Pool Leak Detection

Full-Service Leak Locator, Repair, and Restoration Team

Swimmer at edge of pool in Phoenix

You'll save lots of headaches and money in the long run when you work with Leak Science and their pool leak detection services. The City of Chandler has cited that an estimated 30% of all valley pool leaks and wastes water unnecessarily. That is a significant amount of wasted water and money. What’s scary about pool leaks is that, more often than not, people simply do not realize they have a leak until significant damage appears, and there are many areas of your pool that can leak, more than you probably realize. That's why it's always a good idea to call leak detection experts.

A swimming pool requires a lot of upkeep, and nobody finds it enjoyable to work hard just to have it all drained away. A single pool leak can drastically raise your water costs and reduce the lifespan of your pool. Although it may be challenging to locate a pool leak, doing nothing might have terrible consequences. The most typical indication of a leak is too much water around the pool's perimeter, which might result in muddy patches or even puddles. It might be risky to navigate this muck and water. When compared to the potential risks of a persistent leaking pool, hiring a professional is always a wise decision. 98% of the time, we will not have any signs of water at the surface. Our soil soaks up the water even over a million gallons.

There are many indicators that your swimming pool and or related water features may be leaking. Signs of a leak are:
  • Your water bill suddenly increases
  • If any of your hardscapes around the pool (non-living elements of landscaping such as a brick patio or a stone wall) are wet
  • If you have cracks in the surface of your pool or spa
  • If you are adding a significant amount of water to your pool daily
  • Your pump is losing prime
  • Take into consideration how old your pool liner is. As liners age, a vinyl liner may develop pinhole leaks and cause significant water loss. We don’t take on jobs with vinyl liners.
If you think you have a leaking pool, your first call should be to Leak Science. In most cases, it is very frustrating for the homeowner to diagnose an underground leak on their own. The fastest way to resolve an underground water problem is to call a leak detection company.

Before calling us or a pool repair person, there are a few things you should look at. Initially, attempting to handle the issue on your own may be beneficial financially because pool repair service calls can make a dent in your wallet. Here are some signs of a leak that you should evaluate before consulting a pool repair professional:

Does it leak when the pool system is running? 

Pool leaks that cause water loss, only when the system is running, may be a leak on the pressure side of the underground pipe network. Leaks above the ground may also be related to pool equipment failures.

Does it just leak when the machinery is turned off? 

This can signify a suction side leak. This is most likely the issue if there is air getting into the pool system, the air in the pump basket, or air bubbling out of the return lines. Air is pulled into the broken pipe while the pump is running. While air is being pulled in, the water is not leaking out, and this is why your pool won’t normally lose water when the pump is running. Leaks that are large enough will not even allow the pump to get a prime. If you are seeing any of the above, then it is time to call a leak professional.

Does your pool leak constantly? 

Anything from plumbing leaks to pool fractures might be the cause of persistent pool leaks. Look closely inside the skimmers and at the tile line to see whether the issue is with your pool. Turn off the pump and use some test dye near any area that appears to have a crack to observe whether the dye is sucked into the fracture. 
The best application is using a syringe filled with leak-locating dye. Additionally, the conduits in underwater lights might lead to leakage. A pool putty and butyl tape may be used to quickly patch either of these issues. 

Are there any leaks in the subsurface plumbing? 

One of every pool owner's worst fears is a leak in the subsurface plumbing since repairs are frequently time-consuming, costly, or both. By turning off the pump and blocking all the lines, you may check to see if the subterranean pipes are indeed leaking. The issue is not with the pipes if it keeps leaking. In contrast, if the leaking stops, you may check to see if it resumes by removing each plug individually. Once all other options have been ruled out, you may do a pool plumbing pressure test on the subsurface plumbing to identify the problematic pipes.

An isolated pressure test of each specific pipe run discovers subsurface leaks in underground pipes. On one pipe, all corresponding outlets must be plugged off airtight. On the other side of the plumbing, run air is induced and held in the pipe while watching a pressure gauge. Any loss in pressure will be the result of a subsurface pipe leak in that specific run of pipe. At this time, ultrasonic acoustics, tracer gas, and cameras for leak locating must be used to find the source of the leak.

Are the pool tiles broken or shifting?

The pool bond beam can occasionally break behind the tiles, cracking them. When this occurs, water may flow into the tiles from the top of the pool walls through fractures. A repair for this type of leak will require taking down the tile and repairing the bond beam of the pool wall. In many cases, silicone is used as a temporary and cost-effective fix.

Do you see surface cracks? 

Visible cracks can be identified by diving into the pool and using leak-locating dye over the crack. If the dye is pulled into the crack at any rate, then you know the crack leaks. A temporary fix may be an underwater epoxy. However, this will only stop the leak for a short time. A shotcrete crack repair specialist is the best option to fix this problem.

How to determine your pool has a leak in 3 easy steps

It's normal for your pool to lose some water due to evaporation, some to splash out, and some to backwash in your filter. However, if you routinely need to add more than ¼” per day, you may have a problem in the plumbing, structure or pool equipment that's creating substantial water loss. Here's an easy way to determine if you have a leak:

This is called a bucket test, and you will need a 5-gallon bucket and a large black marker. The only pool equipment you need to turn off is any auto-refill devices.
  1. Place the empty 5-gallon bucket in the water on the second step of your pool. Fill the bucket with water to 1" from the top of the bucket and record with a measuring tape. Pick a shallow reference point close to the bucket and again measure and record.
  2. Turn off the pool autofill if your pool has one. Turn off any pool system breakers at this time if you desire to run this test with the pool system sitting static.
  3. Come back every 24 hours to compare results. Caution, large pool leaks can lose enough water overnight to run the pool pumps dry and cause damage. You may want to check every few hours to avoid damaging your system.
If the water remains even, your pool loses water due to evaporation, not a leak.

However, if the pool water is lower than the water inside your bucket, you may have a leak.

Repeat the bucket test over the next 24 hours to get a more accurate judgment of whether your pool has a leak.


Areas in Your Swimming Pool Prone To Leaks

  • PLUMBING: Swimming pool plumbing systems are often the source of the leak for numerous reasons, including, but not limited to, the pipe material used, the original installation quality, the age of the pipes, the plumbing configuration, and/or soil conditions. Tree roots are one of the #1 causes of broken pipes underground. Others include job site construction and ground movement, including expansive soil and settling.
  • SKIMMERS: For an inground pool, skimmers are the little buckets in the side of your pool. They hold baskets, which keep debris from making its way into your filter. Cracks in the skimmer or in the pipe connected to the bottom of the skimmer are very common. The most common cause of skimmer cracks is the material used, the age of your skimmer, and settling. Many times the skimmer will settle back and open a gap in the skimmer mouth area, and it will leak. Skimmer settling is fixed by replacing the skimmer and reinforcing the area with rebar.
  • RETURNS: Leaks in the returns are also very common (returns are for your pool's circulation). And may be attributed to tree roots, ground movement, pipe material, pipe age, or tool hits.
  • POOL LIGHT: Leaks found in or around the pool light are most commonly either in the conduit line that the light cord is run through or in the plaster and gunite surrounding the light.
  • CRACKS IN THE POOL SURFACE: Many are simply cosmetic in nature, but often they lead to a more serious problem. Cracks can develop in the concrete that lies beneath the pool’s finished surface due to settling, ground shifting, and erosion or as a result of being drained and exposed to the elements for too long a period of time.  All cracks in a swimming pool surface should be checked out thoroughly by a trained professional.
  • POOL DECKS: Pool decks can often be the first place a pool leak is detected. At times, water may accumulate on the deck and cause cracks or other damage to the surface. This can be an indication of a pool leak and should be addressed as soon as possible. Regular inspection of the pool deck is recommended in order to detect any potential problems before they become more serious. It's important to inspect the edges of the pool for any visible signs of water seepage or staining. If these are present, it is likely that you're dealing with a pool leak and may need to take further measures to correct it.

    Water can surface up through a crack or pour out from under the coping. At times water or wetness may be seen on the outer edges of the deck. This could mean you have a leak. Never assume a leak is where you see water or wetness. Water can travel longer distances underground than you might think possible.
Keeping up on pool maintenance will help you stay ahead of any leaks.

What Happens if You Ignore a Pool Leak?

As water escapes your pool, it can start to accumulate in areas where it shouldn't be. Water traveling through the ground around your pool leaves your pool to become unsupported, and structural fails begin to happen. Underground leaks that are left for an extended period of time will almost always cause problems for the pool structure. No pool is built to have an active leak, and having one compromises the efficiency of the pool in the short term, combined with the longevity of the installation in the long term.

A leak can waste up to 970 gallons of water per day from a pinhole leak, depending on the size of your pool.

In addition to losing water, a leak in your pool may let in soil and other debris. This makes it very difficult to keep the pool clean and maintain the pH balance between acid and alkaline levels. This will then lead to the growth of algae and moss. Your filter system will never rest, raising your energy cost. The lawn or garden area around your pool may be saturated with chlorinated water that can harm plants and can even extend into a neighbor's yard.


Professional Pool Leak Detection — Leak Science

Leak Science specializes in pool leak detection as well as all related water features. Ryan West, the owner of Leak Science, has established a strong reputation in the valley, providing swimming pool leak repairs in the valley since 2006, and maintaining a 5-star rating with Home Advisor. Using state-of-the-art equipment and his expansive understanding of swimming pools, Leak Science has been able to locate leaks where others have not.

If your pool is showing any sign of a leak, call the pool leak detection experts at 480-794-0959 today before you're left with a long list of leak-related expenses.

Ask about our financing options!  

Keep Reading:

Pool Leak Detection

A Homeowner's Swimming Pool Leak Detection Guide


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