How to Patch a Pool with Water in it

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Is Your Hydrostatic Relief Valve Leaking?

On Jan 22, 2018
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A leaking hydrostatic relief valve may be responsible for your pool's water loss. This is an easy repair for a qualified diver who will replace the valve without draining the pool. Hydrostatic valve leaking is only a problem for inground concrete, gunite or fiberglass pools.


What is a Hydrostatic Relief Valve?

The hydrostatic relief valve or HRV is designed to maintain the pressure between the water in the pool and the water in the ground. This is important in Florida and other areas with a high water table. If the ground around the pool becomes saturated, it can cause the pool to "float." A fiberglass pool can buckle in at the sides if there is not enough water in the pool to maintain equal pressure. A concrete pool may actually crack if the groundwater saturates the soil.

Although you don't want dirty groundwater in the pool, it is better to allow some of that water into the pool to stabilize pressure when necessary. This may occur after heavy rain from a tropical storm system.

You may not be aware that the valve is working to equalize pressure even though the water is dirty after a storm. When you check your covered pool after a storm and the water is cloudy, it might be from groundwater that was released into the pool by the valve. If you see this, it is probably time for a shock treatment with heavy chlorine.

Valve Location

Hydrostatic relief valve leaking can allow water to flow out of the pool and saturate the surrounding ground. This can create the problem the valve was designed to protect against and is one reason why you should replace the valve every five years.

The hydrostatic valve is located at the deepest part of the pool or close to the main drain. The drain is designed to suck water into the plumbing system through the PVC pipes. The water is pulled into the filter and the heater and returned to the pool. The system is the same for inground spa tubs.

The main drain, a suction system, may be covered with a plastic screen for safety and to keep debris out of the plumbing. The HRV is located within the drain assembly or nearby in its own covered box or sump. The plastic unit has a grate and a dress ring (large O-ring) over the valve unit. A stem from the valve protrudes into the gravel or ground beneath the pool. The valve opens to release pressure when the groundwater moves up through the stem.

The ring and grate can deteriorate with age causing hydrostatic relief valve leaking over time, they may also collect particles of dirt and rock. Aquaman Leak Detection has professional divers with the right equipment to open the enclosure holding the valve unit, remove it and replace it with a new one. The process does not take long, and the valve unit is not expensive.

A leak caused by the HRV may be small to start with, but it can grow larger over time. It is a difficult problem to locate since many pool owners are not even familiar with its location or how to check it.

Call Aquaman Leak Detection if you suspect a problem with the drain or the HRV. We can check it out and replace the valve immediately, usually with same day service throughout Central Florida.

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