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Thread: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

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    Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    We have a 36 x 18 vinyl liner pool that is 2 yrs old. We have been losing water throughout both seasons but have continued to just add water. It is frustrating me as chemical balance is tough to maintain. I have done a bucket test and found we lost 1" (1/2 to evaporation and 1/2 to a leak) with the pump OFF. I then did the same test with the pump ON (closed the skimmer line and plugged it with a winter plug) and filtered through the main drain only. I lost 1" this time and only 1/4" to evaporation. Both tests were 24 hrs. There are no signs of leaks at the equip. I have went around the main areas (steps, skimmer, and lights) with dye and nothing sticks out. There is a bit of swirling in the pump basket when it first turns on. Usually if it is just the skimmer. Should I do the same test with the main drain off and just the skimmer? Will water still leak if the main drain is not plugged at the floor? Any ideas what this kind of loss is pointing to? Thanks for your help!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    I'm assuming that by 1/2" to evaporation and 1/2" to leak means that the pool lost an inch and the bucket only lost 1/2". That's a lot of evaporation no matter where you're located. 1/4" loss to evaporation is believable.

    If you didn't plug all the inlets and outlets in the pool the plumbing could still leak and you wouldn't be able to tell if it was the liner or the plumbing leaking.

    I'd run the bucket test again with all the ports in the pool plugged if that's possible.

    P.S. It'd be nice of you'd put your general location in your sig.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    Sorry for that. Up in Saskatchewan canada. We do lose a lot to evaporation. Temps are hot and humidity levels are low. The 1/2 inch may be out of normal as it was windy that day. Nevertheless, losing too much to a leak. If I can plug the skimmer and two jets, do I have to plug the main drain or could I just isolate it at the pump? I take it if I lose water when all the ports are closed it would lean toward a liner issue as with a liner puncture you lose water regardless if the pump is on or off.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    I'm assuming that by 1/2" to evaporation and 1/2" to leak means that the pool lost an inch and the bucket only lost 1/2". That's a lot of evaporation no matter where you're located. 1/4" loss to evaporation is believable.

    If you didn't plug all the inlets and outlets in the pool the plumbing could still leak and you wouldn't be able to tell if it was the liner or the plumbing leaking.

    I'd run the bucket test again with all the ports in the pool plugged if that's possible.

    P.S. It'd be nice of you'd put your general location in your sig.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    To truly isolate the plumbing you will have to plug the main drain also.

    Depending on how the plumbing is connected you could plug everything else and try it but if it still leaked you wouldn't know if it's the vessel or the MD.
    Do you have a valve for the skimmer and MD or are they tied together?
    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: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    I think they are tied together with a valve. I took a pic. Hope you can see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    To truly isolate the plumbing you will have to plug the main drain also.

    Depending on how the plumbing is connected you could plug everything else and try it but if it still leaked you wouldn't know if it's the vessel or the MD.
    Do you have a valve for the skimmer and MD or are they tied together?
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    They are tied together at that 3-way valve.

    What's that pan under there with water in it? Is it because of a leak? If so that could be part of your problem.
    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: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    No there is no water leaking from the equipment. Just to catch water when we r priming the pump after cleaning the basket. When I open the lid to the pump, I hear lots of gurgling not sure if that's normal. And sometimes there is a bit of a dual swirl at the top of the basket. This is typically when the valve is open to both or just the skimmer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    They are tied together at that 3-way valve.

    What's that pan under there with water in it? Is it because of a leak? If so that could be part of your problem.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    Since both your main drain and skimmer run back to the pad, you could plug the skimmer and equalizer if it has one and leave the MD open and run the bucket test and if it continues to leak you could plug the MD in the pool and run the bucket test again. That way you'd know if it was the skimmer line or the MD line. And if it leaks after you've done both you could start looking at the liner.
    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: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    Ok sounds good. Thanks for your advice! Any ideas how to plug the MD? I have turned the valve to only the skimmer this morning and am running the test with the pump on (is that sufficient or will water still get through?). Not sure what an equalizer is? I don't think we have one.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    Since both your main drain and skimmer run back to the pad, you could plug the skimmer and equalizer if it has one and leave the MD open and run the bucket test and if it continues to leak you could plug the MD in the pool and run the bucket test again. That way you'd know if it was the skimmer line or the MD line. And if it leaks after you've done both you could start looking at the liner.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Losing water-done bucket test-confused

    Unfortunately it requires diving! You'll have to take the cover off and plug it with a rubber plug.
    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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