Do a quick test to check if your pool is losing water.
So you walk outside with your morning cup of jo and you notice that either neighbor Steve has been siphoning your pool water to for his tulips or you have a leak. First thing is first, walk over to your privacy fence and see if those tulips are healthy. No? okay, time to start thinking about your leak.
The first thing to check is your backwash line. A very common cause of leaks (and the easiest to fix) is a bad gasket in your multi-port valve. Often times a bad gasket allows water to escape through your backwash line. Look in the sight glass or better yet remove it. If you see water escaping though the sight glass you likely have a bad gasket. This would be the time to make a call to your pool company (ideally the best pool company since sliced bread; yep that’s us) and have them out for the quick repair.
If you find that is not the issue, now is the time to make a decision. Do you want to explore this issue on your own or do you want to call out a leak expert to diagnose the issue for you? The first step to diagnosing a leak is to complete the bucket test.
- Bring the pool water to normal level. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with pool water to about 2/3 from the top.
- Place the bucket on the first or second step of the pool. Ensure the bucket is immersed in the pool at least five inches.
- Mark the water level inside the bucket.
- Shut off the pump and auto fill and mark the pool water level on the outside of the bucket.
- Resume normal pool pump operation.
- After 24 hours, compare the two water levels. If the pool water (outside mark) goes down more than the bucket’s water level, there is probably a leak. If levels are the same, only evaporation has occurred.
“If your pool is losing water you can follow these simple steps to zero in to the issue but more likely than not this is a job best left to the pros.”
If you find that it is evaporation it’s time to get out the garden hose and refill the pool. There is not a solution for this one. It’s just science. If you can come up with a cure for evaporation you are going to have more money that Warren Buffet or at least the guy that invented Velcro.
If it is more than evaporation, the next step is to place a mark on the inside of the pool where the waterline is and monitor the loss for 24 hours. Once you have done that place another mark at the water line and shut off the pool equipment and monitor for 24 hours. If the loss is greater when the equipment is running you probably have a leak in your plumbing lines. If you are losing the same amount of water if the equipment is on or off, the leak is likely in the shell of your pool. Common areas for water loss in the shell of your pool is a liner tear or broken light conduit. A visual inspection of your liner is always good but if you don’t see anything you will need to call the pros to dive in your pool to complete dye tests. Once the leak is discovered it’s time for a patch or plug. If you determine the leak is in your plumbing there will likely be some locating and digging involved.
There is a colossal amount of new-fangled leak detection equipment available today. Your service company should be equipped to locate, diagnose, and repair the leaks once they are located. Patience is the key. Finding a leak can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack and yes, needles can cause leaks in your liner pool too.