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Thread: Lucky underground leak detection.

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    foobert's Avatar
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    Lucky underground leak detection.

    Every since I bought this house 1.5 years ago, I've had a persistent problem with a suction side air leak that's been getting progressively worse. I went through all the usual suspects around the pumping pad: pump drain plug, o-rings, valves, fittings, etc and never had any luck. Finally, I got the shovel out and started digging underneath the pump pad.

    Above the pump pad, there's a mixture of copper and PVC plumbing, so I was hopeful someone had done a retrofit to the pumping area and there'd be a leaking copper-PVC union near the pump pad. Well, no such luck.

    But, on a whim, I got the garden hose out and filled the freshly dug hole full of water. Immediately upon filling it, in the pump basket still showed air. Bummer. But, a few minutes later, I came back and the bubbles where gone. Hmmmmm. After the water was absorbed into the dirt, the pump basket remained bubble free. But, 5-10 minutes later, they were back again.



    Repeat experiment a couple of more times, and sure enough, a few minute after the hole is filled or drained, there's a response in the air-leak. So, my leak was not tooo far from the pump pad. More digging meant taking down the fence; so fast forward a month later...

    My water experiment had long dried up, but as I dug I start getting to some very wet soil, and voila:




    A coupling that was so very poorly glued that the pipe was literally slipping in/out of the coupler as I dug around it out. I'm amazed the pump ever pulled prime at all from that.

    Just sitting by the pool now, waiting for a few more inches of water to drain out before I cut the pipe and patch it up.

    Aint pool ownership fun

    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Lucky underground leak detection.

    Nice job on finding the leak. One less project !
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    foobert's Avatar
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    Re: Lucky underground leak detection.

    It's my only hope that this one coupler isn't indicative of what the rest of the underground glue joints are doing. I'm going to rehabilitate the pool in a year (or more), and was hoping that none of plumbing around the pool shell would need to be replaced. It's a mid/late 70's pool -- that's probably optimistic on my part...
    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

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    foobert's Avatar
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    Re: Lucky underground leak detection.

    I'm no plumber, but a PVC pipe needs to be inserted far more than a measly 1/4" into the fitting to make a secure joint.



    Above is the end of the coupler on the leaking joint. The pipe simply pulled right out of it by hand! Note the white glue ring indicating where the pipe came to a stop inside the coupler after assembly (as well as the dried remnants of glue further inside from there).

    Judging by the fact that there were 3 couplers in an 18" span of pipe, I'm fairly certain that this stunning level of craftsmanship is indicative of a repair job someone made after damaging the pipe while digging for something else (found an abandoned sprinkler line not far above this one).

    Will start the water filling tomorrow and see if my repair fixes the air leak.
    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Lucky underground leak detection.

    Yep it usually helps to get the pipe pushed further into the fitting !
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: Lucky underground leak detection.

    I doubt the skillful person who did that work COULD push it in further. The melted PVC ring inside the coupler indicates it may never have been primed.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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