Broken Pipe / Freeze damage

Veccster

Bronze Supporter
Aug 30, 2016
357
Pittsburgh PA
So this is the 2nd major problem we've had. The first was a slice in the flex pipe that wasn't noticed during installation. A season of lost water and torn up concrete to fix the leak. This was the builders fault and he fixed it - Questions about a possible leak....#frustrated

I closed the pool myself and blew out all of the lines properly - so I thought. This spring, I opened everything up but was not getting water to the slide. I could direct all 3400 RPM's of my pump into the slide line ONLY....and have a shop vac sucking on the slide line - and still didn't get any water. So I'm thinking it's a complete separation somewhere (maybe a fitting didn't get glued).

Had a company come out and pipe scope it with a camera. Turns out, the 1" hard pipe is cracked on both sides of the pipe for about 20' - all under concrete. Some of the crack was pretty wide.

So why did this happen? My equipment pad is well above my pool. And the slide is obviously 7' or so above the concrete. So when I was blowing air, I suspect the water in the pipe moved aside enough to allow the air to pass, causing me to think the pipe was empty. I then made the fatal error of not adding anti-freeze. When I stopped blowing air, the water settled back into the low point. Froze over the winter and cracked the pipe. When scoping, we also found that the builder bent the hard pipe around the outside corner of the pool. It's a wide, sweeping bend but I think that would still put pressure on the pipe making it more brittle.

The fix: We dug up the pipe halfway between equipment pad and where it goes under concrete. We cut the pipe there and will dig a trench through the yard for a new pipe. One section of concrete needs removed (under the slide) so the connection can be made to the slide pipe.
 

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Veccster

Bronze Supporter
Aug 30, 2016
357
Pittsburgh PA
Excellent example of how a pipe scope it with a camera can pinpoint a leak.
Yes, it worked very well. I was going to buy a camera on Amazon but American Leak Detection out of Pittsburgh was able to fit me into their schedule on short notice. Their camera is detectable from above. They are able to tell exactly where the camera is and the depth. Turns out, mine is just 4" below the top of the concrete.....so it literally had no ground insulation from freeze.

We had to cut the pipe in the middle of the run to insert the camera. This is where a new line will be attached and ran to the slide. We'll just leave the cracked pipe in the ground. I'm also adding a clean-out port at that point so I can ensure that all water is removed from the pipe in future closings.

$400 for the company to come out and scope the pipe.
103446
 
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bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
4,984
Central MD
I'm glad you were able to get a definitive answer. The fix, though unpleasant, is better than I was envisioning. Thank you for sharing.

All of my piping is under our concrete decking or in the pool walls so I appreciate your apprehension. I pay someone to close (just blow out the lines and add antifreeze) because he also provides a guarantee that if a pipe breaks (and the pool is opened by the end of May the following year) he will fix the issue at his expense. He says in 20+ years he's never had a pipe break.
 
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Veccster

Bronze Supporter
Aug 30, 2016
357
Pittsburgh PA
I'm glad you were able to get a definitive answer. The fix, though unpleasant, is better than I was envisioning. Thank you for sharing.

All of my piping is under our concrete decking or in the pool walls so I appreciate your apprehension. I pay someone to close (just blow out the lines and add antifreeze) because he also provides a guarantee that if a pipe breaks (and the pool is opened by the end of May the following year) he will fix the issue at his expense. He says in 20+ years he's never had a pipe break.
I'm strongly considering having someone close it this year. It's not the cost...it's that I take pride in doing things myself. We'll see. That guarantee is nice though!!!

Really the cost of this fix isn't that much - probably $1,200. I just hate having the yard dug up and the kids can't use the slide (without dumping their own water down it). 1st world problems I guess :)
 

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