Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Air leak in return lines

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Air leak in return lines

    We purchased our home in the summer of 2008. We have an IG pool built about 20 yrs ago. Upon opening pool there was a massive rip in one corner of the vinyl liner. We finally had money this year to fix the liner and start pool up. I did partially winterize the pool each year- air/water blown out of lines and such. Pool specs are:

    pool size: 27K gallons, 20x40 (custom L style)
    filter: DE
    Vinyl, IG
    New Emerson 1 hp pump (no idea on flow rate)

    The issue we have is that 1) main drain seems to have been cut off at some point (not sure by whom or why). Previous owners never mentioned this as one of the maintenance tasks performed by them. 2) Right skimmer line was repaired and re-piped with spa hose. The hose is not level with skimmer (goes uphill) and was never buried. It is riddled with holes as the bugs really like to eat this I'm told. 3) We closed off the Right skimmer and we are just using our left skimmer, as we were seeing air in the return. Problem is that the air continues. The plumbing for the left skimmer is definitely well underground.

    I have tried pouring water over all the suction side joints to see if I see air bubbles. I don't see a difference. I have bled the air from the filter but this only works long enough for the air to fill up again. I tried the red dye test near the skimmer areas and did not see anything pulling. I need to do a definitive evaporation test but am pretty sure we are not losing water. It's been scorching here so I have dropped about 1.5 inches over the past month.

    My pool contractor is too busy right now to help with leak detection. He feels the issue is in the underground plumbing. Do you suggest I hire a professional leak detection company before we spend a ton of money on all kinds of plumbing repairs?

    Thank you,

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Air leak in return lines

    Welcome to TFP.

    Try running water over the pump strainer housing while the pump is running and see if the air subsides. If it does try lubing the o-ring seal to see if that helps. I'd do that before I called a leak detection service.

    If that's not it, post some pics of the pool and equipment and we may be able to give you a better idea of where to start looking.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Air leak in return lines

    lilith, welcome to TFP!
    Before calling a leak service, I would do a bucket test. If you've lost only 1.5" in a month, it doesn't sound like a leak. I assume you have air in the pump basket. Since it's a brand new pump, I wouldn't expect the strainer basket lid to be pulling air, but that's easy to check. Take off the lid, check to make sure the gasket is seated correctly and nicely lubed up.

    As for pouring water on the joints, make sure you leave the hose in each spot for 30 seconds or so, and cup your hand around the pipe so that the bottom side of the joint is sitting in water. If you find the leak, the pump basket won't empty of air immediately; it can take a minute or so. I would suspect the threaded connection on the inlet side of the pump, given that it was just replaced, but it could be anywhere including underground.

    Posting details of your pool (with pictures) will help.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: Air leak in return lines

    One thing to consider is that your setup simply may not be able to provide enough water to the pump to keep up. Your system was installed with three pipes providing water to the pump, and you are down to one remaining. It may very well be that your pump is emptying the basket faster than the single skimmer can provide water to refill it.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Air leak in return lines

    Did the leak detector pinpoint where the leak is? Thats the hardest part.
    30,000 Gallon IG pool, vinyl, Aqua-rite T-cell 15 SWG, 1 1/2 HP with Tagelus TA60D sand filter 60 gpm

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts