Where's the Leak? 3 Simple Ways to Tell Why Your In-Ground Pool Is Losing Water

Posted on: 4 October 2017

If you've got an in-ground pool, you've got a lot of water in your yard. The average 12' x 24' in-ground swimming pool holds over 10,000 gallons of water. That's a lot of water to lose to a leak. Luckily, even if your in-ground pool does get a leak, it will usually be a slow and steady leak, as opposed to a rapid loss of water. If you suspect you have a leak in your pool, the first thing you need to do is determine where the leak is coming from. There are a few common issues that can cause your pool to leak, or lose water. Here's a handy guide to help you identify the source of your water loss.

Water Leaks When the Pump Is On

If you've been noticing that the water level decreases in your pool whenever the pump is running, chances are good that you have a leak in the return system of your pump. That means the leak is occurring downstream from your pump. When your pump is running, the system becomes pressurized. Depending on the severity of the pressure leak, you'll either experience a slow, steady leak underground, or a larger, more rapid leak.

A slow leak will cause your soil to saturate slowly, while a larger leak will lead to more rapid saturation. You may even notice an area where the soil seems to be sinking. Walk around your yard, especially downhill from your pump, and look for areas where the soil is wet, or squishy. If your pump is leaking, you'll need to have it repaired or replaced.

Water Leaks When the Pump Is Off

If you're noticing that the water level in your pool is decreasing when the pump is off, you'll need to spend a bit more time identifying the problem. Because the pump pressurizes the system, you usually won't see leaks in the vacuum lines, valves, or pipe fittings. That's because a vacuum seal is created to allow water to pump through the pressurized system. However, once the pump is turned off, the pressurization ends, and all those components can begin leaking. The best way to identify this type of leak is to have a pool repair technician come out and inspect the entire pool.

Water Leaks at Random Times

If you're noticing that water is leaking from your pool at random times, there could be several reasons for the water loss. First, you could be experiencing rapid evaporation, especially during the hottest part of the summer. Second, the underwater components of your pool could be loose, such as your skimmer box, underwater lights, etc. Finally, your pool could have a crack in it.

Before you call the pool repair technician, spend some time trying to isolate the problem. First, tighten the skimmer box and the underwater lighting fixtures. Next, conduct an evaporation test. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and place it next to the pool. Mark the water lines in the pool and the bucket with tape. Leave the bucket alone for at least 24 hours. Check the water levels. If you lost more water in the bucket, the water is evaporating. However, if you lost more water in the pool, you've got a leak that will need to be located and repaired.

If you're ready to repair your in-ground pool, contact companies like Kokopelli  Pool and Spa.