Inground pool leak / overflow

JohnBinTN

Member
Mar 17, 2011
10
Hello, everyone. I'm not really sure what I got going on, so I figured I'd ask here before calling in the $pool guy$. We've been adding a bit of water lately, which isn't uncommon in TN in August, but it's a bit more than usual. Anyways, while out cutting the yard today, I ran into a mucky wet area about 15 feet or so away from our pool (16x36 inground). The wet spot in question is about 3 feet below the deck level. Curious, I figured it had to be pool related, so I got a shovel and dug a hole about a foot or so towards the pool away from the wet spot. Maybe a foot down I encountered a 4"(?) pvc pipe. I'm guessing this is an overflow pipe. If you eyeball from where I dug to the pool it approximately lines up with the skimmer.

So, besides possibly adding too much water and causing an overflow (I don't think this is the case), and the pool losing what I consider an abnormal amount of water, what should I look for to identify the problem before calling in the above mentioned $pool guys$?

Oh, if it helps, it's a vinyl liner pool, and the liner was replaced about 3 years ago. 4 return jets, 2 main drains, concrete deck.

Thanks in advance for shedding any light on this!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,522
Evans, Georgia
My first step would be to stop re-filling the pool to see how low it is actually going to go? Often if there is a tear or hole near a return or the skimmer it will stop directly below that spot. Give it a chance to do so.....

Next I would try to use a little dye and see if it gets sucked in any area you are suspicious of.


Maddie :flower:
 

JohnBinTN

Member
Mar 17, 2011
10
Thanks, Maddie. I read that leak detection post, as well as a few others, and none seem to cover a leak to overflow. I wish I could have been here when the pool was plumbed to see how everything is underground. I'm unclear as to where this overflow pipe would sit wherever it terminates at the pool (ie, how does water get into that pipe to then drain 15 feet away)... I'll let it sit w/o adding water to see how low it goes. Evaporation is a concern, however, as it's pretty warm and sunny here (you know this, being from GA), and will be for the foreseeable forecast so I guess I'll run the filter to pull from the drain and hand skim. I may dig down and find where the end of that overflow pipe is and see if there's water actively exiting it at an appreciable rate.

Thanks for the reply!
 

JohnBinTN

Member
Mar 17, 2011
10
Follow up, in case it helps anyone.... Dug down and found exit of pipe. Water was/kinda still is leaking at about 15 gallons per hour. Called pool guy - he was mystified as to why there was a 4" PVC pipe used as pool drainage (it is pool water - confirmed by chemical test). Before he came, I plumber's putty'ed around the skimmer faceplate as I heard water trickling in the skimmer with the pump off (pool guy ignored that part - said he couldn't hear very well) and tightened the screws a decent amount - the water slowed down. He dye tested around the screws and thinks that's where the problem is. I'll order a new gasket and some new screws to confirm. On the plus, he didn't charge me anything for his kinda-solution (he's the one that installed our liner).

I spent my day off digging a 20-foot drainage trench so our neighbor's yard would stop flooding... Yay, me! Has anyone heard of such a drainage system? It must start somewhere around the skimmer box, as I'm sure that's where the water is coming from... I always hate it when the "expert" doesn't know the answer....
 

JohnBinTN

Member
Mar 17, 2011
10
No separately plumbed waste. It was the skimmer gasket - re-seating the screws and cranking them down really tight stopped the leak. Why a skimmer leak would lead to a 15' run of pipe, I don't know - something below the skimmer assembly? Who knows... Whatever the 4" drain pipe was intended for, I guess I'm glad it was there. When we demo the pool and fill I'll pay particular attention to WTF that pipe was for. ;) I'm going to make a proper drain at the exit of that pipe - burying drain pipe with no exit besides underground seems like sloppy work.
 
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JohnBinTN

Member
Mar 17, 2011
10
No. Gutters just have normal downspouts that drain to the yard. I wish rain water would fall with perfect pool chemistry, else I would make sure thew downspouts led to the pool. ;) I'll snap a picture or two in a minute to show the layout and post them.