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Thread: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

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    Diver's Avatar
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    this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    This is my first season owning the pool. June was pretty rainy in New England and I had plenty of water in my pool. Beginning of July was hot and dry and I noticed that I lose more water then I thought I should.

    I did a bucket test and it confirmed my suspicions - i have a slow leak. My bucket lost about 5mm in 24 hours span and the pool lost about 9mm. However the pool is 80% covered with solar blanket, so i think it's about 7 mm is pure leak loss. There is now significant difference between the time when the pump is on and when it's off.

    7mm in my pool is about 133 gallons. That's for 24 hours, or 5.56 gallon per hour.

    Well, I decided to do the dye test. Nothing out of waste line on the multiport. I was hoping for simple stuff - the light, return fittings, etc. They all turned out clear. no visible rips in the liner. MD seems to be ok too (as much as i can tell by trying to stay under water while doing the test). However skimmer seems to be leaking. Nothing significant, but i'm pretty sure the water is drawn into the suction line. Below is the video i shot of my test. i know it's kinda dark, but i think you can see the dye drift.

    i don't have air in the pump during regular pump operation, but do have some on start up. i thought it was water outgassing when the pressure drops, but maybe it's this leak.

    i plugged the gizmo into the skimmer to see if the level in the gizmo would drop. i did, but just a tiny bit (if any). In an hour it seems that i dropped maybe a 1/3-1/2 of an inch. With the leak rate of being 5.56 per minute, it should've been dry by now. Is my test inaccurate?

    Should i keep looking for other leaks? Drain below the returns and skimmer and see if it holds?

    [youtube:vt7h60i0]MSjgzWUFn9s[/youtube:vt7h60i0]

    The gizmo o-ring was in bad shape. I suspect that the water might've came in during winter and cracked the pipe. It looks like the old owner might have had problems with skimmer line in the past since the concrete around the skimmer is different.

    The replacement for the suction pipe doesn't seem to be to bad. It looks like the line goes under mostly dirt and the only concrete piece that covers it is different and could be easily broken down.

    I would replace it with 2" pipe too

    So what do you think? i'm going to do the overnight test with the skimmer plugged and see if i lose any less. Otherwise, short of dropping the level below the returns, skimmer and light (maybe a foot overall), i think i would need a leak detector service.

    Money wise it cost me about $1.12 per day in water loss.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    You seem somewhat mechanical. If you have an air compressor you might want to try a pressure test on the skimmer line. I never recommend using the skimmer valve as a plug but you can try it. Glue a 12-16" piece of 1.5" pipe into a threaded male adapter and screw it into the skimmer. Attach a tee. On one port of the tee get a slip bushings and bush down to the thread size of a pressure gauge. Do the same for the other port but connect a brass ball valve to an air tool fitting. Hook up your air hose, pump full of 10-15 psi and then close valve. Check your connection in skimmer for bubbles, then wait. If the pressure falls you have a leak.
    "When your pool is sick, call the doctor, I make house calls"
    One stop pool shop, I do everything but install them. 9+ years of experience.

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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    AquaDoctorLLC,

    While I like a good test, right now it doesn't seem to be justified. The "leak" i thought i had in the suction line from skimmer turned out to be negligible or even non-existing. i retest with the dye one more time and it was nothing.

    i plugged the skimmer overnight with the winterizing plug and there was no visible effect on the water loss. So next night i plugged all the return lines and the skimmer and still there was not much effect on the loss: 2mm in the bucket and 4 mm in the pool with 80% solar cover.

    so at this point i will test/retest the following:

    1. stairs. i did a quick dye test on the line where stairs meet the liner and i want to do a more thorough one.

    2. the light. i did the die test with not much result, this time i will take the light out and do the test in the light cavity. i assume i need to unscrew the outer ring to remove the light?

    3. MD. again i did a die test, but it was somewhat difficult to stay put while not trying to surface back up. i will need to fashion some kind of a weight that i can hold on to while doing the test. any suggestions are welcome. i might also plug it with expanding rubber plug overnight or even longer and see that makes any difference.

    4. at this point it's either skimmer somewhere or liner. i might let the water drop below the returns/skimmer to see if i get anywhere. the light is not that far from that level, but i'm not sure if i let it drop that far.

    5. liner inspection. i guess i would have to go real slow and thorough and see if i can spot anything.

    if i arrive here with no results then it's either call leak detectors or see if the price of the leak detectors amortized over the remaining liner life is greater then money i have to cough up for extra water. the later could be smaller and with enough rain in new england i might just suck it up until a new liner.

    so that's my plan. please let me know if you have some good ideas or if there are some holes in my plan hopefully there are no holes in my liner
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    Holy MACKEREL. I feel like I have a doppleganger.

    I've been fighting the same leak issues the last 3 weeks. Prior to 3 weeks ago, everything was cool. Now I have a 2 inch per day leak.

    I don't want to hijack your thread, so I'll start my own. But I made a couple breakthroughs about 20 minutes ago. Maybe it will help, maybe it wont. Maybe you or someone else can see something I'm not. I'll post a new thread now.
    Rectangular Vinyl lined in ground, 16x32, circa 1990, Hayward DE4820 filter, 1 hp Hayward Superflo, 1987 Calspa

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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    well, i removed a light and beyond bunch of cr*p that floated out of niche i found no leak. so adventure continues.

    some stuff that floated out was some yellowish chunks. i hope it's not yellow algae. since i haven't experienced any algae yet, i don't really know ...
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    well, i did more dye testing and not much luck. i'm pretty sure that both suction lines and two out of three returns have a tiny leak. i know multiple tiny leaks might add up, but i'm thinking it's not my main problem.

    the water has dropped almost past the skimmer (running on MD now) and approaching the returns. soon it will drop below and i would have 3 possible sources of the leak left:

    the light
    MD
    liner

    i tested the light twice and it seemed ok. when i get the water up, i will plug the MD from the pool side to test it (i did the dye test with no results).

    so that kinda leaves the liner. i inspected as much and as careful as i could and didn't find anything obvious. i did the dye test anywhere suspicious. but i noticed yesterday that in one spot (3'x3') on a shallow end the liner is loose - i can move the wrinkles around a bit. so now i wonder if i have a leak somewhere around that area and i got some water under liner that allows it to move a bit. i got a bit less water and the shallow end now is 3.5' instead of 4' - not sure if that made the liner a bit floaty...
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    I had a tough to find leak 2 years ago. Turned out to be a bad glue joint on my return line, a 90 elbow, right at the return. So, the only time I was losing water was when the pump was running.

    I found it by plugging the returns then doing an air pressure test from the pump pad. You could actually hear the air coming through the bad joint (first time I heard it I thought I was crazy). Had to cut the concrete, dig up the area and put a new return fitting in (I broke the old one). PITA for sure.

    There were quite a few folks that said you don't get leaks in return lines. I think mine happened when the pump was turned on before the winter plugs were taking off (I'm *REALLY* careful about that now). The joint was probably a bit iffy and just blew out.

    Hope you find it soon, it is a real bummer to watch the water level drop...
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    tphaggerty,

    thanks for your response. i don't seem to lose more water when the pump is on. i also plugged all returns and skimmer overnight and it didn't seem to make much difference. my water will drop below the returns soon, so that would take them out of the equation soon.

    hopefully i will have some good updates soon.
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    I plugged my returns as well, but that didn't help figure out the problem because I wasn't running the pump. There was almost no leakage from the break when the pump wasn't running, only when the pump was running did it force water out of the bad joint.

    I literally tried everything else before I tested the returns using air pressure. Just keep it in mind if nothing else seems to work.... I guess another way to test would be to do an overnight bucket test with the pump running and then another *without* the pump running.
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: this is not my leak, is it (video and pics)

    i've been running bucket test for almost 2 weeks non stop. i run my pump for 6-7 hours during day. i lose the same amount of water when the pump is running, when it's not and when the returns are plugged, so it doesn't seem like returns/suction lines are the issue. but it would be even more clear when the water is below the returns. if my leaks are in the lines then i should lose the same amount of water in the pool and in the bucket.

    hopefully in a few days i will get the results.
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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