Pool leaks can be a headache for new or experienced pool owners. Common signs of a pool leak are constantly running autofill, seeing pool water level drop down every few days or having to manually add water to the pool more than you used in the past. To be sure we always recommend performing the bucket test first to make sure you have a Pool leak in the first place and to have some insights into how much water your pool is actually losing every day. Instructions on how to perform pool bucket test can be found here: https://www.asppoolco.com/blog/2014/september/swimming-pool-leak-testing-methods/.
Below are some of the helpful insights and advices you could follow once you have some information on your pool leak. Again, keep in mind that if you are not familiar with how your pool operates, or are new to pool maintenance it is the safest to call a professional Pool leak detector to find the source of your pool leak.
If you invested some time in figuring out the source of the pool leak, chances are you have done a bucket test or two. In our experience pools leaking up to 1/2 inch a day, usually don’t have a broken line, but the source of the leak is usually in connection to a crack in the pool shell, skimmer grout leak, light leak, or a leak in plaster around one of the pipes. Of course, pool size should also be taken into consideration during pool crack repair; some residential pools are very big in size, which will make one-inch water loss greater in volume. If a regular size residential pool has a leak exceeding 2 inches of water, chances are that there is a pipe leak, so it is a good idea to call a leak detection company to pressure test all pool plumbing. In some instances, pressure testing of all pipes can be done without draining or diving into the pool. If a pool has pop-ups (in-floor cleaning system) after testing all accessible pipes, your pool might have to be drained in order to test pop-ups.
This is another very useful information when leak detecting. If your pool leaks more water when the pump is on chances are one of the pressure side pipes have a leak. Start by closing off your pool return pipe, but only if you have another return pipe like a water feature or pressure-side cleaner. If the water loss is still the same you can repeat this process for any other pressure-side pipe. This includes water features pipes, aerator line, quick skimmer line. Remember to leave other return pipes open. You don’t want to build up too much pressure and cause a leak at the pump of a filter. Always check the pressure gauge after closing a return pipe, if it gets over 30 psi just open the pipe to prevent the damage to the pool equipment. Another very important thing is to check is the backwash valve, pay attention to this when the backwash pipe is directly connected to the house sewer, or when the pipe takes water outside of the backyard. In this case, when the pump is on the water will leak out somewhere out of the backyard, and knowing that most pool pumps run at night, homeowners sometimes fail to notice water at the end of the backwash line. Backwash pipe is sometimes connected to the house French drains, so backwash discharge can’t be even be seen. If possible, cut the backwash line at the equipment and turn the pump on. If this is not an option or if cutting that pipe would require a lot of pool plumbing work afterward, just take out the backwash and inspect the O-rings and gaskets. If the O-rings preventing water from entering the backwash pipe are broken or damaged, chances are you have a backwash leak.
If everything mentioned above doesn’t give you any additional information please contact a pool professional or a pool leak detection company to do a comprehensive test on your pool.