Repair to Suction Line Swimming Pool


Old 06-08-17, 12:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
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Repair to Suction Line Swimming Pool

I have a leak in the suction line of my swimming pool. I believe it's at the connection to the skimmer since dye appears to disappear from the water in that area when the pump is off.

I just checked with a swimming pool company and they want to do a pressure test for $250 to confirm what I already know, and then cut a hole in my concrete deck about 4 square feet in size and effect repairs that way for a cost of some $700-$1,000.

I am aware that there are companies doing trenchless pipe relining that may be less costly and not as messy, using a two part epoxy system to seal and reline the pipe.

Can anyone tell me if there is a some kit to do something like that for the do it yourselfer? I am not particularly interested in the Fix-a-Leak bottles, they seem like kidstuff!


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Old 06-08-17, 07:24 PM
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No "kit" that I'm aware of. Also no relining the pipe in that application either.

That is a grunt work repair.

I had a leak in my inground pool. It only lost water when the pump was running. I had no additional air in the line so I concluded I had a leak in the return line. I was all set to try the Fix-a-Leak but it was the end of the season. I waited to the following season and the leak was gone. I was facing an under the concrete repair too.

So if you have a skimmer leak..... your pool looses the same amount of water with the pump running or not.... correct ?
Old 06-09-17, 08:30 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 401
I seem to lose very little more water than from evaporation alone when pump is off, if anymore at all. With the pump on, it loses no water because it's sucking in at the leak. But I do get air gurgling up from the return jets. I also get bugs in the pump skimmer basket without vacuuming, so they are getting sucked in with the air through that leak. My main concern is the pump may not have sufficient water for proper pump impeller lubrication when it starts up in the middle of the night on a timer to heat the pool water overnight. It takes longer to prime than it should because the pump is only half full of water and then it takes longer to fully prime because of the air getting sucked in. We have high hydro rates during the day here, so I heat my water overnight. If I put the garden hose to the skimmer basket at the pump on rain shower setting the water will not rise up in the pump, it drains through the suction hose as fast as the hose can deliver water, it's not until I turn the hose nozzle to full force (large jet) that I can get the pump to completely fill, but as soon as I turn off the hose, it goes down immediately. It used to remain full before the leak developed! My pool was built with sono tubes supporting the deck, then crushed stone around the sonotubes and a socked drain running through the crushed stone backfill connected to my house weeping tile, so any cutting from the top would potentially run into sonotubes (yikes), and that is how most pool outfits want to do this repair. They don't like the idea of tunneling under the deck, but that is how this job needs to be done. I just had rotator cuff surgery three weeks ago to repair my supraspinatus tendon in the shoulder joint, so I am not fit to be doing the digging, otherwise I would already have done it.

I just spoke to a rep at Marlig Industries to find out how to do this, taken from that company's instructions for this product:

"You must reverse the flow of water, to force the material through the leak under pressure. Preferably at 5-10 psi, until the leak has stopped. When this has been achieved, gradually restore normal pressure to insure a proper seal."

which makes a heck of a lot of sense to me, so that the repair material is forced into the leak, but am not quite sure how to do that. He said something about a closed loop, using a drum and a submersible pump, then circulate the water in reverse in that closed loop until the leak stops. Don't know if a garden hose could be used with my utility submersible pump that I use to open the pool with (i.e. pump out water over winter cover) along with some size conversion fittings would do the trick; not sure what pressure that would develop in the line being repaired!

You say you were all set up to use Fix-a-Leak, Pete, can you provide details of what you did. I think that is what I need to do.

I've contacted a trenchless pipe lining repair company here but they are not responding to the message I left them, and I think they will be rather pricey. :-(

My preference would be to isolate the line and not use the pool pump or valve at all, I am not sure if those parts can be damaged by this stuff! Sort of reminds me of car radiator leak fix crap that does more harm than good when put into the car's system! Some contraption using a compressor to provide the pressure, which I have, and some fittings at the ends of the line to isolate it would be ideal.

Last edited by quickcurrent; 06-09-17 at 10:46 AM.

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