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Thread: I've got a leak...don't I?

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    I've got a leak...don't I?

    This is my first month I've ever owned a pool in my life - and between TFP as the resource and the pool as the teacher, I'm learning a lot...quickly.

    After reading forums, questions, and just doing my general hanging out and studying I've come to the conclusion...I have a leak, don't I?!

    There have always been little tiny micro-bursts of bubbles coming from the return in the steps, and this morning when the pump kicked on, my wife was startled. I said, "don't worry, it's just the pump kicking on. It's getting the air out first." And she said, "Is that supposed to happen?" Then I thought...Hmmmm, should it? Does the system stay filled with water? Or does air get in between pump cycles? Again, I've got a leak, don't I?

    Thanks,

    Nic
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    It's possible there's a degraded seal in the pump housing. When we first bought our home, I had to replace the O-ring that seals the pump basket to the outside world. I've heard of some folks using foamy shaving cream around the pump housing to verify if there's a leak by watching the foam being sucked in. That may be a quick way to rule out a possible leak source. Read Leak Detection in Pool School as well if you haven't done so.
    Jorge - Tampa Bay

    • Pool Configuration
      11,000 gallon Stonescapes Mini Carribean Blue
      MX8 Barracuda
      Hayward C1200 Cartridge Filter with a DISABLED 3" In-line Chlorinator
      3/4 hp Jacuzzi Pump
      TFT 100 Testing Kit w/ Speedstir
      Wall Whale Brush / Aqua Comb Filter Cleaner

  3. Back To Top    #3
    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    When your pump is running, do you see air in the basket area?

    When pump turn off, does water drain out of pump basket?

    You don't have a SWG do you?
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    If it's getting air in the system whether running or not, you have a leak. Since you're getting bubbles when it's running, it points to a suction side leak.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    When your pump is running, do you see air in the basket area?

    When pump turn off, does water drain out of pump basket?

    You don't have a SWG do you?
    Harley: When the pump is running, it's too "churned up" to see bubbles, but I'll take another look.
    Pump off, the water does drain out of the basket - and everything else.
    No, I do not have a SWG.

    Thanks,

    Nic
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamhurtado
    It's possible there's a degraded seal in the pump housing. When we first bought our home, I had to replace the O-ring that seals the pump basket to the outside world. I've heard of some folks using foamy shaving cream around the pump housing to verify if there's a leak by watching the foam being sucked in. That may be a quick way to rule out a possible leak source. Read Leak Detection in Pool School as well if you haven't done so.
    Yeah, I'm definitely reading "Leak Detection". Read it a couple times before posting. That article and some other evidence is why I'm putting 2 and 2 together...finally.
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    If it's getting air in the system whether running or not, you have a leak. Since you're getting bubbles when it's running, it points to a suction side leak.
    That kind of answers my wife's question - so it shouldn't be getting full of air when the pump is off, right?

    A "suction side leak" would/could be anything from the skimmer and main drain all the way to the "out/return" side of the filter, yes? Or is it strictly from the skimmer to the pump?

    Thanks!

    Nic
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Oh, (duh) the biggest "symptom" is having to add 2"-3" of water every 4 days or so. I didn't think much of it because 1-we're in Florida, and 2-there is NO shade whatsoever around the pool, so I just attributed it all to evaporation. By 9am, the far side of the pool is in the sun, then it works it's way across, and it's in direct sun until 8p.
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    I found the leak!

    Like you said, harleysilo, there are bubbles in the pump housing. Yes, they are much more noticeable than I thought they would be.

    Using the "water test" (pouring water over the joints/connections until the bubbles go away) it was VERY obvious the leak is here:

    [attachment=0:39pharvk]LeakLocation.jpg[/attachment:39pharvk]

    Notice, I don't have a lot of room to work between the coupler/flange and the shut off valve. After I hooked up the plumbing I've since discovered compression fittings - I would really like to put one of those in for this exact reason, but I'd have much more to modify to make room for it here.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Nic
    Attached Images Attached Images
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Would 2 part epoxy be useful or advisable?
    Jorge - Tampa Bay

    • Pool Configuration
      11,000 gallon Stonescapes Mini Carribean Blue
      MX8 Barracuda
      Hayward C1200 Cartridge Filter with a DISABLED 3" In-line Chlorinator
      3/4 hp Jacuzzi Pump
      TFT 100 Testing Kit w/ Speedstir
      Wall Whale Brush / Aqua Comb Filter Cleaner

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamhurtado
    Would 2 part epoxy be useful or advisable?
    Useful? Probably. Advisable? I don't think so.

    Since that's my main connection to the pump, if I permanently glue the pipe to it, I'll never be able to get the pump out if I ever need to service it or replace it. That would be an even more permanent connection than what I have now.

    I was seriously thinking about replumbing it in the off season - adding compression fittings, etc. - but it may be sooner than later.
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Sit Rep:

    I've used the food coloring technique on some places I've suspected were leaking - nothing. Even did it at different times of the day and different levels of water. (Yes, I had to add about 1.5" - 2" Friday afternoon.)

    Last night, after I added the 2" of water, I tried the "bucket test". Not even 24 hours later, the water level on the skimmer is down about 3/4". At first glance, I thought the bucket hadn't moved over night. (Definitely a leak.) BUT! I looked at it again - the bucket and pool are down about the same level. No leak...?! Really?

    I can't believe I'd lose 3/4" of water over night - maybe during the day, but not at night.

    I still have the air bubbles at the pump, but I don't think the pool is leaking water - pipes or pool itself. Could that be true?!

    Thanks!

    Nic
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    A lot of people have the assumption that water evaporates more during the day and less at night. That's not always true. Sometimes it can evaporate a lot at night.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    A lot of people have the assumption that water evaporates more during the day and less at night. That's not always true. Sometimes it can evaporate a lot at night.
    You can definitely put me in that category!

    Thanks Bama Rambler
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: I've got a leak...don't I?

    Sit Rep

    Back on Saturday (7/6/13) I re-plumbed the suction side with 1 1/2" pvc and added a quick-release union. I was screwing the coupler into the pump and was very nervous - it was getting tighter and tighter and I didn't want to strip any threads. Finally, I felt it bottom out.

    I finished the plumbing, and turned on the pump.

    It is still bubbling - drawing in air - from the exact same location as confirmed by the "water hose" test. But! When I shut off the pump, it does not let air into the system. The pump stays full of water.

    Before the repairs, the pump would slowly fill with air over night and the pump and a lot of piping would be full of air by the next day. The pump never lost it's prime, but it would take about a minute to purge the system of air that entered the system.

    I call it a win. If I want to, I can loosen the union, tighten the coupler (if it turns anymore) and reconnect the union. But, I figure, if it's not letting in air overnight, why mess with it.

    Thank you TFP!

    Nic
    15,000 gal, IG, Vinyl
    Cartridge Filter: Hayward C12002, 120 GPM
    Pump: 1.5 hp, Flotec AT251501-01
    TF-100 Test Kit

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