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Thread: Losing water

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    Losing water

    Hi:

    About 7 weeks ago we bought a home with a 20 year old in ground concrete pool. We're total pool newbies and are trying to learn as much as we can about how to care for the pool.

    About a month ago, we had a salt cell installed and really like it. Last week we started losing water, both when the filter was running and when it was off. The rate of water loss seemed to be about the same whether the filter was on or off. When the water dropped down to the bottom of the skimmer opening into the pool (with the filter off), the water loss stopped. We haven't loss any water in the 1 1/2 days since the water dropped to this level. There is still water in the skimmer basket area and that hasn't gone down below the level of the rest of the pool. We noticed a lot of damp soil at the edge of the concrete apron at the lowest point in the yard, but it has dried out a bit since the pool stopped losing water.

    The pool is older and has a few cracks that a past owner filled, as well as a few newer looking ones. A pool guy comes out weekly to help us monitor the chemicals in the pool and he used pool dye at cracks and didn't notice anything being drawn into them.

    There is a pipe coming from the filter area (I think this is the backwash pipe) that empties in a drain by the driveway and it isn't leaking. Out pool guy also checked the o-ring in the multiport and it was fine.

    Any suggestions for other things we could do before calling a leak detector? And anything that might put our minds at ease that this isn't a huge, expensive problem? Thanks!

    Diane
    Approx. 15,000 concrete pool built in early 1990s, sand filter, Hayward salt cell.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water

    Welcome to tfp, dianeb

    If the leak is the same with the pump on or off and if it stops at the bottom of the skimmer, then I would look for leaks around the skimmer box or at that same level all around the pool, since the underground pipes would be under vacuum when the pump is on and not leak out water.

    Where is the equipment vertically in relation to the pool surface?
    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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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water

    Exactly how much water do you lose in a 24 hour period?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Losing water

    Thanks for the replies. The pool lost about 1.5" per day until it stopped leaking at the bottom of the skimmer opening. Our pool guy said this was much more than he was seeing at other area pools.

    The equipment is about 15' from one end of the pool and the damp soils are at the opposite end of the pool.

    There is a crack in the grout between some of the decorative tiles at the top of the pool, all of them are just above where the leak ends. I didn't check them with the pool dye since the water had already dropped below them. Should I refill the pool and use the pool dye in that area or just go ahead and fill in those cracks. I've heard about a 2 step epoxy that can be used in pools. Is that something I can get at Home Depot or Ace?

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean when you say the pipes are under a vacuum when the pump is on. Does that mean that pipes can't leak when the pump is on and so since the pool leaked with the pump on that this can't be a leak in the pipes?

    As I said, I'm new at this, so I apologize for asking very basic questions!

    Diane
    Approx. 15,000 concrete pool built in early 1990s, sand filter, Hayward salt cell.

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    Re: Losing water

    1.5 inches daily is certainly a leak...not evaporation.

    If your pool water gets to a certain point and stops leaking, then the leak is almost certainly at that level. It sounds like your water stops leaking at the bottom of the mouth of the skimmer. Correct? But the water inside the skimmer lowers no further, either. Is that correct also?

    If so, inspect the pool exactly at that level all the way around but especially right around the skimmers. Disregard any other cracks for now if they are above (or below) that level.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water

    Welcome to the forum Dianeb.

    Very sorry to hear about your leak, and hope you find a remedy for it soon.
    We all came here seeking knowledge, so there is no reason to apologize for that.
    TFP Moderator
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Losing water

    Thanks, that's right, the water stops about 1/4" above the top of the skimmer bottom and the water in the skimmer also remains at the level.
    The water dropped both with the filter on and off, and since the water it dropped to the bottom of the skimmer, I've kept the filter off to avoid burning out the pump. Since I haven't lost any water since it dropped to the bottom of the skimmer, does that mean the leak isn't in one of the suction or return pipes? Or does turning the filter/pump off create a vacuum and so no water can be loss even if there is a leak in a pipe?
    Thanks again!

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water

    I would say unless there are other fittings at the same level elsewhere in the pool, that the throat of the skimmer is where the crack is, or the upper body of the skimmer bowl.

    You could block off the skimmer, fill the pool and see if the pool loses water without the skimmer. This would tell you it's the skimmer or the pool.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Losing water

    Thanks for all the help. I put some epoxy around the skimmer and a tile crack I found and now no leak! Thanks for all the help!
    --------------------------
    Diane
    Approx. 15,000 concrete pool built in early 1990s, sand filter, Hayward salt cell.

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