Help troubleshooting possible leak

dntboles

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2019
79
Boerne, TX
Pool Size
15818
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Please help me develop a troubleshooting plan to determine if I have a leak from the spa.

Background:
We have a pool with elevated spa. We normally run water into the spa nozzles and let it overflow into the pool, while keeping the spa drain closed.

27 days after plaster of our pool, I noticed low flow from two spa nozzles and loosened the surrounding ring. Later that day, my wife asked about a wet spot on the decking, beside the raised spa. Everything around it was dry. I couldn't rule out that maybe I got it wet, while near there cleaning the pool.

The next day, I ran the spa (jets and drain) briefly to show it to family and later noticed this diamond-shaped spot on the side wall. I discounted the wet spot to the right of it, as the dogs had gotten wet and that might have been from water coming off the decking. The center of the diamond, between the two rocks and just above the solid concrete area was noticeably wet, even the next day. If I touched my finger to the middle, I could see water on my finger.

I turned off water to the spa (nozzles off, drain closed). Despite getting plenty of sun throughout the day, it took a few days to really dry out.

Things that changed right around time of noticing the spot:
- PB set up heater and programmed spa buttons on control panel
- PB swapped out dual-speed pump for variable speed pump -- pressure was a little higher (maybe 26 psi vs 23 psi) with VS pump.
- I loosened the rings on the nozzles that had lower flow and weren't spinning before

Troubleshooting so far:
1. Ran spa drain for 5 min - no change to spa wall
2. Turned off spa drain, then ran spa nozzles for 5 min - no change
3. Loosened one spa jet nozzle (that previously looked like low flow) - watched for 5 min - no change
4. Loosened the next spa jet nozzle - watched for 5 min - no change
5. Loosened the third spa jet nozzle (of 3 that looked low flow) - watched 5 min - no change
6. Turned on spa drain, while keeping spa nozzles running - watched 10 min - no change

I've included photos of plumbing and the spa wall. The spa fill lines and the Hartford loop for the blower run in that general area. The fill lines were pressurized at 25 psi for months before being connected to the equipment.

Please help me develop a troubleshooting plan to see if I can duplicate the problem. The only other thing I could think of that I didn't do was running the blower. What else should I do? Thanks in advance for your help.

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,039
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Can you get the wet area on the spa wall to show now?
 

dntboles

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2019
79
Boerne, TX
Pool Size
15818
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I'm looking for a systematic, orderly way to do that. For example, if it had started looking wet after step 3 before, I'd have figured it was something I did during step 1 or 2 or 3. I'd like to duplicate the wet area and have some rough idea what caused it.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,039
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I understand what you are trying to do. Water rarely cooperates. The location of the leak can be away from where it finally show up. The water flows by a path of least resistance until it gets to a visible surface.
 

dntboles

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2019
79
Boerne, TX
Pool Size
15818
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I’m running a “stress test” now. All nozzles wide open (as I would normally have them), with blower, first with drain closed, then open, then heater on. I’m running the pump at the RPM that it ran the other day. In other words, I’m running how you would if you wanted to sit in the spa on a nice cool evening. But without my margarita, I’m stressed. ;-)
 

dntboles

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2019
79
Boerne, TX
Pool Size
15818
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
My test failed to dupe the wet area. I will continue running water into/out of the spa, changing a few other variables, such as spillway, to see if that changes anything.

We have some white streaks (calcium?) under the spillway and the area under the diamond-shaped wet area is also a little whiter, leading me to believe that was pool water (with calcium) vs some external source.
 
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