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Thread: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

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    Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Thought we had taken care of our leak earlier this summer when we found a hole in our liner and patched it. I have verified that the patch is holding but we are still losing water beyond evaporation. I have a fancy leak detector bucket that verifies this although we definitely lose more during the day when the pump is running than we do overnight. Total is a little over 1/2 inch per day which isn't a huge amount but does require an 1100 or 1200 gallon fill every six or seven days to keep the skimmers functioning. As far as leak detection in pool school...I see how I can plug inlets and outlets in the pool vessel with the exception of the main drain so I have these questions:
    1. If the idea is to isolate the pool vessel, can't I do that with valves on the return side or is it possible for water to flow backward in the line from the pool?
    2. With plugs, I see how I can plug skimmers, returns and vac lines but I am not sure how I would plug the main drain (two inlets with covers into one line back to pad). Even if there is a normal fitting under the covers, the water is getting pretty cold pretty fast and I am a wimp.

    Leak detection service will not guarantee they can find a leak less than 1" per day but they guarantee they will cash your $400 check anyway. Any ideas on how to approach this one??

    Thanks!!
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

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    Guest

    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Before you plug everything off and check it that way, have you tried a dye test? That might save you some time and effort.

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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Yes...I was in the pool last week with a syringe and dye. Didn't find the culprit. I am told that some people do not consider adding water once a week to be out of the norm but I don't recall using as much water last year. Have also heard that once you have a confirmed leak, you become hypersensitive to the water level and maybe that is the case here. Lots of variables (especially the 13 zone sprinkler system) but the First summer (June-August) we had the pool we used 150K gallons, second was down to 131K and this summer was up to 155K. Even the biggest difference only amounts to 8,000 gallons/month and we had a pretty hot summer. Maybe I am looking for something so small that I will never find it or maybe instead of a single big leak I have several small leaks that add up. I think I will check levels without the pump running over 24 hours and then running to see what I get. Then I can move to the plugs. Anyone have a different approach they would suggest?
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Guest

    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    See if you can find someone with a set of "hydrophones" that you can borrow. Shut everything down and see if you can hear anything that way.

    8,000 gallons a month difference is "only" about 270 gallons a day. Evaporation and a hot summer, creating a need for more watering, could feasibly create that change.

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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Thanks for the reply. I attribute most of the jump in water usage this past month to the sprinkler system. When I got my water bill and saw how much water we used, I immediately thought the reading was wrong. But doing some checks, I foun that the pool fill added around 1100 gallons but the sprinkler system....that thing really uses water in a hurry! Don't really have a source for hydrophones but I will ask around. I set up a bucket test last night with the pump off so I am intereste to see what I get tonight.
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    If the bucket test shows a leak, I'd suggest plugging the inlets and outlets at the pool and closing the main drain at the pad and running the bucket test again. That will isolate all the plumbing except the MD. If it's still leaking, then it's either the shell or the MD. You can plug the MD but it requires some diving and creative plugging.

    Since you think it leaks more with the pump running than with it off I suspect a discharge side leak. Have you checked the waste line to see if it's leaking water? A leaking multiport valve will leak a good amount of water over the period of a month.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Bama...thanks for the reply and input. I am hoping over the next couple of days that the bucket test with pump on and off will confirm which loses more. Local pool company also mentioned waste line but mine is open on the pad. I connect pvc pipes to backwash and then store the pieces until needed again. Leak would be easy to see and I have not noticed any water on the equipment pad. Local pool company also says that main drain can be blown out with air through the skimmers and then the valve shut off at the pad. They claim that the air will not let the water back in the pipe and that is how they winterize as well. Ever heard of that???? Just wondering but I doubt I have the right equipment for that. I have returns on my steps and swim out and they tell me that they are notorious for leaking kind of like lights. So many possibilities that it would probably be pretty easy for several small leaks to add up to what I am losig. Still drives us freaking crazy Plugging inlets and outlets is next test in the que. Thanks again!!!!!!!!!
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    The problem with trying to fill the MD with air is that if it's the place of the leak the air will just leak out followed by the water, so you won't have solved anything. I don't however, suspect the MD as the problem.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Bucket test wth pump off for 24 hours showed little or no water loss. Test with pump running is not complete yet but overnight there is a good amount of water loss. My fancy detector relates readings on a float to gallons of water but what started as a 10 reading last night, was an 8 this morning. Anyone care to share what this means to them? Is there any point in plugging inlets and outlets since I didn't lose any water wth the pump off? Am I feeding an underground river and don't realize it??????
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Your description ceertainly sounds like a discharge side leak that doesn't leak without pressure from the pump applied.

    The good news is that it doesn't look like it's the liner leaking.

    If you care to do a little more troubleshooting you can plug and valve off the returns one at a time if that's possible and run the pump and see which one is leaking. If it's not possible to isolate the returns (or if you only have one) you can disconnect and them/it from the filter discharge, plug them/it in the pool and run a hose from the filter to the pool. Then run the pump to see if you still lose water. If you don't you'll know it's a break in the discharge plumbing.

    Keep in mind that 90% of plumbing leaks are above ground.

    I'd like to see a pic of that fancy leak detection bucket you speak of!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    I have three discharge valves but they can only be isolated so far.....1) two return jets on steps. 2) two return jets on swim out. 3) six wall returns. So if I understand your suggestion, I would close the step valve and plug the two returns. Run the test again and see what I get repeating for the other two valves/returns. That makes sense but the only problem is that 99% of the plumbing between the returns and the valves are under concrete or dirt Yikes!!!!!! Local pool store suggested that pump may be leaking a bit and heat from the pump evaporates the water before it hits the equipment pad. Not sure I buy that one but they said I would be surprised at how much water I could lose like that. That much they are right about...I would be surprised!

    I'll go one better on the fancy leak detector. Here is the link:
    http://www.checkaleak.com/

    I am not advertising on their behalf
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

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    Could this be the culprit? How can I fix it????

    Apparently I was.....wrong......about a leak on the pad. I noticed a leak today on the top fitting of my pump and it has probably been there for a while. It's not a bunch of water, but there was a water trail around the pump and down by the drain plug ending in a small puddle on the base. There is also a ring with some salt residue on the pad under the pump. Could this possibly be the source of my problem? Certainly isn't adding water to the pool. I have included some pics and now I am wondering how to fix this. PB didn't seem to plumb it with easy repairs in mind. Any suggestions? I certainly want to eliminate the obvious before I get much further into this!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    I can't see what's above that threaded adapter bu if it's straight pipe I'd cut it and add a union so I could repair the leak.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    I guess knowing what was above the pump would have helped. It is a straight pipe about 2 ft long so plenty of room to add a union. What do they use to seal at the pump? It looks like silicone. Hopefully it isn't glued!
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Most of the time it's silicone caulking. You just need to remove it and clean the threads real well before reassembling it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Finally got around to fixing the leak at the pump and of course...I made it worse I used teflon tape and then sealed between pump and fitting with silicone and let it sit overnight. This morning when I fired up the pump, I had a steady drip getting through the silicone. So....what did I do wrong? Went to buy new fittings and the guy at Lowe's told me to use thread sealant that is made for PVC. Is there any reason why I shouldn't?
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    The thread sealant didn't work either so I am 0 for 2. Any ideas why I can't get this to stop leaking? By the way....we are talking slow annoying leak...not a gusher. Thanks!
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    If you used teflon tape and silicone caulking that's your problem.

    You need to clean the fittings spotless and then either use silicone sealant and let it cure at least a day (24hrs) or more if it's cool or teflon based pipe sealant.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    Hmmm....teflon tape & silicone caulking was the first failure and only let the silicone sit overnight. However, I didn't put the silicone on the threads. I only used the tape on the threads and then put a silicone bead between the top of the pump housing and the bottom of the threaded fitting. Was I supposed to actually put the silicone on the threads?

    As for the pipe sealant, I used something that is PTFE enriched but it doesn't say teflon anywhere. It says it is for PVC (among other things) and good for pressures up to 10K psi. Was thinking it should handle 15 psi just fine Looks like I am heading back to Lowes for more fittings so I was wondering if you have a preference on how to connect to the pump housing? The fittings are pretty cheap but the frustration.....priceless!

    Thanks for the help!
    inground liner Grecian "L"
    26000 gallons
    1 HP whisperflo, TA100 sand filter
    Autopilot digital SWG, SC-60 cell
    Hayward Colorlogic LED lights

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question about following "leak detection" in pool school????

    PTFE is Teflon.

    I would clean the male and female threaded parts spotless and then try the pipe sealant again. Don't be shy using it. Also while you have it apart, inspect the pump outlet and the male threaded adapter very closely to make sure there isn't a crack. The paste pipe sealant should seal it off and not drip.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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