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How To Check Inground Pool For Leaks

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Finding A Leak In A Pool Liner

How Do I Find an In-Ground Pool Leak? : Pool Maintenance

Locating a leak in your swimming pool starts with confirming that there is a leak.

  • Confirm that the Pool is Leaking – Get fill a 5-Gallon bucket with water and place it beside the pool. Use a grease pencil or piece of tape to mark the water level at a point about one inch above the waterline in the bucket and in the pool. After 24 hours compare the difference in the water levels in the bucket and in the pool. If the pools water level has dropped noticeably more than the buckets water level, you have a leak. If the levels are about the same as each other, then the loss of pool water is due to evaporation, not a leak.

  • Check the Pools Equipment – Leaks can happen at any point where water is present or travels. That means you must check the plumbing systems, filtration systems, around light housings and the pool pump for signs of leaks.

  • Why Water Loss Matters

    Excessive overnight water loss is an issue for many reasons:

    • It costs money to replace the lost water.
    • The change in volume can affect water chemistry, causing calcium scaling and other issues.
    • Water loss and heat loss go hand-in-hand, and it is expensive to keep bringing your pool up to the desired temperature each morning.

    Needless to say, you want to control evaporative water loss as best you can.

    Test #1the Bucket Test

    • 1Bring the pool water to its normal level.
    • 2Fill an empty bucket with pool water to about one inch from the top of bucket.
    • 3Place the bucket on the first or second step of the pool. By placing the bucket in the pool water you’re ensuring that the water temperature of each will be similar.
    • 4Mark the water level inside the bucket.
    • 5Mark the water level of the pool on the outside of the bucket.
    • 6Operate the pool for 24 hours in the same way it was operating when a leak was first suspected.
    • 7After 24 hours, compare the water levels in the pool and the bucket to the marks you made on the bucket. If the pool water level has dropped more than the bucket water level, there’s probably a leak.

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    Finding And Fixing A Pool 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, its simple and cost-effective:

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    Wait 24 Hours & Check Results

    Identifying and Repairing Swimming Pool Leaks

    Once everything is in place, its just a case of keeping your pool running under normal conditions for about a day. If, after 24 hours, the pool water level has decreased by the same amount as the bucket water level, you do not have a leak. However, if the pool water level has decreased more than the bucket water level, you probably have a leak.

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    How Does It Work

    Connect a garden hose to the green valve, while the pressure tester stick is firmly threaded into a skimmer. From the starting skimmer, you can isolate certain lines, one at a time, pressurizing the line for 5-10 minutes, while you watch the pressure gauge. No pressure drop, no leak!

    You can use these types of pool pressure testing devices to verify the integrity of new or old plumbing, or if you are trying to find the source of a leak in your own pool.

    The Do It Yourself Guide To Pool Leaks

    When you suspect a pool leak, its a good idea to trust your instincts. You know your pool, and if youre seeing an abnormal water loss, theres likely a problem. Many people want to locate the leak themselves, which is why weve provided you with a guide to help you try to do it yourself. As expert pool leak detectors, well advise you on:

  • How to Find a Leak in an Inground Pool
  • How to Find a Leak in an Above ground Pool
  • and How to Find a Leak in a Pool Liner
  • At The Waterboy, our expert leak detectors use varied methods of pool leak detection including electromagnetic pipe locators, infrared thermal imaging, electronic and ultrasonic sound tracing, and nitrogen pressure tests. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not have access to these tools, so weve tailored our guide to reflect items that most homeowners would have or could access easily.

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    Inspect Equipment For Leaks

    Look at the electrical lines that lead from the swimming pool’s lights for moisture or leaks. If there is, call an expert to identify the location of the leakage and repair.

    Trust us you dont want to get electrocuted.

    If you see any, this is likely the source of your leak. Depending on the place of the seepage, you may be able to change a pipe yourself, or, for more intricate issues like a failing pump, you may need to have an expert service your pool’s filtering system.

    How To Fix A Leaky Inground Swimming Pool

    How To Find a Pool Leak Like a PRO! (pt. 1)

    For most inground pools, validating and identifying a leak is something that you, as a pool owner, can usually DIY without too much trouble. Fixing it, however, is an entirely different beast depending on the type of pool you own, and where the leak is, specifically. Heres a quick breakdown of the different repair options:

    • Skimmer leaks: This will usually be caused by some separation between the your pool and the plastic skimmer, and can be patched up with pool putty.
    • Light leaks: This is likely a conduit pipe that has deteriorated or come loose. A two part epoxy that dries hard, with putty, silicone or caulk are ways to fix this problem.
    • Liner leaks: This is one of the better problems to have since its an easy fix using a vinyl liner patch kit.

    If the problem persists or is outside the scope of whats mentioned here, I recommend looking at more in-depth guides on DIY pool repair, like this one and this one.

    Otherwise, it may be a good time to call in the experts who will be able to use specialist equipment to locate and fix the leak very quickly.

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    Water Near The Equipment Pad

    If you find water near your pools equipment pad, it is important to inspect the area to verify that the water buildup is due to a leak. There are quite a few areas where leaks can occur at the equipment pad, including the valves, filter, heater, and the pump. Keeping the area under careful observation for a day or two will usually reveal the source of the leaking water.

    Narrowing Down The Suspects

    There is quite a bit you can do to make leak detection easier on yourself. Through circumstantial evidence, you can narrow down your search quite a bit.

    Not every pool leak is going to leave a lot of clues, but it can save you a lot of time if you look out for these indicators of your leaks location:

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    How Do You Fix The Leak

    How you treat the leak will depend on its nature and location. Skimmer leaks are leaks that commonly emerge between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool. You can easily fix this with pool putty. Light leaks, on the other hand, spring out as the conduit pipe either breaks or separates from the niche. These leaks are difficult to patch, but there are certain methods that you can use to repair a bad conduit connectionthrough a two-part epoxy that does not easily dry, putty, silicone, or caulk. The easiest to patch are liner leaks. You can simply patch them with a vinyl liner patch kit or a wet patch kit.

    Although it may sound like fixing leaks is all about patching, it is not. Not all leaks are easily detected as the ones mentioned above. Pool professionals use state-of-the-art technology in fixing pool leaks. Compressed air, for instance, is used to pressurize pipes. They use compressed air to displace the water in the pipe until it gets to the leak, at which point bubbles escape from the hole to uncover the problem area, or, where a pipe fails to maintain constant air pressure, a leak exists.

    It is also important to note that aside from closed system lines, there are also some aspects of the pool plumbing system that do not operate in a pressurized system. If your pool uses an open system, it has an equalizer line that helps the pool pump to retain its prime during periods of low water level.

    Why Hire Professional

    How to Find an In Ground Pool Leak? A Detailed Guide ...

    Attempting to locate a leak on your own is risky business, especially when it comes to underground piping. Knowing how to find a leak in in-ground pool piping is essential when owning a pool. Failing to promptly identify the source could mean wasting gallons of water every minute. This is bad news for your wallet and the environment. More importantly, when working with Leak Science, your leak wont just be found it will be fixed.

    To speak with a lead detection and restoration expert, contact us right now!

    Posted on:

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    Is Your Pool Leaking

    Before running out to buy these materials to pressure test your whole pool to find a pool leak, first check the basic sources of pool leaks: where the skimmer meets the edge of the pool, or the underwater light, or small cracks in plaster or tears in vinyl. Check that your backwash line is not leaking. Check the pump and filter carefully. Check for cracks in the tile line.

    To determine how much of your water loss could be simply evaporation, do the bucket test.

    Place a bucket of water on the top step or swim out of the pool. Mark the water level on both the inside and the outside of the bucket, as shown in the image. Shut off the pool pump for 24 hours and if the pool has lost more water than the bucket, then you have a leak in your pool. Repeat the exercise with the pump on for 24 hours. This can give an indication of whether the leak is suction side or pressure side. Next step would be to plug the lines, skimmers, returns, and cleaner line for 24 hours . Use threaded or rubber expansion plugs and see how much the pool leaks with all the plumbing plugged securely.

    Does The Pool Leak All The Time

    This does not rule out leaks in the plumbing, but turns a suspicious eye on the shell of the pool, looking for cracks in the plaster or tears in the vinyl. Look closely at the tile line and look real closely inside of the skimmer. The most common leak we fix is a separation between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool. This is easily fixed with some pool putty. If you see something that looks like a crack, drop some test dye near it with the pump shut off and water still to see if the dye is sucked into the crack. Under water lights can and do leak as well, especially the conduit that runs from the light niche to the junction box. Filling the opening of the conduit in the back of the light niche with pool putty, black butyl tape, or using a cord stopper are ways to fix this problem.

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    How To Check For Pool Leaks


    At times, the problem can seem so big that its hard for us to think of solutions. And we can miss the first step. Avoid that trap by starting here. Check your pool for leaks in the most obvious places. Check the ground around your above ground pool for moisture. If you have an inground pool, the leak wont be as obvious in the ground. But you can inspect for sunken places or areas that are softer than usual.

    • Check where your equipment is kept. Youll need to look closely at:
    • The filtration system
    • The heater
    • Each of the valves

    The plastic skimmer often separates from the concrete pool edge. Since its common, its a good thing theres an easy fix. Simply re-attach it with pool putty.

    • Give the light fixtures a close look. Leaky lights are hard to fix, but worth the effort.
    • Now you can move to the liner .
    • Turn off the pump and let the water become still.
    • Pour some pH Indicator Reagent into the pool near any visible cracks. Watch closely to see if it moves closer to the crack . If it does, the crack is deep and leaking water.

    Check the pool liner near equipment, lights, and stairs to make sure its still sealed. Again, you can pour a dash of Reagent near them to see if it gets sucked out.


    Now its time to get scientific. We all know that water evaporates out of pools. So heres how to find out if thats the only way your pool is losing water. Hopefully, it is.


    Lets check the filter and pump first.

    Check The Equipment Pad

    Chasing pool leaks, Don’t call a leak detection company until you watch this

    If the dye test doesnt reveal any cracks, and if getting into the water is inconclusive, you are likely to find the source of the leak at your equipment pad. Give the equipment pad a careful once-over, then turn the pump off and on while looking for any unusual water movement i.e., small sprays or drips.

    Excess water and erosion near the equipment pad usually suggests that there is a crack in a specific area, such as the filter or the pool pump. However, a small amount of dripping does not necessarily mean there is a leak. Be on the lookout for a moderate to heavy amount of leakage from any of the fixtures at the equipment pad.

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    How To Tell If Your Inground Pool Light Is Leaking

    If you are having trouble keeping your inground pool water level at an ideal level, you need to check for a leak. You will know your pool light is leaking if the pool water has dropped to the level around the top of the light. The water level may be below the skimmer bottom or the return line, but if it stopped leaking when it reached the light that is a red flag.

    The conduit pipe is not sealed to the light fixture mounting or niche. The can or container holding the light is usually sealed tight with a waterproof gasket. It can slide in and out of the niche created to hold it in many pools. Water can get into the hole that carries the conduit. This is often a slow leak.

    Most frames holding the light can and lens cover are attached with screws that can be easily removed if it is necessary to change the light bulb. The frame must be attached to the pool wall very tightly to prevent leaks. LED lights are highly recommended since they last much longer and burn cooler than conventional incandescent lights, including the type designed for underwater use.

    LED lighting is more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs because they can last up to 10 times longer. LED bulbs are also much brighter than standard halogen or fluorescent lamps without mercury. This means there’s no need to worry about disposing of old bulbs in landfills.

    Finding A Pool Leak Quick Answers

    While it is common for pools to lose a little water every day due to evaporation, excess water loss may indicate that you have a leak. Fixing those leaks quickly is key for pool maintenance but finding the exact source of a leak can be tricky. If you end up calling in a swimming pool leak detection professional, it can be pricey, too.

    Fortunately, finding where your pool is leaking yourself is typically fast, easy, and much less expensive. Read on to learn how to find a leak in a pool with this complete guide. We address how to find a leak in all pool types such as fiberglass, plaster, concrete, and vinyl liners. Once you find the leak, here is our guide on how to fix a pool leak.

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    Is My Pool Leaking 4 Simple Steps To Check For Pool Leaks

    Just imagine you walk into your backyard on a beautiful summer day, slip off your flip flops, and get ready to dive into the shimmering water of your pool.

    But you hesitate because something doesnt look right. Is your pool water level lower than usual? Could there be a leak in your pool?

    The first thing is to do is not panic! Although any leak should be repaired to maximize your pools energy efficiency, not to mention your enjoyment of it, its best to first make sure there actually is a leak.

    If there is a leak, its a good idea to try and narrow down where it might be to minimize the time and cost it may take to repair it.

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    Hacks For Identifying A Pool Leak

    How Do I find An In
    • Use Food Coloring: If you know you have a leak but want to be sure of the location, grab some food coloring and squeeze it near the cracked area. If there is a leak, youll likely see the food coloring get sucked into the crack. The same applies to areas around fittings and also the mouth of the skimmer.
    • The Bucket Method: Place a 5-gallon bucket on the second step of your pool. Fill it to match the water level in your pool. Turn off the pump and check the levels in 24 hours. If the water in the bucket is higher than the water surrounding it, you probably have a leak.

    Once youve determined that you have a leak, the next step is to repair it.

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