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  1. I don't have the test readings on the water yet, but man do I have a green one this year! Ideally I'd prefer to drain the water, however our water table is just a few feet below the ground surface. Trying to vacuum this one will likely plug the sand filter in just a few seconds. Curious what others have found to work with extreme algae upon opening.
  2. It's a two fold problem. For now I'm trying to complete winterization. So for now, I want to keep the water in the pool and out of the return pipe. Seems like epoxy and lots of sealants could do that successfully. As Spa Guru suggests, the problem comes in when the pool is re-opened and that line pressurized. It does seem likely that the return pressure with a running pump could defeat any 'external' sealant applied between the return flange and the pool wall. I have had pretty good luck repairing fittings on spas that I could not otherwise reach, using the two part green epoxy, even when under active pressure. Do you think that applying this inside the return port at the 'internal' junction of the pvc pipe and the port might work? Logic suggests that if epoxy is applied internally, that once it sets up, the pump pressure would only try to push that epoxy into the joint and it seems unlikely it could blow out! Anything has to beat chipping out the return port and likely an inch or more of the plaster so we can get enough clean pvc exposed to glue on a new port. An added problem sets in if we chip off, break off, or dremel off the pvc too far back, then it may not be long enough to glue to the new return port. hum
  3. Spa Guru your post did not show up. Appreciate knowing what you suggest in this situation.
  4. "Sealing a leaking return port flange on gunite pool In trying to winterize this year we find that we have 2 return ports that are leaking between the return port flange and the pool wall." So the leak is between the return port flange and the wall. It is clear that the 1 1/2" pvc that is glued into the back of the return port flange is leaking at that joint. So when you pressurize the return line with air, and plug the port, you get air leaking into the pool. You can see lots of air bubbles coming out between the back of the flange and the pool wall.
  5. I'm hoping to try one of these this weekend, so any tips would be appreciated! I have used the putty like epoxy on leaking spa fittings, even leaking or with some moisture present, so since the pool walls will still contain some moisture, the epoxy putty might be my first choice, but I'm open to new ideas!
  6. Sealing a leaking return port flange on gunite pool In trying to winterize this year we find that we have 2 return ports that are leaking between the return port flange and the pool wall. What the best product to seal this? I've considered: putty-like epoxy polyurethane caulk silicone silicone glue other? Tips appreciated
  7. We have a 5-6 yr old octagonal Rio spa by Strong spas. I'm getting a FLO code. I have bypassed the pressure switch with no change. Oddly, I am getting full voltage to the heating element, which is supposed to not be possible based on the Flo message. Anybody had any luck with this kind of problem? Are there any sources for used boards around? The board is a Mini Max by Correct-Tech in Canada. Known as a ct-250, and known as a 4-3-10-1503D
  8. My question is related but a little different. I've got a generic spa so the brand is unknown. I've got a leaking sidewall jet fitting. It is a right angle affair . Starting with what is probably a piece of 1/2" flex line that's glued in, the jet turns 90 degrees and reduces way down, in the turn, to like a 1/4" or so in the turn, before transitioning back up to a 1/2" or so where it enters the side wall from the backside. It also accepts the small 1/4" clear line which t's into this fitting. I see no obvious means of attachment like threads. I do see a lot of silicone underneath which must have held the fitting in place during assembly. My question is how does one remove and replace this kind of fitting, esp when the brand is unknown. Is it possible based on my description and the major reduction in the 90 degree turn, for an expert to tell what brand or type of fitting I'm dealing with? Tips appreciated.
  9. A Likely Solution? I believe I have found and stopped the leak. At least for now, and seemingly for the most part. I'm posting this in thanks for those who contributed above, and hopefully to help others who may encounter a problem like mine in the future! I was loosing 4" overnight and now, it's maybe 1/4" or less overnight. (Temps here are 40-50 so evap should be at a minimum). I realize I still may have some small leaks. I spoke at length with a guy who plasters new pools professionally, asking about those hairline cracks. He said that since they were above the winterized water level, he suspected that they were due to drying out of the plaster with the water level lowered. He finds that the hairline cracks like mine usually disappear once the water level is raised, due to adding moisture back to the plaster. He said that in 20 years of plastering pools, he had only found one pool materially leaking through this kind of hairline crack. So just to be cautious, I did apply a skim coat of silicone to them before refilling, though they were not my main suspects! I got on a mechanic's creeper and spent several hours examining the tile line around this 40' pool. I found about 8-10 openings in the grout between those tiles at various places from 1/4" up to 2".I cut out the bad grout and replaced it with silicone for a temporary repair. I know that matching grout might have been better - I just didn't have any available on short notice. I also spent a fair amount of time in and around the pool side openings to the skimmers. There was some obvious missing grout there, and I did carefully seal the vertical and horizontal joints between the skimmer box and the plaster. (On my pool, that vertical joint was up inside the skimmer, maybe 4" from the face of the pool wall) I let that cure about 8 hours and filled the pool. So far it's 95% better than before! Now that I can finally keep the water level up to the skimmers, I can finally run the pump . Once we get a clear pool, I will dye test everything around the tile line, the skimmer box, and those pesky hairline cracks, just to make sure. Interestingly, in posting this on this and a few other forums, I don't recall anyone suggesting a look at the tile line. Thankfully, numerous folks did suggest having a look at the interface between the skimmers and the structure. It's a great relief so far, though I know I will have to keep an eye on things, and maybe later cut out the silicone and replace it with grout!
  10. I'm a novice at this so I hope someone can kindly help with a few basic questions. Have a large gunite pool with sand filter. I've got the pump running and filtering. Shocked the 40,000 gal pool today with 4 lb of Lowes shock. The faint green is now more blueish though cloudy. So far, so good! 1. Our temp here is about 60 and the water temp is likely more like 50. How long does shock usually last and when to I begin regular chlorinating. 2. This is a vacation house and I live 3 hrs away. Is it ok to let a pump run for a week without backwashing (since that's when I will return). I have a large sand filter and it usually runs at about 18psi. If that's too long I'll just have to turn it off until I return next weekend. 3. I'v never backwashed before. About how long do you run it in backwash, and how long rinse? Am I right that when you back wash you open the valve on the pvc waste pipe at the same time? It's a standard multi-port valve on the filter, and I can't recall if it has a separate setting for backwash and a separate setting for waste. Many thanks. sorry I know so little, though I'll know a lot more after the first time!
  11. My pump is out of service due to some major re-piping. Curious if any Pros or others have ever tried to shock a green pool with the pump off? Will it work? My water level is drained down 30" for the winter and I want to get the water clear for some leak testing on the pool structure. Please let me know if you have succeeded at turning a pool from green to clear with no circulation? tips appreciated!
  12. Hi Scott, Thanks for the additional tips. I think I just didn't communicate well. So keeping the record straight....... I'm filling in some of the past info........ From the original post, "I have a large 10 yr old gunite pool which has been leaking for some time, however with the moderate earthquake in Va last year, it has been leaking more. About 2-3" overnight. Leaking stops about 6" below the normal water level." Then from the second post, "All of the observed 6-7 cracks start about 4-6" below the normal water surface" ........and ....."The cracks are spread around the pool maybe 10' apart." (maybe really closer to 15') What we've needed here is good communication, and now that we're on the same page, we can make progress! As for the next step, it's looking like filling water and dye testing. There seems to be little doubt that we'll save for later any back fill which may be required, any mud jacking to re-level, or exposing even a larger area to reveal any broken rebar, since right now we don't know if any of that exists. Thanks for hanging in there!
  13. Thanks for the latest post! I am sure that all posters are here to try to help others. Obviously no one is receiving compensation, and I agree that it is extremely kind for posters to help others!!!! Any tips or suggestions are very much appreciated!!! The latest, and much appreciated suggestion is to take the next logical step. I had proposed exactly that and really had originally just asked for suggestions if folks on this forum thought should try to caulk or cut out and fill those tiny cracks before refilling the pool and doing the dye tests ! Here's the area where I get a little off track: Since this pool stops leaking at around 6" below it's normal level, don't we want to focus on 6" and above? I'm sure that Scott is a solid contributor here, and has helped lots of folks! Nonetheless, I'm having a little trouble understanding the statement, "A diver can't determine with a dye test there the cracks are letting water out." Doesn't that depend on the elevation of the crack? Possibly he is referring to any portion of a crack which may lie below the water table. At that depth, I can see the reasoning, however these cracks are above the water table and current pool water level. Given that - a dye test should confirm a leak once refilled. Right? The pool is drained down for the winter to 30" from the top and that exposes all of all known cracks. If they were above the water table, and penetrated through the shell, I would have incoming water. Right? At the moment they are dry. Here's the other place I get off track: Scott mentioned, " It tells me that the cracks go around at least one end and that the settlement may require a professional engineer for both soils and the cement that makes up the shell. 30 inches is a lot of water." Sure enough, there are 1-2 cracks on each end and each side of this pool. They're pretty much evenly spaced around. They are not on just one end etc. If there has been settlement, it's not apparent yet, as there are no other cracks, nor sagging concrete. ( I agree that could come) I think there may have been a small misunderstanding. Since this pool stops leaking at about 6" below the normal level, that's pretty close to the top of any of the vertical cracks - so the cracks may be involved, and also may not be. I mentioned that I have drained the pool down to 30", in the OP. Given that, I will continue to focus 6" and above - especially at the tile line with 116 linear feet of exposure. Once I get through all that, it may be time for a geotech or structural guy - but only if i can prove leaks in the cracks. For what it's worth, I don't mid finding that the leak is at the tile line or that there is an entire structural failure. Whatever it is, I will have to deal with it. I just want to be sure I don't get ahead of myself or overlook anything. I feel sure that everyone can agree with that approach, so maybe we are all on the same page after all !
  14. Sure, it could be that there is a problem with the pool shell, and it could be that soil behind the pool walls or beneath the pool has weakened or eroded. Likewise it is possible that none of the 6-7 tiny vertical cracks is even a leak! Many times hairline cracks in the plaster occur, due to either a bad plaster mix, insufficient adhesion to the shell due to improper prep, and an improper curing process of the plaster once it's installed, among other possibilities. Even plaster age can be a factor as some report plaster replacement between 10 and 20 years, though often longer. So before we sound the alarm bells, we need to see if the cracks are a source of a leak. The only question we're focused on right now is whether to temporarily repair the plaster with caulk etc. while the water level is down and the plaster is dry, or to refill the pool first and then do the dye tests. All seasoned pool pros know that when you are doing leak detection, it's wise to never eliminate ANY possibility. At this point with this pool, there are still many unknowns: The leak(s) still could be in the tile at the water line, at the joint between the skimmer and the pool wall, or even anywhere below the water line as that's still obscured by the presently green water! If, and it's a big 'IF', the plaster cracks were caused by the minor earthquake centered 200 miles away, last August, we still need to see if the shell was affected. Clearly the plaster cracks may be in front of shell cracks, but it's possible they aren't. I'd say let's 'look before we leap' and make sure we've covered every possibility. In the mean time if other posters have ideas on what to use to temporarily patch the plaster that would be a great help. It would also be helpful to hear the pros and cons of trying the repairs now before refiling vs, doing them later if the dye tests don't show leaks at the plaster cracks. PS. If any visitors to this forum want to see a Dramatic Pool Structural failure, here is a link to pics which will take your breath away! It is a catastrophic loss and a tragedy for the homeowner/victims. http://ths.gardenweb...6492617054.html
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