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Thread: Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

  1. #1
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    Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

    We bought a house with an inground pool with vinyl liner this year. It's been a learning process to understand the chemical balance and care, but I finally got it right. However, the pool is losing water ~1"- 1 1/2" per day. I found leaking (by dye test) around the inlet/return pipe and I want to repair this. What would be the proper sealant to use (caulking or glue?), and any special precautions to take? I noticed the previous sealant is drying and obviously losing the seal, so I think I should remove this as much as possible first before applying new sealant. I asked at the pool store and they didn't have a clue what to use. Just a patch kit, but this won't work because there is no hole! I haven't checked yet, but I also think the sealant between the liner and the steps may be leaking because it is drying and small pieces end up in the pool as we swim. Would there be anything different using sealant there because that will be completely submerged underwater? Thank you in advance.
    Atlanta, GA
    18,000 gallon Inground Gunite
    Cartridge Filters
    Nature 2 Express and Trichlor Feeder (also use bleach)
    Polaris 360 Cleaner
    No heater

  2. #2
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    Coastalish 'down easter'
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    Re: Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Are the faceplates cracked? If so, just replace them, it's easy and can be done with the pool full. Short of being cracked, they don't usually fail. The gaskets are submerged so dry rot isn't very likely and that's about the only thing that will ruin them.

    I'd try a vessel test wherein you plug off all the suction and return ports, mark the water level in the pool ans fill and mark a bucket set on the steps. Leave overnight and compare loss of water in the pool v.s. that in the bucket. This will help identify whether or not the leak is in the plumbing.
    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!)

  3. #3
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    Re: Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

    The faceplates have no obvious signs of cracking. Unfortunately, the pool was emptied for ~2 years by the previous owner, which is from what I understand a big No No. So I guess that means it is a strong possibility it is the gaskets? I see the skimmer faceplate has screws, so I would unscrew and replace plate & gasket? No caulking, glue, etc? It appears like they did this around the edges previously, so maybe this was a hack job to make it temporarily last? Around the return pipe I don't understand as much, the faceplate has no screws and definitely has some type of sealant around it. What would that be? I will try the other leak testing too, to see if any leaks are in the plumbing. How do you plug the return and skimmer? Thank you again, really appreciating this site!
    Atlanta, GA
    18,000 gallon Inground Gunite
    Cartridge Filters
    Nature 2 Express and Trichlor Feeder (also use bleach)
    Polaris 360 Cleaner
    No heater

  4. #4
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    Re: Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

    The skimmer's gaskets are made of ~compressed fiber and are unlikely to fail even if left dry for a while - I'm not saying they can't fail, but I've seen some ancient ones that would still be serviceable (but we replace them anyway, as long as we're in there )

    Try removing the directional eyeballs on the returns, some of them have a cover plate that hides both the screws and the real sealing plate - which still may be cracked. The eyeballs are a 3 piece deal, a retaining ring, which holds the eyeball, the eyeball and the 'seat'.

    Sorry to ask you to do more homework, but we might just be on to something here
    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!)

  5. #5
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    Re: Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

    I will do as much homework as it takes!

    I took pictures because my return does not match the description you gave. I see no cover plate to remove. I think it may be attached by screwing into a piece on the outside of the pool, with the plumbing, but I am not going to touch that unless I have to. Do you see what I mean about sealant/glue around these faceplates? I plan to do the leak test this weekend. Any other things I should check for the water loss?

    Thank you again for hanging in there with me!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Atlanta, GA
    18,000 gallon Inground Gunite
    Cartridge Filters
    Nature 2 Express and Trichlor Feeder (also use bleach)
    Polaris 360 Cleaner
    No heater

  6. #6
    Senior Member X-PertPool's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Exeter, PA
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    Re: Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

    Looks like an ag return with a compression nut to tighten things up. This is an in-ground?
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
    X-Pert Pool on Facebook and @XPertPoolServic on Twitter
    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Re: Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

    Yes, inground but the plumbing is all above ground and exposed.
    Atlanta, GA
    18,000 gallon Inground Gunite
    Cartridge Filters
    Nature 2 Express and Trichlor Feeder (also use bleach)
    Polaris 360 Cleaner
    No heater

  8. #8
    Member
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    Jul 2008
    Location
    Flintstone, GA USA
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    85

    Re: Pool Repair Around Inlet And Skimmer Faceplate

    Quote Originally Posted by nruslen
    I will do as much homework as it takes!

    I took pictures because my return does not match the description you gave. I see no cover plate to remove. I think it may be attached by screwing into a piece on the outside of the pool, with the plumbing, but I am not going to touch that unless I have to. Do you see what I mean about sealant/glue around these faceplates? I plan to do the leak test this weekend. Any other things I should check for the water loss?

    Thank you again for hanging in there with me!
    ************************************************************ **********
    My suggestion on how to find out if the return line or the skimmer is the point of the leak is this:

    Let it set and see at which level the pool stops leaking. Looks like the skimmer and the return outlet re at different levels. If it stops at the return line then it is the return line but if it continues past it and stops at the skimmer at some point then that is where your leak it.
    Tom

    18 x 36 Grecian Polynesian Fiberglass Walls with Concrete bottom - 3 ft to 9 1/2 ft. deep -
    Hayward Variable Speed Super Pump SP2600VS 1 1/2 True HP,Hayward sand filter S200, and Hayward auto clorinator. Hayward 250,000 natural gas heater. PoolKeeper automatic water leveler. Loop Loc Ultra Solid Safety Cover. Hayward Color Logic 12 volt light. Dual Pool Deck Jets.
    Polaris 380 auto cleaner. Trouble Free Test Kit TF-100.

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