Leaks, in pool/plumbing

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Hello Fellow TFP’er

Hope everyone in Boulder is safe, my thoughts are with those impacted yesterday.

Ok, I have been hesitating writing this post but here we go:

I have leaks in plumbing/pool in my 1+ year old IG FG pool. I believe I have leaks in both the suction side between the skimmer and pump and also either a leak in a fitting in the pool or in the pressure side plumping. I believe this has been a long term issue, perhaps since day one. Why, well I’ve always had to add water into the pool on a recurring basis, 2-3 times per week, perhaps 2-3”, never measured. I even had to add water over the winter, I soft closed the pool, safety cover, removed SWG, and set the pump to run at 650 RPM (about 38watts) for the winter, again at least once per week most times twice and again 2-3”.

Ok, issue #1 - air in the strainer/filter

Suction side leak - Since very early I’ve had air in the strainer basket… I’ll run the pump at a higher RPM (example 30-50GPM), clear out the air, release air from the pressure relief valve on top of the filter only to have the little bubbles show up in the strainer and eventually a big air bubble inside the strainer basket within 24 hours. One interesting item of note ,the water level in the basket never goes below the top of the strainer basket and the pump does not loose prime.

A week ago, as one of my pool opening steps I lubed all of the o-rings on the strainer basket lid, the drains both in the basket and the pump and the coupling joining the 2” PVC to the pump. There was no change in the bubbles.

One afternoon after doing some research here on TFP I decided I’d use some of the silicone and let it flow around several of the elbows and coupling joints. I had tried the water over the pump with no luck, Anyway silicon on joints, low and behold when the silicon flowed around one of the coupling joints, no more bubbles. Bubbles would return once the silicon flowed off or was sucked into the pipe. So this past weekend to further test this I used some bathroom silicon to “seal the joints” and initially this seemed to fix the issue.. Now few days later, bubbles are reappearing in the strainer, and since yesterday afternoon the water level dropped in the strainer to the top of the basket once again.. another item of interest is now the filter does not seem to have as much air inside as it has in the past.

Note, I’ve seen one or two thread where someone said VS/VF pumps will get air in the strainer when run on low for long periods.. I’ve wondered about this as equipment is at least 12-18" above the pool.

I have some pic’s to post but I am not sure how to do that, would value guidance.

Ok issue #2 - water level in the pool:

As stated, I’ve had to add water on a frequent, recurring basis, last summer it was 2-3 times per week during the season perhaps 2-3” per week. Didn’t think too much about as it was summer, hot and we were swimming all summer.

Once I started researching more here on TFP it become more apparent this was not normal.

OK, so I tried the bucket test last week, didn’t really understand it, finally found a youtube video that showed me the basics and I’ve now restarted the bucket test.

Over the weekend I placed a rule inside the skimmer so I can see/measure the water lose.. After placing the ruler, filled the pool and turned off the pump, let it set overnight (16:00 - 10:00 next morning) and had just a bit more that 1/2” in the time frame.. Turned pump back on, let it run overnight and lost almost another 1/2+” over night. Seems it didn’t matter pump on/off. I'll redo the pump on/off test once I get my other ruler to measure the bucket.

Now to the bucket, started yesterday afternoon at 16:00 and it’s clear today at 10:00 that pool lost water (1/2"+ on the skimmer ruler) and bucket lost very little 1/8”. I’ll have another ruler coming today to get more accurate measurements in the bucket.

I’ve also ordered some Anderson blue pool dye and one of the little dental syringes with the curved tip as I’ll test at each shell penetration (3 returns, 2 lights, skimmer and venturi) later this week.

Forgot to add - PB did pressure test, had trouble, first time did not hold pressure, seemed to be his brass fittings/connections into PVC, Second time it held pressure (10lbs) more or less for 24 hours... I looked back at my pictures seems it initially had 11lbs, 24 hours later was just a hair under 10lbs.. PB noted, this was the first time he'd been required by city codes to conduct a pressure test... needless to say I was concerned at that comment and even more so now.

I have yet to contact PB, I wanted to get my facts straight before I do that.

Ok, Questions? Suggestions?

Note: there’s no indication of water around the pool/pad, I dug back gravel at edge of pad to expose first 6-8” of plumping as I recalled there were unions just blow ground level. I’m very water sensitive as whoever built this house put it clearly in the worst place possible on this lot as when we exceed 1” of rain per hour we get water running against the house flooding the crawl space. I’ve had city engineer out, he estimates 5+ acres drain thru my property between the house and the back yard, my driveway looks like a river. We’ve installed over 1500’ of French drains, ditches and berms to divert and expedite drainage.

One more item of note: There is a sump next to the pool. I've always checked that as I fully expected given all of the water runoff issues we've encountered there would be water.. there is no visible water... last week I did stick the handle from the brush down the sump and it did come back up a bit muddy, not sure if that is indicator of water below the pool or that I'd just used the brush to brush down the pool and there was some water that ran down the handle once I turned it upside down. I intend to check that out again this week.

Thanks

Craig
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
I think you have enough evidence to drag the PB into the picture. Let him be responsible for the die tests. Are you expecting to get push back from the PB if you don't have overwhelming evidence of a leak? The fact that you are adding a significant amount of water more than would account for evaporation (bucket test) should be enough. Let him figure out where the leaks are (or bring in someone that does) and let him deal with it. What does your warranty say?

To add pics click on the insert image icon and drag them to the menu. If you are posting from a phone the process is a little different.
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Mark,

Thanks, my hesitancy is more that I don't want there to be plumping leaks, there will be a ton or three of concrete that will need to be jack hammered... but you're right it's time.. I haven't reviewed contract, that will be this evening's reading.

I see the insert image.. I'll add some images shortly

Thanks
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
If it is a plumbing leak.. it is what it is. But if it passed a pressure test, then that implies the leak is elsewhere. A leak detection company are better suited for figure that out. They have all the cool gizmos for that.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
41,988
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The penetrations of a fiberglass pool are a source for leaks. The hole needs to be prepped properly and the gaskets properly installed.

When my FB pool was installed, I had a leak that was hard to decipher too. We have lots of evaporation, but I was losing salt and CYA too. So, we had to drain the pool (no big deal here in the desert) and we sealed all the outlets with silicone sealant. No issues since. I have resealed them once when I drained it again.
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Marty,

I wasn’t testing last year so not sure of loss of chemicals. I did have to add on average one 40lb bag of salt ever 4-5 weeks last summer.

PB siliconed each fitting pretty good, at least that was my impression after watching installation of skimmer and Venturi fittings, but I’ve wondered about them That’s why I was considering testing with the dye. Again just to ensure I know the facts.

Thanks
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
If it is a plumbing leak.. it is what it is. But if it passed a pressure test, then that implies the leak is elsewhere. A leak detection company are better suited for figure that out. They have all the cool gizmos for that.
Thanks
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
If it is a plumbing leak.. it is what it is. But if it passed a pressure test, then that implies the leak is elsewhere. A leak detection company are better suited for figure that out. They have all the cool gizmos for that.
Mark,

your right it is what it his. I’ll review contract after dinner and connect with BP to address.

craig
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,757
Morris Cnty NJ
I agree... I bet its both fitting amd a small air leak in pipe. If hes never done a pressure test before how does he cover his pipes over, just hoping? FG needs very deliberate prep of the face to be flat amd sanded smooth, silicone alone no matter how much isnt enough. 1/2" of water overnight is alot of water to lose its going somewhere underground
 

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csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Update:

Contacted (email) my PB today, he was onsite at a build, will call me and put together a plan to address the issues.

also, he did sand each penetration before silicon. overall I felt the fittings were well done, his glue joints in the plumping was another story in my opinion, I just didn’t feel he took care while applying the primer & glue, as displayed by air leak right there on the pad.

he is a relatively young man, fairly new to the pool building business.

so we shall see what his suggested actions will be.
 
Last edited:

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,522
Bangor Maine
Glueing rigid is a fairly simple process, an elbow here or there might be an issue. He should be able to pressure test each line to determine where the issue is, but my money is still on the return fittings.
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Uodate

PB has agreed to dispatch a guy to come out early next week and investigate the loss of water. He’s understands the bucket test and agreed my efforts do seem to indicate a leak.

more to come on this topic.
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Glueing rigid is a fairly simple process, an elbow here or there might be an issue. He should be able to pressure test each line to determine where the issue is, but my money is still on the return fittings.
I’ve already identified leak(s) on suction side at couplings and 90’s (on the pad) due to poor glue joints, my fear is one or more glue connections on pressure side is source of leak.

I have three pressure side lines, each can be controlled via valve so should be able to pressure test easily.
1. to 3 returns
2. water fall
3. skimmer Venturi

my observation was PB did good work on return, skimmer, lights, I was less than impressed with the quality/care of glue work on PVC lines.

F7B7FF2F-1086-4270-BBA4-962275BEE228.jpeg
 

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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Those look like DWV elbows and not Sched 40 Elbows. Check this out.
I have seen people use them thinking they bigger radius will create less loss. Not really. DWV has a larger radius for drains and such but its not rated for the pressure of a pool line. They do may sched40 long sweeps but I would look on the elbow and see what it sez. And ask your PB about it. I see two on the line going into the pump and one an the right most pipe going down.

Are you number your pipes from left to right?
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Mark,

numbering is left to right in pic.

here is close up of the sweep elbows, I’d wondered the same but when I researched the fittings I looked up
411-9120
411-9130
and thought those were high pressure PVR schedule 40?
I don’t have close up of the std 90‘s

920FB2A2-45EE-48CC-BD81-319EAF319A1C.jpeg
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Ah.. ok.. those are the Waterway 411-9120 sweeps. they are for pool applications. The regular 90 elbows are in your pics at the top of pipe 1 and 3

If you already identified some of the leaks.. make sure he checks everything else.
 

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
While waiting for the PB leak guy I did some dye testing today, both of the LED lights are leaking water. Not the fitting against the pool but between the light and the fitting. These are Pentair Microbrite lights.


reviewing Manual looks like there are two options for installation. Not sure how these were installed.
 
Last edited:

csconner

Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2020
103
Nashville, Tn
Pool Size
9500
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
Hello all,

I’ve been chasing a pool leak. Today I was able to use some blue pool dye and a plastic dental syringe and tested, 3 returns and 2 Pentair MicroBrite lights. It appears the MicroBrites are leaking water, not the fitting Std 1.5” fitting, but rather the dye was sucked into the light between the light and the fitting.

Anyone out there with experience with these lights and leaks?

Based upon my review of the MicroRight manual, I believe these are suppose to the water tight installation method, I‘ll confirm with PB.

thanks
 
Last edited:

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,059
Evans, Georgia
Your pool is new! They certainly should still be under warranty thankfully. I can't say I've heard any one else with this issue on microbrights.

Maddie :flower:
 

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