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Thread: leak probably from the return line.

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    leak probably from the return line.

    Hi,

    I think I have a leak somewhere in the return line.

    So my system consists of a IG pool with a sand filter. One skimmer and two returns. There is a grid in the bottom but it's plugged (never used i guess). It came with a house i bought a year and a half ago.

    I loose maybe 2 or 3 inches overnight only when the filter is running and nothing is coming from the drain. From my farthest return i can sometimes see a few small bubbles coming out every few minutes or so. Absolutely no bubble coming out from the first one though.

    So my guess from what I could read here is that I have a leak in the return line probably between the 2 returns.

    Any advice on how I could fix this? Should I try to use a small pipe camera to see where is the leal exactly?
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    If you have a small pipe camera that would certainly help in figuring out if it was a DIY scenario, Though I'm not sure what you would look for to find the leak from the inside. I suspect you will need to call out a leak detection company.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Are you sure you want to run a sewer camera thru your pool lines? Lol! Joking, joking.

    It most likely would not show you what you need to see and then how does a DIYer locate a camera head?

    How is your backwash plumbed? May I see pictures of your pump set up?

    Leaking only when the pump is running is indicative of a backwash leak or Polaris line leak, rarely is it a return leak.

    Tape a ruler to the front of your skimmer and figure out exactly how much water loss you have, first 24 hours run the pump next 24 leave it off and note the difference if any.

    Alot of my customers think evaporation is much greater than it actually is, you can do a bucket test to verify.
    The Original Leak Specialists.

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Hi and thanks for your inputs.

    For sure I will wash the sewer camera in the pool before running it in the lines!

    My sand filter looks like this:


    If it's a backwash leak I guess I would see some water flowing out from the drain?

    I will try to make a precise measure of the leak like you suggest. With the bucket too.
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Have you checked that the multiport valve isn't leaking down the drain line due to a bad spider gasket? It's got a hose, so you wouldn't see the puddle, and the valve in the drain line sort of hints that somebody noticed a problem in the past and tried a cheap fix.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Are you sure it's not leaking from all of that putty you have around the input port from the pump? I've never seen a setup like that.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    I would make sure that valve on the backwash line is off when the pool is running and take it from there.

    I did a leak detection on a large gunite with all the bells and whistles last year, tested everything found nothing. Maintenance man tells me it only leaks when it runs...

    Sure enough when I cut the backwash and its pouring out, run the sewer camera (its a backwash that drains into a lake) and its broken completely in 2 and never showed up at the end of the pipe.
    The Original Leak Specialists.

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Ok. Thanks all. The putty on the pump input is just some silicon that i put myself cause there was some minor dropping from there now it's dry. The setup is inside a shed and the floor is dry enough.

    I always wondered why there was a valve on the drain. But that valve is not even working. I can't shut it off. When I use the drain I do see the water coming out at full rate at the other end which end up on the street side. Also when filtering i don't see water passing through the small transparent half sphere on the side of the filter. But i guess I should try to unplug the drain line from the filter and really see if water is coming out from there while filtering.
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    All you have to do is loosen one of the hose clamps on the valve and watch the end of the pipe with the pump on.

    That sight glass will only show a very sizeable leak, the pipe would have to more than 1/3s full for it to enter the glass.
    The Original Leak Specialists.

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Ok, just outside the shed my drain pass through 3 elbws at 90 degree. I tried to unmount one of them to see if water will come ou there while filtering but it was jammed so I will try again soon.

    I did a bucket test yesterday. In 13 hours, my pool water level went down 3 inches while filtering and the bucket was still basically at the same level. I even put it in the sun but here in Canada it's still a bit cold so that's normal that the bucket did not evaporate at all I think. So I can confirm I'm really leaking. I don't think it's worth doing the same test with filter off cause I know the pool is not leaking while not filtering. The other day I stop the filter and around 12 hours later I could see the level of water in tghe pooll did'nt really move.

    So today I will try to really see if nothing comes out from the drain line.
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Can't you just remove the hose clamp on the filter where the drain line attaches and see if you have water leaking out? Leaks can be so darn hard to find sometimes. I myself in my own pool have been trying to locate one for about a month now. Frustrating and almost ready to call in a leak detection company.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    It costs a little bit but compared to a liner or just one hole opened in the wrong spot its cheap, not to mention the cost of water and chemicals and headaches.
    The Original Leak Specialists.

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Finally I could remove a clamp on the drain line just ouside the shed and not a single drop came out after a few hours of filtering. So the problem is not related to the drain or the filter itself. So my leak must be in the return line. My bet is that the leak is near my second return. since only that one is emitting some bubble. I also noticed some water between the concrete and the vinyl next to that return.. I will try to look in this spot with a camera when I can.

    I heard about fix-a-leak but since it's toxic, I don't want to put this in my pool and finding the leak and replacing parts would be a better fix.
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    I am now ready to order a fix-a-leak bottle. I did another test lately by just running the filter in recirculate mode and the leak was faster. i think it's because the pressure on the return pipe must be stronger when in recirculate mode.

    But I have a question for the pool experts here: to prevent this toxic product from going everywhere in my pool I had the idea to try to plug the first return and then run a flexible pipe from the second return (where I think the leak must be) to the skimmer. So the fix a leak will run only in this closed circuit. Then once the leak is sealed, I would just unplug the pipe just after the filter to empty the water and product. Do you think I could do this without damaging the pump or the return line? Could this put to much pressure on the system?
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    I am also almost ready to use fix-a-leak. I picked up a bottle on Monday.

    Still double checking to ensure I know what's leaking.

    I will post to this thread if I end up using fix-a-leak.

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    Okl thank g5marek. I am waiting for my bottle delivery. I also used food coloring and i saw the food coloring being succked up in the return so this is really where it is leaking for me. I will use a squeeze botle to send some fix a leak directly in the return like they say in the instructions:

    If you suspect a leak around fittings inside the pool (such as return fittings) lights, skimmer(s) or steps, etc.
    Shut down pump.
    Apply FIX-A-LEAK directly to the leak using a squeeze bottle, similar to a ketchup bottle.
    Allow a minimum of 48 hrs. to cure before starting up circulation.
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    I used fix-a-leak earlier this week and it seems to have fixed my leak.

    Best of luck fixing your leak.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: leak probably from the return line.

    An update on my return line leak saga.

    Fix-a-leak didn't work at all. Even though I squeezed it directly in the return line.

    I finally broke the concrete on top of my return line. There was a concrete square on top of that return that looked thinner and newer than the rest. So I guess there was a leak there before. And also it was easy to break.

    And I immediately had confirmation that the leak was exactly there. There was a lot of water and as soon as I could saw the pipe, I saw a platic fitting that was cracked and water was flowing like a small fountain.

    So I bought a replacement part and also changed the small pipe section for a flexible one cause I could see the T fitting was not correctly aligned with the return hole. I guess the ground was moving in this area. I also read on some website that a 90 degree downward elbow should always be used on the returns to avoid this kind of problem.

    Anyway I put some rocks under the pipe to remove the strain on the return and the wall.








    I then refilled the pool and started the pump yesterday night and today it's almost 4 pm and the level is still exactly the same!! So I think it's a success.

    But now before refilling the whole and pouring concrete, I want to make sure everything is ok. The problem now is that I can see some thin water below the return on the wall. There seems to be so drops of water coming from the black rubber or that huge rusted nut between the wall and the white plastci (see pic below)


    I also now see some bubbles in both of my returns (last year I was noticing only from the leaking one). But I guess there is some air introduced in my pump. Maybe I should change the plugs or something.

    But My question now would be: is there any product (silicon or pitch) I could put around that big rusted nut and black rubber to prevent this small leak cause I think it would be more complicated to change this piece: it looks rusted and I fear of aggravating things if I try to disable this part.
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

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