmers off stopped the leak but I'm sure there is physics involved.

    PB was out and patched the hole using spare liner pieces. They then very willingly agreed to replace the liner and cover the cost of water (even though the legal info on the contract says that is my responsibility). They also gave me the option of doing it now or waiting till the fall so we don't have to worry about getting the water temp back up.

    Kudos to Valley Pools Inc of Middletown PA. Job well done!
    ___________________________________________
    20x38 Kidney IG vinyl, Intelliflow VS pump, Cart Filt.

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