Pool Leaks: Locate & Repair
How to Find & Fix Leaks in Pools
Are you tired of adding more water to your pool each week? If you find yourself constantly refilling your pool, it might be time to start looking for a leak in the plumbing line, the concrete structure itself or in the vinyl pool liner. You may not realize it, but even the smallest pool leaks can lead to big problems with your pool. Here are some helpful tips for locating and repairing pool leaks before they get out of hand.
Tools You’ll Need:
- - Marking pen
- - Duct tape
- - Food coloring
- - Patch Repair Kit
How to Find a Leak in Your Pool
Step 1. Confirming the Leak
First, fill a bucket with pool water, placing it on your pool steps. Make sure that the top of the bucket is higher than the water level in the pool in order for it to stay at the same temperature as the pool water. For pools that utilize a pool ladder instead, try placing the bucket at the very top of the ladder. Over the next several days, check the water level in the bucket with the water loss in the pool and compare them. If there's any difference, that's a clear sign that you have a pool leak.
Step 2. Locating the Leak
To find the source of your pool leak, fill up the pool to the ideal water level as noted by the manufacturer. Once the pool water has reached that level, mark it with a small piece of duct tape. Next, power up your pool pump and run it for the next 12-24 hours, noting how much water has been lost by checking the water level at the duct tape marking once time is up. Repeat the process and check the level again, noting the amount of water that has been lost. If you find that more water is being lost when your filter is operating, then you know that the leak will be found past your pump impeller. If more water is lost when your filtration system is not on, then you'll know that the leak will be located on the other side, also referred to as the vacuum side, of the pump.
Locating Leaks in the Plumbing System To locate a leak in your plumbing system, look for leaks in your backwash line by pressure testing the lines and digging in along the leaking line to find the source of the leak. This can also be done by pool repair professionals if you aren't sure of how and where to dig.
Finding Structural Concrete Pool Leaks For a structural concrete leak, turn off the the pool pump for at least one hour. Once the water has had a chance to settle, it will be easier to notice any visible cracks in the sides and floor of the concrete. Next, add a few drops of the food coloring to any suspected cracks. If the color begins to be "pulled" into a crack, then you have a leak. It's also a good idea to use the food coloring to check for non-visible cracks in other areas of the pool as well, including the skimmer mouth, the lights, returns and any other areas surrounding the pool surface. These areas are all highly susceptible to leaks, and you can't always see them.
Finding Vinyl Pool Leaks It's harder to find leaks in vinyl pool liners, but it's still something that a DIY-er can do themselves. First, take a careful look at everything around the liner, including the lights, the returns and your main drain area. It's not uncommon for the liner to become slightly detached or to develop a leak around those areas. These leaks can actually destroy your entire vinyl pool liner, so it's important to catch them early. If there aren't any leaks that you can see around the fittings, do a thorough inspection of the liner from top to buttom. It can be helpful to actually touch the liner as you inspect it, as sometimes small holes or leaks aren't noticeable until you feel them. To replace these types of pool leaks, try a vinyl liner repair kit. It's much cheaper than replacing your entire liner, and it's a simple solution that will hold up well when done correctly. Doheny's Recommends: - Vinyl Line Repair Kit