It stinks when a swimming pool has a leak. However there is always a couple of pool plumbing repairs that can fix the problem. Here are some common reasons for why an in ground vinyl pool is leaking. We also show how to diagnose and fix the leak.
Pool equipment leaks
The first is to visually look at the pool equipment and see if any of the connections have water dripping. Sometimes gaskets, o-rings or valves corrode over time and develop small leaks. Tightening or replacing the leaking part will fix this issue. Make sure you turn your pump off before replacing an o ring.
Plumbing line leaks
So there are no leaks around the plumbing, the next step is to see if there are any bubbles in the pump. The bubbles indicate there is air in the pipes somewhere. This means a leak in the skimmer or the pipes. Normally the the air bubbles would indicate air getting into the “suction” side of the pipes, but its not a 100% rule.
Pressure testing the underground pipes
If the lines are suspected of a leak, each plumbing line can be pressure tested. A pressure test will put water into a plugged line and will show says 15 psi. If the pipe has a huge leak, the PSI will drop right away because of the water pressure relieving itself through the hole. Some small leaks will drop one psi slowly.
Skimmer or underground pipe?
If you can isolate the line that a leak, the next step is figuring out if the leak is in the pipes or the skimmer. I go to the skimmer with the line that cant hold water pressure and spray dye in the skimmer. If the hole is in the skimmer unit, or the connection to the skimmer you can usually see the dye escaping through the hole. Lets say the leak is located in the skimmer. Then you have to block the skimmer from the pool. Next drain the water from the skimmer and seal off the hole with some marine grade epoxy.
If it is not in the skimmer, then the line has a hole someone in the pipe. They make a product you pour into the pipe and supposedly it plugs the hole . I have not had success with that method, but a homeowner can try. The price is negligible (ten bucks I believe).
Other types of pool plumbing repairs
If the pipe is already 1 1/2″, a trench can be dug in the dirt and coupled onto the leaking pipe and hopefully the leak was under the dirt and not under the concrete or skimmer. The line is pressure tested and if it is still leaking, then the concrete around the skimmer would have to be broken out, and a whole into line ran. Normally when the concrete has been broken out, it is suggested just to install a whole new skimmer and new plumbing lines, but that is up to the homeowner.
If concrete has to be broken out
Sometimes concrete has to be broken out. Depending on a whole range of factors, sometimes we can make the new concrete look like it was designed to be different from the existing concrete patio. We can show what the options are with our 3D design program.