Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Pool leak

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    68

    Pool leak

    Okay, where to start...I have noticed over the past few days that my pool is losing water more quickly than usual. When I came home today, the pump had lost prime and the water level had gotten down below the skimmers. I also noticed that part of the back yard was saturated and had some standing water.

    Anyway, long story short, I poked around and found the spot where water is coming up from the ground. In an effort to isolate the problem, I closed the valves for the waterfall, skimmers and main drain one valve at a time but the water never stopped coming up. This would lead me to believe the leak is on the return side, right? I posted HERE a while back about my pump always losing prime and air bubbles in the pot. I would imagine this is my culprit and has just progressively gotten worse over the last couple of months.

    So, any advice? How deep are the pipes typically buried? I plan to come home tomorrow and start digging around the area where the water is coming up from the ground.
    Pool Specs:
    16,000 gal. IG - Plaster - Auto Chlorinator
    FNS 48 DE Filter - 2HP Centurion Pump (A.O. Smith)
    Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump - Polaris 360

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    8,618

    Re: Pool leak

    Sounds like a return leak. They usually aren't very deep. Mine are about a foot.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    68

    Re: Pool leak

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Sounds like a return leak. They usually aren't very deep. Mine are about a foot.
    Thanks for the response, I will see if I can locate the leaking pipe tomorrow. Would this cause my problem with the air bubbles and the pump losing prime when turned off?
    Pool Specs:
    16,000 gal. IG - Plaster - Auto Chlorinator
    FNS 48 DE Filter - 2HP Centurion Pump (A.O. Smith)
    Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump - Polaris 360

  4. Back To Top    #4
    spishex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hillsborough, NC
    Posts
    1,375

    Re: Pool leak

    Nay. That leak will be on the suction side. Start with the three strainer pot penetrations: lid, drain plug, and inlet male adapter. Then move backwards toward the skimmer and main drain valves.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
    Posts
    4,160

    Re: Pool leak

    It sounds like you've got 2 leaks going on 1 on the suction side and one on the return side (that's where the water in the yard is coming from). I remember the post you gave about the suction problem - try this from Pool School for narrowing down the problems. Investigate as well as you can and tell us what you find. There are some new folks here with excellent knowledge to share and I'm pretty sure that between us all, we can help you fix this problem
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    68

    Re: Pool leak

    That's not exactly the news I was hoping for. First thing first...I need to fix the leak on the return side so I can at least get it back up and running. I think that will be a fairly easy fix.

    I tried putting water over every connection, the pump lid, valves, etc...pretty much every thing above ground and I couldn't find a leak so I am thinking that one might be underground as well.
    Pool Specs:
    16,000 gal. IG - Plaster - Auto Chlorinator
    FNS 48 DE Filter - 2HP Centurion Pump (A.O. Smith)
    Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump - Polaris 360

  7. Back To Top    #7
    spishex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hillsborough, NC
    Posts
    1,375

    Re: Pool leak

    Quote Originally Posted by h2o
    That's not exactly the news I was hoping for. First thing first...I need to fix the leak on the return side so I can at least get it back up and running. I think that will be a fairly easy fix.

    I tried putting water over every connection, the pump lid, valves, etc...pretty much every thing above ground and I couldn't find a leak so I am thinking that one might be underground as well.
    Maybe, but the odds are highly stacked on it being above ground. I'm not a big fan of the water test, to be honest. It's something to do, and every now and again you'll find the problem that way, but I find it easier to just start at the beginning and eliminate possibilities. Turn on the pump and test after each of these:

    1. Take the lid o-ring off, lubricate it if you've got any silicone lubricant, and then put it back on upside down from how it was when you took it off. If this works, consider going ahead and ordering a new o-ring.

    2. Disconnect the suction side drain plug, clean it off and rewrap it with teflon tape. If there's a gasket on it, flip and lubricate it. If this works, you're all set.

    3. If you have a union in front of the pump on the suction side, remove the pipe from the pump inlet, clean and re-teflon tape it, and put some silicone sealant on it as well just to be sure. If you don't have a union, just push some of that silicone sealant in around where the male adapter threads into the front. Do this with the pump running so that you will be able to tell if the air is being affected. If this works but you were only able to do it the topical way, you'll need to pull it out and do it for real sooner or later so go buy some glue and a coupling/union.

    Those are all just good things to check on. If none of them take care of the issue you'll have to start checking plumbing, starting with the valve stems. This is where the water becomes useful, but you could still use something with more sticking power. Oil, elmer's glue, pomade? Just keep a rag handy.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
    Posts
    4,160

    Re: Pool leak

    I'll give a suggestion that wasn't in the article - I've heard that you can apply shaving cream to any suspect areas, plugs, unions, glued connections and be able to see the cream being sucked into the air leak. I've never tried it, but it's another way to check them

    Tim, I agree that the water trick is often hard to get a 100% 'go or no go' on, but it does work if you have patience and can keep an eye on the bubbles in the strainer - it also doesn't work well if there are multiple leaks

    As the article said, you can do the 'bucket test' to find out if the leak is underground

    Tim, I'm gonna PM you - I'd like to talk about leak detection without hijacking this thread 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    68

    Re: Pool leak

    Okay, I have a hole dug, although it's not big enough. I found the leaking pipe. It's at a T in a 2" line (I think) The hole fills up with water as I dig. It fills up at the same rate whether the pump is on or off. I'm guessing it must be gravitating in so I am draining some of the water now.

    Here is my concern. I have a sport pool which is about 3.5' depp on the ends and about 5' in the middle. I am worried aboput draining too much water and floating the shell. I figure the pipe is about 24" below the water line. That would leave only a couple of feet of water in the deep ends.

    Thoughts? Should water be leaking with no pressure in the system?
    Pool Specs:
    16,000 gal. IG - Plaster - Auto Chlorinator
    FNS 48 DE Filter - 2HP Centurion Pump (A.O. Smith)
    Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump - Polaris 360

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
    Posts
    4,160

    Re: Pool leak

    The regular air pressure could keep the pipe draining. Plug the returns and fix the problem
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    68

    Re: Pool leak

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    The regular air pressure could keep the pipe draining. Plug the returns and fix the problem
    If I drain it to just below the level of the return jets, it should stop it, no?
    Pool Specs:
    16,000 gal. IG - Plaster - Auto Chlorinator
    FNS 48 DE Filter - 2HP Centurion Pump (A.O. Smith)
    Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump - Polaris 360

  12. Back To Top    #12
    spishex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Hillsborough, NC
    Posts
    1,375

    Re: Pool leak

    Quote Originally Posted by h2o
    Okay, I have a hole dug, although it's not big enough. I found the leaking pipe. It's at a T in a 2" line (I think) The hole fills up with water as I dig. It fills up at the same rate whether the pump is on or off. I'm guessing it must be gravitating in so I am draining some of the water now.

    Here is my concern. I have a sport pool which is about 3.5' depp on the ends and about 5' in the middle. I am worried aboput draining too much water and floating the shell. I figure the pipe is about 24" below the water line. That would leave only a couple of feet of water in the deep ends.

    Thoughts? Should water be leaking with no pressure in the system?
    Plug the returns rather than draining the pool. Just be sure to open something at the equipment so water doesn't continue to siphon through from the suction side.

    But before you cut, I'd do a little bit more investigating to be sure it's a pressure side leak since you didn't notice a difference with the pump on. Maybe bring a shop vac or a pump to keep the water out of the hole so you can get a good look at it. I'd hate for you to have your returns plugged and then cut your skimmer line.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    68

    Re: Pool leak

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex
    Plug the returns rather than draining the pool. Just be sure to open something at the equipment so water doesn't continue to siphon through from the suction side.

    But before you cut, I'd do a little bit more investigating to be sure it's a pressure side leak since you didn't notice a difference with the pump on. Maybe bring a shop vac or a pump to keep the water out of the hole so you can get a good look at it. I'd hate for you to have your returns plugged and then cut your skimmer line.
    Too late...by the time I got here the pool was already down to the return jets. The hole has stopped filling with water so tomorrow I can dig it out better and get a good look at it. My biggest concern was draining too much water.
    Pool Specs:
    16,000 gal. IG - Plaster - Auto Chlorinator
    FNS 48 DE Filter - 2HP Centurion Pump (A.O. Smith)
    Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump - Polaris 360

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    68

    Re: Pool leak

    UPDATE:

    Well, I finally got the return side leak repaired this weekend. I had to dig a hole about 4' x 4' wide and about 2' deep. Took me a couple of days to dig the hole just doing a little after work each day. This Texas gumbo sucks! Sunday I was finally able to devote some real time to it ang got it done. I haven't filled the hole back in yet. I'm gonna let it run for a few days to ensure there is no more leak. I would be pi$$ed if I had to dig that hole again.

    On a side note, I still haven't found my suction side leak. I went ahead and installed a check valve this weekend so I would quit losing prime. The bad part is now the threaded coupler at the top of the pump is leaking too. I guess I didn't screw the new one in enough!
    Pool Specs:
    16,000 gal. IG - Plaster - Auto Chlorinator
    FNS 48 DE Filter - 2HP Centurion Pump (A.O. Smith)
    Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump - Polaris 360

Posting Permissions

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