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Thread: Pool leak questions

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    Pool leak questions

    Hello,
    We have a new inground gunite pool we just signed off on a few months ago. We found out the water level is dropping around an inch and a half a day. This has been going on for about 3 weeks and our pool contractor hasn't had much of a sense of urgency in getting this fixed. They've sent some people out with a bottle of dye and then someone was out today looking at the skimmers and said they were okay. My question is... what would be a reasonable time frame to get this figured out and fixed? Our contractor keeps giving us the same line that a hole the size of a needle can cause the water level to drop that much in a day and it "takes time" to find out the location of the leak. Meanwhile, we keep having to add additional chemicals to the water because we're refilling it so much. I've researched some professional pool leak specialists who claim they can detect and fix most leaks in an hour or so. BTW, the level drops regardless of the pool pump being on or off. Just would like to get some of your thoughts on if our contractor is doing enough to get this resolved. Thanks Much!
    Spa is used only by my family of 4 people daily with 78F water for swimming and exercising on a underwater bike.
    It is 7'Wx11'Lx4.5'D 1.6 Gallon fiberglass over wood swim-in-place (with a harness) indoor, 1.5-0.5 KW Pump, 1.5" plumbing, 220v heater, Ozone generator, 2x50 sqft cartridge filters, Spa Frog In Filter. There is a mechanically raised 5” thick insulated walk on cover for the whole surface and is closed most of the day when noone is swimming.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Pool leak questions

    Welcome to TFP!

    When you have a relatively slow leak like that, there isn't as much time pressure to find the leak right away as there would be if it was a faster leak. It is also more difficult to find because, for example, there is less water flowing for the dye to track. I certainly think that giving them more than a week, maybe even two, is very reasonable, but that three weeks is definitely starting to get excessive. It really can be a hole the size of a needle, and very tricky to pin down, not that that is any kind of excuse for taking three weeks.

    If you hire someone else it is very unlikely that the builder could be convinced to pay for it. Some of the leak detection services are quite good, but none of them are 100% sure to find the leak. We hear about some tricky leaks sometimes that evade even the best leak detection services. I don't mean to discourage you too much. Almost always they find it with in a couple of hours, or faster, it just isn't 100%.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
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    3,192

    Re: Pool leak questions

    What I haven't heard was if the leak happens with the system turned off, when it is running, or irregardless of whether it is running or not.

    Has a pressure test been done? Has a diver been sent in?

    Places that may leak with a gunite pool:

    Shell: Skimmer mouths where it meets the plaster, Skimmer body crack, drain pot edges, hydrostatic plugs, light conduit, niche edges, return fittings where they meed the plaster, actual settlement crack in the shell and plaster finish.

    Plumbing: If flex pipe was used: Return line puncture, any glue fitting. Solid Pipe Cracked or bad glue fitting.

    Auto Filler : Cracked body.

    Three weeks is too long to have not performed a pressure test. If that doesn't yield results, a diver will be needed. I would be on them like a fly on stink every day. Enough patients. Send them a registered letter voicing you displeasure and informing them you expect to be compensated for the added water, sewer and chemical usage of $XX dollars per day until they fix it per the contract's warranty.

    Scott

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Pool leak questions

    Thanks for the replies. So he is supposedly going to send someone out to do a pressure test next. The two guys they sent out yesterday basically dropped some dye in the skimmers and said "I can't tell if it's doing anything because it's too windy" . I think it has something to do with either the skimmers, or the plumbing coming off the skimmers, because i've never noticed the water level dropping below them. But that is only my newbie opinion.
    Spa is used only by my family of 4 people daily with 78F water for swimming and exercising on a underwater bike.
    It is 7'Wx11'Lx4.5'D 1.6 Gallon fiberglass over wood swim-in-place (with a harness) indoor, 1.5-0.5 KW Pump, 1.5" plumbing, 220v heater, Ozone generator, 2x50 sqft cartridge filters, Spa Frog In Filter. There is a mechanically raised 5” thick insulated walk on cover for the whole surface and is closed most of the day when noone is swimming.

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    Re: Pool leak questions

    So here is the latest. They came out and performed a thorough inspection with the pressure testing, divers, the whole gamut of tests. They found and repaired several small cracks in one of the skimmers, although they said that they were not certain that this is what was causing the leak because they couldn't get the dye to go through there. The only thing they could not test was the weeping wall which is made of stacked rocks and runs the back length of the pool because I guess they could not see under/behind the rocks. So they said that if the leaking continues then it must be coming from there. So here's the kicker. The next morning we went out to find that the spa (raised about 18" above the pool) is leaking and pretty severly (about 5" in a 24 hour period). The PB says he thinks it might be a bad valve and a week later sends someone to look at that. They are stumped, because everything looks OK, but replace one of the valves anyways and nothing. So here we are now about 6 weeks out from when we first reported the pool leak and we still do not know if that is fixed, because supposedly the spa in theory is leaking back into the pool which they say is going out the overflow drain. So this will cover up if there is still a pool leak because the pool now is staying full from the water of the spa going into it. So no resolution on the pool and a severe leak in the spa and my frustration level is about to the breaking point. We are having to fill the spa every day (is leaking regardless of if the pumps are on, off or somewhere in between), our pool maintanence company is just as frustrated because they are having to add a gallon of acid every week when they come out to clean our pool. The back of the yard and the alley is a mess because of the constant mud and water overflow. I have starting resorting to calling our PB every day to bug him (if this is my biggest nightmare, I think it should be his also) but they just do not have the same sense of urgency as we do.
    Spa is used only by my family of 4 people daily with 78F water for swimming and exercising on a underwater bike.
    It is 7'Wx11'Lx4.5'D 1.6 Gallon fiberglass over wood swim-in-place (with a harness) indoor, 1.5-0.5 KW Pump, 1.5" plumbing, 220v heater, Ozone generator, 2x50 sqft cartridge filters, Spa Frog In Filter. There is a mechanically raised 5” thick insulated walk on cover for the whole surface and is closed most of the day when noone is swimming.

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