How To Find A Leak In An Inground Pool

Is your new pool already leaking, and you don’t know where the leak is coming from? Don’t fret! The moment you find where the leak is coming from, you can make repairs accordingly. You can repair it yourself or consult a professional. Today, we walk you through on how to find a leak in your inground pool and how to fix it.

If you see your pool’s water level dropping swiftly, it might be a leak. Again, if you find the areas adjacent to the pool or equipment pad wet, it’s time to start worrying. That said, it’s not hard to locate pool leaks with some knowledge and the proper tools.

Signs Your Pool Is Leaking.

Signs Your Pool Is Leaking
  1. You Notice Rapid Drop in water level.
    • The most obvious one is that the water level start dropping faster than usual.  When this happens, you need to determine if the water loss is due to a leak or evaporation.  Evaporation rates can vary due to air and water temperature, humidity, wind, and other factors.
  2. You Begin to Notice Higher Water Bills.
    • Some pools are equipped with automatic fill devices which may hide leaks because your water level does not drop.  It is time to start looking for a leak if your water bill starts going higher or you notice that the automatic fill device is running continuously.
  3. You Begin to Notice Wet Spots in Your Yard.
    • What If you are mowing your yard by the pool, and you notice a soft mushy spot, or uneven grass growth around your pool? Or maybe you notice that the landscape has shifted, or you are getting sink holes in areas of your yard?
    • If you are seeing these, you more than likely have a leak in your pool and this damage to your lawn is caused by erosion due to water movement.
  4. You notice Falling Tile or Cracks in or around your pool.
    • You may see cracks or falling tile if your pool is leaking because the excess water is causing the surrounding ground to become unsettled.  As your pools starts to settle farther into the softened ground, you will begin to notice gaps or crack in the bond beams of your pool.
  5. Dirt or Air in Your Pool
    • If your pipes or plumbing system is leaking, it may pull air or dirt into it.  If this is happening, you will see bubbles or dirt being blown into the returns.  You may also hear gurgling sounds with this problem.
  6. Discolored Water or Algae Growth.
    • If your pool is leaking, you will add more untreated water to your pool.  This can cause improper chemical levels in your pool and algae can begin to grow in your pool.  Particularly if you have an automatic fill device you may notice algae forming very quickly in your pool.  If your pool turns green quickly this may be a sign that your pool is leaking.
  7. Pool Equipment is Under Water
    • Visual inspection of your pools equipment can detect damage and leaks.  Having standing water around the pool pipes or pump is a sure sign of a leak.  Also corrosion around the pump may be a sign of a leak.

How To Find A Leak In An Inground Pool

Finding A Leak In An Inground Pool
  1. Check For The Common Issues.
    • The first thing you need to do is to look at the most common issues that could point to a leak, such as:
      1. Wet equipment pad. Check the pipe valves, heater, pump, and filter for leaks.
      2. Are the areas surrounding the pool wet? Inspect the floor for moisture. Also, walk by the pool and the equipment to inspect for eroding and sunken sections or wet soil.
      3. If you have a vinyl liner pool, check for separations or tears near the returns, skimmers, lights, fittings, steps, cleaner lines, and corners.
  2. Try A Few Basic Techniques.
    • To confirm there is a leak, there are a couple of techniques you can try out to confirm your suspicions. Here they are;
      1. Mark the pool’s water level at the skinner. With a grease pencil or tape, mark the water level on your pool. Look at the mark the following day. Typically, your pool shouldn’t lose over 0.6cm of water per day; hence more than this would be a sign of a leak.
      2. Put a bucket of pool water on your pool step, and place brick or rock inside it. Ensure the water level in the bucket is equal to the pools on the bucket’s exterior. Mark both the levels of water on the outside and inside of the bucket. Inspect the mark the following day.
        • If there is a significant drop from the line on the bucket’s exterior, it indicates leakage. It would be best to perform this test with the pump turned off and again with it on.
  3. Find The Leak’s Position.
    • Normally, vinyl liner pools must have water in them throughout. So, if the water level drops fast on your liner pool, you must stop this test. Once you confirm a leak in your pool, switch off the filtration mechanism and mark where the water ceases dropping. It would help to add water and consult a pool professional.
    • Meanwhile, the leak is likely in the filtration system or skimmer if the water reaches the skimmer’s opening bottom. If you think there’s a leak in the pool’s filtration system, here’s what to do:
      1. Look to see if there are any bubbles in the pool’s water when the pump operates, as this could translate to a leak in the filtration’s mechanism suction part.
      2. Ensure the lid on the pump basket is tight and the O-ring is properly lubed.
      3. If the water halts at the light, the pool is likely leaking from the light housing.
      4. In case the water goes beneath the light, the leak could be in the drain at the pool’s bottom.
      5. If there is more leakage when the pump operates, the leak could be on the system’s return line section. If so, check for running water on the backwash or waste line.
      6. Lastly, if you think the leak is on the light liner or skimmer, check for a gap, tear or crack.
  4. Use PH Indicator or Dye Test Solution.
    • Put one drop of pH indicator or dye test solution close to the supposed leak point. Check where the dye is pulled into since this is the leak’s location. Ensure the pump is shut down when doing this, as this ensures the water is stagnant.

Fixing The Leak

Fixing The Leak

Fixing the leak relies entirely on the nature and location of the leak.

  1. Skimmer Leaks
    • When it comes to skimmer leaks, they commonly occur via a gap between the concrete and plastic skimmer. You can fix this using pool putty.
  2. Liner Leaks
    • You can use a vinyl patch kit to fix this leak. If the leak is underwater, go for a wet patch kit.
  3. Light Leaks
    • Most of the time, when there is a light leak, the conduit pipe is either broken or detached from the niche. Hence, it’s hard to patch. You can use various techniques to fix a grave conduit connection. For instance, you can utilize caulk, silicone, or putty combined with fast-drying two-part epoxy.

Understand That Numerous Leaks Can’t Be Detected With The Techniques In This Write-Up

In this case, it would be best to consult a professional. Due to the ever-advancing technology, many pool leaks can be spotted and repaired without significant disturbance.

For instance, professionals use compressed air to pressurize the pipe, making the air move the water inside the pipe until it spreads to the leak. Here the bubbles begin escaping from the gap and reveal the leak location. This technique also comes in handy if a pipe cannot maintain consistent air pressure due to a leak.

A dedicated cameral is sometimes pushed via the pipes to identify leaks. The pool technician infuses air into the pipe, then electronically listens for noises of air getting out using an extremely sensitive microphone.

Know The Plumbing Basics

Know The Plumbing Basics

This helps you better understand what a pool technician might do to solve the leak issue. The fundamental configuration of a pool’s filtration and plumbing mechanism is easy. They begin by palling the water via the main drains and skimmer using the pool pump.

This water then moves underground towards the mechanical room and passes via the pump strainer basket. Next, it is shoved via the heater, filter, and all other sections, including the chlorinators. Eventually, the water goes back to the pool via the return lines.

Furthermore, there are several extra aspects to the anatomy of a swimming pool that doesn’t run in a pressurized or closed system. Numerous pools use an open system equalizer line which comes in handy in aiding the pool pump keep its prime when the pool has little water.

Moreover, this line is frequently ignored or forgotten when renovating the pool since replacing it is expensive and time-consuming. Besides, the open system has one end connected to the skimmer’s bottom and the other to the side port on the pool’s wall close to the skimmer or the main drains.

It’s the pipe that moves from the skimmer’s bottom to the main drains, and most of the time, it is overlooked. Due to its being a non-pressure line, it doesn’t leak as much as a pressurized line. However, this pipe is often older than the other components of the plumbing system, which is why it is the main suspect in case of leakages.

Plumbing mechanisms are a continuous source of leakages for a wide range of reasons, including installation quality, pipe material, soil conditions, configuration, and age.

That said, before you start dismantling your plumbing system, it would be best first to pinpoint the leak and see whether it’s in the system or the pool’s structure.

Final Thought For How To Find A Leak In An Inground Pool.

Final Thought For How To Find A Leak In An Inground Pool

Here are some of the reasons behind an inground pool leaking;

  • Improper installation of the pool
  • Incorrect size of the pipes in your pool
  • Poor construction of your pool
  • Poor pool design

While they might not sound like much, inground swimming pool leaks could be a huge issue that might result in severe problems when not properly addressed. By following this blog post, you should know how to find a leak in an inground pool, identify and fix or have a professional fix the issue.

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