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Thread: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

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    Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Hello,

    We moved into our house about a year ago. House was built in 84, in ground gunite pool was built around that same time. We didn't catch it during inspection, but most of the pool supply lines (jets into pool) are not working. Only 1 out of the 5 are working. All the spa jets work.

    The non-working jets are all along one side of the pool. I have done a test by blowing air into the those jets, and bubbles come out the others on that side. So, I know they are all connected to each other. But they appear to not be connected to the supply, somehow. I've used a hose end bladder to try to remove a blockage, to no avail (bladder just blows out). I've also fed a plumbing snake 'south' from the last non-working jet towards the equipment. It runs about 8 feet and then stops. There is concrete decking around the pool...!

    My question is really about construction, although any thoughts or advice would be most welcome. Is there likely a "Y" that splits the supply line to each side of the pool? Or would it make one run around the pool? Here's a crude diagram. The asterisks are the non-working jets. The X is the one jet that IS working. I have found the supply line that goes towards that jet.

    /---*-------*--\
    | .........................|
    | .........................|
    |--\.....................|
    |......\.................*|
    |.spa.|..................|
    |......./..................|
    | --/....................|
    |..........................|
    |X........................|
    |.........................*|
    |..........................|
    \--------------/

    | Pool Equip |

    Would the supply run all the way around the pool? I expected it to be split just above the pool equip, with one line going left and the other going right, but I find only one line when I dig (so far). Does this make sense?

    Any thoughts would be most appreciated!

    --Bill

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Describe the pool equipment pad and the valves and such - better yet post a picture.

    Essentially is there only one supply (return) line running from your filter into the ground for the pool and spa? Or is there a line for each or are there multiple lines?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    It appears (from what I have been able to uncover so far) that there are two lines that leave the heater, 1 to the spa, and 1 to the pool (each has a valve). The spa spills into the pool. I was assuming the 1 line to the pool would split to each side of the pool.

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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Sorry, I didn't answer your question about the equipment. I don't have a good pic, and am still excavating to see where the plumbing all goes. The equipment was pretty rough, and I've replaced everything except the heater, converted it to salt, and added a polaris. Had to find the booster pump line (more digging). The pool was built with a cleaner port, but it was never used. It was capped and buried, right next to the pad. I hope this helps.

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    Join Date
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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Without digging it all up (and we don't know yet whether the plumbing is encased in the gunite or not) there is no way to tell what the plumber might have done.

    It seems your bubble test indicates, perhaps, a tee seperating the two sides. If it was a loop, two blockages would be unlikely.

    It's not going to be fun (and perhaps some decking might have to be cut out) to find your problem.
    Pool is DONE!
    Pentair Intelliflo VS3050
    Pentair Easy Touch 8 + actuators + swg
    Pentair IntelliPH
    Pentair 400btu HD heater
    3- Jandy WaterColor LED's
    Hayward C5030 525sqft cartridge filter
    Waterway spa blower

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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdav160
    Without digging it all up (and we don't know yet whether the plumbing is encased in the gunite or not) there is no way to tell what the plumber might have done.

    It seems your bubble test indicates, perhaps, a tee separating the two sides. If it was a loop, two blockages would be unlikely.

    It's not going to be fun (and perhaps some decking might have to be cut out) to find your problem.
    Thank you - that's my thinking as well. I was not sure if a tee made sense form a plumbing standpoint. Digging it out, slowly. I did already remove a section of decking to get at this. It worked out fine because it was a large concrete apron for a diving board (which has long since been removed). So I was able to leave enough so that it just looks like strip of deck that belongs there. I'll landscape and build a new equipment fence once I am done, and it will look fine. I'll post pics when I get to the bottom of this...

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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    OK, well I have a few pics and some more info. This would be entertaining if it wasn't so frustrating. Well, I knew the pool had leaks, as we were adding a fair amount of water regularly. I was unprepared for what I found, though... View: pool is towards the upper left in this pic;



    Egads. Someone did a really, really poor repair job. That white bulging rubbery piece is held on with hose clamps (yes, the automotive kind). Obviously a leak had been discovered at some point, and rather than do it the correct way, they must have dug under the decking, reached in and jury rigged what you see in this pic, and ultimately covered up part of the mess with...yes, I think it is concrete. Oh, the 'repaired' section is leaking quite bit, and further back (towards the pool) the flex hose became kinked (probably after they poured in concrete), and it is cracked and leaking as well. I'm still not sure exactly, but I think the flex pipe is my missing supply line to the right side of the pool. There are two additional pipes beneath that one, that I suspect are the main and spa drains.

    This next pic, where you see my shovel? The tip is wedged under a slab of concrete that covers whatever mess of connections is under there. View: pool is towards the upper right in this pic;

    -



    I now have a better idea of what I am dealing with - and it is worse than I thought - but I feel it is progress. I think what I am seeing is as follows (2nd pic, left to right);
    - small pvc at the very left is a sprinkler line, so we can ignore that
    - next line (with black tape at the junction) is my left side supply line
    - broken and poorly repaired flex line at the far right is my missing right side supply line
    - the other four PVC pipes that run to the left side are pool skimmer return, air blower and supply lines for spa ?

    l continue to expose the pipes, and have called a professional to come in next week to effect the repairs. I the meantime, I hope to break up and remove the concrete to reveal my suspected tee that used to connect the two supply lines. I honestly believe whoever repaired this
    thought encasing the junction in concrete was a good idea.

    So now I have more questions;

    - have I correctly identified my plumbing?
    - seems like too many lines going to the left side ? What have I missed?
    - have you ever seen such a mess?

    Thanks for any additional insights. I will post again with a resolution, once I get it all done.

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    Join Date
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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Looks like you're getting to the bottom it.

    Spa drain, spa return and blower lines are, likely to all together. Skimmers , main drains are other options.
    Pool is DONE!
    Pentair Intelliflo VS3050
    Pentair Easy Touch 8 + actuators + swg
    Pentair IntelliPH
    Pentair 400btu HD heater
    3- Jandy WaterColor LED's
    Hayward C5030 525sqft cartridge filter
    Waterway spa blower

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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Everything else is rigid pipe, I wonder why the one piece of flex? Maybe it is all part of an earlier repair?

    Anyway, you've done the hard part, cutting out and gluing new fitting and pipe in is easy. I was just giving you a vote of confidence to repair the leak yourself
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

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    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Well, mystery resolved. I've noticed that my skimmer baskets 'float', that is they do not stay in place when the pump is off. Apparently, sometime long ago, a plastic bag made its way under the skimmer basket and into the pool plumbing. When it encountered the goofy 'repair' spot, that was a great place to stop and compact into a hard seal. The plumbing has now been replaced, and I bought new weighted skimmer baskets. About $700 later, I have a fully functioning pool, no more big leaks, with proper water circulation.

    Now, my next challenge is to find out why my skimmer suction isn't as good as it should be... (probably another bag somewhere...!) Thanks for all teh suggestions.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Old pool with plumbing mysteries...

    Quote Originally Posted by bpricedo
    Everything else is rigid pipe, I wonder why the one piece of flex? Maybe it is all part of an earlier repair?
    You can't see it from my pics, but they used flex anywhere they needed a curve in the pipe. Just below all the hard pipe going to the left side of the pool they ran flex back toward the equipment. Not ideal, but it should be ok if undisturbed. The concrete 'patch' is what caused the flex pipe to get pinched and leak.

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