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Thread: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair guy

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    Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair guy

    So today I had an equipment repair guy from a reputable company do some repair work on my equipment... a pump motor needed to be fixed and I needed a new multiport valve. He also replaced a couple small pipes around the main pump (one of them into the ground).

    A few hours after he completed the work and left, I had the new pump running when I discovered a lot of water seeping up through the lawn in the area around the concrete over where the skimmer is. This has never happened before.

    I am in touch with the company to get them back out here and help with this problem and I would like to be armed with some knowledge in case they deny any wrongdoing!

    Before and during his repairs, the repair guy had his arm all the way down the skimmer, doing something to that pipe, and he also screwed (and unscrewed?) things from the pool's two inlets. I don't know why, does anyone have a guess what he was doing? My pool's equipment lies at a lower elevation from the pool itself, and I can only guess that he needed to do something to these pipes to cut the water off from flooding him while he worked...? I haven't got a clue, but seeing his arm down the skimmer and now this big leak is a red flag to me. Could something have been knocked out of place underground...?

    I'd appreciate any thoughts, advice, and speculation on how this could have happened.... I am hoping that this is something simple and easily put back to normal but I also need to have some knowledge in my corner if they should claim it's a big coincidence...
    22k gallon
    Sand filter (Triton II TR 100)
    IG tile
    Pentair VS+SVRS pump
    Sundance Chelsee spa

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    I suggest you wait and let them analyze the problem first and then see if it makes sense to you. If it's something they did, I would like to think they will fix it for you.....you should give them that chance.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    Maybe he removed a plug that was blocking off a leaking main drain line that had been sealed off by someone else previously.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    Guys, Would a skimmer leak with the pump on let water seep up in the lawn?.. I would think that would more likely cause air in the pump.

    Dusty,
    Q 1: Is the wet lawn lower than the skimmer water level?
    Q 2: Is there a return or other pressure line near the leak?

    Best of luck,
    John
    "Experience is what you get, just after you needed it."

    Owner DIY build, steel/liner kit, 18x36 Deer Creek, sport depth, approx 17,500 gal,
    Aqua Plus SWG, 1 1/2 hp, 2 speed, 300# sand filter and twin Color logic 4.0s, MX-8 Cleaner.
    My DIY Pool Build

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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    Hi John and all,

    The wet lawn is at the same level as the concrete, which is maybe a few inches above the skimmer's water level, give or take. So no, I don't think the wet lawn is below the water level. It's hard to tell the exact source of the water leak, but it collects all along the edge of the concrete next to the skimmer, soaks in the lawn, and trickles down (there is an incline from the pool down to the house and where the pumps are).

    There is a pool inlet where the Polaris plugs in to one side of the skimmer that's sort of near the wet lawn. But the Polaris has not been running today, so that inlet has not been really active. Another inlet is to the other side, and that area seems dry.

    When the pump is not running, there does not seem to be a noticeable leak. The pump has been off for about five hours now and the concrete where the water was trickling off onto is dry now.

    I had a similar thought to what Racket guessed, that maybe the guy pulled out some old epoxy or something that was plugging an old leak in that skimmer pipe?

    To maybe support this theory, I found a white ring of very thin, plastic-like material floating in the pool after he was finished, which, if you put your hand all the way into the skimmer, exactly fits the circumferance of that skimmer pipe. Obviously this ring can't be stuck back on there now. It seems odd to me though that he would have any reason to yank that out, or not be concerned about doing so?

    Thanks for all the responses so far! Please let me know if anyone has more brainstorms.
    22k gallon
    Sand filter (Triton II TR 100)
    IG tile
    Pentair VS+SVRS pump
    Sundance Chelsee spa

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    One thing to keep in mind sometimes stuff just happens, a number of years ago my family had an RV conversion van that anyone in the family could use for vacations, etc. One year I was going to take it on a summer trip to west Texas, before leaving I wanted to get the air conditioner checked because it was not cooling very well. I took it into a local automotive air conditioner shop, and the guy there said something like let us take a quick look at it, and went to grab his gauges while I was standing there, he opened the hood to hook up the gauges, and before he could touch anything a refrigerant line blew and all the refrigerant was lost out of the air conditioner system. This could have happened at any moment, and was probably pushed over the edge by sitting there for 5 or 10 minutes with the engine idling with little airflow and pressure built up, but in no way was it the fault of the repair person.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    Well, I could really use some advice guys

    Today's update is: the equipment repair guy claims innocence to the leak that showed up a couple hours after he left. He surmised that if the skimmer's pipe was leaking it would be sucking air, not soaking the lawn. It is possible that the nearby inlet is the source of the leak, it is very hard to say. But there is definitely only a noticeable seepage when the pump is running. I've had everything shut off for a couple days, and no evidence of a leak.

    It is my understanding that the guy rubber plugged all the inlets + the skimmer pipe before working on the gear. Is there anything he could have done to create this leak? Yanked those plugs out too hard and dislodged something...? Or done something else while repairing the equipment that would be connected?

    I know that there are coincidences in the life, but I just find it extremely hard to believe that a leak this size that has never happened before would just come out of nowhere a couple hours after he leaves. I am at least hoping that maybe he dislodged some old sealant somewhere that would be easy to replace, but he is not volunteering any information.

    The underground leak detection companies in my area charge $400 just for an evaluation What do you guys think of all this?
    22k gallon
    Sand filter (Triton II TR 100)
    IG tile
    Pentair VS+SVRS pump
    Sundance Chelsee spa

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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    Another small update: I can say with 100% certainty now that the water definitely appears first from under the concrete edge right next to the skimmer. The soil near the inlets is dry. From there it slowly spreads all over the lawn.
    22k gallon
    Sand filter (Triton II TR 100)
    IG tile
    Pentair VS+SVRS pump
    Sundance Chelsee spa

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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    OK, long story short: I've found the leak, by digging.

    It is in the main inlet pipe. It seems to be where the metal pipe connects to the pvc pipe, under the concrete, about 6-7 inches from the inside of the pool.

    I've dug a lot out, but the leak is still originating ahead of me underground and my arms aren't long enough to continue digging without making a pretty serious excavation. So the leak is within the last few inches of pipe from my hole to the outside pool wall.

    My question: is there anything I could do from the swimming pool side, now that I know almost exactly where the leak in the pipe is? Is there a smaller repair pipe that I could slip into the inlet, something like that?

    It seems the only other option would be to go through the concrete above it, which seems like a bummer solution for a pipe leak so close to the inside wall of the pool.
    22k gallon
    Sand filter (Triton II TR 100)
    IG tile
    Pentair VS+SVRS pump
    Sundance Chelsee spa

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    FormerPoolGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Please help -- skimmer leak apparently caused by repair

    Before and during his repairs, the repair guy had his arm all the way down the skimmer, doing something to that pipe, and he also screwed (and unscrewed?) things from the pool's two inlets. I don't know why, does anyone have a guess what he was doing? My pool's equipment lies at a lower elevation from the pool itself, and I can only guess that he needed to do something to these pipes to cut the water off from flooding him while he worked...? I haven't got a clue, but seeing his arm down the skimmer and now this big leak is a red flag to me. Could something have been knocked out of place underground...?
    It sounds to me like he may have been plugging the pipes to do a pressure test. It is possible that during this test the pipe ruptured or separated from the fitting. (Especially if it is older pipe).
    Unfortunately this happens sometimes and it usually happens in the most inconvenient place(s) to repair.

    Good luck!
    Dan
    -----------
    20' x 48" Intex Ultra Frame
    Intex 635t Filter/Pump, Intex SWG (Salt Water Gen) 54601WL

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