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1. Check the obvious first: Are there any leaks at the equipment pad? Look closely at the filter, pump, heater and
the pipe valves. Check the ground for moisture. Are there any wet areas around the pool? Walk around the pool,
and by the pool and the equipment. Check for wet soil and sunken or eroding areas. Do you have a vinyl liner
pool? Look for tears or separations around all the fittings, skimmers, returns, cleaner line, lights, steps and the
corners. Checking to see if you have a leak: If you suspect your pool is leaking, there are several ways to check.
Try one of these approaches:
2. Mark the water level of the pool at the skimmer. Using a piece of tape or grease pencil to mark the water level.
Check the mark 24 hours later. Your pool should lose no more than 1/4 inch per day. Otherwise, a leak is
3. The bucket test: Place a bucket filled with pool water on a pool step (weight it with a rock or brick). Mark the
water level on both the inside and the outside of the bucket. Make sure the water levels are the same inside the
bucket as the pool water level outside the bucket. Check the mark 24 hours later. If there's a greater drop in the
line on the outside of the bucket, a leak in the pool is indicated. This test needs to be conducted with the pump
on, then again with the pump off.
4. Determining the Location of the Leak: If you determine that your pool is losing water, turn off the filtration
system and note where the water stops dropping. Vinyl Liner pools need to have water in them at all times! Stop
this test if you have a liner pool and the water level is dropping rapidly. Start adding water and call a pool
professional. If the water stops at the bottom of skimmer opening, the leak is probably in the skimmer or filtration
system (Including the pipes).If the water stops at the light, the leak is probably at the light housing. If the water
drops below the light, then there may be a leak in the drain at the bottom the pool. If you suspect you have a
leak in the filtration system: If you see air bubbles in the return lines water when the pool's pump is running,
there's a leak in the suction side of the filtration system. Is the pump basket lid on tight? Is the lid o-ring lubed
and in good condition? If the pool is losing more water while the pump is running, the leak is on the return line
side of the system. Check the waste or backwash line for running water? If you suspect you have a leak in the
Skimmer, light, liner: If you see something that looks like a crack, gap or tear.
5. Using a dye test solution or some of your pH indicator test reagent, drop near it with pump shut off and water
still. See if the dye is sucked into the crack, gap or tear.
6. Fixing leaks- Skimmer Leaks: The most common leak is a separation between the plastic skimmer and the
concrete pool. This is easily fixed with pool putty. 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 ways to fix this problem. Liner Leaks- Simply,
patch it with a vinyl liner patch kit. If underwater, wet patch kit.
7. Many leaks are not detectable using the suggestions above. Now it's time to call a professional! Thanks to
state-of-the-art technology, most pool or spa leaks can be found and repaired without major disruption. Some of
the methods used are: Compressed air is used to pressurize a pipe. The air displaces the water in the pipe until
it reaches the leak, at which point bubbles escape from the hole to reveal the problem area. Or, where a pipe
fails to maintain a constant air pressure, a leak exists. Special television camera that is snaked through plumbing
pipes to spot leaks. By injecting air into a pipe, then listening electronically for sounds of air escaping with a
supersensitive microphone. You should expect to pay about $175 to $250 for high-tech leak detection,
depending upon the location and complexity of the problem. Repairs are extra.
How to find a leak in your swimming pool