There’s not much a pool owner loves more than a healthy, functioning pool for everyone to enjoy. Maintaining the oasis can be another story if you’re doing everything right but something continues to be wrong. It’s completely normal for your pool to lose about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water a day to evaporation. However, if you’re routinely adding more than two inches of water to your pool per week, you may have a leak. Before you call an expert, read more about how to find a leak in a pool below.
5 Signs You Have A Pool Leak
The first sign is, as mentioned, adding more than two inches of water to your pool per week. Although, if you, your family, or guests are splashing in your pool often, this may not be enough of a cause for concern. Consider the most common signs of pool leaks before connecting with an expert:
1. Increase in the water bill.
If you’re noticing a significant spike in your water bill, it’s wise to test your pool for leaks. Even the smallest hole can leak hundreds of gallons of water per week, and if gone unnoticed, it can cause significant structural damage to your pool or even your home.
2. Standing water.
If you can notice a puddle of water near the pool and it hasn’t rained, and no one has gone swimming, this could indicate an above-ground leak. If you are standing near your pool and the grass feels mushy or uneven, this is a sign of an underground leak. Either way, these indicators determine a sense of urgency to be dealt with.
3. Fluctuating chemical levels.
If you notice your chemical levels drop without explanation, this is a sign of a leak. Leaking water carries chemicals out of your pool, forcing you to add more than usual to compensate for the loss. Inevitably, it’s impossible to keep chemicals steady from one day to the next when you have a leak on your hands.
4. Algae or discolored water.
Without being able to maintain your pools’ chemical balance, this leads to algae growth and eventually a green pool. If this develops quickly, that is a sign of a leak.
5. Cracks in and around your pool.
Cracks can indicate a number of things. Cracks might indicate that the pool is settling, tree roots are heaving the soil or there’s a leak. Fortunately, your accredited local leak repair service team can clean and fill in these cracks for you.
How To Determine You Have a Leak in your Pool
First and foremost, check the obvious: the filter, heater, pump, and pipe valves. If you notice any standing water, check those areas around your pool for cracks or if it’s near pool equipment, it could be coming from the filter, heater, pump, or pipe valves. Additionally look for separations around all the fittings, skimmers, returns, cleaner line, lights, steps, and the corners. If this doesn’t apply, continue reading to learn how to find a leak in a pool.
The bucket test (in 3 steps)
What you’ll need: A 5-gallon bucket and a permanent marker (or tape).
Place the bucket on the second step of your pool and fill the bucket with water to match the pools’ water level. Use the marker or tape to mark where the water line is on the inside of the bucket.
Turn off the pump or any auto-refilling device you may have.
In 24 hours, come back to check the water level of the pool. If the pool water and the water inside the bucket have gone down but remain level, you are losing water to evaporation. However, if the pool water is lower than the bucket water, this causes concern of a leak.
To have more accurate results, repeat the test once or even two more times to be certain of a leak, and this time with the pump on.
How To Find A Leak In A Pool
What you’ll need: Goggles, a snorkel, and leak finder dye (or red food coloring).
Let the pool drain. If the pool stops draining, the leak is somewhere along the top of the pool. If the pool ends up draining to the bottom, the leak is at the bottom of your pool. If this happens, you will need to add water in order for this test to work accurately.
*WARNING* Do not entirely drain a vinyl liner pool. The air causes the vinyl liner to shrivel up and crack! If you suspect you have a leak in your vinyl liner pool, call a professional!
Now that you know the area of the leak, check the ground or the walls for wetness. Once you have an idea where the leak could be, jump in the pool and begin step 3.
Be careful not to disturb the water, and go to the area where you believe the leak might be. Using your goggles and snorkel, slowly move through the water to either the wall of your pool or the bottom and squirt the dye. If you’ve found the area of the leak, the dye will move towards the leak itself.
What To Do Next
Many leaks are not detectable using the suggestions above. It’s important to call a professional if you suspect you have a leak in or around your pool. Professional leak detection and restoration companies have state-of-the-art technology that can locate leaks accurately and efficiently. These professionals have the training and expertise to repair without major disruption as well.
If you’re thinking you have a leak, save yourself the headache and contact Leak Science today.