Hi Everyone and thanks for all of the great information.
I believe my pool has a suction side leak that we need to isolate and fix cause the pump is not working as efficiently, etc. here are our symptoms:
1. Bubbles in the return lines and pump basket
2. We are NOT losing an appreciable amount of water
3. Pool vacuum (plugged into skimmer-- we do not have a separate suction line-- losses suction intermittently making it difficult to sweep the pool
4. Pool plumbing is copper underground with PVC above ground. Pool is 40 years old.
5. There is no visible problem with the skimmer itself. It is not cracked or losing water.
I think the leak is in the suction line between the skimmer and the pump. I had a repair guy come out who who was trying to sell me a whole new skimmer and line for a huge amount of money. He stated (without doing any leak detection) that he thought the leak was in the plumbing under the skimmer, which would require the work mentioned above as we'll as some digging and deck repair. If this is indeed the problem, is it possible to repair without completely replacing it all?
Does it make sense that the pipe under the skimmer would be leaking and we are not losing a noticeable amount of water?
Any help or advice you can give me is much appreciated. I would love to have some direction before writing checks. I have not yet had a leak detection company out.