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Thread: Do I have a leak???

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Do I have a leak???

    Hey folks,

    I was working on my 18X36 IG Vinyl pool this afternoon and vacuuming and stuff. Anyway, I get home a few hours later and it seems like I've lost an inch of water!

    There's only about 1 inch of water above the skimmer line. With the pump on, all of the sudden every 30 seconds it's acts as if there's not enough water in the skimmer and sucks almost all of it out and it has to catch up and get more water in there. Clearly I need more water in there.

    Here's the thing...I've had the pool open for a week now. It hasn't done this before and we've only been getting rain...no heat streaks or anything. I'm confident I had more water in there before. In fact...I was out there for 3 hours this afternoon and it wasn't doing this!!!

    I did clean out my DE filter twice really well (including once yesterday) which certainly loses water...but that much water? When I clean it, I refill it twice to rebump it and then drain it again, to really get the DE out. Could that be the cause of this much water loss? Again though...it wasn't doing it this afternoon.

    I'm afraid that when I was vacuuming, the bristles (which were kind of hard and old) scratched the vinyl and caused a leak. Is that possible and if so could it lose that much water in a short period of time? Or maybe a suction was formed while vacuuming, which was too much pressure on the pipes and they cracked under ground. I say that because a few times the vac really got stuck to the floor due to suction (like I almost couldn't pull it off the ground there was that much pressure).

    Also, when I turned off the pump, there was all this noise still occurring like air leaking and it was gurgling too with water going in and out of the pump basket. I hear air escaping where the motor meets the back and when it's on there's droplets falling from there. So I might need a new gasket, but that can't account for this water loss, right?

    What do you guys think? Do you think I have a leak? What tests can I run to try and figure out what's going on? And is there anything preventative I should do just in case?

    Thanks
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have a leak???

    That sounds like a leak. One interesting question, does it lose water when the pump is off, or only when the pump is on?

    When it is light out, take a careful look around and try and spot where the water might be coming out. 1" of water should create a large puddle or a very wet area of ground.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Last night I marked in the skimmer where the water line was. I didn't run the pump over night. This morning it was at the same line. So, I added more water to it all morning. I'm running the pump over night...hopefully tomorrow it will not have lost any water. If that's the case, I'll mark it up to gradually losing water from all the maintenance and cleaning that I've been doing all week.

    Thanks for the help!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Null, nice to see you again

    If the pool doesn't loose water with the pump off, it's probably not an issue with the pool body nor the below ground plumbing

    The pump, filter or multiport may be leaking but those are ~ easy to locate and fix 8)
    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!)

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Hey waste! Can you believe this is the 4th season?!!?

    Thanks! That's a relief to hear! I do admit that my heart dropped and panic set it. A leak in my pool body or the underground pipes is probably my worst fear.

    Hope all is well!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Darn So, after 30 hours of running the pump, I've lost about 2 inches or more of water (it's now 1 inch below the mark I made before adding all the new water).

    So, since it only seems to happen when the pump is on it means that I should be able to see the leak by the pump, filter, or multi-port coming out of the filter, correct? I can definitely see a drip from underneath the pump, but with that much water loss, shouldn't I be seeing a stream coming out? Could all that water loss be just from a semi-quick drip? I mean to put that much water in, I had to run the garden hose for 3 hours, plus another inch was lost on top of that.

    Advice?

    Thanks!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
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    Re: Do I have a leak???

    OK, we now know that you need to replace the shaft seal assembly (the spring loaded do-hickie that keeps water from entering the motor - it's behind the impeller) and possibly/ probably the pump housing gasket (where the motor mounts to the housing).

    Any chance the pool is loosing water with the pump off (a cracked return line would weep water out with the pump off and the pressure from the pump when it's on would exasperate the leak )

    Also, are you loosing any water via the waste/ backwash line with the pump running?

    I'm still hoping that this is an 'above ground' problem 8)
    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!)

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Hey waste,

    I had the pump off for 12 hours and that had no water loss. I had it on for 30 hours with a 2-3 inch of loss. There is a chance that it will lose water with it off as well, but it most like will be 24-48 hours before it would be noticeable. I'd have to turn it off for a day or two to find out, which I could do...I just haven't done yet. If you think I should test that, just let me know and I will.

    As for the waste/backwash line...I don't have one. I just have the 1 in line from the skimmer, and the two return lines to the pool.

    So, it sounds like I should start with the shaft seal assembly and the pump housing gasket? Unfortunately I'll most likely have to do it over the weekend due to the work schedule. Is it safe to run the pump until then and just add water as needed or could I damage the pump? Anything else I should look for or try out?

    Thanks again for the help! It's really appreciated!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Always glad to proffer my advice/ experience

    A few more days with the leak won't make a huge difference to the damage that the motor might experience - but it's always better to address these things as soon as you can!

    If it's a Hayward SuperPump, I've got very detailed instructions on changing the seal assembly both here and at PF - if you need any help with the replacement, whatever brand or model yours is, just ask and we'll help 8)
    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!)

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    I do have a Hayward SuperPump (1 hp)!

    I found these instructions you gave someone:
    help-replacing-seal-assembly-t6923.html?hilit=shaft%20seal%20hayward

    Were those the ones you were referring to? It also speaks of replacing the housing gasket, so that's good!

    I also found this wikihow as an extra reference:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Replace-a-Swimmi ... -Pump-Seal

    Gonna give it a go this weekend. I'll be crossing my fingers the whole time.

    Thanks again...you may have saved me hundreds yet again!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
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    Re: Do I have a leak???

    You found the post I'd have linked

    If you're in the middle of it and 'hit a bump', post here and I (or one of the other mechanically savvy folks) will help 8)

    You're an old 'friend' of mine from PF and I'm always happy to help you

    I hope this solves the problem
    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!)

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    So, to test out if I had a leak in the pipes or pool as well, I left the pump off. After about 48 hours or so I did in fact lose a little water. About 1/4 of an inch. It was 70 degree weather and the water is cold. The solar blanket is on as well.

    I do not know if it has always lost water like this or if this is new. I know that at the end of the winter the pool has a normal amount of water each season. But again...it's possible this is new.

    So, is this something I should be concerned about? Is this normal?

    Thanks!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
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    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Try the bucket test described in the 'Leak Detection' article in Pool School

    Sorry to be terse, but 4 straight days of 10+ hour work days leaves me little time (and I've still go over 100 unread posts, cause I didn't have time to log on last night )

    Please keep us informed, as to your progress/ findings - please feel free to pm me if you have a direct question for me, tired as I am, I still want to help you with this 8)
    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!)

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Thanks a lot Waste...It is beyond appreciated!

    What an awful day when it comes to the pool. First...Another 48 hours and another inch of water lost with the pump off! Did the bucket test to confirm, and there's definitely more lost in the pool. I don't even know where to begin with that...But I guess I'll first finish with fixing the pump. For now I put a gizmo in the skimmer line to try and determine if the leak is in the skimmer line to the pump.

    Now the pump...I got to the point that you see below. The motor shaft on the side of the electronics didn't seem notched at all to grab onto and so I couldn't figure out how to get the impeller off. So I decided I would remove the 4 bolts by the end and try to grab the shaft with that section off. Apparently though those bolts must have rusted out because unbeknown to me I snapped two of them while loosening them! Each has about 1/4" left of thread and no longer will screw back in. You can see the bolts I am referring to in the pic. The other two bolts are still tight and screwed in. Do I need to take the other two out (possibly snapping them) and try to tap the broken ones out and order new bolts and put them in? Or will I be ok with the two that are in there (the two that are left are on the same side though)? Are people usually successful in taping them out?

    Assuming the pump is still good, what step am I missing to continue disassembling this?

    I disassembled my old pump a few years ago and it went much smoother...sorry to be such a pain here.

    Thanks a lot!
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    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    Sweet...Some progress. The shaft was rusted and so while it appeared and felt that it wasn't notched...it was in fact notched.

    So, I'm going to go work on replacing the shaft assembly now.

    As far as the other leaks go...I plugged up the all lines on the pool side and am doing a bucket test to see if it's the vinyl. If so, I got a quote for a diver at $300 to find and repair. If it's not that...I'll start looking at the lines themselves.

    So, finally...concerning those broken bolts...What do you guys think? I mean...the back (i.e. the electronics side) feels like it's on as solidly as possible. But once I start running the pump, could it blow off with out the support of those extra two bolts?

    Thanks!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Do I have a leak???

    The Shaft Seal Assembly is all set, so I'm gonna start a new thread concerning the bolts.

    Thanks everyone for the help!
    18 X 36 In-Ground Vinyl Pool, Hayward 1 HP SuperPump, Hayward SP270T 350lb Sand Filter, CompuPool CPSC48 Salt Chlorine Generator, Hayward H400FDN 400 BTU Natural Gas Heater, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, No Main Drain

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