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Leak? What Leak?

We had a commercial pool drained and started to prep it for a new plaster surface when someone noticed a stream of water running continuously from the vacuum line. The filter and separation tanks were empty; there just isn't enough vacuum line to support much of a drip.

We decided to leave it alone overnight and let it stop on its own.

It didn't.

We put a threaded plug into the vacuum wall fitting and in a few minutes the vacuum fitting on the other side of the 30' wide pool started spritzing water. To use one side of the vacuum system, the service person would loosely thread a plug into the unused side. This worked well enough to maintain vacuum but couldn't stand up to water pressure.

And that's when we realized what we were dealing with. The water wasn't just dribbling; it was dribbling under pressure.

The pump room consisted of a Vak Pak filter module set inside a concrete block maintenance building. The floor was finished concrete with a rough 10"X 12" repair patch along one edge of the module. The maintenance man told us that the hole had been made by a pool leak repair company three or four years before. 'I can get the exact date if you need it' he said.

With the equipment silenced and everybody in the room 'shushed' you could hear a slight hisssssss coming from the floor.

Repair patches are typically an inch or two thick and a few hammer blows got right through it. We used a simple post hole digger to excavate enough soil to discover what was going on.

A half inch PVC pipe had been tied into the fresh water supply and 'T' into the vaccum line where it approached the module. A red, rusting 1/2" gate valve had been adjusted to off-set the leak they couldn't find. Thankfully, the valve still moved enough to shut off the water completely.

This was one of four or five commercial pools where I've found this type 'leak repair'. No telling how many there really are; this dirty trick is exposed only when a pool is drained.


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