Also Known As: Leak Detection
To detect a leak, use the bucket test. Fill a five-gallon bucket with water and place it on the pool steps, so that the rim is a few inches above the surface. Mark the water levels in the bucket and pool. Check the water levels after 24 hours. If the pools water level is lowered by more than the buckets water level, there is a leak.
The next step is to identify where the leak is located. Again, mark the water level of the pool. Turn off the filter and install winter plugs in all the lines. If water is lost, the leak is in the pool structure. If no water is lost, the leak is likely in the plumbing.
To find a leak in the plumbing, pressure test the lines and dig, until you find the line with the leak. A pool professional can find the leak without digging, using a geophone.
To find a leak in the structure of a concrete pool: 1. Turn off the pump and wait at least one hour. 2. Look for cracks along the surface of the pool structure. 3. Squeeze food coloring near a crack using a small bottle. If the color is pulled into the crack, the pool is leaking at that spot. 4. If there are no visible cracks, squeeze the food coloring near any items that are installed into the concrete structure: main drain, returns, lights, skimmers, etc.
Cracks in concrete can be repaired using kits. Follow the manufacturers instructions carefully to be sure that the crack is filled properly. Leaks in a vinyl pool liner are tougher to repair, especially if they are located around fittings. Contact your pool professional for advice and assistance.