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Your Complete Guide to Fixing a Pool Leak

Fixing a Pool Leak

Dealing with a pool leak can be annoying, especially when you’re not sure where it’s coming from. Fixing leaks is a bit of a hassle, but it’s normal for swimming pools to get damaged now and then. This article will help you understand everything about fixing a pool leak to get your pool back in great shape.

Swimming pools naturally lose water due to things like splashing and evaporation. If you notice the water level dropping more than an inch per week, you might have a small leak. It’s worth spending some time and money to fix it.

Pool leaks can happen in various places like plumbing, shells, fittings, accessories, or other parts. Being aware of these leaks is crucial to save water, chemicals, and heat. Fixing pool leaks not only helps save resources but also prevents future damage to the pool’s structure. Click here to learn more.

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Pool Water Evaporation

A pool expert who knows their stuff understands that water loss in a pool isn’t always a sign of hidden damage. Sometimes, it’s just water evaporating. To figure out if your pool is leaking, the first step is to test for leaks.

Some water loss might seem like a pool leak but could be due to evaporation caused by hot weather. If you’re a new pool owner, you might not know what’s the normal evaporation rate for your pool.

The amount of water your pool loses to evaporation depends on various factors like location, temperature around, and water temperature. Using a cover can help prevent water loss. In places like Florida, you might lose between 1/16 and 1/4 inch of water per day.

To check if your pool is losing water due to evaporation or a leak, you can do a simple bucket test. This test is crucial before starting any other checks because it removes external factors that can mess with your evaporation rate. It lets you compare how fast your pool water is disappearing versus its normal evaporation rate.

If you suspect a leak, the bucket test should be your first move. If the results are unclear, keeping an eye on temperature changes each day can help you better understand what’s going on.

How to Perform the Bucket Test

  1. Fill a bucket of water with the same temperature as the water in your pool. Leave the water 2″ below the bucket’s top. The bucket should be filled with water that is the same temperature as your pool water.
  2. Mark the level of water in the bucket with a piece of masking tape.
  3. Use another piece of tape to mark the level of water in the pool.
  4. Check the water level in the bucket after 24 hours compared to the tape placed the day before.
  5. Compare the level of the water in the pool with the tape placed on the tile at the waterline the day before.

You can assume that if you use a solar blanket to cover your pool at night, the pool’s water level will drop dramatically due to evaporation. You can expect to see your pool’s water level drop dramatically if you cover it with a solar blanket during the night.

Pool Leak Detection

Detecting leaks is a specialized part of the pool industry. Building a pool in Florida might be easy with pool builders, but as a homeowner, keeping it in good shape can be tough. That’s why pool leak detection is a hot topic for swimming pool owners.

Pool leaks can bring you a lot of problems, like higher water bills, more chemicals used, or even damage to the structure. Finding and fixing these leaks takes time and can be tricky.

The main goal of a pool is to stay dry, but over time, sealants can wear out, and other parts might deteriorate or shift. It’s essential to know the subtle signs of a pool leak, as you might miss something that an experienced eye would catch. If you suspect a leak, it’s a good idea to check these things.

Does Your Pool Lose Water Only When the Equipment Is Turned On?

There might be a leak on the pressure side. The plumbing on this side is pressurized when the filter pump is on, and this pressure can turn small drips into big spouts. To fix it, check the backwash or waste line in your pool. Look for small leaks around the spot where you see the issue. Also, check for soft or damp areas in your yard, or on the side or back of your pool where the plumbing system sends the water back.

Does Your Pool Lose Water Only When You Turn Off the Equipment?

If you said yes, the leak might be on the suction side, which is the part of the pipes bringing water into your pool. When the filter pump is on, the plumbing on the suction side is like a vacuum, drawing in air into any gaps. If you notice air in the pump basket, bubbles from the return line, or air building up inside the filter, you can be sure it’s a suction side leak.

Does Your Pool Leak Constantly?

Constant leaks in your pool may not always be due to plumbing issues. Check for cracks or holes in your plaster, inspect the tile line, and examine the inside of the skimmers. Often, leaks happen when the plastic skimmer separates from the concrete pool.

To fix any cracks, you can use pool putty or test dye. Make sure to turn off the pump before starting the repair. Leaks can also be spotted around underwater lights, especially the conduit running from the light niche up to the junction box.

If you find a crack in your inground swimming pool, you can use these five effective methods to fix it.

Is the Water Level at a Certain Level?

Close the skimmer and let the water drop below it while running the main drain pump. If you see the water level keeps dropping, you can rule out the skimmer as the cause.

If the water level stabilizes, do a dye test and inspect your pool closely. Debris in a crack is a clear sign of a leak. If the water stops at a wall fixture, pool light, or wall step, there might be a void. To rule out plumbing issues, use expansion plugs to seal the drain, return, and skimmer lines.

Have You Noticed Wet Spots Around the Pool?

You can find leaks by walking around the pool deck and checking between the deck and the equipment. Walk down the slope of your pool to see if water is dripping from the side.

Any damaged or worn-out parts of your equipment or pool should be considered potential sources of leaks. If there’s a pool leak, it’s likely to cause visible damage around the pool.

Look out for sinking or cracked pool decks as signs of leaks. To find the source of water loss, check for holes in your liner, patches, rust around the skimmer, or cracks on the pool floor.

Clear Tech Pools’s inspectors prioritize this during pool inspections. If you’ve noticed damage to your pool or suspect leaks, a dye test can help confirm the issue.

The Swimming Pool Dye Test

You can use dye to test a specific area in your pool where you suspect a leak. This test involves releasing a small amount of dye at the location you suspect is leaking.

If you are going to conduct a dye test in your swimming pool, ensure that the circulation system has been turned off. Also, there should be no wind or very little movement of your water. You should also be as calm and still as you can when performing this test. Even putting your hand in the water will cause the water to move, making it difficult to determine the results.

Release a steady flow of dye in the area around the suspected leak. The dye will tend to float and stay together with the slight motion of the moving water once you have released it. You will be able to see the dye being actively drawn out of the pool if there is a leak.

The dye test is especially useful for testing around lights, steps, and skimmers. The key to detecting a leak with this test is to watch the dye move in the water. Note that dye tests are not recommended for cracks on the pool floor or the main drain unless you can get close to the area with scuba gear.

While dye leak detection is not always definitive, it can be a useful tool to use if you are looking to find leaks in your pool. Ordering a large number of syringes for leak testing is not recommended, as you won’t use them all up quickly.

Remember that dye is not always enough to detect a leak. You may not be able to pinpoint the leak with this test.

Pool Leak Repair

Don’t worry if you find out that your pool leaks. There are a few ways to fix a pool quickly and easily. Clear Tech Pools can help you get your pool repaired and ready to swim again.

Underground Plumbing Leaks

Discovering that pool leaks are coming from underground pipes can be a nightmare for any pool owner. Although it’s uncommon, it can happen, and fixing these leaks can be challenging.

When the leak is from underground plumbing, whether it’s a pipe connector below the pool deck or the skimmer, you’ll need to take some steps. Turn off the pump, plug all the lines, and check if the pipes are leaking. A pressure test stick or rig can help check the pressure in each plumbing line. Professionals also use a “stethoscope” to listen for air escaping from the pipe, pinpointing the exact area needing repair.

Replacing the entire pipe is often better if it’s short or badly damaged. If the pool deck is narrow (3-4 feet), digging under it might be an option. You can uncover the skimmer pipe by removing enough dirt and using timbers to support the deck if needed.

Another approach is cutting the pool deck with a concrete saw, breaking it up, digging out dirt, and exposing the leaky pipe or cracked fitting. After locating the leak, replace the damaged section with a new one. Planning is crucial before using a hacksaw, especially if complex repairs are needed.

For simple fittings, cut out the old ones and glue in the new PVC fittings and pipe, adding 1/2″ to the measurements. Use PVC primer to clean and soften the pipe before applying plenty of PVC glue. Glue 90-degree and 45-degree fittings with a PVC pipe to ensure correct angles.

Apply silicone sealant and wrap male PVC fitting threads with Teflon before hand-tightening and giving 1 to 1 1/2 turns with large pliers. Ensure the final glue connection is tight, and remember there’s some play in pool equipment and pipes for adjustments.

Dealing with underground plumbing leaks can be daunting, often requiring the replacement of multiple fittings. Installing plumbing for pool equipment or chlorinators may also become necessary in some cases.

Tile Leaks

You will most likely find the leak in the skimmer if your concrete pool is equipped with the traditional tile band around the perimeter. If the pool bond beam breaks behind the tile, and the tile itself cracks, then you’ll notice that your pool is leaking through the crack on the top of the pool wall.

Use Epoxy

Squeeze the epoxy directly onto the crack. The epoxy will not wash off the tile, so it is still effective even when the crack is submerged. You can squeeze epoxy over the grout if the leak comes from it. Then smooth the epoxy onto cracked tiles. Allow the epoxy to set for 45 minutes or more before determining if it has sealed the leak.

Rubber Cased Sealant

The process of applying a rubber sealant for a leaky tile is similar to that of epoxy. If the tile is cracked, you’ll have to apply the sealant directly to the cracks with your hands several times. The epoxy cures faster than a sealant based on rubber.

Putty

You can use a small amount to cover the cracks or grout. Do not touch the putty. Check to see if the leak has been covered after 20 minutes.

Skimmer Leaks 

Concrete pools in the ground will eventually develop leaks around the skimmer. The deck and pool expand and contract over time, breaking the seal between the pool wall and the skimmer, leading to leaks.

The most common method to fix a leaky pool skimmer is by using repair putty. Once you’ve found the exact location of the leak, take a small piece of underwater pool putty and gently knead it into the area.

Wait for about 24 hours, and then smooth out the putty with your fingers. By this time, the putty would have changed to a white color, indicating that it had cured. You can now turn on the pump.

How Far Are Pool Pipes Buried?

Having an inground swimming pool is great until you have to deal with leaks. These pools are carefully designed by professional builders to avoid leaks. The pipes are buried deep enough to prevent leaks but not so deep that future maintenance or repairs become challenging.

Even though inground pools are not guaranteed to stay in perfect condition forever, you can take preventive measures to extend their lifespan. Knowing where and how your pipes are buried is crucial so you can guide a pool expert during leak detection.

Let’s take a quick look at the pipes under your swimming pool.

Water circulates from the pool through two to three drains leading to a filter system. The drains, usually at the bottom of the pipe system, continuously filter the water to remove dirt and small debris. Skimmers also play a role in filtering by removing dirt from the pool’s surface and collecting leaves, oils, and other debris.

Vacuum ports, which are like underwater vacuum cleaners using water instead of air, are found in many pools. The main pump, acting as the heart of the pool system, has an impeller spun by an electric motor. This pump drives water back from drains, filters, and water inlets, ensuring your pool stays clean and safe for your enjoyment.

Because the pipe system consists of many parts, pool pipes need to be buried deeply to keep everything in order. Understanding your pool’s plumbing setup can be helpful when dealing with potential leaks.

Where Can I Find the Leak in My Inground Swimming Pool?

To find out where your pool is leaking, try the dye test. Clear Tech Pools can provide an expert evaluation of your pool’s condition. Follow the steps below for the pool dye test.

Before testing, make sure to determine if the leak is genuinely causing your pool water loss. Various factors like evaporation and pool usage can also contribute to water loss. The bucket test is a useful and straightforward method to confirm whether a leak is the reason for water loss in your inground swimming pool.

Why Does My Inground Swimming Pool Lose Water?

Leaks can cause an inground pool to lose water. This can be due to evaporation, or the water splashing from the pool because it is used frequently.

Evaporation

Heat causes water to evaporate. Your pool’s water will lose water if it is exposed to too much sunlight. A bucket test can be used to determine if the pool water is evaporating due to heat. Covering your pool while not in use will prevent water loss due to evaporation.

Splash out

There is a possibility that you will lose water in your pool if your kids are playing around. Splash-outs should not be a source of concern. They are perfectly normal. It’s still important to check the amount of water that your pool is losing. It’s time to call a professional if the water loss exceeds 3/4 inch.

Leaks

If the bucket test confirms that the water isn’t just evaporating, it’s likely a leak. Contacting an expert promptly is crucial to prevent further damage. Locating the leak quickly is essential.

Finding the leaks yourself can also save time. If you, as the pool owner, know the exact location of the leak, the pool team can confirm it and fix it more efficiently. This helps streamline the repair process.

Call Us Now for Expert Pool Leak Repair in St. Pete, FL!

Experiencing pool leaks? Don’t let them disrupt your swim season in St. Pete, Florida. Clear Tech Pools is here to deliver top-notch leak detection and repair services, ensuring your pool is back to its best, fast. Our experienced technicians utilize cutting-edge technology to accurately pinpoint and efficiently fix any leaks, saving you time and money.

Get back to enjoying your pool without the worry—call us today to schedule your repair service!

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