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Thread: First post help requested --- Backwash leak under 10+ PVC pipes (pix)

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    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Flower Mound, Texas

    First post help requested --- Backwash leak under 10+ PVC pipes (pix)

    Thanks in advance, guys. First post and first pool. The issue is we have an underground leak that only happens (as far as I know) when backwashing and am looking for advice on how to proceed. I'm an advanced DIYer, I'd like to think!

    Pool basics: In-ground salt pool built with attached spa in 2004 in North Texas with 18-20k gallons. Two skimmers, two pumps (water feature and main pump), DE filter, heater (Sta-rite), salt cell and salt control panel, drain lines from the patio that feed into the wastewater line to the sewer.

    Per the attached pix, I've tracked the PVC line break to UNDERNEATH this mess of PVC piping - with the area of the break marked with the ADT alarm sign (pic #2). The PVC you see here is packed in tight. The break, I believe, is about 6" below this top layer of PVC. Very difficult to get my hands in there to pinpoint it.
    * Important to note that even when leaking here, the backwash is still being transfered to the sewer, which I've confirmed through the plumbing in front of the house.

    My questions:
    1) When backwashing, the hole I dug begins to fill up with pool water. I "believe" the broken line is one of the smaller ones (3/4"?) and feels like a typical sprinkler line size. Q: When backwashing, does the pump suck water back into the pump from the open line in the side of the pool? That line looks to be about 3/4 - 1" in diameter. OR, does it pull from one of these larger 1 1/2 - 2" pipes? There are no leaks when the pool pump is running as normal. (UPDATE: Also just realized my main drain valve is closed...assuming I should be keeping this open to backwash)

    2) Since this has happened, it doesn't seem as if the pool is draining properly (noticed after the last rainstorm). I'll keep my eye on this. Any thoughts here?

    3) Should I consider re-routing many of these lines -- moving over about 3-5' in another trench to give me access the the broken pipe? Or would you dig further out and then under the problem area to get to the buried pipe?

    4) What would you guys do? I need to do something this week as it's going to freeze in another five days, and I don't want to leave those pipes exposed. I could either (a) pay to have it done (b) throw the mud back on top and wait until March or April when the weather turns and handle it myself. (c) ?

    Thanks in advance!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Northern IL

    Re: First post help requested --- Backwash leak under 10+ PVC pipes (pix)


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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: First post help requested --- Backwash leak under 10+ PVC pipes (pix)

    Welcome to the forum. If it only leaks during backwash, are you thinking it is the backwash line? The backwash line should simply take water from your multiport out of the the sewer line (apparently in your case)

    So if you're sure it's a line going to the sewer, simply change it at the multiport (or close) and put in a new line. I have a feeling it's not the backwash line sounds too small.

    When you backwash the water comes from the pool as it usually does, through the pump to the multiport and then BACKWARDS through the filter. As it exits the filter it goes through the multiport and exits through a "waste line" that should be very visible. I think you'll find that line is probably 1.5" or more
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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