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Thread: Pool leak identified, now what?

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    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Pool leak identified, now what?

    I have a 15,000gal inground, pebble tech, pool with attached spa. I was having leak symptoms (water loss using bucket test, and pool deck pushing up near spa return ports). I was unable to identify the leak locations myself so I hired American Leak Detection to test everything. $350 later they confirmed two plumbing leaks in the spa return lines, both about 10 inches from their respective outlets in the spa. They quoted $2,200 to fix the two leaks. They also gave me the option of just cutting the spa return PVC at the equipment pad. I wouldn't be able to use my spa, but it would stop the leak at virtually no cost!

    My question is this: I have a valve which supposedly turns water on, off or somewhere in between for my two return lines. (see photo labeled Return). One line sends water back to the pool, the other sends water to the spa. In theory, wouldn't I just be able to turn the valve to pool only, plug the outlets where the leaking plumbing leads and stop the leaking water? However, after draining the spa, and turning the valve to pool side only, I still see water trickling out of the spa return outlets while the pump is running. This happens for hours... Is there a problem with my valve, or is this how pool plumbing works? i.e. there is always some water moving even in a "closed" position and is why the leak detection technician suggested cutting the line altogether? Or, is something fishy, and I just need a new valve?

    Thanks for your answers as well as any other suggestions you might have. Obviously, I'm trying to avoid spending $2,200 at least for now!
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool leak identified, now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by tysonjm
    In theory, wouldn't I just be able to turn the valve to pool only, plug the outlets where the leaking plumbing leads and stop the leaking water? However, after draining the spa, and turning the valve to pool side only, I still see water trickling out of the spa return outlets while the pump is running. This happens for hours... Is there a problem with my valve, or is this how pool plumbing works? i.e. there is always some water moving even in a "closed" position and is why the leak detection technician suggested cutting the line altogether? Or, is something fishy, and I just need a new valve?

    Thanks for your answers as well as any other suggestions you might have. Obviously, I'm trying to avoid spending $2,200 at least for now!
    Ideally the valve would be able to completely shut off the entire flow ... in reality they can leak a little ... and if the seals are old, then may leak more.

    I think you have Ortega valves that you should be able to open up and inspect/repair that may help the bypass some. In reality if you cut the spa return line, you would need to put a cap on the line coming from the valve to stop the water bypassing the valve.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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