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Thread: Help with new plumbing leak

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    Help with new plumbing leak

    Hello,I'm new to this site and forum so please bear with me.
    I have an 18x36 inground pool. Concrete block walls with vinyl liner.
    This summer I had to do a complete renovation;new plumbing,coping,patio deck,and liner install. I had some issues with the pool company at various stages-mainly due to poor communication and what seemed to me slow work.
    At any rate,they ran all new schedule 40 flex pipe for all 3 returns and my 2 skimmers (which were both replaced),and at the end they pressure tested the lines.
    At this point,I back filled the plumbing,then the landscaper came in a week later and did a paver pool deck.
    The pool company came back,dropped in the new liner,we filled the pool and viola!
    The pool is leaking! A leak detection guy came out and found that all 3 returns are leaking. At this point the pool company has said I still owe them the remaining balance and its not their fault/responsibility.
    I understand they pressure tested the lines prior to me backfilling and the landscapers work. I'm just looking for some support/solution from them before I finish paying them. I'm willing to take responsibility (as would the landscaper) for anything caused by us. However I don't think I'm being unreasonable to want to find and fix the leaks before I point fingers and before I pay them in full.
    Any advice? And and any idea what could be causing the leaks (I know,where to begin...)
    Thank you in advance for any help.

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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    Welcome to the forum.
    they ran all new schedule 40 flex pipe
    my antennae went up when I read that. Flex pipe is problematic if it is not back filled very carefully.

    I suspect the pipe has been stretched badly and has broke/ or pulled loose at the fittings. That's just a guess.

    I am not sure what solution you want from the plumber if he gave you pressure tested lines to work with.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    Thank you Dave. Sounds like you probably nailed it.
    So my problem is not so much that I blame them. My problem more lies with their reaction. They wanted their remaining balance and had no concern or interest in helping me figure out what might have happened. I explained to them I had spent a lot of money to have the pool redone and wanted to figure out why the pool was losing water. If it was my fault,I would do what I need to do to fix it and pay the company what I owe them. I'm not looking to be a problem,I just want the pool fixed.
    At any rate,enough ranting. As I said,I think you might have it figured out Dave. When I back filled I simply might not have given the plumbing enough slack. That info would have proven useful 3 weeks ago
    Thank you!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    BTW,aside from having to dig up near the returns,I'm guessing that the actual fix should be fairly easy and straight forward? I hope....
    Thanks again!

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    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Sacramento, CA

    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    Couple of thoughts:

    One would think they would offer to do the work.

    They should have told you about flex PVC. Its not good for inground pools -- it crushes and may be damaged by insects. Most pool builders don't use it. Look at the pictures on the pool installs - you just don't see flex PVC used in an inground pool. If they are putting it an inground installation they are cheap or don't have a lot of pool experience.

    If you selected flex PVC then you should pay up.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Southeast Louisiana

    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    Just wanted to point out, if the returns are not individually plumbed to the pad, I believe that a leak anywhere in return plumbing will result in test dye being drawn in at every return.

    Slidell, Louisiana (near New Orleans) 11,000gal kidney shaped Trilogy fiberglass pool Intelliflo VS Triton TR100 filter Easytouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG Polaris 280

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    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    The flex pipe is what they use. I asked about hard piping it and they said they been doing this a long time,that they use it in all their new installs,and that they have never had any issues. I would have preferred hard piping but know this would have ran labor costs up and flex pipe was what had been used before and that had later 30 yrs. I figured it was acceptable. They knew I was going to be backfilling it myself and never have any tips,advice,pointers..
    Now ultimately they're not obligated to explain or give me instructions on back filling but at this point it would have helped.
    On a similar note, they also failed to mention (until it was entirely too late) that in recent years its recommended to bond skimmers. They installed 2 new ones and never mentioned it. How important is this?
    Thanks again for the quick responses and all the advice.

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    TFP Guide

    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central MD

    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    So I guess that your pool builder can continue to say this...
    Quote Originally Posted by tryingtogetitdone22
    that they use it in all their new installs, and that they have never had any issues
    ...because technically "they" didn't have any issues with it, you did. Or if they don't want to bother with that distinction they can just lie going forward (perhaps like they have been all along).

    I've heard of bonding the water but not bonding the skimmers - but my level of expertise on the issue is limited to my pool build and what I've read (and retained - which would be less than I've read). My builder bonded the water by using a 2" pipe coupler with a bonding mechanism built into it to which the copper wire connects on the outside of it. Though he only did that after we failed an inspection.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking | Merlin SmartMesh winter safety cover
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    Again,thanks for the replies;they've been very helpful. I forgot to respond to you mcaswell that the pool company ran each return (3) and skimmers (2) individually,which I believe is the best way to do it. Now when I back filled I used the same material-bank run/sand mixure. I did not move or touch the plumbing anywhere near returns and skimmers. I just back filled slowly,in 3 inch lifts,wet the soil,hand tamped (before very careful around the fixtures) and repeated until it was level. Then I soaked it each night for a week as per landscapers request. So I was as careful as I could be. However,I think as was suggested by Dave,if I didn't give the flex hose enough slack then they could have stretched and either ripped,pulled out of the fitting,or worse yet broke a fitting. Now it's more a matter of where the responsibility lies in terms of the fix. I'm willing to remove the pavers and dig things up. I figure as long as the flex hose ripped or popped out of the should be fairly easy and inexpensive to fix. Is it too much to ask the pool company to fix it (I'd even be willing to pay for materials)?
    Not to beat a dead horse,but upon learning that the plumbing was leaking,the pool company's response was,not exaggerating, "you have a remaining balance of $xx are you gonna be paying that today?" When I told the owner that I wasn't paying anything until I figured out why the pool was leaking he said they had pressure tested the lines and it was not his fault or his problem. He wouldn't even pay for the leak detection expert to come out (which if he finds out it was not the pool companies fault for the leaks they could just bill me what the leak detection expert had charged them). I guess I am just looking for some reassurance that I'm not being unreasonable.
    At this point I'm am paying for the leak detection expert to come out and find the leaks this week. Hopefully they are all at the returns and not all over!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    Just as an FYI, we had our pool built and they used flex lines. Most pool builder in Toronto use only flex lines. My PB has been building for 40 years now and only uses flex.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Twin Cities, MN

    Re: Help with new plumbing leak

    You will find more flex installs as you get into more northern climates (at least they are common around here). Very little termite issues up here and flex pvc can be more forgiving of ground heave. However, being careful during the backfill is very important (for flex and rigid).
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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