I have an Intex swimming pool and there is a minor leak at the outlet/strainer grid as petroleum jelly was not applied during installation. The obvious solution is to drain, rectify and re-fill, but this is difficult as it equates to about 1,000 gallons of water into my garden which is likely to affect the foundations which would be a disaster! I'm hoping to find a method that can be done now - something like wrapping ptfe tape around the fitting - as a temporary measure. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Please bear in mind, I know the long-term answer is to drain and repair. Thanks in advance


Hire a water tank truck. Some pool supply stores have them; or depending on the state of your community you might be able to strike a deal with the fire department, subject to no fires happening at the time. Park the (empty) truck, pump the water into it, fix the outlet, pump the water back into the pool. The fire department may be able to treat it as a training exercise; in other cases they are simply happy to help, and in yet others they will not help; it varies with the community. In several places I have lived they are the default pool fill service, and it also means they know where to grab a few thousand gallons of water in a hurry when there are no fire hydrants in the area...

Depending on how good you are at breath-hold diving or whether you know someone with scuba gear, you might also try applying your appropriate type of grease around the outlet from inside the pool. Taping outside seems unlikely to work, IME.

Thinking it through a bit further, (if it's a bottom drain) find/buy a small innertube. Take a 5-7 gallon (20-30l) bucket and try to find a tube just a bit smaller than the bottom of the bucket (assuming the bucket is larger than the drain - otherwise you'll need to upscale the bucket.) To reduce hilarity, remove the valve-stem and fill the tube with water, then replace the valve-stem. Put rocks or bricks in the bucket. Place the innertube around the drain and the bucket on top of it. Drain some water and see if it seals.

  • It's a useful answer so thanks. The cost of a tanker is around $400 (as I checked for filling rather than using the tap[uk]/faucet[US]). Applying grease inside could work if it wasn't for the fact that it seems to be the joint outside of the pool where the strainer connects to the flexible hose and because the strainer is flush against the pool liner. I could actually get a cheap inflatable pool (less than $100) and pump into there I guess. If I don't get any better answers I'll choose this one but thanks again
    – TomC
    Oct 19 '14 at 18:42
  • I wonder if you could take a section of plastic somewhat larger than the drain opening and cover the drain opening - you'd want to test that it was both stopping the water and staying put before committing to removing the fitting, though. Not the sort of thing you'd want to have fail half-way though the job. Or something rigid (plywood or thick plastic) and an inner tube for a seal (hilarity might ensue trying to get that in position, but once the water on the other side was out it should be VERY stuck in place.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 19 '14 at 18:52

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