Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

  1. Back To Top    #1
    Gooserider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Billerica, MA, USA, etc.
    Posts
    211

    Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    I have a problem - self induced, sort of, but I finally finished building a replacement pool control box (which I'll post more about eslwhere) and was able to start opening the pool today...

    Last fall, when closing down, I couldn't find the stopper for the line that went into the line that connects the booster pump to the Polaris pool robot... We put the cover on figuring to open it up when I'd gotten a replacement stopper - but by the time I did the water level in the pool had gotten above that line's opening, and the weather had turned nasty - so we didn't put the stopper in... I went through the winter hoping the pipe wouldn't freeze and being afraid that it would...

    Today when we pulled the cover off, I found the water level was about a foot low, or about 1-2" above the opening in the wall for the line. Normally the pool is full to the brim when we open, especially given the heavy snow we had this past winter, and the extra rainy spring... So I am assuming that the pipe has broken somehere under ground, most likely under the slab.

    It is about 10-15' from the wall fitting to the equipment area, and it does look like a straight run.... The existing pipe is 1.5" PVC, with a glued in adapter at the pool wall to allow connecting the Polaris hose fitting. The booster pump outlet is only 3/4" IIRC and the Polaris hose is also 1/2 or 3/4" so I could go smaller on the pipe size I think...

    1. What is the most painless way to fix this?

    I'm wondering about just trying to slide a smaller pipe down the existing one, with a reducing coupler at the pool wall... Doing some quick looking at specs, it appears that 3/4" pipe would fit, even if I have to use a coupler....

    Quite aside from the hassles involved otherwise, it would be a MAJOR problem to try to get through the slab, as the pipe runs under the area that is occupied by the pool equipment...

    2. Being stuck in a wheelchair, this is probably not something I can do myself, though I can describe what exists in detail... Are there any pool repair folks in my area (Billerica, MA, which is just south of Lowell) that other TFP folks have had good luck dealing with?

    3. Right now the pool has a serious case of the green slime / stinking swamp syndrome from having been closed all winter... The water level is to low for the main pump to circulate, and filter, but I could stopper the Polaris outlet and isolate the line, then fill the pool enough to circulate with a bunch of chlorine to try and reduce the worst of it. Is this a good idea? How much of a pumpdown will then be needed to do the repair?

    Any other thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks,
    ex-Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    I hate to say it, but it sounds like it may be time to hire a handyman and rent a small electric jack hammer, many tool rental places rent them for under $50 per day (one local hardware store is as low as $30), if they are self service try to pick one with a reasonably sharp chisel bit.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Noblesville, IN
    Posts
    83

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    If it were me, I'd troubleshoot some more to confirm that's where the leak is before I broke up the concrete. Can you isolate that run (plug the end in the wall) and fill it with water and see if it disappears? It would suck to break up the concrete to find out that's not the problem.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Gooserider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Billerica, MA, USA, etc.
    Posts
    211

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    I'd like to avoid the jackhammer if at all possible - As I mentioned, besides the obvious concrete problem, I'd have to rip out all the plumbing I just put in last spring because the suspect pipe runs under the equipment area.

    Pressure testing the suspect pipe is a good idea, but I'd put money on it being the problem - the returns were further under water, and seemed to still be full of air from when I blew the lines out last fall... Same with the skimmer side. It seems unlikely that I'd have a leak elswhere that would give me the same water depth result...

    Another option that MIGHT work as a variant on running a new smaller line through the existing one is that a friend says he has a bunch of 3/4" PEX tube, but I don't think I've ever heard / seen mention of using PEX on a pool... What worries me about it is that most PEX seems to use metal fittings and I don't know if those would hold up well to pool chemistry. I'm sure the tube itself would be fine, but connecting it to the PVC pipe would be a problem.

    ex-Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

  5. Back To Top    #5
    sargent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    291

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    Plug the line and abandon it, assuming it really is the problem. Get a robotic cleaner. That might be a cheaper and better solution than fixing the leak, whether by tearing up concrete or by putting in some kind of smaller line through the existing one.
    14k gal IG vinyl, Jandy Flopro 1 hp up-rated, 2 spd pump, Hayward 325 sq ft cartridge filter, Circupool Si-40 SWCG

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Gooserider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Billerica, MA, USA, etc.
    Posts
    211

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    Thought about that option, and it would possibly work - but we just bought a new booster pump for the Polaris last summer and rebuilt the drive on the robot itself, and I'd hate to waste that investment...

    The other problem is that my understanding of the electric bots is that they don't like being in the pool ALL the time, even when not running. I seriously doubt that I'd be able to get one of the electric bots in and out of the water easily because of the general problems I have lifting. The Polaris lives in the pool all the time, except when I fish it out to empty the bag - which I can do by snagging the hose and pulling it out by the hose (not something I'd want to do with a power cord) So I think the Polaris better fits my needs and abilities...

    ex-Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Topeka, KS
    Posts
    81

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    Don't feel alone!!! I have to replace my skimmer line this summer.

    I bought a cheap Endoscope off ebay. You might do the same and see if you can run it down the pipe to see the damage.

    I bought a Dolphin Advantage, It comes with a remote you can drive it to the shallow end, does a wonderful job cleaning the pool.
    18x36 Buster Crab in ground, 3' shallow 8' deep, Hayward super pump, 300lb sand filter.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Moberly,MO
    Posts
    978

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    Abandon the line. Plumb a new one over the deck unless you have an auto cover.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Gooserider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Billerica, MA, USA, etc.
    Posts
    211

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp View Post
    Abandon the line. Plumb a new one over the deck unless you have an auto cover.
    Not really possible, as my chair probably wouldn't be able to make if over the new line, and likely would damage it if I tried... I could run a new line, and try to put a ramp over it, but that would look really tacky and be a stumbling hazard for the able-bodied...

    ex-Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Gooserider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Billerica, MA, USA, etc.
    Posts
    211

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    UPDATE....

    As suggested, by mmcgovern, I did a bit more trouble shooting, with good news and bad news results... I got a friend to come over that could get into the plumbing, and we isolated the line and pressure tested it with a cylinder leakdown tester - and found it had zero leakage that we could detect.

    That is the good news, but it leaves me with the puzzle of why the pool was about a foot lower than full when I pulled the cover off... In the past, even with a mild winter, the pool was always refilled to 100% or close to it between rain and snowmelt on the cover. This past winter was a record setter for snowfall in New England - so I was expecting the pool to be full to over-flowing, but it wasn't...

    However since the pipe showed no leakage, I filled it up the rest of the way, and started up the pumps - everything seems to be working OK, and the water level hasn't dropped noticeably in 24 hours or so, so I might be OK afterall...

    Now to just get things swimmable.... I've made a big dent in the "Green Swamp" even in one day, but have a long way to go...

    ex-Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    3,899

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    That sounds like the best possible outcome! Keep on that swamp!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Noblesville, IN
    Posts
    83

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    Great news! That sounds like a win to me! If you don't see a drop in the water level after 24 hours, I'd chalk it up to a crazy winter and move on.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Gooserider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Billerica, MA, USA, etc.
    Posts
    211

    Re: Broken pipe under slab! How to fix???

    That's about where I'm at... Level seems to be holding OK, though it's hard to tell with all the backwashing I've needed to do (Normal start up drill - have to backwash 3+ times while getting the swamp fixed, then am OK to the end of the season...) Will probably do some more checking once things are swimable to make sure I don't have any slow leaks around the pipe fittings and such, but don't expect anything major...

    Water is already looking a lot better, and I'm fixing to switch the pool bot from the leaf bags to the regular or silt bags as the big stuff is now off the bottom...
    (Just wish we could put diapers on the trees so they don't keep dropping **** in the pool....)

    ex-Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •