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How To Find Leak In Pool Plumbing

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How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Pool Leak

Finding Pool Plumbing Leaks Using The Pool Scope by LeakTronics

The national average price to repair a pool pipe leak ranges from $600 to $1,400, with most homeowners paying around $900 to repair a leaking pipe.Cost to Repair a Swimming Pool Leak.Swimming Pool Leak Repair CostNational average cost$900Average range$600-$1,400Minimum cost$175Maximum cost$5,000Sep 7, 2021

How To Check For Plumbing Leaks In A Swimming Pool

The average in-ground residential pool in the United States contains about 20,000 gallons of water. Given that volume, leakage from a pool may be subtle and hard to detect. Tracing it to its source can be even more difficult. Leaks in the concrete shell of the pool often require high-tech leak detection methods such as underwater listening devices and/or dye testing. Fortunately, the majority of pool leaks occur outside the pool and above-ground in the plumbing and pump/filter circuit. Answering some simple troubleshooting questions can identify these most common and easily repaired sources of leakage.

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 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.

The Swimming Pool Dye Test

How to Find a Leak in Your Swimming Pool: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

If there is a location in your pool that you suspect is leaking, you can test that specific area with dye. Your goal in doing this test is to release a tiny amount of dye in the specific location where you suspect a leak.

When you conduct a pool dye test, make sure that your pool circulation system is turned off and that there is little or no wind causing movement in your pool water. Your pool water should be as still and as calm as possible when you do this test, so you are also required to be as still as possible as even putting your arm into the water can make the water move and the results of the test hard to assess.

To start the test, release a steady stream of dye into the area surrounding the suspected leak. Once you release the dye, it will tend to stay together and float gently with the subtle motion of the water moving. If there is a leak, you will see the dye being actively pulled out of the pool through the leak.

Dye testing is particularly useful around steps, skimmers, and lights. To detect a leak using this test, the key is to monitor the movement of the dye in the water. Take note, however, that cracks in your pool floor or in the main drain are not ideal for dye testing, unless you have scuba equipment that can allow you to get close enough to conduct the test in these areas.

Dye testers are used only as supplemental tools in leak detection, so dont expect the dye test to be a magic beacon pointing at your pool leak.

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Detecting Broken Plumbing Pipes And Swimming Pool Leaks

The warm weather is finally back in Central Florida, which means it’s time to get the pool and spa ready! Several things can indicate a leak, from the water level dropping by more than ¾ in one week to visual signs, including excessive amounts of dirt on the bottom of the pool, new cracks appearing in deck area, water puddles in the area around the pool, and using more chemicals than normal.

What can I do myself to determine if I have a pool leak?

First, determine if you have a water leak versus evaporation by performing a simple bucket test with the pump on, then again with the pump off. Day 1 turn ON the pump, place a bucket on the second step and fill the bucket equal to the water level in the pool, then mark the level in the bucket. If the water is less in the pool than the mark in the bucket, you may have a leak.

Day 2 , perform the same test but this time with the pump OFF. If the loss of water is greater when the pump is ON versus OFF, the leak is likely in the plumbing or equipment area. If the water loss is the same regardless of the pump being ON or OFF, the leak is likely in the pool structure.

The Leak Doctor will perform a thorough test of your pool, spa and foundation and resolve your water loss issues. We perform a dye test to identify structural leaks, a hydrostatic test to identify plumbing leaks and electronic leak analysis. We find and repair leaks in swimming pools and spas, which not only saves you money it conserves our precious water resources.

Wait 24 Hours & Check Results

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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Where Do Most Pool Leaks Occur

Most pool leaks are not in the underground plumbing, although its every pool owners worst fear, a large backhoe coming in and ripping up the pool deck. It does happen occasionally, that a leak occurs at a pipe connector under the pool deck, or beneath the skimmer, but repair rarely involves a backhoe.

How Leaks Are Found In Underground Pipes

Finding A Plumbing Leak In Concrete With LeakTronics PoolScope

The plumbing systems are an important part of your swimming pool. They are what carries the water from your pool to be filtered and puts it back in once its clean. The part that takes water from the pool and transfers it to the filter is the Suction System. Once filtered, the Pressurized System carries the water to the pool and the Return Lines push it back in.

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Signs Of Leaking Pool Plumbing

Air Bubbles In Your Pool

Low water levels can cause air bubbles in your pool when your pump is running. This can be due to a variety of reasons but should be looked at further to rule out a leak.

Wet Spots In Yard

Have you noticed consistent wet spots in your yard? What about random patches of overgrown grass? Most assume its due to overwatered grass but you should also consider a pool leak being the cause. Water from a leaking pool pipe will eventually rise to the surface causing these stubborn wet spots. So before you blame yourself for overwatering, make sure to take a closer look.

Low Water Pressure

More air in your lines, means less water in your lines. The pressure gauge on your filter tells you where the water pressure is at. If it appears to be lower than normal, a pool leak in the plumbing is most likely the culprit. You can let some of the pressure out by using the filters air relief.

Cracks In Pool Decking

As water leaks from the pipes of your in-ground pool, it will begin to cause damage to surrounding areas. If you come across a crack in the decking surrounding your pool, a leak is usually present. Before it cracks, you may notice lingering wet spots in the decking. Take those as a sign of a leak and get it looked at before it has time to do more damage.

Is Your Pool Really Leaking Maybe Not

Before you start freaking out over how much water your pool is suddenly losing, consider that it may just be a false alarm.

As you no doubt already know, losing water is just part and parcel of owning a pool thanks to evaporation , so it could just be that your pool is simply evaporating at a faster rate than before.

In fact, in the right conditions, its entirely feasible that your pool can lose almost 2 inches of water per week. Why would it suddenly start evaporating faster?

  • Higher exposure: If your pool is getting more exposure to sun for whatever reason, evaporation will of course speed up. You can combat this by screening or shading your pool.
  • Temperature: Depending on where in the world you live, perhaps the most obvious reason is that its just getting hotter. Even the warm nights slowly chip away at your pool.
  • Humidity: If the humidity outside is low, the dry air will be able to suck up your pool water at a much higher capacity than it would in high humidity, where the air is already occupied.

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How To Find A Leak In An Above Ground Pool

Above ground pools are much easier and cheaper to install than inground pools. You dont need to hire a professional to set it up, and you can easily move them to other parts of the yard. One of the significant downsides of an above ground pool is the possibility of leakage. Because the liner is generally made of thin vinyl, it can easily be punctured by sharp objects or even worn down from constant exposure to pool chemicals.

You can easily fix pool leaks if you notice them early on, so it is important to learn the warning signs of a leak. In this article, I will go over how to find a leak in your above ground pool liner and what to do when you find one. For more tips on this topic, read my main article on pool leak detection.

Most Common Pool Leaks

Fixing Leaks in Pool Plumbing

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.

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Tips For Finding Skimmer Leaks

The purpose of a pool skimmer is to catch the larger debris from your pool water as it begins to circulate through your filtration system. Since a huge percentage of your pool water flows through the skimmer as it makes its way to your filter, a leak in this part of your pool poses serious problems to your property. If you have a gunite pool, you can find the skimmer encased in concrete within your pools bond beam.

If you keep on topping off your pool because its water levels are constantly dropping, then you know that the issue is not merely water evaporation due to the summer heat but a pool skimmer leak. If you suspect that your swimming pool has this problem, dont fret. These leaks are easy to fix as long as you detect them early and your pools skimmers are not yet physically damaged. Most leaks coming from the skimmer are easy to fix because they are only caused by the skimmer pulling away from the concrete.

Before we discuss the actual steps in finding leaks in your skimmer, here are a few things you need to remember:

Where Do Pools Usually Leak

Pools can leak through any of the fittings or accessories, plumbing, or even right through the shell. It is important to repair leaks, not only to save water, heat, and chemicals, but also to prevent undermining pool structural components and washing away fill dirt that supports the pool walls and pool deck.

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Does The Pool Leak All Of The Time

If the pool is leaking all of the time, there may be a more severe problem than faulty or worn-out plumbing accessories. There may be a leak from the pools structure, such as cracks in the plaster. The most common leak is a separation between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool which can easily be fixed with pool putty. Underwater lights can also be the instigator, as they do eventually leak. Since this problem can be more serious, a leak detection system may be the most expedient next step.

If You Want To Confirm Swimming Pool Leaks Here Are A Couple Of Techniques To Try Out

Locating and Fixing A Pipe Leak Under Concrete Pool Deck with LeakTronics Pro Complete Kit

Image source: Creative Environments

Do you believe you have a swimming pool leak? Here are a couple of ways to confirm this:

  • Check the amount of water you are losing from your pool each day by marking the water level of your pool. Mark the level at your skimmer box using tape or a waterproof pencil. Leave your mark for 24 hours and then check your water levels again. If you are losing more than ¼ an inch of water per day your pool most likely has a leak.
  • You can use the bucket test as indicated above to detect a pool leak. Remember that you can also place your bucket on the step of your pool, anchoring it down with a rock. The levels of water inside and outside of your bucket should correspond after 24 hours.

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How To Find The Leak In Your Swimming Pool

So weve already established how to detect a leak in your pool versus a bad case of evaporation, but how do you actually find it?

For that, I recommend using a simple little swimming pool hack, called The Dye Trick. Its pretty straightforward, but Ill run you through the steps anyway because Im just nice like that.

Fixing Pool Liner Leaks

This method applies to above-ground vinyl liner pools. As long as the tear isnt too large, a temporary solution is to apply duct tape to the rip. You need to use a vinyl patch kit for a more permanent fix, which you can get from a local hardware or pool store.

These options are assuming you know how to use these repair materials. If you feel unsure, it is best to call in an expert. For vinyl pools, getting a patch kit is easiest . For larger repairs, read my full article on replacing a vinyl pool liner. For concrete pools, read my guide on pool plaster repair.

Ultimately, the critical thing to know is that any pool leak can be fixed and should not be a cause for panic. In most cases, you can fix the issue yourself without spending too much. By detecting a leak and applying the appropriate measures mentioned here, you should be able to enjoy your pool again.

Have questions? Send me a note, well be glad to help.

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