Every pool owners nightmare would be to wake up one morning and out of nowhere, the water level of their pool is dramaticly lower than where it was the night before. The usual first reaction to this would be panic while trying to find out where all the water is being lost. Some people might also simply skip trying to locate the leak and imediately call their pool dealer. Just like any other emergency, it's always better to have planed ahead of time and have predetermined steps to follow. The following are the best ways to identify if you have a leak and where that leak maybe comming from.
Now I might be exagerating a little with a big drop in the water level but some significant loss of water is accually pretty comon. Most of the situations that we get in our stores are clients who suspect that they have a leaking pool because they constantly have to add water. I think this is a good place to start, but first lets go over the factors that can affect the water level of a pool that doesn't have a leak.
- Swimmers jumping, splashing, using water guns, ect.
- Backwashing and vacuuming on drain
Suspecting a leak?It is very hard to detect a small leak just by observing your water level. Most of the time the level difference will not be big enough for you notice it right away, but after a few days you migh notice that the water level has gone down more than it should have. If you can notice the water level going down significantly after only a day or maybe only a few hours, then good news you have a leak. For those of you who arent sure if there is a leak we have a solution for you. The simplest and most affective way to determine if you have a leak is the bucket test. This involves taking a bucket, the size doesn't really matter, and placing it on the steps of your pool. Make sure the bucket is big enough not to be submerged. The second step is to fill the bucket with water so that the level inside the bucket is equal to the level of the pool water on the outside. The goal of this test is to eliminate most varibales that can effect the water level. If the level inside the bucket stays even with the level outside, this means there is no leak. This being said if the level on the outside is lower than on the inside of the bucket, you know you have a leak in your pool.
Finding a Leak
Now that you have established that you do indeed have a leak, the next step would be to find where your pool is letting out its water. There can be many ways a pool could lose water, anywhere between a loose clamp letting out a slow leak to a large hole in the liner. Obviously the cause of the leak will dictate if the water level falls down slowly or quickly. For simplicity I will go over ingorund pools and aboveground pools seperately to ensure more precision as well as less confusion.
It can be fairly tricky to spot a leak in an inground pool as the filtration system is installed in a more complex way than on an inground pool. Most of the time the pump that works the system is positioned above the water level of the pool. This comes as good news and bad news.
The good news is that it is very simple to identify if the leak is coming from the pool or if your filtration equipment is leaking. By turning off the pump, gravity pulls water down towards the pool emptying the top part of the hoses connecting to the pump and filter. Letting the pool water sit and doing the bucket test (mentioned above) will confirm that the leak is comming from the pool and not from the equipment. If there is no change in the water level while the pump is not running then the problem comes from the filtration equipment.
Now here is the bad news, once that you have determined that the leak is from your pool or from the equipment it is very defficult to pin point the location of the leak. This is due to the fact that the pool and all the plumbing is underground. If you are unable to know the exact location, your best bet is to call your pool maintence company to come and have a look.
Above ground pools
When it comes to above gorund pools, finding a leak is all visual. Once you have performed the bucket test, you can start looking for your leak. If you suspect that there is a hole in your liner, my first move would be to walk around the pool to see if the ground is unsually wet at a specific location. That can narrow down your search for a hole. Also if the water level seems to stop at a specific height you know that the hole would be at that level. We do not recommend letting your water go down past the level of the skimmer. This will cause problems with the filtration system if it is left on.
If you dont think there is a hole in your liner, then we can automaticly look at the plumbing and equipment. Since the water level is above the pump, turning off the pump will allow you to notice any leaks. If the leak happens to be located anywhere between the pump and the return, then it will be very easy to spot even with the pump running. The main cause of these leaks would be: broken fittings, loose clamps, cracked hoses and broken or damaged seals (o-rings/gaskets).