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Thread: Fixing / Replacing Skimmer Line Due to Leak

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    hobbes_VT's Avatar
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    Fixing / Replacing Skimmer Line Due to Leak

    Hi - I've been a long time lurker to this forum and always appreciated the valuable information provided by its users.
    First time that I need some specific advise from this community now, so I finally signed up for an account - maybe that's good start and engages me in giving some advice back in the future.

    So, here's my problem: after reading up a LOT about leak detection I've pinpointed the issue to one of the dreadful underground leaks in my suction line coming from the skimmer. I've dug down to the first elbow and you guessed (Murphy's grinning back from the bottom of this hole), it's not even there, but must be on the next level of elbows.

    Here are the stats and what I know:
    • My pad is about 6ft above the water line
    • The first elbow I dug up is about 3ft below the pad
    • There's a horizontal stretch which must go to another elbow before a (wooden) retaining wall and drop further below where it dives under the concrete paver around the pool going to the skimmer
    • The water level in the (leaking) pool stops at the skimmer line (so water loss is somewhere between the skimmer and tree-way valve at the pump)
    • The water level IN the skimmer stays about 6" below the pool water line now, so the leak is somewhere in the line at this height - no leaks directly in the skimmer)


    My options now are:
    • Dig further down (I'd say it's close to 6 feet - maybe even more) and hope to find the leak where it drops next to the wooden retaining wall
    • Or install a new line, which I would like to burry shallow (if at all) along the slope that I have on the side of the wooden retaining wall outside of the concrete pavement and then go under the concrete pad close to the skimmer.


    My question is the following - what speaks against a sloped skimmer line following the topography around my pool?
    My reasons for considering this are the following:
    • I'd hope can be better drained for winterizing than the current setup (which I believe caused the crack)
    • Avoid trenching 6 feet into the ground
    • Avoid having to cut all the concrete paver around my pool, and limit this cutting to a short stretch.



    Here's an overview link to a photo on my google drive:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B28...ew?usp=sharing
    Here's where the skimmer line goes (blue) and the proposed new line (red dashed)
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B28...ew?usp=sharing
    Before adding too many links here - what's the best/preferred way of providing pictures for more clarity in this forum?


    Sorry for the lengthy and introduction and thanks for any pointers and advice.
    17,500 gal IG, vinyl, 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Pro 24" sand filter, Jandy Heater (not in use any more)

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing / Replacing Skimmer Line Due to Leak

    Wow. Sorry to hear about the pending work. To add pics, the best way is to upload your pics to Photobucket (free) FIRST, then copy & paste the "IMG" link for each pic to your thread. Works like a charm.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Fixing / Replacing Skimmer Line Due to Leak

    Nothing wrong with a sloped skimmer line. If you can replace it without messing with the pavers, then that is a great approach. I would consider buying a cheap waterproof usb camera from Amazon or Ebay and see if you can find the leak in the pipe first.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    hobbes_VT's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing / Replacing Skimmer Line Due to Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by jmhjgh View Post
    Nothing wrong with a sloped skimmer line. If you can replace it without messing with the pavers, then that is a great approach. I would consider buying a cheap waterproof usb camera from Amazon or Ebay and see if you can find the leak in the pipe first.
    Thanks for chiming in and the hint investing into a cheap camera - may come in helpful at other times as well.

    Regarding slope:
    My main concern was if it changes anything when starting the pump, as there's initially much more air volume in the line, than in a deep buried (and thus filled line by the pool water level) coming closer to the pump pad. Since air is quite compressible and water is not, I was wondering if anyone has this setup and has encountered any issues with priming the pump.
    17,500 gal IG, vinyl, 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Pro 24" sand filter, Jandy Heater (not in use any more)

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    Re: Fixing / Replacing Skimmer Line Due to Leak

    Once all the air is out of the line it really should not make much difference. You obviously have a lot of air from your leak so it causes a loss of prime. How fast/big is your leak? If it was small i would look for the leak and then try a leak repair by isolating that line and running a separate pump to circulate the repair fluid. You have pavers so at least you do not have to break up concrete if you end up replacing.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    hobbes_VT's Avatar
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    Re: Fixing / Replacing Skimmer Line Due to Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by jmhjgh View Post
    Once all the air is out of the line it really should not make much difference. You obviously have a lot of air from your leak so it causes a loss of prime. How fast/big is your leak? If it was small i would look for the leak and then try a leak repair by isolating that line and running a separate pump to circulate the repair fluid. You have pavers so at least you do not have to break up concrete if you end up replacing.
    Once everything is running, there shouldn't be a difference. But I usually run a timer on my pump, and once the pump turns off the water level in the suction line has dropped back to the waterline level over the hours it was off, and then had to start again pulling air first out of the line before the water comes.
    This typically took several minutes in the past. I don't want to make this 15 minutes now.

    It must be quite a leak, because when I open the skimmer line the pump can still pull water in, but gets too much air after a minute that it starts priming again. So I currently have the pump only pulling from the drain - this is where the water table now dropped to the skimmer intake line - so apparently even when I'm not pumping the leak is big enough to drop the pool by an inch per day or so.

    And unfortunately my pool has a concrete slab around - sorry, as an Austrian native, I used the British term "pavement" - forgot that you guys here call floor stones/tiles pavers. So yes, I'm trying to prevent breaking up too much concrete - or best not any at all.

    I may still try a leak repair fluid - isolating the pipe from the rest is a good idea and maybe worth a try before laying a new line running around my concrete slab.
    17,500 gal IG, vinyl, 3/4 HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Pro 24" sand filter, Jandy Heater (not in use any more)

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