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Thread: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

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    Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    I live in Atlanta Ga. I have an inground pool. I just bought this house a few months ago. It was a foreclosure and I don't know anything about the previous owner or what was done to the pool.

    When we took the cover off the pool it was like a swamp. Leaves had been rotting in there for a long time. The water level was down about a foot below the the top.

    Before we drained the pool and cleaned it and refilled it, we raised the water level and measured it for 3 days and there was no leak. The
    water went down about 1/2 inch in 3 days, but we figured that was normal evaporation.

    Now that we cleaned it and refilled it, it is leaking, going down about an inch a day. The pool guy helping me says to let it go down and see where it stops and that will be the way to locate the leak. Probably all the debris in the pool before we drained it kept it from leaking. Probably the leak is in one of the input pipes.

    If the leak is in an input pipe it will be fairly expensive to dig down into the ground and fix it, and this brings me to my question:

    Why not run the pipes to and from the pump/filter over the surface of the ground, and down the inside edge of the pool? It would be much
    cheaper and easier, and if it was done right it could look just fine. Is there any reason not to do it this way? Is there any reason you
    have to put the pipes underground?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    Welcome to the forum
    and if it was done right it could look just fine.
    You're kidding, right?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    No I am not kidding. But lets leave that to a question of landscaping. My question is not on appearance, but on how the pipes work. Is there any technical reason they could not be above ground?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    No I am not kidding. But lets leave that to a question of landscaping. My question is not on appearance, but on how the pipes work. Is there any technical reason they could not be above ground?

    Well to be honest, most folks would not find the aesthetically pleasing to run their piping above ground.

    There is no real reason it wouldn't work, but you may want to secure the pipes to the ground, and attach a tee and run several pipes into the pool for the intake separated by enough distance to avoid any risk of an entrapment issue.

    This will also be a huge negative on resale should you decide to resell the house.

    Your skimmers will also be non-functioning.

    I gotta say I wouldn't do this and would find it pretty ugly myself.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    Try turning your pump off and do a bucket test to see if it's the plumbing leaking under pressure.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    Try turning your pump off and do a bucket test to see if it's the plumbing leaking under pressure
    I turned the pump off several days ago when the water level got down to the bottom of the skimmer. It is still leaking an inch a day.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    This will also be a huge negative on resale should you decide to resell the house.

    Your skimmers will also be non-functioning.

    I gotta say I wouldn't do this and would find it pretty ugly myself.
    Those are good things to think about. I bought this house because it was a foreclosure and a really good deal. I didn't particularly want a pool, but it had one. Now that we have uncovered the pool and cleaned it out, it is pretty and I would like to keep it, but I am not rich and am starting to realize how expensive it could be to dig up the ground and put in new pipes.

    The pump had been stolen or removed by the previous owner. At first I felt overwhelmed by the complexity of the whole thing, but when I started working with a good guy who explained to me how it worked, I started to feel more control. The pump was only $300 and all the parts are available online. The thing that makes me feel out of control is the underground pipes. I will have to hire someone to dig up the yard to change those.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    You may not need to dig anything up. Let's try some more trouble shooting first. Do you have a main drain in the bottom of the pool? Does the pool have a vinyl liner or is it a plaster surface? Does the pool have lights? Has the water level leaked below the returns?

    Any pictures you can post of the pool and equipment may be helpful as well.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    It's pretty rare to have to actually replace pipes. Generally speaking, one locates the leak, digs up the affected area, and repairs the pipe. With PVC piping, it's pretty simple to do even major repairs, as it's just a glue-and-assemble deal.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    You may not need to dig anything up. Let's try some more trouble shooting first. Do you have a main drain in the bottom of the pool? Does the pool have a vinyl liner or is it a plaster surface? Does the pool have lights? Has the water level leaked below the returns?
    It is a plaster pool. There is no vinyl liner. There was a main drain at the bottom, but it was sealed up. Maybe it leaked. The way it works now the water only comes through the skimmer to the pump. There are two returns. The water has leaked down even with the higher return. If it is still at that level tomorrow I guess we will know that return is the problem. The pool has a light that doesn't work. The light is below the level of the higher return, but I think above the level of the lower return.

    Thanks for your help.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    Any pictures you can post of the pool and equipment may be helpful as well
    My wife is out of town, and she is the photographer, but I will get her to take pictures when she gets back. What kind of pictures would be helpful?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Diver's Avatar
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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    Why not run the pipes to and from the pump/filter over the surface of the ground, and down the inside edge of the pool? It would be much
    cheaper and easier, and if it was done right it could look just fine. Is there any reason not to do it this way? Is there any reason you
    have to put the pipes underground?
    i'm actually with you on this. aside from aesthetics, i think it's a horrible design to have the pipes incased in the concrete and buried underground with no easy access. but it looks better
    26K In-ground Vinyl Pool | Hayward DE4820/SP0710XR50 filter | 1.125 HP Dual Speed Hayward Super Pump | Aquasol Solar

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    If you look around the forum, there are several threads where people have done that very thing. As said though, don't get in too big a hurry. It may be easier to find and fix than you think.
    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
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    Re: Question on a leak, and running pipes over the ground

    shutting off the pump will slow the leak. turning the pump on will increase the leakage. had this problem recently with a skimmer line. with the skimmer line closed the leak slowed. turned on the leak was worst. we ended up plugging the skimmer line and using the other skimmer stabilizer line which was tied into the main drain line and all is well now. no more leak.

    appearently the previous owner used epoxy to fix the leak in the skimmer line 3 yrs ago. with the addition of an ecostar pump it made the leak worst due to the increased suction in the line.

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