Inground PVC leak

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Old 06-29-07, 10:29 AM
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Inground PVC leak

I have a Inground pool Vinyl Liner and ever since i have been living there my returns have been bubbling. All valves and above ground plumbing was replaced about 6 years ago with jandy valves. Pool was installed in about 1982 pool is plumbed with 1 1/2 white pipe i have 3 returns tied togather under ground somewhere 2 spa jets tied togather under ground somewhere and 2 skimmers tied togather underground and a seperate main drain. I am assuming that the leak has to be suction side because i did a little reading on here. I notice it is a little more pronounce when i have main drain closed and skimmers all the way open because this is the normally the way i have it running because i have a kreepy krauly which i tried replacing all the hoses on and that still didn't help. The thing i notice is when i have the main drain closed and skimmers all the way open the pump basket is only like half full but when i open the main drain or go half and half the pump basket is all the way full. i am pretty much sure that the leak has to have something to do with the skimmers because 99% of the time my main drain is closed because i have the kreepy going? I just got a brand new 1 1/2 horse hayward superpump and have the same problem. Could the leak be from the skimmers themselves they are original they are jacuzzi bros WB skimmers with the circular Weir? I probably can leave it alone but if it is something simple i would like to fix it? I am trying to avoid tearing up the backyard because i have all cement and above the cement i installed bricks. Pool has always been winterized properly and blown out? Any ideas? What is the best way to detect a suction side leak what can i put on the pipes to see if they are taking in air?
 
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Old 06-29-07, 11:48 AM
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I forgot to add that i had my pool guy pressure test my whole system and everything came out ok
 
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Old 06-29-07, 01:29 PM
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When you have your MD on and skimers off what do you get? Air in the pump basket = a suction side leak somewhere. It can be as small as a pin hole and not notice it until you put more suction on that line. Depending on the way your pool guy has pressure tested he might not have found the leak. Before cutting any deck, you should call American leak detection, they are nationwide and have a website just google them. They can come out and actuall pin point your leak no matter where it is so you'll only have to do minimal cutting and digging. Hope this helps...
 
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Old 06-29-07, 05:39 PM
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When i have the skimmers closed and main drain open my pump basket fills up with water but i still see a few bubblew in the basket and i may see a few out of my returns it is a lot better then running it with MD Closed. I am Figuring it has to be something with the skimmer line can something be leaking on the skimmer itself or it has to be the piping
 
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Old 06-30-07, 07:36 AM
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The only place you can get a leak on the skimmers is where your pipe screws into the bottom of the skimmer. Turn pool off pull baskets out and let water calm in skimmer, then look around the bottom for cracks. Just to be sure, you can take some food coloring and put close to bottom of skimmer and press a drop at a time and see it it is sucked up into cracks.
Any air you see in your pump basket will be coming out your returns as it works its way through system.
 
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Old 06-30-07, 01:07 PM
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I looked in the skimmers and really didn't see anything or any cracks. both skimmers are tied togather underground somewhere. My question is would i learn anything by putting plugs in them one at a time. and see if the bubbles go away. my question how long should it take before the bubbles go away?

I do notice that there is a little more air in the system when i have my kreepy running. All of the hoses are brand new. When i have skimmers fully open without kreepy hooked up the pump basket has a better mixture in it with more water but when i run kreepy it is about a little less then half full with not such great mixture in here

The problem is boggeling my mind? Any Ideas?
 
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Old 06-30-07, 01:32 PM
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It won't do any good to plug the skimmers off 1 at a time since they are t'd together underground. It sounds like you might have a very small hole in a joint of your plumbing where the solvent missed. One other thing you can try and this happens quite often. Check your pump housing in the front, make sure lid oring is in good condition and lubed, make sure winter plug in basket housing is sealed and tight, and make sure housing itself (should be 4- 9/16 bolts)is tight. All these places can suck air. It might not be in a line at all, could be when pump strains to pull water it is getting air from somewhere.
Are you running your kreepy from a skimmer or do you have a side wall suction?
 
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Old 06-30-07, 01:50 PM
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Kreepy is run into skimmer in one skimmer i have regulator with cap at top and in other skimmer i have a vac plate with kreepy hose hooked up to that. I know this problem has nothing to do with pump because i just got a brand new hayward super pump 1 1/2 horsepower because i had to upgrade from a 1 horse because i hooked up a pool solar heating system on roof. Have the same exact problem with old pump and new one.

On my plumbing above ground i have those 1 1/2 flush unions with the big nut so you can disconnect the plumbing. Could they be bad and be sucking air?

What is the best stuff to put on the pipes to see if they are leaking should i just like mix soap and water or what?
 
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Old 06-30-07, 01:58 PM
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yes those union can definately be sucking air. I would take them apart and check oring and lube them. Then put them back together and see what you got. If the oring is crushed(flat on one side not round) replace it. Soap and water will do very little since it is a suction leak. What you can do is while running pool take garden hose and a towel, wrap towel tightly around valve where union is and run water from hose on it. While doing this check pump basket and see if bubbles have lessened. This is a great way to find suction side leaks. Check them all.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 09:16 AM
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I am still on the case of finding the leak. I tried the food coloring idea and no sucess i checked the unions with the towel with the water and no luck. The thing i don't understand is bubbles seem to lessen when i open main drain a drop with skimmers almost all the way open when i do this the pump basket is pretty much full with water and i also notice that there is a little more pressure out of the returns. The thing i don't understand is if there was a leak wouldn't it have shown up during the pressure test the guy told me everything was perfect. I watched the whole thing he first he plugged all 3 returns and he had a guage which hooked up to my water hose with a plug which connects above the ground by my plumbing above ground. He then let water in the plumbing until the guage went up and then he wanted to see if it would maintain a certain number. He did this for the returns then he did the two skimmers then he did spa then he did the main drain and everything was perfect. Wouldn't a leak have shown up if it existed?
 
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Old 07-04-07, 09:31 AM
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Explain how he did main drain and skimmers, did he plug md and cut pipe where pump is and attach pressure tester? Please explain. Did he plug both skimmers and again attach over where pump is? How did he attach pressure tester and where? What pressure did he put into pipes and how long did he hold pressure?
There are alot of people out there tempting to pressure test however are not doing it properly. Obviously your leak is a small one that is worstened when there is more suction on that particular line. When you open both lines the basket fill and you have less air, this is because the suction is coming from both lines. What happens when you completely close the skimmers and open the md ?
 
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Old 07-04-07, 10:31 AM
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He plugged main drain and didn't cut anything his pressure tester had those expandable rubber plugs he just put that into the union which goes into the union which goes into the jandy valve on the suction side. he left it there for both skimmers and main drain test. Then he disconnected my chlorinator and put his plug in on the return side for this he tested returns and skimmers so he didn't cut anything? For each test he probably let it sit for idk maybe 3 minutes i don't recall what pressure he wanted to see if it held i know it was over 15 psi i beleive maybe 20 or 30 psi.

When i open main drain and close skimmers pump basket fills with water and i believe most of the bubbles from returns are gone i just did this so idk if returns will start to bubble again. I will let you know?

I took a picture of my above ground plumbing system. Let me know if you see anything. Let me know if any more pictures will help you.

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z179/Rschrei518/P1000200.jpg

Again i really do appreciate all your help.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 03:16 PM
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Ok, so basically we know the problem is in the skimmer line. Here is what we will try now.
Close (about half way) your jandy valve that is going to spa and returns, we want to build the pressure up in the system. Have the other jandy both open sk and md then remove the handle. Now when you get here you are going to turn the system off but you ar someone needs to watch carefully the following areas. Pump lid, union in front of pump, and the jandy for sk and md watch both around jandy and top where handle screws on. What we are looking for is when the pump is turned off the pressure will look for a point to release, these places are where you could have a leak and water from these places when pump is turned off will reveal leak. You can turn pump on and off several times if needed to look for water squirting, make sure to have good prime and pressure built up.

As for the pressure test, I can't say for sure without being there or knowing the guy but I would have done differently and would test to about 60psi and leave for min 15-20 minutes. He could have done it properly or maybe missed something. Keep in mind that the suction side of system is much greater then 15psi, can reach vac pressures of 40psi depending on conditions.
 
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Old 07-05-07, 06:13 AM
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I did as you said i open jandy valve for spa and returns half way so both were open and i believe you wanted me to open up skimmers and main drain half way also so both were open i took the handles off jandy valves which i was curious why this matters but i didn't see any water coming out of anywhere at all on the above ground plumbing when i turned pump on and off. in the area of the plumbing i have rocks so should i dig up the area and see if any water comes out below the ground. I dug up the area once before to see if i saw anything out of the ordinary there was no water down there or anything and the plumbing looked to be in good condition. Any other ideas?

Again thank you for your advice
 
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Old 07-05-07, 08:38 AM
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The reason for taking off the jandy handle is so you can see the top of the valve, there is an oring around the diverter where handle is screwed on, these will wear out and suck air there.

Unfortunately we have exhausted everything above ground, it sounds like its a small leak in your sk line. You did make sure to close the return jandy at least half way to build up pressure before turning pump off and looking for squirts???

The only other thing is American Leak Detection, they are nationwide and have a website to find the branch near you. They are expensive (approx 300.00) but can pin point a leak.

Sorry we did not have a better outcome...
 
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Old 07-05-07, 08:53 AM
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yes i did close returns half way but am i really building up any extra pressure because whatever pressure i am taking away from my 3 returns are going to the 2 spa returns?

If i decide to dig up the area where my rocks are what should i look for should i use the same method by turning pump on and off is it most likely at a fitting or do i have to check the pvc pipes also. I am very tempted to use these american leak finders but i emailed them my information and never heard anything back. If it is such a small leak will they be able to find it. the way it seems it is a small leak aggervated by the extra suction caused by my kreepy or vacumming.
 
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Old 07-05-07, 09:19 AM
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I'm assuming you have bug baskets in your skimmers? I replaced my 1 1/2 hp pump last year (17 years old and original seal!) and, I guess because the old pump was worn out, the new pump will suck air through the skimmers caused by the vortex of the suction unless I have both baskets in place. This caused me a sleepless night until I realized I forgot to put the baskets back in. Without the baskets I can count on bubbles from my returns within minutes.
 
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Old 07-05-07, 09:43 AM
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Thanks but i have baskets in skimmers and i have had this same problem with old pump which was only about 6 or 7 years old so i don't believe the pump is the issue either
 
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Old 07-05-07, 10:57 AM
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What makes you think you have a leak? Water level dropping? You should have an area in yard where it's a mudhole...
 
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Old 07-05-07, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rschrei518 View Post
yes i did close returns half way but am i really building up any extra pressure because whatever pressure i am taking away from my 3 returns are going to the 2 spa returns?

If i decide to dig up the area where my rocks are what should i look for should i use the same method by turning pump on and off is it most likely at a fitting or do i have to check the pvc pipes also. I am very tempted to use these american leak finders but i emailed them my information and never heard anything back. If it is such a small leak will they be able to find it. the way it seems it is a small leak aggervated by the extra suction caused by my kreepy or vacumming.
You'll need to shut jandy so it is shutting of both lines and just opened about half way, this way it builds up some back pressure. Then shut pump off while looking at points mentioned before.

Yes, if you dig, you'll want to look for water to squirt when pump shut off at the fitting joints. one other place I forgot to mention is the male adapter going into front of pump, is it teflon taped good and silicone? This may be the cause of it also.
I hope you understand what I'm saying, its hard to explain sometimes...
 
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Old 07-05-07, 01:48 PM
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If i am reading what you are saying correctly you want me to put the jandy valves at the halfway point so half is going to spa and half to the returns and same for the skimmer and main drain so its half and half. The thing i just started to notice is when i turn pump on and off and i have jandys at halfway point i see water spurts shoot out from under the pump lid. i don't believe this would be the cause of all my problems because wouldn't i get air all the time if it was right now i am only getting air in skimmer only mode. The only time i see water shoot out is when the pump basket is full when i have both skimmers and main drain open. It dosn't happen in skimmer only mode i guess because the pump basket is not full with water. I noticed this sometimes on my old pump also. The thing i don't understand is why should this happen the pump is brand new one week old i have the lid and gasket lubed with spa lube. It is a hayward superpump. That was all i seen above the ground.

Also i called American leak finders corperate number and they told me they don''t do any work at all in ny which is where i am. Are there other companies which do that type of work?
 
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Old 07-05-07, 04:43 PM
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I was afraid I wasn't clear, you need to put the closed part of the valve so that it closes the pipe coming from the chlorinator so that it restricts the flow to both the pool and the spa.

Tighten the pump lid a little more, just for the test. Did you inspect the gasket? Especially at the back of the lid, superpumps are known for the back of gasket getting crimped.

The water squirting from lid is what we are looking for only somewhere before pump. It could in fact be in the lid though.

Yes I'm sure there are other (local) company that will do the detection, you'll have to call larger pool companies and ask.

lastly, how is the suction in sk line? Are you getting good suction from both skimmers? You could have a blockage in a sk line causing the pump to suck air if it is straining for water from sk line. Are both sk equal suction or is one more then other? Do you have pine needles getting in pool?

Hang in there, we'll figure it out...
 
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Old 07-05-07, 09:24 PM
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There is no way for me to restrict the flow from chlorinator the off section can not go that way at all if you look at the picture you will be able to see this

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z179/Rschrei518/P1000200.jpg

I believe the lid was tight the gasket is not flat and really looks brand new because it is brand new. I will try and tighten cap up more tomorrow and see if it still releases water when shutting off. i forgot to answer your question about the male union in front of pump. it is tefloned with and over the teflon there is permetex thread sealant.

The suction is very good from both skimmers. i don't believe there is any difference in suction between them. I don't believe there is any sort of pine needles or leaves going in pool i have very few leaves around pool.
 
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Old 07-06-07, 09:25 AM
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ok, in the picture the return jandy is showing spa off and all water going to return. You'll turn the jandy counter clockwise till the "closed" is in front of line coming from chlorinator. Some jandys have a little nipple under the handle that will hinder this. If this is the case, take the lock screww of and raise on the handle then turn to proper place.

Male adapter sounds good, just double check the screw in the front bottom of pump basket tighten just to be sure.
 
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Old 07-06-07, 10:35 AM
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I was wondering how you wanted me to do that because the handle would not spin around to that area. The thing is will i damage anything by doing this at all because my pool guy never told me to never shut returns off returns and open up spa all the way or i could damage the plumbing. Is this legitimate. since he told me that about 10 years ago i never have shut the returns all the way off
 
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Old 07-06-07, 10:49 AM
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Don't shut completely, just about half way. What you're doing is reducing water flow to both the spa and the returns. I explained in last post to remove screw and lift handle till its almost of valve to be able to turn. We just want to build up a little more pressure in system.
 
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Old 07-12-07, 02:50 PM
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I tried to look for water coming out of anywhere and didn't find anything. I spoke to a guy who does leak detection and he is coming over tomorrow. He told me what they do is they first pressure test all pipes. Then to find leaks they pump helium into the lines and then they look for it coming up from the ground or they use a sniffing device to find the location of leaks. Is this how they normally try and locate leaks.

Is there anything i should tell him to do?

What PSI should he be pressurizing pipes too and how long should he be holding the pressure?

Thanks again for all your help
 
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Old 07-12-07, 02:57 PM
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I try to go 60psi and leave for 15-20 min. I would have them start with sk line since that is where we have pretty much determined the leak is. Maybe it will cost less if they find it in the first line they test. Sounds like they know what their doing...
 
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Old 07-14-07, 02:47 PM
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The guy came and checked out the whole system. It turned out all underground piping is good. But he believes it is the threaded adapter which goes into one of my skimmers. When he uses a deep plug the leak goes away. I plan to maybe make the repair myself. First i have to take up the bricks and then i have to break up the cement under the bricks. Any Pointers.

If i am going through all this trouble to dig up this area should i also replace the skimmer. It is 25 years old and parts for them are very limited. I can't get replacement baskets or weirs for them. Is it much more trouble to replace it completely.

If i should replace the skimmers shat model should i get and which one would be compatable right now the skimmers i have are jacuzzi Bros WB skimmers this is them click the link

http://www.poolcenter.com/parts_skimmer_jacuzzi_wb.htm

Can you give me a model number of a skimmer which would be compatable
 
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Old 07-14-07, 08:21 PM
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Are you saying you have bricks on top of concrete? Are they the whole deck or just around coping? Pics would help...


Your sk basket new part# is 4050-09 and weir 4050-18A everything is still available for it.

If you want to replace it, keep in mind that the face plate screw holes will not line up with what you have now. You would have to patch a strip of liner over the holes then make new ones. A hayward sp-1085 should work.

Before digging up the deck, I would try to make a repair from inside sk. I use pool putty and put it around the bottom where the male adapter screws into the sk, this will seal it.

Hope this helps...
 
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Old 07-14-07, 10:51 PM
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I have brick pavers over cement over the whole backyard. Since the guy left i am in the process of breaking up the cement around the skimmer. the cement is about 7 inches thick but i am doing pretty good i got most of it up already i will have it all out tommorow. i am glad i have a hammerdrill it is coming in handy.

Most likely i will not replace the skimmers. But i have been looking and looking on the internet for replacement skimmers and weirs but no one carries them they all say discontinued or no longer available. Do you know of a website who will have them.
 
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Old 07-15-07, 06:35 AM
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Unfortunately I don't, I would email websites or call local dealers and ask if they buy from optimus. Optimus is the largest parts distributor in the US. The #'s I gave you are for optimus.

Make sure when you replace the male adapter to teflon tape it good then put silicone sealant over the tape and on the threads in sk. Don't tighten too much or you can actually crack your sk where male adapter screws in. It might be cracked already, be sure to check good...
 
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Old 07-15-07, 01:44 PM
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i dug the whole area up next to skimmer and looked at pipe under skimmer. It looked like there is no threaded adapter it looks like it is just pvc cemented in. I didn't see any water below skimmer but as i followed the pvc i started to see water and it looks like it is coming in from the left more. So most likely there is nothing wrong with the fitting which goes into the skimmer but the thing i don't understand is when he puts a longer plug into the skimmer the system holds pressure. The guy is suppose to come back maybe tomorrow and i will see what he recommonds
 
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Old 07-15-07, 05:02 PM
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Could be a crack in sk where pipe comes in.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 02:38 PM
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Didn't really get to much further. I broke up concrete around skimmer and see water down there. I don't believe the water is coming from anywhere below skimmer. Looks like it is coming from further back. The Leak finder guy was somewhat on target. Buy as of now he is not returning my phone calls so i am at a dead end. So i plan on trying to diagnose it myself. What is the best way to tell where it is coming from. How do i know how far back the water can be traveling from. So please let me know what the next step should be.

I enclosed 2 pictures below they are very rough estimates of whats down there.

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z179/Rschrei518/gbg.jpg

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z179/Rschrei518/bnh.jpg


There are two pipes you can't see because of the water

One comes form skimmer and makes a turn at corner. The other pipe is right behind skimmer pipe and makes a turn a little before where skimmer pipe makes a turn. I am thinking this may go to main drain or may be feeding both skimmers IDK. What do you recommond I Do next.
 
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Old 07-18-07, 09:16 PM
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That is alot of water, you might have more then just a bad sk line. The sk line would not be leaking water like that unless the pool is off or the sk line if shut off at valve. It would be sucking air if on not leaking water. I would dig down to the pipes and under sk where you can use a mirror and put under so you can see up under it (look for cracks and leaks).

Does your pool run 24 hours? If not what is the time on and time off? If on timer, do you see a difference in the water level in hole?

How much water is pool looseing in a day?

Hang in there, we'll get it......
 
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Old 07-18-07, 09:17 PM
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Forgot to ask, what is the small pipe running through pic?
 
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Old 07-19-07, 04:11 AM
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Small pipe is power going to pool light.

I really don't see a big difference in the amount of water in the hole if the pool is on or off normally i run the pool from about 9 to 5.

About every two or 3 days days it loses about an inch.

I will try the mirror idea but i don't believe the water is originating to me it looks like the water might be coming in from the back area where the pipe makes the turn to go to the skimmer
 
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