Let's play "Where's my leak?"

SinistrV6

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2008
124
Mississippi Gulf Coast
OK. Pool definitely has a leak. Lost 4" in 24 hours (this is a new development but has been losing water for a week at a slower rate). When I came home today to the 4" loss, I turned off the starving pump and began to refill the pool. The level yesterday was at the "full" indicator on the skimmer housing. This evening it was below the skimmer housing but above the return eyes.

I searched the forum and I'm leaning toward a main drain (it has 2 that tie into one suction line) leak. I'm filling it again just so that I can observe the system in operation to make sure that the valve on the sand filter isn't letting water go to "waste" while it's circulating. It discharges under the fence into a drainage ditch and with the heat and lack of rain, any evidence disappears pretty quickly.

We replaced the lateral assembly and filter sand two days ago, btw. I saw no damage to any of the laterals but I was getting dirt/sand in the pool.

Hmmmm..... dirt and sand in the pool....did I just talk myself into thinking the return line (discharge to the eyes) is leaking.....letting water out and educting some dirt in??

Your thoughts?
 

SinistrV6

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2008
124
Mississippi Gulf Coast
Have you gone through the steps described below ...

Starting that today. I got enough water in it last night about 11pm to restart the circulation. As of 8am it's lost a 1/2 inch. I was able to rule out the Vari-Flo Valve on the sand filter though. Nothing discharging to "waste".
 
Last edited:

SinistrV6

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2008
124
Mississippi Gulf Coast
Blocked the 4 discharge "eyeballs" today around 11am. Almost 12 hours later...no water loss. I think it's safe to say that I've located the line(s) that are leaking. Now, I guess I have to dig it up.....
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,844
Sebring, Florida
We replaced the lateral assembly and filter sand two days ago, btw. I saw no damage to any of the laterals but I was getting dirt/sand in the pool.
Richard 320 has a great saying, "The last thing you fixed is the first thing to break"

As a precaution before you dig up pipes, I would make darn sure that repair was buttoned up properly.

I can't understand how blocking the returns would stop any leak??
 

SinistrV6

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2008
124
Mississippi Gulf Coast
Richard 320 has a great saying, "The last thing you fixed is the first thing to break"

As a precaution before you dig up pipes, I would make darn sure that repair was buttoned up properly.

I can't understand how blocking the returns would stop any leak??
Blocking the returns doesn't allow water to back down the piping when the pump is down. If the pump is running, of course it's pumping out through the leak. Blocking the returns and suctions just proves the integrity of the pool itself and shows that the plumbing is leaking.
 

SinistrV6

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2008
124
Mississippi Gulf Coast
Richard 320 has a great saying, "The last thing you fixed is the first thing to break"

As a precaution before you dig up pipes, I would make darn sure that repair was buttoned up properly.

I can't understand how blocking the returns would stop any leak??
Not sure how the sand and lateral change in the filter could cause a leak without being able to see it (either spraying out or discharging to Waste). It's all tight and no leaks.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,844
Sebring, Florida
I get it with blocking the returns AND the suction side.......that makes sense.

Just a reminder to review your repair which it seems you have done. No sense digging until you are positive.
 

SinistrV6

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2008
124
Mississippi Gulf Coast
I get it with blocking the returns AND the suction side.......that makes sense.

Just a reminder to review your repair which it seems you have done. No sense digging until you are positive.
The reason I blocked the discharges and not the suctions is two fold. It lost water well below the skimmer level so those as a source of the loss seems highly unlikely. Also, the pipe plugs I bought wouldn't fit the skimmers and I was holding off trying the Main Drains until last.

When I blocked all the returns, the water loss stopped. Just luck that it happened in that order.

Update: Since I lost no water with all 4 discharges blocked, I opened them up, 1 at a time in 4 hours intervals with the pump running. 3 open so far, with no loss. They're all branches of the same return line, so it really shouldn't matter but I'm grasping at straws.
 

wjr75

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
895
IL
Have a non-vinyl pool but my leaks have been around the skimmer plate. Buy some red die for detecting leaks in put a few drops in without the pumps on around the skimmer plate. A liner leak probably tougher to solve. I didn't see the earlier posts when I posted this originally . I did have my hydro staic valve in my spa and pool main drain leak twice in the past.
 

SinistrV6

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2008
124
Mississippi Gulf Coast

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,782
Pleasanton, CA
The bubbles and leak may not be connected. A suction side leak will not leak water when the pump is on so leave the pump on for 24 hrs and see if you have the same leak. It should only leak water out when the pump is off. A return side leak is faster with pump on vs off. If it is the same with the pump on or off, it is probably not in the plumbing.