Leak under pool decking

70runner

Active member
Jun 27, 2015
39
Fallbrook CA
Last couple days have noticed wet spot near a decking drain. Been raining a bit, so didn't think much of it. Went out today in sunshine, area was dry. Ran the circ pump, water appeared, so apparent leak on pressure line to pool. Worried about water damage, can I leave the circ pump off for a few days until I can cut the concrete and fix the leak? Weather has been rainly and cold for San Diego area, highs in 50s, lows in 40s.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,388
Northern NJ
You can leave the pump off. What test kit do you use? Maintain your FC level using liquid chlorine. Pour it into the water and mix it around with your pool brush. If you have a robot cleaner run it in the pool to mix the chlorine further.
 

70runner

Active member
Jun 27, 2015
39
Fallbrook CA
Actually I have it serviced every Wed so don't have any chems at hand. Travel a lot, so tough for me to manage pool. I do have a test kit, but no chlorine. Trying to get a sense of how long I can shut down circulation before needing to treat pool? Realize it's an estimate. Is 2-3 days too long?
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,388
Northern NJ
Do what you need to do. Worst case you will need the SLAM Process once you get the pump running if your FC drops too much and you get some algae.

You may be ok this time of year but can’t say without knowing your FC level, CYA, and water temperature.
 

70runner

Active member
Jun 27, 2015
39
Fallbrook CA
Found the leak, cracked 1 1/2" pvc 45 elbow. Slow leak without pump, heavier with pump. How would you folks tackle
this? Will I have to drain the pool to allow a dry repair?

full.jpgclose.jpg
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,388
Northern NJ
That a return line? You have a valve by the equipment pad that closes off that line? Plug the line in the pool. Then you can work on the repair.

@jimmythegreek thoughts on repair technique?
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,388
Northern NJ
Not sure how to determine which line it is???
Trial and error and process of elimination. How many returns? How many skimmers? You have a main drain? Was 1 1/2” PVC used on both returns and skimmers or are skimmer lines 2”? What valves do you have on the lines at the equipment pad?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,437
NY
If you have the ability to pump to waste then you could do so and see if it still leaks with pressure. If it does it is a suction pipe to one of the skimmers If it leaks more like an ooze or not at all then it’s the return.
 

70runner

Active member
Jun 27, 2015
39
Fallbrook CA
Trial and error and process of elimination. How many returns? How many skimmers? You have a main drain? Was 1 1/2” PVC used on both returns and skimmers or are skimmer lines 2”? What valves do you have on the lines at the equipment pad?
One skimmer, 2 spa returns, 3 pool returns, 3way valves on both circ and jet (spa) pumps. Main drain on both pool and spa, with secondary safety drain on spa. Don't know specifics on plumbing, pool was built before we bought home. I could use the 3 ways to isolate pool/spa and narrow which returns to plug. Or just lower pool/spa level below returns to make repair.

Don't see any other way to repair this except 4 90s to replace the broken 45.?.

Since this area is a major junction of angle fittings, giving some thought to not replacing concrete, rather use some sort of removable cover for future access if needed.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,437
NY
You could plug the returns and skimmers, disconnect the pump and blow both directions to see which one has the leak. But at that point it’s kinda irrelevant. Just plug everything, cut the pipe and shop vac anything that doesn’t naturally drain after a while. I’m a bigger dude so I’d need a little more space to work. I’d expose the pipe a bit both Directions and also around the pipe itself.

Unless a pro has a reason this wouldn’t work, this is what I would do with regular PVC repair work: Cut a 8 inches on either side of the 45. Use slip collar type splices to extend new pipe through a new 45. They have a name but I don’t know what it is. Just a straight splice and the finished result would look identical except for the splice collar on either side. Dry fit it all to ensure the right lengths and then prime and glue it permanently. Don’t forget to clean the ends of the pipes like you would with copper pipe. Rough edges/ Burrs can make bubbles. You can either sand the insides or just carefully use a Sheetrock knife to trim any uneven spots.

You can even take the old 45 piece with the stubs attatched to Home Depot to make sure you are getting the right parts. And it will give the water time to drain from the hole. Also probably a good idea to shop vac out as much dirt as you can that washed itself into the pipe while draining.
 
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ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,388
Northern NJ
Use slip collar type splices to extend new pipe through a new 45. They have a name but I don’t know what it is. Just a straight splice and the finished result would look identical except for the splice collar on either side.

You can even take the old 45 piece with the stubs attatched to Home Depot to make sure you are getting the right parts.
Make sure you get Schedule 40 pressure rated fittings and not DWV fittings from HD.
 

70runner

Active member
Jun 27, 2015
39
Fallbrook CA
Unless a pro has a reason this wouldn’t work, this is what I would do with regular PVC repair work: Cut a 8 inches on either side of the 45. Use slip collar type splices to extend new pipe through a new 45. They have a name but I don’t know what it is. Just a straight splice and the finished result would look identical except for the splice collar on either side. Dry fit it all to ensure the right lengths and then prime and glue it permanently. Don’t forget to clean the ends of the pipes like you would with copper pipe. Rough edges/ Burrs can make bubbles. You can either sand the insides or just carefully use a Sheetrock knife to trim any uneven spots.
Good suggestion. It's hard to see in pic, but the lines are really packed together. Those slide repair couplers are pretty wide at the oring end so they may either not fit or put some side stress on adjacent lines. One trick a local pool fixer suggested was to heat blanket the PVC and bend it to fit. Risk is the cemented slip joint on both ends could be compromised by the heat.
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,133
Central California
Just spit-balling here, as this is somewhat outside of my experience. They make slip couplings for this purpose, I believe. Not the ones with the union and o-rings, just one that you glue in place. They don't have the center stop, so you slip it on one pipe, apply glue, and slip it over the other pipe. Gotta be quick, and use a slow-setting glue. (Never tried this myself.)

Or what about a length of flex PVC? And two couplers. Long enough that you could glue in one end, then bend it enough to mate with the rest of the pipe, a few feet away? (Never tried this either, and I don't know the reliability of flex.)

Couple ideas to ponder... I just know I'd hate to replace one 45 with four 90s. When I re-plumbed, I used all sweep 90s, because I have it in my head that they make a difference in flow (and so pump efficiency). Four 90s is a lot more resistance than a 45, that's for sure. Not to mention three more fittings, which is six more welds. That's a lot more failure points... (Though, you're going to have one or two more fittings no matter what.)
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,437
NY
They make slip couplings for this purpose, I believe. Not the ones with the union and o-rings, just one that you glue in place
Exactly. These. ***BUT THE SCH 40 ones***

Once you test fit everything glue the 2 straight pieces back. Then the 45 should slip on fairly easy. If not, dig back a foot on both sides to gain that little bit of flex needed.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,388
Northern NJ
Or what about a length of flex PVC? And two couplers. Long enough that you could glue in one end, then bend it enough to mate with the rest of the pipe, a few feet away? (Never tried this either, and I don't know the reliability of flex.)
Do not use flex PVC in buried applications. Termites like to chew through it.