Swimming Pool Leak Detection 101
Checking for Leaks
Sometimes swimming pool leaks are so subtle that it’s difficult to determine whether you have one at all. Periodically, look for these warning signs:
- Decreasing water level: The simplest way to find out if you have a leak is by observing the water level over a period of time. According to American Leak Detection, on average a pool should lose about 1/8” of water every 24 hours, sometimes more depending on your environment and weather conditions. If you’re noticing water levels lowering close to an inch or more per day, it’s likely you have a leak.
- Auto filler on overdrive: Many pools include an automatic fill water leveler which helps maintain a consistent water level by adding water to the pool as it is removed by evaporating, splashing, etc. If your auto filler seems to be on overdrive for no apparent reason (for example, continuously running even when the pool is not in use), it’s probably trying to keep up with water leaking from the pool.
- Cracked or loose tiles: Even on the surrounding swimming pool border, cracked or loose tiles can indicate structural issues below. A shifting foundation can easily cause pool leaks and the source of the damaged tiles should be investigated.
- Standing backyard water: Are you noticing spots of standing water or continually damp areas in your yard? It could be an indicator that your pool is leaking into the ground. Significant amounts of water could mean a serious issue and should be checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
- Frequent algae formation: If your chemical treatments are confirmed as adequate for your pool, then frequent algae formation might be coming from a pool leak as chemically-treated water is leaking out, with untreated water replacing it.
Locating a Leak
Once you’ve established that you have a leak in your swimming pool, it’s important to locate the leak quickly. The sooner you can discover the location of the issue, the faster you can resolve the problem and resume your normal pool activities. Use this checklist to look for common leakage spots:
- Check your equipment for obvious signs of leakage. Are there loose pipes? Leaky pumps? Loose seals?
- Shut off any pool pumps and add a drop of colored dye to your pool water. Observe how the dye moves through the water. Is it heading in one direction? This might be where your water is exiting.
- Gear up with a pair of goggles and some snorkel equipment to inspect the interior of your pool. Carefully take a look at the walls and check for cracks or areas that look damaged.
- If you cannot locate the leak on your own, call a pool professional. They have the tools and expertise needed to safely search for issues without damaging your swimming pool.
Unfortunately, leaks can occur by no fault of your own and can be a huge inconvenience to your summer pool fun. Checking for leaks and identifying their cause is the first step towards repair. If a cracked or ripped pool liner is at fault, invest in a high-quality replacement pool liner from LinerWorld to enjoy for years to come. Contact us to learn more about our products and how to properly size them for your pool.