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Thread: My pool leak

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
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    My pool leak

    hi everyone,

    i live in Houston TX and since the end of the summer i realized i might have a small leak in my pool. Initially i thought it was the incredibly hot summer we had, but i am now convinced that i have a leak to the tune of .25" per day.

    what are some of the things i should start looking at to identify the leak? I realized that in houston b/c of our dry weather the foundation of a lot of houses has shifted. could it be that my pipes underneath are broken/busted/etc? the pool was already built when we bought the house, so i am not sure where the pipes run underground.

    Also, looking around the white plaster pool, i don't see any visible cracks or openings inside of the pool.

    any help is appreciated.
    14500 gallon plaster pool (replastered in May 2009) : 32ft.L x 4ft.D x 14ft.W
    Pentair FNS Plus 48 sqft DE filter --> New filter grids as of May 2011. I use DE for them.
    Polaris 280 & Aquabot T-Jet Turbo at 2hrs/week. 20ft by 4ft solar heating panels
    Circupool RJ30 SWG set at 80% output & Pentair SuperFlo 1hp 2speed running 8 hrs/day

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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: My pool leak

    1/4 " daily loss is pretty easily attributed to evaporation. Place a 5 gal bucket filled with water on the steps of your pool. Mark both the current water levels of the bucket and the pool. The next day (or later) see if the bucket has lost the same as the pool. That will tell you if you have a leak or are simply experiencing evaporation.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: My pool leak

    great idea. will give this a shot.
    14500 gallon plaster pool (replastered in May 2009) : 32ft.L x 4ft.D x 14ft.W
    Pentair FNS Plus 48 sqft DE filter --> New filter grids as of May 2011. I use DE for them.
    Polaris 280 & Aquabot T-Jet Turbo at 2hrs/week. 20ft by 4ft solar heating panels
    Circupool RJ30 SWG set at 80% output & Pentair SuperFlo 1hp 2speed running 8 hrs/day

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: My pool leak

    Please let us know how the bucket test works out
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
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    Re: My pool leak

    hi, i had to travel for work, so i just got back.
    I lost 1/4 of an inch in the bucket and 2.5 inches from the pool in about 4 days.

    so there is definetely a leak.
    any ideas on what parts of the pool infrastructure and devices could contribute to this?
    14500 gallon plaster pool (replastered in May 2009) : 32ft.L x 4ft.D x 14ft.W
    Pentair FNS Plus 48 sqft DE filter --> New filter grids as of May 2011. I use DE for them.
    Polaris 280 & Aquabot T-Jet Turbo at 2hrs/week. 20ft by 4ft solar heating panels
    Circupool RJ30 SWG set at 80% output & Pentair SuperFlo 1hp 2speed running 8 hrs/day

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Lershac's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: My pool leak

    Well usually it is around a penetration to the pool structure or in the plumbing itself. Some use the approach of "let it leak until it stops" and the leak is at the level of the water when it stops. Others are more aggressive in finding the leak, using dye in a syringe around fittings, skimmers etc. Be sure to look at your pool equipment pad area. The leak is most likely to be either at the pad or at the pool water envelope. If the ground shifted enough to cause a leak in the piping I would think it would be a big one.

    Just my opnion... ymmv~

    Good luck finding it!

    But you may just have a really thirsty dog?
    (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

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: My pool leak

    There are 2 steps you can now do to help narrow down the source of the leak.

    The easier is to turn the system off for ~12 hours and redo the bucket test. This will show if the system looses more water when 'pressurized' and may or may not be helpful.

    The other thing you can do is plug all the inlet and suction lines, kill the system for ~ 12 hours and redo the bucket test. This will show you if it's a plumbing leak or a leak in the pool vessel itself.

    Without having to call in the local leak detection dudes, that's what you can do to help narrow down the source of your missing water (though, plugging the main drains is awfully difficult without SCUBA gear).

    Let us know the results of any further tests you perform and we'll give our advice.

    [Lershac posted the 'let it flow' advice as I was posting my response, it's a course of action you may want to think about. If you go that route, keep track of the water loss - it will slow as you get closer to the source of the leak )
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: My pool leak

    thanks guys. what is the main drains?

    also, i am not sure i can follow the approach of "let it leak until it stops" because once the water level goes below the skimmer basket level, won't the pump burn out because it won't be getting any water?

    From reading around this, i saw someone in the past recommending to check the pump system on the level that you use to change the flow options (for example recirculate, waste, filter, etc). COuld that have a leak that even when you choose the filter option some water still goes to waste route?
    14500 gallon plaster pool (replastered in May 2009) : 32ft.L x 4ft.D x 14ft.W
    Pentair FNS Plus 48 sqft DE filter --> New filter grids as of May 2011. I use DE for them.
    Polaris 280 & Aquabot T-Jet Turbo at 2hrs/week. 20ft by 4ft solar heating panels
    Circupool RJ30 SWG set at 80% output & Pentair SuperFlo 1hp 2speed running 8 hrs/day

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: My pool leak

    Main drains are the suction in the deepest part of the pool, there are usually 2 of them in the floor.

    There is always the chance that the multiport is bad and dumping water to 'waste' while the system is running.

    Tonight, try the 'kill the system' while doing the bucket test. (this will help identify if the pool looses more water with the system running. - if it doesn't, there is either a problem with the plumbing or the system)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: My pool leak

    just wanted to post a quick reply. i did the test once and the pool did not lose any water when not pressurized. i wanted to try that in 3 different days, but it rained the other night and then i had to travel on business. so i have to wait a few days.

    thanks for the great help as always.
    14500 gallon plaster pool (replastered in May 2009) : 32ft.L x 4ft.D x 14ft.W
    Pentair FNS Plus 48 sqft DE filter --> New filter grids as of May 2011. I use DE for them.
    Polaris 280 & Aquabot T-Jet Turbo at 2hrs/week. 20ft by 4ft solar heating panels
    Circupool RJ30 SWG set at 80% output & Pentair SuperFlo 1hp 2speed running 8 hrs/day

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: My pool leak

    Thanks for the update

    You can certainly retest to confirm the initial findings.

    Sounds like a return side leak (i.e. anything after the pump discharge). With luck it's a bad multiport gasket, without luck, it may be a bad return line .

    Let us know how the second test goes and we'll help narrow the leak down.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: My pool leak

    hi everyone,

    so i redid the test and i am not showing any water loss when the system is not running.
    I have two theories right now.

    either the main drain is the leak source, or the multiport valve.
    I don't have scuba gear, and the water is freezing so i can't plug the main drain. If i were to try to figure out a leak in the multiport valve, anyone have any suggestions?

    One possible options i thought of, is to cut the waste output tube from the multiport and go buy something to insert in there that can open and close it like a faucet. that way i can control it without having to replace the multiport valve completely. doable?
    14500 gallon plaster pool (replastered in May 2009) : 32ft.L x 4ft.D x 14ft.W
    Pentair FNS Plus 48 sqft DE filter --> New filter grids as of May 2011. I use DE for them.
    Polaris 280 & Aquabot T-Jet Turbo at 2hrs/week. 20ft by 4ft solar heating panels
    Circupool RJ30 SWG set at 80% output & Pentair SuperFlo 1hp 2speed running 8 hrs/day

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: My pool leak

    You are narrowing it down nicely

    Your filter backwash should have a 'viewglass'. Unscrew that to see if the water is flowing through the waste line, while the pool is running. If that is inconclusive, you can cut out a section of the pipe and see. ( You can always use an expandable rubber plug to seal it temporarily, if that is the source of the leak)

    Let me know if this is the source and I'll help you make the plumbing on the waste line easier to play with in the future.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: My pool leak

    Did you get to the bottom of this issue as mine sounds pretty similar?

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
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    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    101

    Re: My pool leak

    unfortunately i have not. te problem is that it is raining lately in my area and it is very hard to guage a leak when that happens. the viewglass thing was inconclusive. i did not see a leak from there.
    14500 gallon plaster pool (replastered in May 2009) : 32ft.L x 4ft.D x 14ft.W
    Pentair FNS Plus 48 sqft DE filter --> New filter grids as of May 2011. I use DE for them.
    Polaris 280 & Aquabot T-Jet Turbo at 2hrs/week. 20ft by 4ft solar heating panels
    Circupool RJ30 SWG set at 80% output & Pentair SuperFlo 1hp 2speed running 8 hrs/day

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Location
    South Central NJ
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    3,192

    Re: My pool leak

    A leak in the drain will normally show as air in the pump.

    If you are leaking out the Waste port and have the waste line hard plumbed, put a unioned ball valve on it and close the valve. If the leak stops, you found the problem.

    If the leak continues, a pressure test of the returns is called for.


    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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