Rebuilt equipment pad, still losing prime, what's next?

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,705
Pleasanton, CA
Ok, I understand now. Yes, if that line goes to the skimmer and not split underground to a MD or something else, then it could be a leak. Is your MD plumbed through the skimmer or do you not have one?
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
3,980
Chandler Arizona
Just so I’m following along correctly.....

In the picture of your first post it looks like your inlet (from the skimmer) is high up on the pump skimmer basket. If you close the valve right before the pump, then fill the pump skimmer with water, does the water stay level with the top? Or does it drain out?
 

suburbiaboy

Active member
May 12, 2018
40
Ontario, Canada
The poly to PVC transition at the pad is fully accessible and there are no leaks that I can see – I replaced that when I re-plumbed and left it uncovered for testing. I cut off about 4 inches (where the old barb connector was) and added a new fitting and pipe clamps. Seems solid. I've attached a better pic where you can just about see it – the soil below the fitting is only wet because I emptied the pump to check the impeller.

At the other end, there's an elbow on the bottom of the skimmer and I assume that's directly connected to the poly. The skimmer is tiny so I'll only need to dig down about 14 inches to get to the line below it. I lifted one of the pavers next to the skimmer and it looks a bit like the skimmer is bedded in sand and crushed stone so maybe it won't be too tough to dig down.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
3,980
Chandler Arizona
if I close the valve before the pump and fill the pump the water level does not change, as you might hope.
Ok, then it’s definitely gonna be in that line.
Unless you find the leak is right at the skimmer connections, it looks like you’ll have to dig up that pipe. If that is the case, then you might be better off installing new PVC plumbing all the way to the pad. (Fingers crossed that it’s not to difficult)
 

suburbiaboy

Active member
May 12, 2018
40
Ontario, Canada
Fingers crossed the leak is at the skimmer – I'll keep you updated!

Thanks for all your help Rob, Mark, and everyone in the thread.

The two pressure testing jigs look really useful, I've started gathering the parts for those so hopefully I'll be able to diagnose these things more easily in the future.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arizonarob

Andrew_D

Well-known member
May 8, 2020
58
Manitoba, Canada
If there is any chance that the crack is right at the skimmer, google "Frankenplug Fitting Saver Repair System".
I would never be that lucky, but maybe you are!

Andrew
 

suburbiaboy

Active member
May 12, 2018
40
Ontario, Canada
Well at least now I know, it's been a huge pain for two years.

Now I just need to see if I can repair it. Any idea if a skimmer can be replaced without replacing the liner completely? Just in case it's the skimmer that's cracked.

I'm not sure the "Frankenplug" or skimmer saver type fittings would work here since the elbow is directly attached to the skimmer.
 

suburbiaboy

Active member
May 12, 2018
40
Ontario, Canada
Looks like the elbow is cracked so could be worse. Pipe is in a bad way too.

I think I'll just cut this back and do a temporary fix with whatever I have on hand so we can get the pool up and running before the end of the season...
 

Attachments

suburbiaboy

Active member
May 12, 2018
40
Ontario, Canada
Yeah, it's huge and the crack in the pipe was big too. I was able to snap the end of the pipe off by hand. To be honest I'm surprised the pool was up and running the last couple of years.

The run from the skimmer to the pad is around 30ft. Half is under pavers which should be easy enough, the other half goes under a deck and the pool heater so not so easy.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,757
Morris Cnty NJ
You could temporarily run it above ground with poly for a temp fix til after the season. Make sure if you attach to poly barb fittings you dont use use clamps like in the pic. Use 2 clamps but rotate the 2nd one 180 degrees so the nut is on opposite side. They can leak under the void of the clamp mechanism
 

suburbiaboy

Active member
May 12, 2018
40
Ontario, Canada
Ok, success!

I have a temporary fix in place using some fittings from the old plumbing. It's not ideal because it's partially flex, and I had to cut it 1/4-inch shorter than it should be to squeeze it in between the fittings but it should hold for the three months I have left of the season.
Clamped exactly as you described @jimmythegreek

No leaks so far but I'm going to keep the hole open to monitor for a few days while I SLAM the pool. The pump is priming nicely and keeping prime, at least while running – first time since I've owned the house I've had no bubbles in the returns! Thanks for sticking around Rob!
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: Arizonarob