Aquatics Blog

What To Do When Your Pool Leaks

A leaking pool is a problem…for everybody. How do you find the leak or leaks, and then how do you fix the problem?

Following a plan can often reduce time and frustration.  A good strategy for finding one leak is the following:

1.      Identify the most likely sources of a leak in a pool:

a)  A crack or hole in the shell

b) The expansion joint and the water stop is broken and the sealant is compromised

c) Honey combing (tiny holes) in the concrete around fittings

d) An underwater light conduit broken or unglued

e) A leaking seat at a hydrostatic relief valve

f) A failure in the underground piping

2.      Testing for leak:

  •  Step one: At closing time, mark the normal operating water level.  Operate the filter pump all night and then mark and measure the loss of water 12 hours later the next morning.
  •  Step Two: At closing the following evening, repeat the same as above except turn off the filter pump. The next morning mark and measure the loss of water.

a)  If the water loss is the same, whether the filter pump is running or not, the leak is in the pool shell, and at one or more probable sites identified as in a-e above.

b)  If the water loss is greater when the filter pump is operating it suggests the leak is in the pressure piping.

c)  If the water loss is less when the filter pump is in operation, it suggests that the leak is in the suction piping i.e. the suction in the pipe draws groundwater into the pool or mud impacts a crack in the pipe, thus reducing the loss of water.

d) If a leak in the pool shell is identified as large or small, the next step is to confirm the location. The most common is to use food-coloring concentrate or crystal violet with scuba or mask and snorkel.

e) Modern technology provides professional leak detection contractors.

f)  If the leak can be diminished by temporary underwater repairs to the pool shell or piping, that may be the best tactic until the end of the outdoor season. If in an indoor pool, a shutdown will need to be scheduled to make repairs.

This was shared by Joe Hunsaker with Aquatic Professionals in 2005.


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