Here's a little background on my situation: About a month ago, I thought I had a leak in my pool. I did the bucket test and all was good, no leaks, I thought. Last week I discovered the bucket had a hole in it, after getting my water bill for 50,000 gallons!!! Yes, that bill included the initial fill of the pool when we moved in to the new house, but the pool and spa only hold 12,600. I decided to shock the pool last week as I had a pool party the weekend before, and a lot of um, beverages, were spilled and the water had taken on a greenish tint. When I was shocking, I was running the pump 24/7, and I had shut off water to the auto-fill for some piping modifications. The next morning, the water level was normal, and by the next evening, I was finished shocking, CC's were 0 no chlorine loss overnight, and the water is the best looking I've ever seen it . So I shut down the pump, and every night since the pool looses an inch (or more)overnight I believe this points to a leak on the suction side of the pump. The leak can't be too severe, because with the pump running, there are no visible air bubbles in the pump strainer basket, and I can't hear any cavitation. My skimmers (2) and main drain are seperatly plumbed and each has it's own valve.
My plan of action is to plug one of the skimmers suction port and see if the water level drops overnight with the pump off, and if the water level stays up, then I've found the leak. If not, then I'll continue with the other skimmer, then the main drain. When I find the leak, does anyone see a problem in abandoning the problem skimmer or the main drain? I like having 2 skimmers and a main drain, BUT, tearing up an re-doing the tile decking are not a $$$ option right now, and if it turns out to be the main drain, well, it's just gonna stay plugged up for good.
Does anyone have anything else I should think about while searching for or fixing this leak?
Sorry about the long post, I'm just a bit ****** about that water bill I just paid and wasn't expecting