Finding and Fixing a Leak
Pool leaks can occur anywhere in or outside your pool. Before searching for a leak, make sure you check your entire filter system area, including the pump, filter, heater, chlorinator, etc.
If you have an in-ground pool, leaks can occur by cracked piping underground. If you suspect this, call a local pool professional to pressure test the lines for possible cracks.
Before you start searching for the leak, you must determine that you have a leak and are not losing water to evaporation. We recommend the bucket method for determining whether or not you have a leak, it’s simple and cost-effective:
- 15-20L plastic bucket
- Permanent marker
1. Place the empty bucket in the water on the second step of your pool. Fill the bucket with water to match the pool’s water level. Use the marker or duct tape to mark this level inside the bucket.
2. Turn off the recirculating pump as well as any other auto-refill device you may have.
3. Wait 24 hours and compare the pool water level to the level of water in the bucket. If the pool level is now lower than the level in the bucket, you likely have a leak.
To find the leak yourself without hiring help, we recommend the ink method.
- A pair of leak-proof, anti-fog goggles
- A snorkel
- Leak Finder Dye, or Red or dark food colouring.
1. Turn off your filtration system and let the pool leak. Ideally, you want the leak to be high on the pool wall to avoid draining the entire pool. Once the water stops draining, you’ll have a better idea of where the leak is. For example, if the leaking stops at the bottom of the skimmer opening, the leak is likely in your filtration system.
2. If you suspect you have found the problem area, carefully add dark food colouring or similar to the water near the suspected area and watch to see where it goes. This should eventually lead you to the leak.
Fixing the leak:
In any case with a leak, we recommend consulting a professional to inspect your pool as there may be more serious damage as a product of poor workmanship or engineering. However, there are some DIY fixes for minor leaks that can be carried out with a proper guide:
The three most common leaks are:
1. Skimmer leaks - the most common leak is a separation between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool. This is easily fixed with pool putty.
2. Light leaks - often the conduit pipe will come apart, break or separate from the niche. This is difficult to patch. There are various methods to patch a bad conduit connection. A two part epoxy that dries hard, with putty, silicone or caulk are all possible fixes.
3. Liner leaks - simply patch it with a vinyl liner patch kit. If underwater, use a wet patch kit.
Please note, not all leaks are detectable using DIY methods. You may be dealing with plumbing or equipment problems more severe than you realise. Because of this, even after patching leaks yourself, we encourage you to consult a pool professional to ensure you're not using a bandaid solution for a heavyweight problem.
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