All pools lose water from evaporation and splashing. There’s also a high probability that every pool or spa at some time will have a leak somewhere in the structure or system, due to natural shifting in the ground. The trick for the homeowner is to know the difference between normal water loss and need-to-fix-it water loss. Here are 6 ways to detect problems:
- Watch for a sudden drop in the water level.
- Perform a bucket test:
- Begin with pool water at a normal level.
- Fill a 5-gallon bucket with pool water about 1/3 capacity of the bucket (2/3 down from the top of the bucket).
- Put the bucket on the first or second step of the pool, or at least 5 inches deep.
- Mark the water level inside the bucket.
- Turn off the auto-fil and the pump and mark the pool water level on the outside of the bucket.
- Turn on the pool pump.
- Compare the two water levels after 24 hours. If the levels are the same, then you only have evaporation. If the level on the outside of the bucket is lower, then you may have a leak.
- Pay attention to water bills and chemical usage. An increase in either or both may indicate a leak. (You may need more
- chemicals to achieve proper balance and keep algae from growing.)
- Walk on grass to discover soggy patches or extra-green patches of lawn that signal an underground plumbing leak.
- Look for obvious cracks in the pool surface or deck.
- Check the skimmers, main drains, and suction lines for blockages or air that shows up in the pump or blows back into the pool.
You can lose hundreds of gallons of water a day from an un-repaired hole the size of a pencil tip. Loss of water and using more chemicals is just the beginning of your problems. Left untreated, leaks lead to a breakdown of the dirt that supports the pool in the ground, causing structural problems. The cost to repair increases the longer you wait.
A qualified pool leak detection expert has the equipment to pinpoint the exact location and extent of a leak. Many pool leak repairs are permanent, so you won’t have a recurring problem at the same source.