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Thread: Need help confirming leak test method and diagnosis

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    Need help confirming leak test method and diagnosis

    Hi all,
    I noticed a decline in the pool water level and did some research. Checked the obvious. No leaks in the above ground plumbing, pump skimmer gasket, etc. There is no air in the pump skimmer.

    I marked the pool level and did a 24 hr pump on/pump off test with all the returns and skimmers open. I had a bucket on the steps for evaporation comparison. The pool lost 5/8" pump on and 3/8" pump off. The evaporation rate was comparable to the pump off test.
    This did not really confirm anything, except it leaks more with the pump on.

    I plugged up all the skimmers and returns. I marked the pool and bucket and turned the pump off. The water level dropped 3/8" in both the bucket and the pool.
    I think this confirms the integrity of the pool. Water drop in pool equals evaporation.

    This leave the plumbing! I believe there is a return side leak.
    I notice a small amount of bubbles in the returns. AND there is a sunken bit of concrete over one particular return.
    The bubbles, coupled with the lack of air in the pump skimmer and the evaporation rate being equal (with the return and skimmers blocked) leads to the return side leak conclusion.

    Am I thinking correctly?
    Do I have any logic flaws?
    Steve
    27,000 gal Vinyl Grecian L, Hayward 1 HP pump, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Rite Chlorinator,
    Polaris P955, TF-100, Speed Stir, 400sqft solar panels.
    Jacuzzi J365

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    Re: Need help confirming leak test method and diagnosis

    Am I thinking correctly?
    Do I have any logic flaws?
    Well, a pressure side leak will not generate bubbles. Those bubbles may be from your SWG but they are not from a pressure side leak.

    However, a pressure side leak results in water loss, so it is logical to assume your water loss may be occurring on the pressure side.

    A pressure leak is usually easy to find because of the visible water but if you have a cracked pipe under the concrete that will be a tough one to detect.
    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: Need help confirming leak test method and diagnosis

    Thanks for the help.
    I suspect I know where the leak is. It is beneath the sunken concrete.
    Good a place as any to start.

    Is there a DIY pressure test?
    Steve
    27,000 gal Vinyl Grecian L, Hayward 1 HP pump, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Rite Chlorinator,
    Polaris P955, TF-100, Speed Stir, 400sqft solar panels.
    Jacuzzi J365

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    Re: Need help confirming leak test method and diagnosis

    Steve sunken concrete is no guarantee that you have a leak there.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    wetchem's Avatar
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    Re: Need help confirming leak test method and diagnosis

    Can you isolate each return at the pump?
    Intex Ultraframe 14'x3.5-Round (4000ish-gal) AG - Vinyl - Intex 5667EG Sand Filter 1600gph :)
    ( retired: 637R Crtrge 1000gph someday it may have another life as a water fountain... or feet washer! Solar Water Heater? )

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    Re: Need help confirming leak test method and diagnosis

    Quote Originally Posted by wetchem
    Can you isolate each return at the pump?
    OP probably can't isolate the returns, however, assuming there is more than one return, putting a plug in the suspected return would increase the pressure on that line and, if it's the culprit, the rate of loss would radically increase. In which case the sunken concrete area would be a very good place to cut and dig.
    In the industry, CSP (Certified Service Professional) by the NSPI and it's successor the APSP. My company services over 600 pools every year. I think the practices regularly espoused on this forum (especially the BBB method) are outstanding; however my comments will be often oriented towards the goal of getting it done, and getting it done right now!

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