When done effectively, locating a swimming pool leak follows a systematic process that begins with the clear identification of leak symptoms to the exact location of the leak, which could be a crack, a hole, or a tear.
If you are a diligent pool owner, you may be able to find some leaks yourself, or at least the process that can make the job of pool professionals like us that provide leak detection services more efficient. The first thing for you to do is to ask yourself some questions so you can easily determine where the leak may be coming from.
How can you tell where your pool is leaking?
You may ask yourself, when did my pool start leaking? If there are notable events that happened around that time, you may be able to identify what possibly caused the leak. A recent construction activity around your pool, an object that fell into your pool, and extreme weather conditions are events that commonly cause specific types of pool leaks.
Another question that will help you locate the leak is “does the water stop leaking at a certain level in my pool?” You may also try to see if your pool leaks more with the pump running or with the pump off. If you answer these questions, you will be able to find where your pool leak is.
If you notice that there is more leakage when your pump is running, then that may indicate a pressure side plumbing leak. But if there is more water loss when your pump is off, then that may indicate a suction side plumbing leak. If you notice that the amount of water loss does not vary whether the pump is on or off, then most probably, the pool leak is in your shell or pool liner.
If you are planning to seek help from a pool professional like Nelson Pool Company, finding the answers to these questions will greatly help in locating your pool leak problem. We may also need to know when your pool was built and if any repairs have been made on it recently.
If you want to address the trouble yourself, the first step is always to eliminate all the obvious leaks. You can do this by checking around the equipment for evidence of leakage. You may also check all the fittings that go into or out of your pool pump, filter, or heater and look for leaky pump lids, leaky valves, or leaky seals.
As you check the more visible parts of your pool and equipment, do not forget to make sure that your multi-port valve is not leaking water to the waste line. If your pool is the type that allows you to see where your backwash line empties, it is best if you check to make sure that no water is dripping from it.
If you suspect that the leak is coming from your pool shell or fittings, then you may want to conduct a red dye test for pool leaks, in which the dye is drawn out of the pool where the leak is coming from.
In conducting this test, start with areas such as visible cracks in the tiles or plaster, inside the skimmer, as well as places where return fittings, skimmers or stairs connect to the pool shell. While most pool cracks are not a cause of concern, a crack that leaks and draws dye calls for professional repair.
Why can’t you ignore a pool leak?
It is no secret that being a pool owner is a huge financial liability. Owning a pool is far more complicated than most people know, as a pool has a lot of moving parts, components, and interacting variables that can fail anytime and cost you a lot.
Are you the type of pool owner who lives in fear of phantom repair bills? Then do not wait for leaks to come out before you give it proper attention. Just in the same way that your car needs regular maintenance, so does your swimming pool.
The difference, however, is that before a car breaks down, it will give you some warning signs like a weird noise or a light that comes on in the instrument cluster. When these signs appear, you know that your car is developing some problems.
Unfortunately, a pool is not like that. Your pool lacks an instrument cluster that monitors the health of your pool system and lets you know if there’s a problem. It also does not have a check engine light like a car to indicate some trouble.
However, your pool may give you some warning signs and symptoms to tell you that you have some problems developing. As a pool owner, it’s your job to watch out for these symptoms.
If you ignore the small problems in your pool, time will come when your pool will suffer from chemical damage. This is because as water escapes your pool system, it will begin to accumulate in areas where it is not supposed to accumulate. When chlorinated water escapes the pool it will damage the metal components of your pool structure, including the rebar embedded inside the shell of your concrete pool.
Your much greater concern, however, is the movement of water through the ground around your pool. This water will strip the cement from the concrete, leaving only sand and gravel behind. If you don’t do anything about it for a long time, then this will reduce the strength of your pool drastically. Where once there was a network of cement binder with sand and gravel aggregate, only sand gravel will remain.
Although traveling through concrete usually takes a long period of time to undermine the strength of the concrete, water traveling through soil has a similar effect on this material. As the soil washes away with moving water, the ground around your pool will become unsupported and structural failures will begin to happen.
You do not want to replace your concrete pool deck any sooner than necessary, right? Then don’t ignore a tiny leak. Through time, these tiny, incremental leaks will force you into the type of pool renovation you never would have hoped for.
Throughout the many years that Nelson Pool Company has repaired and renovated pools, the worst pools that we’ve ever had to fix were the ones that had been leaking for a long period of time. As a pool owner, remember that your pool was built to last, so you cannot just underestimate what small damage can do.
Regardless of the type of pool that you have, the last kind of problem you will ever wish to have is a structural failure. Hence, always expect the worst-case scenario as soon as you notice a small leak in your pool.
If you need help with locating and fixing your pool leaks, call us, Nelson Pool Company, at 941-256-4079. Our pool professionals will improve the efficiency of your pool in the long term.
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