Pool leaking into street

kelli_rose

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Mar 3, 2021
11
Houston, TX
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20000
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We bought our first home with a pool in October 2020. It’s an older home and pool so naturally it came with a few issues that we’re fixing step by step, but one that baffles me is that the pool seems to leak into the street by way of the backfill (?) pipe, or whatever the pipe is called that runs from the pump to the street. There is a jandy no-lube valve closing off this pipe. The pool only loses water when the pump is running, and whenever the pump is on, there is always a slight trickle of water running from the end of the backfill pipe in the street through the gutter to the sewer.

It seems to me that water must be leaking through the valve despite it being closed. I replaced the diverter paddle in the valve - the seal was very worn and I thought this would fix the issue, but replacing the diverter had no effect on the leak.

Could I be wrong in assuming that the pipe running to the street gutter is only connected to the pool via the pipe connection to the pump, since the pool only loses water when the pump is running? If that assumption is true, the valve would be the only place the leak could be. A leak in the system before the valve would not leak directly into the street but rather into the ground, and we’d get sinkholes or puddles of water in the yard. And a leak in the system after this valve (if it’s properly functioning) would only be noticed when the valve is open.

The photos show (what I believe is) the flow of water from the pump to the street. The highlighted pipe goes straight down into the ground at the fence line. And it’s difficult to see because of the leaves, but the pipe outlet has water trickling from it toward the sewer since the pump has been on all day. If the pump had been off all day, the gutter would be dry.

I guess mainly I want to know if I’m missing some other component that could be leaking or if others agree it must be valve. For instance could there be another pipe connecting the pool to the street gutter underground? Any help is greatly appreciated!


C2CD0362-29C9-4AD0-AD2D-9183E098E588.jpeg19ABD945-5405-471A-B90E-05954F9DF1E7.jpeg83A43750-2268-4F69-8975-588B8B3DDAC7.jpeg
 

HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
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Katy TX
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That pipe to your street is your drain line/backwash line. It may help to take several more pictures of your equipment pad, especially where the line from the pump goes to the filter. Also, were does the pipe from the filter back to the pool.
The pipe you show seems to be a drain line from the filter. You have that closed. Is there any other pipe connecting to that same drain pipe?

Also - what type of filter is this? Is is a DE or cartridge or sand?
 

kelli_rose

Member
Mar 3, 2021
11
Houston, TX
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
That pipe to your street is your drain line/backwash line. It may help to take several more pictures of your equipment pad, especially where the line from the pump goes to the filter. Also, were does the pipe from the filter back to the pool.
The pipe you show seems to be a drain line from the filter. You have that closed. Is there any other pipe connecting to that same drain pipe?

Also - what type of filter is this? Is is a DE or cartridge or sand?

I will take some more pics and post in the morning. But no, there is no other line connected to that drain pipe that I can see. Above ground there is just a single line direct from the pump into the ground.
Also we have a cartridge filter. Thanks for the help!
 

JoyfulNoise

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May 23, 2015
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Try turning the handle 180 degrees so the OFF is facing the other direction. See if that helps.
 

kelli_rose

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Mar 3, 2021
11
Houston, TX
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Good idea, but I tried and it won’t rotate all the way around. I guess it’s designed to only turn within a certain range
 

JoyfulNoise

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It should rotate full around. Check if there are little plastic locking pins at the stops. Otherwise disassemble the valve and rotate it 180 degrees
 

proavia

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Feb 6, 2015
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Try rotating the valve handle only 90 degrees to shut it off.
 

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kelli_rose

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Mar 3, 2021
11
Houston, TX
Pool Size
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Here’s the rest of my set-up
 

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scdaren

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May 20, 2018
454
Clovis, CA
You might consider double-checking to make sure that is indeed pool water you are seeing out front.

Simple way to make sure is get your CL level up, then test the water at the street and see if it has CL.

We have a similar drain line on our house, and there are several yard drains and the rooftop gutters that all run into it.
 

HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
1,343
Katy TX
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Here’s the rest of my set-up
Thanks for the pictures. Those are very helpful.
It does appear the only pipe to your waste line to the street is the filter drain line. If you only get water coming out to the street only when the pool pump is running then that negates any other flow from gutter or garden creating the water at the street. Therefore the focus has to be on that valve you are working on.
You mentioned you lined up the paddle with the handle so you know where the paddle is when installed.
You might want to install it in open position, then close it with the handle, then remove the top again to ensure the paddle actually moved to the close position.
The other item is to check is when the paddle is out of the valve housing, are there any rough edges or wear that could be allowing the water to seep by when in closed position.
Others may have additional ideas.

Can you confirm if the filter is a cartridge type? It appears to be but would like that confirmed.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,153
NY
Simple way to make sure is get your CL level up, then test the water at the street and see if it has CL.
I ........ and I can’t believe I am about to say this....... I do believe you just came up with an acceptable use of a test strip. ‘Is it pool water or not’ ? It might be hard to suck up the trickle but swiping a test strip in the puddle would work fine. If your FC is 10+ that strip will be real purple/green and you can rule out the gutters, sprinklers or anything else.
 
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mknauss

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Just put a few drops of R0600 on the effluent. If it turns yellow, there is chlorine.
 
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kelli_rose

Member
Mar 3, 2021
11
Houston, TX
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
We bought our first home with a pool in October 2020. It’s an older home and pool so naturally it came with a few issues that we’re fixing step by step, but one that baffles me is that the pool seems to leak into the street by way of the backfill (?) pipe, or whatever the pipe is called that runs from the pump to the street. There is a jandy no-lube valve closing off this pipe. The pool only loses water when the pump is running, and whenever the pump is on, there is always a slight trickle of water running from the end of the backfill pipe in the street through the gutter to the sewer.

It seems to me that water must be leaking through the valve despite it being closed. I replaced the diverter paddle in the valve - the seal was very worn and I thought this would fix the issue, but replacing the diverter had no effect on the leak.

Could I be wrong in assuming that the pipe running to the street gutter is only connected to the pool via the pipe connection to the pump, since the pool only loses water when the pump is running? If that assumption is true, the valve would be the only place the leak could be. A leak in the system before the valve would not leak directly into the street but rather into the ground, and we’d get sinkholes or puddles of water in the yard. And a leak in the system after this valve (if it’s properly functioning) would only be noticed when the valve is open.

The photos show (what I believe is) the flow of water from the pump to the street. The highlighted pipe goes straight down into the ground at the fence line. And it’s difficult to see because of the leaves, but the pipe outlet has water trickling from it toward the sewer since the pump has been on all day. If the pump had been off all day, the gutter would be dry.

I guess mainly I want to know if I’m missing some other component that could be leaking or if others agree it must be valve. For instance could there be another pipe connecting the pool to the street gutter underground? Any help is greatly appreciated!


View attachment 177824View attachment 177825View attachment 177826
Made a discovery on this. A little bit of digging disproved my basic assumption, that the backwash pipe is the one going out to the street. The backwash pipe actually goes directly to this sewer clean out, and there’s another pipe beneath it that must connect to the street. I just don’t know what part of the pool it connects to, I’ll do a little more digging to see if I can find out. I do know that the pool is connected to the outlet in the street somehow and that the water in the street is pool water. If we go days without turning on the pump, the street is dry and the pool level stays the same. When we turn on the pump, the pool water level goes down and the trickle in the street appears.

What other part of the pool would make sense to be connected to the street? Could it be the main drain?

@HermanTX yes we do have a cartridge type filter. Thanks so much for your input on this!
 

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Last edited:

Desert Dog

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Apr 4, 2020
296
Alpine, Ca
I would test the water at the street first to make sure it is from your pool. If it is, do you have an over flow that is plumbed into your yard drains perhaps?
 
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kelli_rose

Member
Mar 3, 2021
11
Houston, TX
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks for the pictures. Those are very helpful.
It does appear the only pipe to your waste line to the street is the filter drain line. If you only get water coming out to the street only when the pool pump is running then that negates any other flow from gutter or garden creating the water at the street. Therefore the focus has to be on that valve you are working on.
You mentioned you lined up the paddle with the handle so you know where the paddle is when installed.
You might want to install it in open position, then close it with the handle, then remove the top again to ensure the paddle actually moved to the close position.
The other item is to check is when the paddle is out of the valve housing, are there any rough edges or wear that could be allowing the water to seep by when in closed position.
Others may have additional ideas.

Can you confirm if the filter is a cartridge type? It appears to be but would like that confirmed.

Thanks for the pictures. Those are very helpful.
It does appear the only pipe to your waste line to the street is the filter drain line. If you only get water coming out to the street only when the pool pump is running then that negates any other flow from gutter or garden creating the water at the street. Therefore the focus has to be on that valve you are working on.
You mentioned you lined up the paddle with the handle so you know where the paddle is when installed.
You might want to install it in open position, then close it with the handle, then remove the top again to ensure the paddle actually moved to the close position.
The other item is to check is when the paddle is out of the valve housing, are there any rough edges or wear that could be allowing the water to seep by when in closed position.
Others may have additional ideas.

Can you confirm if the filter is a cartridge type? It appears to be but would like that confirmed.
Made a discovery on this. A little bit of digging disproved my basic assumption, that the backwash pipe is the one going out to the street. The backwash pipe actually goes directly to this sewer clean out, and there’s another pipe beneath it that must connect to the street. I just don’t know what part of the pool it connects to, I’ll do a little more digging to see if I can find out. I do know that the pool is connected to the outlet in the street somehow and that the water in the street is pool water. If we go days without turning on the pump, the street is dry and the pool level stays the same. When we turn on the pump, the pool water level goes down and the trickle in the street appears.

What other part of the pool would make sense to be connected to the street? Could it be the main drain?

@HermanTX yes we do have a cartridge type filter. Thanks so much for your input on this!
Okay *ugh* forgive me, I’m super new to this and learning about the system as I go. SO the backwash pipe DOES go into the larger pipe that appears to be a sewer cleanout, but then that water goes into the street. I know this because I opened the valve to empty the filter canister, then went to the street and watched as the water came out in a very steady stream.

Another interesting thing that I’m glad I caught but I’m not sure how it could be related is this monster root twisting itself all through these pipes. If the root were able to crack a pipe then I should see water leaking all around the pipes, not neatly down into the street, correct? Unless a damaged pipe was causing water to leak into the sewer cleanout, but even then I’d think I would see some saturation in the area. The soil is wet and clayey but no moreso than any other soil in my yard.

By the way, we are about to start a pool remodel and the builder is going to do a leak test and fix the issue at the same time. But this has been perplexing me for a while so I would like to see if I can figure it out first, saving a few bucks would just be a bonus 🙃
 

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HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
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Katy TX
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Thanks for the update and feedback on your "digging". I was looking to determine if there was a separate line to drain your pool that does NOT go through the filter. From what I can see, there does not appear to be one. If so, there would be some sort of valve in between your pump and the filter. There is only the drain from the bottom of the filter which is your exit to "drain" pool water via your main pump. I think you proved this again with your recent activity when you emptied your filter and watch the flow in the street. I would not call this a backwash line because a cartridge filter does not need to backwash. You simply drain it, open the top up, pull out the cartridge to clean it, reinstall the cartridge and top, close the drain line and start the pump. Then purge air from the bleeder valve as the filter fills with water. I was wondering if you have an automatic overfill line? This would be by the pool. It drains water from the pool when the pool level gets too high. When you start your pump this could possibly increase flow out of it, especially if it is leaking. I would think it would tie to that same pipe to the street.

Is that white pipe with the root next to it (and parallel to the filter drain line) the main line to the street? It appears to go back under your equipment pad, so is anything else form the pool connected to it or is it just your gutters from the house?
There is always a concern of roots causing damage not only to pool pipes but even your house plumbing. You can see out it works it way around obstacles. If you know what tree it goes to and you are able to cut it without damage to the tree or to the adjacent pipes then do it. My wife read where you can cut 1 major root a year on a large tree without hurting it. You may want to verify that depending on your tree type. Good Luck.

Obvious that your PB will do more investigating so let us know the outcome whenever that is found.