It's Confirmed...I definitely have a leak in my Gunite pool :(

bostonpool

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
80
Worcester, MA
Well, I did a bucket test last night on my 40 year old, 32000 gallon Gunite pool. And it failed.

Water in bucket essentially didn't move. Water in pool went down about 1/2" and this was with the pump off. So I'm losing water with the pump not running.

I've done some research and understand this could be a "supply side" leak or likely leak around skimmer basket or light niche.

I did an extensive viewing of the pool yesterday with my scuba mask. Overall the shell / gunite surface seems fine. Although there is one area I found where there was an old crack, and old patch, to the gunite shell about 1" below the bottom of the tile near the water line. Coincidentally there is a large crack in the cement pool decking right behind this crack in the pool shell. Perhaps the old leak eroded away some of the soil under the decking which then caused this crack years ago.

I have a call in to the pool store to see if they can help find the leak. There is some dripping around teh equipment pad, but this leak is more than that particularly since it occurs with the pump off.

Reminder...we bought this house with this pool about 18 months ago. Last year there was no clear evidence of a leak. The cracks in the decking have been there for years etc.

Do you guys think my new Dolphin M500 robot could have scrubbed the patch / calking off of the old crack? I hope not.

GRRRRR....
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,840
Pleasanton, CA
So does the pool not leak with the pump on? Do you see air in the pump basket with the pump on? That would tell you if it is in the suction plumbing or not.
 

skimmerswimmer

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2013
335
Long Island, NY
I had a substantial leak in my old gunite pool this year and after letting the water go down until it stopped, I determined that the leak was in the skimmer where the pool meets the skimmer. Some epoxy fixed it.
 

bostonpool

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
80
Worcester, MA
I had a substantial leak in my old gunite pool this year and after letting the water go down until it stopped, I determined that the leak was in the skimmer where the pool meets the skimmer. Some epoxy fixed it.
My pool guy suspects this area as well. I did look and there isn't a crack per se in the area where the skimmer meets the Gunite...but there is a definite hard joint with a prominent seam that isn't sealed, epoxy, caulked. I'm going to try this first and foremost.

But I worry it's the other old crack in the shell and my robot brushed away the epoxy.
 

bostonpool

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
80
Worcester, MA
So does the pool not leak with the pump on? Do you see air in the pump basket with the pump on? That would tell you if it is in the suction plumbing or not.
The pool leaks with the pump on or off. There is no air in the pump basket with the pump on. I do have a few small drips around the DE filter connection but these aren't the primary problem.
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,029
FL
I would plug the skimmer line and your return lines. If you can hold your breath long enough, plug the main drain. Let it sit like that for a few days and see if you lose water. If no water loss then start unplugging the skimmer first and let it sit a day or so and keep going till you find it if in fact it is one of the areas that you have plugged. Also, you could do a dye test while the lines are plugged. These are all things a leak detection company would be doing to find your leak.

Of course this means no pump running for a few days/week.
 

bostonpool

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
80
Worcester, MA
I would plug the skimmer line and your return lines. If you can hold your breath long enough, plug the main drain. Let it sit like that for a few days and see if you lose water. If no water loss then start unplugging the skimmer first and let it sit a day or so and keep going till you find it if in fact it is one of the areas that you have plugged. Also, you could do a dye test while the lines are plugged. These are all things a leak detection company would be doing to find your leak.

Of course this means no pump running for a few days/week.
Thanks, but I can't not run the pump that long. I've got an SWG and need to keep FC up.

I'm going to do some die tests this afternoon and at least check the classic areas: SKimmer, return jets, light fixture.
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,029
FL
Just because you use a SWG doesn't mean you can't be without a pump. Just like mentioned above, shock with with some liquid chlorine and you'll be good. I'm in FL and I have had people that have had their pools off for two and half weeks and they dumped in chlorine and moved the water around with their brush. Pool water was fine for that amount of time.