Leak in Pool

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Frederick

Leak in Pool

Postby Frederick » Thu 08 May, 2008 11:38

BTW- Thank you muss08 for the past reply to my pump question post. You validated my thoughts on the subject.....

Now to THE bigger issues.....THE LEAK! This winter when we purchased our home, the pool was the wild card, the house was empty for the past 3 years, and the pool was covered with a mesh cover, it was "closed" in 2004 and in the fall of 2007, experienced a one day "open/close". We purchased the house in the middle of the winter and were not able to properly inspect the pool, however we did speak with the company who open/closed the pool and they noted the pool seemed to funtion ok.. Once we removed the cover in March we found the pool was a black lagoon, and since have had to dump & clean, and replace all tiles, now we learned that the heater is malfunctioning (hopefully covered under AHS Warranty) and we have a leak! The gunite looks good (according to pool company and guys who retiled) Could the new tile be a source for the leak?, are there any weak spots where leaks are more likely to occur? ie, I noticed water leaking from the spa when we ran the spillover, the spa level rises over the spa control (4 way jandy located just under the spa coping). The tilers did not seal behind this control and I was able to find this as being one area. Once we turned off the spa circultion, the water leak slowed from 1 inch to 1/2 inch a day. Also, one our our "inlets" does not appear to be pushing water out, I am going to seal this off with one of the plugs used in winterization, to see if this is our culprit? I was wondering if there are any other places to troubleshoot, ie skimmer boxes, etc...

What type of sealer should I use behind the spa control to stop the leak, ie silicone?

Also, if the inlet is the culprit, how does this get repaired, leaving the "plug" in for the season doesn't seem to be a proper fix, won't there still be a leak?

Sorry for the long post, and all the background, thanks very much in advance for your help.... This message board has been invaluable for me, a two lefthanded, first time pool owner.''


muss08
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Postby muss08 » Thu 08 May, 2008 20:41

Leaks can be tricky. There are a few methods to try and find the source. First place to look is around your equipment and equipment area. If indoors any leaks from the equipment should be easy to spot. If outside look for moist soil. I doubt the tile is the source of the leak. Do you have a jandy aqualink control center that you can use to switch from pool mode and spa mode? Can you turn off the spa and only let the pool run? If so, turn off all water going to and coming from the spa, mark your water level in the pool, let it run 24 hrs. and see if you have lost water (if you have an equalizer- plug it). If you lose nothing then your leak is in the spa. This can help you narrow down where the leak is.
Another method is to mark the water level, let the pump run 24hrs. and check the water level to see how much you lost. Then, mark the water level again but this time keep the pump off for 24 hrs. and see how much you lost. If you lose significantly less with the pump off then you have a pressure side leak- this includes all equipment and plumbing after the pump. If you lose the same then you have a passive leak (such as behind the jandy spa control).
Do you have a lot of air in the system? Is there a large amount of visible air bubbles in the pump? Are there air bubbles coming out of the inlets? If so- any of these symptoms would point to a suction leak. Suction side includes skimmers, main drain and underground piping leading to the pump.
You can also use dye (such as food coloring) to look for passive leaks. Trouble spots include where the plastic throat of the skimmer meets the tiled concrete, any cracks in the skimmer, behind your jandy spa control, light niches and any large cracks.
All this being said, the most accurate way to find a leak is through a pressure test which would have to be done by your pool professional. Tilers usually will not seal behind the jandy spa controls because it is supposed to be placed above the water level. Where are you located? If you have freezing temps during the winter and with the fact that the pool wasnt opened from 2004-2007 the leak(s) could be just about anywhere.
I just reread your post. When you say your leak went from 1in. to 1/2in a day with spa circulation off- did the water level in the spa or pool drop or both? If it does turn out to be the inlet that isnt working then plugging it wont work because the pipe will still be under water pressure. As to fixing it im not really sure without replacing the pipe (tearing up deck and replacing the line). I'm sure others can point you in the right direction on that. I know this is alot and i hope it helps. Sorry for the long explanation!
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muss08
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Postby muss08 » Thu 08 May, 2008 20:42

Oh yeah, forgot to ask- what kind of heater do you have?
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5 yrs experience
Frederick

Leak in Pool

Postby Frederick » Thu 08 May, 2008 21:44

Thank you for all the info, I appreciate the education. We are located in the Cincinnati area. The heaters brand is Laars / its a gas heater and does not work at this time, but I am having it worked on. (that is another post for another day)

Regarding the leak, your insights are very helpful. Yes we do have a Jandy aqualink RS8, and did stop running the spa/spillover, because of the lack of sealant behind the spa control. I will try your suggestion of turning pump off altogether, and see if the water level is stable. I also noticed some wetness near the mechanicals, located outside, but the amount of h2o is faily insignificant and seemed to be coming from under the pump. It was more than a drip and less than a stream. Our pool is freeform, I'm guessing around 24,000 gal and 1/2 inch of water is significant (based on how long it takes us to fill it the same.

Regarding air in the system, I'm not sure I understand but when viewing the pump basket, there are some, not many air bubbles. The bubbles are pretty cosistant, but I can still see things spinning around the basket. The pump does not sound like its lost its prime and there are no visible air bubbles around the pool anywhere I have been able to find.

I will likley take your recommendation and have a pro perform a pressure test, hopefully this will help. I will also repost after I get the results of the water level with and w/out the pumps on.

Also, if I'm not sure what an equalizer is in the spa, there are 2 drains on the base of the spa. When we turned the spa off (a couple days ago) the water level has stabilized just below the unsealed spa control. Would you use silicone to seal up behind the spa control? Also, I don't want to force the spa control off and break it, is there a way to remove so I can do the necessary repair?

Thanks again muss08 your insights have been extremely helpful. Hopefully we will get this thing up and running soon....

On the bright side, our water is crystal clear and the chemicals seem to be working well for us....

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