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Thread: new pool owner, pool losing water, please help!!

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    new pool owner, pool losing water, please help!!

    We bot a home in mid april that has an in-ground pool. the pool is 20' x 40' and runs from ~3' deep to ~8' deep. It has (I believe) a solid piece fiber glass liner.

    The filter is a big Hayward DE3600, the pump is also hayward. The filter assembly is equipped with a Vari-Flo valve and a chlorinator.

    There are two inlets, one from the skimmer and one from the master drain. There is one return that T's somewhere underground and connects to two jets. Approx 25' from the pump house, there is a "Main Drain Valve". It is about 2' underground and enclosed in 3in pipe. There is a lid on the pipe, but it has a hole in it and there is some water and debris in the area of the valve".

    Upon firing up the pump for the first time and letting it run, the water level decreased noticeably. I inspected the pump area because everything was wet and appeared to be leaking. I took things apart one at a time:

    Vari-Flo Valve assembly:
    "spider" gasket and lid gasket replaced and lubricated
    Lid replaced

    Filter:
    Drain plug replaced

    Chlorinator:
    Drain bolt replaced

    The pump runs like a Ferrari and the pump house is now bone dry. I thought I had solved the problem and was pretty proud of myself. I let it run overnight.

    The next morning, the water level was about 1-2' lower.

    I refilled, tried closing the Main Drain Valve, and ran it again.

    The next morning, the water level was about 1-2' lower.

    I spoke to a pool company and the guy said that there was definitely a leak in one of the lines. A pressure test would identify the leaking line and options could be explored to repair it. The Main Drain was NOT going to be tested because this requires a diver. However, the guy assured me that if the other 3 lines held pressure, it would mean that the main drain was faulty. He charged $300 for this service.

    I was not able to be home when they came but my wife was (it was a crew, not the guy i spoke to). They tested the skimmer and the returns and all three held pressure (my wife witnessed the tests) The guy said that the Main Drain was almost definitely leaking, but that repairing it would not be cost effective. He said to just run the pool on the skimmer, and that we may have to vacuum more often.

    I was happy with this result.

    I came home and closed the intake valve coming from the main drain and ran the skimmer. Several hours later it was clear that ~2in of water had been lost. The pool guy said that "it has to be the main drain".

    I find this hard to believe because when the filter is not running the water level remains constant. When the filter is running, the Main Drain inlet is closed AND as i said before i also closed the main drain valve.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what to try????

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    Re: new pool owner, pool losing water, please help!!

    Welcome to the forum.

    If the pool holds water when the pump is off but loses water when the pump is on, that is a pressure side leak and has nothing to do with the main drain that I can figure.

    Your leaks is occurring somewhere between the pump and the returns where the water goes back into the pool. Have you checked the backwash hose for water coming out when the pump is running?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: new pool owner, pool losing water, please help!!

    No, I will check. If water is coming out, what do you suggest?

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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
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    Re: new pool owner, pool losing water, please help!!

    If water is coming out, what do you suggest?
    It could indicate a bad s[pider gasket. Take it one step at a time, though. Find the source of your leak (it's somewhere on that pressure side) and then we'll help you get it fixed.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: new pool owner, pool losing water, please help!!

    Ok it is dark here now, but I will take it up tomorrow afternoon when I get home from work. Thanks for quick response.

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    Re: new pool owner, pool losing water, please help!!

    It was pouring last night so I couldn't work on the pool, but question about spider gaskets:

    Should the ridges be facing down into the seat for the gasket, or up towards the valve handle?

    How much lubricant should I apply?

    Should I use rubber cement to ensure the gasket does not move?

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