Questions & Answers on Pool Leaks and how to find them
Your pool will naturally lose some water to evaporation, some to splash out and some to backwash wastewater. You may also gain water from rainfall. If you’re routinely adding more than two inches of water to your pool per week, you may have a leak. Here is some information to help you determine if and where you may have a leak. Keith at All Pro Leak Detection will detect and repair any leaks you may have. Call 972-690-4000 for immediate assistance.
What causes leaks?
Several things can cause a leak, including soil Subsidence (saturation, setting, bad fill), trees (aggressive roots), construction mistakes, temperature change, chemical imbalance, settling, re-plaster/ remodeling.
How can leaks be repaired?
Some leaks, such as small structural leaks, can be easily repaired WITHOUT draining the pool. Using underwater type epoxies or patching plasters is the most common way of dealing with this type of leak. Buried plumbing leaks require a more extensive repair. Broken or cracked pipes under decking usually call for cutting the decking to reach the repair site. For copper lines, sometimes it is easier and less expensive to seal off the leaking system and install a new one.
Why stop a leak?
When a pool or spa has a leak, fresh water must be added, sometimes continuously. Since tap water has so much less chlorine than is required by a pool or spa, it dilutes the pool water. This means that sanitizers (chlorine, bromine, etc.) must be added in greater quantities with increased frequency to compensate. PH and other factors are also greatly affected, requiring frequent adjustment with acids or carbonate. All this constant re-filling and chemistry adjustments can make a pool seem like a liability instead of an asset. So, water loss is expensive and damaging. The damage caused can start a “domino” effect as the leak damage progresses. A continuous small leak can eventually erode supporting soil behind the shell of the pool, allowing the deck to sink – or worse – force the pool shell to shift or tilt in the ground. This movement of the pool shell, even if only millimeters, can strain and break the plumbing. Leaking pool water usually kills surrounding vegetation. Expenses for chemicals and wasted water can be high. Some water companies charge an extra premium for high volume users. Because the chemical balance is affected, sanitizer levels can become low, turning a pool or spa into a giant petrie dish for communicable diseases and infectious bacteria. Also, algae love to get their start in the unbalanced water.
Why is my pool leaking only with the equipment on?
This may indicate a pressure side (return) leak. With the filter pump on, the plumbing on the pressure side is…under pressure. This can open up small drips into spraying gushers. Check the waste or backwash line for water running all the time. One inch of your pool water can equal 500 gallons.
Why is my pool leaking only with the equipment off?
This usually indicates a suction side leak. With the filter pump on, the plumbing on the suction side is under vacuum; air can be drawn in through otherwise leaking voids. You may notice air in the pump basket (if you have a clear lid), air bubbling out of the return lines or air repeatedly built up inside the filter tank. Use tape or a pencil to mark water levels. Is the pump basket lid on tight with a good, lubed o-ring?
My pool leaks all the time.
This does not rule out leaks in the plumbing, but turns a suspicious eye on the shell of the pool, looking for cracks in the plaster. Look closely at the tile line, and look real closely inside of the skimmers. The most common leak is a separation between the plastic skimmer and the concrete pool.
I conducted a bucket test. I am losing water for sure. How can I tell where the leak is?
The bucket test should be conducted twice. The test needs to be conducted with the pump on, then again with the pump off. 1. ) If the loss of water is greater when the pump is ON, the leak is likely in the plumbing or equipment 2. If the water loss is the same regardless of the pump being ON or OFF, the leak is likely in the structure or suction line(s). For our purposes here, “structural” includes skimmer throat, light, tile line, spillways, water features, and any place a pipe or conduit penetrates the outer concrete shell.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact All Pro Leak Detection at 972-690-4000.