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Unless you’re in a television show your swimming pool won’t leak at an alarming rate — like all at once! Many swimming pool leaks are slow and insiduous. How to tell if your pool is leaking is a subtle art of paying attention to the levels of water in the pool, how much is splashed out, whether there are wet spots around the pool area that you can’t explain and working with a pool contractor from A Clear Choice Pool & Spa Service.

How to tell if your pool is leaking

A swimming pool leak can occur anywhere, at any time. It can happen inside the pool or outside in the plumbing or beneath the surface of the ground where you simply can’t pinpoint where it’s occurring unless you’re a trained professional who knows what signs to look for. If you suspect a leak, give us a call and we can inspect the pool.

If you’re a do it yourselfer and want to determine whether there is a problem before you call a pool pro, perform the bucket test to tell if there’s a leak. To do the bucket test you will need a plastic bucket — a five gallon one — duct tape and a black marker.

  • Put the empty bucket in the water on the second step of the pool. Fill the bucket with water to be the same as the pool water level. Draw a line on the inside of the bucket to note where the water level is.
  • Turn the pool pump off
  • After 24 hours compare the level of the water in the pool to the level of the water in the cubket. If the bucket and pool water levels have gone down, but are even, the pool is losing water because evaporation and it’s not leaking
  • If the pool water level is lower than the bucket, the pool is probably leaking and you should call a pool service pro. If you’re still not sure, perform the test again and if the results are the same, don’t delay in calling a pro to find and repair the leak.

Another way to tell if there is a leak — and to do this, you should have an idea of where it might be. For example, if you see standing water in an area outside the pool where there shouldn’t be, the leak could be in that general area.

Put on a pair of goggles, grab some dark food coloring and ease yourself slowly into the pool in the area you suspect the leak is occuring.  Squirt the food coloring in the area where you think it is, if the food coloring moves toward the area you suspect as the leak, and disappears, there is the source of the leak.

If your pool has sprung a leak you may be able to fix it yourself with a pool patch kit — depending on how bad it is. If you have a vinyl liner pool, this may be the first line of defense in effecting a repair. If you have a fiberglass or concrete pool you may want to reach out to the contractor who installed your pool or give us a call and we can professional patch the leak.

An unattended leak can wreak havoc on the pool plumbing and pool equipment. It is nothing to take lightly nor is it something to ignore.