Plumbing Leak

demilio56

Bronze Supporter
Apr 25, 2017
61
Binghamton
#1
I am losing water at approximately 1 GPM but don't know where!

I've ruled out the liner by plugging the suction and return lines last night. No water was lost overnight. Not to mention the liner is only 2 years old.

I am preparing for a new concrete deck so the timing to fix a leak is good. Yesterday, I excavated all of the piping (black plastic) and exposed the fittings at the skimmer and the return (the only two pipes in or out of the pool). I didn't leave them excavated because I was convinced there wasn't a leak hence my check of the liner overnight.

Any thoughts or tips on how to find the leak? I'm guessing it is at one of the two connection points at the pool but must've overlooked it on excavation. I figured 1 gpm would be easy to spot. The pipes are run together and seem to be in perfect shape. Everything is very well bedded in sand.

HELP!


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demilio56

Bronze Supporter
Apr 25, 2017
61
Binghamton
#2
Also, when I excavated the pipes, I only exposed them to the top of pipe and observed for a while. Again, I figured 1 gpm would be easy to spot.


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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#3
Hello and welcome to TFP! :wave: First thing's first .. if you haven't already been there, take a look at the TFP Pool School - Leak Detection page. Once you've ruled-out the obvious, it's time to narrow-down if it's on the suction side or pressure side. Suction side typically reveals air in the pump basket. If you have both skimmer & main drain, then it gets trickier trying to segregate which one could be the culprit. Pressure side usually reveals wet ground. When those don't seem too obvious, then it may be time to simply keep water full over the return jets, and plug the pressure side one night, then the suction the other to try and narrow it down.

The whole thing can be a detective fiasco, but try to eliminate each "zone" and you should narrow it down. I hope that helps. Maybe some others will have thought or two. Best of luck, and we're glad to have you with us.
 
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demilio56

Bronze Supporter
Apr 25, 2017
61
Binghamton
#4
Thanks! I am a total newbie pool owner. I've found this site extremely helpful and every google search I've had has led me here.

Being a newb, what does air in the basket look like? Also, could a suction side leak also cause loss of water? Have I isolated the problem to the pressure side since I am losing water?


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pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#5
You can see the air bubbles through the lid, assuming it is clear. No, suction leaks don't typically lose water. Sometimes they can lose water when the pump is off.

What does losing 1 gpm mean? That you are losing 60 gallons per hour? How did you calculate that?

Pools lose 1/8"-1/4" of water per day to evaporation. Have you done a bucket test? There are instructions in the link Pat posted.
 
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demilio56

Bronze Supporter
Apr 25, 2017
61
Binghamton
#6
I'm losing about 2" in 12 hours overnight. Based on my pool shape, that's about 1 GPM. Or 60 gallons per hour as you said.

Evaporation is not the issue. I'm sure of that.

Should my pump basket be completely full of water? I believe I can see water churning in it. It is running quiet and there is great flow at the return jet.

Thanks!
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#7
No doubt, that is a pretty big leak. The pump basket doesn't have to be full of water. It is fine for there to be some air in there as long as it doesn't get more air over time. A suction leak will slowly suck air into the basket until there is half air or so and then it will lose prime. A leak that much wouldn't come from a small suction leak.

It seems like the leak ought to be in the return line.

When you plugged the skimmer I assume you plugged the hole in the bottom of the skimmer and the skimmer housing didn't lose water.