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Thread: New Pool Owner and losing my mind

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Quincy MA

    New Pool Owner and losing my mind

    Hi all,

    Recently purchased a home with an old inground pool (18-36, ~27k gallons) and old equipment but with a new vinyl liner. Over the course of the summer, we noticed a lot of water loss and began the testing process to determine the source of the leaks. What we determined right off was that we had numerous sources of water leakage (mechanicals and piping) based on the amount of water lost. I've already scheduled the replacement of all the old pool equipment (pump, filter, etc.). As part of the testing process, we turned off the pump and filter and tested the integrity of the pool and lines. Here is what we found so far:

    -> Liner, main drain and skimmer box/throat have integrity (e.g. no water loss) with the pool equipment off.

    I capped all the fittings (skimmer, return lines) and measured the water level over a few days of reasonable weather. There was no change in the water level (to my relief!). My next step was to remove one fitting only and test the water level again. I removed the plug on the skimmer and the next day noticed the water level had declined by .25-.50 inches in approximately 7-8 hours. What struck me was that when I removed the plug from the bottom of the skimmer, the water bubbled as air was forced out of that line. As I had the pump off and return lines capped when I did this, my assumption is that's an automatic indicator that I have a leak in my skimmer line. Another piece of evidence is that during the summer when the pool was operating, I would get a lot of air bubbles in the return inlets and many times I would have to prime the pump manually to get the circulation working. Based on what I've read, that is indicative of air getting into the line from the suction side of the pump. When I closed the valve from the skimmer to the pump, I did not have to prime the pump and had a lot less air bubbles (old pump) but still noticed water loss (which makes sense since the filter is leaking anyways). The one thing I did not do was plug the bottom of the skimmer which would have isolated the water loss from just the filter.

    The next step is to check each of the inlet ports for leakage. After I confirm whether there is any water loss from the inlets, I will repeat the test with the equipment operating. The questions I have are:

    -> Does "Fix a Leak" really work and is it a viable long term fix for a leaking skimmer line?
    -> What does it usually cost for a leak detection company to check the various pipes for leaks (including pressure testing)?
    -> What is the relative cost to tear up concrete and fix the leak? ( I live in Mass).

    Any help and guidance would be appreciated.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry
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    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Orlando, FL

    Re: New Pool Owner and losing my mind

    To put it simply Marlig does work but the application type varies the results in terms of endurance. The hardest part for your applicaiton will be that this is a suction side issue which makes application a real pain in the patoot. I would follow the application instructions on their website and if they do not settle your nerves give them a call. I have had the same issue before and their techs are pretty good since it is the only thing they sell.

    From Marlig's website:
    Suction Leaks are usually known by air mixed with the water at the return fittings.

    In most cases suction lines only leak water when the filter pump is shut off.
    Normal Circulation will simply draw FIX-A-LEAK away from the leak and if the pump is shut off the material will simply not get to the leak. You must reverse the flow of water, to force the material through the leak under pressure. Preferably 5-10 psi. until the leak has stopped. When this has been achieved, gradually increase pressure to 15-25 psi. to insure a proper seal.

    VERY IMPORTANT: After sealing a suction leak "it" is a must to leave suction off the repaired line for no less than 48 hrs. FIX-A-LEAK requires time to cure and harden.

    Miscellaneous Leaks:

    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.
    Marlig is not a permanent solution to a plumbing leak but a sturdy stop gap until you can permanently fix the cause. Its long lasting seal can help you limp into the off-season months when the necessary repairs can happen without interrupting your pool season. Some users have been applying this product to the same crack for years instead of committing to lengthy/expensive repairs. This is an option but the application of Marlig is to fill the gap but it will not prevent the flaw from enlarging due to further stress. Play it by ear if you are cost conscious but we suggest having a professional repair at your earliest convenience.

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