"I think my pool is leaking" is a very common call for us and apparently a looming question on many pool owners' minds. If you suspect there is undue water loss from your pool, NOW is the best time to find out for sure. Even a small leak in any pool, if undetected or ignored, over time has the potential to cause major settlement and structural damage to any pool and can drain your budget as well as your pool.
Finding and repairing a leak or leaks in any pool involves a bit of detective work and is best performed NOW while the pool is still open, clean, running, reasonably warm, and actively leaking. You do not want to wait until the pool is closed and covered and the weather is cold to find that your pool is draining slowly under the pool cover.
ALL pools lose water while they are open, even if they are not leaking. Evaporation accounts for a great deal of water loss on a daily basis, as does splash out, backwashing of filters, and the like. How can we tell if our pool is only loosing water due to evaporation or if other factors are at play? I wish I could tell you exactly how much water your pool would lose to evaporation, but evaporation loss is dependent on a number of variables such as water temperature, air temperature, surface area of the pool, sunny or shady location, windy or protected location, relative humidity and more.
Fortunately, there is a simple test YOU can perform to tell for sure whether your pool is losing water due to normal conditions only or if you truly do have a leak in the pool. Referred to as the "bucket test", this is the first step we ask anyone to perform prior to beginning any diagnosis for leaks in the pool. The bucket test tells conclusively if any pool is leaking or not and if so, gives us the information to be able to tell pretty exactly how much water is leaving the pool due to leakage and is important information to have in hand if we come to check your pool.
To properly perform the bucket test, you will need
If you utilize a solar blanket on your pool, it should be removed and left off during this test. The bucket should be filled with pool water and then needs to be placed or suspended in the pool so the water in the bucket is surrounded by the pool water and thus should stay the same temperature as the pool. The bucket can be placed on the pool steps or love seat (putting a brick in the bottom helps keep it from floating off the steps), lashed to a ladder, hung from a diving board or tied off in a corner of the pool.
If the distance from tape to water is the same in both pool and bucket, you DO NOT have a leak in your pool and the water loss is due to normal evaporation. If the distance from tape to water level is greater in the pool than in the bucket, subtract the bucket measurement from the pool measurement and the difference is how much water is actually leaking from the pool. If the distance from the tape to water level is greater in the bucket than in the pool, something probably went wrong (bucket and pool were not the same temperature, the bucket leaks, etc.) and you should try the test again or call for advice.
If you determine through this simple test that your pool is indeed losing more water than simply from evaporation, give us a call NOW while the weather is still warm and the pool is open. Armed with the results of this test, we can begin the process of finding and eliminating leaks from equipment, piping, and pool shell sources and help prevent further damage to your pool.