Do you think your swimming pool has a leak? If you are certain that you left your pool with the right water level but it is now lower, then it deserves to be investigated further. You have to check if there is a leak in your pool so you will not waste any water.
While a leak might not be a disaster waiting to happen, it can be a sign of a bigger problem. To keep the repair costs down, you might want to fix things before it becomes worse. The natural wear and tear of a pool might be making itself known to you or maybe it was not constructed properly in the first place. If you act on this now, you might be able to save your swimming pool from major repairs. Depending on where it is leaking, your pool can also cause damages to its surrounding areas. This is why you need to act on it fast.
How to determine if your swimming pool is leaking
The question is, how will you know if your pool is leaking water? You do not have to call a professional immediately. After all, you do not want to waste money in the event that your suspicions were incorrect. But what can you do?
Here are tips that will help you determine if your swimming pool is really leaking.
Check the weather
Do not rule out the weather when checking for leaks in your swimming pool. Sometimes, it is possible that the weather is too hot and the water is evaporating too fast. There is a bucket test that you can use to measure the evaporation rate. Put a bucket of water near the pool and mark the level on both the bucket and pool. Wait 24 hours before checking both. If the bucket and pool lost water, that means it is caused by evaporation. But if it seemed like the pool lost more water, then there is probably a leak.
Check the filter pump of your swimming pool
If you suspect that your pool is leaking, check if it happens while the equipment is on. Every time the filter pump is turned on and is under pressure, it also places pressure on the plumbing beside it. You will notice small drips to your spray gushers. This pressure-side return leak means you have to look at the backwash line. If there is water constantly running, that indicates a leak. You should also look for any wet spots around the pool. It will help confirm if there is a leak.
In case the equipment is off and yet you still think the swimming pool is leaking, it could be a suction-side leak. This is usually under vacuum when the filter pump is on. But if not, it is possible that the leak is coming from this side. Or maybe, you have a leak in the pipes that are responsible for bringing water into the pool. If you can see air in the pump basket, bubbling out of return lines or inside the filter, this means there is a hole somewhere that might be causing a leak.
If any of these signs are evident, use tape or pencil to mark the water level of the pool. In case there is a leak, the water will go down.
Check the plumbing
In case you suspect that your pool is not leaking through the filter pump, you should check your plumbing. Inspect the shell around the pool and see if there are cracks in the plaster or any tears in the vinyl. You should probably check the inside of the skimmers and the tile lines. If the leak is happening in this part of the swimming pool, you simply have to use a pool putty to seal the cracks or tears.
When you see a crack on your pool, drop a test dye near it. Make sure the pump is off while you do this. If the dye gets suck into the crack, that is an indication of a problem.
Take note that underwater lights may also be a cause of the leak. This is especially true within the areas where the conduits run from the junction box to the lights. If you spot a leak, use a pool putty to fix it. Sometimes, a cord stopper can also be an effective way to fix the leaks.
Check the ground around your swimming pool
To be specific, check the ground near the pump, filter, heater, and valves. If there is moisture on the ground surrounding these pieces of equipment, that might be causing the water in the swimming pool to go down. You can try turning the pump on and off to see if there is water spraying out when it is off. A small drip is not a sign of a leak. However, if you see a trickle, that means there is a leak that you need to check out.
You can also check out the area around the pool. Walk around the area between the deck, pool, and equipment. If there are wet patches in the soil or any eroded areas, that may be where the leak is.
Check where the water stabilizes
Usually, the water will stabilize where it is leaking. If you suspect that the water is leaking and none of the abovementioned causes are evident, let the water drop until it stabilizes. Once it does, have a look around the level of the pool where it stabilized. If it is below the skimmer, that might be the cause. But if it dropped below the skimmer the problem may be elsewhere. Or maybe there is more than one leak. If there is debris in the pool, it would probably float towards the leak or be sucked into the crack. You should also check pool lights, wall fittings, steps, etc. These could be where the leak is coming from.
Check the swimming pool vinyl liner
If your swimming pool has a vinyl liner, you may want to check for sinkholes under the liner. It is possible for these to be washed away. The corners and steps are also areas where the liner is prone to stretch. Make sure to check these areas. You can also have tears and separations around the fitting of returns, skimmers, pool lights, main drain, cleaner lines, etc.
Do not rule out underwater tears too. If you have animals falling into the pool, their claws may have caused tears as they scratched their way out of the pool.
Any tears in a vinyl liner can be repaired by a patch kit or sealant.
Check swimming pool tiles
Sometimes, it is not really the tiles that are leaking – but it is the structure behind or under it. If the pool cracks behind the tile, the tile will most likely crack as well. These cracks may be caused by an outside factor, but it is worth investigating if you notice it just when you have suspicions of a leak in your swimming pool. Clean the crack and make sure it is drains of water. Then you have to try filling it with EX Patch 22.
If you have confirmed that your swimming pool is leaking water, you need to use either a pool putty, sealant or a patch to fix it. If the leak persists, please make sure to call us so we could help you fix it.