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Thread: Leaking...

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    Leaking...

    I've been suspicious for a bit about how much water I keep needing to add to the pool and now that I am not constantly backwashing, I can see it better. We lost over an 1 inch of water level (average 1/2 a night) last night and I left this morning to come back to the skimmers barely having enough water to keep the pump running. Once I turned the pump off though, the water level went up some. There are bubbles coming out of the returns and in the pump basket. It does lose water with the pump off (seems more obvious if it is off). If I change the flow to come more from just the drains, the skimmer water level goes back up. I currently have the drains more open and the skimmer cut back to see what the difference is for a bit - although I am adding back water again now.

    I have removed, cleaned, lubed and assembled back both the pump basket and the filter o-rings, in case it was from those. Any help would be appreciated for figuring this out. A suction side leak from what I was reading, seems to make sense, just don't know where it is yet. My husband has to dig up the ground around that area to fix a drainage issue that was left after the previous owners had some concrete work done, so he may need to dig that up sooner than later. Luckily, he used to do golf course irrigation, so he knows a lot about plumbing.

    After just checking...there are more bubbles coming from the returns than before I switched around the suction.
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking...

    If you can, draw suction from each source individually to determine which source is pulling in the air. Such as ONLY drawing from one skimmer or one drain.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Leaking...

    It seems to be from the drain. If I turn off the suction fully from the skimmers, the pump won't fill with water all the way and labors some.
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Leaking...

    Here is a picture of the above ground plumbing. I'm not sure how to deal with the old heater equipment or if it is even part of the issue. My husband just put a new multi-valve on because it was leaking during the slam, he also re-did some of the other plumbing. The leaking seems worse now and I don't visibly see anything coming from the newer plumbing or new valve.

    The valves that you turn are old and the one for the main drains seems loose to turn, while the skimmer side takes a lot of turning to get anywhere.


    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Leaking...

    I just checked again with the skimmer part way open and the drains open all the way (can't leave the skimmers off all the way or I get more air and the pump gets less water), and there are still a lot of bubbles coming from the returns. The water level is steady, but it seems to drop more when the pump is off for a while. So, I have now turned the pump off for a bit since it's been on most of the day and I will check the water level again in a few hours.
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking...

    Those are common symptoms for a suction leak. And it seems that you have narrowed it down to the drain line. Now, yo find the leak and fix it. I don't have any experience fixing those leaks. But, here is an article fro Pool School that should be helpful.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...side-air-leaks
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking...

    If you can find some hearty brave soul around your house to dive down, take the cap off the main drain and screw in a plug you can see if that stops the water leak. Both those gate valves need to be replaced. Your air leak may clear up after the valve to the pump is replaced. Is your plumbing set into concrete at all? Everything is so tight against the wall it would be good to move it out a foot to give a little elbow room for repairs. I'm also wondering if those rubber couplings go into the ground or not. They are a good temporary fix but should be replaced with pvc when possible.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Leaking...

    Thank you for your replies. My husband looked at it today. He said the valve to the right affects the right skimmer and the right drain while the left one affects the left drain and skimmer. The right valve is leaking and he is going to replace both. He primed the pump with some water before turning it back on and that seemed to help. He managed to balance the water between the skimmers a bit better now knowing what goes to what. ZEA3 - I will have him read what you wrote and see about replacing all of that too. I am going to see what the balancing of the skimmers/drains does to the water level and see if that helps with anything - it seems so inconsistent at times. My husband was swimming yesterday, so he just volunteered as the brave soul to test out a plug if it keeps it up. LOL
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Leaking...

    Still losing water every day. We are going to see how low it goes, if it goes past the skimmers. Might have to bribe a friend with scuba gear to plug the drains. My husband said he felt no flow from either drain when he was in the pool yesterday. The side air leak I think we have figured out as being the valve but we are still losing too much water each day so there has to be something else going on too. . All that work to clear the water and now this...

    There are 2 things that look like solid plugs (not like rubber ones) on either side of the drain in the deep end. They are about a foot out from the drain, but we don't know what they are. Ideas?
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking...

    Those may be hydrostatic valves. Do you have a high water table where you are?
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Leaking...

    That seems right from what I found online after your post. I don't believe we have a high water table. I am going to use some dye to investigate the light housing since the water is now below the skimmers and the tile line. Hopefully it will be a quick and easy fix. Thanks for reading my post.
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Leaking...

    Well the water stopped dropping once it was below the one skimmer (the skimmers are not level with each other). DIY Dye tests don't show any leaks within the skimmer itself so we are guessing the leak is lower. We have double drain skimmers(?), the main drain and skimmer are plumbed together. I'm not sure what the best way to find a leak like this would be. The water level seems to be dropping slower now that before we switched the stronger flow to the other skimmer, but we still add water every 2 days or so at about an hour at a time. It seems to leak more when the pump is off. We aren't having the obvious air leaks now, but we still need to replace the valves as discussed before. I tried vacuuming manually tonight and barely had suction. I stopped once I could see that not much we getting pulled in. At least the water is crystal clear!
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Leaking...

    My husband recently replaced both valves and the leak seems to have gotten worse UNTIL it gets to the level just above the bottom of the tile line and then it slows down to what it has been doing. I had the water level where it should be for the low skimmer yesterday and by this morning it was low again. That's about a 1-1.5 inch drop - with the pump running overnight. The one skimmer still seems to not be right, so we have the flow cut back on that side. Looks like we will be digging up some dirt to see what we can find. The air bubbles have been worse over the last few days and the pressure on the filter has been running higher. I pulled it all apart, washed the grids and put it back together, but the pressure is still around 20psi when clean with new DE. Just wanted to update incase this helps someone in the future. Any suggestions would be great, of course.
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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    Re: Leaking...

    Final update on the leak! I put some underwater epoxy putty where the pool and the 1 skimmer meet and it fixed the issue. No more leaking!!
    1978 Sylvan IG Gunite pool (around 18,000 gallon)
    Hayward Vari-Flo DE Filter and 3/4 HP Super Pump - installed in 1991
    TF-100XL with speed stir Dolphin Nautilus Pool Cleaner (2015)

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