Dye test shows leak on both suction and outflow?

live_delray

Member
Sep 22, 2016
7
Delray Beach, FL
Hi all,

I have a small 14x12 gunite pool (about 5000 gal) which for the past several months has been losing more water than normal (we're in south Florida, so there's always a fair amount of evaporation). A neighbor's pool guy suggested we might have a slow leak, and recommended I turn the pump off for several hours and then do a dye test. After watching a bunch of Youtube videos, I tested all jets, the suction inlet, the skimmer inlet and the floor drains, as well as the place where the underground light attaches. In most cases the dye didn't move at all, but curiously one jet and the suction inlet, which are both on the same side of the pool, both slowly drew in the dye.

At first it seemed impossible that there would be two simultaneous leaks, but then I remembered that about two years ago I did have to remove a small palm tree because its expanding roots were starting to crack the brick on that side of the pool, so it's not totally unreasonable that a root could have lifted both sets of pipes up enough to pop open a coupling, but it still seems like a long-shot.

I've read a bunch of post on this forum about trying to use the fix-a-leak goo to seal leaks, and have a couple of questions for anybody familiar with them:

1) My main question is: if using the goo doesn't work, does it put me in a worse spot when I call a leak repair person out? In other words, is there a downside to trying to fix this myself that would prevent me from getting it fixed properly later?

2) I have a cartridge filter, and I understand I should remove the paper cartridge for a few days while the goo is circulated. When I eventually put it back in, will it be ruined/will its life be significantly shortened from having to filter out the remaining goo?

3) The pool is normally saline (though I've had to supplement chlorine this summer due to hotter conditions and the fact that my leak has been throwing off the salt balance). Will the goo interfere with the pool chemistry or be affected by the salinity (or lack thereof)?

4) I understand the goo is really meant for fixing outflow-side leaks, but I've read at least one thread here by someone who fixed a suction-side problem by capping and then pressurizing the suction line. Assuming I can figure out how to follow the same procedure, does it make more sense to try and focus on one leak at a time, or both at once (since the goo will already be in the pool)?

Thanks for reading! Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Not answering your main question but have you confirmed via bucket test that you CLEARLY have a leak? If you have not done the bucket test, how much water are you losing in a 24 hour period.......more than 1/2"?
 

live_delray

Member
Sep 22, 2016
7
Delray Beach, FL
Not answering your main question but have you confirmed via bucket test that you CLEARLY have a leak? If you have not done the bucket test, how much water are you losing in a 24 hour period.......more than 1/2"?
I did a bucket test. Over the course of 24 hrs the bucket lost about 1/8" while the pool lost about 1/2", so there was a significant difference (and the 1/8" number seems about right, since normally I'd lose about 1 1/2 inches in a week this time of year)
 

duraleigh

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Yeah, nice work and I agree you have a leak but I am not so sure you have a double leak.

My next procedure would be to simply not refill but let the leak start down until it stops. Where it stops would be the level of the leak. Have you tried that?