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Thread: Gunite pool leak help

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    Gunite pool leak help

    I have a question regarding a leak in a gunite pool. I have a 15 X 40 gunite pool that is losing right at an inch a day. The water level stops dropping right at the bottom of the lowest skimmer mouth. The skimmer bucket is still holding water all the way up to the level of the skimmer mouth. My question is with there still being water in the skimmer bucket, does that rule out a plumbing line leak? I would think if there was a leak in the line that all the water would drain out. I also don't have an equalization line. I looked around the skimmer and found no visible cracks and I shot some dye around the mouth and the skimmer bucket and could not tell much because the water is cloudy(can't run the pump because of the water level.) I also checked around the entire pool at the level where the water stops dropping and found no cracks. I had a pool guy come by and take a look and he said he wanted to first pressure test the skimmers and epoxy the pool lights. It did not quite make since because I would think if the lights were leaking the water line would drop to the level of the lights and if it was a leak in the skimmer line then the skimmer bucket would be empty. Just dont want to spend a ton of money for him to tell me that is not where the leak is when common sense is kinda telling me that already. Again all this is with the pump off. Any help would be appreciated.

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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    Welcome to the forum. I am with you completely. Fixing the lights will get you nowhere. Leaks are quite hard to find an even an inch a day can be very subtle and difficult.

    If you have confirmed that it truly does stop at that highest skimmer (are yours really at different levels?) then you can be pretty well assured that's where the leak is.

    Why don't you completely seal off that skimmer (with a plug) and see what it does? That'll further help you narrow it. I'm not quite yet willing to say it CAN'T be the plumbing behind the skimmer but my first reaction is to agree with you.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    It could be the conduit from the light water would stop leaking at that point. Most likely it is not the plumbing for the skimmer, not saying that it isn't just not likely. Do test the line though to rule it out. It is possible that it could have such a small leak that once the water gets below that level that it doesn't have enough force to continue leaking at the inch a day rate.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    Well I put epoxy all around the skimmer where it meets the concrete and it still leaks. I did it to both skimmers. I talked to the pool guy again and he said that if a light was leaking it could stop the water line at the skimmer. That doesn't make sense to me because I would think it would leak all the way down to the light. He said something about it could be leaking down to the water table and stabilizing. Could someone explain? I am filling it up everyday and it leaks at the same rate until it gets to the bottom of he skimmer mouth. Thanks

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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    I am with Swimcmp, if its stopping at the bottom of the skimmer throat , then its a 95 percent chance its leaking in the throat. more so given your skimmer stays full.

    what type of epoxy did you use did you clean the two surfaces well, then when you applied the Epoxy did you smooth is down to make sure you have no gaps?

    you must make a complete U in the throat with the epoxy. and JAM it into the the space whether you see a gap or not.

    the Light theory is the goofiest thing i have heard in a while... given the other info... lights (light conduit) do leak , but that is a last resort guess and when you epoxy the cord its alot of fun if you ever need to pull a new light....

    I hope this helps

    G
    CHANGES AREN'T PERMANENT, BUT CHANGE IS--- Rush-- Tom Sawyer

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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    Pool Wiz -

    I'm curious why you think the light conduit/niche would not be a source for a pool leak (where the conduit enters at the back of the light niche). Would an underwater pool light cord stopper work?

    If lights (light conduit) do leak, shouldn't they be fixed?
    SW FL, 19K IG with spillover & cage, Goldline Pro-Logic PS-8, Hayward Sense & Dispense, Hayward Swim Clear 4025, Hayward Ecostar VS pump, Stenner MA pump, Aquabot, Hayward Aquarite SWG, Palin Pooltest 9, Helicol Solar.

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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    I'm curious why you think the light conduit/niche would not be a source for a pool leak
    I believe pool wiz is saying that the leak stops before it ever gets down to the niche......pretty much eliminating it as a source.....in this particular case.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    No doesn't eliminate it only makes me suspect it more. The cord stops cost around maybe $5 put them in. Had a concrete crew drive a form stake through conduit, didn't say anything about it poured the deck. The pool leaked down to between skimmers and returns. I put cord stoppers in and it quit leaking. For the cost of the stopper try it.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    I used the epoxy bond 2part epoxy that comes in the blue and white tubes. When I put it on there I did one side then the bottom then the other side. It was not one continuous string. I didn't really smash it in there but I did feather the sides and I felt like it was sealed. I guess I am going to have to drain the pool and get some clear water in there to really see the dye and dye test it again. If it is still leaking from that point should I chip all of that putty away or just putty over that. Thanks for all the help

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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    Before you drain try the cord stopper cheaper than draining and filling plus you can eliminate the cord conduit that way. Had a concrete crew drive a concrete stake thru a conduit once. They didn't tell anyone took two weeks of thinking it was a skimmer leaking finally tried the cord stopper and that cured it.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    I was referring to the situation stated here, I did say Nitch in particular ... since the leak stopped at the exact bottom of skim throat.... I had not heard of steaks being driven so i did not even consider it.

    I see so many times when people attempt to replace repair the hard stuff first , only to realize that it was something very simple ... I prefer to eliminate the obvious and then go from there.

    I would remove the patch that you did not jam in the gap, as long as you don't have to use a hammer to get it out , if its not on very well it will come off easy. make sure your surfaces are clean ( they don't need to be dry for the stuff you are using) use brass wire brush to clean it up then make sure parts ( blue and white epoxy parts) are as equal as possible. make sure it all turns one color when kneading it in your hands.... make enough so when you are finished you have a piece and you can make sure it turns hard without having to poke at patch....

    I know we all have our past experiences , and they may drive us to check that first ... but every situation is different ... that's what makes this industry so great and fun

    G
    CHANGES AREN'T PERMANENT, BUT CHANGE IS--- Rush-- Tom Sawyer

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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    True every situation is different but I have seen many light conduits leak due to freeze and thaw here in Missouri so I have learned that a cord stop is sometimes a pretty cheap test. If it doesn't fix the problem you have eliminated one possible leak without spending a fortune or detracting from the appearance of the pool.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    i guess its just a location difference, we dont have the deep ground freeze here in Bay area CA..... so i will bow to your knowledge in that area Swimcmp
    CHANGES AREN'T PERMANENT, BUT CHANGE IS--- Rush-- Tom Sawyer

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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    17 driver I hope you're still with us after that little exchange between swimcmp & Gandalf. They're just trying to help.

    Here's a thought, What happens if you seal the opening of the skimmers well with duct tape or a aqua door does the water still leak down to the level of the skimmer throat?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    Quote Originally Posted by 17driver
    Well I put epoxy all around the skimmer where it meets the concrete and it still leaks. I did it to both skimmers. I talked to the pool guy again and he said that if a light was leaking it could stop the water line at the skimmer. That doesn't make sense to me because I would think it would leak all the way down to the light. He said something about it could be leaking down to the water table and stabilizing. Could someone explain? I am filling it up everyday and it leaks at the same rate until it gets to the bottom of he skimmer mouth. Thanks
    I'm interested to hear more about the "water table" reasoning. My pool leaks about a 1/2" per day, through rainy, cool calm days, until it stops about 2" above the light and the jets, and 3" below the skimmer intake. I don't see any cracks in the pool, and am wondering about the water table reasoning myself, and what can be done.

    Thanks,
    Newbie to the board
    20x40 inground gunnite ~35,000 gallon pool. 20+ years old
    No heater, two returns, one filter
    Buffalo, NY has too short of a swim season to deal with this dang pool!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    It boils down to, if for instance, you have a leak in the bottom of your pool but your water table in the ground is half way up the pool wall the pool will only leak down to the level of the water table. Because that's where the level inside the pool equalizes with the water outside the pool.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Gunite pool leak help

    Interesting thread as I was just dealing with a leak myself. Noticed just this week that I was losing about 1" a day on my Gunite in-ground pool. I figured it was the hydrostatic valves at the bottom of my pool as I they always pop open (and stay open) in the spring. Couldn't figure out why that would happen the middle of the summer, but never had any other problems with the pool (4 years young)

    Anyway, had a diver come out to replace the plastic valves with heavy brass ones. Turned out not the problem but a leak developed around the pool lights (how does that happen??). My pool dropped about 1 inch a day until it got below the skimmer, but then the leaking slowed down. I didn't really measure / watch the rate, but it definitely was less than 1" a day.

    All this happened today, so I can't for sure say if that's the only problem. I now have to fill the pool back up and watch the level. Maybe something else is going on. But maybe there is credence to the theory that the water does not go to the level of the lights.
    24000 gallon Gunnite Pool
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