How To Find Out If You Have A Pool Leak
In many cases, a pool leak can be big enough to be perceivable by water level checks. In some instances though, pool owners might remain in the dark for long before noticing the leak.
If you notice signs such as green growth in the water in spite of regular chemical treatment, separated skimmer boxes, cracks in the pool deck or damp areas around the pool, you should conclude without a doubt that you have a pool leak.
Leaks In Your Filter Hose
If you suspect the leak might be coming from your filter, there are a few things to consider.
First, check your filter hose for damage. There may be a puncture somewhere in the hose. If thats the case, you should replace the filter hose. Youll also want to check the clamps around the filter and tighten them to prevent water leaking out that way.
Leaky swimming pools are a common occurrence for pool owners. Understanding the cause of the leak is the most important step in the repair process. While frustrating, leaky swimming pools may have an easy fix if you take the time to diagnose the problem correctly.
Position The Bucket In Your Pool
With the bucket almost fully filled with water, place it in your pool so that the water in the bucket is level with the water in your pool. Use your pool steps to position this just right. The reason for having the bucket slightly above water level is to emulate the air movement similar to that from the edge of the pool walls.
Note It may also be necessary to place something heavy into the bucket in order to hold it in place.
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What Can You Put In A Pool To Stop A Leak
Using Fix-A-Leak to Fix Pool Leaks
- Soak Fix-A-Leak in a bucket of warm water for ten minutes.
- With pump running, add Fix-A-Leak directly to the skimmer or in front of any suction outlet.
- Adjust suction valves after all Fix-A-Leak has been sucked into the pump.
- Continue to Run the Pump for 8-10 hours.
How To Repair A Pool Pipe Leak Without Digging Up The Whole Yard
Its possible for a swimming pool leak to develop in any pool part, includingunderground cracks in the suction or return PVC lines leading to the pool from the pump and filter system. An underground pool pipe leak can be tricky to pinpoint depending on the location and the slope of the ground surrounding your pool or spa tub.
A swimming pool leak is enough to deal with without the added headache of having to have yard re-landscaped or a large section of cement repoured. The best way to ensure a pool pipe leak repair without unnecessary digging is to hire an experienced swimming pool leak repair contractor who will utilize ultrasonic equipment to pinpoint the leak before digging into your yard or cement.
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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.
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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Points To Ponder About When Doing A Diy
How To Instantly Patch Any Pool Liner
Youve probably never sat by your beautiful pool, sipping a cool beverage, wondering how to patch a pool liner. Its far more likely youll be all set to jump in for a refreshing swim, but stop dead in your tracks when you notice the yard by your inground pool feels swampy. Maybe youll glance out the back window just before your first sip of coffee in the morning, and see a growing waterfall has sprung from the side of your above ground pool.
If youre reading this, you may have just discovered the need to patch your vinyl pool liner, and thats never a fun discovery. You may even be freaking out a little. Take a breath. Unless you have a very old liner, a massive tear, or a tree fell on your pool, you can probably patch it.
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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.
Patching Your Pool Liner In An Above Ground Pool
If you determine your above ground pool needs a pool liner patch it’s important to take care of the repair quickly. Your pool will continue to drain until it reaches the level of the hole. Depending on the location of the tear you may need an expert to complete the repair. If the leak is near the top rail, the water might only go down a couple of inches. But if it’s near the bottom of the wall or the floor of the pool, the extensive water loss could collapse the pool and turn your yard into a muddy mess.
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So You Think Your Pool Has A Leak
Before you start slapping on patches and gluing your fingers together, you may want to check if you actually have a leak in the first place. If theres a hole the size of Texas in your pool liner, thats a pretty obvious sign, but its not always so clear.
There may be a few reasons why it seems like your pool has sprung a leak, even if it doesnt actually have one.
How To Patch A Pool Liner
Before you decide you definitely need to patch your pool liner, make sure theres actually a leak to fix and locate it.
Just because your pool is losing water doesnt necessarily mean you have a leak. Keep in mind that most pools lose about ¼ – ½ inch per day during the summer due to evaporation. To put that in perspective, thats about 25,000-50,000 gallons of water per year!
This amount can be greater or smaller, depending on the area you live in. But as a general rule, if youre losing an inch or more a day, its possible you have a leak.
To determine this, you can use a couple of methods. The bucket method is probably the easiest.
To do this, you just need to place a five-gallon bucket with some water in it by your pool. Then mark the water line in your bucket and your pool and leave it alone for 24 hours.
After those 24 hours, if your pool water level is lower than your bucket water level, you probably have a leak.
The other method is the ink method. But this method assumes you are pretty sure you have a leak and have a general idea of its location.
To perform this test, youll need a leak-finding kit or some dark food coloring. Then, equipped with goggles, squirt a little dye in the area where you think the leak is.
If you do have a leak, youll see the dye stream steadily toward it, seeping out with the rest of the water.
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Fiberglass Pools As An Alternative Option
All this talk about tears and patches can seem daunting, but the reality is most punctures and tears are easily repaired using cost-effective methods. With that said, if you are planning to upgrade your backyard paradise, a fiberglass pool might be a better option.
Fiberglass pools arent in the same price range as vinyl liner pools, but they are low-maintenance and have significantly lower lifetime costs compared to concrete and vinyl liner pools.
If you want to learn more about your fiberglass pool options, you can browse our catalog of models, try out our free pool pricing calculator, or contact us to request pricing and information using the button below.
Want to replace your existing pool with a fiberglass unit? Read our article below to learn about the benefits and how much it might cost:
Plugging The Leak On Your Money
Are you having constant repairs on leakages and rusted fittings? Pocket draining, arent they? Its about time you pulled yourself up and stopped that drain. Here are a few tips to ensuring that your pool is not a money guzzler.
- Enclose fittings that are easy to access. Also, the lights, stationary skimmers, pumps, and valves should be safe from kicks, throws, push, and knocks from elated visitors.
- Hang enough signage in proper locations.
- Provide barriers to access to the area where the fragile accessories like filters and pumps are located.
- When purchasing accessories, make sure to choose fittings that have hydrostatic relief plugs. Such fittings redirect excess leaked water, back into the pool.
- Some owners place pressure gauges in the inlet and outlets of the pool to compare pressure differences between two points. It is important to have such gauges as pressure differences can be used to detect a leak on time and therefore fix it before it gets worse.
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Option : Replace The Liner
Yeah, we know. This is a worst-case scenario. However, you can use one of the patching options as a temporary fix while you shop around for a new liner. The price of a new vinyl pool liner is typically a thousand to several thousand dollars . The benefit of replacing the liner is that youll have another 5-9 years of worry-free pool enjoyment.
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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Finding A Leak In The Vinyl Liner
Finding a leak in the vinyl liner of your above ground pool is not an easy task. Sometimes there is a microscopic hole in the bottom of your pool, near your pools wall, or who knows. Heres what you should do from first to last.
If you still havent found a hole, its time to play manta ray. Very carefully and slowly swim around the bottom of your above ground pool and search for holes. In an area, you suspect a leak, utilize the dye to confirm the leak is indeed there.
Check The Pool Equipment
Checking the pool equipment for signs of leaks should not be overlooked because the leak may be outside the pool area. Turning the pump on can reveal if the leak is on the pump or the pool tub.
The skimmer and return system at the wall should be thoroughly inspected as these locations are prone to developing leaks.
Be sure to check the outside of the pool for any leaks before checking the inside. An outside leak should be obvious and easy to find. You need to check the bottom of the pool as well and looks for signs of excessive wetness.
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What To Do If You Have A Leak In Your Fiberglass Pool
To find a leak in a vinyl pool, fiberglass pool, or gunite pool, use the simple food coloring method described above, or hire a trusted professional to thoroughly inspect the pool for you. Once you identify where your pools leak is, youll see whether a patch will suffice.
Follow these steps to find out if you have a leak. Take a regular, everyday bucket and fill it with pool water to roughly 1-2 inches from the top of the rim. The reason for using your pool water is to make sure the test is fair in terms of having the same water temperature.
What Happens If You Dont Fix The Leak In Your Above Ground Pool
Trying to decide whether or not to fix that leaky pool liner? Hopefully this section will convince you to do so.
The proper amount of water in an above ground pool is crucial to its longevity. Uneven or too low a water level can cause your above ground pool to sag inwards until something breaks.
Additionally the water helps protect the liner itself. Vinyl liners that are exposed to direct sunlight and air for too long will eventually before brittle and begin to crack.
If you think you can skirt the issue by continually filling your pool, youre fighting a losing battle. Every time you fill you pool, youre altering the chemical ratios likely creating a more friendly environment for algae and bacteria. Health concerns aside, your water bill is going to be pretty high if youre constantly filling your pool.
Preventing a leak in your above ground swimming pool comes down to regular maintenance and cleaning.
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