How does pool leak detection work and where are the most typical spots you may find a pool leak? Pool owners that think that they may have a leak typically ask these questions and more. Pool leaks are one of those mysterious problems that can occur in a variety of different locations, so locating the source of where yours is coming from can take some doing and a little bit of effort. However, these three top leak sources are usually where you can expect to find a pool leak
Pool Leaks in the Skimmer
Your swimming pool skimmer is probably the most common location you'll find pool leaks. Where the skimmer meets the pool surface, it can separate year after year from swimmers kicking off of it, allowing water to escape.
Small debris has a tendency to get lodged in between small skimmer cracks and can widen this gap over time. In most circumstances, it is merely due to a loose faceplate. and an easy
Leaks in the Pool Light
The second most common location for pool leaks in inground swimming pools is typically found around the lights. Pool light leaks can occur in the same way as skimmer leaks do.
The conduit pipe will frequently split from its niche. This usually results in a slow leak, but again, a very easy fix if a pool leak is happening in the pool light.
Leaks in Pool Plumbing
The third most common, but certainly not the most easy to fix is a pool leak that occurs in the subsurface plumbing. Out of the types of leaks you can have in your pool, this one is the most costly to fix. However, most leaking pipes are usually easy to reach. This type of pool leak doesn't happen very often, but it is more common in cold locations where a hard winter can cause soil expansion and move pipes around a bit, sometimes causing seperations to occur.
5 Sure Signs You Have a Pool Leak
There are a few apparent and not-so-obvious symptoms to check for that may signal a pool leak.
1. Loss of Water
Water loss is, of course, the most obvious indicator of a pool leak, but keep in mind that you will lose some water due to evaporation, especially on hot days. However, if you find your water level dropping significantly lower than usual, there are a few more warning indicators you should be aware of.
2. Tiles are Cracking or Shifting
The ground around the pool will shift naturally, but if you notice a lot of cracks or large gaps, it could indicate that there is a leak somewhere. Excess water in the surrounding soil would create this.
3. Increased Water Bills
If your water is leaking enough to cause your water bill to skyrocket, you've undoubtedly already observed decreasing pool water levels. Many folks, however, have automated fill mechanisms that keep those levels where they should be. In many circumstances, you may not recognize it until you receive the astronomical bill and wonder what's going on.
4. Algae Development
The same thing applies here. If you have an auto-fill device, all that new water could be affecting the chemistry of your pool and diluting the sanitizer. When this occurs, algae will likely begin to bloom more frequently than usual.
5. Puddles in the Backyard
These can, of course, also be explained by recent rain or watering your yard. However, if you discover damp spots that don't seem to dry out, you may have some underground plumbing leaks.
Pool Leak Detection: Two Methods
If you suspect that you may have a swimming pool leak, you can test for it using one of several approaches. However, for leaks in inground pool plumbing, the best advice is to hire a qualified pool contractor like The Pool Surgeon to perform a proper leak inspection.
1. Bucket Technique
The Bucket Test is the simplest way to detect a pool leak. Before attempting this technique make sure your water is level first. Get a 5-gallon bucket and follow these steps, preferably on a dry day:
- Fill a bucket with water and place it on one of your stairs so that the level in the bucket matches the level in the pool.
- With a black marker, mark the water level both inside and outside the bucket.
- Turn off your pump and, if needed, your automatic water fill, then wait a full day.
- After 24 hours, use a red marker to mark the new level of water within the bucket. Mark the pool water level on the outside of the bucket with a red marker as well.
- Now, compare the two sets of results. If the water level drop from black to red is greater on the outside of the bucket than on the inside, you definitely have a leak.
2. The Ink Method
You will need the following items for this method:
- Swim Goggles
- Snorkeling Gear
- Leak Detection Dye, or Red or Dark Food Coloring
Before applying any dye or entering the pool, inspect the surrounding area including the ground for moisture. This will save you time because it will show you where the possible source of the leak is. Put on your goggles and snorkel once you have a general idea because it's time to plunge in.
Begin by squirting dye into the water along the wall. If the leak is close by, the dye will travel closer to the source. Try the dye test underwater if you suspect the leak is closer to the bottom. To find the source, observe how the water flows.
Pool Leak Detection
If you don't have the proper equipment to perform a proper pool leak detection, by all means, give us a call. We can perform a complete leak inspection on your pool and spa system. We can perform a pressure to the whole pool system and listening for leaks in the plumbing lines. Our technicians will scuba dive the entire pool to check for leaks and dye test around the main drains, wall fittings, and skimmers. We can quickly tell you how much water loss is occuring and what pool repairs need to be performed.
Many times a pool leak will come up during a routine home inspection or pool inspection. This may be a nuisance to home sellers but is an issue that should be addressed before completing the purchase of a home.
Of course, how you repair your leak will be determined by its location. If you believe you may have a pool leak, you'll need to have a professional come in and confirm where it's occuring and the best course of action to perform pool repairs. Call the Pool Surgeon for all of your pool leak needs.