How can I use dye to check bottom main drain....for leak ?

Victor Newman

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2014
68
Grants Pass, OR
Been losing 1/2 inch, occasionally 3/4 inch leak in our 15K gallon in-ground pool. Used dye around skimmer, return jets, light, Polaris connection. Nothing. Tried main drain today, but I could not get down easily to squirt dye. Kept floating up and disturbing water/dye. Do I need a weighted belt...(or just lose 20 lbs.). A 10 foot stick with the dye bottle attached and a way to squeeze it ? I will also crawl around the edge and squirt dye all along the tile. Do I do this on top of water or squirt under the surface and watch for drift ?

Any and all tips will be much appreciated.

PS/Edit: Just now read the Evaporation Info page. Might be something there for me. Day temps have been 80-90-95 degrees and night temps 50 thru 75 degrees. Wind is usually mild, we are protected by lots of trees. I would like to check the main drain, anyhow....to eliminate one aspect of a leak.
 
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Texas Splash

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Do I need a weighted belt...(or just lose 20 lbs.).
Ha ha. Yeah, it can be tough to stay submerged. If you don't have a weight belt, maybe try "gently" lowering a cinder block by rope to the bottom? You can either keep the rope taught by tying it off to something. Then when you dive down, you can hold the block with one hand to help keep you down long enough to inject some dye. :snorkle: The block might be enough to give you enough counter-weight. Then pull it back up when you're done.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Before you go to all that trouble, you should perform "the bucket test" which will confirm the existence of a leak. Post back for instructions if you need to.
 

Victor Newman

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2014
68
Grants Pass, OR
Pat......Yes a cinder block would be better than the 10# dumbell I used to no avail.
Dave S......I have been using another method, other than the 24 hr bucket test: Each day at 0800 I open the skimmer lid and use a ruler, both inches and cm, and measure depth from a known mark in the skimmer. I keep track with pencil and paper. Rain and fill water are also factored in.

What is the best way for me to check for leaks in the tiles....on top of water or under water, maybe 1/2 way down ? I have a lot of blue food dye and a condiment squeeze bottle.

And......if the tiles are a problem, what do I do ?

Thanks
 

Texas Splash

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What is the best way for me to check for leaks in the tiles....on top of water or under water, maybe 1/2 way down ?
If you suspect you have a leak behind any tiles, that would mean a compromise in the gunite shell behind it. I would think leaving the water level high enough to keep the tile submerged would be an ideal way to see if any dye gets sucked between or behind the tiles.
 

Victor Newman

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2014
68
Grants Pass, OR
Thanks, I have filled pool to top of tiles and plan to check soon. So....do the dye drops go on top of the water to drift where they may....or do drops get squeezed under water ?

PS: Water temps have been in the mid 70's for 2 months. And I am buying a cinder block today.
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Your leak test method is invalid. The bucket test gives you the comparison between your pool which MAY be leaking and the bucket which you know is not. Your call, but using dye to detect a leak that may not even exist will be troublesome
 

Chrissykr

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2014
623
Rogers, AR
I had some iron stains on my main drain. I stood on the diving board and held my teenage daughter down with the pool brush so she could scrub it with a magic eraser. We had to do it a few times to get the job done but it worked.🤣🤣🤣
 
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Victor Newman

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2014
68
Grants Pass, OR
Hi Dave S....Yes, I agree and have been putting it off for some unknown reason.....but I will do this. Eventually.
Hi Pat......that is a great idea. Forget the cinder block.
 

Victor Newman

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2014
68
Grants Pass, OR
Hi again Pat......used a long piece of drip tubing attached to a weight to place it next to main drain. Added food dye and blew it towards drain. Nothing obvious. Might have used too much. Did you dilute your dye ? Also crawled around pool and squirted dye close to tiles....pool level was up to top of tiles. Nothing obvious.
Dave S....getting close to a 24 hour test. Think it might rain here this weekend. But, eventually..........
 
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