Water Loss and Pool Leaks

Water Loss and Pool Leaks

Common concerns for pool owners, managers, and operators include pool leaks. The possibility of a pool leak often leads to uncertainty and second guessing. A person will typically wind up thinking along the lines of, "Is the pool water level really lower today or am I imagining things"? Or someone may ask, "Is the water level lower from evaporation and user drag-out, or do I really have a leak"? In this post I hope to dispel uncertainty. I will equip you with an understanding of evaporation loss and provide you with some rudimentary leak troubleshooting techniques.

Over the course of a 24 hour day it is typical for a pool to loose a 1/4 inch or more of water. Its good practice to tape a ruler to the side of the pool wall to gauge how much water evaporates daily under typical conditions. Water losses greater than the norm usually indicate a leak. Additional signs of a pool leak include, an unexplained increase in the water bill, difficulties mainlining water balance, and air in the pool water.

To determine if you have a pool leak, I suggest conducting a "bucket test." For the bucket test to work, you must preform the procedure during periods of non-use. Swimmers in the pool will make the test results difficult to properly interpret. The conduct a bucket test:

  1. Place a five-gallon bucket on pool step, usually the second step works well. Fill the bucket with water to the exact level of the surrounding pool water. You should fill the bucket with water as close to the top of the container as possible. If needed you can move the bucket to a lower step and place a riser under the it.
  2. Mark the water on the outside and inside of the bucket with a permanent marker.
  3. Leave the bucket in place for 24 hours with the circulation system running.
  4. After 24 hours check the water level on both the outside and inside of your bucket. If the level in the bucket and the level of the pool are the same, you don't have a leak! If the pool level is bellow the level inside of the bucket, a leak exists.
  5. If a leak is present, repeat the bucket test again. Follow steps one through for four, but this time leave the circulation system off.
  6. During the second test, with the circulation system off, if the two levels remain even the leak is most likely in the circulation system and not the pool body.
  7. If the pool level drops with the circulation system off the leak probably is located in the pool structure.

After reading the discussion of evaporation and reviewing the bucket test, I hope you feel better armed to diagnose a pool leak In some case a company that specializes in leak detection is needed to pinpoint the exact location of leak. While Allegheny Pool Services does not specialize in advanced leak detection, we would be more than happy to discuss the bucket test further with you. We also provide pool plumping repairs. If you have an identifiable leak in your pool plumbing please feel free to contact us for an assessment at anytime. More information is available at our homepage.

Thanks for reading,