As a pool owner, you need to know how to detect and quickly repair leaks in your swimming pool. The following pool leak detection techniques can help you find the source of the problem and work out what you need to do to fix it.
Does Your Pool Leak?
Swimming pools naturally lose some water every day due to evaporation. There's a simple test you can use to find out whether your pool is losing water through evaporation or due to a leak. All you need is a plastic bucket and a permanent black marker.
Fill the bucket roughly three-quarters full of water and use the marker to mark the water line on the inside of the bucket. Place the bucket in the shallow end of your pool and mark the water line on the outside of the bucket. Leave the bucket for two or three days and then compare how much the water level has decreased inside and outside the bucket. If both water levels have decreased by the same amount, the water loss is simply due to evaporation. If the water level outside the bucket is more than inside the bucket, your pool is leaking.
Locating a Pool Leak
Now you know your pool is leaking, you need to find the leak so you can fix it. First, turn off the filtration system and allow the water to gradually leak out of the pool. If the water level stops dropping after it moves below the level of the skimmer opening, the leak is in the skimmer or filtration system. If the water level stabilizes when it drops below the light, the leak is probably located around the light housing. If the water level continues to drop, the leak is probably in the drain at the bottom of the pool.
Once you have identified the most likely location of the leak, inspect that area of the pool carefully for cracks, gaps, and tears. Alternatively, use a pool leak detection kit to confirm your suspicion of a leak. These kits contain a small amount of dye, which you can drip into the water close to the suspected leak to see whether it gets sucked into the leak point. Turn off the pump before using a leak detection kit so the water in the pool is still. Alternatively, you can use your red pH indicator test reagent in the same way; drop it near the suspected crack to see if it is sucked in.
Repairing a Pool Leak
You may be able to repair leaks around the skimmer or pool light using pool putty. Meanwhile, leaks in the liner of a vinyl pool can be patched using a vinyl liner pool leak repair kit. These kits include a large sheet of vinyl, from which you can cut a patch to cover the hole, as well as glue to stick the vinyl down and seal the leak.
When to Seek Professional Help With Pool Leak Detection and Repair
Some pool leaks are located deep within the pool plumbing. These leaks are not easy to find and can be even more difficult to repair. If you can't find the source of the leak yourself, contact a pool contractor for help. Prepare for your professional leak detection by noting all information about the leak, such as how fast the water level drops and whether the water level drops faster with the filter turned on or off. With this information, a pool contractor can find your leak and let you know which parts need to be repaired or replaced.