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Thread: Pool Leak?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Pool Leak?

    Hi there

    I am just joining the TFP community. I am new to pool ownership as we moved in to our new house last Nov and the pool was already closed. I paid a pool company to open the pool for me and they messed it up which led me to find the TFP forum. I think that Pool School and the forum are absolutely awesome.

    I think based on reading Pool School and using the Taylor K-2006 test kit I have managed to get my pool chemistry almost there.

    My readings this evening are:
    FC: 4.4 FC
    CC: less than 0.2 (i.e. I need less than one drop to get the solution to turn clear)
    PH: 7.6
    TA: 80
    CH: 120
    CYA: 40-50
    Salt: 3000

    I added some more CYA this evening to keep on bumping up the CYA levels. I am doing it slowly to make sure that I don't overshoot the top limit and have to drain out some water. My salt level is a bit low and I will add some more salt once I get a chance to make a trip to the local Costco to pick up some more pool salt.

    I thought that I was doing well until I discovered that I may have a leak this week.

    My pool has one skimmer, main drain and both a solar heater and a natural gas heater.

    The plumbing is as follows:
    1) Skimmer + Main train link up at a three way valve
    2) Out flowing water from the three way valve goes to my pump and then sand filter
    3) From the Sand Filter it goes to another three way valve and the flow splits to a) Solar Panels b) Pipe towards the natural gas heater
    4) Pipe from the solar panels joins up with the pipe coming from the three-way valve and then attaches to the natural gas heater
    5) From the natural gas heater the pipe goes to the chlorinator and then back to the 2 returns

    I have no visible leaks on my equipment pad or any of the plumbing visible above ground.

    Last night I closed of the flow from the main drain and left the pool running on the skimmer and with water flowing to the solar panels. I measured the water level last night and this evening and I have lost about an inch of water. This seems way too much based on evaporation.

    I now know that I may have a leak in either my skimmer plumbing, solar panels/plumbing or return lines. So I turned off the water flow to the solar panels this evening and measured the water level. I will measure it again tomorrow night to see if I have lost more water.

    Assuming that I isolate the water loss to the skimmer plumbing which is 85% buried then what can I do to fix the leak? Is the following product any good:
    http://www.fixaleak.com/pools.html

    Is using it going to mess up my sand filter in some way?

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    288

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I've never used it but it looked promising until I read the last line on the page. "Marlig Industries nor its Agents assume responsibility for the performance of this material." This makes it sound like another Pool Store Magic Potion. I'd stay away from it myself.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    Measured the pool level again this evening and lost another inch of water. I looks like I may have a leak in the skimmer line.

    I filled the pool back up and turned off the valve for the skimmer and solar panels. I will let it run for a day and see if there is any water loss.

    I also noticed that there may be a mushy part in the lawn where I *think* the plumbing for the skimmer line might be.

    I am getting somewhat worried that I may have to dig up the lawn to find the leak.

    Any suggestions on what I should do next if I confirm that I have a leak in the skimmer would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    dallas ga
    Posts
    171

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I have a leak too so I am going to follow this thread
    In Ground. Vinyl lined 23,000 gals. Sand Filter. Hayward. Built 1991

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I have a bottle of fix-a-leak waiting to be used (probably next weekend). I isolated my leak to the spa return which is under poured concrete decking.

    You have to bypass the filter media. I have a cartridge filter, but my bottle says to set your sand filter to recirculate.

    If you have a suction side leak my bottle says you're going to have to reverse the flow of water, otherwise it isn't going to work. Apparently a good indicator of a suction side leak is air coming out of your pool returns.

    BTW - I too have a solar heat. I hate fighting those leaks. I'm thinking of running the fix-a-leak through them as well. I'll probably do that after I decide to replace the panels.
    18K Gals, Intelliflo VSD, Pentair Catridge, SWG, Solar & Gas Heat, Pebble Tec, Jandy AquaLinks, Pool Pal for Android.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I double checked the plumbing and the mushy party in the lawn is not from the skimmer plumbing. Looks like it's part of the downhill drainage from the vegitable garden.

    All of the skimmer plumbing seems to be under concrete. I will have to pull up some decking boards to be sure.

    I am at a loss as to what else to try to find the leak. Any suggestions would be great.

    Any suggestions on how to figure out the amount of loss due to evaporation?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    288

    Re: Pool Leak?

    Fill a 5 gallon bucket with water and set it at the edge of your pool. Mark the level in both the bucket and the pool. Wait a day then measure the difference on both the pool and the bucket. If the measurements are the same, you don't have a leak.

    I hope this makes sense.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I setup the bucket test this evening for evaporation. The pool is running on the skimmer only.

    I will measure the levels tomorrow.

    I am hoping that I am wrong and it it's evaporation. Keeping my fingers crossed
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I ran two tests with a bucket to ensure that I take into account evaporation.

    With the solar panels shut off from pool circulation and the pump running I found out the following:
    1) With the main drain valve closed and all water being drawn from the pool via the skimmer, I lost just over 1/2" over approximately 24 hours. The bucket lost no water.
    2) With the skimmer valve closed and all water being drawn from the pool via the main drain, I lost 3/4" over approximately 24 hours. The bucket lost no water.

    I just turned off the pump and I am going to let the pool sit with no circulation for 24 hours and see what is the water loss. The vinyl liner on the pool is old and it might be leaking. I have not found any visible holes, but there could just be lots of really small ones.

    Tomorrow night I plan to take off the backwash hose from the multi-valve on top of the sand filter and see if I might be loosing water while the pump is on. I read in other posts that this might be the case if the gasket is old/damaged.

    Any other ideas what else to test to determine where the leak might be?

    I am not to keen to try the fix-a-leak magic liquid as the chemicals in it can't be good for people and I am sure that my son will end up drinking the pool water. He is 4 and always ends up swallowing some pool water.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I let the pool sit for 24 hours with no circulation. We had a hot day and I lost about 3/8" of water in both the pool and the bucket. Looks like the vinyl liner does not have a leak.

    I did some tests for the pool chemistry and got:
    FC = 1.4
    CC = 0.4
    PH = 7.8
    CYA = 50

    I didn't get a chance to do the TA & CH tests because I had to run to do some family stuff.

    I turned the pump back on and turned up the SWG to 25P which is 15P higher from what I normally run it at. I also added some dry acid and CYA.

    This will hopefully bring me back up to my normal levels of:
    FC= 4.4
    CC= 0 or 0.2
    PH= 7.6
    and allow me to continue to increase the CYA to the SWG sweet spot of 70 to 80

    I will check for water clarity tomorrow as I only got to do my measurements and tests at dusk. I will have to do the backwash hose check tomorrow or on the weekend.

    Any other ideas as to how to track down the leak?

    I occasionally see some bubbles coming out of my returns, but it's very rare. Could this be a leak in my returns?

    I also read that I shouldn't see bubbles in my pump basket. Is this correct? Should I see no bubbles or some?

    Thanks in advance for any advice on detecting where is my mystery leak.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    May 2014
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    Current: Singapore Previous: Clayton, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    584

    Re: Pool Leak?

    The general recommendation is to use bleach to bump up FC levels even when you have an SWG, because SWGs are good at maintaining FC levels but not so good at increasing them.

    Bubbles coming out of returns points to a suction side leak rather than a return side leak.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    Thank you for the clarification on what bubbles in the returns mean. I am suspecting a suction side leak, so this aligns with what I have discovered so far.

    I don't know whether this is a function of my SWG or not, but I can raise FC levels whenever I want. It just doesn't happen quickly and I can only raise the FC levels to a certain point.

    Using the SWG would not be practical to SLAM, but in this case I am just increasing the level because the pump was off for 24 hours. My water is nice and clear and I don't need to SLAM. Any concerns with using a SWG this way?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    Last night after a day of running at 25P on the SWG, my levels went to:
    FC 5.2
    CC 0.2

    I overshot my target of about 4.5, but 5.2 is only slightly high. I reduced the SWG to 10p and I will watch how quickly the FC dissipates.

    The dry acid I added also had a positive impact and my PH is now at 7.6.

    I had to add some water because my water level dropped to the bottom of the skimmer. I am going to check on the backwash hose once it stops raining and I can actually detect drips or moisture.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Port St. Lucie, Florida
    Posts
    24

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I am not an expert, but is it possible to plug the skimmer and close the valve to the skimmer, circulating using the main drain alone to confirm your theory that the issue is in the skimmer line?
    ~9500 gal, IG plaster (Florida gem), Sta-Rite System 3 PLM150 cartridge filter, Dura-Glas 1.5 HP single-speed main pump (circulation), Dura-Glas II 2 HP single-speed pump (spa jets only), built 2003, spa & two bubbler water features ~1.5 feet above pool level

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    Jsa, i did exactly what you suggested and the pool leaks water both through the skimmer and the main drain.

    I looks like I may have multiple leaks

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

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    I used the fix-a-leak solution this evening. I am hoping that the leaks get plugged.

    I will let you guys know the results tomorrow.

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

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    North Atlanta
    Posts
    5

    Re: Pool Leak?

    We had a similar situation and it turned out to be a leak where the skimmer had separated from the pool "shell" and was leaking into the ground. Our pool was not losing as much water as yours but might be a possibility. I was convinced we had a pressure side leak. I was wrong. If you have one, a leak behind a light is also a possibility but it sounds like you are loosing a LOT of water. Good Luck!
    24K In-ground plaster, Raised spa w/ spillway, AutoPilot Digital SWG, SC-48 cell, Jandy 1.5hp pump, Jandy CV460 cartridge filter, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Taylor K-2006 (didn't find you guys soon enough!)

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    It looks like fix-a-leak may have worked. I have been running on the main drain only for two days and it looks like all I lost is due to evaporation.

    I am going to switch to skimmer only tomorrow night and see if that's also fixed.

    I will let you know if it worked.

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

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Markham/Ontario
    Posts
    52

    Re: Pool Leak?

    After running the pool for a few days with the bucket test employed, I think that the leak is gone.

    Fix-a-leak worked as advertised.

    I ended up replacing a fair amount of water after using fix-a-leak just to dilute whatever chemicals may have been left in the pool from using fix-a-leak.

    This wasn't necessary from what the manufacturer claimed but it made me feel better. I was a bit worried about the kids swimming in the water with the undiluted chemicals. I had intended to refill anyhow since I inherited the water from the last owners of our house when we moved in last year.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    15K Gallons, IG, Vinyl, 1HP Single Speed Pump, Sand, SWG, NG Heater + Solar Panels

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