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How to Find and Fix a Leak in Your Swimming Pool

Although climate conditions may cause serious water loss, it is important to inspect your pool if you notice a considerable loss of water in a short period of time. Here is a closer look at how to find and fix a leak in your swimming pool.

Checking for a Leak

The first step is knowing whether or not you have a leak, or if your water loss is caused by environmental factors. There is a simple test to see if there is a leak. Just take a bucket, filling it with pool water, and sit it on the steps of your pool. This will ensure that the water in the bucket remains the same temperature as the pool water. Keep it securely balanced for several days. If you notice that there is a significant difference between the two, your pool may have a leak. A common type of leak in your swimming pool is an air leak. If you notice any air bubbles in the pump's trap, you should test to see what the issue is. Put your filter into backwash mode. If the water is running fast, check for a visual leak. If you cannot find one, you may have an air leak in the above-ground plumbing manifold.

Locating a Leak

Fill your pool to its normal level, marking it with a piece of duct tape. Run your pool's filtering system for the next 12-24 hours. Refill your pool to your marked spot and let your pool sit with the system off for the same amount of time during the same time period. Pool Chemistry Oxidation If your pool is losing more water when the pool's filter system is running, that means the leak has to do with the pressure side of the pool's plumbing. If you are losing less water when the filter system is not running, the leak is on the vacuum side of your pool's plumbing. If water loss remains the same regardless of the filter system running or not, this is an indicator that the leak is in the pool's structure. If you find that you may have an air leak you can locate it by using a garden hose. Plug your hose into every union valve and plumbing intersection, turning your water on about a quarter of the way. Run it for about 30 seconds. If your water has cleared up and the bubbles have resolved, you have located your leak. Looking for a structural leak in a concrete pool requires the pump to remain off for an hour before you begin. Grab food colouring, hop into the pool if you need to, and squeeze the food colouring on the crack. You can follow it to the leak. If there are no cracks squeeze around any surfaces attached to the concrete, like the mouth of the skimmer. For a vinyl pool, it may prove harder to find a structural leak. Check around any items that attach to the liner like drains, mouth of the skimmer, and so forth. If the liner remains intact around all the attachments, you will need to run your hand over the surface of the pool's walls and floors. By doing this thoroughly you may be able to locate the structural leak. Make sure the liner has not pulled away from the frame or is leaking in behind. If this is the case, you must call a pool professional as soon as possible to avoid having to replace the liner entirely.

Repairing a Leak

When it comes to a plumbing leak once you have located it, you can assess whether you can fix it yourself or need a professional. If you cannot find the leak in your plumbing using the methods mentioned above, it is best to call a professional who will use a 'geophone' to listen for the leak and dig only where necessary. For structural repairs on both concrete and vinyl pools, use the proper patching kits with materials and follow the directions. To ensure the leak has been properly sealed in a concrete pool repeat the food colouring test after patching. Have a question about a possible leak in your pool or need advice on pool equipment?  If you live in Canada, feel free to contact us here, we're happy to answer any questions!

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