How to Detect a Leak in Your Pool

UV PoolsBlog, Pool 101

Bad news – you think you have a leak in your pool. Good news – you get to play a fun game of pool detective. 

If you notice water levels getting low in your pool, it’s time to get your Sherlock Holmes on. Best case scenario, it’s due to evaporation. Winnipeg summers can be a sweatfest and if there’s been a long period of unusually hot weather you can expect the pool to shrink a little. That’s normal, just top ‘er up and get back to your pool parties.

Evaporation is expected, especially if you don’t ever cover your pool in the summer, but you should also keep an eye out for any red flags that indicate there’s something more sinister going on:

  • You’re topping up the pool more than once a week
  • You’re losing more than an inch of water every day
  • You see visible cracks in your liner
  • Your liner is getting ‘soggy’ and loose

Like any good detective, once you have your suspicions you have to start proving your case. Which brings us to…

The bucket test

You just need three things to establish whether you’ve sprung a leak or not:

  1. A 5 gallon bucket
  2. A marker
  3. A day without rain in the forecast

Got those things? Good, here’s how to perform the bucket test:

  • Place your bucket in the pool – ideally on the first or second step but anywhere it is level and above the surface. 
  • Fill the bucket until the water level inside it matches with the water level outside (ie the water level in the pool)
  • Use your marker to mark both the inside and outside water level
  • Turn off the pool pump and wait 24 hours

When your 24 hours are up, compare the results. If the water level in your pool has gone down, but the water inside the bucket hasn’t, Houston we have a problem. 

How to find a leak in your pool

The first step is not to panic. The second is to track down that sucker so you can patch it and get on with your life. There are two obvious locations for the source of your leak, your pool’s plumbing or its liner.

If you have a plumbing issue, it should be easy peasy – simply check your filter system and replace any faulty parts.

Assuming your filter system looks fine, you can start narrowing down the source of the leak by checking the ground around your pool for wet spots. That’ll help you zero in on exactly where it might be, and you can pinpoint it further using leak finder dye.

  • Turn off all pool equipment like filters and pumps so the water is undisturbed
  • Add the dye to the pool in the general area of the suspected leak, following the manufacturer’s instructions
  • The dye should stream towards the leak, clearly showing where you need to patch

You can use a patch kit or waterproof tape to temporarily seal the hole once you’ve found it while you work on a more permanent fix. We offer a free DIY pool repair kit for easy fixes on pool liners. Just fill out the form and we’ll send it by mail in two business days!

Get help from a pool professional

You might be able to do a DIY job on a minor leak but, in most cases, it’s best to leave this kind of thing to the professionals (and we’re not just saying that because we are the professionals). 

Why? Here’s three solid reasons to call in the experts:

It’s quicker

Do you really want to spend your weekend hunting down a tiny leak in your liner? Wouldn’t you rather be binge-watching Netflix, ordering takeout and hanging with your buddies? 

As experts, we know exactly what we’re looking for…and where to look for it. What takes you days of head-scratching and Google searches, will take us a few hours at most. We’ve the experience and the know-how to efficiently patch your leak quickly and efficiently.

It’s more cost-effective

Are you sure you fixed your leak properly? Really, really sure? You better be, because an unfinished or inadequate job will only lead to further damage as your little leak becomes a big headache. The big stuff is more expensive to fix so invest in professional help now before you’re shelling out for a new liner, new pipes, or a complete pool reno. 

Professional repairs last longer

You can’t put a price on peace of mind, and that’s what you get when you know your leaky liner has been professionally fixed. A high-quality job will help extend the lifespan of your pool and ensure you enjoy it for many years to come. A quick-fix patch, on the other hand, is just that – a quick fix. It won’t be long before you’re right back where you started, aka leak city.

We’ve been helping Winnipeg pool owners troubleshoot their pools for decades, and we’ve seen (and fixed!) a lot of leaks over the years. Get in touch today to see how we can help and get a free quote for your pool repair or project.