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Thread: Determining location of pool plumbing

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    Determining location of pool plumbing

    So we've got a local company coming in in a few weeks to concrete our pool area. We've just spent the last couple weekends pulling up all the old pavers around the pool (and the outdoor rugs surrounding everything else -- thanks prior owners.) We're currently a bit hung up though on trying to locate and mark all the plumbing lines (the company wants us to have all these marked out ahead of time so they can make sure to hand dig around them.) Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can find these? We've taken the dousing rods to the area and we think we have a rough idea, but we spent a couple hours digging today and had little to show for our efforts. In talking to the neighbors (who have been very helpful thus far with many inquiries we have about the house) we've learned that, while they don't know the plumbing layout, the do know that the pipes were all buried at least 3 feet down or so, so digging holes around to try and follow these is proving a pain in the butt -- I don't even know if this is going to be an issue anyways in the work being done, but we don't want to take any chances if we don't have to.

    Any suggestions? We'll try just about anything to try and locate these things so we can mark them (if you tell me you've had luck on your hands and knees with a stethoscope, I'll try it!) A guy from the concrete company is going to be stopping by at some point tomorrow with his own equipment that uses magnetism or something to trace our electrical lines for us (he used to have the component that does the water so he could track piping as well, but apparently it was broken at a site and he hasn't replaced it yet.)
    New Hampshire-based owner of an 18x36 inground pool with a 9 foot deep end (calculated at 29,000 gallons), built in 2005, who would love to install the diving board but has been vetoed on that by just about everyone everywhere :P

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Determining location of pool plumbing

    Plumbing tends to be run close to the pool wall except for heading straight off towards the equipment pad from somewhere near the closest point along the pool wall to the pad. There are some variations on that, but that is by far the most common pattern. The other approach is to find somewhere where you know for certain there is a pipe, say right at a return along the wall of the pool and dig down to it and see which direction it heads in from there.
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    bigfunky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Wayne, PA

    Re: Determining location of pool plumbing

    Wow, 3 ft down, that's deep. i agree with Jason although being that deep is gonna be tough to find them.
    26,000 gallon gunite IGP with 50 sq ft Spa, Jandy VS FloPro 2hp Pump, Jandy DEV48 Filter, Jandy AquaPure SWG, Jandy AquaLink PDA-PS6 Controller, RayPak R406A Heater, Polaris 380 Cleaner, completed April 2013

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    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Central Ohio

    Re: Determining location of pool plumbing

    Since most pool plumbing is plastic it is difficult to locate precicesly.I have used a metal "fish tape" inserted into plastic pipe and a metal detector to locate plastic pipes.I have never used this technique on pools but I don't see why this wouldn't work except if you have alot of buried metal in your soil,small plumbing (90's maybe a problem)or around the edge of a gunite pool(rebar).This method may work to at least see where the pipe goes after it turns away from the side of the pool.The metal detectors we use are designed to locate metal pipe and trace tape.

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    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Gonzales, La

    Re: Determining location of pool plumbing

    How thick is you new concrete going to be?? Your pavers are probably 2-2 1/2" thick and your new concrete will only be 3 1/2" I would guess. If you had pavers then you most probably had sand under them. Remove the sand and you should be pretty close to the depth you need for the concrete with little or no actual digging needed in paver area.
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