If you have ever owned a pool, you know that throughout the lifetime of your pool it is common to experience a leak somewhere, but how do you really know if you have a leak or where it is. We are going to go over how to determine if you have a leak, common places to check, and the visual signs.
Determining Leak vs. Evaporation
First, how to know if you have a leak. You may have some suspicions when your pool seems to be slowly (or quickly!) losing water, but that doesn’t always mean there is a leak. During the hotter months, especially in year-round warmer climates such as we have here in Florida, there is a higher amount of water evaporation from your swimming pool. A normal pool will see a loss of ½ inch per day or approximately 2-4 inches per week.
A great DIY way of confirming a leak versus evaporation would be to try out the Bucket Method. During this method, you will place a bucket on your pool steps and fill it with water to the same level that the pool reaches on the outside of the bucket. Leave it for a few days, and if the water line in the bucket is higher than in the pool, then you have a leak somewhere in your pool. View our short video and read how it’s done in our article, how-to-know-pool-leak-vs-evaporation .
Locate your Leak.
Once you have determined there is a leak located somewhere in your swimming pool, how do you know where it is located?
The best way to determine location is to hire a Leak Detection Specialist. A specialist will take the guess work out of any problem and in most cases, is able to repair the problem before you decide to start any additional work on your pool and throw money into it further.
To perform these tests accurately, remember to keep your pool clean and running properly. A build up of algae can disrupt and prevent accurate leak tests as well as adding a cost to bring your pool back to acceptable cleanliness.
In the pool and spa industry, some common leak locations include returns, jets, skimmers, and lights. This does not mean your leak could not be located elsewhere. These are just our most common swimming pool leak culprits. The price to repair a leak depends on the location, the size, the cause, and the process needed to repair the leak. The range of pricing for a repair is quite large. You could pay anywhere from $200-$6,000 for a repair.Some homeowner’s insurance policies may help pay for repairs if the damage is caused by a factor covered by your policy.
Visual Sign: Your pool’s version of sign language!
How do you know there is a leak? The first sign for most pool owners is the water level slowly (or quickly) getting lower and lower. You may find yourself having to fill the pool more often than usual.
There are two ways commonly used to tell visually where the leak is coming from. The first is to see where your water level lands when it finally comes to a stopping point. This stopping point usually will line up just below the leak point. Obviously, this will not be the best indicator if your main drain or an area towards the bottom of your pool is the culprit of your leak problem. In general, you will want to keep your water level at least halfway full or around your skimmer, especially fiberglass pools. If your fiberglass pool water level begins to get too low, there is a chance of extensive damage including caved in walls or your pool completely popping out of the ground!
The second visual method used is a dye test which a leak detection company will perform and is able to provide a more accurate and effective way for pinpointing the leak location.
Although some of the most common leak spots are in areas of your pool that are visible, that doesn’t mean you can’t spring a leak in less visible areas such as the plumbing. In this case, we encourage a professional to perform further inspection to prevent continual problems and damage towards your pool.