The water level in a pool fluctuates constantly due to a completely normal phenomenon called: evaporation. But how do you tell the difference between evaporation or a leak? How to detect a leak? What are the places to check first? What to do to stop the leak before calling a pool specialist.
First Check To See If You Have A Leak In Your Pool
The logical first step is a visual observation: Look around the pool carefully for any wet, or sunken down areas. Look in the pool to see if there are any cracks.
These are two checks that you can do to see if the pool is leaking or not
1) Use adhesive tape: place a strip of tape above the water level on the wall of the pool, and wait 24 hours. If the water level has dropped more than one centimeter, you have a leak.
2)Use a transparent container: Fill a container with a few pebbles (so the container does not float) and water. Place it on the steps or where both levels can be at the same height. Leave it for 24 hours and again if you notice that the level of the pool water has dropped more than one centimeter in contrast to the level of the bucket, you have a leak. Well, you have a leak, now what?
Now you have to find where the leak comes from.
These are the two areas where the water generally leaks from
1)Pipes and parts that are supposed to be sealed (skimmer, inlet pipes to filter and pump, drains and outlet pipes from the pump)
2)Swimming Pool Coating (liner, tiles, concrete/fiberglass structure)
How to spot a leak in a swimming pool
The filtration system is the first to be blamed when there is a leaking pool problem. The problem may be due to the wear of a seal or a leak at the connections. Before focusing on the pool itself, it is advisable to carefully check all the plumbing joints of the pump and filter. The leak can also come from microcracks in the filters tank.
If the problem does not come from the filtration system, the second step is to stop the pump and then close all the valves, to let the pool water level stabilize for 24 hours. The water level will stabilize just below the leak. If, for example, the water stabilizes below the skimmers, it means that the leak comes from there. If it stabilizes under an outlet nozzle, then the leak is there.
A simple trick is then to put a colored die in the water by the skimmer or outlet nozzle. Whichever one you think could be responsible for the leak If the colored water is sucked out of the pool, there is a leak.
That said, the leak can also be from the drain itself, or from the pool lining. It is therefore advisable to carefully check the coating of the pool, all around the pool, where the water has stabilized. In the case of microcracks in the coating, it will be necessary to call in a professional.
Remember to also check the soil around your pool. If you notice that the ground is muddy/damp in a particular area, then there is a leak in the buried pipes. Again, it is advisable to call a professional.
Is there special equipment to find a leak in a swimming pool?
Pressurization pump. It makes it possible to inject air or water under pressure into the pipe and then to control the pressure inside the pipes with a manometer. Constant pressure = no leakage. Pressure drop = leak.
Ultrasonic Detector. An ultra-sensitive floor microphone detects the sounds generated by the water escaping from the pipe.
Tracer gas. Gas is injected under pressure into the pipeline to exit vertically at the surface where the leak is located. A probe is used to locate the gas particles on the surface.
Infrared Thermograph. An infrared camera visualizes and measures the temperature differences between the ambient air and the water coming out of the pipe.
Endoscopic Camera. A flexible pipe fitted with a camera allows the interior of the pipes to be explored to identify a possible water leak. Thanks to a display screen and a locator, it is possible to determine the location of the leak.
How To Repair A Leak In A Swimming Pool
Leak at the filtration pump. If the seals are worn, just buy new ones and change them. This procedure is relatively simple and can be done without the help of a professional.
Leak at parts that are sealed. If the leak comes from the seals, it is possible to replace them yourself but if the part is incorrectly installed, it is better to call a specialist who can give you the benefit of his know-how.
A leak from underground pipes. This type of leak is the most delicate of all because it is difficult to gain access to the buried pipes. Fortunately, there are repair techniques that can help stop leaks from the inside of the pipe.
A leak in the liner. If you find a microcrack in the liner, it can be repaired with a special repair kit. To use underwater, it avoids you to empty your pool. If the tear is too great, it is better to replace the entire liner with a new one.
This is a product that you pour into your pool skimmer, with the pump on to seal the underground or internal pipe leaks. If the leak is small it will be sealed. How these products work is that when this solution that is in the pool water comes into contact with oxygen it hardens and stops the leak. If the leak is too big, it will not seal. then you will have to call a professional.
I hope that this article will help you in finding and repairing the leak in your pool.