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Thread: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

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    Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    We have a PVC pipe joint that is leaking, and are seeing air bubbles coming out of the returns (some more than others). My husband tried applying a PVC sealant last night, but it hasn't solved the problem. I've attached a photo of the leak. You can barely see a drip of water hanging down from the pipe joint that has the problem (there's a cardboard box there to catch the drips because a puddle had been building up on the pavement and was turning green).

    My husband figures he'll have to cut into the pipe, but we're trying to figure out how to go about it, since we've never done this before. Any suggestions?
    23,000 gal. IG gunite pool, DE filter, elevated spa with spillover, Polaris 280 cleaner

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    It appears the leak at at the top elbow coming out of your backwash valve.

    That big knurled thing a few inches away is a union. The outer nut unscrews. So that end is easy. What isn't visible is if the elbow that leaks is connected to the backwash valve by a threaded fitting or a glued fitting. If it's glued, you've got a real mess on your hands. And in that case, I'd drain the filter and shut everything off and let the pipe dry and see if a thick coating of epoxy wouldn't dry up the leak. It's only a few bucks wasted if it doesn't work. If things are glued together, it could get really really ugly and might even require a new backwash valve.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    Re: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    How can we know of it's glued or threaded?
    23,000 gal. IG gunite pool, DE filter, elevated spa with spillover, Polaris 280 cleaner

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    Re: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    Nevermind, husband just got home and said it's glued. Ugh.
    23,000 gal. IG gunite pool, DE filter, elevated spa with spillover, Polaris 280 cleaner

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    Re: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    If that joint is on the discharge side of your pump it is not the cause of bubbles in your returns. Air can only be pulled into your system on the suction side of the pump. If this is the case first thing to check is the gasket under the lid of your pump strainer basket.
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    The gasket isn't in great condition, but it's not coming apart or anything. I don't know if this helps, but here's a photo of the return that puts out the most bubbles (will have to zoom in to see bubbles).
    23,000 gal. IG gunite pool, DE filter, elevated spa with spillover, Polaris 280 cleaner

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    Re: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    If it's not the gasket in the pump strainer basket, what would be the next possibility?
    23,000 gal. IG gunite pool, DE filter, elevated spa with spillover, Polaris 280 cleaner

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    Re: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    For diagnosis, I'd wrap a few wraps of electrical tape tightly around the seam of the pump strainer lid and can just to make double sure it's not the problem. Mine sucks air and I gave up trying to fix it.
    SWG: CircuPool (May 2014) SI30+Plus; 3000ppm seems ideal;
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    Re: Leaking Pipe, Bubbles Coming Out Of Returns

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolFrog View Post
    The gasket isn't in great condition, but it's not coming apart or anything.
    Well, the gasket needs to be in good condition, and it needs to be lubed (ie greased). You can get the silicon pool lube at most any pool store.

    There is an article in Pool School on how to tackle Suction Side Air Leaks.
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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