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Thread: Suction side leaks under concrete

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    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Northeast Louisiana USA
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    4

    Suction side leaks under concrete

    I have an inground liner pool about 7 years old. Dimensions 20x40 with 12x20 elbow to the stairs. The deep end is about 11 feet, shallow is 3-3.5

    The pool I think is about 20 years old. This year I have been busy with work and hired a pool guy to maintain my pool. Agreed to $500 to open the pool and then $180/month maintenance all year long to keep it clean and sparkly. This failed. He quit and never got pool clear after 30 days!! My wife was furious, I have lurked here a while so I just did it myself with combo of clorox and granules. Took about $400 in chemicals and clorox to get it clear finally.

    Here is the problem. The pool guy comes to me with pieces of pvc in my pump and said I had a pvc leak and the pool was sucking clay which is why he could not get it clean because the clay neutralized all his chlorine. I said what now. He quoted $850 to cut the concrete repair the pvc and replace the concrete. He assured me it was right at the skimmer on the pump side of the pool, I felt I had no choice so I paid him as I was headed out of town. He cut 3 holes and couldnt find leaks. He capped the skimmer and filled with concrete. He then gets a builder to come out with him and quotes my wife $12,000 - $26,000 to replace the pool. I refused. He quit.

    I then called around and found a leak detection company and paid them $450 to come find the leaks. Took 5 minutes to blow air thru the line and find leaks on opposite side of pool. This guy then quotes me guess what $850 to fix it($400 additional). So I again, feeling as I have no choice pay him. He digs 2 large concrete chunks and about 6' down and pulls out literally 12 feet of shattered pvc pipe. This is where he left it. I think he will be back as this was last week and he said he would be gone the following week before he started the job. He said in 12 years of doing hundreds of pools he had never seen exploded pipes before undergound like mine. He took photos to show other professonals. Anyway, he thinks the pool guy put too much chemical or wrong combinations in skimmers that caused them to explode. In the past 10 years I have never had any bubbles or trouble until now.

    It is at this point last week that I have a green pool with no skimmers and only a main deep end suction for circulation. Again using my lurking skills here I was able to babysit the pool for 3 days in a row and I have it clean with chemicals all perfect only PH a little on the high side which I think helps fallout so I can vacuum. I had to use an old pump I had replaced a few years ago, replaced the lid and rigged it up as an external pump 110v used as a vaccuum so I could drop the pool agae etc and vaccuum out to waste using this other pump since I have no skimmers! Again I have it crystal clear and can see the bottom drain.

    I have several problems. Obviously no skimmers so I have surface tension and you would not believe the junk that must be netted out every single day!! With summer afternoon showers it is ridiculous. I must have a skimmer ANY IDEAS for a cheap and quick solution??

    QUESTION. 1.) How can I rig a portable skimmer to get the trash off the surface of the pool without spending a fortune?

    Any idea what would be reasonable price to route two new skimmer lines to my existing skimmers? About 45 feet to first one which is about 10 feet into the concrete, then would go around 3/4 of pool to other skimmer which would be an additional 70 feet which is only about 5 feet of concrete to the skimmer.

    QUESTION. 2.) Anyone heard of Schedule 40 pipe blowing up under ground from too much chlorine and/or chemicals?

    Thanks and sorry for such a long post.
    BTW, just did Lifetime Supporter.... I love this site
    L Shaped 20x40 w/ 20x12 bend to steps; 35K gal, IG vinyl, 2 HP Superpump with 1/2 HP fountain pump, Sand filter, BBB

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Re: Suction side leaks under concrete

    It sounds to me like it is time to get a lawyer and sue the pool guy that has caused some/most of your damage, there is NO EXCUSE for him filling the skimmer hole in with concrete.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Suction side leaks under concrete

    The Pool Skim works on the return.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Northeast Louisiana USA
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    Re: Suction side leaks under concrete

    THANKS. I ordered PoolSkim and also Circulator. $150 investment may help me get thru the summer while I figure out what to do.... and/or save up to replumb my skimmers.
    L Shaped 20x40 w/ 20x12 bend to steps; 35K gal, IG vinyl, 2 HP Superpump with 1/2 HP fountain pump, Sand filter, BBB

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2013
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    NJ
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    Re: Suction side leaks under concrete

    I have never heard of schedule 40 blowing up from chemicals added at the skimmer. Anyone else? I am not sure what climate you are in but is it possible that it wasn't winterized properly with that line blown out or antifreeze added? That could account for the pipe cracking but I don't know about actually blowing up. It will be interesting to see what you leak detection guy comes up with after he shows your pics around. Hopefully your guy shows next week and completes the job and you are up and running with one skimmer. If so you may want to get a price from him to do what is necessary to get the second skimmer back in operation.
    17x37 IG vinyl, Grecian style, 20k gal, Hayward DE4800, Hayward Super Pump II 1 hp, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator, 6 Vortex 4x10 solar panels, Aquabot Turbo, Dolphin M5, loop-loc mesh cover

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    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Dallas, Tx
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    Re: Suction side leaks under concrete

    Mixing calcium hypochlorite and trichlor can result in explosion. Given the dilution in water I'd think it would take large quantities, but maybe not, or maybe a blockage in the pipe allowed a concentration to form in the area.
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Northeast Louisiana USA
    Posts
    4

    Re: Suction side leaks under concrete

    North Louisiana. Not concerned with underground pipes freezing.

    The swimming pool pump runs 24 hours/day. I had the pump running without incident for about a month before this happened.

    Never got bubbles, mud, or anything in pump or skimmers before this pool guy.

    I believe it was chemical explosion as the pipes are all shattered into tiny pieces with the larger pieces clearly showing an outward explosion with schedule 40 pipe pointed outward. I will try to figure out how to post photos.

    Thanks for responses. Yes, my leak guy came this morning took measurements. re-routing both skimmers behind pool house, around jacuzzi house then to both sides of large pool. He said it would be about 180' and would have to get back to me with pricing. Said he had to make certain my pumps could handle such a long pull.
    L Shaped 20x40 w/ 20x12 bend to steps; 35K gal, IG vinyl, 2 HP Superpump with 1/2 HP fountain pump, Sand filter, BBB

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