Leaking Swimming Pools – Pool Liner Leaks and Beyond
Swimming pool owners often wonder about changes in water level or drainage of water out of the pool. There are many reasons that a swimming pool could be leaking. We’ve put together some of the main issues to look at when you have a leak in your swimming pool.
Many pool owners assume that water on the outside of the swimming pool is a sign of a pool liner leak. That may be the case, but there are many other reasons you may find water outside of your pool. For instance:
- There may be a filter leak
- A water hose may have popped out of the pool
- You could have a drainage problem
Water on the outside of your swimming pool should be investigated as it may be a sign of pool maintenance problems.
Leaks in Your Pool Liner
Swimming pool liners leak for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, leaks are caused by holes, punctures, or tears in the liner. Damage to your liner usually happens while maintaining your pool. However, even with brand new pool liners, puncturing the vinyl material can occur through everyday use.
If you suspect you have a leak in your pool liner, you’ll have to find the leak. If you see water seeping at one end of the pool, it does not necessarily mean the hole is near that end of the pool. Absolutely DO NOT drain the water out of an above ground pool! This will ruin the liner and you will have to replace it.
How to detect leaks in your swimming pool liner
The most successful way to find a leak in a swimming pool liner is to search the pool inch by inch with a pair of goggles. Look for tears, slits, and punctures in the vinyl. While this may sound like a difficult and time-consuming approach, it is the most comprehensive and foolproof way to spot the exact location of the pool liner leak. It’s also the least expensive!
If you can’t locate the source of the leak using this method, there are some tools on the market to help you. However, many are expensive and complicated to use. Some of these tools include:
- Biodegradable dyes: A dye test works best when you’ve already spotted a visible tear or crack in the liner. The dye can help you determine if the damaged area is actually leaking, but it is not all that helpful in finding the exact location of a leak in the first place. To use a dye, you’ll turn off your pool equipment and place a few drops of the dye near a suspected area. If the dye remains and then dissipates gradually, that’s probably not the source of the leak. If it is sucked quickly into the suspected area, that’s likely your problem spot.
- Electrical impulse tools: Advanced underwater listening tools can help filter out other noise and amplify the sound of the leak, helping to determine the source. However, these high-tech machines are often pricey and may require the help of a professional. Even then, they do not always guarantee leak detection and seem to be an expensive shot in the dark.
Depending on the age of your liner and the location and ease of access to the leak, it may be possible to repair your liner with a patch kit. If the damage is too severe, you may have to look at purchasing a replacement liner.
If you need a new swimming pool liner, check out our collection of unique, colorful vinyl liners you and your family will love.
Just like with your liner, damage to other pool equipment can occur during routine maintenance or everyday use. To check for leaks in your plumbing equipment, let the water leak out until it reaches the bottom of the skimmer box and/or the return jet. If the water level stops at any of these points, the problem likely lies there.
If the leak is in the skimmer or return, then you will first want to tighten those components to make sure that they are tight on the pool wall. If there is still a leak, you may have to replace that part. When you replace this part, also replace the gaskets that go with it to make sure it’s properly secured to the swimming pool liner.
Leaks in Your Filter Hose
First, check your filter hose for damage. There may be a puncture somewhere in the hose. If that’s the case, you should replace the filter hose. You’ll 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.