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?
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.