It is every pool owner’s wish to conserve water daily. That is why especially in drought-stricken states, pool owners cannot afford to lose hardly any drop of water from their pools.
If you are a pool owner and you notice that your pool is losing water, then you are possibly experiencing a pool leak. But since identifying leaks in a swimming pool can be a difficult and expensive task, it is imperative that you determine first whether your pool is losing water because of a leak or simply because of evaporation.
Why is your pool losing water?
It is normal to panic if you notice that your pool is losing water. However, remember that pool water loss does not necessarily mean that your pool has a leak. Well, it may be a true leak, but it may also be simple evaporation.
Typically, a pool that has no heater, no waterfalls, and other features can lose as much as a quarter-inch per day because of evaporation. That is more than one and a half inches in a week. Although this is the high side of evaporation and most pools lose less than this, it’s a reasonable guideline when it comes to evaporation.
For most swimming pools, evaporation is the main cause of water loss. In fact, pools in the southwest lose all of their 18,000 gallons of water every year through evaporation. While you have the option of using pool covers or solar blankets to cover your pool and reduce evaporation physically, they do not ensure that your pool completely stops losing water.
What are the causes of pool water evaporation?
Several factors contribute to pool water evaporation. These include exposure, temperature, and humidity levels.
If your pool is always exposed to the sun and wind, expect more water loss. This is because the more your pool is exposed to these elements, the higher the chances of evaporation.
If you want to avoid excessive evaporation, you may want to cover your pool with a screen. Typically, a screened pool will evaporate less than an unscreened pool. You may also surround your pool by a fence, some trees, or a structure so as to prevent excessive evaporation because structures like these cause your pool water to evaporate less, especially when your pool is facing an open sky.
If your pool is located on a lake, a golf course, or a large piece of land, you may also want to take additional measures to limit the evaporation. Pools that are located in these areas usually evaporate more than pools that are not.
The higher the humidity, the lower the evaporation. That means in areas where humidity is low, the chances of evaporation is higher.
If you want to understand how humidity actually affects your pool water evaporation, imagine a towel or sponge. The air is like that. The drier it is, the more water it can hold.
Humidity levels vary from area to area and from season to season. In Arizona, for instance, where summers are dry, evaporation is higher than in Florida where summers are typically wet.
During the cooler months in Florida, there is a stark contrast between the high and low temperatures. Sometimes, the gap even goes in excess of 25 degrees. Because of this, pools tend to heat up during the day and evaporate all night.
If you turn on your pool light at night and notice that there is a mist above your pool, that is your pool water evaporating. This process happens all night, every night.
How will you know if your pool has a leak or if it is merely water evaporation?
As I said, identifying a pool leak will not only burn a hole in your pocket but it will also drain you. The tedious process of identifying a pool leak requires professional pool operators who have the equipment that can easily detect pool leaks.
At Nelson Pool Company, we help pool owners like you identify if your pool is losing water because of evaporation or a leak by using an ultrasonic machine. If we detect that there is actually a leak in your pool, we may require excavation and replacement of pipes, depending on the size of the leak.
If you want to see for yourself if your pool actually has a leak, there is a simple test that you can perform to confirm a leaking pool. Called the “Pool Water Evaporation Bucket Test,” this test eliminates all outside causes so you can easily confirm a leak. If the result of this test turns out negative, then you know that your pool is losing water simply because of evaporation.
To perform the bucket test, look for a bucket that is about 5-gallon tall. Place some kind of weight into the bucket and fill it partially with water.
After partially filling the bucket, place it on your pool steps so that its top is above water level. Once you have already placed the bucket on your pool steps, fill the bucket with water until the water level in it is the same as the pool water. As you do this, make sure to turn off any fountains or waterfalls because they cause more evaporation than undisturbed water.
You will wait for 24 hours before checking the water levels.
The idea behind the bucket test is that since both the water inside the bucket and the pool water are subjected to the same temperature, humidity, wind, rain, etc., it will be easy for you to identify if the water in your pool is leaving through evaporation or through a leak.
If your pool bucket test results show that your pool is losing water through evaporation, then the water inside the bucket must also lose as much water as the pool because they should evaporate at the same rate. If you notice, however, that after 24 hours your pool water is less than the water inside the bucket, then you will know that there is a leak.
During the dry season in Florida, an eighth or quarter-inch of water loss per day can be considered reasonable evaporation. If your pool is losing more than this, you may suspect a leak. This especially rings true for pools that do not run waterfalls, heaters, or other special features.
If your pool water loss per day is more than enough over the course of at least four days, then it is very likely that your pool is experiencing a leak. In that case, you may want to consider contacting a highly rated pool leak detection and renovation company. Contact us, Nelson Pool Company, at 941-256-4079 and we will get your pool back in tip-top shape again.
In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view What are the Causes of Pool Water Loss on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/JOWsgqrLTEA