It’s not a matter of if it will leak, but when.
There will come a time in your pool ownership when the water just won’t stay in the pool. Think about how much that water loss is costing you over time and consider the alternative to constantly filling it up. A leak detection costs about $400.00 on average and many times, the leak is found in an easily repairable place. Light conduits and skimmers are common places for leaks to occur. They are also repaired easily by using a two part underwater epoxy that hardens completely within a couple of days and lasts for a few years. Although this is considered a temporary fix, going forward, you will know the location of the leak and be able to reapply the epoxy putty when necessary.
Some things to consider when analyzing a leak.
- Could it be evaporation?
- We can test for evaporation by using a large bucket filled with water. Usually we place the bucket on a top step in the pool or near the pool in average sunlight. The water loss is measured in both the pool and the bucket. By comparing the two measurements we can determine if the water loss may be evaporation. Keep in mind that water features like spillovers or waterfalls will lead to a lot more evaporation than normal.
- Does it leak more when the pump is on?
- If you lose the same amount of water whether the pump is off or on, that would indicate a possible leak in the structure. If you lose more with the pump running, there may be a leak in a return line or backwash line. If the water loss is more when the pump is off, there may be a leak in the suction side of the plumbing (skimmer or drain).
- Does the water stop at a certain point?
- Sometimes a pool will leak to just below the skimmer and stop. That may indicate a problem inside the skimmer somewhere. If the water lowers to a certain point and stops, we would consider what may be at that level, both visible and underground.
- How much loss is there?
- Measured loss is very important. We want to know how much is the pool losing, from a completely full state, in a time period of 24 hours. We would also like to know this measurement with both the pool equipment on and off. For a full analysis, you need to fill the pool and let it sit for 24 hours. Measure the loss, refill it, and then set the pump to run for 24 hours. Measure the loss again. You could also incorporate the evaporation test into this and check the loss in a bucket during each 24 hour period too.
It is important to find and repair leaks, not only to lower your water bill, but to prevent the erosion of soil around the structure of your pool. A leak that goes without repair could lead to settling of the pool deck or further damage to underground plumbing. Leak detection can be performed year round, so there is no reason to wait.