Below ground pool leak - should I be worried?

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Below ground pool leak - should I be worried?

Postby 30dodgepanel » Thu 21 Jul, 2022 09:49

I have a below ground pool in the desert southwest USA that I first painted about 20 years ago and I repaint it every 5 years on average. It's always had a 6' crack in the deep end and I'm wondering if I should be concerned about it.. at first my pool guy said no but now I'm questioning it.

A bit of history,
I have dealt with this crack for about 20 years now (about the time I decided to paint the pool). Each time the patching in the crack fails it starts to lose about one to two feet per day out of a 20,000 gallon pool so it's pretty substantial at times, other times it only drops an inch over several days making me think it was evaporation.

About a month ago the pool started losing water again then it stop. I filled it back up again and it dropped another foot a few nights later so I drained the pool and found the crack in the deep end had failed again :evil: .

We've tried different plaster patches and epoxies to fix the problem but nothing has help up for more than 5 years. Some of the crack is a hairline crack but a section about 10" long is 1" wide by about 2" deep. I finally found the epoxy patching I've always wanted to try and I believe that is going to do the job before I paint this next time but my concern is a worst case nightmare scenario of a sinkhole that swallows someone. I've just completed the epoxy patching but now I'm wondering before I paint again, is it to late to fix or has the damage already been done.

With this pause in the work (before I paint again) this has me thinking..
Should I just put in a two car garage in that area of my backyard? I'm also debating whether to keep the pool since it gets so hot here in the summer, it is refreshing and we have enjoyed it for years. My kids are grown now but they do come over many weekends and visit frequently when we are away so we have countless pool parties and it gets used constantly in the summertime. We even had a Vizsla that enjoyed it for 14 years till we lost her to cancer. So you can see, we love to swim.

1.) Does the desert southwest have the ground to support a leak like this?

My fear is this type of situation that recently occurred in Israel: ... c2d910f638

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Re: Below ground pool leak - should I be worried?

Postby mknmike » Sun 31 Jul, 2022 20:46

Wow. That is scary.

If there is a significant fear of a sinkhole, it seems feasible to chisel /jackhammer out the crack and determine if there is supporting ground below it or not. But honestly I don’t know.

It seems like finding a local pool company would know best. Right?

Have you found a local pool pro to consult with?
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Re: Below ground pool leak - should I be worried?

Postby nyleakpros » Tue 02 Aug, 2022 21:49

It's hard to say what you are dealing with without seeing your pool in person or pictures or video. But from what you are describing, putting epoxy & painting over the crack is simply putting a band-aid on concrete.

A much more permanent solution would be a torque lock staple system where the crack gets chiseled out, iron staples get drilled along both sides of the crack and act as "stitches" to keep the damage from getting worse. The crack gets filled with hydraulic cement and whatever plaster or surface is on your pool would go over top of that.

Filling in your pool is not a cheap option either. It's easier just to fix the damage in the long run ;)
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Re: Below ground pool leak - should I be worried?

Postby Teapot1 » Wed 03 Aug, 2022 12:15

For iron you mean stainless steel surely. Because thats what I would use and also a bentonite cement.
I may not give you the answer you want to hear, but I will give an honest opinion of your situation as you decribe it.
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Re: Below ground pool leak - should I be worried?

Postby GreenCrow1 » Mon 15 Aug, 2022 16:24

Before I purchased my home, my realtor hired an inspector to test for leaks on the Gunite surface, with the pool filled. I have no ideas what tools he used, since I was not present during the testing. However, several years later and before a big tile job, we had to hire a specialist to determine why the pool was losing water at a rate that was higher than just evaporation. We used an expert named Oscar at Aqua Blue pool service in Oahu. Everyone on the island knows Oscar. Long story short, he found a crack in part of the underground return line, using pressure gauges. In the OP's case, where the surface of the pool is the suspected source of the leak, he might use a dye flow tester to see if the crack is sucking water out of the pool. There is a national leak detection service called American Leak Detection™ and they might be able to give you an estimate or diagnosis. We contacted them as well, but their specialty is not underground detection. If the situation gets desperate, try contacting a home inspection service to see if they know anyone who can troubleshoot a pool. Also, a 5-star rated pool service business is usually aware of the top leak finder in your area.

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