Iowa DYI In-ground Vinyl Pool Build

jeflogan

Gold Supporter
May 23, 2012
90
Urbandale/IA
gotta get a mask on and check all of the pool penetrations. I would let it fall to below the skimmer and then if not let it go to the returns. if you have a set of drains dye test them. with a leak that large you would be pulling water from the pool into one of the openings, you can see the dye slowly get sucked in to eyeballs, drains, etc. just takes patience. leave the pumps off and figure out how much water your losing with system off, you can find it with enough detective work. theres gotta be a wet area around the pool somewhere otherwise its getting sucked down beneath the floor
JTG
It is below the skimmer and I am manually draining it past the returns to speed up the process and will see if it drops overnight. No drains been dye testing and not seeing any movement of the dye. I have dug down to the light niche and I had backfilled with a little layer of clay around the nitche to protect it and that was really wet. I will see if there is any standing water around it since my bond beam will let the water pool. We have had a lot of rain over the last 4 days so that may be just the water settling. I am thinking it is getting sucked beneath the floor. One pool guy is coming out Thursday and another Saturday. I scheduled 2 since some don't show in our market.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,038
Morris Cnty NJ
Who did the liner install? Any chance the light gasket isn't on or on wrong? Some go behind the liner some in front I have seen then backwards and have held for years that way. Regardless an inch in 12 hours is alot that's hundreds if not thousand or more gallons gotta go somewhere. If your sure liner isn't torn somewhere dye test everywhere. Is it worst when pump is running? If so its likely in your plumbing. You can pressure test from the pump with the right adapter and a valve from an air compressor. You can cap threaded returns easily hopefully you valves your plumbing and can isolate branches. You will find it just takes time. I wish you luck
 

jeflogan

Gold Supporter
May 23, 2012
90
Urbandale/IA
Update. I used a sump pump to drain below the returns, but like idiots we did not realize that it would siphon all night as my pool and house are on a hill SMH. Yesterday the pool did not drop after we stopped the siphon so we had a good indication it was not the lights or the liner but in the plumbing of the returns. I capped the returns off and we lost no water. We had previously scheduled a diver to check our liner and my wife wanted to keep the appointment to be reassured. He did not find any holes in the liner. I am filling the pool as I have not found any leaks as of yet in the return plumbing. Not sure why my pressure test did not indicate the issue.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,038
Morris Cnty NJ
How did you plumb the pool? I hope u went the extra step and did individual return lines with valves. If you have any way to isolate even half you can test and narrow it down more. How did you pressure test? Take a pic of your pad plumbing for me and post it
 

Gracie714

Member
Apr 17, 2017
13
Indianapolis
Just came across this thread. So sorry to hear about your issue. I've had to deal with leaks in 2 pools. Just had skimmer replaced in one. The other was in light niche 2 years ago...which amazed me as the water never drained below the light. Hang in there, you'll forget all about these issues soon!
 

jeflogan

Gold Supporter
May 23, 2012
90
Urbandale/IA
Been away for a few days doing some troubleshooting on my problem. Quick recap and what I have done thus far. Filled the pool up and used it for about 3-4 days before we noticed the water dropping. Filled it back up so I could to the bucket test and that indicated I had a leak. Over the next 7 days we let the water drop by itself as we looked for any water spots or leaks. As it got close to the returns I pumped out the water to speed the process of elimination of the returns. Water stopped leaking about 3 inches above the lights but as noted before the water siphoned on us so I figured the water would have stopped leaking below the returns. Wanting to use the pool for some 90+ degree weather in a few days I filled the pool back up and continued to test the returns by using standard plumbing plugs each day in each return and monitoring the water loss. After 4 days of this test we consistently lost about 2 inches of water each day eliminating a leak in the return plumbing. I have ran new conduit from my lights, dug out each light niche, had a diver look for leaks in the liner and tested each return and not found any leaks. The ground is lightly damper around one light niche but if it was leaking around that light I would expect it to be wetter since I am loosing 750-800 gal per day. Here are some pictures, I should clear out the backfill that fell in over the weekend to the niche hole but you can see the dampness of the dirt around that area.
109263
109264
 

jeflogan

Gold Supporter
May 23, 2012
90
Urbandale/IA
Well one of the pool companies that didn't call us back last week called and showed up 30 min. They did an extensive pressure test of the lines and they all passed. Even though the diver did a visual test they think it is in the liner and have a company that does an electronic testing of the liner to find the holes. We have that scheduled for next week. He said we can backfill, but I have this feeling I should wait. :unsure:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,853
Tallahassee, FL
I would NOT backfill..........why fill the hole back up to only empty it again????

That test is so neat to watch. It is almost like magic. Do you have a swim mask? You will need it to help you find the hole after they locate it. Mine was so small there was not way I would have found it on my own!
 

jeflogan

Gold Supporter
May 23, 2012
90
Urbandale/IA
Friends were over yesterday and one found the hole in the liner. It is next to the stairs along the wall. Do you think a repair will work with that much pressure on the repair?
109695
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,853
Tallahassee, FL
I think it will hold. What you do is make the patch where it just goes over the hole. Round all of the edges. THEN put another bigger patch on top of that that one.

It is worth a try. The Boxer brand of patches has a good name.

Kim:kim:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,853
Tallahassee, FL
Fill & Grill party! I hope there was a cooler full of drinks as well! That really looks nice! Will you wait a while for it to settle before the next step? What is the next step?

Kim:kim:
 

jeflogan

Gold Supporter
May 23, 2012
90
Urbandale/IA
Finish up the inspection process now that we can bond the deck then start with the travertine. We compacted while we filled and will compact before we lay the pavers. There is always a cooler at my house!!!
 

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