400 gallons per day loss

chunky

Active member
Dec 16, 2017
33
Mesa/AZ
After doing some repair/patch work to a bench crack and some other annoyances, I'm still experiencing water loss. Filled pool back up this week to top of spa wall. Turned off water and waited 24 hours. Meter shows 400 gallons used to bring it back up to top of wall.

We have a large surface area, 20x50 pool in full Phx AZ sun. Roughly 104 and dry yesterday. Very slight breeze. I may be willing to concede upwards of 125 gallons to evaporation. That's based on some generic calculations from an engineer that also lives in AZ but I don't know if that's accurate.

In any event, 400 gallons is high. 12K per month loss?

So, I need to chase it down. I figure I should probably go thru the process of elimination and wonder if anyone has had luck with leak detection services?

Also, if I go thru the process of eliminating plumbing do I cover all returns at once? I have a dedicated vac port on side as well. I assume plug it. Then if pool continues to drop it would suggest main drain or leak in basin?

If you have gone thru this process before I'd like to hear if you had success and the steps you took.

Thank You,

Jeff
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,067
Laughlin, NV
If I did my math correctly, 400 gallons is less than an inch of evaporation each day. To be honest, at this time of year, I lose close to an inch a day in our pool in S Nevada.
 

chunky

Active member
Dec 16, 2017
33
Mesa/AZ
If I did my math correctly, 400 gallons is less than an inch of evaporation each day. To be honest, at this time of year, I lose close to an inch a day in our pool in S Nevada.
wow...that seems like a lot. Your signature indicates a 6K gal pool. Doesn't that get pretty warm this time of year? Evap faster? Our pool is a bit above 30K gallons.

As the wife and I discussed, until she retired a couple of years ago she didn't pay much attention to the water bill. I didn't either. She seemed to think the bill was higher. We r going to look back at the data the city has for older bills and compare.

I would call it about 1/2 inch drop in our pool. Some sites say 1/4 inch is normal, but I imagine that's a very generic number as well.

thanks.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,067
Laughlin, NV
A small pool but our temps stay at 88F or so.

The pan evaporation for your area will exceed 100" per year.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,304
Chapel Hill, NC
Do a bucket test to see if it's due to evaporation. Then let the water drain down until it stops - that will tell you where the leak is coming from (skimmer, light, return, etc).
 

chunky

Active member
Dec 16, 2017
33
Mesa/AZ
Do a bucket test to see if it's due to evaporation. Then let the water drain down until it stops - that will tell you where the leak is coming from (skimmer, light, return, etc).
We did notice the drop rate declined when it cleared the returns last time drained. I guess that's why I suspect something. However as mk indicated out evap rate is high and I couldn't distinguish a significant difference looking at 3 years of water bills. Gonna do a bucket test and monitor.
 

chunky

Active member
Dec 16, 2017
33
Mesa/AZ
Bucket test is how I fixed my leaks.

Then all you'll need is a divers mask, dye needle and some epoxy.

Good luck.
I tried using the dye prior. Around returns and light fixture. I did not see it being drawn out or any movement really.

I'm in the process of doing the bucket test. Second day had almost identical # of gallons out. At least it's consistent. :)
 
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chunky

Active member
Dec 16, 2017
33
Mesa/AZ
Just a follow up note, and a thanks for anyone who chimed in. I guess I've been chasing a ghost. I spent that past several days getting up and adding water to the pool at the exact same time, to the exact same level, then reading the water meter. I added about 400 gallons everyday on the nose. Our pool is approximately 31K to fill.

Weather has been very dry with light breezes. 100-105 during day, mid 70's at night. Occasional dust devil...grrr. Low relative humidity and dew points.

Per the bucket test, I drop about 1/2 inch per 24 hours. Very consistent pool.

I thought 400 gallons sounded like a lot, but I'm convinced it's evaporation. Altho somewhat perplexed why level dropped at a bit more rapid rate above the returns when we decided to let the pool level fall, but this week I plugged my returns and same results...400 gallons. Today I am running pump 24 hours today to see if there is any diff, but when I ran 10 hours it didn't seem to change so I don't expect that will result in anything significant.

I did get a chance to secure some tiles and fix a crack in the baja bench tho. :sneaky:

Appreciate this forum.

Jeff
 
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chunky

Active member
Dec 16, 2017
33
Mesa/AZ
Wow, that's a lot of evaporation! But I guess it's not inconsistent with the weather info.
yep, and today is a bit windier. similar temp and humidity in single digits at the moment.

We live on a acre+ that is wide open to the elements. We feel the breeze far more than the average home in the area. I thought 400 was high also(which started the chase), but I've dug around most of my pipes, plugged the returns, bucket tested, etc. I have no other explanation at this time.

I'll be curious if I see a change when our monsoon season kicks in. Humidity goes up some. Temps still high, but not as dry.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,067
Laughlin, NV
Evaporation may go down a little.

Evaporation is actually higher in spring and fall. When your pool water is warmer than the low temperatures at night. A solar cover during those times cuts down the evaporation and makes using the pool more enjoyable (warmer water).
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,304
Chapel Hill, NC
We're in central NC. Temps here in the summer get up to the mid 90s with a light breeze but the humidity is high so we don't get a lot of evaporation (maybe 1/8" a day, tops).