Pool leaks can occur anywhere in or outside your pool. Before searching for the leak in your pool, make sure you check your entire filter system area, including the pump, filter, heater, chlorinator, etc.
If you have an inground pool, leaks can also occur by cracked piping underground. If you suspect this, call a local pool professional to pressure test the lines for possible cracks.
The first step to pool leak detection is to determine that you actually have a leak and aren’t losing water to evaporation. If you’ve already done this process, you can skip ahead.
Pool Leak Detection: Bucket Method
What You’ll Need:
1. Place and Fill The Bucket
Place the empty 5-gallon bucket in the water on the second step of your pool. Fill the bucket with water to match the pool’s water level. Use the marker or duct tape to mark this level inside the bucket.
2. Turn Off The Pump
Turn off the recirculating pump as well as any other auto-refill device you may have.
3. Check The Results
Wait 24 hours and compare the pool water level to the level of water in the bucket. If both the pool and the bucket water have gone down but remain even, your pool is losing water due to evaporation.
However, if the pool level is now lower than the level in the bucket, you likely have a leak.
4. Repeat The Test
To narrow down the possible source of the leak, repeat the test for another 24-hour period, this time with the pump on.
5. Check The New Results
If the water level in the pool is greater with water circulating under pressure, the leak is most likely somewhere in your pool’s plumbing.
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Pool Leak Detection: Ink Method
What You’ll Need:
1. Check The Ground and Walls Around The Pool For Wetness
This will help determine the area of the leak. Now you know the height of the leak, because it’s where the water stopped draining, and now you know the area because the ground or pool wall will be wet.
Keep narrowing down before using the dye to find the leak. Once you’ve got an idea where the leak could be, jump in the pool and find the exact location with the dye.
2. Use Pool Leak Detection Dye To Pinpoint The Leak
Go to the area where you think the leak might be. Move slowly and try not to disturb the water.
Squirt the dye in the water close to the wall. If the leak is near, you will see the dye move towards the leak source like a current.
If you suspect your leak is at the bottom of your pool, put on those goggles and do the same thing. The reason you don’t want to disturb the water is because you don’t want the dye running wild.
Fix Your Vinyl Liner
If your pool is concrete and develops cracks (which it will over time) that need to be patched, pool plaster repair is a whole other task with its own tools and precautions. We’re talking about vinyl liners here.
Pool leak detection is only half the battle. Now you need to patch the pool liner before any further damage is done.
Call in a Pro
Remember, if pool leak detection—or any other pool maintenance task—becomes too difficult, or you’re not sure you’re getting the right results, you always have the option to call in a pro.
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