Unless it’s plainly obvious, you’ll need to know if it has a leak before you learn about how to find a leak in a swimming pool. Fortunately, the “if” question about pool leaks is usually easy to answer. Generally speaking, if you’re regularly suffering more than two inches of water loss a week, your pool could have a leak.
If that applies to your pool, you’ll likely be needing some swimming pool maintenance and repair sooner than later. Check out the steps below to find the leak.
4 Steps to Locating a Leak in Your Pool
Pool leaks are not necessarily anything to panic about. Take your time going through the following guidelines and you’ll probably find the leak fairly quickly and start taking steps to fix it.
- The Leak May Not Be in the Pool – The first step is to make sure you’re looking in the right place. The water level in the pool may be falling because of leaks in the pump, filter, heater, connecting hoses and connections.
- To Confirm the Leak – In case you’re not sure, use a piece of tape or a grease pencil to mark the pool water level. After 24 hours with no activity in the pool, the water level should be no more than ¼” lower than the line you made. Another way to check the level is to fill a bucket with water, put a brick or some rocks in it for ballast, and place it on a step in the pool. Make sure the level of the water in the bucket matches the water level outside the bucket and mark both the inside and outside of the bucket. Again, after 24 hours, check the water levels. If the level of the pool has fallen below the level of the water in the bucket, then a leak may be the reason.
- Locating the Leak in a Concrete Pool – One of the first ways to find a leak is to turn off the filtration system and make note of where the pool water level stops dropping. If it’s around the bottom of the skimmer, then there’s a good chance the leak is in the skimmer or filtration system. Similarly, if the water stops at a light, that may be where the water is leaking. If it drops below the light, it could be that the leak is in the drain.
- Locating the Leak in a Vinyl Liner Pool – Vinyl pool liners must have water in them at all times, so the drain method of leak detection won’t work. Instead, start by looking for depressions in the liner which happens when water escapes from the pool and weakens the soil around it. You can also use your eyes, hands and feet to try to spot potential leak points.
To confirm a suspected leak point, turn off the filtration system and try to keep the water as still as you can. Release a few drops of red food colouring near the suspected leak. If the leak is there, the food colouring will begin to flow towards the leak.
If you found this post helpful, check out our recent article about how to open an above-ground pool.