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How To Check For Air Leaks In Pool Plumbing

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Causes Of False Pool Leaks In A Swimming Pool

Find an air leak in your swimming pool.

Losing water in a pool is normal due to several factors like splashed water while swimming and evaporation. However increased sudden loss may not necessarily be a water leak, below are some of the possible causes

  • Temperature: Some parts of the world can get really hot, and even the nights remain warm, resulting in high evaporation rates on the pool.
  • Higher exposure: If your pool gets more exposure to sun rays evaporation will increase reducing water levels. This can be controlled by shading your pool or screening.
  • Humidity: Low humidity outside the pool sucks the pool water at a high capacity.

S In Locating Skimmer Leaks

To confirm that your pools skimmer is leaking, mark the side of your pool with a pencil and closely monitor the mark over a few days. If after several days you notice that your pool water is already several inches lower than the mark, its time that you suspect a leak.

Usually, leaks in the skimmer are indicated by the water stopping right ator just belowthe mouth of your pools skimmer. You may identify the source of the leak by first turning the filter pump off, taking the lid off the skimmer, and removing the pump basket, the skimmer weir, and the diverter to see if there is any leak. It is easier to find the source of the leak if you visually inspect all the interior surfaces of your skimmer for cracks and breaks.

Conducting a dye test will also help you determine where exactly your pool is leaking. To conduct this test, all you need to do is to fill an eye dropper with red food coloring, squeeze a small amount of the dye near the area you suspect might be cracked, and disturb the water. If you see the dye pulling into cracks or crevices, then those areas where the coloring is drawn into are where the leaks are.

How To Fix A Pool Leak

Once a pool leak has been located and identified, either above ground or underground, the next step is to cut out the bad and replace with new. Before you break out the hacksaw or reciprocating saw to cut the pipe, make a solid plan of attack. For complicated repairs, make a diagram to note all fittings and equipment. For simple fitting replacement youll need enough room to be able to connect the new fitting to the pipe with a coupling. Make a solid plan of re-connection, before you start cutting the pipes.

When cutting the pipes, make a straight cut, and then clean up the cut edge with sandpaper or emory cloth. Remember to leave enough pipe to make a solid connection, about 2 inches.

You can pre-cut pipe sections, but its more accurate to cut the new PVC pipe pieces as you need them, so you can measure again just before cutting. I add 1/2 to my measures, because its better to be too long than be too short! And although clichè to say, Measure Twice Cut Once!

Use PVC primer on pipe and fittings about 30 seconds before adding copious amounts of fresh PVC glue. Primer cleans and softens the pipe, heating up the plastic to make a solvent weld. Keep a rag handy to quickly wipe up any drips of glue after you push the pipe deep into the fitting and hold it for 10 seconds.

When Gluing 90s and 45s, glue them in place with a length of PVC pipe inserted into the other side. This helps you to get the angle correct, for the exact direction that the fitting needs to face.

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How To Fix A Leak In A Return Line

There are a few things that you can do to fix a leak in the pool return line. If you have detected discoloration or damage to this area, your first step is to check for any signs of leakage.

This includes looking for any signs of water leaking from around the fittings that hold these lines together. You can also check for holes and gaps in the pipe itself to see loose or damaged.

If you find leaks, you will want to get them fixed as soon as possible. Make sure not to leave any exposed areas of piping like this one alone until you have repaired it.

Why Does A Leak Come In A Pool Return Line

Pentair VS air bubbles

There are a few potential sources of water leakage in your pool return line. A common culprit is using a weak or corroded thread at the end of the line.

Over time, this can lead to leaks as pressure builds up inside the system and eventually breaks through. Another common issue is leaky rubber coupling.

These can be caused by various factors, such as exposure to sunlight, age, and shoddy repair work.

The last possibility is the presence of algae growing inside the return line itself. This will look like a faint white streak in your waterline that may not even show up on your daily pool maintenance check.

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The Swimming Pool Dye Test

If there is a location in your pool that you suspect is leaking, you can test that specific area with dye. Your goal in doing this test is to release a tiny amount of dye in the specific location where you suspect a leak.

When you conduct a pool dye test, make sure that your pool circulation system is turned off and that there is little or no wind causing movement in your pool water. Your pool water should be as still and as calm as possible when you do this test, so you are also required to be as still as possible as even putting your arm into the water can make the water move and the results of the test hard to assess.

To start the test, release a steady stream of dye into the area surrounding the suspected leak. Once you release the dye, it will tend to stay together and float gently with the subtle motion of the water moving. If there is a leak, you will see the dye being actively pulled out of the pool through the leak.

Dye testing is particularly useful around steps, skimmers, and lights. To detect a leak using this test, the key is to monitor the movement of the dye in the water. Take note, however, that cracks in your pool floor or in the main drain are not ideal for dye testing, unless you have scuba equipment that can allow you to get close enough to conduct the test in these areas.

Dye testers are used only as supplemental tools in leak detection, so dont expect the dye test to be a magic beacon pointing at your pool leak.

How Leaks Are Found In Underground Pipes

The plumbing systems are an important part of your swimming pool. They are what carries the water from your pool to be filtered and puts it back in once its clean. The part that takes water from the pool and transfers it to the filter is the Suction System. Once filtered, the Pressurized System carries the water to the pool and the Return Lines push it back in.

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Pool Plumbing Water Leak Repair

When you notice a water leak in your pool plumbing, youve got options for how to make your water leak repair. If a pressure test on your lines shows that the pipe itself is losing less than 5 lbs. of pressure over the course of 30 seconds, your pipe can be repaired using PipeFuze. Its the easy way to fix-a-leak.

Your service tech will isolate the pipe, meaning that it is open from two sides. This will allow repairs to be made while water circulates through the pipe, underground, without digging. As the water circulates through the pipe, the liquids in the PipeFuze Liquid Set will mend the pipe with its proprietary scientific formula.

Part A of the liquid set includes a particulate and a viscous fluid that is heavier than water. This fluid, in combination with the particulate in the bottle will work to fill the area where water is leaking from the pipe. As it fills the crack, crevasse or pinhole leak, the particulate and fluid will build a bond on both the inside of the pipe leak, and the outside where water is escaping. Over the course of two hours of circulated water, the Part A fluid will stop water from passing through the area of the leak.

A simple repeat pressure test of the line will show that pressure is holding in the pipe. At this point, the leak is stopped and the area where water was escaping has been plugged. Its time to add Part B of the liquid set.

Pvc Plumbing Pressure Testing

How To Find Suction Side Air Leaks In Your Pool

If your pool is loosing water and you have checked and eliminated all four possible causes in our previous article, the leak could be in the PVC plumbing.

1. Construct a pressure testing tool as shown in the diagram and connect it to the pool PVC lines.

2. Test either the entire system at once or each PVC line separately. Install a pressure test plug in each return, skimmer and main drain.

3. Use the attached pressure test tool to put water in the PVC lines. The lines should be mostly full of water and not just air. Remove one of the plugs if necessary to fill the pipes with water then reinstall the plug. Continue to add water until the pressure reaches 20-25 psi.

4. Turn off the valve on the pressure test tool and watch the pressure gauge. If the pressure goes down quickly, there is a leak in the PVC pipe. Be sure and check the pressure test plugs to make sure they are not leaking. If the pressure goes down slowly there is a small leak. If there is no leak the pressure should hold for several hours.

5. If the pressure goes down you will need to test each line individually to locate the leak. If the PVC pipe is under a concrete deck, you can add an air valve to the pressure test tool. Use an air tank or compressor to add air to the water pressurized line. Look for the water bubbling in cracks or use a stethoscope to listen through the deck for the leak.

We hope that helps! If you are still experiencing issues, let us know the comments.

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Establishing The Exact Location Of A Leak In A Pool

Having confirmed the possibility of a leak in a pool, the next step is locating the exact position of the leak in a swimming pool. Below is a simple step by step swimming pool hack referred to as âThe Dye Trickâ used to locate the actual spot of a swimming pool leak.

  • Arm yourself with some dye: Purchase some dye or food coloring to be used to run the procedure.
  • Time to get wet: For safety precautions have some water goggles and snorkel to assist you while underwater, which takes some time. Donât forget to carry the dye with you.
  • Procedure: While underwater ensures not to disturb the water too much, get to the area with visible cracks or if there are no such areas get to obvious hotspots like return lines and main drain. Release the dye and monitor where the dye gets sucked. That reveals the exact leakage spots in your swimming pool.

Check The Ground And Walls Around The Pool For Wetness

This will help determine the area of the leak. Now you know the height of the leak, because its where the water stopped draining, and now you know the area because the ground or pool wall will be wet.

Keep narrowing down before using the dye to find the leak. Once youve got an idea where the leak could be, jump in the pool and find the exact location with the dye.

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Test For Suction Side Air Leaks

The easiest test method is to use soapy water using simply water and dish soap. Suction side leaks lead to common issues like difficulty priming the pump, air bubbles, or low pressure and/or water flow. We list an alternative option for troubleshooting suction side air leaks.

Soapy Water Method:

  • Pour small amount or larger dollop of dish soap into a cup.
  • Fill the cup three-quarters of the way full with water
  • Agitate water to create a good amount of foamy bubbles.
  • With the pump running, scoop out foam from the cup and hold it to any area suspected plumbing leaks. If an air leak is present, the foam will be drawn into the problem spot.
  • Smoke Method:

  • Turn on the pump
  • Use any device that would safely emit smoke. Make sure the smoke is thick enough so it is visible. If it is windy, this method would not be preferred.
  • Hold the smoking end directly under or next two all the various seams of your suction side plumbing. If an air leak is present, you should see an obvious pulling of the smoke column.
  • Professional Methods Of Detecting Water Leaks

    Pentair VS air bubbles
    • Pressurizing: This is the use of Compressed air to pressurize pool pipes and determine where pressure falls inside the pipes. Bubbles will form along the compressed area, therefore, identifying the position of the leaks.
    • Camera: A television camera is fed into the pipes to be able to view and listen to possible escaping water using a sensitive microphone.
    • Advanced Pool Leak Detection techniques â A comprehensive range of tools and processes are used by our leak detection specialists at ADI.

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    What Causes Air Bubbles In Your Swimming Pool

    When your pool has excessive air bubbles, it means that your pool pump is sucking in air from a leak in your filter system. Usually, this indicates the source of the problem is the equipment above the ground.

    Yes, this means you can breathe easy since above ground issues are easier to resolve than any underground ones.

    Some of the common causes of air leaks include:

    • The level of water in the pool is too low
    • The skimmer basket lid isnt screwed on tight or isnt seating properly
    • The O-ring is not a perfect fit or lacks lubrication
    • The pool valves and the pump isnt sealed properly
    • The vacuum hose has tiny air leaks

    Now that you know why youre experiencing pool air bubbles, its time to find and fix these issues. Our pool maintenance experts will walk you through the different solutions based on your problem area.

    Lets read on to learn how to find air bubbles.

    Swimming Pool Plumbing Leak Repair

    Pool Plumbing leaks are one part of pool maintenance that makes many pool owners a little nervous, but making PVC plumbing repairs, or installing new or replacement equipment into the plumbing pipes is easy.

    PVC repair tools and materials are simple too, everything you need is at any hardware or home store. We also have some common PVC fittings in our pool plumbing parts department.

    Making your own pool plumbing repairs can be a simple weekend project, keeping hundreds of dollars in your pocket! And despite the dramatic picture used here, most leaks in pool pipes are above the ground and easily accessible.

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    How To Find An Air Leak In A Pool Pump And Correct Whats Causing It: Bonus Tips

    • If you have chosen to disassemble the pool pumpbecause of the nature of the necessary remedy, it will be important to have ago-kit with you- it comes in very handy as it comes with all the parts requiredwhen replacing old seals and o-rings.
    • For testing, use shaving cream. Spray it on therelevant spot- it will be drawn by the leak leaving a dimple. Soapy water canalso be helpful.
    • Always do your math- Sometimes its cheaperto replace faulty/old parts .

    One: Perform A Bucket Test

    How To Pressure Test an Inground Pool Plumbing Line

    The bucket Test will determine if your pool is actually leaking or if it is simply evaporation.

  • Take a 5-gallon bucket, fill it 2/3rds full with water, and mark the water level with a piece of tape or a pencil.
  • Place the bucket at poolside or on the steps of the pool.
  • Wait 24 hours and then check the water loss in the bucket versus the pool. If the loss is the same, more than likely the water loss is evaporation. If the water loss is different, this would indicate a leak in the pool.
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    Leaks In The Tile Line

    For concrete pools with the traditional perimeter tile band at the waterline, leaking is most often found inside the skimmer. In rare cases where the pool bond beam cracks behind the tile, and also cracks the tile, pools can leak water through a crack in the top of the pool wall. Cracks in pool tile can be cleaned, dried and filled with EZ Patch 22.

    What If You Havent Been Able To Find A Leak

    Image source: Pool Buoy Corp Leak Detection

    If you havent been able to detect your swimming pool leak, call in a professional. A professional will use up to date technology to assist you without any hassle or fuss.

    Many professionals use a pressure test. A pressure test uses compressed air. This air moves through a pipe until it reaches a leak. At this point, bubbles will escape from your pipes to reveal the site of a leak. Some may use cameras to spot leaks in plumbing pipes. Others may place air in your pool pipes and then listen to where this air is escaping from.

    Professional pool leak detection comes with a price. You will often pay between $150 and $1250 to detect a swimming pool leak. Price will depend on where you live and how complex it is to determine where your leak is coming from.

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