Punctured Main Drain Line

joesc230

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
146
Central, NJ
#1
Hi all,

I was having a fence installed around my pool today and unfortunately the installer punctured the mail drain line while digging out for a post. I called a PB to come out and fix it and the PB said that they need to get to the drain in the deep end of the pool (so that the water stops flowing and they can replace the broken piece of pipe), but he doesn't do that type of work until early May.

He didn't do anything to really at least temporarily plug the puncture. He drained the hole (as it was filled up with some water due to the puncture) and tried to get some heavy double sided sort of duct tape to seal it, but it did't really work, as the water just keeps leaking out form the edges of the tape. The water level in the hole isn't going past a certain height within the hole, which the PB said was because the water level in the hole was matching the water level of the pool. Is that true? Assuming he was right, I suggested that he drain some of the water from the pool to get the water level in the hole down low enough (as it wouldn't be too low as far as the pool's integrity goes...probably to about a foot below the returns), and he just acted like it wouldn't be a good idea. I got the feeling though that he just didn't feel like waiting around for it to drain, or didn't want to do the work in general right now, because it's winter.

A have few a questions:
- Anyone know a PB in NJ that would fix the leak now?
- If we don't do anything until May, should I worry about the pipe freezing over since it's now exposed? I was thinking that maybe the line breaking due to ice freezing isn't an issue since there is the puncture and if the water expands while frozen it wouldn't have the typical pressure to worry about that a closed pipe would have.
- Should I just drain the pool low enough to get the leak to stop so that it can be fixed sooner than May?

Thanks for any advice!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,884
Bedford, TX
#2
Re: Punctured Mail Drain Line

Joe,

If me, I'd get a sump pump and drain the water down until the end of the broken pipe is about 6" above the water level in the pipe. I would then cut the line off and the cement in a PVC cap, until it can be repaired correctly.

This would allow you to refill your pool without any leaks.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 
OP
OP
J

joesc230

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
146
Central, NJ
#3
Re: Punctured Mail Drain Line

Joe,

If me, I'd get a sump pump and drain the water down until the end of the broken pipe is about 6" above the water level in the pipe. I would then cut the line off and the cement in a PVC cap, until it can be repaired correctly.

This would allow you to refill your pool without any leaks.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
Hi Jim,

Thanks very much for the quick response. To make sure I understand - are you saying I should drain the level of the pool water down to be 6" below the height of the pipe? Or were you thinking that the pipe was running vertically?

Here's a video of the leak, if it helps: Pool Leak - YouTube
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
13,049
#4
Re: Punctured Mail Drain Line

Cut the pipe, push a ball of bread into the pipe as a temporary plug and then replumb as needed. The plug will hold for a little while and then dissolve and get sucked into the pump basket.

It takes a little planning because the plug won't last long.

Maybe glue on a ball valve so that you can take your time on the repair.

Dig up around pipe, cut out section, shove in plug, glue on ball valve.

Or, just be quick on the replumb by having everything ready to go.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,884
Bedford, TX
#5
Re: Punctured Mail Drain Line

Hi Jim,

Thanks very much for the quick response. To make sure I understand - are you saying I should drain the level of the pool water down to be 6" below the height of the pipe? Or were you thinking that the pipe was running vertically?

Here's a video of the leak, if it helps: Pool Leak - YouTube
Joe,

The water is coming out of the pipe because the water level in the pool is above the hole in the pipe. By draining the pool down a foot or so, the hole should be above the water level.

My idea was just to be able to cap off the pipe before the hole, so that you can wait for the pool builder to fix it. In the meantime you could fill the pool back up as you don't have to have a main drain. (Shut off at the pad of course)

I've had success with the bread trick on smaller pipes without any real pressure in them, I'm personally not sure how well it would hold back a pool full of water.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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OP
J

joesc230

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
146
Central, NJ
#7
Re: Punctured Mail Drain Line

Thanks to all for the input. I'm draining the water level down now and will ask the PB to come and fix the pipe once that's done.
 
OP
OP
J

joesc230

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 3, 2015
146
Central, NJ
#8
Re: Punctured Mail Drain Line

UPDATE: I drained the pool down about a foot and the PB's plumber came this morning and replaced the broken piece. Instead of putting something that was exactly like the original piece, he installed a U, like this:



Is this a correct way to fix this? I just want to make sure he didn't do anything lazy or wrong before I fill the hole back up.


Also - he got a little of the blue plumber's glue on one of my pavers. I was able to wipe most of it up, but there's still a little there. I tried using mineral oil and that didn't work...but I didn't let the oil sit too long. Anyone have a tip on how to clean it off the paver?
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#9
I would try some muriatic acid on the paver. I don't know any other way to fix that pipe. You can't slide the pipes apart and then back together.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
13,049
#10
It's an ok fix. I might have used 2" 90s to reduce the head loss, but it's OK like it is.

MEK might work to remove the glue.