Is this really a leak?

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zerenia

Is this really a leak?

Postby zerenia » Thu 15 Feb, 2018 13:02

New pool owner - just bought a home with a swimming pool. Have a 26 X 12 (more or less) in-ground pool, built around the year 2000. Filter is a STA-RITE Posi-Flo II, model PTM70. As nearly as I can determine, this is a cartridge filter.

Pool maintenance company comes and cleans the pool, and then I find white sand at the bottom of the pool under the return jets. There is sand under each (all three) of the jets, in a pattern that shows that the sand came from the jets. I pointed out the sand to the pool maintenance technician, and he tells me that it's a leak and gives me the names of several leak detection companies.

Before I start spending $$ on leak detection, is it really possible that the sand is coming from a leak or a broken pipe? If I'm right about the filter, then I don't have a sand filter, so I ruled that out as a possible cause.

-Z


Teapot
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Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Teapot » Thu 15 Feb, 2018 14:10

Hi Zerenia, you do have a cartridge filter, the lack of multi position valve on the filter will double confirm this.
Is the water level dropping?
Zerenia

Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Zerenia » Thu 15 Feb, 2018 19:43

Hi, Teapot. Thanks for the quick reply.

Water level drops about an inch each week. Friends tell me that is probably somewhat normal for South Florida, no? I put a solar cover on the pool and the water didn't drop much at all for about 3 days while the cover was on.
Teapot
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Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Teapot » Fri 16 Feb, 2018 02:34

Hi Zerenia, OK not much at all if it is a leak, your friends could well be correct. To test this, may I suggest placing a bucket of water on the steps or near as you can and note the height of the water. The level in the bucket should drop by the same amount as the pool.

Personally, and without any proof, I wonder if the sand could have been put into the pipes to generate more income? Can you vacuum the sand out carefully so it doesn't just get stirred up and re settle again later.

I was hoping to visit Palm Springs in a couple of weeks but too much work to do here. I have friends staying there for the month.
Zerenia

Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Zerenia » Fri 16 Feb, 2018 09:04

Will try the bucket test over the weekend. I saw the test while researching online, but didn't consider performing the test as I didn't suspect a leak.

Sand to generate more income? Doubtful for two reasons. First, pool maintenance tech recommended two firms to do the leak detection, and neither of them are, as far as I can tell, related to his firm. Second, I have surveillance cameras and did not see any evidence of sand being introduced into the pool or the filtration system.

Tech vacuumed the sand out on Tuesday of this week and it was back again when I checked last evening, although not as much as I've seen in the past.

Will report the results of the bucket test. If positive, then we get someone to check for leaks. If negative, we have a mystery on our hands?

Thanks again.
Teapot
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My Pool: 12 x 24 (45m3) liner pool, Triton TR60 filter with AFM glass media (Activate) and variable speed pump running 0.08HP
Location: UK

Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Teapot » Fri 16 Feb, 2018 10:08

Curious indeed, With vacuuming if it's not done carefully it just stirs it back up or if it's too fine and the vacuum isn't then it can just pass through but any cartridge filter should catch it if the are using the system as the vacuum rather than a pool blaster etc. Water would find it's way out of a leak much easier than sand so it would be several inches of water you would loose or if on the intake air. Very curious and I await the bucket test result.
Zerenia

Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Zerenia » Mon 19 Feb, 2018 17:59

Teapot - leak test is conclusive. No leak. If anything, the water in the bucket went down a bit more than the water in the pool. And, we used the pool, so we stirred up the water...

Any other thoughts of what might be the cause?

- Z
Teapot
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Joined: Tue 17 Oct, 2017 10:52
My Pool: 12 x 24 (45m3) liner pool, Triton TR60 filter with AFM glass media (Activate) and variable speed pump running 0.08HP
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Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Teapot » Tue 20 Feb, 2018 16:37

Any sign of ant activity under the coping, those little bugs can dislodge sand and if it fell in the right spot? Other wise I would carefully vacuum the sand up, put a cotton non fabric conditioned tea towel into the skimmer basket to catch the fine particles and carry on regardless having fun for now.
Zerenia

Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Zerenia » Tue 20 Feb, 2018 19:43

Newbie question - what's "coping"?

How about some sort of cloth in the basket in the pump? There's all kinds of junk in there - leaves, a dead lizard, etc. I can see the junk because of the clear top.

Thanks for continuing to answer questions!

-Z
Teapot
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Posts: 583
Joined: Tue 17 Oct, 2017 10:52
My Pool: 12 x 24 (45m3) liner pool, Triton TR60 filter with AFM glass media (Activate) and variable speed pump running 0.08HP
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Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Teapot » Wed 21 Feb, 2018 12:59

Hi Zerenia, coping (coping stone) are the edging stones around the perimeter of the pool.
Do you have skimmers at the edge of your pool, if so the skimmer baskets are the best place to to put the towel cloth. the flow is too harsh in the pump pre filter basket. If there are leaves in the basket on the pump and a lizard to, it suggests that you either don't have skimmers or if you do you don't have baskets in them.
Zerenia

Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Zerenia » Thu 22 Feb, 2018 21:00

Teapot - thanks. No ants or other noticeable critters around the coping. I have one skimmer, and the basket was torn up when we moved in, so I replaced the basket. I can try the towel in the skimmer, but it is reasonable to think that sand is floating into the skimmer and making it past the cartridge filter and back into the pool?

Meanwhile, the dead lizard is "gross" so I am going to attempt to empty the pre-filter basket this weekend if I can find instructions for the pump. I have had a well in the past and had to prime the pump after working on it, so I want to be sure about restarting the pool pump after cleaning the basket.

- Z
Teapot
Swimming Pool Superstar
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Posts: 583
Joined: Tue 17 Oct, 2017 10:52
My Pool: 12 x 24 (45m3) liner pool, Triton TR60 filter with AFM glass media (Activate) and variable speed pump running 0.08HP
Location: UK

Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Teapot » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 02:56

Hi Zerenia, Without any evidence of a leak, the sand is a bit of a mystery, it's heavier than water naturally so won't without vacuuming get into the skimmer. I wouldn't rule out dodgy practices even if this company isn't directly related to the leak detection companies. I am in the industry and backhanders take place like they do in many others.

More positively, once removed hopefully that will be the end of the sand issue but be sure to look carefully before the pool company return for their work.

You should turn off the pump, close the valves before the pump, close the valves returning water to the pool and then remove the pre filter lid. Take photos on your cell phone to make sure of valve positions etc. Good luck and please let us know the outcome. Maybe with a bit more coaching you won't need the pool company at all.
Zerenia
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Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Zerenia » Sat 10 Mar, 2018 10:39

Teapot - it's been a few weeks and it looks like the sand is virtually gone, so I'm really not sure what was going on.

New question, if you don't mind - pool company says that the filter is no longer fit for use. They suggest replacing with a Pentair CC100 filter. How do I know if the filter is really not "fit for use" any longer? Filter is a STA-RITE Posi-Flo II, model PTM70.

- Z
Teapot
Swimming Pool Superstar
Swimming Pool Superstar
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue 17 Oct, 2017 10:52
My Pool: 12 x 24 (45m3) liner pool, Triton TR60 filter with AFM glass media (Activate) and variable speed pump running 0.08HP
Location: UK

Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Teapot » Sat 10 Mar, 2018 15:49

Hi Zerenia,
Why do I get a bad feeling every time your pool company says something?
You know I didn't believe the sand problem, I believed you but not the leak and sand.
STA-RITE filter spares are widely available but in essence the filter is just a tank with a filter element inside, some larger ones have a manifold to connect multiple cartridges. There are replaceable O ring seals etc. Unless they can show you a crack or something tangible, I am afraid I would sack them, if they worked for me I would sack them. You must have other pool companies you can go to? Or stick around here and we will show you how to look after your own pool.
Zerenia
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Re: Is this really a leak?

Postby Zerenia » Sat 10 Mar, 2018 16:12

Teapot - Wow - thanks. I think what I'm going to do is tell the company that before I spend $550 on the filter (includes install labor), I'm going to get some other quotes and see how the company responds. Will let you know how this ends.

I appreciate the offer of teaching how to care for the pool and I may end up taking you all up on the offer!

-Z

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