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Thread: Pool water levels - leak?

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    Pool water levels - leak?

    Need some advice to know if I have a problem. I live in Atlanta, and over the summer, it was not unusual for me to top off the pool 3-4 times a week due to the high heat levels. However, we are now in the Fall and the temperatures have cooled down quite a bit, and I find that I am still topping off 1-2 times a week. Since I have a fountain on the deep end of the pool which agitates the water, I thought that turning it off might help, but things have stayed the same. I'm wondering if this is a normal amount of evaporation, or a symptom of a bigger problem, like a leak somewhere in the system. Any advice on normal levels, things to look for or test for a leak, common areas where this may take place, etc would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    24,400 gallon irregular shaped gunite chlorine pool
    Purex-Triton nautilus NS-36 DE filter;Pentair SM-20-2 multivalve
    MagneTek Centurion Switchless motor 1.5 HP
    Polaris

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water levels - leak?

    The first thing you need to do is perform a bucket test. Take a 5 gallon open topped bucket and fill it about 2/3rd full of water, sit it on the top step in the pool or on the deck right beside the pool and carefully mark or measure the level. Then mark or measure the level in the pool. Let it sit overnight then measure the levels again. Both the pool and the bucket should lose the same amount if your loss is from evaporation. If the pool loses more than the bucket you have a leak.

    If you find that you have a leak, come back and we can help you with finding it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Pool water levels - leak?

    Ok. Did the bucket test. Left it overnight and through the day today. Bucket lost almost no water. Pool level on the external of the bucket dropped about an inch. My wife tells me that my polaris has been getting stuck a lot lately and spewing water out of the pool. This may have contributed, but I can't imagine that it would drop the level that much. Whats next? Should I do the bucket test again with the polaris turned off?

    Also - I just dialed back my pump runtime to 4 hours instead of the 8 hours I normally run it during the summer. My thinking is that as it cools, algae growth should not be as much a threat. Is this a valid assumption?

    Thanks for the help.
    24,400 gallon irregular shaped gunite chlorine pool
    Purex-Triton nautilus NS-36 DE filter;Pentair SM-20-2 multivalve
    MagneTek Centurion Switchless motor 1.5 HP
    Polaris

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    Join Date
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    Re: Pool water levels - leak?

    Try reading this, from Pool School. If you still have questions, we'll be here to answer them
    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!)

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    Re: Pool water levels - leak?

    What is the best way to plug inlets, returns and skimmers?
    24,400 gallon irregular shaped gunite chlorine pool
    Purex-Triton nautilus NS-36 DE filter;Pentair SM-20-2 multivalve
    MagneTek Centurion Switchless motor 1.5 HP
    Polaris

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Pool water levels - leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by rohan
    Ok. Did the bucket test. Left it overnight and through the day today. Bucket lost almost no water. Pool level on the external of the bucket dropped about an inch. My wife tells me that my polaris has been getting stuck a lot lately and spewing water out of the pool. This may have contributed, but I can't imagine that it would drop the level that much. Whats next? Should I do the bucket test again with the polaris turned off?

    Unless the Polaris is stuck for more than a few minutes at a time, I can't imagine it draining an entire inch of water from your pool. You could re-do the bucket test to be sure, but I'm pretty sure that's what you'll find.

    Also - I just dialed back my pump runtime to 4 hours instead of the 8 hours I normally run it during the summer. My thinking is that as it cools, algae growth should not be as much a threat. Is this a valid assumption?

    Do you have algae now? If water clarity is OK but you suspect algae, do an overnight chlorine loss test. If you're just asking from the prevention perspective, it's true that at cooler temperatures everything slows down... algae included.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Join Date
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    Re: Pool water levels - leak?

    Plastic 1 1/2" threaded plugs work well (like SP 1022-C) or the expandable rubber plugs, with wing-nuts to tighten them). If you normally winterize the pool, you should have the plugs on hand.

    Plugging the lines and repeating the bucket test will indicate if the leak is in the pipes or the body of the pool.
    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!)

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