Skimmer leak made worse by pressure testing?

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
I've known my pool had a slow leak somewhere since we moved in to the house about a tear ago. I've just been topping it off every few days, but recently decided to at least identify where the leak is. My pool guy conducted a dye test which was inconclusive. Then he conducted pressure tests with 'sonic listening devices' and identified the leak(s) as being under both built-in skimmers. He said there is a fitting or connection that was used in many of the pools in my area (Westchester NY) that breaks down and fails over time. He says he has replaced many of them. So now I need to figure out when and how to get this fixed.

But now it seems like the leak(s) are worse. The water seems to be seeping out faster. Is it possible the pressure tests aggravated the situation?

Thanks for any help.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Sure it's possible.

If it is in the bottom of the skimmers then you should be able to let the pool leak and it should stop leaking just below the skimmers -- is that what happens?
 

OldPoolMan

In The Industry
Jun 2, 2015
423
Wildomar, California
It's not only possible, it is probable. But don't blame your pool tech since the PTest is to confirm where your leak is with the assumption that you would repair said leak. The pressure used in a Ptest is more than the psi in your pipes during its Norman running.
 

Agent99

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2008
722
San Jose, CA
Time to cut a hole through your decking and start digging to get under the skimmer. This is NOT a fun job.

However, try to see if you can SEE the leak (split, crack, etc.) from above so you have an idea what is going on.

Sounds like you have an experienced pool guy to help you at least. :)
 

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Thanks. I've never let the water level get below the skimmers, but will do so, and then peek down in and see what I see. We've been planning on getting the whole pool refurbished in the next 3 or 4 years, so maybe we will see if we can do that sooner. I assume that if that is something we are thinking of doing then it makes sense to do everything at once, rather than have the skimmers replaced (quote is around $4k) this year, and then ripping it up again and refurbishing the whole pool 2 or 3 years later. Does that thinking make sense?
 

Agent99

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2008
722
San Jose, CA
If you are ripping up the decking (concrete of some ilk I presume?), odds are excellent that the skimmers will get damaged in the process and you'll need new ones. The 4k to fix the skimmers now will go bye-bye when they rip things up around them...possibly. Perhaps you can live with the expense of the leaking skimmer (assuming it doesn't get worse...perhaps a bad assumption) until you are ready for a full remodel.

We just finished redoing our pool and backyard...it takes a few bucks! :) My concrete guy did his best not to damage the skimmer but it was original to the 1978 pool build and it just didn't have the legs so we had to have a new skimmer put in. However, we went for a full pool and backyard gut: jack-hammered all the plaster out of the pool...new coping...jack-hammered all the decking out around the pool and most of the back yard. We are finally getting to almost done back there. WHEW! :)
 

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
I'm losing two inches of water per day now, so it's something that needs resolution. We are going on vacation next week and I'm not too trusting of the rinky-dink pool filler. It's already jammed once this summer and filled the pool to overflowing (until I nudged it).

If I let the pool leak down to below the skimmer level, and shut off those two valves, will it damage equipment to run the pump with just the main drain drawing?
 

Agent99

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2008
722
San Jose, CA
As long as the pump can pull water, you should be fine. So turn off the two skimmers and let the main drain do all suction.

HOWEVER, I want to make sure of your plumbing. Often, the MD is plumbed to a skimmer and then that plumbed to the pump as a single suction line.

You have two skimmers and a MD. Do you have these 3 separate suction lines (Skimmer A and Skimmer B and MD) run to the equipment pad?
 

skrichard

Member
Jun 9, 2010
14
Indianapolis, IN
Following this as I have something similar going on. I have 26k gal vinyl kidney shaped pool. Losing water and I think that the skimmer is cracked. I have two large lines with red handles. Usually when we are washing filters or adding chemicals we will turned those two handles to the off position as well as the entire pump system. So how do I tell if the main drain is associated with one or both these handles? I have only one pool deck skimmer although there is a hole and cover for a 2nd one on the other side of the pool.
 

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