How Does Pool Leak Detection Work
Finding a pool leak yourself is sometimes pretty hard to do, especially if its a tiny little liner tear or puncture.
But we listed 2 methods to try. These both include different steps to find the most common types of leaks.
The bucket test works by allowing you to see if your pool is losing water due to evaporation or an actual leak. And the ink test shows you where water is seeping out by watching the flow of the dye.
Professional leak detectors use items like electrical probes to track the sources of least resistant connections. These send them audible frequencies letting them know where the voltage is weak.
They also might use a pressure method where they can tell where the plumbing is losing water pressure.
First Stop: Equipment Checks
Some leaks may not be as apparent as others, so you cant expect to find the area where the leak is automatically. You will need to check the pool liner and equipment thoroughly if you suspect a leak in your vinyl liner.
When a leak is present, it wont always appear in the vinyl liner. A tear can also occur in the pools pump or any piping. So check the piping and look for wetness on or around the equipment. Dry any wet areas with a towel and watch to see if it becomes wet again.
Leaks in your pool system can be tough to detect, so you must be very diligent when checking the area. Check the pump, piping, return line, skimmer, and filter for leaks.
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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Leaks In The Pool Plumbing Or Equipment
Leaks in the Plumbing. Its rare, but if you determine that the leak is in the pool lines you now have to determine which pipe is leaking. You can plug off the skimmer and run the pool on the main drain only, or the other way around, in a process of elimination.
If the pool stops leaking when all of the lines are plugged, you can remove plugs, one by one, from skimmer, main drain and return lines, to see if the leak starts again. With the pump not running, leaks in a return line will slow down, and sometimes stop leaking all together, whereas on a skimmer or main drain line, they may leak more when the pump is off. Sometimes, a skimmer or main drain leak will draw air into the pump, while the pump is running.
Leaks in underground pipes are rare, but they do happen. To determine which line it is , a process of elimination can be used to isolate different lines. Pressure testing individual pipes can determine with certainty which pipe is leaking. Sometimes it is easier to replace the line which is bad rather than trying to pinpoint the exact location.
Patching Pool Leaks: Small tears or rips up to several inches in length can be patched with a vinyl patch kit, or you can use a flexible liquid sealer, that squeezes out of a tube. Small leaks in vinyl liners or pipes can be fixed using Fix-A-Leak.
This process of elimination can take many days, so boost up your chlorine level and brush and skim the pool each day to maintain the water quality.
Checking For Leaks In The Vinyl Liner
The easiest way to check for a leaking liner is to use food coloring. First off, fill up the pool with water just in case the leak is near the surface. Feel around the pool liner until you find a spot thats softer or squishes to the touch, which can indicate a leak. Put a few drops of coloring into the pool near the suspected spot. Coloring should mix with the water and let owners see how it flows. If it flows directly into the liner walls, you have found your leak.
Once youve located the leak, it needs to be repaired. Smaller leaks can be fixed with vinyl patches, while others require a professional pool service to replace the liner with a new one.
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Two: Determine How Much Water The Pool Is Losing
Fill the pool to the proper operating level and mark the water level with tape, pencil or crayon. Record the loss in 1/4 of inches, once in the morning and once in the evening for 24 to 48 hrs with the system on. Once measurements are gathered, repeat the same procedure with the pool turned off. More water loss with pool system on, in most cases points to a leak in the plumbing or equipment. As a rule of thumb, losses up to 1/2 inch daily may indicate a combination of evaporation/ wind/splash out. Losses up to 1 inch daily more than likely indicate a leak somewhere in the system, more than 2 inches of water loss per day would normally be caused by a broken pipe, broken or loose fitting, equipment or by a visible hole or tear in the liner.
Cause 1: “Splash out” is lost through various activities in the pool including diving, water games, etc.
- Observation: Fill pool to operating level. If the water level does not drop on days pool is not used, splash out is the cause.
- Cure: Warn pool users that splash out is the cause
Cause 2: The loss of 1/4″ of pool water per day is an indication of water loose due to evaporation.
- Observation: Loss of water to evaporation will be noticeable in the morning as cooler night air causes a higher rate of evaporation than hot sunlight. Wind also contributes to evaporation.
- Cure: A solar cover placed on the pool at night will reduce nighttime evaporation by as much as 90%.
How To Find A Leak In A Pool Liner
There are fewer thoughts scarier to swimming pool owners than that of water leaking from somewhere on the vinyl pool liner of their in-ground pool. And thats why it’s important to find a leak in the pool liner.
Yes, a leak might be able to be repaired with a relatively simple patch. But, at the other end of the spectrum, the pool might need to be drained, the ground supporting the pool re-levelled and a new vinyl liner installed.
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To Check Your Skimmer For Leaks:
If theres a small drain in the bottom of your skimmer, check that its not loose and wiggly. If so, tighten the screw or bolt holding it to the base of your pool.
Place a garden hose into your skimmer basket to simulate rainwater entering through the usual route and watch for water appearing in the pool.
Take a look at the gaskets on each side of your skimmer lid, especially if theyre worn or torn. Small tears can cause significant water loss in your pool over time and yet go undetected for weeks or months on end.
Can You Patch A Pool Liner Underwater
In most cases, youll probably have to patch your pool liner underwater. If the leak isnt too far down on the pool wall, you can drain some water, if youd like, to make it easier to work with.
However, dont drain all the water unless theres just no other way to do it. Draining the water out of a vinyl liner exposes it to the elements and dries it out. This can make it brittle and more prone to tears.
Pool patches and adhesives are waterproof and made to be used underwater. So, while its sometimes not the easiest thing to do, repairing your pool underwater is necessary.
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Most Common Pool Leaks
One thing any pool installer would tell you is that fixing the leaky sections of a vinyl pool liner is a whole lot easier than finding where exactly the hole is located. Unless the damage to your liner is very obvious, youll have to find a hole or two the size of a pinprick.
In fact, this task is so challenging, that there are some professionals who turn down this type of job. There are also professionals who specialize in this task alone.
One thing you need to know is that above pool leaks are not only due to a damaged liner there are other possible causes for it.
To give you an idea, heres a list of where leaks usually happen:
- Pool liners vinyl liners can last as long as more than a decade, but they can also last less than a year. They can be quite fragile any sharp object, such as tree branches, can cause puncture holes and tears on it. Even toys with sharp edges can do much damage.
And if you were unable to properly level the ground for your above ground pool, the rocks on the ground beneath the pool floor will eventually cause tears to the flooring.
- Light fixtures installed if you have pool lights installed, their screws can get loose. When this happens, the formerly watertight seal that was formed becomes lax. This will also happen when the light cap, or even the pool light itself, also detaches or gets cracks. Noticing water leaks near ceiling light fixtures is another issue to look out for, although inside your house.
Check Your Returns For Leaks:
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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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.
How To Isolate A Leak In A Vinyl Pool Liner
Its normal for water to evaporate from a swimming pool. However, when the water level goes down too quickly, theres often a leak in the liner. Through trial and error, you can isolate the leak and make the repairs. A number of pool patch products are available and are easy to use. Some require you to lower the pools water levels, while other products allow you to make the repairs underwater. Waiting too long to repair the leak can increase your water bill considerably. A large leak can weaken the subsoil base below the pool and cause the pool walls to fail, so it’s important to find a leak as soon as possible.
Inspect the exterior walls of the pool in an above-ground model. Look for obvious tears or damage around returns, lights and corners. Feel for dampness along the walls, particularly along seams in the wall and around the skimmer fittings. Look for signs of moisture along fittings for the pool pump, steps, ladder, slide and other pool features. Check the grass outside the pool as it may be greener than the rest of the lawn near the leaking spot.
Allow the water in the pool to leak out until the water level stops dropping. When that happens, you know the leak is above the water line. Do not let all the water leak out of the pool. Call a professional to isolate the leak before that happens.
Things You Will Need
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Confirming There Is A Leak
This can easily be done by marking the water level in the pool with a strip of painters tape. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and mark the level with the painters tape.
After 24 hours, measure the difference in water level between the pool and the bucket. If the water loss in the pool is significantly greater than that in the bucket, the pool has a leak.
Before deciding to repair a leak, however, the location and severity of the leak must first be identified.
When done systematically, the endeavour of finding a leak follows a procedure that progresses from a clear indication of water loss to the exact location of the leak.
While leak detection experts have the professional equipment and expertise to perform this process in a few hours or less, diligent pool owners may be able to detect a leak by following a few simple steps.
How To Fix A Leak In A Pool: Patches And New Liners
Once you identify where your pools leak is, youll see whether a patch will suffice. If the leak is too big for a patch, youll need a vinyl replacement liner. Order one as quickly as possible, so you can prevent the leak from weakening the subsoil and so you can enjoy your pool again soon. Your vinyl liner replacement will need to be installed by a professional, so be sure to reach out to a local independent swimming pool builder near you.
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One: Use A Bucket To Detect A Leak
Place a large bucket in the pool water about three-quarters submerged. Usually, I would place the bucket on one of the steps. Fill the bucket up so that it is even with the water level. After the bucket is filled and put in the right place, use a strip of duct tape or a permanent marker to mark the water line in the bucket. Then turn the pump off and return to the bucket after about 24 hours. If the water level of the bucket and the pool are still matching, you likely do not have a leak. But if the water level of the pool is lower than the bucket, there is a leak at the level that the water stopped draining.
To check for a leak in the pools plumbing, carry out this test while the pump is running. If you notice the water level decreasing, you likely have a leak in the piping or pump.
How Do I Find A Hole In My Intex Pool
How to Find a Hole in an Intex Pool
. Subsequently, one may also ask, how do you find a hole in the bottom of an Intex pool?
Ensure the pool is full . Feel the pool’s floor to see if it’s squishy, which suggests a leak in the bottom of your liner. Wherever you suspect a leak, place a few drops of food coloring. Continue placing food coloring around your pool until you find the leak.
Also Know, how long do pool liners last? The average inground pool liner will last 59 years. The average above-ground pool liner will last 610 years. Liner warranties may last 25 to 30 years, but they’re extremely prorated.
One may also ask, how can I tell where my pool is leaking?
Common Signs Of A Leaking Pool
How much does it cost to replace a pool liner?
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