Auto Fill / Auto Leveler Plumbing Leaks

Auto Fill / Auto Leveler Plumbing Leaks

One of the first things I do when I walk into a customer’s backyard is look for wet or damp soil, I even do this when I’m not working, old habits die hard some say. I also look for efflorescence on decking, pavers and the landscape material around the pool and plumbing trench (where the plumbing lines from the pump/filter to your pool are buried). I know that this can be an indicator of trouble. Small leaks inside or around the pool or house can cause structural cracks in your pool and home.

First picture (Way large view) is pavers sitting directly above an auto fill line. Notice the efflorescence? The white chalky material on the pavers. This is a sign that there is or has been water under the pavers, couple that with the lines (annotations) I added to show the direction of the auto fill line and what do you have? You have a possible leak in the auto fill line. If it were a big leak you might have standing water around the patio but a small leak may never present itself like that, instead you may find dampness or maybe even efflorescence! The second picture is an exposed plumbing trench from another pool. Here is the same area before it was dug up.

If you think you have a leak in the auto fill line you should call a leak detecting company like American Leak Detection or National Leak Detection. Remember the auto fill line has water pressure on it twenty four hours a day. A leak in this line would be akin to leaving your garden hose on twenty four hours a day.

I just ran a little test at my house to see if I could see the dial on the water meter move with just a small amount of water flowing from the garden hose. First, I turned off all the water inside my house, no dishwasher, washer or faucet were running, then I checked the meter and all was still. Second, I pulled a garden hose over to the water meter box and had my daughter turn the hose on to a slow trickle. Third, started filming.

Observe below that the hose is on very low and slow yet the meter dial, red, is moving and the little white triangle is spinning a little faster. The hose is the only water running at this point and my test video is only two minutes or so long. I cut out the first part of video because the hose and meter dial weren’t lined up in the screen. I would guess that no more than two gallons of water flowed through the hose while running this test. You may want to try this yourself. If the dial is turning it mean water is moving somewhere and if you’re sure all the water is off inside and outside the house it might be time to start looking for problems.