How to Find Leaks in a Pool

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There’s no shortage of things to consider when it comes to pool ownership.
One thing that you shouldn’t forget is monitoring your pool’s water levels. It’s normal for your concrete pool’s water level to fluctuate to a certain degree. Some water loss is inevitable due to evaporation and splashing. And, on rainy weeks, your pool’s water level may even grow.
However, swimming pools that are losing more than two inches of water every week should be checked for leaks. If pool owners fail to perform pool leak detection, it could cause damage to the pool’s structure, plumbing system, main drain, return lines, and vinyl liner.
Do you think your pool might have a leak? Here’s how to detect one.

1. Confirm the leak

To confirm that your pool is leaking, mark the resting water level with duct tape. Wait 24 hours and then check if your pool has dropped ¼ of an inch or more. If it has, your pool is likely experiencing a leak.

2. Investigate your pool

If you have a pool lined with vinyl, check the lining for rips around the entire surface area. Also, look around your pool for spots that are uncharacteristically wet. If you find one, that might indicate a plumbing leak.

3. Turn off your filtration system

If you can’t find anything with a simple search, try turning off your pool’s filtration system. This will cause the water level to fall until it reaches the level of the leak. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you try this method:
  • If the water stays level just below the skimmer or inlet plug, the leak is likely in your pool’s skimmer.
  • If the water stays level at or around the light, the leak is likely in the light niche (also known as the light housing).
  • If the water continues to drop below the light, the leak is likely associated with your pool’s drain or in some facet of the bottom of your pool
  • If the water is level with a tear in your pool liner, the leak is likely in the pool wall

4. Perform a dye test

If you find a spot where you suspect the leak is originating, perform a dye test. Dye is heavier than water so it will be visibly drawn into a leak or a crack when placed in its general vicinity. If you aren’t sure where your ground pool leak is stemming from, performing a dye test probably won’t be beneficial.

5. Fix the pool leak

Once you’ve uncovered the source of your pool leak, it’s time to call in the professionals. It’s impossible to know the extent of the damage caused by a pool leak without the help of a professional. Although a DIY patch job may help your pool level remain consistent for the time being, swimming pool leaks have a knack for opening back up when they are not adequately fixed.
The longer a leak location is left unchecked by a professional pool company, the more damage it could create, which could lead to costly repair bills down the line.

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