It’s hard to keep water in a pool. Every swimming pool, spa, or landscape pond is probably going to start leaking at some point in its useful life. These pesky problems can be more than just an inconvenience. An unrepaired hole the size of a pencil tip can result in hundreds of gallons of water lost per day. In addition to the replacement cost of the water, leaks in your pool will increase chemical demands, and may lead to more serious structural and mechanical problems. Fortunately, effective leak location and leak repair solutions are available.
The most common indication of a swimming pool leak is a drop in the water level that is faster than what is normally attributable to evaporation or splash-out. Often leaks are big enough that excess water loss is obvious. If you wake-up to find that your pool has dropped several inches overnight you know you’ve got a problem. The bigger challenges are the smaller, yet just as serious, leaks that may develop slowly. In these cases, it is important to determine what is “normal water loss” and thus avoid wasting time looking for and worrying about a leak that really isn’t there. A simple way to account for evaporation and confirm a leak is to do a simple Bucket Test. (See Leak Detection Process)
If you have an automatic fill device on your pool a dropping water level may not be evident; high water bills may be the first indication of a leak problem. You may also notice an increase in the chemicals required to maintain proper balance, or that there is excess algae growth because the new water that’s being put into the pool is untreated.
Other pool leak symptoms may be actual evidence of the water that has escaped from your pool. Wet, mushy, or unusually “healthy” spots in the lawn may be evidence of underground plumbing leaks. Structural damage, cracks, and settling to the deck or pool may also be indications of underground leaks. If left unrepaired, these problems can quickly become more serious.
- Listening Devices may be used to pinpoint the sound of pressurized underground plumbing leaks.
- Helium detectors may be used to find underground plumbing leaks if there is a lot of background noise and hydrophones can’t be utilized.
- LeakTrac Vinyl Liner Leak Detectors use patented electronics to track vinyl liner leaks with a small electric current that is induced into the pool water.
- Hydrophones (underwater microphones), special dyes, and SCUBA diving equipment are used to find leaks in the shell of plaster and concrete pools.
Leak Detection Process
Through conversations with the pool owner and observations of the pool, confirm that the leak symptom being observed is indeed the result of a leak. A "Bucket Test" can be performed to determine how much of the observed water loss is due to evaporation and how much is due to a leak. The bucket test is performed by placing a bucket of water on the pool step and marking the water level in both the bucket and swimming pool with tape. If there is a leak, the pool will lose more water than the bucket. Other tests such as the "Pump On/Pump Off Test" will provide a useful base of information that will be helpful as you continue the leak detection process.
Pressure Test Plumbing Lines
Regardless of the suspected location of the leak, a pressure test of all plumbing lines should be done to confirm whether they do or do not have a leak.
Pinpoint Leaks in Vinyl Liner
The LeakTrac 2200 utilizes proven technology to find vinyl liner leaks fast, without dye, without draining the pool and without getting into the water. The LeakTrac 2200 eliminates the frustrating, expensive and time consuming task of visually inspecting every inch of a liner. While standing on the deck the operator is able to first establish a leaks general area, then pinpoint even the smallest leaks in minutes.