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How To Detect Pool Liner Leak

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How Much Water Loss In A Pool Is Normal


Its normal for your pool to lose a small amount of water to evaporation each day, especially if you live in a hot climate or your pool gets lots of direct sun exposure. Evaporation is directly related to the amount of surface water exposed to the air. This includes the water in your pool and water in water features, waterfalls and even slides. However, if your pool is losing more than half an inch to an inch of water per day, its almost guaranteed youve got a leak on your hands. Unlike evaporation, which is a harmless natural process, a leak creates safety hazards by allowing water to pass out of the pool directly into the ground, causing weakness and instability that can damage the pool, or even lead to structural damage.

Finding A Pool Leak Quick Answers

  • Check the equipment pad
  • 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.

    How To Determine If Your Pool Has A Leak

    If you have an above ground pool chances are its going to be pretty easy to spot. Just look for the giant fountain that appeared in your backyard.

    For a below ground pool, it might not be so easy, and you might not have a leak at all. Especially as the seasons change into summer and heats up, water evaporation can give you a false positive.

    For below ground pools especially, its good to test your pools evaporation to ensure youre leaking instead of just nature stealing your water. To that, we look to the Bucket Test.

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    Moisture In Your Yard

    Another common sign of a pool leak is when grassy areas surrounding the pool are abnormally damp and mushy. These wet spots can occur anywhere between the pool and the equipment pad. To locate these moisture-filled patches, take a walk around the swimming area and look out for sections of your yard that are unusually damp or boggy.

    Test #1the Bucket Test

    How to Find a Leak in a Swimming Pool Vinyl Liner : Pool Maintenance ...
    • 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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    Confirm You Have A Leak

    If you cant see a tear or hole in a liner but you notice you are losing water its imperative to confirm it is a leak and not evaporation.

    There are a few basic methods you can follow to determine if there is, in fact, a leak in your vinyl pool: the bucket test and a ink test. We do recommend taking both steps as a starting point with the bucket test. If you are sure your are loosing water then you may want to move immediately to the ink test.

    What You Will Do

    Before you get into the pool, make sure that you turn off the pool pump and confirm the water is calm. No one else should be in the pool during this process.

    While the water is still, look for tiny bubbles on the surface. If bubbles are present, start first by checking the pool liner in that area. Enter the pool and slowly begin checking the liner with both your hands and eyes. Start at the seams and work from there. Depending on the size of the tear, you may be able to locate it with simply a visual inspection.

    However, if the tear is tiny, you will likely need to use dye to pinpoint the area. When using dye to find a pool liner leak, you will have to slowly squirt the dye close to the liner. The dye will be drawn to the tear, identifying the location. Since its possible for a pool liner to have more than one tear, you will need to repeat this process making your way around the pool.

    If you find that you are unable to find the tear in your pool liner, or if your patch repair is unsuccessful, its time to bring in the professionals. Contact Aquaman Leak Detection to have a professional pool repair contractor find and repair the tear in your swimming pool liner.

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    How To Find A Leak In Your Swimming Pool

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    It’s natural for your pool to lose some water to evaporation, some to splash out, and some to backwashing your filter. But if you routinely need to add more than two inches of water to your pool per week, you may have a leak. Uh oh, right? Not so fast. Before you call the local pool tech, give your pool a once-over and determine whether you can’t fix it yourself.

    Determining A Water Leak

    How to Find a Leak in a Swimming Pool Vinyl Liner : Pool Maintenance

    The easiest way to determine whether the pool is leaking is to use a bucket test. Put an empty, clean bucket into the pool within reach and weigh it down with a stone. Pour water into the bucket until its water level matches the pool level. Mark the water levels with a sharpie on both sides , then let the bucket sit for a day or two. If there is a significant discrepancy between the pool and bucket water levels, theres probably a leak. If there are no places to put a bucket, place it next to the pool and mark the water level in the pool itself .

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    Check The Main Drain Line For Leaks

    The main drain line is the most likely place you will find a leak, so inspect this first. Remove the pools skimmer lid and check for water on the surface of the vacuum port.

    If there are no puddles around this area, use your hand or a rag to check for wetness at the base of the vacuum port. If water appears, this is an indication that there is a leak coming from the main drain line.

    Who Cares If The Pool Leaks

    There are many problems that can occur if you have a leaking pool, so its best to find and fix pool leaks right away. In an area that requires you to winterize and cover your pool, the loss of water underneath your pool cover can require a new pool liner. If your water leaks down far enough, the liner will shrink with no water in the shallow end of the pool.

    Water leaving the pool can erode supporting soil behind the walls and under the pool deck, or it can erode a sand floor, and even vermiculite floors in some cases. Water up against the walls can rust steel walls over time, and if leaking water has nowhere to go, it can come under the liner, creating bulges beneath your liner.

    The chemical balance will always be off as you will constantly be adding fresh water to keep the pool filled. Both of these can be expensive and in some cases damaging to your pool. Water is not free especially heated and treated pool water so you want to find and fix pool leaks when they occur.

    Pools can leak from holes in the liner, underground lines, underground fittings or connections, cracked face plates, torn gaskets, stripped screws on faceplates, walk-in steps, main drains, light niches, and backwash line leaks. These are all pretty common areas for pool leaks.

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    How To Fix A Leaky Above Ground Swimming Pool

    Above ground pools are wayyyy easier to deal with because not only is identifying the leak a piece of cake, but in most cases, it can also be fixed with a simple vinyl patch kit. Heres a quick breakdown of how its done:

    • Step 1: Measure the size of the leak and cut a piece of vinyl that is 2 inches larger than the area around the hole.
    • Step 2: Apply the waterproof adhesive to the piece of vinyl you just cut. Follow the supplied instructions for exact amounts.
    • Step 3: Get into the pool, and using goggles, apply the patch eventy to the inside of your pool, covering the damaged area. Hold for around 60 seconds.
    • Step 4: Additionally, you can also use a pool repair putty mixture on the outside of your pool as an added measure.

    Finding A Leak In An Above Ground Pool

    Leak Repair and Detection for Swimming Pools

    I have really good news and really bad news when it comes to having a leak in an above ground swimming pool. The really good news is that once you find the leak, its usually super easy to repair. The bad news is finding the leak is difficult. Locating a leak in an above ground is so difficult that I dont offer it as part of my services. Even if its the off-season and Im broke, Ill turn down a job to detect a leak. There are many cases where the leak is never found in an above ground and the only solution is to replace the entire liner. So now that Ive scared you and lowered your expectations, let me give you some instruction on how to find a leak.

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    So Do You Have A Leak

    If youve determined that the leak is caused by your pool equipment, you should see a specialist. It is not for the faint of heart to tinker with them.

    If you dont think the leak is coming from your pools equipment, we have some bad news for you: its most likely coming from the liner, and finding it will be considerably more difficult.

    Still havent found the leak? Even if they end up suggesting a new liner, at least youve gotten peace of mind in that you did everything you could before it came to that.

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    Where Do Most Pool Leaks Occur

    Every homeowner with a pool should be aware of the responsibility it comes with. Neglecting proper care can lead to a handful of issues. One of the most common issues is a leaking pool. Pool leaks occur if you dont properly maintain your swimming pool or repair damages when initially found. The tricky thing with pool leaks is that they can happen anywhere within your pool. If you suspect your pool has a leak, it should be dealt with immediately. Failure to do so can lead to extreme damages that can cost thousands of dollars to repair.

    There are multiple reasons why pool leaks happen. Ignoring minor problems with your pool tends to lead to bigger issues. These bigger issues can eventually cause your pool to leak. Then as the pool leak gets worse, it will begin to wreak havoc on your pool. You can avoid this by dealing with minor issues upfront and following regular maintenance. Either way, you need to be prepared. Knowing which areas are prone to leaks will help you spot one before its too late.

    Check Your Returns For Leaks:

    POOL LEAK DETECTION: How to Patch a Liner | Swim University

    Remove your return fittings from the wall to expose the line leading into the skimmer. If your pool is equipped with two returns, remove both of them and check for water draining from the line that wouldnt normally pass through a skimmer .

    If theres an inspection port on the side of the fitting, thread it off using an adjustable or box wrench set to fit its hexagonal shape. Examine your return line for punctures or tears anywhere along its length and replace it if you find any.

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    How To Repair A Leak In Your Liner

    Most of the patching methods out there can be used without having to drain your pool. Draining your pool can actually damage the liner more, so before you start pumping water out of your pool, try to patch the hole first. If you have to drain your pool, chances are youre going to need to replace the whole liner anyway.

    Patches Made Of Vinyl

    Another simple technique to repair holes in above-ground pools is to use vinyl patches. All you have to do now is stick these patches on the pool wall and youre ready to go. Because they are more resilient and made particularly to patch punctures in pools, they usually survive longer than waterproof tape.

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    What If Patching The Liner Is Not The Right Choice

    Theres only one alternative to patching a linera replacement liner.

    We recommend that you replace your liner every 4-9 years under normal circumstances. Normal wear and tear will occur to the liner over time, so its important to replace liners once they get worn down. The typical cost for a replacement liner is between $4,000-$6,000, so we understand why you may prefer patching the liner over purchasing a completely new liner. However, not every situation can, or should, be solved by a patch.

    So, if you encounter a tear in the liner of your vinyl liner pool, its important to consider all of the options. We cant tell you that one solution is better than anotheronly you can make that decision.

    Hopefully this information had aided you in making that decision and if you have any more questions, you can visit our Learning Center to learn more!

    Do You Have A Pool Leak

    Vinyl Pool Leak Detection Equipment,Liner Pool Leak Detection

    Maybe youre not sure if you have a leak, or if its just hot weather evaporation. You can do whats called a bucket test. Get a 5 gallon bucket and fill it 2/3 full with water and mark the level of the water inside the bucket with a marker or tape mark, set it on the deck right next to the pool. Mark the water level with a tape mark of the pool water level also.

    Wait 24 hours and than check both levels to see if the water has gone down. If so, and the level has gone down farther in the pool than in the bucket then you do have a leak. If they both have gone down the same amount, your pool leak is due to evaporation.

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    How Much Water Loss Is Normal In Swimming Pools

    Water loss is a natural part of owning a swimming pool. From evaporation to just plain old splashing around, there are many ways for water to get out of your pool. But, to really understand when your pool is leaking, you need to understand what normal water loss looks like.

    On average, your pool will lower around an inch every week. While other factors like pool use and environment will play a factor, this is a general rule. A lot of evaporation happens at night when temperatures drop, so keeping a cover on your pool is a great way to limit the amount of water loss from evaporation.

    Add it all up, and this evaporation ends up being quite a bit of water. Even if you lose only an inch of water each week, that can add up to 10,000 to 20,00 gallons of water each year. Thats about enough to fill another pool!

    While you cant limit all the natural water loss in your pool, covering your pool and keeping up with proper maintenance is a great way to keep things under control. If you have a heating system, try to limit the use as the temperature difference between the pool and the ambient air supercharges evaporation.

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