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Thread: Return Line Leaks

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    Kinguni's Avatar
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    Return Line Leaks

    Inground 18 x 36, vinyl liner (due for replacement - gotta wait), poly lines, 2 returns and unused pool sweep line. Opened this year and after running the pump for 2 hours I had major floating liner (no water loss without the pump running), so I shut it down and capped the deep end line which I thought was leaking. I also called for someone to pressure test the lines for me.

    However, after an inch plus of rain the one weekend, the water level had not risen in the pool, so I capped the shallow end return as well and had no water loss for a week. Just for kicks I removed the plug on the shallow end return and it seemed to actually be dry since there was a lot of suction on the plug. Definite leak on that line.

    I was still waiting, after more than 2 weeks, for the pressure test, so I decided to try something on my own. I changed the plumbing so what formerly flowed to the shallow end return was now flowing to the pool sweep line. All seemed pretty good for a couple of days, although a slight bulge in the liner around the deep end return. Fast forward to last weekend and the liner has water behind it again, although not nearly as bad as at opening, and water loss, more pronounced with the pump running, approximately half an inch a day.

    Now, I'd actually like to dig at this point and fix the leaking returns, but can I get by using only the pool sweep return which I think is OK? Can't really dig if the ground is that saturated anyways. Seems like it should work to me, and add an elbow inside the pool so I get circulation. My alternative would be to add a temporary return over the pool deck to the shallow end. Pump is a 3/4 hp Sta-rite.

    TIA, Ron

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Go ahead and use the pool sweep return. That isn't a great long term solution, but it sounds like you will only do this for a couple of weeks, and that will be fine.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Kinguni's Avatar
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    Well, I'd do it until mid-July anyways. If I still have the loss, however, rather than dig I'll do some above ground returns along the south fence. I think that would make do until I'm ready for the big redo in a couple of years - liner, coping, deck etc.

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    Kinguni, either the pool sweep return or an over the deck bypass will work until you can dig up the other returns and truly fix the problem. I suspect that one or more of the poly connections has failed Some builders down here use 'neopreen'(sp?) connectors that fail easily, sometimes it's just a clamp that has rusted out. If you need any info/ help with working with black poly just let me know and I'll tell you all I can

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    Kinguni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Kinguni, either the pool sweep return or an over the deck bypass will work until you can dig up the other returns and truly fix the problem. I suspect that one or more of the poly connections has failed Some builders down here use 'neopreen'(sp?) connectors that fail easily, sometimes it's just a clamp that has rusted out. If you need any info/ help with working with black poly just let me know and I'll tell you all I can

    p.s. - I like the shepherd better than the Beefeater
    It was a piper/soldier actually. There's some history in that picture.

    Black poly can be a pain, but I've been working with it on the equipment end and I think I read a post of your about working with it. I'm pretty sure it's likely just rusted out clamps underground, but the shallow end return is under concrete, which will get busted up when the liner is done, but if I can make the liner last another year or 2 I'm going to do it. If I have to I'll rent a jackhammer though. The deck at that end of the pool is in pretty rough shape anyways, all around the steps.

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    Kinguni's Avatar
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    Re: Return Line Leaks

    Took the solar cover off yesterday to vacuum the pool. Between cool weather, rain and wind, the cover has simply stayed on. Noticed the last few days that it wasn't losing as much water though, and the liner seemed to be not quite so floaty. While vacuuming I came across a clump of debris near the top of the deep end slope that seemed to be stuck to the liner. Well, what do you know, it was actually helping to plug a hole. Patched it and now no more water loss. Using the deep end return and the pool sweep return. This should do us for this year I think. Fixing the shallow end return could be a big job, best left for liner replacement time.

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