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Thread: How to find a leak?

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    Join Date
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    How to find a leak?

    I have searched the forum and can not find what I am looking for (maybe I just do not know the right word combination to use ) But I am losing about 1 1/2" of water a night. I have checked my plumbing and there is no leak from that. I know I can use food coloring to squirt around where I "think" the leak is, but I have no idea where it is. How do you narrow down the area to check? There is a damp spot on the ground in one area, but it is a pretty big area, do you just start squirting the food coloring around, working your way around the pool?
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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    Re: How to find a leak?

    Boyd, 1 1/2" a day is a good sized leak!

    Does it only leak at night? IF so is that when the system is on or off? If the leak coincides with the running of the system, that points to the system as being the cause. If it only leaks when the system ids off, that points to a suction side problem (when the pump is running the leak is prevented by air getting pulled into it) / if it's when it's running that points to a leak after the pump housing, a leaking seal or bad multiport gasket or the return line/ inlet.

    However, we'll assume for now that it's the liner. As you can see a wet spot, that gives you a good place to start looking. Search every square inch of the liner, you're looking for anything that looks unusual, a bump, a scuff mark, a shadow, a place that the debris collects - if you see anything, gently squirt a little dye near it and watch to see if it gets drawn into it. SCUBA gear is very helpful for doing this, but you can just use goggles to get a better view of anything you see from outside the pool. I wish you well with finding the leak and correcting it!! If you need any tips on patching a liner, let me know and I'll dig up some of my pearls of wisdom on liner patching

    There is of course another option - for ~$1500 you can buy an electronic leak detector but that's a lot of$$ for finding 1 leak and still doesn't fix it - for that sort of dough you could probably get a new liner
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    In the Industry

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    Re: How to find a leak?

    I use a veterinary syringe with phenol red for dye.
    Make sure your pump is off.
    I start with the main drains, remove the grate and squirt slowly around the frame where it meets the basin and also where it meets the plaster.
    2nd, remove your pool lamps and test near where the cable goes into the conduit inside the niche, then outside the niche where it meets the plaster.
    3rd, inside your skimmer throats squirt on both sides of the base and in front and on the sides of the skimmer body where it meets the tile sides and the base.
    4th go to the inlet returns and remove the eyeballs, squirt inside where the pipe fastens to the wall fitting and then where the fitting meets the plaster.
    Last swim the waterline tile in the pool and look for gaps in the grout, if you see some squirt there too.
    If you have a spa check the tile line and look for gaps in the grout in the spillway.

    If none of these seem suspect call a professional leak detection service, their service although expensive is priceless.

    At an inch and a half daily it's a big leak and needs to be addressed ASAP.

    See ya,
    Kelly

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    Re: How to find a leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Boyd, 1 1/2" a day is a good sized leak!
    I know

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    There is of course another option - for ~$1500 you can buy an electronic leak detector but that's a lot of$$ for finding 1 leak and still doesn't fix it - for that sort of dough you could probably get a new liner
    Well thats about as much as the pool was new I think I will try something different


    Ok, an update. I took everything out of the pool (vacum,toys, steps etc.) to be able to get a good look every where. Went around the pool, mainly where it was a little damp on the ground out side the pool. squirted red food coloring around different places, could not really tell anything. Then I spotted (with my eyes not the food coloring) a slit. Does a liner have 2 layers? the reason I ask is, the slit is about 1 1/2" to 2" long and you would think with that size you would empty a pool a lot faster then 1 1/2" a night. So I am thinking it has 2 layers and the first layer has the slit and the 2nd layer must just have a small hole? Does that sound right? Any way I went to Lowes and bought a vinyl line repair kit that would work under water. I 1st cut a patch a little bigger then the slit, put the glue on it then folded it over itself till I got to the hole under water and then unfolded and placed the patch. (correct so far?) Then I did not like how close the patch fit so I cut a bigger one and used the same method and placed the bigger patch over the whole thing. Then I placed a weight on the patch and I am now waiting for it to dry. Did I do this correctly or should I have done something else? I just hope this is the leak. I am filling water back up now and will see what happens. Thanks for any and all help.
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: How to find a leak?

    GLAD!! you found the tear and patched it! Double patching is a great idea, did you round off the corners of the patch? if not, it may peel off more quickly I also use a 'wallpaper seam roller' to work the glue out to the edge and make sure that the edges adhere properly



    Re: a `2" slit not leaking more - remember that the weight of the water in the pool is helping to keep the slit closed, some water can still pass out of the pool, but the pressure on the slit is keeping it from 'free flowing' Even if the patch hasn't fully sealed the slit, you should see much less water being lost! Keep an eye on the water level for the next few days. Please keep us posted on the pool.

    If the tear is where they joined 2 pieces of liner together, this may well be a warranty issue! Seam failure is about the only thing that the warranty covers, but if it happened - they have to make good on the warranty How old is the liner? (if it's over ~5 years, the warranty is pretty much useless because it's so prorated


    Kelly, WELCOME TO TFP!!! It's wonderful to see you here It's been a while since I've seen you on other forums and I think it's great that you've joined here to offer your knowledgeable and expert advice which has helped myself and countless others on other forums!!!

    - Ted
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: How to find a leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    did you round off the corners of the patch?
    Yes I did 8)



    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Re: a `2" slit not leaking more - remember that the weight of the water in the pool is helping to keep the slit closed, some water can still pass out of the pool, but the pressure on the slit is keeping it from 'free flowing'
    Hmmmm, never thought of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Even if the patch hasn't fully sealed the slit, you should see much less water being lost! Keep an eye on the water level for the next few days. Please keep us posted on the pool.
    Well as of this morning, water level is good

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    If the tear is where they joined 2 pieces of liner together, this may well be a warranty issue! Seam failure is about the only thing that the warranty covers, but if it happened - they have to make good on the warranty How old is the liner? (if it's over ~5 years, the warranty is pretty much useless because it's so prorated
    Not at a seam. it was where the liner starts to curve up the wall (just short of the wall) I think what happen was , a couple of days ago my vacuum got stuck in that one spot for a few hours and with it just setting there pounding over and over it may have put the tear in it. The liner is 6 years old, 1st problem I have had with it.(knock on wood)


    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Kelly, WELCOME TO TFP!!! It's wonderful to see you here It's been a while since I've seen you on other forums and I think it's great that you've joined here to offer your knowledgeable and expert advice which has helped myself and countless others on other forums!!!

    - Ted
    Hmmmm I thought huskyrider's name looked familiar, but then I seen where he had only 2 post, so I thought it must just be a name that looked familiar and did not really know him. He was on PS forum, wasnt he? either way, welcome aboard Kelly

    Thanks again for the help Waste.
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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