Unexplained water loss

Leaks in the pool, plumbing, filtration system, skimmer, ...

Unexplained water loss

Postby poolnewbie » Fri 19 Jan, 2007 00:25

Hello,

We have recently purchased an old house with a below ground 4.5mx9m concrete pool. We noticed immediatley that we were losing a large amount of water due to evaporation as we had no cover. We are not yet moved into the house, and we went away for 7 days and the pool lost around 3-4 inches of water. When we got back we purchased an 8micron daisy pool blanket. We topped up the water to halfway up the border tile, fitted the blanket and left it for 5 days. When we came back we were very pleased to see that the blanket prevented all water loss!
We recently swam in the pool and afterwards I cleaned the filter basket and skimmer basket, backwashed then rinsed and then replaced the blanket with the water being halfway up the top tile. My wife returned 2 days later and the pool had lost around 5' of water only just covering the skimmer box with the blanket on.
We are confused! I noticed the preasure of the kreepy krauley doesn't seem to move as fast or have much preasure and when the pump is on there are air bubbles from one of the return outlets. We have a light in the pool which doesn't work, and it looks like there is some previous repair job done at the bottom of the pool at what looks like a plug (what is this plug for?) The water loss can't be from the backwash (run for 1 minute) or the swim as it happened while we werent there.

Any ideas suggestions? we are back down at the house tomorrow and I will try the bucket test, and leaving the pump off to see if water is lost.
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Postby Demons1964 » Fri 19 Jan, 2007 18:06

The pool blanket will minimise 95% of your evaporation loss, so if you keep losing water you've got a leak somewhere. Do the air bubbles keep coming out the return with the Kreepy disconnected? If so this indicates a leak in the piping somewhere between the pool and the suction side of the pump.

Could be 1 of 2 things:
1. Leak at either the pot o-ring, or the o-ring at the union of the pipe and suction side of the pump. Combined with another leak somewhere in the pool (light fixture perhaps) this explains your symptoms.

2. A leak in the piping either at the suction connection to the pool or somewhere underground. This is the most likely explanation. Are you sure the "plug" your refer to is not your main drain? Do you have any valves you can turn off to isolate the main drain? If it is just a plug, seems like there was a leak there and it's been plugged as a band-aid in the past.

If you're game to let the water drop below the suspect light fixture, you can determine if that's your problem. If the water level keeps dropping below that the only candidate left is the "plug"/main drain.

Let us know how you go.
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response to your pool draining water

Postby Jeffyb84 » Fri 19 Jan, 2007 20:07

What temperature is the water in the pool, also what is the air temperature
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Postby Pool User » Sat 20 Jan, 2007 02:07

1ST, AFTER YOU DETERMINDED YOU DO HAVE A LEAK, YOU'LL NEED A LEAK DETECTOR. PROCESS OF ISOLATION & DETERMIND EXACTLY WHERE THE PROBLEM IS . RIGHT NOW IT'S GUESS GAME, COULD BE THIS OR THAT... . FIND SOMEONE THAT CAN PRESSURE TEST THE PLUMBING SYSTEM & DIVE IN TO CHECK STRUCTRAL LEAKS.
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Postby dynamictiger » Sat 20 Jan, 2007 02:57

Reading through the original post, it is possible your initial leak was ordinary evaporation. You then placed a blanket on the pool and the leaking appeared to stop - lower evaporation lower water loss. You then backwashed and the leak restarts.

This pattern indicates a possible leak on the backwash valve. After you backwashed the filter the gasket or rotor were lifted and did not reseat properly, leading to a loss of water through the BW pipe. Did you check the sight glass on the filter? Could you see movement of water there? Last week I had the same problem with a site where originally all was well until we backwashed and the pool started leaking so badly it was amazing turned out all the water was being pumped down the backwash line.

HTH
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Still bubbling

Postby poolnewbie » Sun 21 Jan, 2007 06:23

Hello, thanks for all the posts and good advice - this is a very helpful site. I did some more playing around today with the pool. We are now moved in which makes things a lot easier. I am still getting the bubbles in the pool however I have noticed this only happens in two situations these are:

a) If the Kreepy Krawley is in (The kreepy krawley has a very old looking o ring seal and this sits on top of the skimmer basket then a plastic adjustable clamp goes in the box on top to stop the kreepy coming loose) The kreepy works for about 5 minutes with lots of gurgling and bubbles(from only one return outlet not the other)

b) There is a plastic fitment for when the krawley is not in. It has a hole in the top and goes down in the skimmer box and sits over the basket. As far as I can see this can be inserted turned in two ways, on says 'vacum' and the other says 'to pool for normal filtration' if I fit this plastic device in the 'vacum' configuration a large strong whirpool develops and we get all the bubbles from the same return valve similar to when the kreepy is in. If we set it to pool for normal filtration, we don't get any bubbles.

Obviously having the blanket on I would like to be able to filter water from the bottom using the kreepy but this is causing air in the system.

Incidently I have checked the backwash line for drainage and there is none, I tested it also and backwash for a while and it seemed fine.
The pump basket looks fine - no air bubbles, and the seal under the plastic lid looks new.
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Postby dynamictiger » Sun 21 Jan, 2007 16:02

The symptom a suggests a suction leak before the pump. This is reasonably easy to check, simply ensure all the O Rings are in good shape on and around the pump.

Symptom B could be many things, however as you are a new pool owner the most likely is the pool is simply not full enough. The pool water level should sit about 2/3rds up the skimmer basket. If it sits too low when the KK is plugged in air can be sucked in around the connection.

HTH
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Unexplained water loss

Postby pool_newbie » Mon 22 Jan, 2007 07:25

Thanks for that, I will top up the pool again. I have double checked around the pump and there is no leak there, the seal under the clear plastic lid looks fine, and there is no water in around the pump in the shed.
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Postby Demons1964 » Tue 23 Jan, 2007 06:51

I agree with dynamictiger, you've got 2 problems. By isolating the problem with air bubbles you've helped determine where the leak is.

First problem of air in the return line is easy to solve now that you can in effect turn the bubbles on and off. It's caused by:

1) A leaky connection point where the Kreepy connects to the skimmer basket, OR

2) A split in the hose which means it's sucking in air. Do you have one long length of hose or multiple short sections? If the latter try just connecting a couple of lengths of hose and see if the bubbles keep appearing.

By the way it's normal for the these parts to wear within a few years. I suggest you contact Kreepy about replacement parts (they'll probably direct you to your local pool shop). While you're there grab some Lo-Chlor Hydraslip lubricant for all your pump/filter o-rings - a smear of that will keep the seal tight.

Now on to the major problem - the leak. With the pool blanket on 24 hours you should be losing water in the range of millimetres per day. Any more than that and the water is getting out someplace else. All we can tell you at the moment is that it's somewhere between the pool shell and the suction side of the pump. To isolate it further we need a bit more guidance on the plumbing of your pool. I'm still not clear if you have a main drain. Are there any valves near the pump to turn on or off different suction lines? Or is there just one suction line (the skimmer basket)?
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still leaking precious water

Postby pool_newbie » Thu 25 Jan, 2007 08:02

Hi, thanks for all of your help and patience. Having come from the UK this pool lark is all new to us!!

Okay it seems we have the problem with plastic thing in and turned to filter from pool, and vacum and obviously when the kreepy is in. We notice air bubbles from the return outlet and the blanket raises up trapping the air. It was filled up again yesterday to the recommended level by the previous owner and it is now 1 inch lower already and the blanket has been on all day. We have had a hot day here and the pool temperature is very high. With more hot weather forecast I think I will hvae to call in a specialist. Considering the preciousness of water in this hot country I feel ashamed my pool is using so much, and Im sure even in these temperatures the pool blanket should be preventing most loss.

The plumbing is as follows:

2 return outlets
skimmer box with mentioned plastic device and optional krawley
1 pump, no other switches, one inlet one outlet and good condition o-rings
1 sand filter
1 salt water chlorinator cell
no visible water leaks anywhere

Also, the pool seems to loose water at a faster rate when the pool is at optimum or above level.
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