Pool Remodel leads to leak. Seeking solutions

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,948
In my opinion, if it was leaking from cracks in the pool shell, it would be obvious.

In my opinion, the leak is probably in the air line.

I would recommend a pressure test that does the air and water line at the same time.

I think that you will be able to hear air bubbles escaping from the leak if you listen to the concrete at the spa.
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Thanks James. Not sure how receptive they'll be to me asking for another pressure test. This will be the 4th one. None of the previous ones found a leak in the air line, although they were all looking with that assumption.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,948
I would get an independent pressure test. No use using someone who already has decided that it's not in the plumbing.
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Still chasing the leak. Plan to have an independent company come and do another leak detection. I’m pretty sure it’s in the shell somewhere but I’m not finding it using leak detection dye.

Also lowered water level to just above the returns and ran pump for over a day and not seeing any water external to the shell. Hence the suspicion it’s in the shell and not the plumbing. Water level here

37C798D9-C10F-43C5-B6C6-8137C8A2FB20.jpg

Also picture of inside of return as previously requested. Jets are obvious. Don’t think it has anything to do with this though as mentioned above.

D917AC3C-C81D-4B3B-8854-4F2E01C885B8.jpg
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,948
The jets might not leak with the pump on because the flow of water pulls in air as you can see in the pictures.

The jets work on a venturi effect.

The air line doesn't fill with water until the pump is off.

Are the jets metal?

How are they installed?

I suspect that it's in the air line.

Try turning the pump off.
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Pump off prior to this. No water on outside of shell. Gonna try some tests at different water levels. Do you have any pictures of air lines prior to spraying gunite? Trying to imagine the flow path.

Jets appeared to be pvc. Don’t know how they were installed.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,948
It depends on the valve body. Yours is hard to see but looks unusual.

I suspect that if you pressurize the air line, you will confirm the leak. If the pressure drops, listen to the concrete to see if you can hear the air escaping. If you have air and water mixed in the line, the sound will be more obvious.
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Ok another data point. Spa full, no spillover, pump running. Leak observed on outside just after an hr.

Lowering down to below tiles and will continue to run pump. See if it dries up on outside
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,948
With the spa full, does air come out with the water?

It might be in the shell but you should be able to see some sort of hole above the lower water level and below the higher water level.

A dye test should confirm if a hole is leaking.
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Air comes out whether spa is full or to just above returns.

Another data point. Still leaking at lower level right at tile line. Pump was on.

Going to try these two levels with the pump off now. See if anything changes
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Also was thinking of caping off the return lines. Thought being should help isolate betweeen piping and shell. Any problems with this logic? Will caping the returns isolate the lines from water?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,948
You can plug the spa return lines. Just put the system into Pool mode and plug the spa return lines.

Make sure that the automation doesn't switch to spa mode or spillover mode.
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Still no success at finding this leak. Contractor has since come back and drilled around each fitting and filled with hydraulic cement. Also completely chipped out and replaced one fitting.

On my own I plugged all returns, leak still persisted, if spa was filled with water. Also drained spa, with returns plugged, and filled air line with water from the equipment pad. No leak observed.

I think with that I can rule out the air line or plumbing as being the cause. It's in the shell somewhere. Contractor plans to come back and chip out around all fittings and pack with hydraulic cement. Spa sits empty for the time being.
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Partially. Eventually chipped out around all fittings and repacked. Filled it up and was thrilled to no longer see water pooling in the deck. Well my enthusiasm was short lived as I then noticed that the grass area outside of the deck was still remaining wet. Dig a hole and sure enough filling with water if there’s water in the spa. So looks like we got one leak path but not both. I’m thinking the other leak path is the suction line but waiting again for the builder to come back out. Interestingly enough none of these leaks are showing up on any dye tests.
 

eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
This is the leak from ****. All penetrations in the pool have been chipped out and refilled. Last one being the pool light. I was so hopeful as the leak now seemed to start showing externally right about halfway up the light. Repacked the light yesterday. Filled today. Took about 3 hrs to see it in my test hole in the dirt lol.

Beginning to think it might be a leak in the shell itself. Tough to find with the ecofinish covering it. Going to try another leak detection company. Going on about a year now......
 
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eric99gt

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 14, 2009
176
Houston, TX
Plumbing was ruled out. In addition this is the 2nd leak being addressed. First one was addressed by repacking all the return fittings.

Story Basically follows this path
-Notice water on deck
-Chase this leak, finally comes to a resolution by repacking all return fittings
-I celebrate
-I mourn as I notice the ground is now wet
-contractor repacks both suction fittings and pool light
-leak still persists

Some more info
-see water externally about halfway up pool light (which is also about halfway up on a suction line)
-dye have never shown a leak. Been dye tested 3 times now
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,948
It might be the light conduit, but I still think that it's probably in the air line.

I think that it's in a cracked pvc line somewhere.