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Thread: Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

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    Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

    I noticed a leak and called a detection company to come out and find it. Sure enough there is a broken fitting in a return line a couple of feet from the pool wall - of course it is underneath some concrete decking.

    Repair estimate is $2600!

    Being the cheap bastage that I am, I'd like to investigate 2 options:

    1) Push some sort of plug (inflatable?) into the return line from the pool. I think I'd need 2 plugs - push one up from the pool past the leak, and push another up from the pool downstream from the leak (so that there are plugs on either side of the leak). This would effectively block this return line entirely.
    Do they make plugs like this? I don't think I'd hurt anything by losing a return line.

    2) I found a company called Pipes Down Under (www.pipesdownunder.com) that makes a system for repairing these without excavating.
    I sent them an email, but will they sell a kit to a homeowner? Or only repair companies? It looks pretty slick - anyone have experience with it?

    Thank you!

    Slade
    =====================================
    17K gallon IG freeform Pebble-Tec pool w/ raised spa/waterfall, Hayward 6020 DE filter, Tristar 1 HP circulation pump, Tristar 2.5 HP spa pump, Silencer 2hp blower, Aquarite SWG, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Hayward Universal H-Series 400K LPG heater, Ultrapure Ozonator 25, Aqualogic PS-8

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

    1) Never heard of anything like that and pushing it past any 90 fittings would like be impossible.
    2) Never heard of that either. One note, the picture they show has it going around a sweep 90, those are rarely used for pools in the US. So not sure if it can make the sharp 90 turn of a normal schedule 40 fitting.

    Apparently I am no help
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

    I don't know about that specific company, but I have seen a somewhat similar blown in pipe liner that does the same thing. There are certain kinds of pipe breaks/leaks these things can't fix, for example it won't work if the pipe has been crushed. But most of the time they are workable. Anything like that will reduce the flow rate somewhat.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

    A guy from pipesdownunder.com sent me back an email. They do sell to the consumer. Prices are attractive.

    My problem as I think more about is that this system only works on a dedicated length of line.

    My return line originates at the pump and runs over underneath the spa where it then branches into the multiple lines that feed each pool return.
    I can't really isolate just the line that feeds this one return - the branching happens under the concrete - so I'm back where I started.

    Looking more and more like I'm going to have to get the checkbook out.

    Slade
    =====================================
    17K gallon IG freeform Pebble-Tec pool w/ raised spa/waterfall, Hayward 6020 DE filter, Tristar 1 HP circulation pump, Tristar 2.5 HP spa pump, Silencer 2hp blower, Aquarite SWG, Polaris 280 w/ booster pump, Hayward Universal H-Series 400K LPG heater, Ultrapure Ozonator 25, Aqualogic PS-8

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    Re: Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

    Slade I found a company stateside that had similar product. When they looked at what we needed fixed the estimate was for about $1000 a foot. Good thing no tearing out concrete but outside of that not worth the price.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

    Is there any delimited portion of concrete that you could easily break yourself with a sledge hammer? I had that chance and it cost me exactly 13,50$ CAD to repair myself and it was pretty easy. I still have to put back the dirt and pour new concrete. 2 huge bags of concrete cost me only 8$.

    I think 2800$ is highly exagerated!

    See my post here:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...he-return-line
    24.5k gallons, IG, vinyl, 24 inches sand filter hydropro 063030 sf, hayward pump 1,5 hp c48m2n111b4q

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

    I agree $2800 does sound very high unless there is something special about the concrete (stained, patterned, etc.) I just had to fix an under concrete fitting, paid for the concrete to be cut out and paid a plumber to replace the fitting. (I usually do my own plumbing work, but this was hard to reach, under the skimmer, etc. Total cost so far is around $600, $350 of that was to the leak detection people, I don't have the concrete patched yet, hole is backfilled and covered with a sheet of plywood until I get time to fill and finish with sack crete. I will likely do the mixing and pouring myself with the help of a semi-retired handyman I know who has concrete construction experience to do the finishing touches. I estimate another $150 or so, alternatively I am thinking about getting a custom metal plate built to cover the squarish cutout including the skimmer cover, it would need to be about 3 ft x 3 ft.

    p.s. the reason for the metal plate is I may have the skimmer replaced next time the liner needs to be replaced.
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    Re: Return line leak under concrete decking - options?

    My brother had to have a broken drain pipe fixed under his house in Tampa last year. Seems down there they do not bust up the concrete slab, but rather tunnel under from the outside. His only needed to be tunneled about 8'. The plumbers down there do this all the time and have a couple "apprentices" on staff to do the digging. He asked the two guys digging his how far the longest they had to tunnel was. One told him that a few weeks earlier they had to go almost 25'.


    May be an option
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