I think my pool is leaking. How do I determine if I have a pool leak and how do I find it?

The first thing to do is determine if the water loss is caused by a pool leak or is because of evaporation. To do this you can use the bucket test. Place a large bucket in the pool on the step or ladder or hang it in the pool so it will be about half submerged. Fill the bucket until the water level is approximately the same inside the pail as outside. Mark the water level inside and outside the bucket and watch for 24 to 48 hours. If the levels are the same then the water loss is due to evaporation. If the level on the outside of the bucket is lower than inside you have a pool leak. (rain will affect the results)

If the results indicate a leak then the next thing to determine, is the leak in the pool liner, shell, plumbing or equipment? Start by checking the equipment as this is easier, quicker and more obvious. With the pump running and the filter dial valve set on filter look for drips or wet spots under and around the pump and filter, heater and other equipment. The most common problems are drain plugs leaking (reseal the plugs with teflon tape or silicone on the threads) or a pump shaft seal leaking between the motor and pump housing ( disconnect the pump and bring it in to our shop for repairs).  Also check for water or wet spots where the backwash/drain line comes out. If it is buried then disconnect the pipe at the filter head to see if water is coming out. If water is coming out of the backwash line when filtering then then dail valve on the filter will need a new gasket. (I recommend a service call for this repair)

If there is no indication of a leak around the equipment or backwash line then the next step would be to determine if the leak is in the pool or the plumbing lines. To do this you shut down the pump and plug the jet and skimmer lines with the winterizing plugs. Mark the water level and watch for 24 to 48 hours. If the water level goes down then the leak is in the liner, pool shell if concrete or fibreglass or it is around the jet or skimmer faceplate gaskets. Another possibility is the main drain if you have one. Check around the face plates with some dye and visually inspect the liner for holes. If unable to find it this way, call Pro-Tech Pool and Spa for our in house diving services.

When plugging the openings does stop the leak then it is in the plumbing underground. Unplug the openings and run the pump. Measure the water loss after 24 to 48 hours. Shut the pump off and measure the water loss after 24 to 48 hours. Compare the results. If the water level goes down faster with the pump on the leaks is most likely in the return lines (jets). If it goes down the same or less with the pump off then it is likely in the skimmer line. Bubbles in the pump are also an indication of a skimmer line leak. Leaks in the underground lines require specialized equipment to locate with accuracy therefore we recommend a service call.

Following the above process prior to calling for service will be very helpful to us in locating a pool leak and will greatly reduce the service call time and save you money.