If you are a regular user or are involved in cleaning your pool; if anything abnormal occurs, you can easily detect it. One of the possible abnormalities that may occur in a pool is drastic water loss which is a symptom of possible water leak in the pool.
On average an ordinary Swimming pool loses roughly a quarter of an inch of water per day depending on where in the world your pool is. However, this may fluctuate due to sunlight, humidity, and wind intensity. The primary causes of causes of abnormal loss of water in your pool include;
A lifting or sinking pool deck
The pool system having air
The emergence of soggy spots surrounding the pool
Cracks in the pool
Adding water in the pool too frequently
Dangers of a leaking pool;
- It can lead to dangerous sinkholes.
- It can lead to high water bills
- Poor management of swimming pool pH due to debris entering via the leaking spots. It can also lead to often growth of algae and bacteria in the pool.
Causes of False Pool Leaks in a swimming pool
Losing water in a pool is normal due to several factors like splashed water while swimming and evaporation. However increased sudden loss may not necessarily be a water leak, below are some of the possible causes;
- Temperature: Some parts of the world can get really hot, and even the nights remain warm, resulting in high evaporation rates on the pool.
- Higher exposure: If your pool gets more exposure to sun rays evaporation will increase reducing water levels. This can be controlled by shading your pool or screening.
- Humidity: Low humidity outside the pool sucks the pool water at a high capacity.
Determining a Genuine Swimming Pool Leak
Having considered the above false alarms not to be a cause of abnormal water loss in your swimming pool, then the next step to take is using the bucket test. The following are procedures of a bucket test;
- Fill a regular normal bucket with pool water: Using the same pool water fill a regular bucket with water to 1-2 inches from the top of the rim. The purpose of using the same pool water is to ensure you have the same temperatures.
- Carefully place the bucket in the pool: Position the bucket inside the pool in a way the bucket is in level with the waters in your swimming pool. The best place to place it is on the pool steps. To ensure the bucket is held in place put something heavy into the bucket.
- Make marks of the water level: Mark the water levels inside and outside the bucket using a tape or a water resistance marker.
- Monitor and wait for 24hrs: Ensure unnecessary disturbance of the pool for 24 hours then observe the water levels in the bucket and swimming pool. If the water level in the bucket and pool remain the same, then there is no leak in the pool, but if the water levels in the pool have dropped more than the water in the bucket, then there is cause for alarm for a possible leak in the pool.
- Repeat the test under different conditions: Have test repeated under different conditions to establish where the leak might be. Repeat the test with the pool pump off. The following results could further help stipulate where the leak is.
Losing more water when the pump is off means the leak is more likely to be located in the return lines.
Loosing less water when the pump is off means the leak could be in the skimmer or main drain.
If the loss of water is the same whether the pump is off, or on means, the leak could be either in the fittings, pool liner or shell.
Establishing the exact location of a leak in a pool
Having confirmed the possibility of a leak in a pool, the next step is locating the exact position of the leak in a swimming pool. Below is a simple step by step swimming pool hack referred to as ‘The Dye Trick’ used to locate the actual spot of a swimming pool leak.
- Arm yourself with some dye: Purchase some dye or food coloring to be used to run the procedure.
- Time to get wet: For safety precautions have some water goggles and snorkel to assist you while underwater, which takes some time. Don’t forget to carry the dye with you.
- Procedure: While underwater ensures not to disturb the water too much, get to the area with visible cracks or if there are no such areas get to obvious hotspots like return lines and main drain. Release the dye and monitor where the dye gets sucked. That reveals the exact leakage spots in your swimming pool.
Professional methods of detecting water leaks
- Pressurizing: This is the use of Compressed air to pressurize pool pipes and determine where pressure falls inside the pipes. Bubbles will form along the compressed area, therefore, identifying the position of the leaks.
- Camera: A television camera is fed into the pipes to be able to view and listen to possible escaping water using a sensitive microphone.
- Advanced Pool Leak Detection techniques – A comprehensive range of tools and processes are used by our leak detection specialists at ADI.
Types of leaks in a swimming pool
- Skimmer Leaks: This leak is caused by the separation between the plastic skimmer and the pool. It can be easily patched up using a pool putty.
- Light Leaks: This is caused by a conduit pipe that may have become loose or deteriorated. This problem can be fixed using a two-part epoxy which dries hard together with putty, caulk or silicone.
- Liner Leaks: This can be easily fixed using a vinyl liner patch kit.
- Structural damage: There are three types of surfaces in a pool, namely fiberglass, gunite, and vinyl. Loose connections done at railings together with light niches can be a major cause of minor leaks and if unattended to could develop to major problems. Simple structural pool leaks, when detected early, can be fixed to alleviate bigger problems.
- Mechanical Problems: The Pool pump should be frequently checked to ensure its working properly. Otherwise, it may cause leaks. To identify leaking systems, water will be found on the floor in the pump area. The leak is most likely in the shaft seal where the motor and pump meet. The motor should stay dry at all times. It is kept dry by the seal which isolates the motor from the wet components and impeller.
- Plumbing: Plumbing system may experience a leak from the pipe. PVC piping can break or crack the tube. Such underground cracks can cause debris in the pool.
Tips on proper maintenance of pools
- Cleanliness: Maintain cleanliness in your swimming pool. Dirt, toys, and debris can be a major cause of cracks on the pool walls.
- Professional advice: Be informed on ways and means of taking care of a pool. Information is power; a well-informed user will most likely practice prevention other than cure. Hence proper knowledge of pool maintenance is paramount to any pool owner. This will save time and money spent to repair or replace damages that could have either been avoided or rectified earlier. Some of this information can be obtained from pool construction companies or the internet.
- Frequent Inspection: Schedule for frequent inspection to be able to detect any problem early like sharp edges, cracks, and other damage or hazards that could be developing in your pool. Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure. One may tend to differ in opinion based on the cost incurred for such inspections, but the cost of repairs and replacement of a faulty pool outstretches the cost of paying for regular inspections.
- Leak Detection test: To be safe have regular leak detection test from a reputable leak detection company to ensure you get an accurate leak detection on your pool. Here at ADI we are a reputable company that specializes in Internal and external leak Detection on Water mains, swimming pools, filtration systems, spas, and pools. They have a bespoke range of testing equipment that can precisely pinpoint any location of a leak in your pool pipework or structure.
- Carefully vet your pool builder: Vet your pool builder for quality work. Examine their Profession qualifications, previous work, type of equipment, and material they use and their term and conditions after constructions. This is very crucial to avoid trading with a quack and end up with a malfunctioning swimming pool. The worst scenario of such a pool is frequent breakdowns that may end up costing you much more than you bargained for. Also, pool builders that follow up on servicing and repairing the pool are much more preferable because they can easily detect and locate any problems in the pool other than any other person who has no idea on the nitty-gritty that took place during construction.
If you have a swimming pool leak the ADI are the Swimming Pool Leak Detection Specialists – call us today on 0800 731 3843!