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Thread: Another leak - will it ever end

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    Another leak - will it ever end

    Its only been a couple weeks since the leak in our attached spa was fixed (leaking around the drain), and it took them 6 weeks to finally find and fix it.

    Now my pool lost an inch in 24 hrs. I did the bucket test overnight and it lost about 1/2". I did a dye leak test around the skimmer and return ports. One of the return ports sucked up the dye, so hopefully the leak detection guy the PB uses will be able to find this leak as quickly as I. Unfortunately, out of the 3 returns in the pool, this is the one where the pipe runs under the entire deck. The others can be accessed without removing concrete deck.

    What is the most likely cause? Could it be where the 2" return line steps down to the 1.5" pipe that goes through the pool wall? Are these types of leaks easy to fix, or will it involve removing concrete deck? Our pool deck is an overpour, so it is going to be interesting. Based on how slowly my PB reacts, I can see this cutting into a good portion of the summer swim season.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    How far is the edge of the pool to the nearest grass area, i.e. how wide is the deck there?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    From the edge of the pool where this return is located to the edge of the deck is 9 feet. If it had to be replumbed, I suppose they would go that 9 feet and then all around the outside edge of the deck. I do have a vacuum line that could be a return line and is in a decent location and I would not mind if the pool was 25 years old, but its not even 1 year old.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    I assume the deck is concrete and not pavers or pavers over concrete.
    What kind of pool is it?
    Did they use flex or hard pipe?
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    Its a concrete deck overpour. They used hard PVC pipe. No one around here uses flex pipe except for plumbing the spa jets.

    The pool is a gunite in ground.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    I assume all the pool returns are tied, not run individually. I expect that this is the last/furthest. I might suggest a hole be cut that is large enough to expose the plumbing near that return but far enough back that you could make a planter afterwards. A good leak detection service should be able to confirm it's location within a foot or so. Using the air/microphone system, the tech will hear the compressed air escaping from a sealed line.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    All the returns are tied, and this one is almost the furthest, but not quite. The hole idea is good except that where it would have to be would be right in the way of getting to the main steps and to the spa. Could not be a worse location.

    I've left messages with the PB and the leak detection company. I'm sure they will eventually find the leak. I just don't want to have them working all summer on fixing it. And it is not comforting to know I've had two leaks in less than a year. The warranty is up in September.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    lborne, I am so sorry to hear this. I know that I was a basket case when I thought I had a leak and it actually was one but hard to tell because of evaporation and rain every day. My PB came over and he thought that I was crazy (well that is questionable ) however he noticed that the tile around the skimmer was not grouted. He added grout and since then I have had no water drop. I hope that yours is an easy fix
    Please keep us posted
    5,775 gal, IG free form, Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish, 2 swim out benches, Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues, StaRite Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter replaced with Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15, Polaris 360, Pentair 300w Light upgraded to Pentair IntelliBrite (OMG what a huge difference) , Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers, solar cover, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jet, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer (Makes testing a breeze), Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Margarita Concoction Machine,
    Pics of our Spool ( Social Pool) being built Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    I think I'm going crazy. Not really, but this leak is driving me there. Thanks for all the beer Brentr. I got home this afternoon and added about 2 inches of water to the pool. I was hoping that the leak is really around the outside of the pipe for the return and not the return line itself, meaning an easy repair. So I pulled the eye out about an inch and injected ink around the outside and in front of the eye. Nothing. I can't even get it to suck up the ink like I could this morning. The loss of water yesterday and last night indicate a fairly large leak, so it should be easy to find.

    I've dye tested all 3 returns, 2 lights, the vacuum port, the skimmer, and all around the tile line. I even used a long pvc pipe and put a cloud of dye over the main drains. Nothing. I was finally able to talk to the leak detection guy and I'm going to do another bucket test overnight. If there is no water loss, I'm going to set up a camera and see if the neighbor is stealing my water

    So anyway, now I'm worried somehow the leak has stopped and I'll be waiting for it to return, which will probably happen a couple days after the warranty is over.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    I had a huge leak in my light niche losing about 12" per 24 hr period. When I used the red dye test, which I've used successfully many times before, the dye did not get sucked in around the light rim. A retired pool guy told me it almost had to be the light because of the water level when it stopped leaking. He was right. As soon as I took the light assembly out of the bucket it was really obvious it was where the cord went through the wall.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    Well, I lost a bit more overnight and did a dye test around the return again this morning and it is obvious that the leak is there. May be a temperature thing as both mornings the dye gets sucked into the return but yesterday evening it did not. Anyway, I also was able to confirm this morning that the dye is going inside the pipe and not around the outside. Since the main lines were pressure checked, I'm thinking chances are it is where the 2 inch line connects to the smaller through wall pipe.

    Called the leak detection guy this morning but had to leave a message. Its frustrating not getting a call back from the PB yesterday AND having to leave messages all the time. I'm sure they think I'm a thorn, but I'll keep pestering them until I feel progress is being made. Based on past experience with this PB, I fear this can take several months.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    Anyone have a guess as to why my dye test shows water entering one return line on two consecutive mornings, but I can't repeat the test both evenings I tried? This is driving me crazy. I just know the PB is going to check in the evening and proclaim there is no leak, so I tried explaining it only happens in the AM.

    Tonight, after I could not repeat the dye leak test that I did this morning, I plugged all returns and let the pump run for a few seconds. The idea was that if I had a very small leak / crack, this would open her up. Nope.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    Didn't you pull the return fittings out? Plug them for a few hours. If the leak filled a void, the lack of new water may allow it to drain. Pulling the plugs may show it again with the dye test.

    In any event, a simple pressure test would show a drip in pressure fairly quickly.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    We are on sand here. Water drains quickly and so I doubt there would be any voids to fill. However, leaving the lines plugged for a while is a good idea. What I'm really hoping is that the PB's leak detection contractor comes out and does this, but in the meantime I want to feel like I'm learning about the problem.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    Over the weekend the leak has slowed and is now undetectable. Bucket tests shows no leaks. Went from over an inch a day to nothing. Any ideas?

    We did get heavy 4+ inches of rain over Friday and Saturday. Possibly PoolguyNJ has something - there could be a pocket and it is saturated from all the rain.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    A high ground water table, caused by the rain, could well slow down the leak dramatically or even eliminate it temporarily. When the ground water is at about the same height as the pool water the pressure on the outside is just about the same as the pressure on the inside and the pool won't leak, even if there is a hole.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end

    Maybe sprinkler run off is raising water level near the leak and skewing the test (along with rain)
    Inground Plaster 15,000 Gal. Hayward C4025 Cartridge Filter.3/4 Hp Hayward Pump

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    Re: Another leak - will it ever end - UPDATE

    Over the past week while waiting for the leak guy to come and check out the pool I began suspecting the leak was not in the return line as I could not get the ink to be sucked up all the time. I figured since all the returns were plumbed together, there could be some odd currents or thermals making it appear there was a leak certain times. Anyway, once we had a large rainfall (4+ inches in 2 days) and the leak subsided, I then suspected the main drains. We have a large swail in the back that is as deep as the pool, so I could see where the water level was and it all made sense.

    Leak detection guy called me on Friday to say he'd found the leak around the main drain. Exact same problem we had with the spa. Good news is that he can get down there with SCUBA gear to fix it without having to remove the water.

    In the meantime as we are waiting for the weather to get a little warmer so that we can swim, we are enjoying the hot tub. Solar gets it to 85-90.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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