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Thread: Pool still leaking

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    Task's Avatar
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    Pool still leaking

    I've posted my frustrations with my pool in the past, but here goes again. I had a pool installed last winter. It was completed and filled just before Thanksgiving of 2013. It was determined within a few days that the pool was leaking from somewhere. There were a limited number of places it could have been leaking from since the returns and skimmer weren't cut into the liner yet at that time (my pool builder waited until Spring of 2014 to open the pool and test all the plumbing). My pool builder believed the leak was most likely around the stairs and he resealed and tightened the screws around the stairwell. He then covered the pool for the winter. When we took the cover off last spring, there was still about two feed of water in the shallow end of the pool and we figured that the leak was fixed. The pool was topped off, and I took over managing my water for the summer but soon realized I was adding water to the pool daily. So I performed the recommended bucket test and sure enough, I was still losing water. My pool builder again came out and sealed around the steps and skimmer this time, but that didn't fix the problem either. So we continued to go back and forth with this leak for more then half the summer. Finally, my pool builder paid a leak detection company to come out and look at my pool. According to my pool builder, the leak specialists pinpointed the leak to the light fixture. So, my pool builder sealed that up and we thought it was finally fixed. I even performed a bucket test the next week and it seemed that I was losing water at an equal rate inside and outside the bucket. We thought we had it fixed and for the remainder of the summer, I attributed my water loss to evaporation. I was still adding water pretty frequently, but I assumed I was just losing a lot to evaporation given the fact that my pool gets full sun all day long.
    In September, I closed my pool myself. I have a cyclone blower for the lines, got everything blown out and plugged my returns. When I put my cover on, my water level was about 1/2 inch below my returns. Everything was good. Well, its been closed and covered for 4 months now. I was away this past weekend and returned last night (Sunday January 18th) around 5pm. We had a lot of rain yesterday morning and I had removed my cover pump last week due to ice and freezing temperatures so my pool cover had a large quantity of water on it. So much so, that one of the straps came loose. I started pumping the water off the cover and flipped up the area where the strap came loose to take a look inside at my water. Turns out I still have a leak because I've only got about 2 inches of water left in the shallow end of the pool. The water line is down below the molding around the steps. So in four months, I've lost probably 2 feet of water.
    Of course my pool builder closes his office in November and doesn't open back up again until March. I immediately sent an email to him to see if he wants me to start refilling the pool because I'm afraid of having my liner shift but I've got no idea when I'm going to get a response. I've called the three different numbers I have for him (office, cell and his coworkers cell) and have gotten voice mail on all three. I want to start refilling, but at the same time, I want to see if the level has stopped falling so I can try to isolate where the leak is located. My pool builder has assured me in the past that he would warranty the liner if he couldn't find the leak so do I risk having the liner shift? At this point who knows if he is even going to honor that given that we had thought the leak was fixed after the leak specialists blamed the light fixture and he claimed to have fixed the problem.
    I love having this pool, I enjoy maintaining myself, but I'm beginning to regret even getting it at this point because it has leaked since the day we got it. Its cost me hundreds of dollars in water and chemicals at this point and I just want to get the **** leak fixed..
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Pool still leaking

    That's a bear of a problem. If the water has continued to drop to that low of a level, you know the leak is at or below where it is now. At the risk of liner shifting, it might be worth it to let it be and not fill it to see where it stops... but that might be too risky. I don't have enough experience with low water levels and liners to know the depth (pun intended) of problems that might cause.

    It there a main drain? Is water level now below the steps? At least based on where it has dropped to, you probably eliminate leaks at points above the current water level... probably.
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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Pool still leaking

    The water level is indeed below the steps, however, I didn't pull the cover back on the deep end of the pool so I don't know where it is at compared to the light. I don't believe that the main drain is the source of the problem. The reason I don't believe it is the drain, is because last spring when we opened the pool, when we opened the the valve controls the suction from the main drain/skimmer, you could hear the "chug, chug, chug" of the water rushing into the pipe. I was under the impression that if that line held the airlock, it couldn't possibly be the source of the leak.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Pool still leaking

    I'm thinking the leak is still in my light like the leak detection company said. I pulled back my cover on the deep side of the pool and the water level is right at the bottom of the light fixture. For the time being, I'm not going to add any water and monitor it for a week or so to see if the level drops anymore.

    Of course my pool builder still hasn't responded to any emails or phone messages. I know they aren't in their office much in the winter months, but I would think that they need to monitor email accounts and their business cell phones.


    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
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    JoeSelf's Avatar
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    Re: Pool still leaking

    Send a certified letter, with pictures to document that you tried to contact the PB. Keep a copy of everything for yourself. Hand written logs with date and time of all correspondence will hold up in court.
    13700 gal, 32'x16'x54" AG oval, vinyl, Echo Canyon II, 8500 series, Narrow Yard, Safety Fence & Stair, Sta-Rite Crystal Flow T-210WF, 44 GPM, Hayward SP1580TL 1HP Pump, Aqua Luminator, Festiva wedding cake steps, March 2006, TFT-100, Speed-Stir, Sample Sizer. Avatar Credit: TJ Townsend

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    Re: Pool still leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Task View Post
    ... but I would think that they need to monitor email accounts and their business cell phones.
    Agreed, but it would sure be nice to have a job where you could go off the grid for a few months wouldn't it?

    They only monitor it for new business opportunities, not warranty issues is my guess.
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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Pool still leaking

    Finally got in touch with the girl in the office the other day. She told me as long as there is some water in the shallow end of the pool, the liner will be ok. She said that someone would be out once they start working again (sometime in March) to fix the light and that as long as the water level isn't dropping anymore, they'd prefer to try to fix it without the water in the pool. We shall see what happens. My OCD has been kicking in and I'd like for someone to come fix it immediately. This is driving me nuts.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
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    Re: Pool still leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSelf View Post
    Send a certified letter, with pictures to document that you tried to contact the PB. Keep a copy of everything for yourself. Hand written logs with date and time of all correspondence will hold up in court.
    This is the best advice given so far.
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Pool still leaking

    I feel your frustration w a PB, but in a diff way.

    It surely must be aggravating to know there is a leak, but you just cannot pin point it.

    Try this on a very, very, calm day w no wind. Make sure everything is off that would cause any ripple or wave or any movement in the water. Fill the pool to 1-2 inches above where you suspect the leak. Buy some food dye opposite the color of your liner [anything for contrast], then squeeze in one drop and watch it. If you see the food color go down, then make a turn to the pool light and exit, bingo.

    Finally, what did the pool leak detection company do to detect the leak? What empirical proof source did the show you that proves the leak was at the light?

    Good luck and hope you find the problem soon,
    tstex

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    Task's Avatar
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    Re: Pool still leaking

    Unfortunately, I wasn't there when the leak detection company did their testing. And, I wasn't the one that paid/contracted the leak detection company to come out and check the pool. That leak company was hired and paid by my pool builder. I am however confident that the source of the leak is indeed the light niche. It has been a full two weeks and one day now since I discovered that my water has drained from the pool. I pulled back a corner of the cover again yesterday and found that the water has not gone down any further, or at least it doesn't appear to have gone down any further. I took note of the water line when I discovered I had lost water, and after two weeks its still at the same spot. Coincidentally, that spot is about 3/4 of the way down on the light. There is not one other place in the pool where the liner was cut at this level or lower that could cause the leak except the main drain. If it were the main drain, I'd still be losing water.

    Anyway, I've decided that my pool builder is too unreliable to simply take his word that he will be out in the spring to fix this leak. Not to mention, my pool OCD has been driving me crazy for the past two weeks and I want this leak fixed so I can get some water back in the pool to help support my cover. After doing some research on pool light leaks, I decided to splurge and spend the $9 on a pool light plug niche plug so I can just fix this leak now and hopefully be done with it. Not exactly sure why a pool builder wouldn't just spend the extra $9 in the first place when they were installing the pool to avoid any possible future leaks. Hopefully when I get down in there I won't run into any unforseen problems. Looks like the fix is pretty straight forward, 1 - remove the light, 2 - chip out any hardened epoxy, 3 - install the plug, 4 - put the light back in place.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
    TFTestKits, Pool School, ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, Chlorine/CYA Chart, PoolMath

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