My girlfriend and I just bought our first house. The house has an in ground concrete/ plaster pool running salt water with all Hayward components. We were out in the yard cutting out for a large flower bed behind the rock waterfall and noticed a gap between the soil and the bottom of the pool surround slab. While forcing dirt to the back of the gap I noticed the top of a 1.5" PVC pipe sticking about an inch out of the dirt. I figured it was a drain line of some sort that was never connected to the rest of the drainage lines (the pool functions properly i.e. filter, valves, waterfall, etc.) so I decided to get a 45 degree elbow and a length of pipe and extend it myself out past the new flowerbed and towards the woods behind us. During this process I determined that the PVC wasn't connected to anything at the bottom and I could hear the suction sound when pulling up and down... so I start digging to find the water.
This leads me to the real question:
The plaster box around my skimmer is leaking from the bottom corner. I dug out all the way below the back corner and under about 6" to expose the gap (not crack) in the plaster where the water is dripping out. It's not a fast drip, but I want it stopped. I went to the pool store and bought the putty, but can't get the plaster clean enough. The water forms a pocket and ultimately forces the putty to fall off. What other products are out there that might do this.
Also, where might the leak be coming from? I used dye and a syringe to check all along the mouth of the skimmer, the tiles about 4ft in either direction, and the skimmer from inside. There is absolutely no movement in the dye other than dissolution. Any ideas anyone?