Is My Swimming Pool Leaking Water?

by Pool Builders on 12-07-2008 in Articles

As a swimming pool owner the last thing we need is a pool that leaks water. Is the pool leaking or is it evaporation, this is always a question we ask. Here are a few tips on checking your swimming pool for leaks before you make a call to a professional leak locating company.

  • Try the bucket test - Shut the pool down, turn the pump off and do not allow it to turn back on until it is turned on manually. Use a 3 or 5 gallon plastic bucket, fill the bucket approximately half full and mark on the bucket the water level. Place the bucket on the top step of the pool and mark the water level of the pool. Check both bodies of water in 24 hours and note the amount of drop in both the bucket and the pool. If the bucket and the pool lose about the same amount, (by your measurement mark) the water loss is most likely evaporation. If the pool goes down considerably more than the bucket the pool may have a leak.
  • Check the obvious places that a leak may occur.
    • Skimmer
    • Lights
    • Around the return lines
    • Main drains
    • Tile Lines
    • Corners where waterline tile comes together
    • Equipment Area - Check pump, filter, chlorinators, valves and plumbing

How can I tell how much water the pool is leaking? Here is a great formula to tell.

  • Inches Of Water Loss     x     .62 Gallons / Inch     x     Square Footage Of The Pool Surface

Per Square Foot     

Let's try an example of a pool losing 1 inch of water per day

15 Ft x 30 FT Rectangular Pool = 15 x 30 = 450 Square Ft of Surface Area

1" x .62 x 450 = 279 Gallons of Water per Day OR 11.63 Gallons per Hour

Let's try another example of a pool losing 3 inches of water per day

14 Ft x 28 FT Rectangular Pool = 14 x 28 = 392 Square Ft of Surface Area

3" x .62 x 392 = 729 Gallons of Water per Day OR 30 Gallons per Hour

Sometimes if may take several days to determine if a pool is actually leaking, many tests and monitoring of the pool level. Remember that once the bucket test has been done with the swimming pool pump off and results are determined; redo the bucket test with the pump running as normal. By doing both tests it can be very helpful to determine if an actual leak is in the body of the pool or possibly in the pool plumbing (piping) system. Many times when the pump is operating, the pressure of the water forces the water out of a plumbing leak causing the leak in the pool to be much greater. Leaks are many times very difficult to locate and repair, using these suggestions can help to locate and resolve your pool and spa leak situations.

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