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Thread: Leak

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Leak

    Hi guys,
    I have a 15yr old 30K IG w/spa, Pool was a bit neglected when we took over 6 mnths ago. First time i've owned a pool of this calibur but, I'm pretty handy and never been afraid of tackling a new challenge. So I jumped in head first(figuratively speaking). and frankly, It's almost got the better of me a few times. It's been a 3month battle. First fight was eraticating algee.
    I finally got chemistry right, Then I had leak and spa draining issues, Took a month but finally had it close, still had small suction leak but...anyway ended up replacing 3 chk valves(all 3 were bad) and repaired 3 pressure side leaks. So I hadn't fully recovered from that fight, when I took on my minimax 400 heater. Took a month but, got it up and running again just 2 days ago.

    So for the first time in 6 months, I felt like we had successfully exorcized the pool demons out of the back yard. It was really one of my great personnel achievements to date. UNTIL TODAY!

    I go out to net some leaves and give her a good manual sweeping, When suddenly I was brought to my knees! The water level in my pool horrifically low. 2 or 3 inches below tile. spa level ok but pool? HOW COULD THIS BE! Thank God I was alone because, I think I actually whimpered followed by a brief sobbing.

    So after wiping my tears I went to work.

    I brought water level back up, and search the ground looking for where 300gal of water might have escaped? Unfortunately it rained just enough last night and this morning that made my search fruitless,

    So I figured I would go ahead and sweep? (system hadn't been running for 6 hours to this point)But i couldn't get pump primed in pool mode, switch to spa mode? it would prime but wasn't right, there was alot of air and cavitation in pump strainer. I let it run for quite a while to see if it would catch prime in pool mode, but it never did.

    So being pretty sure it's a suction side leak. I pour water on and around strainer and plumbing with no luck.

    I'm a bit miffed at the moment? I'll know more tomorrow, because I've turned power off and will see if water level changes in morning, If no significant water loss? I will attempt to run pump again to see if it drops with pump on.

    Is the loss of water and the pump no prime the same issue?
    This has to be a huge suction leak if pump won't prime right?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    The loss of water and pump prime issue is most likely the same.

    It doesn't have to be a very large leak at all to keep the pump from priming. A pretty small leak can leak in a lot of air.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Leak

    sorry

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    Re: Leak

    hmm, I didn't know that? So how would you suggest attacking this thing?

    With such a large volume of water loss in such a short time? Why am I unable to at least see signs of saturation somewhere?

    Maybe the leak is just to deep to reach top soil?
    (deep end is 8' so deepest point of plumbing(main drain) is what, 10' from ground level? (equipment is ground level & approx. 80' from pool)

    I have dual main drains, I assume they are connected, then that pipe runs along bottom, then out & up and tees in to skimmer, then that pipe goes to suction side of pump correct?

    Then of course the spa (dual mains) has its own dedicated line that also goes to pump intake w/bypass check valve and a 3way between them correct?

    The quandary im having is, It has trouble with priming in both pool AND spa? (Spa will catch prime but barely, much cavitation.)

    Is this do to less volume in spa? No that doesn't even make sense? They are two separate lines? controlled by 3way? Am I to believe they both(pool&spa) developed suction side failure at the same time?

    This is a real head scratcher and giving me a headache!

    I guess I could begin by digging up suction lines at pump to see what direction they're headed? The way it looks? there is alot of concrete covering them? GRRRRR!

    Maybe my first move should be to a therapist? lol Please Help!

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Leak

    Excuse my ignorance, but if the last thing you worked on was the heater, could you have jarred it or something around there? What was the last thing you did? work yourself backwards until you find it.
    13200 gal, IG, plaster, built 1985, replastered 2012, Mytilus MA-90C cartridge filter, 2716 Blue Line In-ground Pump and Motor (1 HP), (manual clean/brush/test with Taylor K-2006, TFP since 2012) in Northwest Houston TX

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    Re: Leak

    last thing I did was switch wiring on pool/spa rocker switch on front panel of heater. But heater, filter etc. is on pressure side of pump. I could be wrong, but I believe "pump no prime" is a suction side issue?

    Last thing I did on suction side was replace bypass check valve, and that was a month ago?

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    The best way to go about finding it is to start isolating the plumbing to see where the problem is. Plug the skimmer first and see if it still leaks.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Leak

    ahha! thanks Bama, will do now

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    Re: Leak

    Water level has not dropped below skimmer, and skimmer has continued dropping. So apparently my leak is between skimmer and where in tees into main drain? I dug up where i looks like the line from skimmer was headed but haven't found it yet? Typically does the main come up and connect to skimmer or would the connection be at bottom of pool?

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    The main drain usually either runs back to the equipment pad or it's connected to the second hole in the bottom of the skimmer. Does your skimmer have a diverter in the bottom or just two holes?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Leak

    2 holes, but at equipment pad there are only two suction lines that come up to pump, one for pool one for spa. So somewhere along the way the main and skimmer come together correct?
    also one of the holes in skimmer is plugged so......i think i've removed plug before and i don't remember it doing much? (no suction)

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    The main drain should be tied to the second hole in the bottom of the skimmer. If it's plugged off it's not contributing to the leak.
    The leak is somewhere in the suction like between the skimmer and the pump.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Leak

    ok thank you Bama, thats good to know. well i finally found skimmer line where it comes out from deck, but no sign of leak, i'm gunna tunnel under deck next to see if leak is a bad joint at bottom of skimmer? hoping i wont have to demo deck panel around skimmer?

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    Re: Leak

    if you plug the pipe in the skimmer that goes the main/bottom drain, you will have to get in the pool and plug the main/bottom drain also. if that is where it is leaking. i had to do that to 4 pools this past year.

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    Re: Leak

    ok lets refresh where this nightmare is.

    At bottom of skimmer, I have skimmer port open and main port closed.

    Pool (water)level dropped fairly fast (3days)until it got to skimmer, It has stabilized and remains at skimmer level(not dropped below skimmer opening) for a few days.

    So if main was leaking, wouldn't pool level continue to drop until it reached the level of the leak?

    Or maybe with main port plugged it has created vacuum lock? and until plug is removed, pool level WILL NOT drop?

    I don't know? HELP!!!!!!

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    You are correct. If the main drain was leaking the pool level would continue to drop below the skimmer face.
    Your leak appears to be between the skimmer and the pump.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Leak

    SHEEEEW! Thats a relief. I still might have to demo some deck, but at least its only 18" under ground

    Now the chore of pin pointing leak?

    70% of skimmer line is covered by concrete, I only have small yard area with synthetic grass where i can get to pipe, maybe 20' (without breaking concrete)

    Any thoughts on how to pinpoint leak with these conditions?

    Should I fill pool back up and..... ****! I just have know idea how to approach this thing without starting at skimmer and chasing it back to pump? meaning, potentially pulling up entire synthetic lawn and saw cutting and removing patio where plumbing runs underneath?

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    The first thing to do is fill the pool back up and exhaust all possibilities of a leak above ground if you haven't already.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Leak

    OK good news, I found A leak. Its a failed 90`near skimmer. fitting was nearly cracked in half which would explain why i couldn't get prime on pump. Had to saw cut and demo section of deck to expose broken fitting.

    I'm not sure if this is typical but, line comes out of skimmer, then 90s up, 90s out, and 90s over. 3 elbows, back to back to back.
    seems like a lot of unnecessary fittings?

    Anyway, with the exception of the broken fitting? everything else was encased in gunite, so it took some careful chiseling to actually expose plumbing enough to get in there to make repair. Its going to get tricky as all the fittings are butted up against each other, so i cut off bad elbow, but now i have the remaining glued piece of 2" pipe still inside other elbow that i need to extract. otherwise were talking breaking up rest of plumbing encased in gunite? even then I think i'm still faced with same delima of removing pipe from inside fitting?

    It got dark so had to wait till today to give it a go, I'll post results later.

    PS note where i said "I found "A" leak" Crossing fingers it is the ONLY leak?

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leak

    Glad you found it, but bummed it had to be where it was.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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