How to Detect and Fix a Leaky Swimming Pool
Have you noticed a significant drop in your swimming pool’s water level? If so, your pool might just have a leak. If your swimming pool uses an automatic fill system that keeps water at a constant level, you may suspect a leak if you notice any of the following:
- A spike in your water bill
- Cracks and dents in the pool deck as a result of settling earth
- Water puddles outside the pool that cannot be easily explained (not from recent use)
- An increase in pool water usage
The first step is to turn off your pool’s automatic fill system for at least 24 hours and keep track of the water level. If the level drops significantly within that time, you might just have a leak on your hands.
Another tell-tale sign that your pool may be leaking is if there is air in your pool pump that is being blown into the pool. A leak in suction side plumbing from skimmers, main drains, to equipment, may pull air into the lines where it will appear in the pump or be blown back into the pool through the returns.
This can result from an obstruction or blockage in the suction lines. Either situation requires immediate professional attention to avoid mechanical damage to your pool equipment.
Evaporation and the Bucket Test
Before investigating your leak further, consider that evaporation may be the cause of your drop in water level. A pool that is not regularly protected with a pool cover loses water over time through evaporation, and the amount of evaporation depends on environmental factors and local climate. The amount of water evaporating from a pool can vary from season to season, and from pool to pool.
To test whether your pool’s dropping water levels are the result of evaporation, conduct the “bucket test.” First, fill your swimming pool to its normal operating level. Place a bucket filled with water on the first or second step of your pool without completely submerging the bucket. The water in the bucket is exposed to the same environmental conditions as the pool water. Mark the water level inside the bucket as well as on the side of your pool.
After a full 24 hours, measure the amount of water lost from the bucket and from the pool using a ruler or measuring tape. If the bucket and pool have lost the same amount of water, the cause is most likely evaporation, and not a leak. If the pool shows a greater amount of water loss than the bucket, you probably have a leak.
How to Look for Leaks
Before you call Horizon Pool and Patio, consider these quick tips to help determine if you have a pool leak and its source. Common areas of the pool where leaks occur include:
- In and around pool equipment such as heaters and pool pumps
- At fittings (lights, returns, skimmers, etc.)
- In the liner or shell of the swimming pool
- In the pool’s underground plumbing system.
Any leaks in the underground plumbing will require professional help but finding leaks in other parts of the pool can be done using simple visual inspection techniques. Look for drips or other signs of moisture around the pool equipment. Check to make sure that your multi-port valve is not positioned to allow water loss.
Do not feel discouraged if you’re unable to find the leak as most leaks are not visible obvious or may be in parts of the pool that are not easily accessible, like in the underground plumbing system. A qualified pool leak professional uses specialized equipment that targets leak at their source. This process can take about an hour or two, while more complicated repairs may take a longer time to complete.
Leaky Pool? Visit Horizon Pool and Patio
The Professional Approach to Pool Maintenance & Repair
Have you suspected a leak in your swimming pool? We can help! At Horizon Pool and Patio, we offer a full range of pool care solutions for South Florida pool owners. From free water testing to pool maintenance, the experts at Horizon Pool and Patio are standing by to answer questions you have about the pool maintenance process, leak detection, and more. So, what are you waiting for? If you suspect a leak in your pool, call Horizon Pool and Patio today at 561-790-0665 to get started.