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Thread: In ground pool leak

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NB, Canada
    Posts
    66

    In ground pool leak

    I did some searching on here and couldn't find exactly what to do....

    Some background: 20x38 IG pool, vinyl liner, Digital Autopilot SWG, Hayward Super Pump (1 hp???), Hayward sand filter, old heater which is turned off, one bottom drain and skimmer, two return jets.

    My pool water level is slowly going down. I'd say 1/8th of an inch per day, but i didn't measure specifically. It's nothing drastic, but definitely not caused by evaporation or water splashing out. It hasn't been warm and we haven't used the pool yet. My pool was really full when i opened it up at the end of April and then i noticed a few weeks ago that the water was almost to the bottom of the skimmer.

    I refilled the pool exactly to that mark on the skimmer plastic plate, then I shut off the pump this weekend for a few days and the water level remained pretty much the same for a few days. So i turned the pump back on and now the water is slowly going down again. So the leak is somewhere in the plumbing i guess...

    I did notice a small leak after the SWG, which i will fix, but it's a small drip....doubt that this would be the culprit. I also did notice some wet spots under the pump and sand filter when the pump was shut off, but now that they are running i don't seem to see that so much. I elevated the heater (even though it's off, water is circulating through it) and it is dry underneath...and very little water on the inside of it...not enough to be leaking anyway.

    I do see SOME air bubbles in the pump basket, but really not a lot and no more than i saw in past years. Nor do i see air bubbles coming out the returns.

    My next steps are :

    1) Skimmer off, bottom drain on....check if water stays same level
    2) Skimmer on, bottom drain off....check again

    As far as the returns go, is it safe to plug one of them at a time to see if one or the other is leaking underground? Or would that cause damage or too much pressure on the remaining return?

    I was wondering if any experts on here have any ideas of how to find this water leak?

    Pool is still usable, but i don't want to keep refilling it every few weeks with COLD tap water.

    Thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: In ground pool leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Acadian
    I did some searching on here and couldn't find exactly what to do....

    Some background: 20x38 IG pool, vinyl liner, Digital Autopilot SWG, Hayward Super Pump (1 hp???), Hayward sand filter, old heater which is turned off, one bottom drain and skimmer, two return jets.

    My pool water level is slowly going down. I'd say 1/8th of an inch per day, but i didn't measure specifically. It's nothing drastic, but definitely not caused by evaporation or water splashing out. It hasn't been warm and we haven't used the pool yet. My pool was really full when i opened it up at the end of April and then i noticed a few weeks ago that the water was almost to the bottom of the skimmer.

    I refilled the pool exactly to that mark on the skimmer plastic plate, then I shut off the pump this weekend for a few days and the water level remained pretty much the same for a few days. So i turned the pump back on and now the water is slowly going down again. So the leak is somewhere in the plumbing i guess...

    I did notice a small leak after the SWG, which i will fix, but it's a small drip....doubt that this would be the culprit. I also did notice some wet spots under the pump and sand filter when the pump was shut off, but now that they are running i don't seem to see that so much. I elevated the heater (even though it's off, water is circulating through it) and it is dry underneath...and very little water on the inside of it...not enough to be leaking anyway.

    I do see SOME air bubbles in the pump basket, but really not a lot and no more than i saw in past years. Nor do i see air bubbles coming out the returns.

    My next steps are :

    1) Skimmer off, bottom drain on....check if water stays same level
    2) Skimmer on, bottom drain off....check again

    As far as the returns go, is it safe to plug one of them at a time to see if one or the other is leaking underground? Or would that cause damage or too much pressure on the remaining return?

    I was wondering if any experts on here have any ideas of how to find this water leak?

    Pool is still usable, but i don't want to keep refilling it every few weeks with COLD tap water.

    Thanks!
    1/8" per day is not really a leak. I have found wind to be worse for evaporation than heat. When we get those Santa Ana winds, I can lose 1/2" in a day.

    Before you go crazy hunting for something that might not be there, try the bucket test. Set a bucket on a step. The less it sticks out above the surface, the better, under an inch, but use what you have. Fill it to the same level as the pool.

    If you have a leak, the water will be lower in the pool than in the bucket after a day or two. If they are the same, it's just evaporation.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NB, Canada
    Posts
    66

    Re: In ground pool leak

    Thanks Richard!

    I said 1/8, but it's more or less a guess. I've had the pool for 3 summers already and have only needed to refill (adjust water level with hose) maybe 3 times...two of which were last summer (very hot summer). And at this rate, i have already refilled twice. I also have a solar blanket on the pool which would really slow down the evaporation.

    I will however try the bucket test and let you guys know the result.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    63

    Re: In ground pool leak

    I just had to chime in to thank Richard too.



    That's brilliantly simple! I've been wondering if I have a slow leak but didn't know how to rule out evaporation. Thank you for solving that dilemma!

    Steve
    29,000 gal. vinyl in-ground mountain lake (freeform); Hayward DE filter, 2 skimmers, AutoPilot SWG, 2 - 4 X 20 Fafco Solar Bears with Goldline control, Aquabot, LoopLoc winter cover, Pool installed March 2009...

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