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trekkindave
09-02-2008, 08:20
Im looking for recomedations from everyone about how to go looking for a leak in a vinyl lined in ground pool.

My father's pool seems to be leaking because it looses more water then normal during this time of year.

If there is anyone here who had done this type of diving to look for leaks and vinyl repair, i would apprecite some pointers of what to look for and how to check. Namely what do you guys use to check for leaks? I know there is some sort of dye that the commercial guys use to check, but how can i make it or where can i get some?


Thanks everyone, i know someone here will be able to help since google has let me down..:smiley19:

mocepts
09-02-2008, 08:50
Food coloring. Check the obvious places first. Around steps, skimmer, light.... Try not to stir up the water, and just squirt a little around those areas, and watch and see. If you can't find it there, you may need to get a pressure test on your pump to see if it's in the lines. Good luck.

Lone Frogman
09-02-2008, 09:23
I do a pump on and pump off test first. Raise the water level to the level of everyday operation, mark the water level run pump for 24 hr. Measure the drop, add water back to the marked level. Shut off pump for 24 hrs measure the drop. If the drop is the same you can locate the leak with dye. If leak is higher with pump running than its in return piping. If its less when pump is off its in the suction plumbing.
Food coloring will work, so will clothing dye just mix with water don't add salt. You need a way to add small amounts of dye to area's that maybe leaking. On a pool that has not been cleaned for a day or so, you can sometimes see that dirt is pulled to the leak. Make sure to shut off pump when looking for leak, also leave you fins off, try to slip in with out moving the water, some small leaks are very hard to find with any water movement.
If you find leak use a patch kit. Cut your patch large enough to cover the hole with a 1" over. Add glue to patch fold patch back on to its self. At the site of the hole unfold the patch and cover hole. Make sure that the pool surface is clean around the hole before appling the patch.

Warren
09-02-2008, 10:32
From a Wiki:


Check the obvious first:Are there any leaks at the equipment pad? Look closely at the filter, pump, heater and the pipe valves. Check the ground for moisture. Are there any wet areas around the pool? Walk around the pool, and by the pool and the equipment. Check for wet soil and sunken or eroding areas. Do you have a vinyl liner pool? Look for tears or separations around all the fittings, skimmers, returns, cleaner line, lights, steps and the corners.Checking to see if you have a leak:If you suspect your pool is leaking, there are several ways to check. Try one of these approaches:
Mark the water level of the pool at the skimmer. Using a piece of tape or grease pencil to mark the water level. Check the mark 24 hours later. Your pool should lose no more than 1/4 inch per day. Otherwise, a leak is indicated.
The bucket test:Place a bucket filled with pool water on a pool step (weight it with a rock or brick). Mark the water level on both the inside and the outside of the bucket. Make sure the water levels are the same inside the bucket as the pool water level outside the bucket. Check the mark 24 hours later. If there's a greater drop in the line on the outside of the bucket, a leak in the pool is indicated. This test needs to be conducted with the pump on, then again with the pump off.
Determining the Location of the Leak:If you determine that your pool is losing water, turn off the filtration system and note where the water stops dropping. Vinyl Liner pools need to have water in them at all times! Stop this test if you have a liner pool and the water level is dropping rapidly. Start adding water and call a pool professional. If the water stops at the bottom of skimmer opening, the leak is probably in the skimmer or filtration system (Including the pipes).If the water stops at the light, the leak is probably at the light housing.If the water drops below the light, then there may be a leak in the drain at the bottom the pool.If you suspect you have a leak in the filtration system: If you see air bubbles in the return lines water when the pool's pump is running, there's a leak in the suction side of the filtration system. Is the pump basket lid on tight? Is the lid o-ring lubed and in good condition? If the pool is losing more water while the pump is running, the leak is on the return line side of the system. Check the waste or backwash line for running water? If you suspect you have a leak in the Skimmer, light, liner: If you see something that looks like a crack, gap or tear.
Using a dye test solution or some of your pH indicator test reagent, drop near it with pump shut off and water still. See if the dye is sucked into the crack, gap or tear.
Fixing leaks- Skimmer Leaks: The most common leak is a separation between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool. This is easily fixed with pool putty.Light Leaks- Often the conduit pipe will come apart, break or separate from the niche. This is difficult to patch. There are various methods to patch a bad conduit connection. A two part epoxy that dries hard, with putty, silicone or caulk are ways to fix this problem.Liner Leaks- Simply, patch it with a vinyl liner patch kit. If underwater, wet patch kit.
Many leaks are not detectable using the suggestions above. Now it's time to call a professional! Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, most pool or spa leaks can be found and repaired without major disruption. Some of the methods used are:Compressed air is used to pressurize a pipe. The air displaces the water in the pipe until it reaches the leak, at which point bubbles escape from the hole to reveal the problem area. Or, where a pipe fails to maintain a constant air pressure, a leak exists. Special television camera that is snaked through plumbing pipes to spot leaks. By injecting air into a pipe, then listening electronically for sounds of air escaping with a supersensitive microphone. You should expect to pay about $175 to $250 for high-tech leak detection, depending upon the location and complexity of the problem. Repairs are extra.

Lone Frogman
09-02-2008, 10:38
From a Wiki:


Check the obvious first:Are there any leaks at the equipment pad? Look closely at the filter, pump, heater and the pipe valves. Check the ground for moisture. Are there any wet areas around the pool? Walk around the pool, and by the pool and the equipment. Check for wet soil and sunken or eroding areas. Do you have a vinyl liner pool? Look for tears or separations around all the fittings, skimmers, returns, cleaner line, lights, steps and the corners.Checking to see if you have a leak:If you suspect your pool is leaking, there are several ways to check. Try one of these approaches:
Mark the water level of the pool at the skimmer. Using a piece of tape or grease pencil to mark the water level. Check the mark 24 hours later. Your pool should lose no more than 1/4 inch per day. Otherwise, a leak is indicated.
The bucket test:Place a bucket filled with pool water on a pool step (weight it with a rock or brick). Mark the water level on both the inside and the outside of the bucket. Make sure the water levels are the same inside the bucket as the pool water level outside the bucket. Check the mark 24 hours later. If there's a greater drop in the line on the outside of the bucket, a leak in the pool is indicated. This test needs to be conducted with the pump on, then again with the pump off.
Determining the Location of the Leak:If you determine that your pool is losing water, turn off the filtration system and note where the water stops dropping. Vinyl Liner pools need to have water in them at all times! Stop this test if you have a liner pool and the water level is dropping rapidly. Start adding water and call a pool professional. If the water stops at the bottom of skimmer opening, the leak is probably in the skimmer or filtration system (Including the pipes).If the water stops at the light, the leak is probably at the light housing.If the water drops below the light, then there may be a leak in the drain at the bottom the pool.If you suspect you have a leak in the filtration system: If you see air bubbles in the return lines water when the pool's pump is running, there's a leak in the suction side of the filtration system. Is the pump basket lid on tight? Is the lid o-ring lubed and in good condition? If the pool is losing more water while the pump is running, the leak is on the return line side of the system. Check the waste or backwash line for running water? If you suspect you have a leak in the Skimmer, light, liner: If you see something that looks like a crack, gap or tear.
Using a dye test solution or some of your pH indicator test reagent, drop near it with pump shut off and water still. See if the dye is sucked into the crack, gap or tear.
Fixing leaks- Skimmer Leaks: The most common leak is a separation between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool. This is easily fixed with pool putty.Light Leaks- Often the conduit pipe will come apart, break or separate from the niche. This is difficult to patch. There are various methods to patch a bad conduit connection. A two part epoxy that dries hard, with putty, silicone or caulk are ways to fix this problem.Liner Leaks- Simply, patch it with a vinyl liner patch kit. If underwater, wet patch kit.
Many leaks are not detectable using the suggestions above. Now it's time to call a professional! Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, most pool or spa leaks can be found and repaired without major disruption. Some of the methods used are:Compressed air is used to pressurize a pipe. The air displaces the water in the pipe until it reaches the leak, at which point bubbles escape from the hole to reveal the problem area. Or, where a pipe fails to maintain a constant air pressure, a leak exists. Special television camera that is snaked through plumbing pipes to spot leaks. By injecting air into a pipe, then listening electronically for sounds of air escaping with a supersensitive microphone. You should expect to pay about $175 to $250 for high-tech leak detection, depending upon the location and complexity of the problem. Repairs are extra.

Do not use compressed air to pressure test PVC pipe use water.

shovelhead91701
09-02-2008, 11:55
I agree with the two posters above me however I will warn that in our area evaporation also plays a big part in water loss and some people have paid me to pressure test and leak detect their pool and no leaks are found. I call the phenomenon "Water Bill Shock" it always seems to occur more in late august for some reason....... If the water loss is less than about an inch to an inch and a half per day you may have an evaporation issue instead of a leak..... also those "drips" that people have around their equipment,(pump, filter, chlorinator) add up to a huge volume of water in a days time....If any leaks are present there I would repair them before going any further.

Also, why do you say not to use 15lbs of compressed air pressure to test for the leaks? I have been around this stuff for a long time and have never seen any reason not to use LOW PRESSURE compressed air to detect plumbing leaks.

comet24
09-02-2008, 12:45
I done leak detection work on commercial pools. Never a vinyl lined one though.

I would check anywhere the vinyl has a connection to a fitting, light ect. first. We used uranine dye and some other stuff we could get in syringes. Make sure the filter system is off.

Are you sure it's a liner leak and not a filtration/piping leak. Someone said "Do not use compressed air to pressure test PVC pipe use water." I have to disagree. We used it to test lines to make sure we didn't have a leak in underground plumbing. We would isolate individual lines. Skimmer, main drain, vac., return. pump them up to about 15psi and see if they went down. Pool piping should be SCH40 which is pressure rated.

I dough you have a automatic/spring loaded hydrostatic valve but these where always the first place I would look.

Good luck.

Duckydiver
09-02-2008, 18:39
One tip that I would give is to use somthing like a 5-10 cc syringe to hold whatever it is that your quirting to check for leaks. (I'm sure you should have not truble finding one of those.)

As a side note.. Last year this same thing happened to me, and after about a week of looking to no avail, I called the pool guy. So he sent a diver. As I was talking to him after he patched the very obvius hole that I missed, he mentioned how he always wanted to take a scuba class some day! THIS GUY KNEW NOTHING ABOUT DIVING!! All he knew was, Put reg in mouth and go under water. In fact the gear was already setup in the truck for him. Well at least he found my leak. I did try to explain to him that it could be very dangerous just diving in an 8 ft pool. He didn't seem to care.

trekkindave
09-02-2008, 22:30
whooooo whooo ducky.. looks like 6 more posts and then scuba toys brings you a present...yay