Robert Lamoureux | A leaking pipe was the culprit

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

This is an update regarding a previous question: 

Robert, taking your suggestion, we contacted American Leak Detection to inspect our 20-by-40 in-ground pool for a leak. They were very prompt in getting back to us. A technician and a trainee spent about two hours doing the inspection and came up with a leak coming from a return ABS pipe putting water back into the pool from the filter.  

We lucked out that the leaking pipe was under a decorative rock ribbon along the pool deck. (The cost for the inspection was $375.) An estimate for repairs was sent to us ($2,650) and we felt this was fair and agreed to the job. We had to have the rock ribbon removed to open the repair area, and a few days later they returned to do the repair.  

The leak was approximately 18 inches below the pool deck and, after removing the concrete base for the decorative rock, the earth was removed, and this exposed the leaking ABS pipe. The pipe was 1.5 inches in diameter and a break in the pipe was near the connection, which T-d off from the main line and ran to the return jet in the wall of the pool. The pipe was at least 20 years old, and the break appeared to be from stress (no roots, rocks, etc., in area) from earth movement. If the pipe dated back to the original pool construction, it could be over 30 years old. 

With the pool pump running a spray of water was coming from the pipe fracture. Not a major leak but enough to drop the pool water level at least an inch a day. The cracked pipe might be from age and/or ground movement from several earthquakes, or deeper tree roots, which were not evident during the repair.  

After the repair was made, the technician waited a sufficient amount of time for the glue in the pipes to dry and then tested the entire system for leaks again. No additional leaks. So, the hole was refilled with earth and a cement cap was poured. We will have the rock ribbon replaced in the near future once everything has had time to dry and settle. We certainly appreciate your help in getting the pool repaired and would recommend ALD to other homeowners.  

— Sincerely, Roger & Becki B. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].       

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