Think you have a swimming pool leak but you’re not really sure? Try what we call the Bucket Test.
Swimming pool and spa leaks can develop in just about anything, whether water runs through it, in and out of it, or just plain sits in it. Cracks, holes, rips, etc., can develop in equipment with age, or excessive stress beyond a product manufacturer’s original design specifications. Some examples of where leaks can develop are illustrated in the following slide show series of images:
As you can see from the images in the slideshow above, there’s a big difference between a leak that’s obvious and one that’s not, especially when you think you’re losing water slowly, but can’t see the loss. Depending on how the weather is, it’s not uncommon for your pool water level to vary from day to day. Environmental factors such as humidity, wind, and air as well as water temperature can have an effect, causing you to lose up to ¼ inch of water a day, or about 2 inches per week.
Still, you may have a leak if:
The pool has air in the system (e.g., bubbles under pump basket glass, or coming out of a return jet;
Pump equipment loses prime;
You see cracks in your pool below the surface of the water;
Pool deck is sinking or lifting;
There are soggy spots around the pool;
You add water more than once a week.
The most common indication of a leak is that the water level is dropping faster than what is normally attributable to evaporation or splash-out. Often leaks are big enough that excess water loss is obvious. If you wake-up to find that your pool has dropped several inches overnight you know you’ve got a problem. The bigger challenges are the smaller, yet just as serious leaks that develop slowly. In these cases it is important to determine what is “normal water loss” and thus avoid wasting time looking for and worrying about a leak that really isn’t there. A simple way to account for evaporation and confirm a leak is to do a Bucket Test.
Preparing for professional leak detection
Once you’ve completed the bucket test and documented its results, please be prepared to provide the following information about your pool and/or spa to us over the phone when you first call:
When did you first notice the leak problems?
Is it only a pool or do you also have a spa?
Is the pool constructed of fiberglass, gunite, marcite, or vinyl?
How much water is the pool losing (based on the results of the bucket test)?
Does the water in your pool “level off” at some point?
Is the pool equipment above or below grade?
How many pumps do you run?
How many skimmers does the pool have?
Does it seem to leak more with the filter on or with it off?
Have you ever experienced leaks before and repaired them? If so, how?
The more information you can provide about the suspected pool leak the better we can prepare to assist you.
Once we arrive at your pool, unless the leak is obvious, our first step usually involves a pressure test of your plumbing lines to confirm whether the leak is in the plumbing or the shell of the pool. This testing is done with specialized test plugs and pressure induction systems that are designed to give quick results. Based on the results of the pressure test, if required, we will then use a variety of tests involving sophisticated electronics or diving equipment to pinpoint the pool leak. The overall process can include (depending on pool type):
Gather information (best accomplished prior to our arrival);
Perform a detailed visual inspection of the pool, its surroundings, and all associated equipment;
Pressure test plumbing lines;
Pinpoint underground plumbing leaks;
Check fittings and cracks in pool structures;
Pinpoint leaks in vinyl liner.
Once we find the source of the leak, having already discussed options with the home owner, we will then proceed to make repairs.
At The Ultimate in Pool Care, we’ve been troubleshooting and repairing swimming pool and spa leaks for more than 20 years, and are renowned in the industry for our expertise and quality of work finding and fixing leaks. In addition to our skills, we use industry-tested, specialized equipment manufactured by Anderson Products, in our leak detection and repair work. Our leak detection capabilities include, among others, leaks in:
Underground pool plumbing;
Underground line location.
while our repair capabilities include (among others):
Above ground plumbing repairs;
Underground plumbing repairs;
Our commitment to quality, our customers, and the industry, ensures any leaks you have will be troubleshot and repaired promptly, in an industry-leading manner. Contact us today at 631-242-2667 for these and all of your Long Island Pool and spa maintenance needs.