A swimming pool can be an excellent outlet for family fun, entertainment, and exercise over several years. It also represents a significant financial investment, so it is therefore important for owners to maintain their pools in safe and proper working condition at all times, especially with the compressed swimming season in Southern Ontario.
Aside from inclement weather, a pool leak is a sure-fire way to shorten the swimming season even further. Depending on the source and/or location of the leak, any use of the pool will likely need to be suspended until the repair work can be completed. More shut-down time may be involved if the source/location of the pool leak cannot be easily identified – this would necessitate various detection techniques to confirm exactly what type of work will be required. And of course, pool leak detection and repair means additional and usually unanticipated maintenance costs.
A pool leak may be suspected through one or more of the following observations:
- Consistent or repetitive decreases in water levels
- Excessive use of chemicals/inability to regulate pool chemistry
- Small sinkholes or extremely wet soil near the edges of the pool
- Vinyl liners – detection of small tears or separated seams
- Wet areas/water puddles around the equipment pad
- Cracks in the pool deck/uneven settling of the deck
- Loose coping stones or loose tiles
- Abnormal water bills (especially if pool has an auto-fill mechanism)
Common sources for a leak customarily consist of:
- Pool liners
- Filters and skimmers
- Underwater drains and lighting
- Underground pipes/plumbing
- Structural angles (steps, corners)
If a pool leak is suspected, there are several types of tests that can be used to pinpoint the source. Some of these tests can be performed by the pool owner while others should be entrusted to the services of a swimming pool contractor such as Aveco Pools, due to the complexity of the tests and/or the need for specialized equipment.
Methods Of Detection For Swimming Pool Leaks
Despite the annoyance and frustration associated with a suspected leak, there is a sense of urgency to identify the problem and have the repair work done so that pool usage can resume as quickly as possible.
To begin the pool leak detection process, pool owners can conduct one or both of the following tests on their own (the pump should be shut off so pool water becomes still):
Bucket Test – To identify a leak versus normal evaporation
- Fill a five-gallon bucket 2/3 to capacity with water
- Mark that water level with permanent marker (inside) or masking tape (outside)
- Place the bucket immediately next to the pool
- Mark the pool water level with a piece of masking tape
- Wait 24 hours then measure decreases in water levels for the bucket and the pool
- If the decrease is greater for the pool than in the bucket, there is a leak
Dye Test – Primarily used for detection of leaks in the pool liner
- Lay on the pool deck above suspected areas (seams, skimmer, lights, corners)
- Wear a swim mask/googles to get a clear and close-up view of each dye test
- Use a syringe to dispel/inject a small amount of food colouring near each area
- If the dye is sucked out of the water in any of the areas, there is a pool leak
If either of these tests are inconclusive or have negative results but you still suspect that a leak is present, you can call upon the expertise of a professional contractor like Aveco Pools to perform a number of additional pool leak detection tests. The most common of these specialized tests are:
Electronic Leak Detection
- Using very sensitive underwater audio equipment to essentially listen for leaks
Sonic Leak Detection
- Pressure testing individual underground pipes to listen for escaping air or water
- Employing a licensed diver to locate and repair pool leaks and/or liner issues
To get the maximum enjoyment from your backyard swimming pool year after year, call the specialists at Aveco Pools today at 905-640-2666 or contact us to arrange an inspection for potential pool leaks and/or repair services.