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Posted:  3/21/2017 6:54 AM #26596
Rbchound
Member
Warrenton, VA
Total Posts:2
Last Post:3/21/2017
Member Since:3/21/2017
Subject: Main drain help
Hello. I have a huge problem with my in ground vinyl pool. I went out this past weekend and noticed the pool cover was lower than usual. Upon further inspection I pulled back the cover only to find that almost all of the water was gone from my 26,000 gallon pool. Upon closure I drained the pool to about 1 " below the skimmers, blew out all the lines, put in anti-freeze and plugged the skimmers like I have since 1999. Now I suspect I have a crack in my main drain line somewhere. I am assuming that the vinyl pool has a steel shell with metal lateral bracing. I don't know how the main drain is installed, but I think it is set into the steel shell on the bottom. If the line is cracked mid-way under the pool how do I go about replacing the line? The original lines were flexible PVC. I know this because I had a leak problem years ago in the skimmer lines, which I dug up and replaced all skimmer and supply lines with schedule 40 PVC. The only line I didn't replace was the main drain line. What is the best way to proceed? I know the location of the main drain line where is exits the pool bottom and it is under the skimmer closest to the filter. Any assistance would be appreciated.


Posted:  3/21/2017 8:53 AM #26597
Rob Cox
Administrator
rob@poolcenter.com
Total Posts:350
Last Post:6/1/2017
Member Since:4/18/2009
Hi there;

Must be quite a shock, and very upsetting to find the pool empty. If the pool is absolutely empty, with only a few inches left in the shallow end, I would look around the main drain area, but I wouldn't suspect the main drain pipe - at first. Being a vinyl pool, the liner is always the first suspect, tears or holes in the vinyl . Secondly would be the seal on the main drain pot, the ring and gasket that secures the vinyl to the drain pot. Third would be a possible hydrostatic relief valve inside of the drain pot - leaking.

Now, if the water is not completely empty, but higher, then you might the pool light, or holes in the liner at other depths, or wherever the water has stabilized at.

Vinyl pools don't have steel floors, but usually sand or vermiculite (a soft sort of concrete), and often the hopper bottom, where the main drain pot is, is usually made of concrete. The pipe used is probably flex pipe too - since they used it elsewhere. Generally, main drain pipes connect to the main drain and then run under the pool, parallel to the floor, towards the side of the pool with the other plumbing and equipment, or the shortest run to the pool pump. After the pipe reaches the pool wall, it turns up, and rises toward the trench that carries the pipes to the pump.

If you wanted to replace the ENTIRE drain line, you would remove the liner of course, then open up the side wall and the floor (with jackhammers and shovels), and replace the line, or abandon the old pipe and connect a new pipe, then bury it again. Or, you may just replace the more accessible plumbing, closer to the surface, if lower portions are intact and salvageable.

The first thing I would do (after checking other possible leaks) is to plug the main drain, inside the pot (remove the cover), add water and see if it leaks out again. Like I said earlier, the drain pipe may not be the leak. If it leaks still, when the drain is plugged, that should confirm that the drain line is good - although you could have more than one leak.

OK! Email back if you have more questions...

Rob Cox
Rob Cox
President
POOLCENTER.com



Posted:  3/21/2017 9:29 AM #26599
Rbchound
Member
Warrenton, VA
Total Posts:2
Last Post:3/21/2017
Member Since:3/21/2017
Thanks Rob. I will have to pull back the cover and see where the water line actually is when I get off work today.
I will let you know what I find.
Thanks again for replying. I am so ticked about this.
I had the liner replaced about 10 years ago. Due for a replacement anyway. Quite a few chemical stains on the bottom.


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